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3 March 1983
The Battle for the Falklands 
by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins.
Joseph, 384 pp., £10.95, February 1983, 0 7181 2228 3
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... In the opening paragraph of their important book on the Falklands War, Max Hastings and SimonJenkins write: ‘So extraordinary an event was it that, even after men began to die, many of those taking part felt as if they had been swept away into fantasy, that the ships sinking and the guns firing ...

The Leader’s Cheerleaders

Simon Jenkins: Party Funding in Britain

20 September 2007
The Cost of Democracy: Party Funding in Modern British Politics 
by K.D. Ewing.
Hart, 279 pp., £30, March 2007, 978 1 84113 716 2
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... Men are dying daily to bring Western democracy to supposedly less advanced parts of the world. Its export is the chief cause of conflict between the developed and the developing world, in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But how healthy is that democracy? Most people assume that its requirements are met by a periodic visit to a polling booth, but dictators can arrange that. What if ever fewer people ...

Incompetence at the War Office

Simon Jenkins: Politics and Pistols at Dawn

18 December 2008
The Duel: Castlereagh, Canning and Deadly Cabinet Rivalry 
by Giles Hunt.
Tauris, 214 pp., £20, January 2008, 978 1 84511 593 7
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... At five o’clock in the morning on 21 September 1809, two men set out from London in two carriages and headed for Putney Heath. They brought two seconds, two sets of pistols, two hatreds and a total misunderstanding about what had recently passed between them. They then fought a duel. One was unscathed and the other received a flesh wound to his thigh, narrowly avoiding an artery. One was His Majesty’s ...

Nostalgia for the Vestry

James Buchan: Thatcherism

30 November 2006
Thatcher and Sons: A Revolution in Three Acts 
by Simon Jenkins.
Allen Lane, 375 pp., £20, October 2006, 0 7139 9595 5
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...  Begin. In her 11 years in power, Thatcher duly gave the public all the contradictions she had jotted down: discord, harmony, error, truth, despair and hope, often at the same time. In doing so, SimonJenkins argues in his new book, she set in train a pair of revolutions which continue to do whatever revolutions do – revolve? – today. The first revolution is the one everybody knows about and ...


Ian Aitken: Closing Time at the Last Chance Saloon

6 August 1992
... it tabloid in the sense of being aimed at a mass readership: it is overtly propagandist in the sense that its purpose (apart from making money) is to do down the Labour Party. I have no idea whether SimonJenkins, the Time’s highly civilised editor, whose resignation precipitated the offer to Mr Dacre, really did intend to quit after two or three years, as he says he did. Nor do I know whether his ...

Monopoly Mule

Anthony Howard

25 January 1996
Plant Here the ‘Standard’ 
by Dennis Griffiths.
Macmillan, 417 pp., £35, November 1995, 0 333 55565 1
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... in his time outselling its rival in the London market by roughly half a million copies every afternoon. Even in his later incarnation – when he was brought back to succeed his own chosen dauphin SimonJenkins (an episode rather slidden over in this book) – he fought all the might of Associated Newspapers with remarkable ferocity and daring, finally winning the war when in 1980 the Evening News ...
19 February 1987
The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... a public service and not for profit’. After his death, and with the Manchester Evening News to sustain its revenue, the company was vested in trustees. But the press as a whole had no such luck. As SimonJenkins has reminded us, the great proprietors bought and sold their newspapers for power, prestige and, they hoped, money. The brothers Harmsworth launched the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror while ...

Sir Jim

Reyner Banham

22 May 1980
Memoirs of an Unjust Fella: An Autobiography 
by J.M. Richards.
Weidenfeld, 279 pp., £10, March 1980, 9780297777670
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... a working journalist. That’s a familiar story, of course. Writing shock-horror-sensational stories of the ‘failure of Modern architecture’ has been a lucrative occupation for the likes of SimonJenkins, but unlike Jenkins, Richards was the Great Insider. As he said in ‘The Hollow Victory’, he was ‘in the middle of the campaign for modern architecture’, and sure enough, among the ...


W.G. Runciman: You had better look out

10 December 1998
... that behind its even-handed mistrust of all politicians was a genuine pleasure at the displacement of Major Ltd by Blair & Co. Nor did I expect to be reproved, however gently, for indiscretion by SimonJenkins on the op-ed page of the Times – as if I hadn’t cleared what I proposed to print with anyone quoted directly who might have suffered in consequence, or would have dreamed of disclosing to ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Dr Macgregor’s Diagnosis

3 March 2011
... it is the quantity of solid civic ambition that resounds now. People who cry out for change in the NHS always cry out against the past. They see only ugliness and failure, never success, and, like SimonJenkins writing in the Guardian last month, they seem content to throw out the baby, the bathwater, the taps, along with the reservoir supplying the taps. Jenkins is right when he says there are too ...
22 November 1979
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... staff. It was then that Goldsmith, thwarted in his political ambitions and now finding it hard to buy a newspaper, began to back down and to deal with Ingrams for a settlement. Ingrams describes SimonJenkins, then editor of the Evening Standard, bringing Goldsmith’s final peace terms to him in a coffee bar, when it looked as if Goldsmith might buy the ailing Standard. At that point, Ingrams ...

Bus Lane Strategy

Tristram Hunt: London Governments

31 October 2002
Governing London 
by Ben Pimlott and Nirmala Rao.
Oxford, 208 pp., £15.99, May 2002, 0 19 924492 8
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... to the GLA) or an indirectly elected mayor equivalent to the leader of a council. Those arguing for an executive mayor included Michael Heseltine (the hammer of the GLC), the Evening Standard and SimonJenkins, a long-standing critic of London council bungling. Opposition to the idea was led by Labour’s Environment spokesman, the former Camden councillor Frank Dobson – an irony not lost on the ...
27 January 1994
Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics 
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Oxford, 221 pp., £17.95, March 1993, 0 19 827787 3
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Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States 
edited by Ian Bremner and Ray Taras.
Cambridge, 577 pp., £55, December 1993, 0 521 43281 2
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The Post-Soviet Nations 
edited by Alexander Motyl.
Columbia, 322 pp., £23, November 1993, 0 231 07894 3
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The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence 
by Anatol Lieven.
Yale, 454 pp., £22.50, June 1993, 0 300 05552 8
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... Eastern Europe this century, the failure to resolve this issue has led and is leading to repeated catastrophes.’ Nearer home, the continued intractability of the Northern Ireland conflict has led SimonJenkins, in the Spectator, to condemn the current initiative by the British and Irish Governments to hold new talks on the province for its ‘centralism’. Instead, Jenkins offers the prospect of ...


James Wood: John Carey

8 March 2001
Pure Pleasure: A Guide to the 20th Century’s Most Enjoyable Books 
by John Carey.
Faber, 173 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 571 20448 1
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... was the most lucid and intelligent statement yet of an English conservative anti-Modernism familiar to readers of the Sunday Times and the Spectator. Carey’s cousins in populism sometimes include SimonJenkins, Paul Johnson, A.N. Wilson and the late Auberon Waugh. An easy moralism animates this worldview. Picasso was a pig; Edmund Gosse was ‘a bore’; D.H. Lawrence hit Frieda and wanted to ...

Serried Yuppiedromes

Owen Hatherley: What happened to London?

20 August 2014
Guide to the Architecture of London 
by Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward.
Phoenix, 511 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 1 78022 493 0
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... North London intelligentsia who were its first patrons. While Jones and Woodward are far from bigoted in their judgment of modern architecture – compared with such contemporaries as Alice Coleman, SimonJenkins or Charles Windsor they are positively nuanced, and they wrote presciently of the social and architectural success of Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower in the early 1980s – their book also ...

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