Top positive review
Outstanding. Insider insight.
5 January 2018
Journalism is described as “the first draft of history” and as the “must read” political editor of The Sunday Times Tim Shipman has been writing, in his newspaper columns, a lot of the “as it happens” material during the tumultuous period ( 2017) covered in this excellent, well researched and insightful book. But the book takes us to the next stage of analysis and insight. Not quite history but a lot more than a first draft. If only our politicians were as talented as our political journalists.
Tim Shipman’s last book All Out War was superb. This one, Fall Out, is even better. Shipman is a real insider with impeccable access but unlike some parliamentary lobby experts he has clearly not gone “native” to Westminster. He knows a failure when he sees one and does not pull his punches. The occupants of Number 10 Downing Street (Prime Minister Theresa May and her key advisers Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy) made the most awful hash of the UK’s General Election in 2017. This book tells, in forensic and fascinating detail, just how bad it really was. And unlike his weekly journalism which provides a blow-by-blow account the book puts the whole sorry mess into context. It’s a lot more than just a collection of articles. It provides an overall narrative.
Watching the 2017 election campaign, as a UK voter, the feeling was “can they really be this useless?” Reading this highly entertaining book with Shipman’s behind the scenes access and insights the answer is – actually they were worse than useless.
If there is a criticism - it is the book might have been shorter. A lot of the post-election Brexit material feels superfluous. But overall it’s a triumph. And I cannot wait for his next one. Five stars is not enough