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Inside Out Loose Leaf – 25 Jan 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Loose Leaf: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (25 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849540411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849540414
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,608,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This book is devastating. My jaw dropped. It s the most explosive political book for years. Peter Watt knows where the bodies are buried and isn't afraid to tell us --FRASER NELSON, Editor, The Spectator

In its exhortingly page-turning style, you cannot fail to breathe the roller-coaster atmosphere that a "good versus evil" politics of the tribe inevitably engineers...To sum up, Inside Out has its layers of anger, its layers of pain, its layers of betrayal its layers of traditional tribalism. But it also has a melancholy acceptance that some things can only be survived, not vanquished. --21st Century Fix --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter Watt was formerly the General Secretary of the Labour Party. He is CEO of the Campaign Company. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I sat down to read Peter Watt's memoirs, Inside Out, I was curious to find the answer to two questions.

First, I'd met him regularly at Electoral Commission meetings before he became Labour's General Secretary and he always struck me as a bright, enthusiastic - and young - person. When he was appointed General Secretary I was intrigued as to how someone who seemed so much younger and less experienced in the ways of the Labour Party than previous General Secretaries had made it to the top. For him, it was just nine years from starting work for Labour in a junior role through to becoming General Secretary on a salary of £100,000 at the age of 36; how did he rise so high so quickly?

Second, when the news broke about the David Abrahams donations being passed on through third parties, I was puzzled by his apparent defence that he didn't know this would be a problem. He had been sat in the same Electoral Commission meetings as me. He had received the same emails as myself. He'd had the same document from the Electoral Commission as me saying, " Transferring a donation to an agent rather than directly to a party must not be used as an attempt to evade the controls on permissibility and transparency." So how could he really claim not to know there was a problem with the David Abrahams way of giving money?

So although much of the book has already been heavily publicised, there was still much for me to get stuck in to. But even so, there are so many good tales in the book that even if you have already read the serialisation and aren't interested in my pair of questions, it is still an enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book with high expectations. Not only had it been serialised in a national newspaper, it had also led to a number of questions being raised in the House about Gordon Brown's secret fundraising account and to reports of how even Brown's own innner circle didn't like him very much.

I won't say that I didn't enjoy the book, but I will say that it was quite heavily padded. Not only that, but the scores of revelations, skeletons in closets and "buried bodies" I was expecting to read about were very thin on the ground.

The book is highly focused upon Peter Watt's personal life, and I admit that it was quite eye-opening to see what it is like to work for a political party. The stresses and pressures are conveyed very well, and the betrayal described in the final pages of the book is all the more gutting considering how much Watt had contributed to the party by this point. If he is to be believed, and I see no reason not to, he prevented the party from going bankrupt twice. His reward? A forced resignation and the discovery that Gordon Brown wanted to see Watt prosecuted in order to take the heat off himself.

What I found disappointing about the book was the way in which Watt's personal life was given too much time and his political revelations too little. For example, there is an entire chapter devoted to caring for his terminally ill father, including the full speech he gave at his father's funeral. Touching though this may be, I was hoping for much more insider information, "dirt" if you will. Given that Watt had decided to break his silence, I was expecting him to pull no punches.
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Format: Hardcover
In the introduction the ghost writer cheerfully admits that the book was rushed together so it could be out before the 2010 election.

The only real evidence of this a few proof-reading errors and a time-line that seems to go backwards and forwards. Sometimes events are mentioned in one chapter as if they've never been talked about before, but they were covered in the previous chapter.

Having said that, this is a really enjoyable book to read. The author is commendably honest about why he did things, even if it makes him look vain or stupid. Enough information about the various players is revealed to make it worth it. It's not an endless list of inside information, but I felt that enough things were covered to make it interesting.

For example, both Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and a lot of MP's were very unhappy when Harriet Harman won the deputy leadership election. He describes their reactions in some detail.

The author took on the worst job possible - trying to sort the massive party debts out. The party, ministers, the national executive and colleagues weren't really interested in it, and the donors were increasingly upset as various cash-for-honours scandals occured.

The chapter about his father was alright. Another reviewer said it was all a bit too personal, but it contains information about his job and how it affected him and I thought he got away with it.

The warring between Brown and Blair is covered. The election that never was in 2007 involved a massive amount of planning and hard work and then it was binned at the last minute.

He describes some of the socially inept incidents with Gordon Brown too, including a dinner party that went horribly wrong.

Overall a good book.
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