From one of the greatest political journalists of recent times, an insider's account of four decades of covering the British political scene, packed with tales of the biggest political happenings of the last half century.
Philip Webster covered politics for The Times newspaper for 43 years, including 18 years as its political editor. He has been at the centre of all the big stories of the past four decades - the fall of Labour in 1979, the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the emergence and fall of John Major, the rise and fall of Tony Blair and his wars with Gordon Brown, the aftermath of 9/11, the war in Iraq, the fall of Brown, the rise and rise of David Cameron and the shock election of Jeremy Corbyn.
Webster offers fresh insight into the great stories of his time. He gives a frank and revelatory insider's account of great political events since Michael Heseltine brandished the Mace, the night the Callaghan government fell, the day Sir Geoffrey Howe brought down Margaret Thatcher, the day Tony Blair said farewell, the night MPs voted for war in Iraq and every Budget and autumn statement for 40 years.
With the wit and geniality that has made him so many friends in politics, he reveals how stories came into his hands and how political journalism influences events as they unfolded. He has witnessed what he terms a golden age of political journalism, and this book offers an intimate account of his trade. The essential handbook for anyone interested by the craft of journalism, Inside Story reviews three decades of lead stories and the many politicians, great and small, he has encountered.
©2016 Philip Webster (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
"Webster is simply the best - a journalist with a sensational range of stories." (Andrew Marr)
"Philip Webster is a journalist of real intelligence and integrity with an ability to get on with all sides of the political spectrum." (Alastair Campbell)
"One of the greatest political journalists of my lifetime." (Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator)
"A brilliant journalist." (Tony Blair)
Well observed intrigue. The background stories were really fascinating. I felt that I knew the characters much better after listening to this book.
It a 'long listen' and great for flights and car journeys.
I would recommend it to anyone who want the background to so many political events of the last 40+ years.
Despite his incredible access to many of the major political players of the last 40 years the book for the most part remains very much at surface level. Perhaps due to the title I was expecting slightly more insight. The sections on recent events such as Brexit read pretty much as a linear collection of newspaper reports/summaries. The parts covering events further back proved more interesting primarily because they refreshed my memory. Webster's delivery pretty much kills any strong anecdotes he might have had. I listened to it all at 1.25 x and it still felt he needed a sugary doughnut and an expresso to pep him up. His sense of self importance when describing the tension at breaking his John Major and Edwina Curry exclusive was uncomfortable. It was undoubtedly a great story but let's not overlook the fact it really was tantamount to tabloid/celebrity gossip and he was hardly breaking open the Watergate scandal. Also a failure to give his views from inside the Murdoch empire or on the phone hacking scandal seemed a conspicuous omission.
A professional orator would have been a sound investment
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