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The Unsolved Mystery of the Money Tree

Anthony Howard: Jeremy Thorpe

19 August 1999
In My Own Time: Reminiscences of a Liberal Leader 
by Jeremy Thorpe.
Politico’s, 234 pp., £18, April 1999, 1 902301 21 8
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... Jeremy Thorpe has long been the non-person of modern British politics. Never mind that 25 years ago he attained for the then stand-alone Liberal Party more votes (over six million) than PaddyAshdown achieved for the by now merged Liberal Democrats (five and a quarter million) at the last general election. Discretion, if not sheer political cowardice, decreed that his faintly saturnine presence ...
12 October 1989
A Short History of the Liberal Party 1900-88 
by Chris Cook.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £9.95, August 1989, 0 333 44884 7
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Against Goliath 
by David Steel.
Weidenfeld, 318 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 9780297796787
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Labour’s Decline and the Social Democrats’ Fall 
by Geoffrey Lee Williams and Alan Lee Williams.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, July 1989, 0 333 46541 5
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Penhaligon 
by Annette Penhaligon.
Bloomsbury, 262 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7475 0501 2
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Citizens’ Britain: A Radical Agenda for the 1990s 
by Paddy Ashdown.
Fourth Estate, 159 pp., £5.95, September 1989, 1 872180 45 0
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... David Owen and David Steel. His sudden death removed what would have been a powerful influence at the time of merger and a serious candidate for the leadership of the new party. In the event, it was PaddyAshdown who became the first leader of the Social and Liberal Democrats when David Steel decided that it was not for him. His ‘radical agenda for the 1990s’ is intelligent, civilised and left of ...

Shining Pink

Tam Dalyell

23 May 1985
Death of a Rose-Grower: Who killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Graham Smith.
Cecil Woolf, 96 pp., £5.95, April 1985, 0 900821 76 0
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... Vol. 7, No 6). I am so glad that Graham Smith then proceeded to ‘A Politician’s Tale’, and that the politician was neither myself nor one of my colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party, but PaddyAshdown, Liberal MP for Yeovil. Mr Ashdown can claim the benefit of a rich experience both in the Royal Marines and as an Intelligence Officer. Like Clive Soley, Labour Spokesman on Home Affairs, who ...

Diary

Ian Aitken: Closing Time at the Last Chance Saloon

6 August 1992
... election campaign, prompting Tory and Labour spokesmen to issue thinly disguised threats about what might befall any editor who went in for more dirty tricks like the one that had been perpetrated on PaddyAshdown. There was a collective sigh of relief among the politicians when the election came and went and nothing had happened. It was assumed that no editor was likely to launch such a story after ...
24 April 1997
... Europe, education. No easy task, this focusing, they say, since politicians at election-time are more than usually evasive. They are also more than usually absurd. Look at those silly clips of PaddyAshdown playing hopscotch or John Major on his knees in a day-nursery or Tony Blair in his Newcastle soccer-strip. Who do these people think they’re fooling? Why don’t they treat us as grown-ups ...

Diary

William Rodgers: Party Conference Jamboree

25 October 1990
... but the bets are on a narrow majority of seats for Mrs Thatcher with a larger vote for the Liberal Democrats than current polls foretell. Who knows, Neil Kinnock may still extend a friendly hand to PaddyAshdown and, swallowing hard, ask him to name his price ...

Diary

Kathleen Burk: Election Diary

23 April 1992
... interview all three of the main party leaders. It was illuminating. Kinnock hardly seemed the same man as the one on Today in Parliament: he was in control both of himself and of the interview. PaddyAshdown likewise was very impressive, and Major handled Dimbleby’s probing questions with very little difficulty. Either the wine had eroded my critical powers, or lack of exposure to television ...
7 February 1991
... newspaper space and broadcasting time to Liberal Democrat views and activities. Where the Liberal Party in the Sixties and Seventies was generally treated with tolerant ridicule, the party led by PaddyAshdown is taken seriously. It is possible that the next general election will produce a result for the Liberal Democrats much like that for the Alliance in 1987. They may do rather better in the ...

Citizens

David Marquand

20 December 1990
Citizenship and Community: Civic Republicanism and the Modern World 
by Adrian Oldfield.
Routledge, 196 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 415 04875 3
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Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation 
by Jonathan Boswell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £30, October 1990, 0 415 05556 3
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Encouraging citizenship: Report of the Commission on Citizenship 
HMSO, 129 pp., £8, September 1990, 0 11 701464 8Show More
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... active citizen’ – by implication, at any rate, a comfortable suburbanite impelled to good works by his or her own public spirit. At the centre and on the centre-left, a disparate band including PaddyAshdown, Ralf Dahrendorf, Raymond Plant and Julian le Grand have suggested that the state should be the guarantor of social-citizenship rights rather than the provider of services, in the old ...
4 September 1997
Modern British Utopias 1700-1850 
by Gregory Claeys.
Pickering & Chatto, 4128 pp., £550, March 1997, 1 85196 319 7
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... The same problem is evident in descriptions of aliens, almost all of which are absurdly anthropomorphic. Beings who must have set out for Earth millions of years ago turn out to look pretty much like PaddyAshdown apart from their dwarfish stature and sinisterly monotone voices. Spacecraft capable of negotiating black holes crash in the Nevada desert, while their occupants display an excited interest ...

Über-Tony

Ben Pimlott: Anthony Crosland

3 September 1998
Crosland’s Future: Opportunity and Outcome 
by David Reisman.
Macmillan, 237 pp., £47.50, October 1997, 0 333 65963 5
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... to stimulate faster economic growth, as the sine qua non of social improvement. Given all this, would Crosland now be a supporter of Tony Blair? Or of his own disciple, Lord Hattersley? Or even PaddyAshdown? Would he have supported the Third Way? He believed in Labour as an ordinary people’s party – like other middle-class socialists of his generation, he was sentimental about the working ...
6 March 2014
In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... problems of public policy – in deliberate contrast to the Liberals’ Yellow Book of 1928, whose policy prescriptions were formulated in large part by Keynes. Still, the party’s recent leaders, PaddyAshdown, Charles Kennedy – significantly, a former SDP MP – and Menzies Campbell, had all identified clearly with the left of British politics. Yet post-1945 Liberalism turns out on closer ...
3 July 1997
... did much to promote a democratic politics. Yet because their ambitions were fundamentally reactionary they were inevitably unable to exploit them. The unintended beneficiaries were Tony Blair and PaddyAshdown. Yet again the Conservatives had the worst of both worlds. What Thatcher and (especially) Major wanted to establish was a modernising democracy based on a mobile and meritocratic middle class ...

The Tax-and-Spend Vote

Ross McKibbin: Will the election improve New Labour’s grasp on reality?

5 July 2001
... came close to losing another five. They are still struggling to establish an absolutely secure base and are probably still over-dependent on well-entrenched individuals. In Yeovil, for example, where PaddyAshdown was no longer standing, there was a strong swing to the Conservatives. The Lib Dems now have an odd profile. They are the main challengers to Labour in Liverpool, but also the main ...

Old Europe

Jeremy Harding: Britain in Bosnia

20 February 2003
Indictment at The Hague: The Milosevic Regime and the Crimes of the Balkan Wars 
by Norman Cigar and Paul Williams.
New York, 339 pp., $24.95, July 2002, 0 8147 1626 1
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Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia 
by Brendan Simms.
Penguin, 464 pp., £8.99, July 2002, 0 14 028983 6
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Under Orders: War Crimes in Kosovo 
by Fred Abrahams.
Human Rights Watch, 593 pp., £18, October 2001, 1 56432 264 5
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Milosevic: A Biography 
by Adam LeBor.
Bloomsbury, 386 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 7475 6090 0
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... But Tory diplomacy on Bosnia had precedents: Hurd and Rifkind seem to have imagined themselves as realpolitiker descendants of the consummate Disraeli faced by a posse of minor Gladstones – PaddyAshdown leading the LibDem charge, for instance, or Martin Bell of the BBC – whining about the agony of the Balkans. Hurd and Rifkind, and minor figures such as Douglas Hogg, all fancied themselves ...

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