I read this volume after first reading his later "Decline and Fall" 2005-10 diaries. Mullin is a leftie, and I am not, but he comes across as a decent human being, conscientiously looking after his constituents in underprivileged Sunderland and trying to help unpopular people like destitute African illegal immigrants. He joins Tony Blair's government in a lowly position and is almost laughably ineffective, other than making some changes in the car-pooling rules. He admires Blair for his plausible Houdini-like ability to get out of jams - although he consistently opposes the war in Iraq. Eventually he has a post in African affairs which suits him, but junior ministers do not stay in one place long or even retain office and he lost his. The diaries are wrily amusing and well written and I would rank them with Chips Channon's or Alan Clark's.