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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 ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The vexed issue of Labour Party funding

19 October 2006
... cash for peerages scandal. The question of who has lent the party what, and on what terms, and what 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 ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips

16 April 2014
... the fair trial requirements of Article 6. MB appealed to the House of Lords, together with another suspect, AF, who had also been subjected to a control order founded solely on closed material. Lord Hoffmann considered that the closed material procedure had received the blessing of the Strasbourg court and therefore satisfied the requirements of Article 6. The other four law lords who sat on the ...

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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... of a heretofore undefined being by way of a life and death struggle with another undefined being. It is the struggle itself, and not any characteristics of either party, that turns one into the lord, the other into the bondsman. Further struggle will take these identities away again. The story centres on a reversal in which the weak and the strong change places, and it gestures towards an ...

All Together Now

Richard Jenkyns

11 December 1997
Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns 
by Ian Bradley.
SCM, 299 pp., £30, June 1997, 9780334026921
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The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study 
by J.R. Watson.
Oxford, 552 pp., £65, July 1997, 0 19 826762 2
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... than it used to be, but was once possibly the best known of all. The most famous American poem of the Victorian age is ‘Away in a manger’ (anonymous), with ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ (Phillips Brooks) and ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’ (John Greenleaf Whittier) as runners-up. Among the works of the canonical English poets, the lines known to most people are probably those beginning ...
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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... Justice Sedley wrote: ‘Modern public law has carried forward a culture of judicial assertiveness to compensate for, and in places repair, dysfunctions in the democratic process.’ In the centre, Lord Woolf: ‘I myself would consider there were advantages in making it clear that ultimately there are even limits on the supremacy of Parliament which it is the courts’ inalienable responsibility to ...
12 February 2009
... suggest someone who takes time out of work – work defined here as real life. When Hamlet asks 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 ...

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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... in the 1930s before belatedly becoming permanent secretary himself, is caught looking obliquely, intently, 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 ...

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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... floods the screen: broad-brimmed, broad-smiled West Indians with their natty suits and meagre luggage; 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 ...

The Reptile Oculist

John Barrell: On the trail of the mysterious John Taylor

1 April 2004
... alight outside the house of his mother, Lady Arniston. Despite the intervention of troops, who were strongly resisted by the crowd, windows were broken in her house and in that of Robert Dundas, the lord advocate and Henry’s nephew. One rioter was shot by the soldiers, several injured. The crowd gathered again the next night, and attacked the house of the lord provost in St Andrew’s Square ...

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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... slightly smaller sister ship, Olympic, survived the Great War and became a great favourite with travellers 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 ...
4 July 1985
... primus. E felt is cravin whet. E started cruisin Chapeltown But he didn’t kill, not yet. E took a job on t’lorries, A Transcontinental Ford. E felt reet good in t’cabin. E felt like a bloody Lord. E’d bin a bit of a mardy, Angin on t’old dear’s skirt. E didn’t like folks shoutin, Or scraps wi lads, or dirt. E’d watch is dad trough offal – Trotters, liver, tripe – Or pigeon ...

At Chantilly

Peter Campbell: Horses

21 September 2006
... Young’s Brewery is quitting Wandsworth. 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 ...

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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... a conversation between the schoolboy Byron and his tutor ‘Dummer’ Rogers. Witnessing the terrible 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 ...
10 July 2003
... 7 February, the day before the rising, eleven or so of his followers, having eaten at ‘one 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 ...

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