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The Revolution is over

R.W. Johnson, 16 February 1989

The Permanent Revolution: The French Revolution and its Legacy 1789-1989 
edited by Geoffrey Best.
Fontana, 241 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 00 686056 7
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... is that in Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, 14 July will be marked by a pop concert by Johnny Clegg, ‘le Zoulou blanc’ (unknown in Britain, where, as a South African, he is banned from TV, but bigger than Springsteen or Michael Jackson in France). What would Danton have thought of the Revolution being commemorated by a left-wing South African singing ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... each leader striving to prove he is more in command than his rivals. Today the unctuous Nick Clegg is proposing that errant MPs be subject to instant recall – a recipe for tabloid rabble-rousing if ever there was. 28 May. To Symonds Yat, which overlooks a spectacular loop on the Wye, surely the most beautiful river in England. We picnicked in sunshine ...

Invidious Trumpet

Thomas Keymer: Find the Printer, 9 September 2021

The Paper Chase: The Printer, the Spymaster and the Hunt for the Rebel Pamphleteers 
by Joseph Hone.
Chatto, 251 pp., £18.99, November 2020, 978 1 78474 306 2
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... decisive watershed and did ‘more for liberty and for civilisation than the Great Charter or the Bill of Rights’. By the time the Memorial appeared, at least nine parliamentary attempts to restore licensing had proved unsuccessful. In 1737, during the fraught last years of the Walpole ministry, a new Licensing Act was passed to suppress opposition ...

What’s the point of HS2?

Christian Wolmar, 17 April 2014

... mile from the present station at New Street. This first phase is currently the subject of a hybrid bill in Parliament, part of the tortuous mechanism by which the new line will get planning permission. That process is expected to take two years, as objectors (known officially as ‘petitioners’) are given the opportunity to state their case. If there are no ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... Republicans bitterly contrast the treatment of IRA prisoners with that of the paratrooper Lee Clegg, released after serving less than two years for murder and promoted to sergeant. As far as the peace process was concerned, the point about Howard’s initiatives is whether he was implementing them in opposition to his cabinet colleagues’ wishes. If he ...

The Breakaway

Perry Anderson: Goodbye Europe, 21 January 2021

... being defeated on the issue. When the decisive third reading of the European Communities Bill came in July 1972, it passed by 301 to 284 votes. Britain had finally made it into Europe. But there was a substantial catch. While still in opposition, Heath had promised that he would not take the country into the EEC without ‘the full-hearted ...

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