Coalition Diaries, 2012–2015


Author: David Laws
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785903225
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 400
View: 6336

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Acclaimed as one of the sharpest political intellects of his generation, David Laws saw his ministerial career nosedive before it had begun when, after only seventeen days as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he was forced to resign when unintended breaches of parliamentary expenses rules came to light. You can’t keep a good man down, however, and he returned to government, where he was also responsible for implementation of the coalition agreement and planning the Lib Dems’ strategy in the run-up to the 2015 election. David began writing a diary in March 2012 and continued writing it throughout his ministerial career and up to the 2015 election, which devastated the Liberal Democrats in Parliament. Frank, acerbic, sometimes shocking and often funny, Coalition Diaries chronicles the historic Liberal Democrat–Conservative coalition government, offering extraordinary pen portraits of all the personalities involved, some of whom were cast aside at the election or put to the knife after Brexit, while others are active in today’s government.

Call Me Dave

The Unauthorised Biography of David Cameron
Author: Michael Ashcroft
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1849549907
Category: Political Science
Page: 592
View: 9891

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After a decade as Conservative Party leader and six years as Prime Minister, he remains an enigma to those outside his exclusive inner circle. Now, in the wake of his dramatic resignation following the sensational EU referendum campaign, this new edition of the book that 'got the world talking' (Daily Mail) revisits the real David Cameron, bringing the story of his premiership to its final chapter. Based on hundreds of interviews with colleagues past and present, friends and foes, this unauthorised biography charts Cameron's path from a blissful childhood in rural Berkshire through to the most powerful office in the country, giving a fascinating insight into his most intriguing relationships, both political and personal. Exploring the highs and lows of his administration, from his brush with disaster over the Scottish question and his humiliation over Syria to his surprise election victory in 2015 and his controversial win on gay marriage, this fully updated edition offers a comprehensive assessment of Cameron's legacy in office, weighing up the extraordinary achievements of Britain's youngest Prime Minister for 200 years.

Winning Here

My Campaigning Life: Memoirs
Author: Chris Rennard
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785903462
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 2379

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Chris Rennard’s long relationship with the Liberals, and later the Liberal Democrats, began when a compassionate Liberal candidate helped his disabled mother receive her widowed mother allowance. By his 20s Rennard was the most successful election campaigner his party has ever known. He helped the Liberal Party win power in Liverpool in the 1970s and campaigned for Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins in famous by-elections which helped the Liberal SDP Alliance to compete for power before its acrimonious collapse in the late 80’s. He was then responsible for a series of spectacular by-election victories that rescued his party’s fortunes and he oversaw a huge increase in the party’s number of MPs and elected representatives. Liberal leaders Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy, Menzies Campbell and Nick Clegg would all rely on him as the party grew to the peak of its success. This volume of memoirs spans his first 30 years in politics (to 2006) and includes the highs and lows of his party during the leaderships of Paddy Ashdown (including his hopes for coalition with Tony Blair) and Charles Kennedy, (including the latter’s enforced resignation after revealing publicly his problem with alcohol). There will never be a better inside account of a political party, or contemporary history of the Liberal Democrats. Winning Here is a record that shows how election campaigns are really fought and won and how party leaders change and parties develop. Similarly, there will never be a commentator better placed to tell this story.

Punch and Judy Politics

An Insiders' Guide to Prime Minister’s Questions
Author: Ayesha Hazarika,Tom Hamilton
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785903586
Category: Political Science
Page: 352
View: 2576

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Prime Minister’s Questions is the bear pit of British politics, a unique way of holding the powerful to account. While it is watched and admired around the world, it is often hated at home for bringing out the worst in our politicians. However, despite the best attempts of successive party leaders to try and move away from ‘Punch and Judy politics’, PMQs are here to stay. It sets the agenda, indicates who’s up and who's down and, most importantly, defines Prime Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition. Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton spent every Wednesday morning for five years preparing Ed Miliband for combat ahead of PMQs, with varying degrees of success. They know what it’s like to prepare a leader for the most stressful, unforgiving moment of the political week and they have lived through the drama, tension and black humour that goes with being in the room. They have seen the highs when a leader wins at the Dispatch Box as well as – perhaps more often – the lows when they take a beating. This book lifts the lid on PMQs, reveals the tricks of the trade from leading politicians and the people who prepared them, and takes you behind the scenes of some of the biggest PMQs moments. Part history, part inside account, this book is an entertaining and honest guide to one of the most loved, feared and loathed features of British politics by two people who know just how tough it can be.

More Time for Politics

Diaries 2001-2007
Author: Tony Benn
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409063208
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 416
View: 1851

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When Tony Benn left Parliament after 51 years he quoted his wife Caroline's remark that now he would have 'more time for politics'. And so this has proved: in the first seven years of this century he has helped reinvigorate national debate through public meetings, mass campaigns and appearances in the media, passionately bringing moral and political issues to wide audiences. And throughout, as ever, he has been keeping his diaries. Commenting on the demise of the New Labour project from the re-election of Tony Blair in 2001 to the ultimate foreign policy disasters of Afghanistan and Iraq, he gives other prescient accounts of the government's by-passing of Cabinet, parliament and the party, of the 'war on terror', the debate about Islam, globalisation and the changes in British society. Although he is no longer in power or in parliament, Tony Benn remains a figure of enormous respect whose direct views, honestly expressed, have often awakened the national conscience. His latest Diaries, human and challenging in turn, are an enthralling read.

The Coalition and the Constitution


Author: Vernon Bogdanor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847316409
Category: Law
Page: 162
View: 500

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`England', Benjamin Disraeli famously said, `does not love coalitions'. But 2010 saw the first peace-time coalition in Britain since the 1930s. The coalition, moreover, may well not be an aberration. For there are signs that, with the rise in strength of third parties, hung parliaments are more likely to recur than in the past. Perhaps, therefore, the era of single-party majority government, to which we have become accustomed since 1945, is coming to an end. But is the British constitution equipped to deal with coalition? Are alterations in the procedures of parliament or government needed to cope with it? The inter-party agreement between the coalition partners proposes a wide ranging series of constitutional reforms, the most important of which are fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on the alternative vote electoral system, to be held in May 2011. The coalition is also proposing measures to reduce the size of the House of Commons, to directly elect the House of Lords and to strengthen localism. These reforms, if implemented, could permanently alter the way we are governed. This book analyses the significance of coalition government for Britain and of the momentous constitutional reforms which the coalition is proposing. In doing so it seeks to penetrate the cloud of polemic and partisanship to provide an objective analysis for the informed citizen.

Prison Diaries


Author: Denis MacShane
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1849547947
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 400
View: 2292

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Two days before Christmas 2013, former MP Denis MacShane entered one of Europe's harshest prisons. Having pleaded guilty to false accounting at the Old Bailey, he had been sentenced to six months in jail. Upon arrival at Belmarsh Prison, his books and personal possessions were confiscated and he was locked in a solitary cell for up to twenty-three hours a day. Denis was the latest MP condemned to serve as an example in the wake of the expenses scandal. Written with scavenged pens and scraps of paper, this diary is a compelling account of his extraordinary experiences in Belmarsh and, later, Brixton. Recording the lives of his fellow prisoners, he discovers a humility and a willingness to admit mistakes that was conspicuously lacking in his former colleagues at the House of Commons. Woven into the narrative are thought-provoking reflections on a range of important topics, from the waning of public confidence in MPs - and the high-profile termination of his own political career - to the failings of the British judicial system. Above all, Prison Diaries reveals what life as a prisoner in Britain is really like, addressing issues such as rising inmate numbers, dehumanising conditions, high incarceration rates, lack of rehabilitation and an endemic political disinterest. This honest and fascinating diary is both a first-hand insight into the current prison system and a report on how it simply does not work.

The End of British Party Politics?


Author: Roger Awan-Scully
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785903632
Category: Political Science
Page: 208
View: 5894

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Elections ask voters to choose between political parties. But voters across the UK are increasingly being presented with fundamentally different, and largely disconnected, sets of political choices. This book is about this hollowing out of a genuinely British democratic politics: how and why it has occurred, and why it matters. Electoral choices across Britain became increasingly differentiated along national lines over much of the last half-century. In 2017, for the second general election in a row, four different parties came first in the UK’s four nations. UK voters are increasingly faced with general election campaigns that are largely disconnected from each other. At the same time, voters acquire much of their information about the election from news-media based in London that display little understanding of these national distinctions. The UK continues to elect representatives to a single parliament. But the shared debates and sets of choices that tie a political community together are increasingly absent. Separate national political arenas and agendas still have to interact but in some respects the House of Commons increasingly resembles the European Parliament – whose members are democratically chosen but from a disconnected series of separate national electoral contests. This is deeply problematic for the long-term unity and integrity of the UK.

The Spicer Diaries


Author: Michael Spicer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250041937
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 656
View: 5592

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An influential conservative member of Parliament reflects on his decades in British government, tracing his achievements, the tough choices that have marked his career, and his relationships with such figures as Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, and TonyBlair.

The Benn Diaries


Author: Tony Benn
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473539382
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 736
View: 3491

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Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times. This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009. The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about. This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Events, Dear Boy, Events

A Political Diary of Britain 1921-2010
Author: Ruth Winstone
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847654630
Category: History
Page: 680
View: 6549

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Ruth Winstone retells Britain's history through the great diarists of the last century, drawing back the curtain on the lives of political classes, their doubts, ambitions, and emotions. She moves deftly among those in the thick of it, showing the elation, anger, doubts, jealousy, joys and fears of people as they record their own and the nation's triumphs and disasters. To this potent mix she adds the mordant perceptions of observers like Virginia Woolf, Cecil Beaton, Peter Hall and Roy Strong, and the vivid records of everyday life found in the diaries of otherwise ordinary men and women. Events, Dear Boy, Events reveals Britain's recent past in the words of the actors who were shaping the events of the day. This is living real-time history.

The Politics of Coalition

How the Conservative - Liberal Democrat Government Works
Author: Robert Hazell,Ben Yong
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847319661
Category: Law
Page: 290
View: 7436

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The Politics of Coalition is the tale of two parties embarking on the first coalition government at Westminster for over 60 years. What challenges did they face in the first couple of years, and how did they deal with them? With the authorisation of Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the then Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Constitution Unit has interviewed over 140 ministers, MPs, Lords, civil servants, party officials and interest groups about the Coalition and the impact coalition government has had upon Westminster and Whitehall. The Politics of Coalition tells how the Coalition has operated in the different arenas of the British political system: at the Centre; within the Departments; in Parliament; in the parties outside Parliament; and in the media. It will be of interest to politicians, policy makers, academics, students and anyone interested in how the UK Coalition works in practice and not just in theory. The research for the book was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. 'An essential resource for anyone with an interest in the Coalition, its workings behind the scenes, and its prospects for the future. Packed with facts, insights and telling detail.' Benedict Brogan, The Telegraph 'The Politics of Coalition provides an invaluable route map to the way the Conservative/Liberal Government works - and identifies important lessons to guide politicians, officials and the media if no party wins an overall majority at the next election.' Rt Hon Peter Riddell, Director, Institute for Government 'This book is pure gold - contemporary history at its best. It will fascinate those inside the Coalition, those who witness its developing emotional geography from Parliament and the general public keen to know how - what is, for the British - a very peculiar practice, is working out.' Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary, University of London

Free At Last

Diaries 1991 - 2001
Author: Tony Benn
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1407096710
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 768
View: 9702

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Tony Benn is the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour Party. He left Parliament in 2001, after more than half a century in the House of Commons, to devote more time to politics. This volume of his Diaries describes and comments, in a refreshing and honest way, upon the events of a momentous decade including two world wars, a change of government in Britain and the emergence of New Labour, of which he makes clear he is not a member. Tony Benn's account is a well documented, formidable and principled critique of the New Labour Project, full of drama, opinion, humour, anecdotes and sparkling pen-portraits of politicians on both sides of the political divide. But his narrative is also broader and more revealing about day-to-day political life, covering many aspects normally disregarded by historians and lobby correspondents, relating to his work in the constituency, including his advice surgeries. This volume also offers far more of an insight into Tony Benn's personal life, his thoughts about the future and his relationship with his family, especially his remarkable wife Caroline, whose illness and death overshadow these years. Tony Benn is a unique figure on the British political landscape: a true democrat, a passionate socialist and diarist without equal. With this volume, his published Diaries cover British politics for over sixty years. It is edited, as are all others, by Ruth Winstone.

Alastair Campbell Diaries

Volume 7 2007-2010
Author: Alastair Campbell
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781785900853
Category:
Page: 608
View: 4552

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Alastair Campbell's diaries have the quality of Pepys ... people will be looking for insights and finding them in 100 years' time." Lord Alex Carlile Caught in the no man's land between being a key figure in Downing Street and the relative anonymity of the world outside politics, Alastair Campbell finds himself being torn in several directions. Having succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown wants Campbell at his side. Campbell resists, flooding his reservoir of guilt as a general election looms and Brown's indecision and fluctuating moods suggest the Labour administration is seriously threatened by the Tory 'posh boy', David Cameron. Soon Campbell is earning not only praise but big money from motivational speaking and writing novels which darkly reflect the personal mood swings that continue to concern to both him and his family. Serious journalism across platforms old and new puts him back in the public eye and together with live appearances and a love of sport - his enduring love affair with Burnley Football Club still smoulders - sees him board a celebrity merry-go-round that often leaves him far from his comfort zone. With politics constantly tugging his sleeve, he eventually returns to the front line to marshal a party in disarray. The intensity of the months leading up to 6 May 2010 is as dramatic as any screenplay, with Campbell chronicling Brown's struggle to win over a disillusioned nation and then his dignified departure from the main stage. For Campbell, another chapter closes. So what next?

The Larry Diaries: Downing Street - The First 100 Days


Author: Larry the Cat
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0857207717
Category: Humor
Page: 224
View: 5281

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It was the brazen cheek of the huge rat running across the front of No 10 on a live TV news broadcast that galvanised the government into action. Meetings were held at the highest level and, barely a week later, on 15 February 2011, Larry the tabby cat arrived in Downing Street to make his mark as the new rodent bouncer in residence. A secret source quickly made contact and has been working closely with Larry ever since to get the full story - in diary form - of his first 100 days in the job. In a swift-moving narrative that pits Larry against the evil King Rat and his legion of cheese-eaters, our hero still finds time to spill the beans on what life with Sam and Dave is really like. With the economy in crisis and anarchy on the streets of London, Larry has to use all his smarts to outwit the enemy and earn his keep. Gaining privileged access to Sam Cam's iPad he uses Google Maps to surpass the rats' knowledge of the local area. With a Royal Wedding on the horizon and a revolving door of visiting dignitaries to contend with, Larry is able to take a wry look at the machinations of coalition power that lurk behind the big black door.

The Orange Book

Reclaiming Liberalism
Author: Paul Marshall,David Laws
Publisher: Profile Books Limited
ISBN: 9781861977977
Category: Political Science
Page: 302
View: 1477

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In this stimulating collection, the next generation of Liberal Democrat leaders, including MPs and MEPs, proposes a vigorous future for the party and its policies. Up to the minute, original, and persuasively argued, the thinking in this book demonstrates the Liberal Democrats' vitality and social commitment, and gives a valuable insight into how the party will move in the future.

The British General Election of 2017


Author: Philip Cowley,Dennis Kavanagh
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319959360
Category: Political Science
Page: 570
View: 462

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The British General Election of 2017 is the definitive and authoritative account of one of the most dramatic elections in British history. Throwing aside her natural caution, Theresa May called a snap election and was widely expected to crush Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Her gamble backfired spectacularly as the Conservatives lost their Commons majority to a resurgent Labour led by one of the most unconventional politicians to lead a major British political party. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, with unparalleled access to all the key players, The British General Election of 2017 offers a revelatory guide to what really happened. The 20th edition in this prestigious series of books dating back to 1945, it is designed to appeal to everyone — from Westminster insiders and politics students to the wider general public.

Diaries Volume One

Prelude to Power
Author: Alastair Campbell
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409006654
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 800
View: 2408

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As Alastair Campbell said in the introduction to The Blair Years, it was always his intention to publish the full version, covering his time as spokesman and chief strategist to Tony Blair. Prelude to Power is the first of four volumes, and covers the early days of New Labour, culminating in their victory at the polls in 1997. Volume 1 details the extraordinary tensions between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as they resolved the question as to which one should stand to become Labour leader. It shows that right from the start, relations at the top were prone to enormous strain, suspicions and accusations of betrayal. Yet it also shows the political and personal bonds that tied them together, and which made them one of the most feared and respected electoral machines anywhere in the world. A story of politics in the raw, Prelude to Power is above all an intimate, detailed portrait of the people who have done so much to shape modern history.

David Steel

Rising Hope to Elder Stateman
Author: David Torrance
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1849544662
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 4308

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Michael Foot was speaking affectionately when in 1979 he quipped that David Steel had apparently gone from 'rising hope to elder statesman' without any intervening period whatsoever. But the remark also neatly captured a career which had seen 'the Boy David' enter the House of Commons aged only twenty-six, become leader of the Liberal Party in 1976 (at thirty-eight years old one of the youngest party leaders in British history) and then, within months of his election, lead his party into a controversial Lib-Lab Pact with James Callaghan's Labour government. Taking the lead in demanding cooperation with the new Social Democratic Party, Steel helped the Alliance poll an unprecedented share of the vote for a third party in the 1983 election. Alongside David Owen of the SDP, he fought another memorable election four years later as one of the 'two Davids' and later became the major force behind the troubled birth of the Liberal Democrat Party. Based on extensive interviews and fresh archival research, this biography - with which Steel has cooperated - charts both the 'rising hope' and 'elder statesman' phases in Steel's career, as well as his role as the first Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and his political legacy in light of the post-2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Divided We Govern

Coalition Politics in Modern India
Author: Sanjay Ruparelia
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190264918
Category: Political Science
Page: 480
View: 6425

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Ruparelia confronts one of the most striking developments in modern Indian politics: the increasing influence of communist, regional, and lower caste-orientated socialist parties on politics since the late 1980s. In particular he traces these their attempts to construct a progressive 'third force' vis-àvis the historically dominant Indian National Congress and Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the subsequent decline of the broader Indian left as a collective political power. Ruparelia develops an original theoretical argument, deploying an innovative conceptual grammar of institutions, power, and judgment to explain the vicissitudes of the contemporary Indian left over the past two decades. Divided We Govern is a fine-grained analytic narrative to explain the vagaries of power-sharing in contemporary Indian democracy. It draws together a variety of tools and resources to create a dynamic causal account of multiparty governments and their function only partly captured by many scholarly analyses and the theories on which they rely. Ruparelia's narrative comprises information gathered from newspapers and periodicals, party manifestoes, and government documents; original statistical analyses of official electoral data and national election surveys; and the rare testimonies of senior party leaders, high-ranking government officials, and seasoned political journalists, obtained through dozens of in-depth interviews and intensive fieldwork.