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Newspapers of the Consensus

Neal Ascherson, 21 February 1985

The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. II: The 20th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 718 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 241 11181 1
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Lies, Damned Lies and Some Exclusives 
by Henry Porter.
Chatto, 211 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2841 0
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Garvin of the ‘Observer’ 
by David Ayerst.
Croom Helm, 314 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 7099 0560 2
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The Beaverbrook I Knew 
edited by Logan Gourlay.
Quartet, 272 pp., £11.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2331 1
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... whips were expected to acquire shareholdings in newspapers. Lloyd George’s Liberals invested in Reynolds’ News; other Liberals funded the Westminster Gazette; the Conservative Party helped to pay for the Manchester Courier and the Daily Express. The Tory whips offered the Observer £1000 in 1910 to produce a special edition they could hawk around the ...

Musical Chairs with Ribbentrop

Bee Wilson: Nancy Astor, 20 December 2012

Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor 
by Adrian Fort.
Cape, 378 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 224 09016 2
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... Battleship, the horse that had won that year’s Grand National. The Cliveden set was ridiculed in Reynolds News as a kind of upper-class pro-Hitler cabal. It was felt that the house was becoming a second, covert Foreign Office, with the expertise of civil servants being trounced by cocktail party consensus. ‘For 18 months,’ the paper reported, ‘Cliveden ...

Who was David Peterley?

Michael Holroyd, 15 November 1984

... I, Claudius, or Danny Hill: Memoirs of a Prominent Gentleman (edited by Francis King) and Margaret Forster’s ‘edition’ of Thackeray’s Memoirs of a Victorian Gentleman, the book mingled respected literary figures still alive in Britain with private characters who, if not invented, were surely concealed like the author himself under ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... new policy’. They were also referred to as such on different occasions by Sir Geoffrey Howe, by Margaret Thatcher and by various government spokespersons. When Parliament was eventually let in on them in October 1985, it was in answer to a request for a ‘statement on the policy of Her Majesty’s Government governing the exportation of armaments to ...

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