The Week in Review: Home News

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The Independent Online
SOME NEWS stories refuse to die. Last week, 1992 could easily have read 1982 in some areas of public interest. Thatcherism in particular is still high on the media agenda.

For instance, give a religious affairs correspondent a speech from Lambeth Palace in the early Eighties, and a Church versus state row would be discerned. Just as Baroness Thatcher is now gunning for the man she helped to get her job, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, was last week attacking the woman who eased his way from Bath to Canterbury. The 'unbridled individualism' of the 1980s, he said, had left Britain with a 'moral void', a charge not unconnected with the 'powerful ideological attack during the 1980s on the value of public goods'.

The lady herself used to fire back at archbishops, but her sights are set elsewhere these days. She chose the European from which to launch her latest broadside against the Maastricht treaty and the competence of her successor's government. 'The Government must recognise that Maastricht, like the ERM, is part of the vision of yesterday.'

But yesterday refuses to go away. Michael Heseltine is back at the centre of political life, but those heady days of Westland and the Cabinet walkout are never far away when he talks about Lady Thatcher. Nor is the rancour of Sir Edward Heath, who told Channel 4 News that his successor's views on Europe bore no relation to reality. 'She hates Europe. She hates all Europeans.'

Sir Edward does not wish her well, but nobody has pleasure in recalling the IRA bomb attack on the Grand Hotel, Brighton. The memory of this and other atrocities made an EastEnders storyline by David Yallop inappropriate, the High Court was told. Charged with writing out some of the cast, Mr Yallop did so with an IRA explosion at a community centre in Albert Square.

The date of the Brighton bomb is the kind of question put by the board game Trivial Pursuit, whose compiler admitted that he sometimes gets the answers wrong. One answer had Kevin Keegan playing football for Cuba. Another question might relate to another 1980s story: how many times have Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger split up? They were at it again this week, as the couple returned to London after a romantic reunion in North Africa.

So, no need for the ubiquitous Max Clifford, who was last week working on the image of the latest woman to have had an affair with a public figure. Actress Simone Hyams is no longer having an affair with film director Michael Winner, but her career could take off like the other Clifford protege, Antonia de Sancha.

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