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25 April 1991
... If you were a Kurd, perched on a mountain hillside, with ailing or dead parents, and suffering children, would you thank Mr Bush? I use his name generically for the British and Americans, and those Arabs who were swept along by us – initially, at any rate, against their better judgment – into a shooting war. The question is rhetorical. You would feel the kind of anger that the Jews felt as they risked their lives to get to Palestine on unseaworthy tubs zig-zagging towards Haifa in the late Forties ...
5 April 1984
TheSinking of the ‘Belgrano’ 
by Desmond Rice and Arthur Gavshon.
Secker, 192 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 436 41332 9
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Our Falklands War 
edited by Geoffrey Underwood.
Maritime Books, 144 pp., £3.95, November 1983, 0 907771 08 4
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... I feel it is worth reproducing a Commons Question and Answer from Hansard of 5 March 1984: Mr Dalyell asked the Secretary of State for Defence why, on 16 January, his Department refused the request originally made on 26 June 1983 by Desmond Rice and Arthur Gavshon, and Messrs Secker and Warburg to interview Rear Admiral Sir John Woodward and Commander ...

Diary

Tam Dalyell: The Belgrano Affair

7 February 1985
...  ...
3 March 1983
The Falklands Campaign: The Lessons 
HMSO, 46 pp., £3.95, December 1982Show More
Sea Change 
by Keith Speed.
Ashgrove Press, 194 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 906798 20 5
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One Man’s Falklands 
by Tam Dalyell.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.50, December 1982, 0 900821 65 5
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War in the Falklands: The Campaign in Pictures 
Weidenfeld, 154 pp., £7.95, November 1982, 0 297 78202 9Show More
Armed Forces and the Welfare Societies: Challenges in the 1980s 
edited by Gwyn Harries-Jenkins.
Macmillan, 281 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 333 33542 2
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... In all, 255 task-force lives were lost in the operation. A further 777 were injured but, pace Tarn Dalyell, who has already asked more than three hundred Parliamentary questions about the war, the majority were not ‘maimed for life’: indeed, seven hundred are said to be fully employed. Some thirty-four aircraft were lost (including nine helicopters aboard ...

After the Battle

Matthew Coady

26 November 1987
Misrule 
by Tam Dalyell.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 241 12170 1
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One Man’s Judgement: An Autobiography 
by Lord Wheatley.
Butterworth, 230 pp., £15.95, July 1987, 0 406 10019 5
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Changing Battlefields: The Challenge to the Labour Party 
by John Silkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £13.95, September 1987, 9780241121719
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Heseltine: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Julian Critchley.
Deutsch, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 233 98001 6
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... usually more candid. In their accounts the bruises tend to show; so does the anger. The fury of Mr Tam Dalyell, Labour Member of Parliament for Linlithgow, at his inability to damage the Prime Minister over her role in the Belgrano affair and other matters, borders upon the uncontainable. He is the politician who has turned tenacity into an art ...
4 April 1985
The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the ‘Belgrano’ Affair 
by Clive Ponting.
Sphere, 214 pp., £2.50, March 1985, 0 7221 6944 2
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... the deputy counsel, were to reiterate in court, they were counsel for Mr Ponting and not Mr Dalyell. There were differences. For example, before the trial Mr Ponting said he did not share my contention that the Belgrano was sunk, above all else, to scupper the Peruvian peace plan. Now, he displays an open mind on the role of the Peruvian proposals, and ...

Getting it right

Tam Dalyell

18 July 1985
The Ponting Affair 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.95, June 1985, 0 900821 74 4
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Who Killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 182 pp., £1.95, June 1985, 0 450 05885 9
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... has been smothered by the great big yawn of the British public. Norton-Taylor is not and never was Tam Dalyell’s or anyone else’s tame journalist. On the contrary, he started by being sceptical of Dalyell, and Dalyell was hostile to ...

Diary

Tam Dalyell: Argentina in 1984

6 September 1984
... Consider, for example, the following two Parliamentary Questions from 23 July this year:   Mr Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of Argentine missile capability to put the Falklands Airport out of action.   Answer (Mr Stanley): It would not be in the public interest to disclose our assessments of Argentine ...
2 August 1984
A Science Policy for Britain 
by Tam Dalyell.
Longman, 135 pp., £5.95, September 1983, 0 582 90257 6
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... so inconclusive: the parties stand firmly at opposite poles, and shout past each other. If, like Tam Dalyell, your basic political philosophy is progressive, then you seize upon the intentional character of science, and make your case on the assumption that well-planned research is an effective way of opening a path to any desired goal. What society can ...

Short Cuts

Peter Geoghegan: Brexit and the SNP

3 November 2016
... In​ his recent book, The Question of Scotland: Devolution and After (Birlinn, £9.99) Tam Dalyell, for many years the Labour MP for West Lothian, identifies several points at which the march of Scottish nationalism could have been halted. His list is typically eccentric: had Willie Whitelaw succeeded Ted Heath, Scotland’s industrial base would have been saved from Thatcherism; had Geoffrey Crowther, chair of the Royal Commission on the Constitution, not died of a heart attack at Heathrow in 1972, the commission would never have recommended setting up a Scottish parliament ...

Shining Pink

Tam Dalyell

23 May 1985
Death of a Rose-Grower: Who killed Hilda Murrell? 
by Graham Smith.
Cecil Woolf, 96 pp., £5.95, April 1985, 0 900821 76 0
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... Harlech Television interviewed lately a burglar from Shrewsbury who was just out of jail. The burglar was adamant that if the burgling fraternity at Shrewsbury had found out that one of their number had ‘done that old girl in’, they would have been on the phone to the Police straight away – no messing. Shrewsbury burglars do not do things like assaulting defenceless old women ...

Floreat Brixton

Tam Dalyell

5 December 1985
An Eton Schoolboy’s Album 
by Mark Dixon.
Debrett, 118 pp., £10.95, November 1985, 0 905649 78 8
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... I didn’t learn much history at Eton, but one of the first things we were taught was that Henry VI founded Eton, his “College Roiall of oure Lady Eton”, in the year 1440.’ So says Mark Dixon in An Eton Schoolboy’s Album. He may or may not have learned much history, but somewhere along the line Dixon, who left Eton in 1980, has learned how to write in an entertaining and elegant way ...
17 June 1982
... Argentinian, that is hauled down. For a South American state to victual the Malvinas would be tantamount to handling the most politically explosive blacked goods. Consider – and I fear that this is precisely what the House of Commons may have to do for many hours in the coming months, and, heaven help us, years – the hazards and logistics of supplying ...
27 June 1991
A Green History of the World 
by Clive Ponting.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 352 pp., £16.95, May 1991, 1 85619 050 1
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... and the jury, that the Commander-in Chief’s Official Report on the Falklands War had been tampered with behind his back, in relation to the crucial timing of the contact between HMS Conqueror and the Belgrano. And I started to believe that Ponting might have the sympathy of the jury when an elderly gentleman stepped into the witness box, to be treated ...
3 May 1984
The Unsinkable Aircraft-Carrier: American Military Power in Britain 
by Duncan Campbell.
Joseph, 351 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 7181 2289 5
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... This is the advice I shall give to those of my Parliamentary friends who have an interest in the American military presence in Britain, but who may have neither the time nor the inclination to read a 340-page book. ‘Go to the Oriel Room in the Commons Library, and having got the Unsinkable Aircraft-Carrier, turn to pages 76 and 77. There you will find a map of all the American bases and installations in Britain ...

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