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Europe could damage her health

William Rodgers, 6 July 1989

The Challenge of Europe: Can Britain win? 
by Michael Heseltine.
Weidenfeld, 226 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 297 79608 9
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... as long as a Conservative government was in power. A handful of rebels was neither here nor there. Michael Heseltine’s extended tract is a measure of how far, under Mrs Thatcher, this expectation remains unfulfilled. The Prime Minister’s abrasive relations with Britain’s European partners have been one of the characteristics of her period in ...

It’s a riot

Michael Ignatieff, 20 August 1981

‘Civil Disturbances’: Hansard, Vol. 8, Nos 143-144, 16 July 1981 – 17 July 1981 
HMSO, £80Show More
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... In the adjournment debate on ‘Civil Disturbances’, MPs as far apart as Joan Lestor and Michael Heseltine agreed that the speeches had transcended party politics. Of course there were exceptions. No Tory MP joined Stuart Holland and John Fraser in their criticism of the Police in Brixton, and no Labour MP supported Winston Churchill’s call ...

Getting it right

Tam Dalyell, 18 July 1985

The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... the implications for Whitehall should be read by every civil servant. Norton-Taylor observes that Michael Heseltine, like the rest of the Government, was stunned, and stung, by the jury’s verdict, and was determined to fight back, to have the last word, and to keep the pressure on Ponting for as long as possible. The result was that, at quite unusually ...

Diary

Conor Gearty: Various Forms of Sleaze, 24 November 1994

... suicide of his wife, which apparently was the result of an affair he had been conducting. In 1993, Michael Mates left the government after disclosures that he had sent gifts and messages of support to the businessman Asil Nadir. Norman Lamont caused an uproar over his use of public money to evict a tenant from his property. Other lesser Tories, such as Mrs ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady, 26 November 1987

Misrule 
by Tam Dalyell.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 241 12170 1
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One Man’s Judgement: An Autobiography 
by Lord Wheatley.
Butterworth, 230 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 406 10019 5
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Changing Battlefields: The Challenge to the Labour Party 
by John Silkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £13.95, September 1987, 9780241121719
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HeseltineThe Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... helicopter company, discerning, as he does so, a campaign to discredit her Secretary for Defence, MichaelHeseltine, who subsequently resigned. He claims, moreover, that she again misled the Commons over the American use of British bases to bomb Libya, and he sees her influence behind the police raids on BBC premises ...

Head over heart for Europe

Peter Pulzer, 21 March 1991

Ever Closer Union: Britain’s Destiny in Europe 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hutchinson, 96 pp., £7.99, January 1991, 0 09 174908 5
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The Challenge of Europe: Can Britain win? 
by Michael Heseltine.
Pan, 226 pp., £5.99, February 1991, 9780330314367
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... Britain into Europe’ had a public relations problem. Is that still the case? Are Hugh Thomas and Michael Heseltine right in arguing that Britain’s leaders are now lagging behind public opinion in Europeanism or, at the very least, that they are failing in their duty to enthuse us? That two Conservative public figures should, within a space of three ...

Ponting bites back

Tam Dalyell, 4 April 1985

The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the ‘Belgrano’ Affair 
by Clive Ponting.
Sphere, 214 pp., £2.50, March 1985, 0 7221 6944 2
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... 19 March. It got going just before 10 a.m. and lasted until nearly one o’clock. Anyone who knows Michael Heseltine knows that he is a rapid dispatcher of business, even by senior ministerial standards. To spend three hours wondering how to answer a couple of letters is blue-moonish, and speaks volumes about the concern to hide. ‘This was a long ...

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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... Association a letter from the Solicitor-General to the selfsame Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Heseltine). Neither the Solicitor-General nor Heseltine knew of the leak. The letter, like the document about the Cruise missiles demo, was entirely secret. Though neither document was a threat to national ...
Once a Jolly Bagman: Memoirs 
by Alistair McAlpine.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £20, March 1997, 9780297817376
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... become obvious that the Tories were going to lose the election? Was it that golden moment when Michael Portillo, that scourge of unnecessary public spending, announced that £60m of public money was earmarked for a new yacht for the richest woman on earth – even though Her Majesty had made it plain she did not want one? Was it this deranged belief in the ...

Westland Ho

Paul Foot, 6 February 1986

... was supported in this enthusiasm for a European alternative by the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Heseltine. Heseltine was an expert in subservience to the Pentagon. He had enthusiastically supervised the deployment of American Cruise missiles in Britain, and had based his British nuclear ‘deterrent’ policy ...

Hobnobbing

Simon Hoggart, 24 April 1997

Michael HeseltineA Biography 
by Michael Crick.
Hamish Hamilton, 496 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 241 13691 1
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... Michael Heseltine’s dark secret is that he isn’t such a clever politician after all. This absorbing book shows that he has important qualities for an MP and even a minister, but not quite enough of them. He has the ambition, and he certainly has the determination (one friend of his told me that the important thing to remember about Heseltine is that ‘he never, never, ever gives up ...

Diary

R.W. Johnson: Major Wins the Losership, 3 August 1995

... began the countdown to the November re-election date. This campaign gathered such momentum that Michael Heseltine, the obvious contender, would have been badly damaged had he not stood. In June this year the same countdown had begun when Major cut the campaign short with a pre-emptive resignation, his calculation presumably being that the requirement ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Spectator, 25 January 2001

... Boris de Pfeffel Johnson gives up his role as Tory MP for the Spectator to take over from Michael Heseltine as the editor of Henley-on-Thames, you have to wonder where they’re going to find someone sufficiently blond to be his successor at Doughty Street (from which sturdy address the organ Johnson currently oversees emerges each ...

Sweetly Terminal

Edward Pearce, 5 August 1993

Diaries 
by Alan Clark.
Weidenfeld, 421 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 297 81352 8
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... my friends, I mean my close friends. Then he made matters worse by saying he had had a talk with Michael (Heseltine). ‘He is formidable.’ ‘He’, pause, ‘is’, pause, ‘formidable’. I got him back to the station at four thirty, smelling powerfully of brandy. Seeing I was a bit dejected, Bruce said he would plug ...

De Valera and Churchill

John Horgan, 21 July 1983

In Time of War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 566 pp., £25, April 1983, 0 233 97514 4
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... When Michael Heseltine launched a not-too-oblique attack on Irish neutrality in the course of a visit to Northern Ireland on 4 May, he was – presumably – unaware of the fact that he was reopening a book which both Churchill and de Valera had decided peaceably to close almost exactly thirty years ago. That at any rate would be the charitable explanation ...

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