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Snob Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Modern Snobbery, 3 November 2016

... and his mother in particular. It is no accident that, as Taylor quotes John Vincent saying, Margaret Thatcher 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 to do with policy. Mary Warnock objected to her ...

Impressions of Nietzsche

Keith Kyle, 27 July 1989

The Lives of Enoch Powell 
by Patrick Cosgrave.
Bodley Head, 518 pp., £16, April 1989, 0 370 30871 9
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... set out with bleak, relentless logic the case for monetarism and the free market decades before Margaret Thatcher presented herself as what he thought was a most unsuitable candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party. The attempt to supply a separate ‘Life’ for each chapter lands the author in the absurdity of dividing up Powell’s time ...

Anything but Benevolent

Ross McKibbin: Who benefits?, 25 April 2013

... It seems appropriate that just as the ‘reformed’ welfare state is ushered in, Margaret Thatcher should be ushered out. Appropriate too, that she, whose policies generated so much homelessness, should end her days in the Ritz. There used to be a genre of Labour autobiography with titles like ‘From Crowscaring to Westminster’, ‘From Workshop to War Cabinet’, which expressed something admirable about their subjects ...

Diary

Iain Sinclair: Thatcher in Gravesend, 9 May 2013

... day and at such an hour, I was on the lookout for symbols and portents. The funeral rites of Lady Thatcher, the great leader celestially upgraded from her complimentary suite at the Ritz, began as our ferry, the Duchess M, butted out, cross-current, from the revived container stacks of Tilbury Riverside (Maritime). She was carrying an elderly couple and one ...

Politician’s War

Tam Dalyell, 3 March 1983

The Battle for the Falklands 
by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins.
Joseph, 384 pp., £10.95, February 1983, 0 7181 2228 3
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... of the campaign, dominated the decision-making of the Prime Minister. And, from mid-April, it was Margaret Hilda Thatcher – supported by a troika consisting of Admiral Sir Terence Lewin, Chief of Defence Staff, Cecil Parkinson, Chairman of the Conservative Party, and Ian Gow, her ever-present Parliamentary Private ...

Mrs Thatcher’s Instincts

Barbara Wootton, 7 August 1980

Mrs Thatcher’s First Year 
by Hugh Stephenson.
Jill Norman, 128 pp., £6.50, June 1980, 0 906908 16 7
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A House Divided 
by David Steel.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £6.50, June 1980, 0 297 77764 5
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... What have Margaret Thatcher and David Steel in common, apart from holding the leadership of their respective political parties? Both are highly intelligent and educated persons with academic qualifications – Thatcher in chemistry and law, Steel in arts and law. Both have been called to the bar, and for both politics has been the main preoccupation of their adult lives ...

After the war

Diana Gould, 15 November 1984

Another Story: Women and the Falklands War 
by Jean Carr, introduced by Jane Ewart-Biggs.
Hamish Hamilton, 162 pp., £7.50, October 1984, 0 241 11391 1
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... the telling of the story another woman, also a wife and mother, looms large, the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The introduction is written by Jane Ewart-Biggs. Lady Ewart-Biggs speaks for those throughout the country who listened with growing dismay to the debate in Parliament on 3 April 1982 which culminated in the despatch of the Task Force with ...

Europe or America?

Ian Gilmour, 7 November 2019

... to vote against their project, which would make the whole exercise pretty pointless. As of Hitler, Margaret Thatcher knew exactly what she thought of the European Community. She did not like international organisations as such. She disliked the United Nations and the Commonwealth, and she disliked Europe even more. She did not understand it, and she did ...

Lawson’s Case

Peter Clarke, 28 January 1993

The View from No 11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical 
by Nigel Lawson.
Bantam, 1119 pp., £20, November 1992, 0 593 02218 1
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... an inimitable insight into the making and implementation of Conservative economic policy in the Thatcher era. Here, successively, we find an explanation of the medium-term financial strategy by its author; a rationale of the privatisation programme by a true believer; an exposition of Lawson’s agenda for tax reform; ‘My Monetary Principles’; a ...

Why did it end so badly?

Ross McKibbin: Thatcher, 18 March 2004

Margaret Thatcher. Vol. II: The Iron Lady 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 913 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 224 06156 9
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... requiris, circumspice. Even those, John Campbell suggests, who have little or no memory of Margaret Thatcher, live in a world she created; and from which there is no going back. More than any other British prime minister, even Gladstone, she conforms to Max Weber’s type of the modern demagogic politician: the leader who appeals directly to the ...

Diary

Tim Gardam: New Conservatism, 13 June 1991

... before the last election, a cabinet minister made an indiscreet prophecy over lunch. After Mrs Thatcher, he said, the Conservative Party, like a great river, would return again to its ancient course. When the past decade is far enough behind us for biography to become history, it will be interesting to see how many chapters the years alter Downing Street ...

Longing for Mao

Hugo Young: Edward Heath, 26 November 1998

The Curse of My Life: My Autobiography 
by Edward Heath.
Hodder, 767 pp., £25, October 1998, 0 340 70852 2
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... himself two decades ago, as the face of the old, generous, socially concerned Conservatism that Margaret Thatcher destroyed and neither John Major nor William Hague has done anything to re-create. While most other believers in this brand of Toryism, not only from Heath’s generation but the next two, have slipped away, to the House of Lords and points ...

The Common Touch

Paul Foot, 10 November 1994

Hanson: A Biography 
by Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe.
Fourth Estate, 336 pp., £20, September 1994, 1 85702 189 4
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... him as the ‘first and the finest’ of all the heroes of the Golden Age of Thatcherism. Margaret Thatcher had a penchant for ‘swashbuckling’ entrepreneurs, especially ones with Northern accents. When she first met James Hanson, his gentle Yorkshire lilt fascinated her almost as much as his millions. She assumed, as Harold Wilson had several ...

Lunchtime No News

Paul Foot, 27 June 1991

Kill the messenger 
by Bernard Ingham.
HarperCollins, 408 pp., £17.50, May 1991, 0 00 215944 9
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... Bernard. The real difference therefore was this. To leak a secret document which embarrassed the Thatcher Government was a crime for which a savage penalty had to be paid. To leak a secret document which assisted the same government was an act of courage and integrity which could only properly be rewarded with a knighthood. Bernard Ingham’s view of ...

Sizing up the Ultra-Right

David Butler, 2 July 1981

The National Front 
by Nigel Fielding.
Routledge, 252 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 7100 0559 8
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Left, Right: The March of Political Extremism in Britain 
by John Tomlinson.
Calder, 152 pp., £4.95, March 1981, 0 7145 3855 8
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... Party, or in the Labour Party’s lurch to the left, a fulfilment of these requirements. But Margaret Thatcher and Tony Benn are committed Parliamentarians and, despite all the rhetoric about the reactionary Conservative Government or Marxists in the Labour Party, no policy that has been, or is likely to be, enacted at Westminster ranges beyond what ...

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