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Ruthless Enthusiasms

Michael Ignatieff, 15 July 1982

The Brixton Disorders: Report of an Inquiry by the Rt Hon. the Lord Scarman 
HMSO, 168 pp., £8, November 1981, 0 10 184270 8Show More
Punishment, Danger and Stigma: The Morality of Criminal Justice 
by Nigel Walker.
Blackwell, 206 pp., £9.95, August 1980, 0 631 12542 6
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Punishment: A Philosophical and Criminological Inquiry 
by Philip Bean.
Martin Robertson, 215 pp., £12.50, August 1981, 0 85520 391 9
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Dangerousness and Criminal Justice 
by Jean Floud and Warren Young.
Heinemann, 228 pp., £14.50, October 1981, 0 435 82307 8
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The Abuse of Power: Civil Liberties in the United Kingdom 
by Patricia Hewitt.
Martin Robertson, 295 pp., £15, December 1981, 0 85520 380 3
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... mirrored, in academic debates on the philosophy of punishment, by a revival of retributivism. As Nigel Walker and Philip Bean make clear in their lucid guides to these debates, it is Kant and Hegel, rather than Bentham and Beccaria, who are winning the arguments these days. Retributivism seems to speak to that yearning for society to speak as a moral ...

On the Pitch

Ben Walker, 18 June 2020

... for Football’, predicts that up to ten clubs could go into administration in the coming weeks. Nigel Clough, son of Brian Clough, resigned from his post as Burton Albion manager on 18 May – they could no longer pay his wages. Several clubs have furloughed their entire playing and non-playing staff. As in many other industries, the pandemic has exposed ...

Occasions for Worship

Simon Walker, 4 September 1997

Richard II 
by Nigel Saul.
Yale, 528 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 300 07003 9
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... into a ‘mumbling neurotic sinking rapidly into a state of acute melancholia’ in the attempt. Nigel Saul’s new study would have been welcome simply for the opportunity it offers to reconsider Richard’s actions and personality in the light of more recent scholarship, though his balanced and perceptive account of the reign supplies much more. It follows ...

Tearing up the Race Card

Paul Foot, 30 November 1995

The New Untouchables: Immigration and the New World Worker 
by Nigel Harris.
Tauris, 256 pp., £25, October 1995, 1 85043 956 7
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The Cambridge Survey of World Migration 
edited by Robin Cohen.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £75, November 1995, 0 521 44405 5
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... in that election was the response of his main adversary, the sitting Labour MP, Patrick Gordon-Walker. Gordon-Walker had led Labour’s Parliamentary opposition to the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962, the first ever legislative restriction on the right of entry into Britain of some 600 million citizens of the ...

He knew he was right

John Lloyd, 10 March 1994

Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Paul Routledge.
HarperCollins, 296 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 300 05365 7
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... subsidy of any state enterprise. The Government, and especially the Energy Secretary, Peter Walker – who had been informed by Thatcher, at the time of his appointment, that his job was to defeat the NUM – had laid the ground as carefully as possible, pushing through legislation which made picketing illegal, preparing the police and changing the ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady, 26 November 1987

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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Heseltine: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... fear. About other possible contenders he is refreshingly frank. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, possessor of a ‘powerful intellect and a suitably bullying manner’, is just not well enough regarded. The good-natured Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe may be a man without enemies, but whether he would have enough friends to win a leadership ...

Outside Swan and Edgar’s

Matthew Sweet: The life of Oscar Wilde, 5 February 1998

The Wilde Album 
by Merlin Holland.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85702 782 5
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Cosmopolitan Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy of Art 
by Julia Prewitt Brown.
Virginia, 157 pp., $30, September 1997, 9780813917283
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde 
edited by Peter Raby.
Cambridge, 307 pp., £37.50, October 1997, 9780521474719
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Wilde The Novel 
by Stefan Rudnicki.
Orion, 215 pp., £5.99, October 1997, 0 7528 1160 6
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Oscar Wilde 
by Frank Harris.
Robinson, 358 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 1 85487 126 9
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Moab is my Washpot 
by Stephen Fry.
Hutchinson, 343 pp., £16.99, October 1997, 0 09 180161 3
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Nothing … except My Genius 
by Oscar Wilde.
Penguin, 82 pp., £2.99, October 1997, 0 14 043693 6
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... of the film have elided the difference between actor and role. In the Evening Standard, Alexander Walker detected ‘a rehabilitation and a revelation. The rehabilitation is that of Stephen Fry. The truant stage actor returns to the top of the class with a dominating screen performance. His Oscar Wilde is the emotional and intellectual ballast in the story of ...

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 Rochester, about ...
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... Doors were closed to him, waiters instructed not to serve him, friends vanished. His friend Nigel Dempster tried to mediate, but Goldsmith would not speak to him. Dempster met Elwes a few days later in Spain and described his state: ‘He was trembling, stuttering, rambling, almost incoherent. He was unable to eat, he had to be helped down the steps, he ...


Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... of whom have good reason for being there except me, who started it all. I watch the first shot, Nigel Hawthorne as George III on the brink of madness, talking to a pig, marvelling in between takes at some wonderful run-down 18th-century barns with intricate grey beamed roofs and sagging tiles. Nick H. seems happy enough and has at least got round the ...

At the Skunk Works

R.W. Johnson, 23 February 1995

Fool’s Gold: The Story of North Sea Oil 
by Christopher Harvie.
Hamish Hamilton, 408 pp., £18.99, October 1994, 0 241 13352 1
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... Yet Wilson’s biographers say nothing about it; former ministers in charge of oil, like Peter Walker, barely note its existence in their memoirs; and in The Downing Street Years Margaret Thatcher has nothing to say on the matter beyond a reference to the privatisation of ‘Britoil (a nationalised North Sea exploration and production company set up by ...

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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... appear to be setting the terms of the dispute. She remained reliant on her energy secretary, Peter Walker, whom she didn’t trust and feared would do ‘a fudge, like Pym and the Foreign Office in the Falklands had tried to do’. But unlike Pym, Walker kept his job, because she didn’t dare sack him. In some respects her ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... up for lost time. Thus, 99 days after resigning as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Autumn 1989, Nigel Lawson became a non-executive director of Barclays Bank and an adviser within the Barclays Group. His two-day-a-week job was reportedly worth £100,000 a year. Shortly afterwards, he became a director of the GPA Group, then the world’s biggest aircraft ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... and offered free sessions of ‘Objectivist therapy’ to NBI volunteers. According to Jeff Walker, the author of a book called The Ayn Rand Cult (1998), Barbara Branden – herself in therapy with her husband – remembered the experience as a ‘moral flaying’. ‘On everything, absolutely everything, one was constantly being judged … It was a ...

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