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7 September 1995
Brassey’s Defence Yearbook 1995 
edited by Lawrence Freedman and Michael Clarke.
Brassey, 396 pp., £35.95, April 1995, 1 85753 131 0
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Broken Lives: A Personal View of the Bosnian Conflict 
by Bob Stewart.
HarperCollins, 336 pp., £6.99, July 1994, 0 00 638268 1
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Looking for Trouble: An Autobiography 
by Peter de la Billière.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £19.99, September 1994, 0 00 255245 0
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... the Soviet threat is gone, defence policy consists very largely of preparing for those distractions, the limited wars which once claimed only a small percentage of the budget. In the Defence Yearbook MichaelClarke repeats what everyone knows: although ‘the Army, in particular, may lament the fact that Bosnia – like the Northern Ireland commitment – detracts from the real business of training for a ...
5 May 1988
Regulating the City: Competition, Scandal and Reform 
by Michael Clarke.
Open University, 288 pp., £25, May 1986, 9780335153817
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Regulating fraud: White-Collar Crime and the Criminal Process 
by Michael​ Levi.
Tavistock, 416 pp., £35, August 1987, 0 422 61160 3
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... stockmarkets. Press reports of June 1986 about cases of insider-trading in the United States, and the extraordinary sums of money involved,1 were quickly followed by the prosecution in Britain of Michael Collier. Chairman of Morgan Grenfell, the largest securities firm in the City of London, for making an instantaneous profit of £15,000 on the purchase of shares in a company he knew was about to be ...

Priapus Knight

Marilyn Butler

18 March 1982
TheArrogant Connoisseur: Richard Payne Knight 1751-1824 
edited by Michael Clarke and Nicholas Penny.
Manchester, 189 pp., £30, February 1982, 0 7190 0871 9
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... a team of modern specialists pool their expertise in order to cover a career of impressive range. Nicholas Penny takes on Downton, and Knight’s activities as a collector and judge of ancient art; MichaelClarke assesses him as a connoisseur of paintings and drawings; Claudia Stumpf deals with the ‘Expedition into Sicily’ and Peter Funnell with the more general critical writings: A Discourse on ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership

20 October 2005
... by birth, reflected Black’s far right American views. Both Murdoch and Black were and are extreme Europhobes. Major resigned on the morning of his defeat in 1997. His obvious successor was Kenneth Clarke, who had been an outstanding chancellor of the exchequer. Even failures at the Treasury, such as James Callaghan, sometimes become party leaders, and a highly successful chancellor like Clarke should ...

Little Mercians

Ian Gilmour: Why Kenneth Clarke​ should lead the Tories

5 July 2001
... the predictable and much-predicted consequence that it pleased nobody else. Its long orgy of self-indulgence began immediately after the 1997 election, when the Parliamentary Party rejected Kenneth Clarke as its next leader. Clarke was unquestionably the best of the candidates and indeed the only one who was unquestionably qualified for the job. Yet Conservative MPs preferred William Hague, who should ...

Non-Party Man

Ross McKibbin: Stafford Cripps

19 September 2002
The Cripps Version: The Life of Sir Stafford Cripps 
by Peter Clarke.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 7139 9390 1
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... It was central to the way contemporaries saw postwar British socialism: either as an exercise in joyless austerity or as the embodiment of fair-dealing and social equity. On these grounds alone Peter Clarke’s biography is welcome. His is not the first biography of Cripps. Patricia Strauss wrote one in 1942; but it just missed its moment, being published soon after Cripps was ejected from the War ...

Reproaches from the Past

Peter Clarke: Gordon Brown

1 April 2004
The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown 
by William Keegan.
Wiley, 356 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 470 84697 6
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... an economy groaning under an overvalued pound and the high interest rates that went with it, and budget deficits unparalleled in British history. As it turned out, when Brown took over from Kenneth Clarke in 1997, the economy was on the mend, having shed the ERM, and the public accounts were already heading towards surplus. Further reflection, however, prompts the thought that, as a potential prime ...

Looking away

Michael​ Wood

18 May 1989
First Light 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 328 pp., £12.95, April 1989, 0 241 12498 0
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The Chymical Wedding 
by Lindsay Clarke.
Cape, 542 pp., £12.95, April 1989, 0 224 02537 6
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The Northern Lights 
by Howard Norman.
Faber, 236 pp., £4.99, April 1989, 0 571 15474 3
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... about peace and wholeness which only seriously splintered people could invent or care about. The myth is finally too quiet for such people, and the splinters yield too readily to caricature. Lindsay Clarke’s The Chymical Wedding is an intricate double narrative, and it is also about the life of the dead. Although Clarke calls it a romance, it is a pastoral novel too, since it describes a retreat from ...

The Reshuffle and After

Ross McKibbin: Why Brown should Resign

25 May 2006
... t already alienated. Opposition attempts to give his affair a public significance are not very convincing: the post-reshuffle settlement is another matter. The problems of Patricia Hewitt and Charles Clarke are more serious and have been made serious largely by the prime minister. Patricia Hewitt has not been a rebellious minister but she had the courage to vote according to conviction over public ...

Gove or Galtieri?

Colin Kidd: Popular Conservatism

4 October 2017
Crown, Church and Constitution: Popular Conservatism in England 1815-67 
by Jörg Neuheiser, translated by Jennifer Walcoff Neuheiser.
Berghahn, 320 pp., £78, May 2016, 978 1 78533 140 4
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Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy 
by Daniel Ziblatt.
Cambridge, 450 pp., £26.99, April 2017, 978 0 521 17299 8
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Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History 
by Emily Jones.
Oxford, 288 pp., £60, April 2017, 978 0 19 879942 9
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Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir 
by Ken Clarke.
Pan, 525 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 5098 3720 5
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... option at the ballot box. This takes us far beyond the customary parlour games we play when we concede that May, however ghastly, is a more attractive option than flesh-creeping figures like Michael Gove or Liam Fox. Rather, Ziblatt prompts consideration of more fundamental options. Having the whole appalling crew in power from time to time has been the necessary cost of avoiding a fragile and ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: Shuffling Off into Obscurity

4 May 2016
... Osborne, funnily enough, in spite of our rows. David Cameron I guess – after all, we’ve been through a lot together. Oliver Letwin, with his decency and his wonderful professorial quality. Ken Clarke. Definitely Ken Clarke. He is truly brilliant … I am really looking forward to the election campaign. We have something important to say, and now I just want to get out there and say it. It would ...
30 March 2016
... London reflects its gloom. Westminster Hall and the Tower were half blown up two days ago by Irish Dynamiters.’Eighteen months earlier, a young Irishman recently returned from America, Thomas J. Clarke, one of O’Donovan Rossa’s Sancho Panzas, had been arrested in London. Using evidence of an elaborate bomb factory in Birmingham, the Crown charged him and other followers of O’Donovan Rossa ...
22 May 1980
The Shorter Strachey 
selected and introduced by Michael​ Holroyd and Paul Levy.
Oxford, 288 pp., £6.95, April 1980, 0 19 212211 8
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Lytton Strachey 
by Michael​ Holroyd.
Penguin, 1143 pp., £4.95, December 1979, 0 14 003198 7
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... criticism – if, in fact, he had not swallowed Garibaldi whole’. His private verdict on the trilogy, 15 years earlier, had been more pithy: ‘There is much interest in it, but tiresomely told.’ Michael Holroyd’s admirable biography allows us to peep behind the bland phrases of public seemliness here. It suggests, conversely, that Trevelyan’s fulsome congratulations to Strachey upon his books ...
25 February 1993
Studded with Diamonds and Paved with Gold: Miners, Mining Companies and Human Rights in South Africa 
by Laurie Flynn.
Bloomsbury, 358 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 7475 1155 1
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... long. But few black miners in South Africa do: only 5 per cent get to pensionable age. Thousands die as the result of outright negligence by the owners. In 1967 nine miners were killed in a fire at Michael colliery in Scotland. The detailed inquiry which followed blamed the deaths on the poisonous fumes from polyurethane foam which had lined the roofs and walls underground. The National Coal Board ...
7 December 1989
... beaten out of them. At trial, apart from the men’s own evidence, there had been no proof of any beatings or torture. At the Appeal, however, there was a mass of new evidence. Former Constable Tom Clarke said he had seen guns being pointed at the prisoners in Queen’s Road Police Station, Birmingham. He said that a dog had been used to threaten one of the men in the cells; and that the men were ...

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