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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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... however, they seem to suggest that this was a reaction to the election of Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley 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 had experienced or witnessed. Most of the rest were ...

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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... 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 private education in this country.’ But even Mr ...

Hello, Fred

David Marquand, 21 March 1985

Hugh Dalton 
by Ben Pimlott.
Cape, 731 pp., £25, March 1985, 0 224 02100 1
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... To be sure, he was a robust and formidable party warhorse – a kind of William Harcourt or Roy Hattersley, say – with enormous energy, considerable administrative drive and a powerful debating style. But he captured no imaginations, lifted no horizons and inspired no disciples. He left worthy memorials – the National Parks, for instance, and ...

Bevan’s Boy

John Campbell, 20 September 1984

The Making of Neil Kinnock 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 571 13266 9
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Neil Kinnock: The Path to Leadership 
by G.M.F. Drower.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 297 78467 6
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... for a year as Michael Foot’s PPS in 1974, and when Callaghan offered him a job (under Hattersley!) he preferred to hold himself free to oppose the Government’s devolution schemes for Wales and Scotland. This was the one major policy rebellion of Kinnock’s career. Leading the ‘No’ campaign in Wales, he put at risk many important ...

Downhill

David Marquand, 19 September 1985

Years of Recovery: British Economic Policy 1945-51 
by Alec Cairncross.
Methuen, 527 pp., £35, April 1985, 0 416 37920 6
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The Politics of Recession 
by R.W. Johnson.
Macmillan, 275 pp., £20, January 1985, 0 333 36786 3
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The Labour Government 1974-79: Political Aims and Economic Reality 
by Martin Holmes.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £25, May 1985, 0 333 36735 9
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New Jerusalems: The Labour Party and the Economics of Democratic Socialism 
by Elizabeth Durbin and Roy Hattersley.
Routledge, 341 pp., £16.95, March 1985, 9780710096500
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... As late as 1951, the British economy was the strongest in Western Europe. Only the wartime neutrals, Sweden and Switzerland, surpassed us in income per head. In his magisterial new history of the economic policies of the post-war Labour Government, Sir Alec Cairncross shows that our industrial production was larger than that of France and Germany combined ...

Mr Straight and Mr Good

Paul Foot: Gordon Brown, 19 February 1998

Gordon Brown: The Biography 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 358 pp., £17.99, February 1998, 0 684 81954 6
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... Great Divide. Who, for instance, are the two ambitious members of the Tribune Group sidling up to Roy Hattersley in 1988 and assuring him of their support in the race for Labour’s deputy leadership against the candidate supported by the Tribune Group, John Prescott? Right again. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. In The Candidate, the great American film ...

My Millbank

Seumas Milne, 18 April 1996

The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... a couple of wounding attacks, notably by a genuine one-time deputy Labour leader, the born-again Roy Hattersley, who damned Mandelson and Liddle as pretentious, feeble, absurd, ignorant and damaging to Labour’s cause. But for the most part, their efforts have been politely received by the media and public audiences they are concerned to impress and ...

Diary

Paul Barker: Bellamy’s Dream, 19 May 1988

... consequences. Mikhail Gorbachev is currently struggling with some of them. So are Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, in their attempt to shift the British Labour Party towards ‘market socialism’. Directly or indirectly, Bellamy created in socialist imaginations the real programme to work to, the shape of things to come. Everything public, nothing ...

Buggering on

Paul Addison, 21 July 1983

Winston Churchill: Companion Vol. V, Part III, The Coming of War 1936-1939 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1684 pp., £75, October 1982, 0 434 29188 9
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Finest Hour: Winston Churchill, 1939-1941 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1308 pp., £15.95, June 1983, 0 434 29187 0
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Churchill 1874-1915 
by Ted Morgan.
Cape, 571 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 224 02044 7
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 
by William Manchester.
Michael Joseph, 973 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 0 7181 2275 5
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... suggests that to govern effectively you need to be a bit of a brute. Woe betide Neil Kinnock or Roy Hattersley if he turns out to be a quintessentially decent fellow like Michael Foot. Churchill was not altogether decent, otherwise he would have been a lesser man. Gilbert records his magnanimous gestures, such as the considerate letters written to the ...

How to put the politics back into Labour

Ross McKibbin: Origins of the Present Mess, 7 August 2003

... socialism: a version of it, but one the founding fathers would have understood. The result is that Roy Hattersley, very much a figure of the Party’s right-wing, is now way to the left of any member of the present Government. The soft Left – those, broadly speaking, who cut their political teeth around Neil Kinnock – felt they had much more baggage ...
A Slight and Delicate Creature: The Memoirs of Margaret Cook 
Weidenfeld, 307 pp., £20, January 1999, 0 297 84293 5Show More
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... antipathy.’ Cook’s other antipathies are noted, against Bob Cryer, John Prescott and Roy Hattersley: ‘Try as I may, I cannot remember what the agony was all about.’ His failed ambitions are mulled over. After John Smith’s death he considered his options and decided he did not have enough support. ‘I did not believe, frankly, that he ...

Mondeo Man in the Driving Seat

Ross McKibbin: Blair’s Government at Mid-Term (1999), 30 September 1999

... we can largely agree on everything; or that people with whom we do not agree, like Tony Benn or Roy Hattersley, are people whom history has passed by. It’s a view that leaves New Labour with no explanation for the magnitude of its victory in 1997. That was a very strong expression of grievance (as well as exasperation with Tory incompetence). It ...
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... Communists or Communist sympathisers as Brian Walden, David Owen, Robert Mellish, John Stonehouse, Roy Hattersley and Reg Prentice; and even a bogus pamphlet on ‘revolutionary strategy’ for the installation of socialism in Britain was contrived for off-the-record briefing of American journalists, the joint ‘authors’ being Tony Benn, Stan Orme and ...

A Time for War

Peter Clarke, 21 October 1982

The Rebirth of Britain 
edited by Wayland Kennet.
Weidenfeld, 275 pp., £12, October 1982, 0 297 78177 4
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Claret and Chips 
by Hugh Stephenson.
Joseph, 201 pp., £8.95, September 1982, 0 7181 2204 6
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... crisis has reinforced Labour’s chronic debility, so far the SDP has been able to thrive upon it. Roy Jenkins talked of an experimental aircraft in adumbrating the idea of a centre party in the early summer of 1980: a ‘dangerously caricaturable analogy’, as he admits in a retrospective comment in The Rebirth of Britain. He said then that it ‘might well ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Where I was in 1993, 16 December 1993

... stood eagerly in the prow as if waiting to strike land.On Any Questions on Radio 4 tonight are Roy Hattersley and Edward Heath, Janet Cohen and Jonathon Porritt. Neither Heath nor Hattersley is a particular favourite of mine but because no one on the panel is extreme in their views, discussion is sensible and ...

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