Monday, July 14, 2008

The Worst Political Autobiography Ever

I am currently reading quite possibly the worst autobiography in the history of political literature. It is touch and go as to whether I can face carrying on. Any guesses as to whose it is?

UPDATE 12.10pm: Ok, Ok, most of you got it. It's Prescott. I have rarely read anything so dire. Despite the fact that it has been ghosted by a great author, Hunter Davies, it read as if it were written by a nine year old. I wonder if Davies got a little confused. He had just finished ghosting Wayne Rooney's autobiography. Perhaps he found it difficult to change style. I shall do a proper review when (and if) I finish it. It won't make for pretty reading.

67 comments:

John Coles said...

It's Prescott's.

Lola said...

Yours?

John Prescott said...

it has to be mine.....

Evil Clanger said...

Prescott!

Anonymous said...

Prescott?

Anonymous said...

Happy Hammering : Iain Dale's Autobiography?

Charlotte Corday said...

John Prescott's?

Anonymous said...

Not sure whether they are exactly autobiography, but Sir Edward Heath's runinations in sailing 'The Course of My Life' and music 'A Joy for Life' were pretty shocking. Dull, pompous and self-reverential.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought you had read 'Prezza' before now, but maybe you have 'pulled your punches' until now ?

And if Prezza is the answer, then it's a pretty bad question..

Anonymous said...

John Prescott

Bogey-eating Broon said...

Has to be Prescott.

Matthew Jones said...

John Prescott?

Alan Douglas said...

Iain, you said earlier that you had a choice between 'er and 'im.

Since you've read 'er, it has to be 'im. The man who to words is what a bulldozer is to pressa-idigitation ?

Alan Douglas

Man in a Shed said...

Prescott's ?

Anonymous said...

Got to be Prescott's

Rob Marrs said...

''My Struggle'' by Hazel Blears?

Kcila said...

Could it be that friend of Tatchell's - that nice Mr Mugabe?

workrobotwork said...

Is it John Prescott's ghost writer's one per chance?

trevorsden said...

Al Gore?

trevorsden said...

Al Gore ?

Anonymous said...

Edwina Currie's Apart from destroying the British Egg industry and shagging John Major, what did she actually do?

Gallimaufry said...

Cherie Blair's?

David Batt said...

If it's Prescott's, console yourself by reading Philip Hensher's review of it (online) in The Spectator.

David Boothroyd said...

John Prescott doesn't count, his autobiography was written by Hunter Davies.

Shurely Ming Campbell - so accurately parodied by Craig Brown in Private Eye?

Anonymous said...

Are you really reading Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf ?

Marquee Mark said...

Labour's candidate at Henley ("Go forth - and come fifth"?)

Anonymous said...

Prescott used a ghost writer, Hunter Davies, who apparently used the great man's speaking style.
It has been praised in some quarters.

Londoner said...

As Alan Douglas implies, this is a question designed only to see of we have been paying attention. I look forward to a Mastermind special subject of "Iain Dales's Diary", with the compilers getting confused and coming up with lots of questions about a 1950s radio soap...

However, I seem to remember that Norman Fowler's was pretty dire. But no doubt Prescott's is dire in his own special way.

Two Shags said...

Mine?

Jimbo said...

Has to be Prezza. Makes you want to puke, eh? Ha ha ha.

Aristander of Telmissus said...

Margaret Thatcher. It has to be Mrs [NEVER 'Lady', 'Baroness' or anything else] Thatcher. Self-righteous, sanctimonious words by the yard, with no hint of humour [conscious or unconscious], objectivity or self-awareness. TINA!

Anonymous said...

Is this anything to do with the "Ten Top political traitors" we were promised ages ago?

Benjamin Gray said...

Prezza, or how I learned to stop governing and love the secretary

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Bliar?

Peter Risdon said...

David Owen's takes some beating.

Alex said...

Whatever it is, it has to be pretty bad. As opposed to published diaries, political autobiographies are usually written by politicians with little experience of writing, with predictable results.

I would guess Prescott, but perhaps Clinton, although I suspect you have read that already, as well as Heath, Jenkins, Healey, Fowler all of which were dire.

Chris Paul said...

Is a Coastal Towns Compendium? With Conwy, Chichester and Dover?

Alex Agius said...

Barack Obama?

Anonymous said...

Prescott

Anonymous said...

My career at your Expense(s)
by M Martin?

Donal Blaney said...

Prescott: it was shit.

Anonymous said...

It can't be Prescott's auotobiography as he can't read, let alone write. How It might be something he thre up over his ghost writer.

Matthew said...

Carter's latest offering of peanut wisdom.

Anonymous said...

"Ministers Decide" by Norman Fowler.

If it isn't, it should be.

FonyBlair said...

Could it be Lord Levy. Who would want to read about him anyway!?

Alternativley have you finally got round to reading Bill Clinton's? I've heard that is an epic struggle.....and that is just teh struggle to pick it up as it's so weighty!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Livingstone's?

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Prescott.

Anonymous said...

It has to be The Enterprise Years by Lord Young

The Lakelander said...

John Prescott

His autobiography was so bad that it's been re-issued under a new title

Rex said...

Surely not Stanislav!

Anonymous said...

They can't even shift it at "only" £1.99 in Bookends !

Anonymous said...

- FonyBlair said...
"Could it be Lord Levy. Who would want to read about him anyway!?"

Iain has already said that he would recommend Levy's book.


- Lord James Bigglesworth said...
"Bliar?"

He hasn't written it yet.


- Gallimaufry said...
"Cherie Blair's?"

Iain said the Cherie Blair's autobiography helped him through his recent illness, so he can't entirely disapprove of it.


- Peter Risdon said...
"David Owen's takes some beating."

It's one of Iain's Top 75 Political Books.

Windsor Tripehound said...

David Batt said...
If it's Prescott's, console yourself by reading Philip Hensher's review of it (online) in The Spectator.


Thanks for the tip, David. I've just read it

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/books/752746/the-autobiography-of-a-fig-leaf.thtml

and it's made my day. He doesn't pull any punches (Hensher that is) does he?

Anonymous said...

Alex

Roy Jankins's "Life at the Centre" was brilliantly written.

I notice though he was a little disingenuous in claiming that his success in getting an audience with J F Kennedy when he was just an Opposition backbencher was down to Kennedy's graciousness of character, rather than to the fact that Roy was apparently having an affair with JFK's sister in law at the time.

Chris Paul said...

You really all ought to try my pick before you make that decision final.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I am afraid John Prescott is not of the same intellectual calibre as Wayne Rooney.

FS said...

Donal Blaney?

FS

northofsouth said...

Don't worry, Brown's will be worse when it comer out!

Anonymous said...

David Blunketts autobiography?

I couldn't read those white bumps either I gave up half way through when my fingers were bleeding

jane said...

I am sorry to say it was pretty bad,and I write as a huge Prescott fan. Really.

Rex said...

Campbell's "The Blair Years (Hardcover)"
on sale at Amazon for:-
S/hand, £2.88
New £3.52
RRP £25.00

How the mighty fall!

Anonymous said...

Rex said...
"Campbell's "The Blair Years (Hardcover)"
on sale at Amazon for:-
S/hand, £2.88
New £3.52
RRP £25.00

How the mighty fall!"


John Major's autobiography is on sale (used) at Amazon for £0.01

How the mighty have fallen indeed!

Alex said...

"Alex

Roy Jenkins's "Life at the Centre" was brilliantly written."

Fair enough, but I got the impression that he couldn't stand anybody whose ideas didn't match his own.

Having stood for the leadership of the Labour Party and come third, he takes tax payer funded boondoggle to Brussels, only to come back to run a party to the right of the socialists. He then gets all stroppy when he thinks Owen's views move too far to the right. Can't stand the people to the left of him nor the people to the right (and we are talking exclusively about people to the left (on paper) of the Liberals).

Ian Thorpe said...

Chapter 15

Went t't' West End Chippy wi' Austin Mitchell, got steak puddin' mushy peas and double chips wi' a fish on top.

Austin just 'ad a can o' Tizer, the wimp.

Am I getting the essence of it?

Anonymous said...

It's got to be Tracey Temple's.

miss ann thrope said...

The 'ghost' writer of the Prescott crap, Hunter Davies, cannot really be very bright; he is a Bliarite 'psychofant' and 'oikball' fan as I understand it. Hardly the marks of intelligence.

Fendertele said...

Just finished it myself and it's actually very good.

Don't fool yourself in to thinking you are intelligent just because you can construct a sentence in a rigid academic fashion.