Sunday, 1 July 2012

Political autobiography

I sat next to Sir John Staley at dinner last night, and mentioned that I was reading Michael Heseltine's autobiography, Life in the Jungle.  As Minister for Housing, Sir John worked with Michael Heseltine for much the early 1980s.  Have you read it? I enquired. He paused, smiled wryly and said,  "I have glanced at parts of it". 

This reminds me of a lovely story told by Iain Dale from his days running Politico's Bookstore in Westminster. Apparently, on the day any new significant autobiography was published about 200 MPs would amble into the shop, shuffle around aimlesly for a while as if innocently browsing for a gift, before quietly picking up the newly published book and searching through the index to see if their name was listed, before buying it or scuttling out with a relieved expression.

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