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Westminster Diary By Bernard Donoughue

Westminster Diary by Bernard Donoughue

Condition - Very Good
6 in stock


As New Labour's first period of government picks up steam, we find Bernard Donoughue working as a minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food.

Westminster Diary Summary

Westminster Diary: Farewell to Office: Volume 2 by Bernard Donoughue

As New Labour's first period of government picks up steam, we find Bernard Donoughue working as a minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food. In this, the second volume of Donoughue's House of Lords diaries, he chronicles his experiences - often frustrating, often hilarious - serving in the early years of Blair's government, as he attempts to modernise MAFF by expanding its interests more broadly in rural affairs. It outlines Donoughue's role in the EU's agricultural policy, including as the UK minister at the Agriculture Council as well as his unofficial role in the lead-up to the Good Friday agreement. As with all Donoughue's diaries, the book sheds a spotlight on the daily trials and tribulations of life in Westminster, told with trademark waspish wit, insight and humour.

Westminster Diary Reviews

"The latest volume of Bernard Donoughue's wry, witty and warm diaries gives a vivid account of the frustrations of a junior Minister in the early years of the Blair Government, compensated by the author's enjoyment of the friendships and encounters which enrich a highly civilised life" - Lord Butler of Brockwell, "Bernard Donoughue is a natural diarist . He mixes the personal with the political and provides a frank portrait of the early Blair years in government and the tensions that even then were mounting up. A host of good stories ." - Lord Fowler, `What a pleasure to read another volume of Donoughue diaries every bit as good as the earlier ones. I could not put it down. It describes his time as a Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture - the pleasure of working under one Secretary of State, and the misery under the next. Not surprisingly as a contributor to the scripts of `Yes, Minister' his daily entries are funny, candid, and full of insights on Whitehall and Westminster, as well as engaging on his private life as a bon viveur and passionate follower of horse racing.' - Baroness Blackstone, `Major diarists can often be unreliable and egotistical chroniclers of their times, observing the world through warped lens. Bernard Donoughue is different. So far his diaries span four volumes; they brim with acute insights and balanced judgements reporting, with a lightness of touch, on his daily life across five decades as an academic, journalist, author, chief policy adviser to two Prime Ministers, City figure and minister. That is not all. The width of Donoughue's hinterland embraces literature, music and racing. Unlike most leading diarists, he rides no hobby horses nor carries an ounce of malice; there is a detached twinkle to his prose on every page. He is the outsiders' insider, stylish and reliable to the final word. His diaries will be essential reading for historians of our age.' - Lord Ryder, `It is hard to think of anyone who has been closer to the nuts and bolts of power than Bernard Donoughue. As Head of the Policy Unit in Number Ten for both Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, it was he who really put in place the structure that led to independent advice to Ministers, now known as SPADS. With his closest friend Joe Haines, he developed an acute understanding of the political power play and their frequently acerbic analysis has seldom been proved wrong. This book is an important addition to the understanding of a British politics, unique in that it also tells the story of the adviser who, after a career as academic , businessman and chronicler, became a Minister himself. Those obsessed with politics will love this gossipy peak behind the scenes, for the rest of us, it is proof positive that "Yes Minister" is a documentary.' - Baroness Liddell, `This tremendously enjoyable Volume Two of Bernard Donoghue's Westminster Diaries is distinguished not only by his acute, often quietly acerbic, political insights but also by the relish with which he describes the wider landscape of a full and varied life in London.' - Lord (Melvyn) Bragg, `A fascinating and honest memoir of an extraordinary political career. Every page offers riveting, behind-the-scenes insight and sharply observed anecdotes from Westminster in the late twentieth century. These volumes should be on the required reading lists of all aspiring politicians.' - Baroness (Karren) Brady, `Bernard Donoughue offers fascinating insights into the often frustrating life of a junior minister beyond ambition coping with both a slippery Permanent Secretary and a Downing Street reluctant to offend vested interests and the media. It is a period piece of high Blairism in the late 1990s before the full souring effects of the TB/GB wars and the Iraq war --spiced by the author's frequent forays in the linked worlds of racing and the aristocracy.' - Peter Riddell, `When the history of the Blair government is written, Bernard's diaries will become an important yardstick for the broadly successful first term. Broadly sympathetic there is the occasional sense of foreboding of what is to come. Like all good diarists, he loves gossip and draws from Labour drinking haunts to Conservative drawing rooms, race horsing, the City and academia. It is a rich well and an intimate one helped by being deeply rooted over 62 years as a devoted party member, the biographer of Herbert Morrison and very close to Wilson and Callaghan. It is fun to read and very interesting on Northern Ireland.' - Lord Owen, `These diaries give a superb flavour of what political life is really like. If you want to understand what being a minister means, if you want to appreciate the joys and frustrations of departmental life or if you just want to have the curtain peeled away so you can see the hidden wiring of our Government, this book is perfect. Lord Donoughue has a marvellously dry wit, a brilliant eye for telling detail and a transparent commitment to public service. If only all ministers were as good as him, and all political diaries as good as this...' - Michael Gove

About Bernard Donoughue

Lord (Bernard) Donoughue is a British politician, academic, businessman and author. He was Head of the No 10 Policy Unit under Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan and was a key source for the writers of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. He became a Labour peer in 1985 and served as Minister for Agriculture under Blair. His books include Prime Minister: Conduct of Policy Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, 1974-79; The Heat of the Kitchen: an autobiography; Downing Street Diary: Volume 1 - With Harold Wilson in No. 1 and Downing Street Diary: Volume 2 - With James Callaghan in No. 10. His latest volume of diaries: Westminster Diary: A Reluctant Minister under Blair were published by I.B.Tauris in 2016.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface The Diaries Index

Additional information

Westminster Diary: Farewell to Office: Volume 2 by Bernard Donoughue
Used - Very Good
I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Westminster Diary