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Vote for... Who? [Hardcover]

Jonathan Maitland
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Jan 2005
As the country gears up for election mania in 2005, this handy book gives everyone the real lowdown on politics. Accessible, funny and an ideal accompaniment to the author's ITV1 show Vote For Me, this book reveals all. Who really runs Britain? Why bother voting? Are all politicians really liars? Where do our hard-earned taxes go? What is the truth about that confusing entity called Europe? And, most importantly, can you be short, bald and ugly and still be PM? (The answer is no...) Packed full of fascinating facts and interviews with the great and the good of the political world, this is a light-hearted book with a serious slant - politics does matter. Who will you vote for?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Metro Books, London (7 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843581434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843581437
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 11.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Jonathan has worked for the BBC and ITV for 20 years, on such shows as Watchdog, BBC Breakfast News, Radio 4's Today, House of Horrors and Tonight With Trevor McDonald. He writes on a variety of subjects - including Scrabble - for the national press. This is his fourth book. He is 43 and married.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Jonathan Maitland is a supreme jack of all trades. From television and radio to newspapers and books - this man should be praised and bottled up for all to consume!
But anyway, yes, the book - it's superb! It is Politics but with a life, with the added little sparkle and, of course, with humour.
As an aspiring political fiend myself it had proved essential in helping me to understand things I used to pretend I understood to appear clever. Now, thanks to Maitland, I truley DO understand it all - only don't test me!
With short chapters and cartoon sketches it also explores some of the myths within politics including beards and whether they should be allolwed with Westminster!
Seriously though it is a great book, academic, informative and funny - it is an enjoyable read. I urge everyone to buy it and then buy it again for a friend!
Well done Mr Maitland!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breezy, no-nonsense fact fest 18 Feb 2005
I really enjoyed this. Not particularly satirical, although there is a point near the beginning when it almost feels like he's going to try and do a Michael Moore when he's swapping e-mails with some council finance officer or other, and not wedded to any political point of view other than a sense of fair play. Maitland will take a swipe at anyone along the way, but it has the good-natured feel of a cuff from Geoffrey Howe. I actually felt like I learned quite a lot as I whizzed through, particularly, funnily enough, in the section about other countries' political systems, such as Morocco. A book you can come back to, just to quickly bone up on an aspect of the political scene. Well worth a look.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but effective 23 Mar 2005
The person whose review complained that this book doesn't go into enough detail has missed the point. This isn't supposed to be an in-depth textbook analysis of British politics. It's designed to be an easily readable account of what politics is about and, crucially, how (in spite of a lot of public cynicism about politics and politicians) politics is important because it affects all our lives.
I found it interesting, informative and entertaining. In September I shall be teaching AS Level Government and Politics to 16 and 17 year olds for the first time. I will be recommending they all read this book during the summer in preparation for the course. As an easy introduction to the structure of government and the nature of modern politics I find it hard to fault the book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but flawed 22 May 2005
Overall, this book is a novel and excellent introduction to some of the more inaccessible parts of British politics. What is a QUANGO? Who really controls the country? Does voting make any difference? What is the Common Agricultural Policy? Boring you already? Well, this book is the best I've seen on topics such as these because it is informal and general it is in scope. It coverst MOST (though not all) of all those things we don't quite understand that you hear about on radio or in the news and wonder what the heck they're about. The author uses not a little humour to lubricate the reading. This is all good and makes us more informed and entertained.
So why only 3 stars? Well, there are some big flaws in this book, as I see it. Most of these come towards the end of the book (in the last third really). We then start to see that the author perhaps has certain sympathies that don't quite make impartiality on his part possible. For example, in a chapter dedicated to a brief overview of various political ideologies, he says that it's been suggested that Communism has been responsible for 50 million deaths around the world. That may be true (depending how you define "Communism"), but the same criticism can be levelled at Capitalism. The author doesn't mention this. The governments of Capitalist countries are just as guiity of supporting despotic regimes around the world as Communist ones were. This is overlooked. Similarly, the author says that Afghanistan is now a democracy, thanks to US intervention, and then later says that the US installed leader Hamid Karzai has little influence outside of the capital Kabul. Well? Which is it? I'd like to hear some Afghan citizens comment on the level of democracy. Another impartial description was of Osama Bin Laden.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and fun 7 Feb 2005
Very enjoyable portrait of the British political system. I found this to be a lot of fun whilst at the same time, I found myself mouthing the words "Yes, why is that?" to some of the everyday questions about politics that perhaps I was previously too afraid or embarressed to ask at the risk of appearing stupid!
Want to find out about politics, but don't know where to start? Don't look any it!
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15 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars could have been a lot better 23 Feb 2005
I was quite amused by the first chapter of this book, but after that it went down hill. It's a pity because the author writes quite well. The problem lies with his lack of familiarity with politics: various mistakes and lack of analytical depth. Just too superficial. A great shame!
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