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The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... the decade from 1983 until 1992, when Neil Kinnock was party leader, the only female member of the shadow cabinet was Jo Richardson – as minister for women, inevitably. In 1990 the rules were changed: MPs now had to vote for at least three women in shadow cabinet elections. Harman says male MPs called this the ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: Tony and Jeremy, 19 April 2017

... afterglow of heroic defeat, ‘with all the media against us, the most violent attacks by the shadow cabinet, the full intervention of Michael, the abstention of a group of Tribune Group MPs’. That Kinnock was one of those MPs allowed Benn to nurse a grievance that sustained him for the next decade or more. To lose by just 0.8 per cent of the total ...

Long March

Martin Pugh, 2 June 1983

Renewal: Labour’s Britain in the 1980s 
by Shadow Cabinet, edited by Gerald Kaufman.
Penguin, 201 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 052351 0
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Socialism in a Cold Climate 
edited by John Griffith.
Allen and Unwin, 230 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 9780043350508
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Liberal Party Politics 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Oxford, 302 pp., £17.50, April 1983, 0 19 827465 3
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... that time is apt to run out rather suddenly for them. No doubt when the 20 members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet planned the essays in Renewal they expected them to thicken the political debate during the six to nine months run-up to a general election. As it is, they have been overtaken by events: shortly we shall have the more clipped and precise ...

The Anti-Candidate

Ross McKibbin: Jeremy Corbyn, 7 October 2015

... the job. George Lansbury and Michael Foot, the former Labour leaders he most resembles, had been cabinet ministers; Foot was Callaghan’s deputy in the 1976-79 government. Corbyn’s lack of conventional qualifications, however, is the reason he won. He was in a sense an anti-candidate: he exposed the emptiness of the conventionally qualified. That Andy ...
... in question holds a powerful position within the ANC and is spoken of by some as a possible future cabinet minister: in that sense his world is hardly collapsing. But his case exemplifies the strange paradox of the SACP, a paradox which has become all the sharper in the wake of recent events in the USSR. On the one hand, the Party is a relic, displaying the ...

A Falklands Polemic

Tam Dalyell, 20 May 1982

... seats down, could have had a decisive influence on events. Without the imprimatur of the Labour Shadow Cabinet, and against the backcloth of a disunited nation, a task force could not have been proposed. Yet Labour had appeared to signal green, before there had been an opportunity for reflection within the ...

Bevan’s Boy

R.W. Johnson, 24 March 1994

Michael Foot 
by Mervyn Jones.
Gollancz, 570 pp., £20, March 1994, 0 575 05197 3
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... happier to stay out. Accordingly, it was only in 1970, at the age of 57, that Foot entered the Shadow Cabinet and only in the years between 1974 and 1979 that he held government office. It was not a happy period: at last he had made his peace with political reality, but his judgment remained far too soft and he was easily pushed around by the ...

I am a classical scholar, and you are not

Peter Clarke: Enoch Powell, 7 March 2013

Enoch at 100: A Re-evaluation of the Life, Politics and Philosophy of Enoch Powell 
edited by Lord Howard of Rising.
Biteback, 320 pp., £25, June 2012, 978 1 84954 310 1
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... Heath for the leadership in 1965, gaining the votes of only 15 MPs. But he was a member of the shadow cabinet, appointed (in Heath’s view) to speak on the defence portfolio, but (in Powell’s view) free while in opposition to range more broadly. In Birmingham, and not for the first time, Powell chose to speak on race relations. He begins in a ...

Short Cuts

Chris Mullin: Michael Foot, 25 March 2010

... Standard and, in due course, the paper’s editor. By 1940 with Beaverbrook a member of the war cabinet, the ideological gap between proprietor and his young protégé temporarily narrowed. In 1945 Foot was swept into Parliament, representing his home town of Plymouth, as part of the great Labour landslide and so began, with a short intermission after he ...

After the May Day Flood

Seumas Milne, 5 June 1997

... Wilsonian, spread of appointments. Part of that reflected the material Blair was bequeathed by Shadow Cabinet elections – and party rules requiring him to use it. Although the Labour leader has not shown himself to be squeamish about dispensing with such footling restrictions, left-of-centre figures such as Cook, John Prescott, Margaret Beckett and ...

Impressions of Nietzsche

Keith Kyle, 27 July 1989

The Lives of Enoch Powell 
by Patrick Cosgrave.
Bodley Head, 518 pp., £16, April 1989, 0 370 30871 9
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... Health in the Macmillan Government (Macmillan, according to his biographer Alistair Horne, had the Cabinet chairs moved so that he would not have to look at Powell’s staring eyes) – and he never held office again. There was a shock of incredulity when he appeared as one of three contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1965 and only 15 ...

Short Cuts

Philippa Hetherington: Canberra’s Coups, 27 September 2018

... a leader of the opposition, usually the leader of the largest party outside the government, and a shadow cabinet. There is an upper house, the Senate, which resembles an elected House of Lords, but has more powers. And, of course, the queen is the head of state. The six states – the former autonomous British colonies – have their own constitutions ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: The Corbyn Surge, 26 August 2015

... He also lacks the experience. Corbyn at PMQs? Corbyn handling the press lobby? Corbyn managing the shadow cabinet? To see these as relics of the old way of doing politics is to mistake the range of policy possibilities for the range of institutional ones. It may well be true that much of what Corbyn stands for – including a fairer tax system, greater ...

The 4000

Michael J. Glennon, 10 January 2017

... not least because the bureaucracy’s decision-making process is not top-down. Unlike the British cabinet, the American cabinet decides nothing; it is merely a collection of executive department heads. Policy is made not with a single order handed down from on high, but through horse-trading and political jockeying in ...

We Are Many

Tom Crewe: In the Corbyn Camp, 10 August 2016

... one of them, Margaret Beckett, has described herself as a ‘moron’ for doing so.) His shadow cabinet, devastated by a series of staged resignations, is now a patchwork of very young MPs and very old ones, many of them doing more than one job. After 29 years in Parliament the 81-year-old Paul Flynn has made his front bench debut as both ...

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