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Seconds Away

Wayland Kennet, 8 January 1987

‘Peace’ of the Dead: The Truth behind the Nuclear Disarmers 
by Paul Mercer.
Policy Research Publications, 465 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 9511436 0 3
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... Species come and go, but their coming and going remains, we rather think, unremarked by any species but our own. That is one thing which distinguishes us from all the others. Another is that we bother about what distinguishes us from all the others. Another again is that we bother about destiny and free will. Yet another is that we wear clothes. And another is that we recently invented a way of getting rid of ourselves if we ever find ourselves unbearable, and that was nuclear weapons ...

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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... The SDP is just now at a critical juncture in its career. But then it has been at one critical juncture or another virtually throughout its brief existence. As much as the Labour Party, it has lived for two years in a state of endemic crisis, but whereas crisis has reinforced Labour’s chronic debility, so far the SDP has been able to thrive upon it ...

‘Spurious’ is the word we want

Ian Gilmour, 28 November 1996

Diplomacy and Disillusion at the Court of Margaret Thatcher 
by George Urban.
Tauris, 206 pp., £19.95, September 1996, 1 86064 084 2
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... to a debate in the House of Lords on Grenada, in which he was going to speak. In this debate, ‘Wayland Young (Lord Kennet) and Roy Jenkins (Lord Jenkins) were on particularly good form.’ According to Urban, Roy Jenkins announced that Reagan’s ‘grasp of his marbles sometimes seems to be precarious’, and Urban then ...

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