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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 15 November 2009
This is the well-written autobiography of Mark Oaten, the Member of Parliament for Winchester, who is stepping down at the 2010 election.

The book is, in many ways, a standard tale of the struggle to get elected, the triumphs and disasters of political battling and the relentless day to day grind of British political life. However, hanging over the whole narrative is Mark Oaten's spectacular fall from grace when he tried to run for leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Those looking for a sordid tell-all tale will be disappointed, as there are no graphic details here. The tabloids and the blogs set those out, although Oaten claims that much of the coverage was just lurid suggestions, repeated endlessly as if it were fact. To do him justice, he does not gloss over the incident, and the pain of the days and weeks following the revelations is clearly and uncompromisingly laid out.

This is a thoughtful piece, in which he reflects on both his personal experience and his view of MPs generally. Lets hope that an audience drawn to the book be curiosity about one of the most colourful incidents of this parliament, then do read the observations on what is wrong with politics and how it might be done better.

If you are interested in British politics and its (very) human participants, this is an excellent read.
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