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5 December 1991
Thatcher’s People 
by John Ranelagh.
HarperCollins, 324 pp., £15.99, September 1991, 0 00 215410 2
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Staying Power 
by Peter Walker.
Bloomsbury, 248 pp., £16.99, October 1991, 0 7475 1034 2
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... who will dance on the grave John Major is hoping to prepare for Margaret Thatcher? Whose continuity, in the different strands of Conservatism, is now likely to be reinforced? Or to put it briefly, is PeterWalker, Heath’s closest comrade and, as he would have us believe from his memoirs, an upholder of Heathism throughout his 11 years as a Thatcher minister, leaving Parliament at the very moment when ...

White Lies

James Campbell: Nella Larsen

5 October 2006
In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line 
by George Hutchinson.
Harvard, 611 pp., £25.95, June 2006, 0 674 02180 0
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... she spoke the language, and her first publications were translations from Danish of children’s games and riddles. Her mother, Marie Hansen, had immigrated to the US in the 1880s, and her father, PeterWalker, whom she never knew, was born in the Danish West Indies (after 1917, the US-controlled Virgin Islands). The little that is known about him suggests that he was half-Danish. By any logical ...


Ferdinand Mount: Edward Heath

22 July 2010
Edward Heath 
by Philip Ziegler.
Harper, 654 pp., £25, June 2010, 978 0 00 724740 0
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... and Baghdad, where they understood how to deal with dissent. This indifference to popular sentiment was striking in the reforms of local government which he undertook in concert with his protégé PeterWalker. It is a pity that Ziegler doesn’t mention these, though Campbell covers them well, for the Heath-Walker reforms show Heathco at its crassest. Counties like Berkshire, which had lasted for a ...

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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... year, they would be unwilling to challenge the government of which she was the head. Finally, he attacks her failure to set up an inquiry into the behaviour of security officers who, according to Peter Wright’s Spycatcher, sought to undermine the Wilson premiership. These charges, as Mr Dalyell frames them, have either been denied or brushed aside by Mrs Thatcher or her spokesmen. The evidence on ...
23 February 1995
Conservative Century: The Conservative Party since 1900 
edited by Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball.
Oxford, 842 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 19 820238 5
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... since the institution after 1965 of formal electoral procedures, which may seem cumbersome but are likewise designed to exert checks and balances, the same aim has been pursued by different methods. Peter Catterall offers a nicely-judged account of the influence of religion, suggesting that the breakdown in the Conservatives’ traditionally cosy relationship with the Church of England has been ...

2000 AD

Anne Sofer

2 August 1984
The British General Election of 1983 
by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh.
Macmillan, 388 pp., £25, May 1984, 0 333 34578 9
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by Michael Crick.
Faber, 242 pp., £3.95, June 1984, 0 571 13256 1
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... and the trade unions dominated Parliamentary proceedings, a majority of Conservative members of the House of Commons were in revolt, and early in 1986 she was forced to resign in favour of Mr PeterWalker. Traditional “one nation” Toryism reasserted itself.’ The third. ‘The second Thatcher Government set about establishing a police state and mounted savage attacks on socialist local ...
21 April 1983
Britain can work 
by Ian Gilmour.
Martin Robertson, 272 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 85520 571 7
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The Use of Public Power 
by Andrew Shonfield, edited by Zuzanna Shonfield.
Oxford, 140 pp., £9.95, January 1983, 0 19 215357 9
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... misguided and ill-founded policy, and he as a victim of his views about it. Perhaps his views might not have mattered so much – even in Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet there are some unbelievers, PeterWalker is an honourable example – but his style must have been insufferable. It is not only wickedly witty – better, perhaps, even than Galbraith. From a background of Eton, Balliol, the Guards and the ...
5 November 1981
British Industry and the North Sea: State Intervention in a Developing Industrial Sector 
by Michael Jenkin.
Macmillan, 251 pp., £20, May 1981, 0 333 25606 9
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... policies in this area after 1974 grew naturally out of those pursued by the previous administration. Who has, in fact, spent more taxpayers’ money on supporting British industry – Tony Benn or PeterWalker, Eric Varley or Sir Keith Joseph? If only a lot more energy had gone into establishing a workable and lasting framework for the relationship between government and industry, and a lot less ...
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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... which Scargill could have avoided, affected McGahey deeply and he strove, unsuccessfully, to overcome it. He was one of the leadership ‘troika’, with Scargill and the Derbyshire miners’ leader, Peter Heathfield, who became NUM General Secretary under Scargill’s presidency. This arrangement, however, was a fiction: both Heathfield and McGahey were in thrall to Scargill’s unstoppable will ...
20 March 1986
The English Satirical Print 1600-1832 
edited by Michael Duffy.
Chadwyck-Healey, February 1986
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... On the day I write, the national dailies contain just one true specimen between them. In the Daily Telegraph, Norman Tebbit appears as a crazed, bloodthirsty infantryman, with Douglas Hurd and PeterWalker mounted behind him, apparently duetting the Iron Duke’s quip: ‘I don’t know what effect he will have upon the enemy, but, by God, he terrifies me.’ Garland’s cartoon is derivative ...

Falling Stars

Alan Coren

5 November 1981
Richard Burton 
by Paul Ferris.
Weidenfeld, 212 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77966 4
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Peter​ Sellers 
by Alexander Walker.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77965 6
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... It is not easy to determine which is the better book. Richard Burton was printed by Butler and Tanner Limited, Peter Sellers by the Fakenham Press, and since the one establishment is in Somerset and the other in Norfolk, it is fair to absolve both of them from the sort of catchpenny opportunist hustling which these ...

At Tate Britain

Peter​ Campbell: Hamish Fulton

9 May 2002
... seem to present moments of private revelation in a way which appears to call for applause. A marathon runner’s art takes place in public – the physical experience is no easier to imagine than the walker’s but the facts are in full view. He or she can afford to be silent. Walkers have to let people know how the walk went, and no matter how modestly they phrase their stories, can find themselves in ...
18 August 1983
Animal Thought 
by Stephen Walker.
Routledge, 388 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 7100 9037 4
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On the Evolution of Human Behaviour 
by Peter​ Reynolds.
California, 259 pp., £20, December 1981, 0 520 04294 8
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The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit 
by Melvin Konner.
Heinemann, 436 pp., £16.50, October 1982, 0 434 39703 2
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Sociobiology and the Human Dimension 
by Georg Breuer.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £22.50, January 1983, 0 521 24544 3
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Sociobiology and the Pre-Emption of Social Science 
by Alexander Rosenberg.
Blackwell, 210 pp., £9.90, March 1981, 0 631 12625 2
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... outside political history – if indeed it is outside it. Time and again scholars have determined to get this disorderly province of the mind finally under control and to issue a clear map of it. Peter Reynolds, in his admirable book, cites one such map, from an American anthropologist writing in 1901: 1. The mentality of animals is instinctive rather than ratiocinative, and for each species ...

Wadham and Gomorrah

Conrad Russell

6 December 1984
The Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
edited by Keith Walker.
Blackwell, 319 pp., £35, September 1984, 0 631 12573 6
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... John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, one of the original ‘amorous sons of Wadham’, perhaps took part in writing an obscene farce called Sodom. Dr Walker drily observes that ‘to assert this twenty years ago would have damaged Rochester’s reputation as much as to deny it today.’ We are certainly more able than many of our predecessors to accept ...

Political Purposes

Frances Spalding: Art in postwar Britain

15 April 1999
New Art New World: British Art in Postwar Society 
by Margaret Garlake.
Yale, 279 pp., £35, July 1998, 0 300 07292 9
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Cultural Offensive: America’s Impact on British Art since 1945 
by John Walker.
Pluto, 304 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 7453 1321 3
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... of the Kitchen Sink painting that represented Britain at the 1956 Venice Biennale. To exclude any discussion of Joseph Herman’s images of Welsh miners, Joan Eardley’s Glasgow tenement scenes or Peter de Francia’s political paintings further weakens the realist cause. But Garlake’s assessment of Berger’s stance seems fair, recognising as it does the difficulty he had in formulating criteria ...

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