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Beware the Ides of Mogg

Will Hutton, 9 April 1992

The Great Reckoning: How the world will change in the depression of the Nineties 
by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg.
Sidgwick, 531 pp., £20, January 1992, 0 283 06116 2
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... threshold of a savage deflation caused by too much personal, corporate and government debt. Lord Rees-Mogg and his American acolyte, to whom is attributed all the leg work, have been bold enough to set themselves up as 20th-century prophets of doom with more than a modicum of good reason. But their pessimism arises as much from flagrant conservative ...


Frank Kermode: What Went On at the Arts Council, 4 December 1986

... off. So Shaw had to deal with a mutinous directorate as well as with a difficult chairman, Sir William Rees-Mogg, and a series of unsympathetic ministers. He has lost no time in his retirement in giving an account of what went on. Apart from the business of deciding what is culturally valuable and what isn’t, the Council’s main concern is of ...

Reader, he married her

Christopher Hitchens, 10 May 1990

Tom Driberg: His Life and Indiscretions 
by Francis Wheen.
Chatto, 452 pp., £18, May 1990, 0 7011 3143 8
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... described a public figure as a homosexual, let alone defined him as one, let alone in an obituary. William Rees-Mogg had, apparently, decided that anything less would be anodyne. This same Mogg has written elsewhere of a psychic and political link between Maynard Keynes the homosexual and Keynes the promiscuous debaucher of the currency, tying this in ...


Ian Buruma, 13 May 1993

Gower: The Autobiography 
by David Gower and Martin Johnson.
Collins Willow, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 00 218413 3
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... the root of English problems were the erosion of the class system, or the defeat of the Cavaliers. William Rees-Mogg, in the Times, rather wittily compared the Gooch and Gower saga to a romance of the Great War. Gruff Sgt Gooch can’t stand dashing Lt Gower, but when the Hun tosses a hand-grenade into their trench, the dashing lieutenant saves the gruff ...


Karl Miller: Sponsored by the Arts Council, 24 January 1985

... in any foreseeable economies. I don’t know whether the present Chairman of the Arts Council, William Rees-Mogg, believes that market principles should rule the Garden, in this sense. He is a former, and more than former, journalist: I notice that he is to serve as advisory editor of the new, the re-animated Time and Tide, staffed by refugees from ...


Karl Miller: Conflict of Two Egos, 3 June 1982

... friends, James Prior of Northern Ireland, Peter May of England, one of its cricket captains, and William Rees-Mogg, late of the Times, are among the tightest and funniest things he has written. May is present, while utterly silent, as a batsman of genius, and as a figure of fun and a pillar of rectitude during the urinous escapades which it is feared ...

Alan Coren

Alan Brien, 4 December 1980

The Best of Alan Coren 
Robson, 416 pp., £7.50, October 1980, 0 86051 121 9Show More
Tissues for Men 
by Alan Coren.
Robson, 160 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 86051 116 2
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... snippet in Sun Fancy That column noticed on bus home: according to their man in South-East Asia. William Rees-Mogg, the last Vietnamese has just shot the last Cambodian, and died of starvation. Sometimes he appears to take off into the higher nonsense, in acrobatic flights which rival Monty Python, where the aim is not so much the recognition of ...

Letting things rip

Wynne Godley, 7 January 1993

Reflections on Monetarism 
by Tim Congdon.
Edward Elgar, 320 pp., £35, November 1992, 1 85278 441 5
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... Business School) and Professors R.J. Ball and R.C.O. Matthews as well as the editor of the Times, William Rees-Mogg – all went overboard in support of the Heath-Barber boom, some of them proposing additional reflation late in 1973. Having myself written so much about the appalling consequences of the Thatcher-Howe era, I approached Section ...

The Stamp of One Defect

David Edgar: Jeremy Thorpe, 30 July 2015

Jeremy Thorpe 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 606 pp., £25, December 2014, 978 0 316 85685 0
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Closet Queens: Some 20th-Century British Politicians 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 320 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4087 0412 7
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... Thorpe was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he defeated Dick Taverne (later a Labour MP) and William Rees-Mogg (later the editor of the Times) for the Union presidency. Like one of his successors as Liberal leader, Charles Kennedy, he became an MP at a young age and came to public notice through his entertaining performances on radio (particularly ...


R.W. Johnson, 7 July 1988

The Enchanted Glass: Britain and Its Monarchy 
by Tom Nairn.
Radius, 402 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 09 172960 2
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... did. Even the most full-throated monarchical warblers – the purest example in Nairn’s book is William Rees-Mogg – do not wish to argue that the Americans or, say, the Swiss ought to have a king. And many would probably be embarrassed to have the Windsors bracketed with the House of Saud or the Sultan of Brunei – although these are the only two ...


Ian Aitken: Closing Time at the Last Chance Saloon, 6 August 1992

... editor of the Times. But even he would be a rather different editor from the robustly moralistic William Haley, the rather prissy William Rees-Mogg, or the crusading Charles Douglas-Home. Paul Dacre, on the other hand, isn’t just ‘rather different’ from these three. He is entirely different, belonging to a ...

When Labour last ruled

Ross McKibbin, 9 April 1992

‘Goodbye, Great Britain’: The 1976 IMF Crisis 
by Kathleen Burk and Alec Cairncross.
Yale, 268 pp., £18.95, March 1992, 0 300 05728 8
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... differently. And this was because the Americans themselves were divided. The Treasury under William Simon and the Federal Reserve System under Arthur Burns had an unflinching belief in the ‘market’ and a suspicion of Labour governments imbibed with their mothers’ milk. Had they been left to themselves, a much more rigorous programme might have ...


John Sutherland, 7 June 1984

The Place of Dead Roads 
by William Burroughs.
Calder, 306 pp., £9.95, April 1984, 0 7145 4030 7
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by Denis Johnson.
Chatto, 209 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 7011 2777 5
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Moll Cutpurse: Her True History 
by Ellen Galford.
Stramullion, 221 pp., £4.50, May 1984, 0 907343 03 1
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... the newspaper account of a doubly fatal shoot-out in Boulder, Colorado between two men of mystery: William Seward Hall, a real-estate speculator and writer, and Mike Chase. Neither man shot his weapon (later we learn that Hall carried a 44 special action; Chase a 455 Webley; Burroughs loves guns). Both died simultaneously by rifle-fire from an unknown third ...

Family History

Miles Taylor: Tony Benn, 25 September 2003

Free at Last: Diaries 1991-2001 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 738 pp., £25, October 2002, 0 09 179352 1
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Free Radical: New Century Essays 
by Tony Benn.
Continuum, 246 pp., £9.95, May 2003, 9780826465962
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... which the deep past becomes more significant than the last 24 hours. References to ‘Father’ (William Wedgwood Benn) and to his elder brother Michael (killed in the Second World War) crop up frequently, and merge with moral reminders from Labour Party history. Benn’s father led the Liberal defection from Lloyd George in 1924, and stood up in Ramsay ...

Leap to Unity

Keith Kyle, 22 March 1990

... and it is not hard to find them dancing on its open grave. Others beside Peregrine Worsthorne and William Rees-Mogg are seeking to write off whole branches of political thought as a proven failure. The ground, it would seem, is left bare of anyone to the left of Margaret Thatcher; and the fact that she has at this very moment created so much trouble for ...

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