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Drab Divans

Miranda Seymour: Julian Maclaren-Ross

24 July 2003
Fear & Loathing in Fitzrovia: The Bizarre Life of Writer, Actor, Soho Dandy, Julian Maclaren-Ross 
by Paul Willetts.
Dewi Lewis, 403 pp., £14.99, March 2003, 1 899235 69 8
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... but he was never short of adoring women. ‘People think because a novel’s invented, it isn’t true,’ Trapnel remarks at the beginning of a long monologue on the art of biography. Placed beside PaulWilletts’s oddly spiritless biography, Powell’s portrait seems remarkable. ‘I’m a master of disguise,’ Ross once boasted to a friend, after delightedly – and wrongly – spotting a ...

Two Poems

Sam Willetts

17 December 2009
... soldier’s dream, a map scaled 1:1. Observe the history of peat-smoke rising from any chimney, the halting of a car at the junctions on that homely uncompromising grid. Outside the shops, my friend Paul, Bogside-born, says Look at the floor: the pavement’s overlaid solid with pale-coral, ivory, dove-grey chewing-gum. Welcome to the city of the grinding jaw. Behind us a watchtower bristles, stuck ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul​ Myerscough

21 October 2015
... the presenter of Newsnight, was part of the team at the Institute of Fiscal Studies that devised the poll tax; or that the policy editor of Newsnight, Chris Cook, used to be an adviser to David Willetts; or that Nick Robinson, shortly to replace James Naughtie on Today, was once president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Doubtless most of the time these men do a bang-up job ...

Dear Mohamed

Paul​ Foot

20 February 1997
Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament 
by David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy.
Fourth Estate, 263 pp., £9.99, January 1997, 1 85702 694 2
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... Ritz Hotel and there, to the fury of the Labour minority, the matter was left. The cover-up was carefully supervised by the Tory Whips office, in particular by two young MPs, David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts and Andrew Mitchell, whose father, David Mitchell, is also a Tory MP, and once chose Neil Hamilton to be his Parliamentary Private Secretary. The Guardian had told a bit of the story. Parliament had ...

Heir to Blair

Christopher Tayler: Among the New Tories

26 April 2007
... reconstructed representatives of the old-fashioned upper class. Osborne, who will inherit a title, sometimes claims to be less posh than Cameron on the grounds that his public school, St Paul’s, is in London, and he didn’t board. Both sowed the seeds of tabloid merriment by joining a ludicrous club for rich boys while at Oxford, and even Cameron’s much advertised fondness for 1980s ...

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