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James Meek: Anglospheroids, 21 March 2013

... Union, along with the Better Off Out group, supported by such luminaries as Frederick Forsyth, Norman Tebbit and Austin Mitchell. What is it, though? Lovers of the Anglosphere can’t agree on its constituent parts. The cultural Anglosphere, those countries and regions where English is a literary language, is seldom coterminous with the geopolitical ...


Mary-Kay Wilmers: The Menopause, 10 October 1991

... woman who tries to compete with her husband’s fantasy sex partners hasn’t a hope. She’s the Norman Tebbit of feminism, a founder member of the on-yer-bike branch of the women’s movement; and I don’t imagine she’ll be sorry to think that it’s all over for her contemporaries; that for us what she memorably calls ‘the white-slavery of ...

Mrs Thatcher’s Ecstasy

Ross McKibbin, 24 May 1990

... Bill; in practice, it was government policy. We should remember who those backbenchers were: Norman Tebbit and Michael Heseltine. It seems fair to say that neither they nor the hundred or so Conservative MPs who supported their amendment had any clear notion of what the ILEA was obliged to do; nor again, it seems fair to say, did they care. Mr ...

Gaol Fever

David Saunders-Wilson, 24 July 1986

Prisons and the Process of Justice 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Oxford, 217 pp., £5.95, June 1986, 0 19 281932 1
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Growing out of Crime: Society and Young People in Trouble 
by Andrew Rutherford.
Penguin, 189 pp., £3.95, January 1986, 0 14 022383 5
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... of his misdeeds would be almost unthinkable, had it not been for Ronnie Barker and his alter ego Norman Stanley Fletcher. Porridge made even prison appear as warm and cosy as the front sitting-room. Prison has proved almost as attractive to the courts. Great Britain continues to imprison more of its population, and for longer periods of time, than almost any ...

Brief Encounters

Andrew O’Hagan: Gielgud and Redgrave, 5 August 2004

Gielgud's Letters 
edited by Richard Mangan.
Weidenfeld, 564 pp., £20, March 2004, 0 297 82989 0
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Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave 
by Alan Strachan.
Weidenfeld, 484 pp., £25, April 2004, 0 297 60764 2
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... Norman Tebbit announced the other day that Tony Blair’s government had made both obesity and Aids in this country much worse by doing ‘everything it can to promote buggery’. Aside from anything else, this comment might cause us to reflect (buggerishly) on the England beloved of bigots like Tebbit and to see it as a land not only of warm beer and cricket on the village green, but also, more significantly, of generations of excellent buggers performing on radio, stage and television, warming the cockles of English hearts and occasionally laying down their trousers in pursuit of their genius ...


Tim Gardam: New Conservatism, 13 June 1991

... must risk ‘enriching contradictions’ becoming damaging division. Would a Central Office run by Norman Tebbit and Lord Young have given house room to a pamphlet which argues, as Vincent does, that since the war politicians have mostly spoken to us about the economy, especially industry, in which 75 per cent of us do not work. No wonder they bore ...

Dual Loyalty

Victor Mallet, 5 December 1991

The Samson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 256 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 571 16619 9
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Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship 
by Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn.
Bodley Head, 423 pp., £17.99, January 1991, 0 370 31405 0
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... Khomeini’s idea of justice and sympathise with his call for the death of Salman Rushdie. Norman Tebbit would doubtless use it for immigrants who fail what he called the cricket test (‘Which side do they cheer for?’). Yet the Israeli-American connection is fraught with particular emotional and political significance. Israel, for a ...


Paul Foot: Disaster Woman, 7 January 1988

... the merchant fleet become more competitive.’ Sproat was followed by much more senior ministers, Norman Tebbit among them, who advised British shipowners to ‘flag out’ their ships under ‘flags of convenience’ in the outposts of the old Empire – Gibraltar. Bermuda, Hong Kong – precisely in order to avoid the ...

Breaking the Law

Stephen Sedley, 18 May 1989

The Work and Organisation of the Legal Profession 
HMSO, 72 pp., £7.10, January 1989, 0 10 105702 4Show More
Contingency Fees 
HMSO, 20 pp., £3.20, January 1989, 0 10 105712 1Show More
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... its moving force is not the skinhead iconoclasm we had come to associate with the now marginalised Norman Tebbit. It has much more to do with the fact that the ideology of competition has become powerful enough to challenge a profession which has been accustomed for centuries to calling the shots in its own interest. The opportunity to do so is being ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Dr Macgregor’s Diagnosis, 3 March 2011

... Take Andrew Lansley, the secretary of state for health and once the principal private secretary to Norman Tebbit. Like so many of his cabinet colleagues, and so many of those student politicians in the shadow cabinet, he appears to grasp the bullet points of an argument without ever grasping the argument. There’s a little moral seasoning to his dinner ...

Shoplifters of the World Unite

Slavoj Žižek, 25 August 2011

... Conservatives launched their ‘back to basics’ campaign, its obscene complement was revealed by Norman Tebbit: ‘Man is not just a social but also a territorial animal; it must be part of our agenda to satisfy those basic instincts of tribalism and territoriality.’ This is what ‘back to basics’ was really about: the unleashing of the barbarian ...

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, 978 1 5095 3917 8
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... he insists, should not be about rising out of the working class – or about getting on your bike, Norman Tebbit-style, in the hunt for self-betterment. Place matters. ‘Three in five of us,’ he notes, ‘live within twenty miles of where we lived at the age of 14,’ and it is ‘only the most obnoxious’ meritocratic climbers who experience delight ...

There is only one Harrods

Paul Foot, 23 September 1993

Tiny Rowland: A Rebel Tycoon 
by Tom Bower.
Heinemann, 659 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 434 07339 3
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... and personal adviser’, Mohammad Fayed. 2. 12 March 1985. Secretary of State for Trade Tebbit met officials from Kleinwort Benson, Herbert Smith and the Office of Fair Trading to discuss the bid for Harrods. 3. 14 March 1985. Mohammad Fayed was in Downing Street again for a meal in honour of the visiting President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Fayed sat ...

London Lefties

Paul Foot, 17 September 1987

If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it 
by Ken Livingstone.
Collins, 367 pp., £12, August 1987, 0 00 217770 6
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A Taste of Power: The Politics of Local Economics 
edited by Maureen Mackintosh and Hilary Wainwright.
Verso, 441 pp., £22.95, July 1987, 0 86091 174 8
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... offered various ‘reasons’ for this cynical charade. Fortunately for posterity, their colleague Norman Tebbit spelt the issue out quite clearly at an enthusiastic meeting of the London Conservatives in 1984: The Labour Party is the party of division. In its present form it represents a threat to the democratic values and institutions on which our ...

A Different Sort of Tory

Ronald Stevens: Max Hastings, 12 December 2002

Editor: An Inside Story of Newspapers 
by Max Hastings.
Macmillan, 398 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 333 90837 6
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... the Thatcher Government for allowing them to use British bases. Then it defended the BBC against Norman Tebbit’s criticism of its coverage of the attack on Libya, something that would be inconceivable in today’s Telegraph. The paper abandoned its long-standing support for the Nationalist Government and its apartheid policy in South Africa, and ...

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