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The Darth Vader Option

Colin Kidd: The Tories

24 January 2013
The Conservatives since 1945: The Drivers of Party Change 
by Tim Bale.
Oxford, 372 pp., £55, September 2012, 978 0 19 923437 0
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The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron 
by Tim Bale.
Polity, 471 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 0 7456 4858 3
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Reconstructing Conservatism? The Conservative Party in Opposition, 1997-2010 
by Richard Hayton.
Manchester, 166 pp., £60, September 2012, 978 0 7190 8316 7
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... were aimless sybarites. To the Tory journalist Frank Johnson they were just as zealous in their own way as Maoists – ‘a ruthless organisation dedicated to one fanatical aim: marriage’. TimBale’s latest book, The Conservatives since 1945, examines the motors of change within the party at every level from the high politics of leadership and factional dominance to the minutiae of party ...

Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher

John Gray: The Tory Future

22 April 2010
The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron 
by Tim Bale.
Polity, 446 pp., £25, January 2010, 978 0 7456 4857 6
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Back from the Brink: The Inside Story of the Tory Resurrection 
by Peter Snowdon.
Harper Press, 419 pp., £14.99, March 2010, 978 0 00 730725 8
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... Cameron might not have become leader. Yet he has been perceived as an unstoppable force, the author of an irreversible transformation in his party that has set it firmly back on the road to power. TimBale’s exhaustive and authoritative account is hedged throughout with academic caution, but it concludes in terms that treat the Conservatives’ return to office as a foregone conclusion: ‘just ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough

21 October 2015
... A scattering of dissident voices on the payroll – Seumas Milne, Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, George Monbiot – were drowned out by a host of detractors, from within the paper and without: TimBale, Nick Cohen, Anne Perkins, Michael White, Martin Kettle, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Tony Blair (twice), Jonathan Jones, Frank Field, David Miliband (whose razor-sharp instinct for leadership contests ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Dark Knight’

14 August 2008
The Dark Knight 
directed by Christopher Nolan.
July 2008
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... he informs them with a cackle, he is burning only his half of the proceeds. The background to this event is an anecdote-cum-fable that Michael Caine, as the faithful servant Alfred, tells Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne. There was a bandit in Burma, apparently, who stole jewels at will from almost everyone and was never caught – because he didn’t want and didn’t keep the jewels, he just stole ...

A Most Delicate Invention

Tim​ Parks: ‘Money and Beauty’

22 September 2011
... paintings of the Archangel Raphael protecting a young traveller (Botticini) and a sailing ship miraculously saved from a storm (Beato Angelico), the visitor to the Palazzo Strozzi exhibition finds a bale of raw wool, a quantity of alum (potassium aluminium sulphate, essential to the leather and wool trades of the time), model sailing ships, safes, locks, document cases, couriers’ dispatch bags ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange

6 March 2014
... I wouldn’t say this publicly, but Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prison.’ He admitted it wasn’t a great book but it wouldn’t have been written if Hitler had not been put away. He said that Tim Geithner, the US secretary of the Treasury, had been asked to look into ways to hinder companies that would profit from subversive organisations. That meant Knopf would come under fire for publishing ...

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