I’m a big fan of this series of diaries so was eagerly anticipating this volume, covering the years 2007 – 2010. I ‘m pleased to report that after a slight dip in the previous one, this collection is right up there with the best of the earlier selections.
The period it covers is relatively recent in terms of politics, but it’s interesting to note there’s no reference at all in its seven hundred plus pages to Donald Trump or more tellingly Jeremy Corbyn, while Theresa May is mentioned just once – as a panellist on Question Time! The political aspect of the book initially deals with the fall out from the almost Shakespearean rivalry between Blair and Brown, and the seeds of the next similar conflict featuring the Milliband brothers. Of course, the denouement is the failure of Gordon Brown to win the 2010 election, with the coalition government taking power, and Campbell’s subsequent departure from the political front line.
Of equal importance and interest however is Campbell’s personal life, his forays into non-political areas such as journalism, motivational speaking and even novel writing. These are all carried out under the storm clouds of his ongoing long tem battle with depression and its knock on effects on his family and friends.
Overall, I found this a much more interesting read than the last volume, which for me got rather bogged down and sidetracked at times into the author’s non-political work. I really read these for the insights into the political scene at the time and a behind the scenes look at the characters and crises of the day, and this one really delivers. It won’t win over anyone who dislikes Campbell or his politics,but it does show what a shrewd operator he continued to be, even after Blair’s departure.
Length of Read:Epic
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Political diaries in general, but in particular the previous volumes in this excellent continuing series.
One thing you’ve learned
Give the job up before the job gives you up – and never go back!