BREAKING THE CODE: Westminster Diaries


BREAKING THE CODE: Westminster Diaries

Gyles Brandreth    Book Number: 85710    Product format: Paperback

"Decent, amusing, talented and charming", Gyles Brandreth paints an extraordinary portrait of Whitehall and Westminster, warts and all, with candid descriptions of the key figures of the early 90s, from leading players to the ministers who fell from grace, and a bright young hopeful by the name of David Cameron. A surprise win for the Conservatives as the voters decisively reject a Labour leader deemed 'not Prime Minister material'? A Tory Party ripped apart by European civil war? A country rebounding from one of the worst recessions in living memory? Yes, yes and yes. One of the winners in an election victory nobody had predicted, back in 1992, Gyles Brandreth is no stranger to a poll-confounding, knife-edge Tory majority. Controversially, his gloriously indiscreet diaries revealed for the first time the secret world of the Government Whips' Office and its struggles to control a party riven by in-fighting over Europe. Plus ça change! To give an example, Thursday 12th September 1991, Gyles recalls the Granada TV drama on the downfall of Mrs T and their fascination with the character and demonization of poor Peter M. It "didn't portray him as either a lush or an old queen, though we can see he's the one and assume he's the other." "Ah, at last Margaret's got herself an aide who knows how to carry a handbag." Hugely amusing, here is an account of the demented days of massive gin and tonics in huge cut glass tumblers, too many beers, the de Sancha story, birthdays and farewell bashes and his wife Michèle sitting next to Prince Philip and Gyles wincing when he is presented with a gold medallion inscribed to 'Giles'. Erudite and funny, one of the best ways to learn modern history and why we are where we are. 540pp with some added extracts from diaries covering the decade following 1997, 2015 paperback reprint of the 1999 original by this "unpretentious and excellent witness". Relish any page of this indiscreet and fluent diarist. Updated, unexpurgated.
Published price: £14.99
Bibliophile price: £6.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781849549158
Browse this category: Modern History/Current Affairs

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