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Decline & Fall: Diaries 2005-2010 (Mullin Diaires 2) Paperback – 7 Jul 2011

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Decline & Fall: Diaries 2005-2010 (Mullin Diaires 2) + A Walk-On Part: Diaries 1994-1999 (Mullin Diaires 3) + A View From The Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin
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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846684005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846684005
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Mullin has been the Labour MP for Sunderland South since 1987. He chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee and served in three departments. He is the author of the bestselling novel A Very British Coup, re-published by Serpent's Tail, which was turned into an award-winning television series.

Product Description

Review

Every once in a while, political diaries emerge that are so irreverent and insightful that they are destined to be handed out as leaving presents in offices across Whitehall for years to come. A View from the Foothills is one such book (David Cameron)

At a time when we are awash with memoirs of political grandees, the worms-eye view is even more valuable (New Statesman)

Book Description

Britains best-loved MP and bestselling diarist returns with his hilarious account of a New Labour backbencher

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Devon Lady on 24 Sept. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although Andrew Rawnsley's "End of the Party" is more erudite and more thorough, this description of the worst of the Brown years is the best I have come across. It is gossipy, full of insight and really interesting in what it reveals not just about Brown but about all those around him. New Labour is in total meltdown, they lurch from crisis to crises and Chris Mullin is always there on the sidelines knowing exactly what is happening but powerless to do anything about it.

The way that MPs are moved from job to job, never having time to get on top of their brief, never really knowing what they are expected to do and rarely meeting with those nominally in charge speaks volumes. It is a mix of the mundane and the important, showing that often politicians are unable to distinguish between the two.

He much be VERY pleased that he chose to bail out at the last election.
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131 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Mullin's minor acts of rebellion thankfully continue into his retirement. Clearly he has chosen to tackle head on the slightly more well known book by one Anthony Blair by deciding to publish the second volume of his diaries on the same date as "A Journey - or Gordon why I didn't sack him". Neither for Mullin has this book been subject to vice like embargo or threat of a pre publication legal jihad. Indeed it was covered in lengthy extracts by in Radio 4's Book of the Week programme where it was beautifully read by Sam Dale.

Mullin is that rarity, an independent minded MP whose career was not as important as his politics. This simple fact is missed on so many slavish "party creatures" who fail to understand that being an MP and having some views of your own actually endears you to the voting public. Mullin of course was somebody who while aspiring "Blairites" formed a disorderly queue for Ministerial jobs actually turned down the first job he was offered and when eventually he did accept a second offer, walked away when he felt he could make better use of his time. "Decline and Fall" is the second part of Mullin's diary (following the wonderful "View from the foothills") and chronicles those years between 2005 -2010 when Tony "The Man" Blair and other "inhabitants of the stratosphere" played out complex political feuds which would have shocked the Roman Senate (where at least the knives were unsheathed). Mullin's judgements throughout this diary are fascinating and often uncannily right. The departure of Tony Blair particularly his triumphant last performance in the Commons is vividly captured and Mullin's judgement drawn from a Lib Dem peer was that Blair's response to admittedly dire opposition questions was the "bowlers were outshone by the batsman" .
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark Time on 3 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book follows on from his previous book and outlines in a humorous and often cutting way, the decline of New Labour. I could not put this book down.It is very highly recommended and is probably a better and truer view of the Labour dream that Blair's 'The Journey' will ever be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Picky reader on 27 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chris Mullin is not like most MPs, though there may be others we underestimate while knowing less of them.

I have read all three volumes of the diaries now and they follow a very similar pattern. Chris epitomises the local councillor version of an MP, by which I do not mean to demean him, but to emphasise how devoted he is to the needs of his constituents, and then on across the nation, rather than to himself, his reputation, his advancement, etc. That said, he has a good eye for the bigger political issues and gets pretty frustrated about the foolishness going on around him in the House. Nor was he a soft touch for some of the idiocy going on around him from New Labour, criticising heavily the waste of money in government, and the growing fecklessness among some of his constituents. In this, he was very Old Labour, but before it got bogged down in the extremities of the 80s. In this, therefore, he could have given better guidance to those in power under New Labour than they seemed to get from elsewhere. Sadly, they seem to have treated him as a bit of a curiosity rather than a useful bellwether for future policy.

Churchill said Attlee was a modest little man with a lot to be modest about, so it is claimed, and one might be tempted to say the same about Chris Mullin, but Attlee is generally listed now as one of the great prime ministers - whether or not you agree with his political direction - and the same could hold for Mullin as MP. Time after time, he may have disagreed with the Tories, but he did listen to them, and he was far from slavish in following his own side, often being very critical in his diaries.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Derbyshire Jeff on 23 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved it - the decline and fall of New Labour written from the inside with self deprecating humour. I took it on holiday and as someone who cannot stand Gordon Brown it had me chuckling by the pool, much to everyone else's amusement. Liked it so much I have now bought the earlier volume as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Caterkiller on 23 May 2012
Format: Paperback
Mullin raises one good point at the start: literally minutes after Tony Blair was re-elected in 2005 he faced calls for him to resign!! And so the sniping, back-stabbing and infighting begins in earnest for the next two years. And for what? To have Labour's most sucessful leader replaced by a charisma-free personality vacuum. Mullin paints an interesting picture of the parliamentary Labour party tearing itself apart over the succession for no apparent reason, indeed, about 75% of his diary entries concern the various plots which makes the book rather heavy going unless you are interested in now forgotten political pygmies such as Charles Clark, Hazel Blears and Geoff Hoon. Mullin's faith in making Britain more like Cuba shines through as he actually celebrates the fact that public sector employment has gone up by 600,000 (and all with final salary pensions too) under Blair's rule. Finally he blames the economic collapse on the "Tories friends in the City"; sorry Chris but I think you will find it's your party that was meant to be regulating them for the past decade. His political antennae is as sharp as ever, though, predicting the demise of Robert Mugabe and George Galloway in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Where are they now?
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