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  1. July 22, 2014

    Confidence soars among UK industrialists

    British manufacturers are increasingly confident about the economic recovery, with the number of companies expecting orders...

  2. March 27, 2014

    Brittan on Britain

    I. Forced Normality My earliest semi-adult memories go back to the long, drawn-out struggle to persuade Sir Winston...

  1. March 14, 2014

    Friends and foes pay tribute to former Labour firebrand Tony Benn

    Tony Benn: A life in pictures Tributes have poured in from friends and former political enemies following the death at the...

  2. March 14, 2014

    Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn dies aged 88

    Tony Benn: A life in pictures Tony Benn, a champion of the left for more than five decades and one of the intellectual...

  3. January 17, 2014

    Labour line of attack echoes with spirit of ‘79

    Injecting competition into banks. Promising cheap energy. Attacking tax evasion. Introducing wealth taxes. Tackling unused...

  4. April 5, 2013

    History is leaving UK welfare state behind

    No prime minister has faced oblivion with the equanimity of James Callaghan. “There are times, perhaps once every 30 years,...

  5. April 20, 2012

    No, minister

    Inside the Department of Economic Affairs: Samuel Brittan, the Diary of an ‘Irregular’, 1964-66, edited by Roger Middleton,...

  6. March 25, 2012

    Where the Iron Lady feared to tread

    Even Margaret Thatcher balked at privatising Royal Mail, saying she was “not prepared to have the Queen’s head privatised”....

  7. March 21, 2012

    End for postwar consensus on child benefit

    From George III to George Osborne, the debate over how best to recognise children in the tax and benefit system has been...

  8. January 6, 2012

    Britain needs to forgive and forget the Iron Lady

    Meryl Streep remarked that she had tried, in the film The Iron Lady, to capture what it was about Margaret Thatcher that...

  9. December 30, 2011

    N Irish hunger strikes made withdrawal an option

    Margaret Thatcher’s government was so shaken by the death of republican hunger strikers in Northern Ireland that it...

  10. December 7, 2011

    Privatisation defined Thatcher era

    Enthusiasm for privatisation under Margaret Thatcher was close to its apogee when British Gas made its stock market debut 25...

  11. May 24, 2011

    Nuclear option goes back to the future

    History can repeat itself. Looks like the Lib Dems are set to run a replay of Whitehall’s great Trident debate from 30 years...

  12. December 14, 2010

    Avoiding issue of shah’s odium aided his downfall

    In March 1979 as foreign and commonwealth secretary I commissioned a detailed historical analysis of British policy towards...

  13. August 29, 2010

    Time for Labour to leave its comfort zone

    In one thing – an important thing for the Labour party – the candidates for its leadership are united in breaking with the...

  14. June 23, 2010

    The tax with an ever-changing face

    Capital gains tax (CGT) might be less than 50 years old but, during its short history, the rate charged has had a...

  15. June 22, 2010

    The tax with an ever-changing face

    Capital gains tax (CGT) might be less than 50 years old but, during its short history, the rate charged has had a...

  16. June 9, 2010

    Sorry, old cock

    Sir Peter Baldwin, who has died at the age of 87, was the mandarin who headed the Department of Transport after it was hived...

  17. May 21, 2010

    Now is the time to ask: 'What crisis?'

    The classic definition of "crisis" was given in Samuel Johnson's pioneering 18th-century dictionary: "the point in which the...

  18. May 20, 2010

    Now is the time to ask: ‘What crisis?’

    The classic definition of “crisis” was given in Samuel Johnson’s pioneering 18th-century dictionary: “the point in which the...

  19. April 20, 2010

    TV debates we would have loved

    The drama of the first leaders' debate makes one yearn for those television contests that never were. The best would surely...

  20. April 19, 2010

    TV debates we would have loved

    The drama of the first leaders’ debate makes one yearn for those television contests that never were. The best would surely...

  21. April 12, 2010

    Why leaders are out in front

    Gordon Brown's mob-handed announcement of the election served only to confirm that the Labour party continued to regard its...

  22. April 12, 2010

    Why leaders are out in front

    Gordon Brown's mob-handed announcement of the election served only to confirm that the Labour party continued to regard its...

  23. April 11, 2010

    Why party leaders are out in front

    Gordon Brown’s mob-handed announcement of the election served only to confirm that the Labour party continued to regard its...

  24. March 23, 2010

    Britain has bigger problems than the unions

    So it is back to the 1970s. Or so the Conservatives say. Britain's present bout of industrial unrest looks like a gift for...

  25. March 20, 2010

    A heap of difference

    It was a postwar nadir. Ambulance drivers and lorry drivers on strike, along with railway workers, rubbish collectors and...

  26. March 19, 2010

    Britain: A heap of difference

    Rubbish piles up in central London during a ‘winter of discontent’ strike. Widespread industrial unrest in 1978 and 1979 was...

  27. March 4, 2010

    Witty eccentric who strove to stem Labour's drift to the left

    Michael Foot, who has died at the age of 96, led the Labour party to its worst election defeat. Yet such were his charm, his...

  28. March 3, 2010

    Ex-Labour leader Michael Foot dies at 96

    Remembered with affection: Michael Foot walks his dog Dizzy on London’s Hampstead Heath in 1983. The former Labour party...

  29. February 24, 2010

    Don’t make the same mistakes as George III and Thatcher

    From Mr Michael Winckless. Sir, I left the UK permanently within 12 months of finishing my postgraduate studies, some 37...

  30. January 5, 2010

    Masters at law, it seems, still define their own limits

    From Mr J.E. Woods. Sir, In his article on December 30, “Admit nothing unless you have to”, James Boxell quotes the...

  31. December 30, 2009

    Callaghan threat to quit over strikes

    James Callaghan became so exasperated with the trade unions towards the end of the "winter of discontent" that he suggested...

  32. December 30, 2009

    Admit nothing . . . unless you have to

    Margaret Thatcher told James Callaghan that it was her principle "never to admit to anything unless you have to" in an...

  33. December 30, 2009

    Retaliation fear led to official snub for ousted shah of Iran

    In the aftermath of the Islamic revolution the ousted shah of Iran, Mohammed Rez Pahlavi, chose the English town of...

  34. December 30, 2009

    Callaghan threat to quit over strikes

    James Callaghan became so exasperated with the trade unions towards the end of the “winter of discontent” that he suggested...

  35. December 30, 2009

    Reluctant snub for Iran’s ousted shah

    In the aftermath of the Islamic revolution the ousted shah of Iran, Mohammed Rez Pahlavi, chose the English town of...

  36. November 2, 2009

    Blair unlikely to convince Tories

    From Lord Watson of Richmond. Sir, During Roy Jenkins’ presidency of the European Commission – to this point the highest...

  37. October 14, 2009

    Tories must focus cuts on public sector pay

    Tackling Britain's gargantuan fiscal deficit is not a job for the faint-hearted. So it is as well that the approach mapped...

  38. September 9, 2009

    Darling's pledge turns Callaghan logic on its head

    James Callaghan, the for-mer Labour prime minister, famously warned his party in 1976: "You can't spend your way out of...

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