12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Things Can Only Get Better,
This review is from: Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, 1979-1997 (Paperback)
I picked up "Things can only get better" in a shop the other day and after really the first chapter in the shop just had to buy it. So readable was it in the end that I finished it that very same day and can happily report that it was a most entertaining and enjoyable book.
John O'Farrell is a TV comedy writer whose credits include Spitting Image, Have I got News for you, Smith and Jones, Clive Anderson and the list goes on. He has also been a paid up member of the Labour party pretty soon since he left university. Born to a fairly affluent family living in Berkshire, theirs was a slightly unusual family in that both John's mother and father were true socialists just when other families in their areas were looking forward to Mrs Thatcher winning the 1979 General Election. The sub title of the book is "Eighteen miserable years in the life of a Labour Supporter" and that's really what the book is all about.
As I say the book begins with the General Election of 1979 and goes right through the Tony Blair's landslide victory in 1997 and pulls out all the major events in-between, the Greenham, Common protest, the Falklands campaign, the miners' strike, the failures of Neil Kinnock, the eventual sacking of Maggie and John Major's attempts to lead the country.
Although the writing makes no mistake that John is a fervent socialist and Labour party support his style is fairly light and undemanding and although the bias is strongly in favour of Labour he doesn't get bogged down in too much Tory bashing and isn't above taking a great line in humourous self-depreciation and fully details the reasons why Labour's ineffectiveness were as much to blame for the 18 years of Tory rule as were the Tory capitalisation of events like the Falklands and Michael Foot.
Obviously if you are a true blue conservative then you're probably going to throw the book down in exasperation, decrying it for being full of lies and spin, but if you lean slightly to the left or even if you've just got a general interest in politics then I think you'll find it a great entertaining read and more than a little bit funny.