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Standing for Something: Life in the Awkward Squad [Hardcover]

Mark Seddon and Martin Rowson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 13.33 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Sep 2011
Mark Seddon joined the Labour Party aged 15. He was editor of TRIBUNE for thirteen years, and an elected member of the LP ruling National Executive for eight years, becoming the focal point for grass roots resistance to Tony Blair, and the war in Iraq. Far from another memoir by a Labour insider, detailing adnauseam, the tiffs and tantrums of Messrs Blair, Brown and Mandelson, STANDING FOR SOMETHING is a deeply personal account of how the author s youthful attachment to principle survived well into adulthood and how an abiding naiveté about the real nature of power and the corruption of power blinded him to the baser motives of many of those who had grabbed it. Often humorous and passionate, this is an account of a political journey and the fight for principles against the new generation of professional politicians and cheerleading hacks, many of whom delight in the parochialism and trivia that has helped stifle democratic discourse in this country and who attempt to crush those who don t tow the party line. STANDING FOR SOMETHING is not your standard piece of hackery, re-hashing intrigues and irrelevances of the Blair/Brown years. Rather it is a considered, poignant and deeply personal account of Britain under New Labour from the point of view of a glorious outsider.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (26 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184954123X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849541237
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 853,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mark Seddon edited Tribune for thirteen years. He has written for The Guardian, The Times, Independent, Daily Mail, Spectator, New Statesman, Private Eye, and many others. Martin Rowson is a cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Guardian and Independent.

Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive honesty 5 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mark Seddon is refreshingly honest and obviously charming from the numerous interactions described in the book. As a journalist, you expect it to be well written, and it is (though better editing would have removed some of the niggling typos). The trips to foreign climes would ring true for many experienced hacks. What is different are the behind-the-scenes insights into the antics of the Blair-Brown years. Even the most ardent Tory could not but be seduced by the honesty of an old-time leftie like Seddon. This member of the awkward squad was always true to himself, and his beliefs. That's why New Labour kept him away from real power, or even a semblance of it as an MP. No big expense accounts here.And the editorship of Tribune must have paid peanuts. It's good to know that some idealistic and sane politicians can still survive. And keep a sense of humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 16 Nov 2011
By Paul C.
Format:Hardcover
Whilst biographical, in many ways this book is not typical of the genre. There's no strict adhesion to a time line and the book is structured into topics that might jump around chronologically, although the latter chapters draw conclusion and thoughts. It's evenly spread between politics and his time as a foreign correspondent. As you'd expect from a journalist the book was compelling and easy to read. I think some chapters (or anecdotes) were only 2 or 3 pages and this made it easy to read (or hard to put down). There are many "laugh out loud" moments and overall a great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A well written memoir from Mark Seddon covering his time as Editor of Tribune, setting up the office of Al-Jeezera in New York, and his time on the NEC with his battles with the Labour leadership.
What was equally interesting were his visits to Libya and North Korea.
Highly reccomended read of a committed and principled party activist of the old left.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Standing for Something 4 Jan 2012
By Maryp
Format:Hardcover
This book provided a facinating glimpse at the power-struggle that goes on behind the scenes at Whitehall and elsewhere within governments across the world.The short chapters made it easy to put the book down and pick it up again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 18 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is another political bio but one that is very different from others. Mark's particular style and fluid passages hold you from the moment you begin. This account of his view in a period of his political time and life so far is both interesting and refreshingly honest. Those that have lived through the events of this period of history will find Marks particular take on events informative and riveting - a must read
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