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Rubbishing the revolution

Hugo Young, 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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... in the different strands of Conservatism, is now likely to be reinforced? Or to put it briefly, is Peter Walker, 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 his philosophy is reclaiming the high ground of ...

Leaving it alone

R.G. Opie, 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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... might not have mattered so much – even in Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet there are some unbelievers, Peter Walker 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 Spectator it is the least some might expect ...

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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... and riddles. Her mother, Marie Hansen, had immigrated to the US in the 1880s, and her father, Peter Walker, 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 account, Nella Larsen was a Danish American. After the ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady, 26 November 1987

Misrule 
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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... 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 offer is sometimes thin. A not-proven verdict would seem ...

Plonking

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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... was striking in the reforms of local government which he undertook in concert with his protégé Peter Walker. 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 thousand ...

Why Do the Tories Always Have the Luck?

Peter Clarke, 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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... 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 exaggerated. Indeed, in his revisionist conclusion, he ...

North Sea Fortune

Chris Patten, 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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... Who has, in fact, spent more taxpayers’ money on supporting British industry – Tony Benn or Peter Walker, 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 into the foredoomed attempt to breathe life into the ...

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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Militant 
by Michael Crick.
Faber, 242 pp., £3.95, June 1984, 0 571 13256 1
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... of the House of Commons were in revolt, and early in 1986 she was forced to resign in favour of Mr Peter Walker. 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 authorities and militant unions like the ...

He knew he was right

John Lloyd, 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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... 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. Scargill evidently had a sense of his own ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble, 3 December 2015

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... to appear to be setting the terms of the dispute. She remained reliant on her energy secretary, Peter Walker, whom she didn’t trust and feared would do ‘a fudge, like Pym and the Foreign Office in the Falklands had tried to do’. But unlike Pym, Walker kept his job, because she didn’t dare sack him. In some ...

Prinney, Boney, Boot

Roy Porter, 20 March 1986

The English Satirical Print 1600-1832 
edited by Michael Duffy.
Chadwyck-Healey, February 1986
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... Telegraph, Norman Tebbit appears as a crazed, bloodthirsty infantryman, with Douglas Hurd and Peter Walker 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 and poorly executed (it has nothing to feast the ...

Animal, Spiritual and Cerebral

Mary Midgley, 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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... 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 responds practically alike to like stimuli; 2. the savage mind ...

In Cambridge

Peter Campbell: The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, 18 August 2005

... ivy bush. The illuminations of the 12th-century Bury Bible or the mid-12th-century manuscript of Peter Lombard’s Magna glossatura on the Psalms are equally brilliantly coloured, but stranger, less sweet, more stylised and more exciting. In these, illuminated initials articulate the work as well as decorating it, identifying layers of text, commentary, and ...

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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... 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 days has the publishing world of London by the ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Hamish Fulton, 9 May 2002

... 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 the awkward position of saying ‘this was a ...

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