A View From the Foothills - Chris Mullin
SO what was it really like to be part of Tony Blair s government? Sunderland MP Chris Mullin tells all in A View From the Foothills (�9.99, Profile), his funny, and often scathing, diaries from 1999 to 2005. He confirms our suspicions that Yes Minister wa
SO what was it really like to be part of Tony Blair's government?
Sunderland MP Chris Mullin tells all in A View From the Foothills (�9.99, Profile), his funny, and often scathing, diaries from 1999 to 2005.
He confirms our suspicions that Yes Minister was virtually a fly-on-the-wall documentary about parliamentary life.
We begin as Mullin is made a parliamentary under-secretary in John Prescott's Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.
He is distinctly underwhelmed and makes no secret of his dislike of Prescott's antics.
There are amusing Sir Humphrey-style shenanigans such as when Mullin refuses to have a ministerial car, and the outcry from MPs when it is suggested that on short haul flights, the select committees should fly economy class instead of club.
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- 2 Murder charge after man, 60, found fatally injured in Dagenham
- 3 Local 18-year-old filmmaker gears up for ‘ambitious’ first feature-length film
- 4 London Assembly: TfL urged to rethink plans to cut 78 bus routes
- 5 Bleed kit in memory of doorman Ricky Hayden installed outside nightclub
- 6 Product sold at Tesco recalled due to risk of disease-causing bacteria
- 7 Item thrown from A13 bridge smashes windscreen and injures driver
- 8 Summer of Festivals Weekender draws thousands to Parsloes Park
- 9 Jailed: Eight east London offenders locked up in July
- 10 Dagenham fire families receive thousands in donated cash
He pulls no punches in his views of his colleagues.
At one point, he muses: "It is not desirable for Gordon to succeed to the throne... He is obsessive, doesn't listen... and is the architect of many of our worst mistakes."
He describes the newly elected President George W Bush as "an intellectually and morally deficient serial killer".
And when Peter Mandelson is forced to resign for the second time, in 2001, Mullin notes: "The truth is, most people on our side are glad to see the back of him."
In 2003 Clare Short resigns and Mullin is briefly offered his dream job - Secretary of State for International Development - until Blair remembers that he voted against the war with Iraq, and the offer is withdrawn.
A wonderful, entertaining and insightful read full of gossipy anecdotes about life inside the Commons.
- LINDSAY JONES