Tuesday, 23 August 2011
There is nothing so sweet as hindsight. Hindsight that does prove a stomach full of hints and suspicions, Hindsight that renders one incredulous about the habits and doings of the great and the supposedly good.
This book was originally published in the early spring of 2010, it caused an outrage and many of those who feature within it's pages were quick to comment, to protect reputations and mostly, if I recall, to deny. The author was both praised and vilified within the same newspapers, the politicians were left to face their fate at the polls a few weeks after the original publication.
At the time, I had decided not to rush out and grab a copy of this book. I had read his previous account of the years 1997-2001 and was not terribly excited about the prospect of a sequel. I suspected that much of the juice had been squeezed out during a three week media frenzy following publication. I also hate hardback books, I need to bend and fold my read, to shove it in my pocket and take it to the chip shop.
Summer 2011 comes around, the silly season is non existent, the world is upon my shoulders and my smouldering curiosity about Gordon Brown is ignited by an extended spell as a housefrau.
This book , whether it be completely truth based or whether there be some room for interpretation, was un-put-downable! Yes, much of the big gossip was already known, but to read some of the contextual stuff was great, to follow the fight through to the very bitter end (the original version ended in winter 2010, this edition followed the story through the General Election in May and the negotiations which followed and spawned the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition.
There can be no doubt that politics at the highest level can create immense strain upon those wielding the power, Rawnsley paints poor old Blair as beaten and bruised from the inside whilst maintaining a perma tanned and internationally glamourous exterior. Following the 2007 transition he paints poor old Brown as beaten and bruised by all and sundry, all the time.
I would very much enjoy a third account, the view of the current, fascinating government.