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Letting things rip

Wynne Godley, 7 January 1993

Reflections on Monetarism 
by Tim Congdon.
Edward Elgar, 320 pp., £35, November 1992, 1 85278 441 5
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... governments between 1976 and 1985, was a decisive success, but that the gains were lost when Nigel Lawson let things rip, causing a boom that had to go bust. The book falls into two parts. The first consists of articles which appeared in newspapers and journals between 1975 and 1989, focus and context being provided by a general introduction and ...

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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... In a publishing season of big books, this must be the biggest. Nigel Lawson learned his trade as one of the ‘teenage scribblers’, whom he later disparaged, on the Financial Times. ‘The length that comes most naturally to me is, not surprisingly, that of a rather long newspaper article,’ he observes. His old skill in knocking out a story in a series of effective paragraphs has not deserted him, but here he has joined them up, story by story, each with its own sub-head, into no fewer than 81 chapters, not to mention fifty pages of annexes ...

Black Monday

Graham Ingham, 26 November 1987

... because more investors suddenly wanted to sell than to buy shares. Prices began to fall, and what Nigel Lawson has called the ‘herd’ instinct of the market ensured that the fall, once started, became self-reinforcing. However, this mechanistic explanation throws no light on why there should have been a sudden reversal of sentiment in the ...

Two Men in a Boat

Ian Aitken, 15 August 1991

John Major: The Making of the Prime Minister 
by Bruce Anderson.
Fourth Estate, 324 pp., £16.99, June 1991, 9781872180540
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‘My Style of Government’: The Thatcher Years 
by Nicholas Ridley.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.99, July 1991, 0 09 175051 2
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... with Herself on the matter. As this was during his stint at the Treasury under Chancellor Lawson, who was determined to get Britain in by hook or by crook, he apparently decided he’d better not disagree openly with his immediate superior, though he did tell him his views privately. Then, when he steps over Geoffrey Howe’s bloodstains and arrives ...

Snobs v. Herbivores

Colin Kidd: Non-Vanilla One-Nation Conservatism, 7 May 2020

Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism 
by Nick Timothy.
Polity, 275 pp., £20, March 2020, 978 1 5095 3917 8
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... incantation of ‘compassionate conservatism’? We are about to find out. Thatcher’s chancellor Nigel Lawson once said, with the hint of a sneer, that the NHS is ‘the closest thing the English people have to a religion’. There seems every likelihood that the NHS will become the defining feature of a new one-nation mutation in post-Anglican ...


Michael Stewart: Staggeringly Complacent, 6 June 1985

... poll tax is now the leading candidate to replace the rates. And then there is the strange case of Nigel Lawson. A week or two ago he gave evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee. It was suggested to Mr Lawson that some of the great captains of industry – the Lord Weinstock, the Lord Aldington, the Lord ...

Staying in power

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 7 January 1988

Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution: The Ending of the Socialist Era 
by Peter Jenkins.
Cape, 411 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 224 02516 3
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De-Industrialisation and Foreign Trade 
by R.E. Rowthorn and J.R. Wells.
Cambridge, 422 pp., £40, November 1988, 0 521 26360 3
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... the Prime Minister, Peter Jenkins reports, has had occasion to tell him to ‘get a haircut’ – Nigel Lawson reassured his audience at the Mansion House in the autumn that revenues were high and the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement could soon be reduced to about a billion a year. Ten billion, he announced, can now be put aside for future ...

Balfour’s Ghost

Peter Clarke, 20 March 1997

Why Vote Conservative? 
by David Willetts.
Penguin, 108 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026304 7
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Why Vote Liberal Democrat? 
by William Wallace.
Penguin, 120 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026303 9
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Why Vote Labour? 
by Tony Wright.
Penguin, 111 pp., £3.99, February 1997, 0 14 026397 7
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... rather than the pragmatic pursuit of growth, employment and other real economic ends. This is what Nigel Lawson meant when, in Seventies-speak, he proclaimed: ‘Rules rule, OK?’ Admittedly, when he rose to his dizzy pinnacle of power at No 11 Downing Street, he found that his famous neighbour had her own, crucially different, conception of what ...

The Rise and Fall of Thatcherism

Peter Clarke: Eight years after, 10 December 1998

... Exchequer from 1979-83, during the period of the so-called ‘Thatcher experiment’; and that of Nigel Lawson, who succeeded him at the Treasury from 1983-89, during the period of the so-called ‘economic miracle’. The whimper – apologia is a less pejorative term – followed as a natural result. All three had time on their hands ...

Maastricht or no Maastricht

Peter Clarke, 19 November 1992

... intolerable and rules out any rationale for co-operation between them and the opposition. Now that Nigel Lawson has spilled some two-thirds of a million words in offering his own account of that era, we can share ‘the view from No 11’ with him. Lawson admits that he may have been ‘slow to recognise the ...

Is this successful management?

R.W. Johnson, 20 April 1989

One of Us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher 
by Hugo Young.
Macmillan, 570 pp., £16.95, April 1989, 0 333 34439 1
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... a record Jewish presence not only in Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet – including, at its peak, Joseph, Lawson, Young, Rifkind and Brittan – but among those on whom Mrs Thatcher leant for private advice: Joseph, Lawson, Alfred Sherman and the Saatchi brothers. Able young Jewish MPs (and there are now quite a few on the Tory ...

Europe or America?

Ian Gilmour, 7 November 2019

... important reason for her dislike was the leaders of the larger European nations being her equals. Nigel Lawson observed that she was ‘mesmerised by power’ and therefore much preferred the rulers of the United States and the Soviet Union to those of our European partners. Mrs Thatcher, President Mitterrand agreed, ‘is like a little girl of eight ...

If Labour Is Serious…

Ross McKibbin, 22 May 2014

... late as 1988, after all, the top marginal rate was 60 per cent; it was reduced to 40 per cent by Nigel Lawson in what was probably the most reckless budget of the modern era. The capacity of local government to meet its traditional duties should be restored. One of the things felt most acutely by Ukip voters is the decay of services from local ...

Poet Squab

Claude Rawson, 3 March 1988

John Dryden and His World 
by James Anderson Winn..
Yale, 651 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 300 02994 2
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John Dryden 
edited by Keith Walker.
Oxford, 967 pp., £22.50, January 1987, 0 19 254192 7
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... eyes, comfortable and predatory. He seems poised between repletion and dyspepsia, like a bewigged Nigel Lawson, arrested for all time at the moment of incipient eructation. James Winn says: ‘His short, squat figure later led his enemies to call him “Poet Squab”, and the plump birdlike face in this picture justifies the nickname.’ When ...

Nigels against the World

Ferdinand Mount: The EU Referendum, 19 May 2016

... rival Leave organisations. is financed by the insurance tycoon Arron Banks and blessed by Nigel Farage and Ukip. Vote Leave is led by Michael Gove, Gisela Stuart and Boris Johnson, with the support of other longstanding Eurosceptic ministers and former ministers, such as Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Lawson and ...

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