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2 June 1983
... the sun is up on Friday 10 June we shall all be a lot wiser – and sadder too, quite likely. Either we shall have found out that the Iron Lady is impregnable or she herself will have been found out. MargaretThatcher is the favourite politician of those who like an exciting life. Her maxim in politics – she has claimed it as Thatche’s Law – is that the unexpected always happens. Certainly something ...
15 April 2013
... MargaretThatcher is the third most written about person in the ‘LRB’ archive, after Shakespeare and Freud. These are some of the things that were said. Servicemen are starting to wonder more and more precisely ...

Little Havens of Intimacy

Linda Colley: Margaret Thatcher

7 September 2000
Margaret Thatcher. Vol. I: The Grocer’s Daughter 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 512 pp., £25, May 2000, 0 224 04097 9
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... We know both too much about MargaretThatcher and too little. She was 20th-century Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister, and occupied the post for a longer continuous period than anyone since Lord Liverpool in the early 19th century. As a ...
28 November 1996
Diplomacy and Disillusion at the Court of Margaret​ Thatcher 
by George Urban.
Tauris, 206 pp., £19.95, September 1996, 1 86064 084 2
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... This book tells how the author fell in and out of love with MargaretThatcher. Although George Urban found her ‘an attractive lady’, with ‘the movements, the legs and walk of a young woman’, his love affair was wholly ideological. Urban, who is or was on the extreme ...
2 March 1989
Rotten Borough 
by Oliver Anderson.
Fourth Estate, 320 pp., £5.95, March 1989, 0 947795 83 9
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... In a few short months MargaretThatcher will chalk up her first decade as prime minister. The celebrations to which this occasion will give rise in the mass media are certain to focus attention once again upon the phenomenon of ...

MP Surprise

Stefanie Poletyllo

7 March 1985
... One day when I was walking down the street You’ll never guess who I did meet. MargaretThatcher, who got out of a car And went into a Public Bar. Up to the counter she walked briskly And ordered up a pint of Whisky. In came MP Michael Foot – He had been cleaning a chimney and was covered in ...
12 October 1989
Keith Joseph: A Single Mind 
by Morrison Halcrow.
Macmillan, 205 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 333 49016 9
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... of planning approvals that had been given ... Just “more”.’ When the leadership of the Conservative Party became vacant in 1965 Sir Keith was a Heath man: he lobbied for him and recruited MargaretThatcher to that camp. Heath, to all appearances, was to bring into being a new radical form of Conservatism, which was known in the run-up to the 1970 Election as the politics of ‘Selsdon Man ...

On Thatcher

Karl Miller

25 April 2013
... MargaretThatcher is the third most written about person in the ‘LRB’ archive, after Shakespeare and Freud. Here Karl Miller’s memories of the paper in her day are accompanied by extracts from some of the pieces ...

Steely Women in a World of Wobbly Men

David Runciman: The Myth of the Strong Leader

20 June 2019
... Most British​ prime ministers since MargaretThatcher have wanted to be Thatcher in one way or another. Tony Blair hoped to emulate not just the longevity of her tenure but also the impact she had on the country. Cameron would have liked to remake the Conservative Party in his ...


Stephen Sharp: The ‘Belgrano’ and Me

7 May 2014
... I was dispatched to a mental hospital. I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, to be detained for six months. I was given an injection of Modecate in the backside. I met a woman called Margaret in Fairmile hospital. I assumed she was my link to the politician with the same first name. She explained periods to me. I wondered if the PM was angry with me for writing a story saying she deserved ...

On the Blower

Peter Clarke: The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt

18 February 1999
The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt: Volume I 
edited by Sarah Curtis.
Macmillan, 748 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 333 74166 8
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... served for nearly a decade as chairman of the Horserace Totalisator Board, had yet to reach his apotheosis with the life peerage that validated his sobriquet, Lord Toad of Tote Hall. Confidant of MargaretThatcher, columnist in the News of the World, professional diner-out and social climber, Wyatt spotted his opportunity. His diary would be a secret but was, from the outset, intended for publication ...

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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... James Callaghan’s premiership, a new Tory prime minister entered Downing Street in May 1979. Almost thirty years before, at the 1950 general election, a 24-year-old research chemist by the name of Margaret Roberts had stood unsuccessfully for Parliament. By now called MargaretThatcher, she was elected MP for Finchley in 1959: the first chapter of Azriel Bermant’s outstandingly valuable Margaret ...

Snob Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Modern Snobbery

3 November 2016
... autobiography A Better Class of Person (1981) is a sustained assault on that attitude in general and his mother in particular. It is no accident that, as Taylor quotes John Vincent saying, MargaretThatcher was ‘the point at which all snobberies meet’, for she represented the compacted prejudices of the nation. The dislike she aroused was couched in terms of condescension that had nothing ...
17 September 1987
If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it 
by Ken Livingstone.
Collins, 367 pp., £12, August 1987, 0 00 217770 6
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A Taste of Power: The Politics of Local Economics 
edited by Maureen Mackintosh and Hilary Wainwright.
Verso, 441 pp., £22.95, July 1987, 0 86091 174 8
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... London Transport to the new, elected Greater London Council. There was no complaint from the Conservative Party. Its two transport frontbenchers in the Commons, up-and-coming young hopefuls called MargaretThatcher and Michael Heseltine, welcomed the transfer, and specifically stated that this would enable the Council, if it felt like it, to hold transport fares down with a subsidy from the rates ...


Simon Hoggart

24 April 1997
Michael Heseltine: A Biography 
by Michael Crick.
Hamish Hamilton, 496 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 241 13691 1
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... opinions are fairly middle of the road, he needs to work himself into a lather of rage when he makes a big speech, which is why his conference set-pieces were always more successful than Mrs Thatcher’s: she was so confident in her beliefs that she didn’t need to shout them out. Heseltine’s rhetorical style involves acting as if he has been driven to the very edge of his reason by the ...

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