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.