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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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... absorbing discussion of these crises and it was fortunate for her that in the Westland affair Neil Kinnock fluffed his opportunities and that it was, in any case, probably too complicated and arcane an issue for the electorate to master. 5. Campbell’s analysis of her attitudes to Europe and the United States (attitudes not unrelated to the secret ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble, 3 December 2015

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... party of government. And in this case the party members were in tune with the leadership: Neil Kinnock, who had spent the past few years painstakingly trying to distance himself from the militant elements of his movement, was nonetheless unwilling or unable to give up his personal commitment to unilateralism (he later said that even if he had wanted ...

The Illiberal Hour

Mark Bonham-Carter, 7 March 1985

Black and White Britain: The Third Survey 
by Colin Brown.
PSI/Heinemann, 331 pp., £22.50, September 1984, 0 435 83124 0
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... Board recruited Barbadians to drive our buses and to run the Underground system. It was Enoch Powell who was Minister for Health when doctors and nurses from the Commonwealth were being recruited to supply the services we required. The jobs were filled, more immigrants arrived and problems arose. The problems had two different causes, both vividly ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... want you here, in the room or in my country. Listen to me, man. I think we should vote for Enoch Powell. Enoch’s our man … We should send them all back.’ Among those troubled by Clapton’s remarks was the photographer David (‘Red’) Saunders. A great bear of a man with a red rockabilly quiff, a veteran of numerous agit-prop ...

Who’s in charge?

Chalmers Johnson: The Addiction to Secrecy, 6 February 2003

Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers 
by Daniel Ellsberg.
Viking, 498 pp., $29.95, October 2002, 0 670 03030 9
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... William Westmoreland, the commanding officer in Vietnam, was asking for 206,000 more troops. Neil Sheehan and Hedrick Smith reported this leak, which was accurate and had a devastating effect on Congress and the American people. It did not come from Ellsberg, but ‘as I observed the effect of this leak,’ he recalls, ‘it was as if clouds had suddenly ...

Off with her head

John Lloyd, 24 November 1988

Office without Power: Diaries 1968-72 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 562 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 09 173647 1
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... habit of mind. And it is a measure of her success in installing a politics of the Right, and of Neil Kinnock’s in turning Labour round to social democracy, that Benn’s period of being a ‘major’ figure is probably now over. But his period as a diarist is only just beginning – and this will be a work of huge interest, since it covers so long a ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... within reach at last. 1 May 1997. Run into John Eatwell, formerly economic adviser to the hapless Neil Kinnock and now Lord Eatwell, President of Queen’s, at Cambridge station. We naively agree that it can’t possibly be a landslide, given the percentage of the British electorate which will vote Conservative no matter what the level of arrogance, disunity ...

What is Labour for?

John Lanchester: Five More Years of This?, 31 March 2005

David Blunkett 
by Stephen Pollard.
Hodder, 359 pp., £20, December 2004, 0 340 82534 0
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... carved out a space for himself there, allied with but not wholly subsumed by the Bennites. When Neil Kinnock took on Militant, Blunkett dragged his feet, publicly offered Derek Hatton an olive branch, and was considered ‘fundamentally untrustworthy’ by Kinnock and his circle as a result. Kinnock thought that Blunkett’s actions were dominated by his ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... of the SNP – inspired by the party’s in-house legal philosopher, the late Neil MacCormick – had come to embrace interdependence and shared sovereignty. The Anglo-Scottish Union is on life support, and I can see only one way to preserve it: what might be called the ‘reverse Greenland’ solution. Greenland is a self-governing ...

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