I am very sorry to have been neglecting this blog for the last couple of months, I have some serious deadline issues. I will be returning to this project, hopefully with my deadlines met, in mid-November.
There is of course so much more to say. I will be looking at why Basil Fawlty’s Austin 1100 breaking down is not evidence of the state of the British car industry, and in general how fictional accounts can and cannot be used to substantiate a historical analysis. The issue here is that Dominic is too willing to quote the opinions of others, and it seems to matter little whether it is a fictional hotelier or a right wing Grub Street journalist, that back up his own. This is not historical evidence, it is merely being in company.
Another major issue is the pattern that builds up, for example with the demonisation of Tony Benn and 1970s academic radicalism presented as sheer lunacy. This is history written from the standpoint of the victor, and the victory is Thatcher’s dominance of the 1980s. For all Dominic’s protestations of even handedness, the book is ultimately predicated on the rightness of the Thatcher’s New Right project in correcting all the ills that Dominic outlines so graphically and so one-sidedly.
And, of course, I will be dealing with that all important plagiarism question.