Customer Review

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things can only get better, 31 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, 1979-1997 (Paperback)
Like John O'Farrell, I missed voting in the 1979 election by the accident of being born too late. Unlike him, I got round to joining the Labour Party a few moths after Mrs T took the piss out of St Francis on the steps of Number 10, but that's a mere detail. My late teens / early 20s "growing pains" were similar to his. I too suspected that flowers were "right" wing - still do in fact. I was a member of Battersea CLP (but in the next ward along from Queenstown) at what must have been roughly the same time as him - and yes, reading the Alf Dubbs saga brought tears to my eyes (again). So this book was a very personal read for me. Not because I knew John O'Farrell nor most of the people he mentions - though some of the names were familiar and I did live across the square from Martin Linton (who was admired from afar at ward meetings - what else for a person who wrote for the Gruniad?). Creating personal affinity through "shared" experiences must be the knack of writing a book like this. Easier for Nick Hornby as affinity with football is widespread and it seems OK for men to get soppy about Fulham, Rangers or whatever. Much less so with pinkco politics whose adherents are spread thinner. Just for the record, I left Battersea before John O'Farrell after serving my time as assistant membership secretary (my highest office in the Labour Party!). A few years later, I left London too. The rest is history, but I do miss Clause Four on the back of my membership card.
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