Thursday, 15 May 2008

Political memoirs pack punches

Political Correspondent Sally Biddulph blogs from Parliament

Another day, another memoir….there has been quite a run on them of late in Westminster. We’ve got the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott’s: “Prezza: Pulling no Punches”, Cherie Blair’s “Speaking for Myself” and Labour’s former chief Fundraiser and Tony Blair’s tennis buddy, Lord Levy’s “A Question of Honour” – all released within a week of one another and all making uncomfortable reading for a wounded Prime Minister.

All of them talk about the stormy relationship between Gordon Brown, then Chancellor, and the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. We’ve heard about the keys to Number 10 being rattled above Tony Blair’s head from Cherie, "Prezza" saying he told Tony Blair to sack Gordon Brown and Lord Levy saying he felt let down by both Number 10 and Number 11 during the “Cash for Honours” investigation. The PM has said he won’t be swayed by such memoirs and is getting down to the “serious business of politics” and running the country. He may have decided to turn his attentions to fixing the 10p tax fiasco, but journalists’ bags up here are weighed down with the three tomes, as we all search for that next nugget of intrigue. With serialisations in major newspapers, there’ll be more revelations to come.

I actually bumped into Lord Levy yesterday in Millbank, our Westminster Studios, and said to him I had bought his book. He shook my hand firmly, looked me straight in the eyes, pulled me close and kissed me on both cheeks and said “how marvellous my dear!”. I have never met this man before and was quite taken aback by his sheer exuberance. He went on to say “do tell me what you think, even if you think it’s total rubbish (he actually used a far more emphatic word, which we can’t print here) drop me a line at the Lords”

And as a final thought, at a press lunch on Tuesday, the Tory leader and Witney MP, David Cameron, was asked, “whose memoir would you fear most and why?”. Without hesitation he said, “My wife, Samantha’s!” An instinctive answer perhaps and one that left me wondering if it was a veiled warning to Tony Blair about Cherie’s!


Anonymous said...

I was on a radio show yesterday lunchtime as a guest and Lord Levy followed me on the programme- he seems like quite a character.

we were both plugging our books but I bet his sells more than mine!

Anonymous said...

you're Jeffrey Archer aren't you? ADMIT IT!!!!!