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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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... outsiders. It has nothing to gain from propping up the Tory culture, and a lot to gain from destroying it. It ought to be the natural home of the potential innovators whom the South-Eastern establishment stifles the carrier of the cultural revolution which is the prerequisite of a more dynamic economy. On a different, but equally important ...

It’s a riot

Michael Ignatieff, 20 August 1981

‘Civil Disturbances’: Hansard, Vol. 8, Nos 143-144, 16 July 1981 – 17 July 1981 
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... themselves describe as a major breakdown in police-community relations. Faced with this rule, Roy Hattersley has skirted the issue of policing with concerned but imprecise condemnations of bad housing, fiscal neglect and unemployment. This is an economistic language which speaks of riot as the inevitable explosion, the moment when the spark hit the ...

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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... such wildly different conclusions about them. In my eyes, Benn’s crew not only came close to destroying the Labour Party in the early Eighties, they also created the conditions for Mrs Thatcher’s triumphant onslaught on the Keynesian consensus which had been the foundation for the achievements of the postwar Labour Government. In the eyes of the ...

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 ...

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 ...

Diary

Kathleen Burk: Election Diary, 23 April 1992

... The whole thing rapidly degenerated into farce, however, with reporters bred on the pursuit of Royals turning their talents to finding out who had leaked her name. Reduced to interviewing each other, they realised after three days that no one else was paying any attention. Where were the Greens? In the 1989 European elections they gained 15 per cent of the ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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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... of air power on naval and military operations. He assumed therefore that the superiority of the Royal Navy over the German fleet would guarantee British control of Scandinavia. When the Germans invaded Norway he rejoiced in the belief that they were walking into a trap. But Churchill’s Narvik expedition turned into a fiasco and he was lucky to escape the ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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Conservatism 
by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... by Honderich to disallow books by all practising politicians, were it not that he does include Roy Hattersley and Gordon Brown. Much the same happens with work by non-politicians. Two very good non-extremist studies, Anthony Quinton’s The Politics of Imperfection and Noel O’Sullivan’s Conservatism, appear, but they are almost alone. Norton and ...

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 ...
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 ...

What’s fair about that?

Adam Swift: Social Mobilities, 23 January 2020

Social Mobility and Its Enemies 
by Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin.
Pelican, 272 pp., £8.99, September 2018, 978 0 241 31702 0
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Social Mobility and Education in Britain 
by Erzsébet Bukodi and John Goldthorpe.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.99, December 2018, 978 1 108 46821 3
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The Class Ceiling: Why It Pays to Be Privileged 
by Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison.
Policy, 224 pp., £9.99, January, 978 1 4473 3610 5
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... that’s part of a parent’s job. Robin Cook’s memoir repeats a story told by a journalist to Roy Hattersley. Tony Blair, asked why he had sent his son Euan to the Oratory, despite the inevitable political flak, said: ‘Look at Harold Wilson’s children.’ The journalist demurred: one of Wilson’s sons had become a headmaster, the other a ...

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