An Unexpected MP

15 Mar 2014 at 12:12

On Monday 17th March my book, An Unexpected MP, will be published by Biteback. It had a brilliant serialisation in The Daily Mail for four days and is mercifully scooping up shed loads of publicity. And for reasons which I cannot fathom it is the number one best seller in Central and South America.

But a word of warning. It is not a political autobiography. Most of these tend to the desperately dull, self serving, rewritings of history where the author is portrayed as the previously unsung hero. What I have tried to do is record what it was really like in the Commons and in the press in one of the most fascinating periods of post war history and make it accessible and entertaining to those who are not political anoraks. It is a romp though the drunkenness, violence and mild debauchery when Westminster really was the Wild West where political gunslingers would shoot it out in the chamber and in the bars, whilst in the shadows the Whips would be measuring up victims for their wooden overcoats.

As much as I liked Tony Benn he got it horribly wrong when he said that politics is about policies rather than personalities. When you throw 650 men and women whom would not normally seek each other’s company into a bear pit fuelled by testosterone, ambition, mutiny, bitterness all floating on a sea of alcohol, hope and disappointment, the outcomes can make a Greek tragedy seem like a teddy bear’s picnic. It is a snapshot of all that is noble, frail and hilariously deranged.

I once asked Lord Bruce of Donnington, who is his youth was Nye Bevan’s PPS, what with is vast experience of the body politic he thought of our breed. He paused, pulled on his pint and smiled and offered these Delphic words.
“Most politicians have feet of clay, many are wankers”.
Those words are as true today as they were then.

So if you are kind enough to read An Unexpected MP be prepared to be shocked a lot and laugh even more. Well, that at least what I hope.