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The English Disease

Hugh Pennington: Who’s to blame for BSE?

14 December 2000
The BSE Inquiry 
by Lord Phillips et al.
Stationery Office, 5112 pp., £324.50, October 2000, 0 10 556986 0
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... The remarkable thing about the Phillips Inquiry into BSE is not its cost, £27 million, or its 16 volumes, weighing in at 25 kg, or its overrun – it went on for more than double the year originally planned – but its thoroughness. Digesting the massive final report will be more than enough for most. But there is a lot more: witness statements and transcripts of oral evidence have also been put into the public domain via www ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The vexed issue of Labour Party funding

19 October 2006
... they were told they could expect in return, is now the subject of a police investigation. Besides Lord Levy, Labour’s chief fundraiser, two people have been arrested during the inquiry so far; 14 are said to have been interviewed under caution, and there is still a chance that Blair will be too. When it was revealed that Sir Christopher Evans, the venture ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips

16 April 2014
... however, this legislation was declared to infringe the Convention on Human Rights by the House of Lords in what I rate as its most impressive decision in my lifetime, a case titled simply A v. Home Secretary. Some of the suspects who had been detained under it subsequently took their cases to Strasbourg to seek compensation. Parliament’s response to this ...

Dive In!

Bruce Robbins: Hegelian reflections

2 November 2000
Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in 20th-Century France 
by Judith Butler.
Columbia, 268 pp., £12, June 1999, 0 231 06451 9
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... philosopher in the United States, Judith Butler published a book on Hegel’s dialectic of lordship and bondage and its impact on 20th-century French thought. The book had nothing to say about bondage in the recreational sense and, aside from a few pages at the end about Julia Kristeva and Simone de Beauvoir, was mostly indifferent to questions of ...
18 September 1997
Trial of Strength: The Battle Between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law 
by Joshua Rozenberg.
Richard Cohen, 241 pp., £17.99, April 1997, 1 86066 094 0
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The Politics of the Judiciary 
by J.A.G. Griffith.
Fontana, 376 pp., £8.99, September 1997, 0 00 686381 7
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... undemocratic section of the establishment: the judiciary. It was the strange sound of Law Lords denouncing Howard’s preposterous insistence that ‘prison works’ and the widespread jubilation at his many snubbings in the courts that led to liberal hosannas for the judges. And the judges in turn were happy to see themselves as Supreme Keepers of ...
12 February 2009
... Horatio why he has come back from Wittenberg, Horatio replies, ‘a truant disposition, good my lord’; to which Hamlet replies: ‘I would not have your enemy say so.’ Hamlet can’t accept this description of his friend, which he calls ‘your own report against yourself. I know you are no truant.’ In Hamlet’s view, it’s a terrible thing to call ...

Knights’ Moves

Peter Clarke: The Treasury View

17 March 2005
Keynes and His Critics: Treasury Responses to the Keynesian Revolution 1925-46 
edited by G.C. Peden.
Oxford, 372 pp., £45, December 2004, 0 19 726322 4
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... thoughtfully – not a man to be underestimated – while his close colleague Sir Frederick Phillips looks as though he has been propped up against a wall by a Keynesian commando as one of the usual suspects but carries a despondent air of being wrongly accused. Much more satisfactorily typecast as one of the guilty men is Sir Otto Niemeyer. He switched ...

Welcome Home

Sukhdev Sandhu: Memories of Michael X

4 February 1999
Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multiracial Britain 
by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips.
HarperCollins, 422 pp., £16.99, May 1998, 0 00 255909 9
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... the scrum of cameramen snapping away at this strange and freshly-docked cargo; the calypsonian Lord Kitchener acceding to a Pathé newsman’s request and breaking into a reedy ‘London Is the Place for Me’. Suddenly, according to innumerable commemorative church services and TV series, a marvellous post-colonial transformation was about to be wrought ...

The Reptile Oculist

John Barrell: On the trail of the mysterious John Taylor

1 April 2004
... paid for by nearly four hundred subscribers. There were Tory grandees such as George Canning and Lords Eldon, Liverpool and Sidmouth. There were fellow poets such as Felicia Hemans, Tom Moore, Samuel Rogers, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southey; artists of various kinds including the gifted amateur Sir George Beaumont, Francis Chantry, John Constable, Thomas ...

Why name a ship after a defeated race?

Thomas Laqueur: New Lives of the ‘Titanic’

24 January 2013
The Wreck of the ‘Titan’ 
by Morgan Robertson.
Hesperus, 85 pp., £8, March 2012, 978 1 84391 359 7
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Shadow of the ‘Titanic’ 
by Andrew Wilson.
Simon and Schuster, 392 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 1 84739 882 6
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‘Titanic’ 100th Anniversary Edition: A Night Remembered 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Continuum, 350 pp., £15.99, December 2011, 978 1 4411 6169 7
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The Story of the Unsinkable ‘Titanic’: Day by Day Facsimile Reports 
by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton.
Transatlantic, 127 pp., £16.99, November 2011, 978 1 907176 83 8
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‘Titanic’ Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 404 pp., £9.99, September 2012, 978 0 00 732166 7
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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage 
by Hugh Brewster.
Robson, 338 pp., £20, March 2012, 978 1 84954 179 4
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‘Titanic’ Calling 
edited by Michael Hughes and Katherine Bosworth.
Bodleian, 163 pp., £14.99, April 2012, 978 1 85124 377 8
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... because she was a replica of her ill-fated kin, a relic of the lost age of innocence. Walter Lord, who wrote the 1955 classic A Night to Remember, which, as Andrew Wilson says in his wonderful retellings of survivors’ stories, marks the beginning of the modern era of Titanic myth and memory, sailed on her as a boy. (The Olympic had her share of bad ...

At Chantilly

Peter Campbell: Horses

21 September 2006
... Its drays, loaded with casks and drawn by shire horses which also did a stint pulling the lord mayor’s coach, were still on the streets when we moved there in the 1960s. They won’t return. But troops of horses of the Household Cavalry, which woke us when we lived off Portobello Road, can still be encountered on their early morning journeys across ...

Stag at Bay

Adam Phillips: Byron in Geneva

25 August 2011
Byron in Geneva: That Summer of 1816 
by David Ellis.
Liverpool, 189 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 1 84631 643 2
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... treatment the boy was given for his club foot, Rogers remarked, ‘It makes me uncomfortable, my Lord, to see you sitting there in such pain as I know you must be suffering,’ to which Byron replied: ‘Never mind, you shall not see any signs of it in me.’ He couldn’t conceal his lameness, but he could conceal his feelings about it. If you have a ...
10 July 2003
... Gunter’s house over against Temple gate’, crossed the Thames to watch a play performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s men – Shakespeare’s company, though we cannot say whether he was among the performers – at the Globe Theatre. On the previous day, or possibly the day before that, a group of them had approached ‘some of the players’ and asked them ...

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