Customer Review

27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confirms popular opinion of politicians, 7 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Blair Years: Extracts from The Alastair Campbell Diaries (Hardcover)
'The Blair Years' will serve as bed-time reading only for political obsessives. Despite the fact that Campbell's style is terse and succinct, as befits a diarist, the daily minutiae of political life during Blair's incumbency are heavy going. Even the frequent crises seem only to add to the sense of participating in a gruelling ordeal, rather than conveying the excitement of helping to shape world history.

It is, perhaps, inevitable that the Prime Minister's Press Secretary will be largely preoccupied with public and media responses to policy and to political actions. This bias is certainly evident in Campbell's account of events and, unfortunately, colours the narrative as a whole.

Campbell's repeated claim that the media are irresponsible and unfair in representing politicians as insincere, image-obsessed, power-driven, spin-dependent prima donnas is contradicted, paradoxically, by the dominant themes of his own written record.

Although Campbell coyly states in his introduction that "This book...is about Blair not Brown", the timing of its publication is interesting. Even allowing time for collating all the documentation, Alastair Campbell must have been sitting on much of this material since 2004, at the latest. Gordon Brown does not emerge from the narrative covered in glory. Campbell makes it very clear that he believes the right man got the job - in 1994 as leader of the Labour Party and again in 1997 as Prime Minister.

Given the strategic timing of publication, it is difficult to avoid the inference that Alastair Campbell, for one, considers the Brownite putsch to have been the beginning of Labour's political suicide.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jan 2010 19:20:12 GMT
Road Rocket says:
The book is written by a devious egotist why anybody would believe a word of it defeats me.
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