I came to these diaries eagerly having just re-read all three superb volumes of the Alan Clark diaries and in the mood for more political insight. Clark was always going to be a hard act to follow and Price failed miserably. Diarists by their very nature are self obsessed, which in Clarks case was a positive as he was a naturally fascinating character. In Prices case it is a major drawback as he is on the evidence of this offering dull and one dimensional.
These diaries are dominated by the diarists homosexuality, a fact we are made aware of immediately and reminded of on nearly every page and which rather quickly begins to grate. We are treated to reams on the outing of Peter Mandelson and section 28, a regular listing of the Twigs and Bradshaws and other gay New Labourites and very little of any political substance. We are told of "wet kisses" from Chris Smith and the endless holidays that Price shares with his partner but of the Ecclestone affair or the Hinduja scandal barely a murmer.
Another aspect that seriously compromises the "readability" of the diairies is the necessity to explain to us who everyone is after each mention. Most people reading these diaries will be in some way "political" and probably won't need to be told who Andrew Marr is or that Byers first name is Stephen or that Al Gore was Vice President of the United States!