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The Stansgate Tapes

John Turner, 8 December 1994

Years of Hope: Diaries, Papers and Letters, 1940-62 
by Tony Benn, edited by Ruth Winstone.
Hutchinson, 442 pp., £25, September 1994, 0 09 178534 0
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... a potentially successful political career ahead of him. His concern was shared by others, notably Lord Hailsham, and some of the most interesting entries reveal Benn’s relationships with sundry Tory leaders who were interested in the House of Lords question. R.A. Butler was particularly forthcoming, his personal sympathy and obvious liking for Benn ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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Conservatism 
by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... to Honderich, and so is Iain Macleod. The most glaring exclusion of all, however, is that of Lord Hailsham. Honderich is aware of Hailsham’s existence since he makes a heavy joke about his trousers, which Honderich calls his undergarment, but he is evidently not aware of his books. With the leading post-war Tory ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... said Bernard. ‘I heard that at the board meeting where Max’s appointment was being discussed Lord H. strongly opposed the choice. After a while someone handed him a bit of paper which he read and fell silent. I think I know what was written on that paper.’ He scrawled something on a pad, tore off the page and handed it to me. On it he’d written ‘80 ...

Poor Stephen

James Fox, 23 July 1987

An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward 
by Phillip Knightley and Caroline Kennedy.
Cape, 268 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 224 02347 0
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Honeytrap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward 
by Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79122 2
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... In a recent letter to the Times, Lords Hailsham, Drogheda, Carrington, Goodman and Weinstock, and Messrs Roy Jenkins and James Prior, said they felt it was a good time, in view of the new publicity about the Ward case, to place on record their sense of admiration for the dignity and courage displayed by Mr and Mrs John Profumo and their family in the quarter-century since the episode occurred ...
We and They, Civic and Despotic Cultures 
by Robert Conquest.
Temple Smith, 252 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 85117 184 2
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The Recovery of Freedom 
by Paul Johnson.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £8.50, August 1980, 0 631 12562 0
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... terrorism, put the trade unions in their proper place and preserve the value of the currency. Lord Hailsham, a traditional Conservative, suggested in The Dilemma of Democracy (1978) that the public ‘wants stronger government but much less of it’. This seems to me profoundly true, and government can only be strong if it does less. Strength is what ...

Diary

Clive James, 19 August 1982

... away To show the thick foundation wanly glowing, Cracked by his smile of disbelief at meeting Lord Hailsham dressed for the official greeting. If Reagan’s jet-black hair seems slightly strange, What about Hailsham’s wig, sword, socks and cape? The President when dressed to ride the range Looks weird, but not ...

The Darth Vader Option

Colin Kidd: The Tories, 24 January 2013

The Conservatives since 1945: The Drivers of Party Change 
by Tim Bale.
Oxford, 372 pp., £55, September 2012, 978 0 19 923437 0
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The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron 
by Tim Bale.
Polity, 471 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 0 7456 4858 3
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Reconstructing Conservatism? The Conservative Party in Opposition, 1997-2010 
by Richard Hayton.
Manchester, 166 pp., £60, September 2012, 978 0 7190 8316 7
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... at bottom – to be non-ideological. In The Case for Conservatism (1947) Quintin Hogg, later Lord Hailsham, had contended that whereas socialism was an all-encompassing philosophy of change, Conservatism was a disposition of relative contentment, and one, moreover, that accorded a very circumscribed place to politics in the range of human ...

Lucky Lad

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Harold Evans, 17 December 2009

My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times – An Autobiography 
by Harold Evans.
Little, Brown, 515 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 1 4087 0203 1
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... he didn’t commit. This time there was an unlikely political hero in the form of the elderly Lord Chuter Ede. As home secretary in the Attlee government he had approved the execution, and thus, as Evans says, had less to gain than anyone alive from reopening the case, but he was driven by conscience to help do so. By now Evans had hoved into the view of ...

The Finchley Factor

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Thatcher in Israel, 13 September 2018

Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East 
by Azriel Bermant.
Cambridge, 274 pp., £22.99, September 2017, 978 1 316 60630 8
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... book​ could be written about British prime ministers and Zionism. It might begin in 1840, when Lord Palmerston, foreign secretary and prime minister-to-be, received a letter from his stepson-in-law Lord Ashley, an MP better known later as Lord Shaftesbury, the Tory philanthropist ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where was I in 1987?, 10 December 1987

... details. The well-being of half the country and all it is now is an election garnish. 17 June. Lord Hailsham, the Arthur Negus of the English law, is at 79 put out of office. Not before time, some might think, but on News at Ten he is feeling a bit sorry for himself. He was just the same the only time I met him, after one of Ned Sherrin’s shows in ...

Pow-Wow

Mary Beard, 26 October 1989

After Thatcher 
by Paul Hirst.
Collins, 254 pp., £7.99, September 1989, 0 00 215169 3
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Out of Apathy: Voices of the New Left Thirty Years On 
Verso, 172 pp., £22.95, August 1989, 0 86091 232 9Show More
Essays on Politics and Literature 
by Bernard Crick.
Edinburgh, 259 pp., £25, August 1989, 0 85224 621 8
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... Likewise a written Bill of Rights has not had a big place on the agenda of the Left. To be fair, Lord Scarman and Anthony Lester (also founder signatories of Charter 88) have long argued that such a Bill was a necessary step in the protection of civil liberties. But the recent history of the campaign for a Bill of Rights lies more, if anything, with ...

Staying in power

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 7 January 1988

Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution: The Ending of the Socialist Era 
by Peter Jenkins.
Cape, 411 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 224 02516 3
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De-Industrialisation and Foreign Trade 
by R.E. Rowthorn and J.R. Wells.
Cambridge, 422 pp., £40, November 1988, 0 521 26360 3
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... too, to further indiscretion. We need to know more about how this ‘elective dictatorship’, as Lord Hailsham called it, actually works. A flood of revelations could only be to the public good. But knowledge, for these purposes or its own, is not, in the Conservatives’ lexicon, a good. This no doubt is why Thatcher remains unaware that no historian ...

Born of the age we live in

John Lanchester, 6 December 1990

Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... an interview with a 21-year-old woman who had had 789 lovers. ‘Prince Philip, Mary Whitehouse, Lord Hailsham and Brigid Brophy were all quoted on what they thought about the subject.’ The only sex-related subject not permitted in the paper was homosexuality. Murdoch was against it: ‘Do you really think the readers are interested in ...

The other side have got one

Ian Gilmour: Lady Thatcher’s Latest, 6 June 2002

Ideologies of Conservatism: Conservative Political Ideas in the 20th Century 
by E.H.H. Green.
Oxford, 309 pp., £25, February 2002, 0 19 820593 7
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Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 486 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 00 710752 8
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... of one another. Conservative philosophers have said much the same. In the 17th century, Lord Halifax affirmed that there was hardly a single proposition to be made which was ‘not deceitful, and the tying our reason too close to it may in many cases be destructive. Circumstances must come in.’ In the 18th, David Hume believed that ‘parties from ...

Take a bullet for the team

David Runciman: The Profumo Affair, 21 February 2013

An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 400 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 00 743584 5
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... is a divorcé.’ Then when he became prime minister in 1957 he replaced Poole with Quintin Hogg (Lord Hailsham), who was another one. Hailsham had come home from the war to find his wife sleeping with an aide-de-camp to De Gaulle. Her guilt was unambiguous; so was her husband’s innocence. ...

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