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On the Dole

Melanie Phillips, 15 July 1982

Unemployment 
by Jeremy Seabrook.
Quartet, 226 pp., £8.95, February 1982, 0 7043 2325 7
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The Black Economy: how it works, who it works for, and what it costs 
by Arnold Heertje, Margaret Allen and Harry Cohen.
Pan, 158 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 330 26765 5
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... It is, as Jeremy Seabrook says, the similarities that strike you first. There was a dull vacuity in his eyes nowadays; he became listless, hard of hearing, saying ‘Eh?’ when anybody asked him a question. Nothing to do with time; nothing to spend; nothing to do tomorrow nor the day after; nothing to wear; can’t get married. A living corpse; a unit of the spectral army of three million lost men ...

Short Cuts

Jenny Diski: Melanie Phillips, 13 May 2010

... We should give thanks for Melanie Phillips, who writes for the right in a column for the Daily Mail here in the UK, and now has a book out in the US with Encounter Books (other new titles: How the Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security, How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting the US Economy, The Bad Science and Bad Policy of Obama’s Global Warming Agenda – which would make Phillips’s The World Turned Upside Down a really snappy title if it hadn’t already been taken by the Diggers, Christopher Hill and Chumbawamba ...

Huff and Puff

John Sutherland, 3 October 1996

We Should Know Better 
by George Walden.
Fourth Estate, 231 pp., £9.99, September 1996, 1 85702 520 2
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All Must Have Prizes 
by Melanie Phillips.
Little, Brown, 384 pp., £17.50, September 1996, 0 316 88180 5
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... as he says they are. Whether or not one agrees with all of it., We Should Know Better reads well. Melanie Phillips’s offering is something else. She is even more apocalyptic than Walden, but without any of his saving stylistic grace. According to Phillips, Britain is now de-educating. The whole of the British ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: How to concoct a conspiracy theory, 20 October 2005

... a review of Ye’or’s previous book, Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilisations Collide (2002), Melanie Phillips said that ‘there are . . . alarming signs of attempts in the West to shut down such discussions on spurious grounds of prejudice. This is, of course, itself a prime example of the condition of “dhimmitude” which Bat Ye’or so ...

Blaming teachers

Jane Miller, 17 August 1989

... undergraduates, his own ten commandments for his infinitely sicker graduate students. I hope that Melanie Phillips of the Guardian is safely past the forty mark, since she writes as though she is: ‘Correct spelling, punctuation and an elementary grasp of sentence structure now seem to be luxuries, even among the so-called educated classes with a ...

Wigs and Tories

Paul Foot, 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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... a public relations officer; and he twice quotes approvingly from an Observer columnist called Melanie Phillips, without revealing that she is his wife) we are introduced to two other urbane and reforming senior judges, the late Lord Chief Justice Taylor and Lord Goff. But it was Messrs Justice Taylor and Goff who, with Lane, refused even a proper ...

War Zone

Sherry Turkle, 23 November 1989

Winnicott 
by Adam Phillips.
Fontana, 180 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 9780006860945
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... described in terms of the differences between the sexes. In his elegant biographical essay, Adam Phillips characterises Winnicott as ‘disingenuous’ in his efforts to disguise his differences with the father of psychoanalysis. His differences with Melanie Klein, his mentor and supervisor, were equally ...

Don’t Look Down

Nicholas Spice: Dull Britannia, 8 April 2010

Family Britain 1951-57 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 776 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 7475 8385 1
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... fields of Eton’. The cry of ‘foul’ was unanimous and swift: ‘a hollow, nasty tactic’ (Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail); ‘only the foolish want a new class war’ (Anne McElvoy in the Standard); ‘schoolboy jokes’ (Financial Times leader); ‘let’s fight about fairness not class’ (Observer leader); ‘there are progressive ...

What Is Great about Ourselves

Pankaj Mishra: Closing Time, 20 September 2017

The Retreat of Western Liberalism 
by Edward Luce.
Little, Brown, 240 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 4087 1041 8
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The Fate of the West: Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea 
by Bill Emmott.
Economist, 257 pp., £22, May 2017, 978 1 61039 780 3
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The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics 
by David Goodhart.
Hurst, 256 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 84904 799 9
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The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics 
by Mark Lilla.
Harper, 143 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 06 269743 1
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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam 
by Douglas Murray.
Bloomsbury, 343 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 4729 4224 1
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... job when in a lecture at the British Council in 2004 he appreciatively cited Goodhart along with Melanie Phillips and Roger Scruton in a disquisition on the ‘core values of Britishness’ (‘There is indeed a golden thread that runs through British history of the individual standing firm for freedom and liberty against tyranny’). On a trip to East ...

Freud and his Mother

Adam Phillips, 31 March 1988

The Riddle of Freud: Jewish Influences on his Theory of Female Sexuality 
by Estelle Roith.
Tavistock, 199 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 422 61380 0
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... you deny returns from outside. Just as Jung would represent to him the mysticism Freud feared, so Melanie Klein would later offer him the idea that the castration anxiety that was at the centre of his theory was a derivative of a more profound envy of the woman’s fertility. Drawing on the work of other scholars, Roith claims that it was the traditional ...

What is there to lose?

Adam Phillips, 24 May 1990

Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Leon Roudiez.
Columbia, 300 pp., $33.50, October 1989, 0 231 06706 2
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Surviving trauma: Loss, Literature and Psychoanalysis 
by David Aberbach.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 300 04557 3
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... tend to provide either vivid illustration or prestigious confirmation of psychoanalytic insights. Melanie Klein, for example, found nothing she didn’t already know in the Oresteia, and even Lacan found Hamlet reassuring. Great Theorists, unlike Great Artists, whether they intend to or not, always make us believe in progress. So it can sometimes seem in ...

Clutching at Insanity

Frank Kermode: Winnicott and psychoanalysis, 4 March 2004

Winnicott: Life and Work 
by Robert Rodman.
Perseus, 461 pp., $30, May 2003, 0 7382 0397 1
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... predecessor, had to analyse not only his daughter but himself. Donald Winnicott was the analyst of Melanie Klein’s son Eric, so couldn’t go to her himself, but his analyst was Joan Riviere, very close to Klein, and his wife was a patient of hers. Readers of this journal may recall Wynne Godley’s complaint that his analyst, Masud Khan, was himself a ...

What if Freud didn’t care?

Adam Phillips, 14 May 1992

The Secret Ring: Freud’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Psychoanalysis 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Cape, 245 pp., £18, November 1991, 0 224 03227 5
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... The Secret Ring – and links it to her last foray into psychoanalytic history, the biography of Melanie Klein – is how little she seems to like or admire the people she has chosen to write about. So the book invites the kind of collusion that it insistently deplores in the group that provides her with her subject. It is written, in other words, with the ...

The Unimportance of Being Ernest

Adam Phillips, 5 August 1993

The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939 
edited by Andrew Paskauskas, introduced by Riccardo Steiner.
Harvard, 836 pp., £29.95, May 1993, 0 674 15423 1
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... stand his ground against Freud was on behalf of someone else’s supposed originality – that of Melanie Klein. Despite what Riccardo Steiner, in a notably cautious introduction, calls the ‘frankly wild analysis’ of this correspondence, it is striking how the two correspondents keep each other in place – the same place – through all the conflict and ...

The Money that Prays

Jeremy Harding: Sharia Finance, 30 April 2009

... thou shalt not lend upon usury.’ Very close to ‘interest’ after all then. Yet if, like Melanie Phillips, you believe Islamic banking in the UK merely hastens the day when a green flag is raised over Westminster, it’s important to think of ‘usury’ in the later sense, in order to insist that Muslim law is either deluded or ...

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