Book Review: A View From The Foothills

A VIEW FROM THE FOOTHILLS: The Diaries Of Chris Mullin

LABOUR MP Chris Mullin began writing a diary of events in Parliament the day the former Labour leader John Smith died, until his resignation at the last election.

His diaries therefore cover the rise and fall of the New Labour project, of which he is not at all convinced.

This selection of his writings begin in 1999 covering the period of Mullin’s unwanted appointment as a junior minister in John Prescott’s Department of the Environment to his return to the backbenches as a Home Affairs select committee chairman and then to Africa minister.

Wry, forthright, and engaging, his entries reveal the politics behind the headlines and the spin, showing the challenges to get anything done when faced with clashes of personality, jargon and managerial chaos.

A fascinating look at what goes on behind Westminster’s doors – doing for the Labour party, what Alan Clarke’s diaries did for the Tories.

Thanks to Waterstone’s, Stevenage.