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Founders of the Welfare State 
edited by Paul Barker.
Gower, 138 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 435 82060 5
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The Affluent Society 
by John Kenneth Galbraith.
Deutsch, 291 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 233 97771 6
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... At an international conference I attended the other day someone spoke of European civilisation as the civilisation of Christendom, the Renaissance and the Welfare State. A somewhat flowery way of putting it, perhaps: but then it can certainly be argued that the Welfare State is the principal flower in the post-war blossoming of Western Europe. Moreover, the speaker presumably intended to place the modern Welfare State among the greatest achievements of European civilisation, an order transcending frontiers ...

Signs of the ‘Times’

Peter Jenkins, 22 January 1981

Stop Press 
by Eric Jacobs.
Deutsch, 166 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 233 97286 2
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... professionals – bank managers, for example – hire trade-union mercenaries – Mr Clive Jenkins, for example – in the same way as they hire tax accountants. Trade-unionism is an approved form of behaviour: group venality, providing it is called trade-unionism, is therefore permissible. We do try to draw a line where life and death is involved, but ...

Yowta

Peter Jenkins, 20 December 1984

Antipolitics: An Essay 
by George Konrad, translated by Richard Allen.
Quartet, 243 pp., £8.95, August 1984, 0 7043 2472 5
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... Yalta’ is not a word that often comes to mind. Ask someone on the bus or try it on the children. Yalta? For anyone living in the eastern part of Europe, the meeting of the Big Three at a small resort in the Crimea, in February 1945, is the seminal event of modern times, a calamity almost on a par with the Fall. Not that that part of Europe had lacked calamities, but they had hitherto seemed part of a European experience – the European experience: Yalta has, in effect, resulted in its expulsion from Europe ...

Post-Bourgeois Man

Peter Jenkins, 1 October 1981

Arguments for Democracy 
by Tony Benn, edited by Chris Mullin.
Cape, 257 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 224 01878 7
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Manifesto 
by Francis Cripps, John Griffith, Frances Morrell, Jimmy Reid and Peter Townsend.
Pan, 224 pp., £1.95, September 1981, 0 330 26402 8
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... He has come a long way. Born the Hon. Anthony Wedgwood Benn, he inevitably became by public-school nickname ‘Wedgie’ and later, by his own socialist deed-poll, plain ‘Tony Benn’. Today he is more often referred to simply as Benn – a hard word spat out like ‘Lenin’. Benn puzzles and alarms people because he is at the same time frightfully English and frighteningly un-English ...

My Life with Harold Wilson

Peter Jenkins, 20 December 1979

Final Term: The Labour Government 1974-76 
by Harold Wilson.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 322 pp., £8.95
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... staying in Europe. He has shown great political skill and insight.’ He reports also that Roy Jenkins subsequently conceded, most generously, that he had ‘misunderstood’ Wilson’s handling of the issue. It is true, I now think, that Wilson could not have held the European line, and the Labour Party together, through the years of opposition between ...

What’s going on?

Peter Jenkins, 21 November 1985

How Britain votes 
by Anthony Heath, Roger Jowell and John Curtice.
Pergamon, 251 pp., £15.50, September 1985, 0 08 031859 2
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Partnership of Principle 
by Roy Jenkins.
Secker in association with the Radical Centre, 169 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 436 22100 4
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The Strange Rebirth of Liberal Britain 
by Ian Bradley.
Chatto, 259 pp., £11.95, September 1985, 0 7011 2670 1
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Report from the Select Committee on Overseas Trade, House of Lords 
HMSO, 96 pp., £6.30, October 1985, 0 10 496285 2Show More
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... future of the Labour Party as an electoral force. Nevertheless, it is useful to be reminded by Roy Jenkins in the preface to a collection of his essays and speeches that he broke with Labour ‘not because I feared it could not be elected, but because, with its new policies, I did not want it to be elected’. In the 1979 Dimbleby Lecture, here reprinted, he ...

The British Disease

Peter Jenkins, 21 August 1980

Governments and Trade Unions: The British Experience 1964-79 
by Denis Barnes and Eileen Reid.
Heinemann, 240 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 435 83045 7
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... The ‘trade-union problem’ has dominated British politics for the last two decades. It has been the downfall of three governments – Wilson’s in 1970, Heath’s in 1974 and Callaghan’s in 1979. During that time, full employment and free collective bargaining became at last incompatible, and the former was in effect abandoned in 1968. As the union problem grew more acute, the relative decline of the British economy accelerated – although which was chiefly responsible for the other is less obvious ...

News of the World’s End

Peter Jenkins, 15 May 1980

The Seventies 
by Christopher Booker.
Allen Lane, 349 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7139 1329 0
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The Seventies 
by Norman Shrapnel.
Constable, 267 pp., £7.50, March 1980, 0 09 463280 4
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... Snip and you have, for example, the violent spirit of the time: Bath Theatre Royal bar manager Mr Peter Coe is being treated for back injuries after being attacked by two Brownies. The girls, aged about nine, lost their tempers because he had run out of ice cream. They kicked and kneed him and he was hurt when he fell over ... Other members of Mr Coe’s ...

Socialism without Socialism

Peter Jenkins, 20 March 1986

Socialist Register 1985/86: Social Democracy and After 
edited by Ralph Miliband, John Saville, Marcel Liebman and Leo Panitch.
Merlin, 489 pp., £15, February 1986, 9780850363395
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... Mrs Thatcher’s two election victories have prompted a debate on the left at the bottom of which lurks the question: is socialism dead? There are several prongs to the case put forward by the ‘new revisionists’ who, in contrast to the Gaitskell-Croslandite revisionists of the past, are not right-wingers seeking to save the Labour Party from socialism but, for the most part, Marxists who have found it necessary to make a fundamental reappraisal of the socialist project ...

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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... Some of his colleagues are already saying it. Looking almost smooth – 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 ...

William Rodgers reads the papers

William Rodgers, 19 February 1987

The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... revenue, the company was vested in trustees. But the press as a whole had no such luck. As Simon Jenkins has reminded us, the great proprietors bought and sold their newspapers for power, prestige and, they hoped, money. The brothers Harmsworth launched the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror while Scott was wrestling with Home Rule for Ireland and the Boer ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: 1920s v. 1980s, 17 March 1988

... as the First Reform Bill or the Charge of the Light Brigade. I have started by reading in parallel Peter Jenkins’s Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution and the two concluding volumes of Halévy’s magisterial History of the English People in the 19th Century, which between them take the story from 1895 to 1914. The contrast is not so much between an era of ...

What is this Bernard?

Christopher Hitchens, 10 January 1991

Good and Faithful Servant: The Unauthorised Biography of Bernard Ingham 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 202 pp., £14.99, December 1990, 0 571 16108 1
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... to London to be done in by city slickers on the Guardian labour desk, where he was indentured to Peter Jenkins: ‘ “He was very nice to work with: extremely conscientious,” recalled Jenkins, who was two years younger than his deputy. “He probably thought I was a bit flash and metropolitan.” ’ One doubts ...
... or machines. Readers of this journal will probably remember the review (LRB, Vol. 3, No 1) by Peter Jenkins of Stop Press by Eric Jacobs, which deals with the dispute which stopped publication of the Times for so long. This is perhaps an extreme example of a practice with which all employers are familiar, but the fact that we tolerated it at all ...

Diary

Jane Miller: On the National Curriculum, 15 October 1987

... of parents to recoil from those schools in which it will be mandatory. In a recent interview with Peter Jenkins in the Independent, Mrs Thatcher outlined the place and purpose of such a curriculum with her usual candour and with what has been taken to be an even greater commitment than Baker’s to the wholesale dismantling of state education. You are ...

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