Category Archives: New Statesman

How socially-prejudiced is that?

Yesterday our local political discourse was enhanced by an otherwise-unremarkable Tory back-bencher [*]

A Conservative MP has been suspended from the party after it emerged she used a racist expression during a public discussion about Brexit.

Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot, used the phrase at an event in London to describe the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

She told the BBC: “The comment was totally unintentional. I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.”

The Conservative Party later confirmed she had had the whip withdrawn.

Announcing the suspension, Theresa May said she was “shocked” by the “completely unacceptable” language.

“I immediately asked the chief whip to suspend the party whip,” she said in a statement.

I was much taken by Stephen Bush (of the New Statesman) instantly producing a 26-point check-list, notably this bit:

10. How on earth do you become an MP while being so stupid as to use the N-word at a public event?
11. I mean, surely, even if you are an honest-to-God, white sheet-wearing KKK racist, your basic self-preservation instinct kicks in and goes “Hmm. Wait a second. I wonder if this might possibly backfire?”
12. I mean, come on, aren’t these the same people who go on about political correctness gone mad?
13. Anne Marie Morris presumably had to defeat at least one other person to be selected as the Conservative candidate.
14.Imagine how rubbish you must be to lose to someone who uses the word “n****r” at a meeting in 2017.
15. Anne Marie Morris is 60.

Some of the follow-ups have come close to that. There was Paul Waugh’s Waugh Zone for HuffPo, which deserves repetition:

Given the damage done, it’s hard to see how Morris can regain the Tory whip, no matter what the ‘investigation’ by Tory campaigns HQ concludes. Which raises the issue of whether she will be booted out for good, and whether she would quit to trigger a by-election. Her majority in her west country seat is 17,000.  But as this year has taught everyone, electoral norms can be upended.

Morris had already been forced to distance herself from her electoral agent and partner Roger Kendrick last month, after he claimed “that the crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates’.” Kemi Badenoch, the Tory MP for Saffron Walden, told the Telegraph she spoke to the Chief Whip “to express my dismay, and I am pleased that decisive action has been taken”. Maidstone MP Helen Grant said she was “so ashamed” that a fellow Tory could use the phrase without knowing its history (and it’s an awful history) or impact.

[*] Lest we forget, Matt Chorley, for The Times Red Box categorised the lady:

Anne Marie Morris – who until this point was best known in the Commons for waving a sling around while wearing Deirdre Barlow’s glasses – used the n-word yesterday at a public meeting.

All of which stirred the Redfellow Hippocampus to two thoughts:

1. How far we have come in my lifetime.

I became politically active in the 1960s — by which I mean I discarded the political attitudes I inherited, and adopted an alternative set. Whether that also means I “started to think for myself” is more debatable.

What did shock was what happened in the 1964 General Election for the Smethwick constituency. It wasn’t that the Tory — against the national swing — took the previously Labour seat. It was how it was achieved. There have been any number of re-drafts of that bit of unpleasantness. At the time it was generally accepted that

  • there was effectively a colour-bar being operated for social housing in the borough, in pubs, youth clubs and social centres;
  • that, officially or not, the Tory campaign was sustained by propaganda such as the leaflet (right) — note that it comes without the “imprint” required by electoral law;
  • that Harold Wilson was entirely justified in declaring the elected Tory a parliamentary leper. Many Tories were deeply uncomfortable about the elected MP as a fellow: even Enoch Powell (whose “rivers of blood” speech came two years later) refused to campaign with him.
  • that the local Trade Union branches and whatever were not beyond reproach.

In our innocence, we — and I include myself explicitly — believed such horrors had gone away. As if …

2. Just how racist is our language?

Put the woodpile (above) aside.

We could quibble about “nitty-gritty” (and many have done). Indeed, almost any use of “black” and “white” could be construed as a racist offence, if one was so determined.

And then there is (sharp intake of breath) “calling a spade a spade”. However that one dates from 1542, and Nicholas Udall translating Erasmus Apophthegmes ii. f. 167:

Philippus aunswered, yt the Macedonians wer feloes of no fyne witte in their termes but altogether grosse, clubbyshe, and rusticall, as they whiche had not the witte to calle a spade by any other name then a spade.

Erasmus, in turn, was translating Plutarch’s Greek into Latin, and hesitated over a literal rendering of to call a fig a fig and a trough a trough, which some ascribe to Aristophanes. His hesitation might plausibly because “fig”, as the Oxford English Dictionary has as the second meaning:

A contemptuous gesture which consisted in thrusting the thumb between two of the closed fingers or into the mouth. Also, fig of Spain, and to give (a person) the fig.

Which Shakespeare puts in the mouth of Pistol (Henry V, Act III, scene vi):

Pistol: Die and be damn’d! and figo for thy friendship!
Fluellen: It is well.
Pistol: The fig of Spain!

Preferring the epicene, Udall goes for the horticultural reference. The racial slur dates only from the 1920s, and apparently from New York, and specifically Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem (1927).

And one more to finish

What about “beyond the Pale”?

Note the capital “P’. Any delineated space could be a “pale”. In Ireland it had a specific connotation:

The area of Ireland under English jurisdiction (varying in extent at different times between the late 12th and 16th centuries, but including parts of modern Dublin, Louth, Meath, and Kildare).

By implication, anything “beyond the Pale” would be among the wild Irish. As one who has frequently been called a “West Brit”, I know we have our archipelagic variant of Crow Jim.  Now consider all those places with a district “Irishtown” or even “Irish Street”. Without exception, they will be less favoured, and more down-market. In medieval Dublin, Irishtown was the bit outside the city walls, down to the slob-lands of the River Dodder. Only last week, the Irish Times had this:

A plague of flies of “biblical proportions” has descended upon the Dublin 4 suburbs of Sandymount, Ringsend and Irishtown, according to residents and local businesspeople.

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys said he had received “hundreds” of complaints from locals in recent days over the fly infestation, which has forced people to keep their windows shut and resulted in the closure of some businesses.

Tony “Deke” McDonald, who runs Deke’s Diner at the Sean Moore Road roundabout in Ringsend, said the infestation was the worst he had ever seen.

“It started around four or five days ago with a swarm of biblical proportions. People would be used to flies in the summer, but I’ve been running the diner 17 years next week, and I’m 30 odd years in the area, and I’ve never seen the like of it. There [were] hundreds of them.”

It didn’t take more than moments for Dublin wit to crack in, saying Ringsend and Irishtown deserved all they got, for social-climbing and pretension to post-code D4.

Then there’s Louis MacNeice describing:

…. Smoky Carrick in County Antrim
Where the bottle-neck harbour collects the mud which jams

The little boats beneath the Norman castle,
   The pier shining with lumps of crystal salt;
The Scots Quarter was a line of residential houses
   But the Irish Quarter was a slum for the blind and halt. […]

I was the rector’s son, born to the anglican order,
   Banned for ever from the candles of the Irish poor;
The Chichesters knelt in marble at the end of a transept
   With ruffs about their necks, their portion sure.


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Filed under Belfast, bigotry, Britain, Conservative family values, culture, Dublin., Ireland, Irish Times, New Statesman, Northern Ireland, Paul Waugh, politics, prejudice, Quotations, Racists, Tories., underclass

Odd things, mental associations

In the previous issue of the New Statesman, Robert Webb had a piece inviting us to consider how “normal” Ed Miliband might seem.

For some strange reason, the headline question was:

… can you imagine him eating a pear?

This was all accompanied by a stock photograph:


If the pear seemed something of an illogical leap, my mind has kept coming back to that domestic image. The carousel framed on the bedroom wall is Brighton beach, quite similar to Shutterstock 113447074 (by Neil Lang).

But that’s not my mental jump. Somehow that domestic scene seems an inversion of Hockney’s:

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970-1 by David Hockney born 1937

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy.

Which is another blow for John Rentoul, who was vamping on SuperBowl footballers’ names, and concluding:

… the one I liked the most was Percy Harvin, who ran a kick-off back for a touchdown. It is not often that we British come across a Percy outside the pages of JK Rowling.

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The English are mad! Mad, I tell you!

The Lady in Malcolm’s Life is guid Scots-Irish. Could she be anything else from a loyalist Portadown background?

However, she went into convulsions of mirth with George Eaton’s gem.

In essence, it goes like this:

  • Tory back-benchers have laid an amendment to the Queen’s Speech. They regret that it didn’t contain an EU referendum bill.
  • David Cameron has indicated his support for this amendment.
  • Were the amendment to be carried, it would be a lost vote of confidence, and cameron would constitutionally be obliged to resign.

Why would the Opposition vote against the amendment?

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My enemy’s enemy is — not necessarily — my friend

When David Blackburn at the Speccie recommends a piece by George Eaton at the Staggers, in the bushes something stirs.

Both sides, in short, are evaluating what happens now the Lib Dem vote has collapsed. And whether the UKIP surge can continue. Either way, it is for Labour to exploit and the Tories to repulse  and repel (actually, they do that, en masse, quite well).

Eaton’s piece is the terser, but makes three points (which Malcolm glosses here) on the back of the Corby by-election:

  • The Labour vote increased proportionately by nearly 10%. Were that to be the norm at a future General Election — which, we must assume is still slated for 7th May 2015 — Labour would romp it. As it happens, Malcolm would not be surprised if — given the faintest glimmer of an economic silver lining in 2014 — the Coalition didn’t somehow collapse this ‘fixed’ (in any sense you choose) parliament. Indeed, Cameron may be able to achieve just that by his long-trailered, long-over-due ‘big’ speech on Europe — and some kind of pledge/promise/wishful thinking on a referendum (cue Tom Newton Dunn at The Sun — this is one topic where the Murdoch press are a ‘must read’).
  • If the Lib Dem decline persists, Labour stands to pick up those Tory/Labour marginals where the Lib Dem vote exceeds the present Tory majority (Eaton counts 37 of these). Several of those are seats (such as Clegg’s) with a large university student vote. The previous generation of those students (who will have passed on by 2015) were blinkered by the Lib Dem hypocrisy on fees, and by natural resentment at Labour’s involvement in US wars: go figure.
  • If the Lib Dems do a Lazarus, and/or if the incumbency factor works in the Lib Dem MP’s favour, the Tories also lose out — because, again on Eaton’s arithmetic, there are 38 Lib Dem seats where the Tories run second. What Eaton doesn’t include is the West Country factor, where the Lib Dems (in fact, unreconstructed Liberals) have deep roots, and should continue to blossom.

Blackburn attempts to put a good face on what was an appalling day for the Tories:

  • the rise of independents;
  • that it was all a profoundly anti-politics election, and low turnout is a long-term trend. Err … is it?

What is agreed by all-comers, is that Cameron is:

  • damned if he does — any concessions to the rabid Right and the UKIPpers alienates the centre, leaving that ground open to the Labour ‘One Nation’ ploy.


… there is plenty for the Conservative strategists to worry about. Whilst the BNP did rather poorly, particularly in Corby, UKIP on the whole did rather well. In the very low poll at Manchester, UKIP came within half a dozen votes of overtaking the Conservatives. At Corby, where the Conservative vote collapsed, UKIP scored a respectable 5,000-plus votes, triple that of the Lib Dems, and at Cardiff they marginally increased their vote.

In short, while Labour seems to have stemmed the loss of votes to BNP, the Tories are still losing support to UKIP; and even worse for Mr Cameron, UKIP is strengthening in advance of the 2014 European elections. The Tory cry that a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote may be wearing a bit thin.

All that is the prime focus on today’s editorial in The Independent:

Mr Cameron is caught in a difficult bind. He is facing a Labour Party showing tentative signs of recovery from its 2010 defeat, while to his right there is an anti-EU party attracting votes at a point when Europe soars up the political agenda. But if the Tory leader hardens his stance on the EU to appease Eurosceptics, he risks giving up an even greater share of the more moderate centre ground he once sought to occupy. And his departure from this electorally fertile terrain in other policy areas is one of the reasons his party struggled in the by-elections.

That’s without tangling too closely with the tar-baby (a dangerous metaphor, Malcolm fully appreciates, but one which he can happily defend on non-racist terms) of ‘localism’. ‘Localism’ may have been a good notion in happier times, but the centralisers of Tory policy (Gove, Shapps, Pickles …) have done for it, good and proper.

And another thing …

The North impinges further south each year.

The Tories are rapidly heading towards extinction north of the Trent and outside of the leafiest of shires. David Blackburn, in that piece noted above, cheerfully quotes himself from the previous day:

… the Tories’ woeful showing in South Yorkshire (beaten into 3rd by the English Democrats) and in Durham (finished a miserable 4th), to say nothing of the debacle in the Manchester Central by-election (where the party lost its deposit), should concern the party.

That is, not necessarily, even for socialist bigot like Malcolm, a good outcome.

‘Should concern the party’? Should concern the nation! For all its faults the Tory Party (indeed the two-party system) is essential to British democracy as we know it. Much as the Lib Dems might wish for a “three-party system”, that — as we have painfully discovered through this benighted ConDem coalition — arrives at sterility and even extremism (Gove, Shapps, Pickles … Duncan Smith, secret courts). Of course the whole system could — and arguably should — be given a whole new architecture, by devolution of real power to regions and localities and/or by proportional representation. For the time being, pending that day of universal liberation, we have to work within the parameters we have got.

Now we have the weekend commentariat to expect in the Sundays. That should be instructive, particularly if one or other of the ‘usuals’ comes up with a different, original interpretation. And, as Malcolm’s Dear Old Dad frequently opined: ‘It must be true: it’s in the papers’.

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Filed under Britain, Conservative Party policy., Daily Telegraph, Elections, Labour Party, Lib Dems, New Statesman, politics, polls, The Spectator

Back to Staggering

To Malcolm’s mind, the New Statesman is not just an “improving weekly” but is itself improving weekly under Jason Cowley’s editing. Hoo-blooming-ray! It’s natural rôle is as the critical friend of progressives in politics. That’s not Cameron’s blatant attempt to purloin the term: those of us on the Left know what and where “progress” is.

Consequently, after a period when the Staggerer was an occasional indulgence, or a furtive peek at another’s or library copy, Malcolm as a regular purchaser.

And this week’s is a cracker.

The main leader, This is no time to be complacent, Mr Osborne, is  a Grand Overture. Catch it on-line as a taster. It starts with a low rumble:

”The plan is working,” George Osborne declared triumphantly as he delivered his economic update to the House of Commons. The Chancellor hailed the latest forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility, which predicts growth of 1.8 per cent this year, higher than the 1.2 per cent previously expected. But his boastful rhetoric masked several inconvenient truths. For a start, due to the time lag in fiscal policy, Mr Osborne can take little credit for growth this year, much of which is due to Alistair Darling’s stimulus package.

Ah yes, of course 11th May 2010 was day one, year one of the glorious New Age of Liberty and the ConDem Five-Year Reich. Anything that went before has to be rubbished.

The thunder-and-lightning crescendo is reached in the ruthless exposing of the ConDem fallacies and downright lies about Higher Education:

… the most eye-catching figure in the OBR document was the estimated £6bn Budget surplus that the government will enjoy by 2015. This apparent piece of favourable news was left unmentioned by Mr Osborne. And with good reason. The projected Budget surplus gives the lie to his claim that the “cupboard is bare”. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of higher education.

In an article for the London Evening Standard on 30 November, David Cameron echoed his Chancellor and claimed that the coalition’s decision to increase university tuition fees was “unavoidable”. But as the sixth-largest economy in the world, Britain can easily afford to fund free higher education through general taxation. The UK spends just 0.7 per cent of its GDP on higher education. Compare this to France (1.2 per cent), Germany (0.9 per cent), Canada (1.5 per cent), Poland (0.9 per cent) and Sweden (1.4 per cent). Even the US, where students make a considerable private contribution, spends 1 per cent of its GDP on higher education.

The decision to triple tuition fees is, therefore, a political choice, not an economic necessity. Little wonder that the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, lamented that Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne “had a tendency to think about issues only in terms of politics, and how they might affect Tory electorability”.

All this is topped-and-tailed by considering the wider economy:

… the shadow work and pensions secretary, Douglas Alexander, points out, the sector that created a mere 300,000 jobs between 1993 and 1999 is now expected to create more than two million between now and 2015.

and this in a context:

Mr Osborne’s increasingly complacent air is ill-befitting of a man who plans to raise VAT by 2.5 per cent in the new year and to slash £81bn from public expenditure. The coalition’s plans make a stagnant recovery unavoidable.

Outside of Westminster, the devolved Assemblies seem to be addressing the growth of “the knowledge economy” with a seriousness that eludes Osborne and his cronies. Even the Daily Mail, or at least Stephen Glover thereof, has bitten the bitter bullet. He tries to diss dissolution and comes up with this:

Devolution is creating disparities in public services between the ­constituent parts of the United ­Kingdom. Nowhere are these differences more striking than in the area of tuition fees.

Hitherto they have been anomalous. They are about to become grotesque.

Throughout England, students are protesting at being asked to pay £9,000 a year in tuition fees — roughly three times what is paid at the moment.

They are understandably frightened at the prospect of building up sizeable debts, which for those earning over the threshold of £21,000 a year will entail a substantial repayment every month.

This is a big deal for many people.

The rich will be all right, and the poor will be exempted. But everyone else will live under a new shadow of debt as a result of having had a university education.

Unless you live in Scotland or Wales. If you are Scottish, and attend a ­Scottish university, you will continue to pay nothing.

If you are Welsh, and attend a Welsh or an English ­university, you will pay the current tuition fees of £3,290 a year.

Free for Jock. No increases for Taffy. A rise of 200 per cent for John Bull. Does that seem fair?

Fellow citizens of the United Kingdom will leave ­university, and start to earn their ­living, in drastically different ­financial circumstances.

They will pay — at any rate for the time being — the same income tax and the same Vat.

They will work for ­companies paying the same rate of ­corporation tax throughout Great ­Britain.

But, depending on which part of the United Kingdom they come from, they may incur no debt, some debt, or an awful lot of debt as a result of attending university.

This is so unjust and so irrational a state of affairs that I marvel how ­ministers in the Coalition can sleep at night.

Of course, in Mr Glover’s metro-centric world the answer would be to nuke the Assemblies, and put Jock and Taffy back into their subservient boxes.
Alternatively, the devolved Assemblies have probably got it right. If the Britische Wirtschaftswunder is ever to be more than a snowflake in hell, then we should all shout aloud that it will come about through a “knowledge economy” of  R&D-led excellence and innovation, not a “screwdriver economy” where British wages have to undercut the toiling masses of South Asia.
But there’s none so staggeringly, complacently deaf as those who do not want to hear.

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Filed under Conservative Party policy., economy, education, leftist politics., Lib Dems, New Statesman, Tories.

1963 and all that

Those who have not been catching Dominic Sandbrook’s What if … alternative histories for the New Statesman immediately should. Previous pieces have gently mused on topics such as:


The series continues to be superficial, provocative, but — above all — fun. That’s not a notion casually linked to the New Statesman of recent years.

This week’s effort, What if … Hugh Gaitskell had lived, though, does not strike Malcolm as one of Sandbrook’s stronger efforts.

Sandbrook’s essential problem is that he is a historian, born a decade and more after 1963. Malcolm, and those of Malcolm’s generation, lived that period. We are history. Indeed.

19th January 1963

This was one of those days fixed in the memory, when one recalls exactly where one was.

Malcolm was in the house of the Copleys, Uncle Ernest and Aunt Kit, at Worksop Road, Netherthorpe, Aston, Sheffield. Don’t go looking for the house: it’s long gone. A lorry loaded with detergent took it out, prompting the headline Tide comes in at Aston. The loss of his beloved garden promptly killed Cop. Today, sandstone foundations may lie under the grass roadside embankment. Ernest Copley was a Labour man: he had been President of the Waleswood NUM Miners’ Lodge, and had fronted the stay-down strike of 1948. For no accountable reason, Cop’s morning newspaper was the Daily Mail (this had not greatly worried the infantile Malcolm, because he could read the Teddy Tail comic strip).

Now, that morning Malcolm was about to continue his ride back to Dublin, TCD, and the Hilary term. His aged but worthy Lambretta 150LD had brought him to Aston the previous freezing day of that bitter winter. Then ensued a heavy night, among the dominoes school in the Yellow Lion. So Malcolm, a trifle the worse for wear, was further taken aback by Saturday’s headline that Gaitskell was, suddenly, unpredictably, dead.

Until that moment Gaitskell had been something of a bogeyman for Malcolm: the Clause IV debates and the anti-CND rhetoric mattered then. Yet: de mortuis nil nisi bonum. Among the real Labour men of South Yorkshire waiting for the bus for the Wednesday or United game (whoever was at home and if the pitch had thawed out), there was a feeling of sorrow and regret, and — as Sandbrook would appreciate — of what might have been. Clause IV, among the pitmen, was a shibboleth, but — for heaven’s sake, nobody of any sense or reason could contemplate de-nationalising the mines, or the railways: good grief, look the mess that was steel!

The 1964 Election

In one respect, Sandbrook correctly reads the runes. The Tory Government, in power since 1951, was doomed to defeat in 1963-4. Despite the Sandbrook tabloid of history, that was not just because of the sexual shenanigans of the Profumo affair. The peasants, we ordinary folk, had no illusions about the doings and morals of them as wuz above us. No: it was the economic climate, and the mood which had changed, a wind of change that would blow hard for the next three decades. And only then briefly relent.

It took two General Elections to complete the deed, to be rid of the Tories for the moment. Like all vermin, they keep coming back. The other side take the same view: Malcolm remembers the Daily Telegraph promising the faithful, on 10th October 1959, that Labour in defeat was finished for a decade — if not a generation. That, in itself, convinced Malcolm that next time round would be different. Similar prophecies were made in 1970, 1979, 1983, 1992 and — heaven help us — may be in 2010. So: watch this space.

Probably with Gaitskell the 1964 campaign, Thirteen wasted years, would not greatly have differed in theme. We might even have more easily believed the white-hot heart of technological change. Whoever the leader and new Prime Minister, the new stars in the political firmament would have been, as Sandbrook suggests,  Roy Jenkins and Tony Crosland and Anthony Wedgwood-Benn. To which Malcolm would add Barbara Castle and Douglas Jay and Denis Healey and George Brown and Richard Marsh …

Where Sandbrook’s fantasy goes wrong is the assumption that the Profumo event could have been re-enacted in the context of “swinging London” (© Time, April 1966 — see right):

…in 1967 came the final blow. Amid the hoopla surrounding You Only Live Twice, the new James Bond film, Private Eye dropped the bombshell that the prime minister had been sleeping with the wife of Bond’s creator for the last decade.

Sandbrook’s misconstruction there is to be a Beatles, rather than a Stones man.

Yes, in Britain, in 1967, Let’s Spend the Night Together was acceptable for prime-time family television. Only on the US networks, and for the Ed Sullivan Show, was bowdlerising needed.

Sandbrook, though, is correct in his essential conceit: Gaitskell could not have survived the 1960s. He would, presumably (after his principled stand on Suez), have been as reluctant to get involved in the Vietnam mess as Wilson was. That, in itself, required an expert balancing act (not often celebrated) by the Foreign Office, keeping the Atlanticists, the graduates of the CIA schools of patronage, in play but not in the driving seats.

Where things would have gone sadly adrift is the terminal failure of Butskellism. The economic consensus of the 1950s was past any sell-by date. Macmillan, with or without that 1959 mis-quotation, had stoked up a consumer demand which the state of the economy could not afford. British metal-bashing industry was totally out-classed in the new dispensation. The right-wing of the Tories was going rogue: witness the proto-monetarism that emerged at the 1970 Selsdon conference. Heath could not resist the inevitable, which was then presented to the British electorate as wolf-dressed-as-lamb.

What would have been different is that Gaitskell (in, say, the aftermath of a 1966 landslide) would have been supplanted by a leftist, more socialist Labour administration. Doubtless Harold Wilson, cannily positioned in the left-centre, would have emerged. That would have left the “loyalists” to be bought or to go into the wilderness. In 1970 the British electors could have have a more positive choice. None of which would have prevented the dire, drear sterility of the 1970s.

  • With the situation in Northern Ireland ripe for explosion.
  • With the European debate still to be had.

Which leaves just two thoughts

  1. Malcolm has been here before. When one passes up Church Row in Hampstead, one passes the  grave and memorial of Hugh (“Fortitude and integrity”) and Dora Gaitskell. It’s a nudge to do what Sandbrook does: to consider the numerous “might-have-beens”
  2. Malcolm’s Pert Young Piece was one of Sandbrook’s pupils at Sheffield. It would seem that Sandbrook left the History Department at Sheffield in a puff of sulphuric smoke. He had been offered a contract for a populist history, a development frowned on by his superiors. He merely shrugged his shoulders, cited the money, made no apology, and left..

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