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Breaking The Code: The Brandreth Diaries: Westminster Diaries, 1992-97 Paperback – 6 Jan 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 564 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (6 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753809192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753809198
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

It has, for no especially good reason, been the convention that Government Whips not publish their memoirs, let alone their diaries. Gyles Brandreth's account of his five years in Parliament, and of his time as a Whip in the dying days of the Major Government, trashes that convention to give a memorable and entertaining account of days of drift and uncertainty. Brandreth has a good ear, and a sense of his own absurdity; he was placed to see disorganisation and disloyalty from close at hand, and is touching in his admiration for Major himself, whom he sees as a nice and able man with an impossible task. There are entertaining stories--some of them new; there is vitriol poured impartially on the press, Labour politicians and Tory disloyalists; and there are moments of charm in his tributes to his wife and dead friends like Simon Cadell and Stephen Milligan. The book also provides answers to the difficult questions of what private secretaries and Whips actually do--in Brandreth's case, the answer seems to be endless damage control in a doomed situation. There is an odd telling moment when he finds Peter Mandelson asleep in the Commons library with a Filofax on the table beside him--and virtuously abstains from peeking. --Roz Kaveney

About the Author

Gyles Brandreth is a former Oxford Scholar and President of the Oxford Union and worked in theatre, television and publishing before becoming MP for the City of Chester in 1992. He held a number of junior ministerial appointments before becoming a Government Whip. In the run-up to the 1997 General Election he was Lord Commissionar of the Treasury with special responsibility for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Kenneth Clarke), the Cabinet Office, and the Deputy Minister (Michael Heseltine). He is married with two children.


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on 8 May 2002
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on 7 September 2000
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VINE VOICEon 19 June 2008
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on 20 January 2000
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
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on 3 April 2008
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