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Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Sokal 2.0, 25 October 2018

... loos plaintively reads: MIAMI, 4378 MILES —>.) The ethnography of Hooters culture by ‘Richard Baldwin’ – one of the collaborators’ pseudonyms, actually the borrowed name of one of their friends, a 71-year-old former champion bodybuilder and emeritus professor of the humanities at Gulf Coast State College – is full of quiet, plausible ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: The Confidence Trick, 4 July 2019

... non-ideological. Its most effective prime ministerial proponents, besides Salisbury, were Stanley Baldwin (1923-24, 1924-29, 1935-37) and Margaret Thatcher (1979-90), who shared his knack for condensing a political philosophy into a simple (and simplifying) phrase, as well as his ability rhetorically to align the interests of the nation with the interests of ...

The Tax-and-Spend Vote

Ross McKibbin: Will the election improve New Labour’s grasp on reality?, 5 July 2001

... admitted it. A more thorough ideological overhaul seems more difficult. What the Tories need is a Baldwin figure, someone who can realign the Party to the social changes for which it is partly responsible, as Baldwin did with such skill in the 1930s. But Baldwin was a formidably talented ...

From Old Adam to New Eve

Peter Pulzer, 6 June 1985

The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher 
by Robert Blake.
Methuen/Fontana, 401 pp., £19.95, May 1985, 0 413 58140 3
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Westminster Blues 
by Julian Critchley.
Hamish Hamilton, 134 pp., £7.95, May 1985, 0 241 11387 3
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... though 20th-century Conservatives have included a few Whiggish eccentrics. The Liberal Party of David Steel bears little resemblance to it, except in some residual link with religious dissent and the geographical periphery. The old-style Labour Party inherited some Whig nostrums, especially in foreign policy and constitutional matters. The Tory Party, on ...

Gentlemen and Intellectuals

Ian Gilmour, 17 October 1985

Balfour: Intellectual Statesman 
by Ruddock Mackay.
Oxford, 388 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 19 212245 2
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Austen Chamberlain: Gentleman in Politics 
by David Dutton.
Ross Anderson Publications, 373 pp., £14.95, March 1985, 0 86360 018 2
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... on to recommend and support the madness of the Lords’ rejection of the Budget. Like Mr Mackay, David Dutton has lumbered his book with a subtitle: ‘Gentleman in Politics’. Austen Chamberlain was certainly in politics and probably a gentleman. But it is not clear whether ‘a gentleman in politics’ is meant to describe some particular political ...

Unemployed

David Cannadine, 2 December 1982

Duchess: The Story of Wallis Warfield Windsor 
by Stephen Birmingham.
Macmillan, 287 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 333 34265 8
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The Duke of Windsor’s War 
by Michael Bloch.
Weidenfeld, 397 pp., £10.95, October 1982, 0 297 77947 8
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... none of this, supposing instead that all critics of his hero were foolish or wicked or both. Thus Baldwin, whose role in the Abdication was much less malevolently conspiratorial than Edward’s apologists will allow, is dismissed as ‘tedious’. In contrast to Wallis, Queen Mary is pilloried for ‘that determined desire to be queen’ which she had so ...

Eden and Suez

David Gilmour, 18 December 1986

Anthony Eden 
by Robert Rhodes James.
Weidenfeld, 665 pp., £16.95, October 1986, 0 297 78989 9
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Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951-56 
by Evelyn Shuckburgh, edited by John Charmley.
Weidenfeld, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 297 78993 7
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Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 242 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 233 97967 0
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The Suez Affair 
by Hugh Thomas.
Weidenfeld, 255 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 297 78953 8
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... men of exceptional talent’: It was an unfair comment, though not so unfair as his description of Baldwin as ‘a hole in the air’: yet it conveyed the view, subsequently shared by many, that with Eden the facade was more important than the interior, the appearance more impressive than the reality. People recognised his ability as a negotiator, skilfully ...

At The Hutton Enquiry

Daniel Soar: Hutton’s Big Top, 11 September 2003

... end pick up the pieces. And it will. Downing Street’s first-choice strategy for the outing of David Kelly – writing, semi-publicly, to the Intelligence and Security Committee to offer him as a witness – was vetoed by Ann Taylor MP, the Committee’s chairman, whose staff refused to be sent the suggested letter. In her testimony to the Inquiry, Taylor ...

Bertie pulls it off

John Campbell, 11 January 1990

King George VI 
by Sarah Bradford.
Weidenfeld, 506 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 79667 4
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... for the family firm, fundamentally different characters. The wonder, however, is not that ‘David’ should have turned out badly but that ‘Bertie’ should have turned out so well. (There were two more brothers, ‘Harry’ of Gloucester and George of Kent, whose capacity for kingship, had the succession moved further down the line, was for different ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: On Trade-Unionism, 5 May 1988

... the Society of labour History in 1971 on the deliberations of the Legislative Committee set up by Baldwin’s Cabinet in the aftermath of the General Strike of 1926. Then, if ever, you might expect to have seen legislation enacted which would leave Margaret Thatcher’s industrial relations policy far behind in left field. But as Anderson documents, the 1927 ...

Snobs v. Herbivores

Colin Kidd: Non-Vanilla One-Nation Conservatism, 7 May 2020

Remaking One Nation: The Future of Conservatism 
by Nick Timothy.
Polity, 275 pp., £20, March 2020, 978 1 5095 3917 8
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... when Hill and Timothy became scapegoats for the loss of the slim majority May inherited from David Cameron. But the real surprise wasn’t the downfall of May’s advisers so much as their earlier rise to brief but utter dominance in a party whose upper reaches have in recent times seemed to belong almost exclusively to Old Etonians. Hill was born in ...

Short Cuts

Ferdinand Mount: Untilled Fields, 1 July 2021

... and friend. There are at least two reasons for this. The story has often been told, notably by David Cannadine, of how the long agricultural depression broke the power of the British aristocracy, but it also drove tenant famers and labourers off the land and into the cities and suburbs; a million or more had emigrated by 1914. As a legacy of this flight ...

Young Brutes

R.W. Johnson: The Amerys, 23 February 2006

Speaking for England: Leo, Julian and John Amery: The Tragedy of a Political Family 
by David Faber.
Free Press, 612 pp., £20, October 2005, 0 7432 5688 3
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... immediately, despite Chamberlain’s frantic attempts to hang on, the age of Churchill began. David Faber, an Old Etonian and, like Leo and Julian Amery, a former Tory MP, has had the good idea of writing the story of the father and his two sons. Julian was appointed minister of aviation by his father-in-law, Macmillan, and could claim to be the man ...

Living with Monsters

Ferdinand Mount: PMs v. the Media, 22 April 2010

Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v. the Media 
by Lance Price.
Simon & Schuster, 498 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84737 253 6
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... little reason to blame the media when things went wrong. This Other Club consists principally of Baldwin, Attlee, Heath, Callaghan and Thatcher. Attlee consented to have a telex machine installed in Downing Street only so that he could keep up with the cricket scores. When Hugh Dalton had to resign after leaking the contents of his budget to a passing ...

Lord Cupid proves himself

David Cannadine, 21 October 1982

Palmerston: The Early Years, 1784-1841 
by Kenneth Bourne.
Allen Lane, 749 pp., £25, August 1982, 0 7139 1083 6
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... Wellington (her pen as mighty as his sword); Gash’s Peel (a peerless study of a baronet); Lord David Cecil’s Melbourne (one patrician beguilingly evoking another); Blake’s Disraeli (champagne and epigrams all the way); and Marquand’s MacDonald (Fame is the spur stood on its head). But many prime ministers have fared less well: Chatham and Lord John ...

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