The UK’s participation in the invasion of Iraq was briefly in doubt, nine days before the bombing began, a hesitation that I discuss in the Afterword to the new edition of Tony Blair: Prime Minister, to be published on Thursday. I chose that day, 11 March 2003, as the focus of the exclusive extract in [...]
Good by Stephen Bush, who wasn’t even born then, on the 1983 election:
Amid all the chaos on the night of 9 June 1983, an MP was elected for an obscure constituency in County Durham who would eventually hit the Tories so hard, Benjamin Disraeli felt it.
The lesson of 1983 isn’t just to make sure [...]
If you haven’t the inclination or time to read Charles Moore’s great work on Margaret Thatcher, the budget option is to read the Telegraph serialisation (the best bits from the letters to Muriel and the early life) and David Runciman’s 9,000-word review in the London Review of Books.
Runciman is a great writer, although given to [...]
One more excerpt is worth noting from the interviews with former cabinet secretaries that have been posted on the new 10 Downing Street/Mile End Group website.
Lord Armstrong, Cabinet Secretary 1979-87 (pictured, centre, in No 10 for the launch of the website), talked about how his first reaction to the news of the 1984 Brighton bomb, [...]
The video and transcript of the full interview with Robin Butler, Cabinet Secretary 1988-98, in the 10 Downing Street history series is now on the Mile End Group cabinet secretaries website.
Interviewed by Anthony Seldon, Lord Butler reflects on the difference between the Margaret Thatcher he had known as her principal private secretary in the middle phase [...]
All living cabinet secretaries, including the present one, Sir Jeremy Heywood, have been interviewed for the History section of the 10 Downing Street website, a joint project of No 10 and the Mile End Group.
Highlights videos of two interviews, with Robert Armstrong and Robin Butler, have gone up on the Downing Street website, and the [...]
Nigel Lawson, Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1979-81 (second from left in picture), told Treasury civil servants at a seminar organised by the Mile End Group two weeks ago (but online only today):
There’s a reason why you today can feel confident … Based on the example of what we did in the 1980s, squeezing public [...]
I am pleased to say that Faber Finds is reissuing my 2001 biography, Tony Blair: Prime Minister, as a paperback and e-book on 20 June. It comes in a plain cigarette wrapper (pictured).
The new edition has a 20,000-word Afterword to cover the 2001-07 period and to provide an assessment of Blair’s record as Prime Minister.
Social cohesion. A drippy phrase; an important idea. And it turns out that it has improved over the past decade. A huge New Labour achievement, repairing the damage done by the bad side of Thatcherism.
I think I may have inadvertently broken my own embargo on She Who Used To Be Obeyed by replying to someone on Twitter this morning. So I might as well say that the evidence from the extracts from Charles Moore’s book in The Daily Telegraph is that the early life, as so often in biography, [...]
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