Robert Skidelsky
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Articles from The Guardian

Column: We need a new congress of Berlin
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Saturday, November 18, 2006

 
There is still time for Tony Blair to go out in a blaze of glory, if he spends the last six months of his premiership trying to repair the damage he has helped to cause in Iraq - an estimated 600,000 dead since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, 200,000 attributable to coalition action. The best hope for this ill-conceived military intervention was always that it might disrupt the malign routines of Middle Eastern politics sufficiently for something constructive to happen. With the humbling of the Anglo-American forces in Iraq, the defeat of Bush and Blair's insane ambition to remake the Muslim world in the west's image, and the restoration of some kind of balance of power in the Middle East, the time has come for a bold new initiative.
 

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Essay: My A-level hell
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Tuesday, December 09, 2003

 
My battle with the Russian language has been going on for eight years, and is far from over. I was 56 when it started. My family were Russian, Jewish on my father's side, Christian on my mother's. The Skidelskys were "oligarchs" of the far east before the Revolution: my father was born in Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. One of my mother's ancestors, so family legend has it, had been signed up from Germany as a skilled workman by Peter the Great, and had prospered modestly. Both sides of the family had prudently left Russia in 1918.
 
None of this meant I spoke Russian. I grew up in England and my parents spoke English to me. They did not think there was a future in Russian. I did not offer to learn it and my English boarding school did

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Essay: They’re anti-intellectual Europhobes
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Tuesday, October 16, 2001

 
Conservative peer and former frontbencher explains why he is finally leaving the party
 
I joined the Conservative party just before the general election of 1992, which John Major was widely expected to lose. It seemed a natural thing to do for an SDP peer whose party had just dissolved. The Labour party under Neil Kinnock still subscribed to the "common ownership" of the economy. For a supporter - and friend - of David Owen, joining the Liberal Democrats would have been an act of betrayal.
 
The Conservative party seemed to me then to be the natural - and only - carrier of the idea of a free economy. It stood for lower taxes; it had just started to apply the principle of consumer choice to the NHS and state education. I was particularly

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Essay: Clarke and IDS share a goal but not much else
Robert Skidelsky
Guardian | Tuesday, August 28, 2001

 
The language politicians use tells you less about what they intend to do than about the hopes and fears to which they wish to appeal. How, then, does one set about deconstructing the manifestos of the two contenders for the Tory leadership, Kenneth Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith, bearing in mind the rather specialised nature of their electorates?
 
The first difference - on which nearly everything else hinges - hits you in the face. Clarke puts himself forward as the leader most likely to topple Labour; Duncan Smith as the leader best placed to unite the Conservative party. The Clarke appeal is to the hunger for power; the Duncan Smith appeal is to the hunger for unity. Clarke plays to the fear that the Tory party under IDS (as he has

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