Robert Skidelsky
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Articles from Prospect Magazine

Opinion: No, Prime Minister
Robert Skidelsky
Prospect | Wednesday, March 01, 2000

 
We must confront our past, not continue it," Tony Blair announced in his Romanes lecture on education (Prospect, February). His history of education is one of state neglect with occasional exceptions (Balfour's 1902 Act, Butler's 1944 Act) until Jim Callaghan's Ruskin speech in 1976. There was then a little progress under the Tories, but basically Labour "inherited a situation too little changed from Callaghan's day." The moral is clear: neglect must be succeeded by "national leadership." Central government must take responsibility for investment in education, raising standards and promoting life-long learning. Then follows the catalogue of "starts" since 1997: more money, especially on primary schools; literacy and numeracy strategies;

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Debate: Is Military Intervention over Kosovo Justified? Skidelsky vs. Ignatieff
Robert Skidelsky and Michael Ignatieff
Prospect | Tuesday, June 01, 1999

 
Is military intervention over Kosovo justified?
 
Dear Michael
 
3rd May 1999
 
I have been instinctively against Nato's bombing of Serbia from the day it started on 24th March. I was-I dare say like you and many others-incredulous that Nato seemed to have no military strategy except to bomb Serbia to smithereens. I could not believe that bombing a defenceless country was the right way to wage "holy war." But above all I was alarmed by the thought that a new doctrine of international relations was being forged which would make the world a much more dangerous place.
 
This is what I want to discuss. Given that Nato's values are superior to Milosevic's values, is it right or prudent to try to force our values on him? Until recently, most

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Diary: Gulag Baden-Baden
Robert Skidelsky
Prospect | Monday, June 01, 1998

 
Friday 27th March
 
 
Edward (my son) and I board the flight to Moscow at Terminal 4, Heathrow. I am to take part in a conference at Perm, organised by the Moscow School of Political Studies. Perm is on the edge of Siberia; a city of more than 1m people with a cultural past (Diaghilev was born there) and a depressed industrial present. "Experts" are being assembled to advise regional officials and politicians on how to make the most of self-government-an important topic in view of the paralysis of the centre. My most prized possession is a bath plug. I remember from past excursions that outside the western circuit bath plugs are unobtainable.
 
 
Sheremetevo airport in Moscow is much more traveller-friendly than it used to be. We get

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Book Review: Marquand’s Missing Link
Robert Skidelsky
Prospect | Monday, December 01, 1997

 
The New Reckoning: Capitalism, States and Citizens
by David Marquand
Polity Press, 1997
 
David Marquand is an engaging and stylish political thinker, who moves adventurously across academic frontiers and straddles the worlds of scholarship and politics. His main interest is in what may be called the "government of Britain" question; the failure, as he sees it, of Britain to develop into a properly democratic state. His method is one of persuasive argument, conveyed most felicitously in essay form, where thought is not unduly trammelled by the demands of rigour or specificity. His style is that of the seminar rather than the pulpit. He does not try to bludgeon the reader into submission and is too sceptical to admit to "final" beliefs

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Essay: Brink Back Keynes
Robert Skidelsky
Prospect | Thursday, May 01, 1997

 
Perhaps it is time to revive Keynesian policy. The fact that monetary policy in the US and Britain does, in practice, take into account unemployment and growth as well as inflation is taken as a sign that some secret Keynesian demand management is at work. From this point of view, the odd men out are what Anatole Kaletsky calls the "sado-monetarist" central bankers and finance ministers of continental Europe who are wedded to price stability and the Maastricht criteria. I believe that Keynesian policy does have a role to play in improving the performance and stability of economies. But this belief does not warrant either historical or theoretical amnesia; nor should it blind us to the practical difficulties, particularly on the fiscal

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