Friday, 15 October 2010

breaking the code, the black spot, decline and fall

Tom Harris informs us that he missed an event at the Commons with Chris Mullin to go to a Cliff Richard concert.  Well, you would, wouldn't you?  He notes that another guest at the concert was former MP Gyles Brandreth, who he says, and I have heard this from others, is good company, engaging and intelligent.  He mentions that Gyles wrote a book some years ago about his time in the government whips' office in the Major government. He did indeed, and I can highly recommend it.  An excellent read.  He got a literal black spot for writing it, sent to him in an envelope.  Doesn't that make you want to read it if you haven't already?

The Chris Mullin event was to promote the second volume of his diaries.  I read the first one, and the second has been ordered - I hope it will be the last of the political diaries and memoirs I feel I must read from the Labour government of 1997-2005, it can get to be a chore.  Chris Mullin can write.  That is his saving grace.  Frankly he is not a very nice man.  And the first volume, while it was brillliantly written, was mostly about how he wanted to be a minister and poor poor me when he wasn't, or stopped being.  But it was worth reading, though I will not re-read it.  The second volume may well have arrived at my mother's house in Cornwall by now - I will be there briefly in December and it can wait till then.  Chris Mullin has gone on endlessly about how he is not a Blairite, oh no, not he, voted against the Iraq war, tuition fees probably, blah blah, but would quite like to be a minister in a Labour government and, er, it was only Tony Blair (since Harold Wilson) who could actually get us one.  So, er, bad faith Chris.


Anonymous said...

He is incredibly up himself and snooty. I remember having a meeting with him on a pre-booked constituency issue and he was so up himself I felt like the under-maid or 'between' maid as they used to call them The 'tweenie'.
I am not going to read either this volume or his first.
I read 'A Very British Coup' in the early eighties. It was ok. The tv adaptation was also ok. But not rivetting.
From what I have read of The Daily Mail extracts, the new book is all so, so predictable. Cherie Blair demanding a re- decoration of the nuclear bunker. Oh yeah? Cherie is an easy target. Everyone who wants to fill a page finds it acceptable ( and accepted) to have a pop at her. Well, you expect it of some journalists etc. But Labour MPs should be above that sort of thing. Good luck to Cherie. Incidentally, her memoir is a jolly good read - especially the scetion where she describes being appallingly bullied by Alastair - even Tony over Carole Caplin. No wonder she took refuge in that nice hairdresser. And it must have been so galling to read about everyone frothing about the wonders of Sarah Brown - just because she wasn't Cherie. Sick making.

jane said...

I agree, and thoroughly enjoyed Cherie's book.

Anonymous said...

Has he named the Birmingham bombers, as he said he knows who they were?