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19 March 1987
Choose freedom: The Future for Democratic Socialism 
by Roy Hattersley.
Joseph, 265 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7181 2483 9
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Power, Competition and the State. Vol. I: Britain in Search of Balance, 1940-61 
by Keith Middlemas.
Methuen, 404 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 333 41412 8
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... Tony Crosland’s epoch-making book The Future of Socialism was published in 1956. That RoyHattersley’s aim is to don the master’s mantle in the late 1980s is evident not only from his book’s subtitle, but also from his brief account of a conversation he had with Tony Crosland a week before the ...


John Sutherland

14 June 1990
CounterBlasts No 10. The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain’s Favourite Fetish 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 42 pp., £2.99, January 1990, 0 7011 3555 7
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The Prince 
by Celia Brayfield.
Chatto, 576 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3357 0
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The Maker’s Mark 
by Roy Hattersley.
Macmillan, 558 pp., £13.95, June 1990, 9780333470329
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A Time to Dance 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Hodder, 220 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 340 52911 3
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... be the 14th Mr Wilson. It was a shrewd sarcasm. The Labour aristocracy are as jealous of their descents as any blue-blood. And it seems that in a few years we shall all know a lot about the House of Hattersley. We are told that The Maker’s Mark is ‘based on the true story of a real family and is the first of a trilogy’. Written by RoyHattersley, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the narrative opens ...

Hatters’ Castle

Robert Morley

4 August 1983
A Yorkshire Boyhood 
by Roy Hattersley.
Chatto, 215 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 0 7011 2613 2
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Letters to a Grandson 
by Lord Home.
Collins, 151 pp., £6.95, July 1983, 0 00 217061 2
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... RoyHattersley’s book is an engaging account of what life was like for those caught in the poverty trap in Britain during the Thirties and Forties. The Hattersley family eventually climbed out: Enid, his mother, became Lady Mayoress of Sheffield and Roy a possible future prime minister. Like Mr Tebbitt’s celebrated parent, his father got on his bike, and at ...


Christopher Hitchens: In Washington

20 August 1992
... Banner’, and giving it a variation that provided one of those only-in-America moments which do in fact only occur in America. Lower, both in scale and register, was the experience of seeing RoyHattersley cruising the upper galleries of the ghastly neo-brutalist Madison Square Garden. Mr Hattersley is far too corporeal to be called a ghost, and most delegates wouldn’t have known him from Banquo ...
4 December 1980
My Life with Nye 
by Jennie Lee.
Cape, 277 pp., £8.50, November 1980, 0 224 01785 3
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Debts of Honour 
by Michael Foot.
Davis-Poynter, 240 pp., £9.50, November 1980, 0 7067 6243 6
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... was on holiday. I had written a front-page piece, headed ‘White as Leprosy’, about a Tory project for harassing blacks; and, for good measure, I had criticised two Labour MPs, Lena Jeger and RoyHattersley. I felt that Mrs Jeger had supported the policy I favoured with a silly argument and that RoyHattersley supported it with too little enthusiasm. Foot was staring out of window, disconsolate that he ...

A Man without Regrets

R.W. Johnson: Lloyd George

20 January 2011
David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider 
by Roy Hattersley.
Little, Brown, 709 pp., £25, September 2010, 978 1 4087 0097 6
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... most enjoyable of all, there follows the long, slow decline, in which the villain continues to dream of greatness because he is so self-obsessed he can’t understand that the game was up long ago. RoyHattersley has rightly drawn praise for this portrait: he is better able than most to understand how powerful a parliamentary presence someone of Lloyd George’s rhetorical gifts could be while also ...

Hallelujah Lasses

E.S. Turner: The Salvation Army

24 May 2001
Pulling the Devil’s Kingdom down: The Salvation Army in Victorian Britain 
by Pamela Walker.
California, 337 pp., £22.95, April 2001, 0 520 22591 0
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... The Salvation Army comes under close sociological scrutiny in Pulling the Devil’s Kingdom down. An obvious title would have been Blood and Fire, but that was bagged a couple of years ago by RoyHattersley for his massive biography of William and Catherine Booth, the Army’s founders. William, the ‘Fool of God’ who made such diverse sinners as Cecil Rhodes and Margot Asquith kneel and pray with ...

1966 and all that

Michael Stewart

20 December 1984
The Castle Diaries. Vol. II: 1964-70 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 848 pp., £20, October 1984, 0 297 78374 2
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... is George Brown, ‘bellowing on the telephone to No 10, insisting that Harold came over at once and pouring out insults to him on the phone’. There are occasional lunches and dinners à deux with Roy Jenkins, sometimes at the Connaught (‘another demonstration of what he calls, with a smile, his “expensive tastes” ’) and sometimes at No 11 Downing Street, at one of which ‘we agreed about ...

Keeping Left

Edmund Dell

2 October 1980
The Castle Diaries 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 778 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77420 4
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... fact that of the two nicest people in Cabinet, one was the other woman and the other was the right-wing figure of Harold Lever. Apart from myself, two other victims of Barbara’s midnight spleen are RoyHattersley and John Silkin. John Silkin, a ‘failure’ at the Department of the Environment, is forgiven in a footnote because of his ‘success’ at the Ministry of Agriculture. Perhaps for once ...

The Luck of the Tories

Ross McKibbin: The Debt to Kinnock

7 March 2002
Kinnock: The Biography 
by Martin Westlake.
Little, Brown, 768 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 316 84871 9
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... manner contrasts pointedly with that of both his successors. About the second major theme of Westlake’s book – the extent to which the modern Labour Party, New Labour, is Kinnock’s creation – RoyHattersley wrote last year that ‘the Blair Project is not a continuation of Neil Kinnock’s reforms. Kinnock wanted to establish a new and improved form of socialism. Blair believes he has found ...

Nanny knows best

Michael Stewart

4 June 1987
by Michael Leapman.
Unwin Hyman, 217 pp., £11.95, May 1987, 0 04 440006 3
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The Thatcher Years: A Decade of Revolution in British Politics 
by John Cole.
BBC, 216 pp., £12.95, April 1987, 0 563 20572 5
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Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus? 
by Dennis Kavanagh.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 19 827522 6
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The New Right: The Counter-Revolution in Political, Social and Economic Thought 
by David Green.
Wheatsheaf, 238 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 7450 0127 0
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... has yet, of course, to be demonstrated: but it is clear that nobody else would have been acceptable as party leader. He got 71 per cent of the votes in the new electoral college; the runner-up – RoyHattersley – got 19 per cent. Healey did not even bother to stand. Michael Leapman does not duck the fact that Kinnock has made some mistakes and had some failures. In the 1984-85 miners’ strike ...


Peter Pulzer

20 February 1986
The Redefinition of Conservatism: Politics and Doctrine 
by Charles Covell.
Macmillan, 267 pp., £27.50, January 1986, 0 333 38463 6
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Thinkers of the New Left 
by Roger Scruton.
Longman, 227 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 582 90273 8
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The Idea of Liberalism: Studies for a New Map of Politics 
by George Watson.
Macmillan, 172 pp., £22.50, November 1985, 0 333 38754 6
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Socialism and Freedom 
by Bryan Gould.
Macmillan, 109 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 333 40580 3
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... may not have succeeded in her declared aim of ‘killing socialism’, but some at least of her privatisation, de-regulation and demotion of union rights has come to stay. Indeed Neil Kinnock and RoyHattersley are making it increasingly plain that many items of ‘Thatcherism’ would not be simply reversed by an incoming Labour government. And while there may be a specific British dimension to ...
7 February 1991
... crews who blocked the bridge in the pale sunshine of a winter’s afternoon. This was 25 January 1981, and the launch of the manifesto that came to be known as the Limehouse Declaration. When Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen and I met together that morning, we were clear in our intention: in breaking the mould of contemporary politics, we would create a new radical centre, push the ...

Looking out

C.H. Sisson

18 February 1982
The Public School Revolution: Britain’s Independent Schools, 1964-1979 
by John Rae.
Faber, 188 pp., £6.50, September 1981, 0 571 11789 9
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... way that Dr Arnold had, they were distracted by thinking about the audience for their apologetics. It must be reckoned a come-down in the world to have to take seriously the menacing round face of Mr Hattersley, putting it bluntly to a conference of independent-school headmasters: ‘I must, above all else, leave you in no doubts about our serious intention initially to reduce and eventually to abolish ...

Gospel Truth

Ian Aitken: Tony Benn and the end of parliamentary socialism

19 February 1998
The End of Parliamentary Socialism 
by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys.
Verso, 341 pp., £40, September 1997, 1 85984 109 0
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... obvious conclusion. They report that total constituency membership halved between 1982 and 1984. Improbably, however, they seem to suggest that this was a reaction to the election of Neil Kinnock and RoyHattersley to the leadership. But it wasn’t disillusioned members of the Hard Left who left; many of the deserters were old-fashioned mainstream socialists disgusted by the nastiness of what they ...

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