Last night I hosted a booklaunch party for Peter Watt and Isabel Oakshott at the City Inn. It was a fairly packed room. The highlight for me was meeting Peter's wife, Vilma, who I felt I already knew through the book.
One very strong theme which emerges from the book is the conflict between Peter's job and his family responsibilities. Those of us who get wrapped up in the political world sometimes forget what we put our families through. I, for instance, haven't been home since Sunday due to various work related activities. Peter details the strains on his marriage and I am pretty certain that if he hadn't left his job as General Secretary of the Labour Party when he did, his marriage may well have ended by now. It was a pleasure to meet his various children and mstep children. He and his wife also foster children, and as Michael White once said: "None of us are in a position to criticise Peter Watt. His fostering shows he is a better person than most of us will ever be." Or words to that effect.
I didn't expect to see many Labour MPs or party hacks there last night, but one MP who did turn up was Charles Clarke.
The good news is that the book really seems to be selling. Several people told me they had tried to buy the book at various branches of W H Smith but they had all sold out. That concurred with other anecdotal feedback I have had. We now have no copies left to send to bookshops - all 8,000 are spoken for, so we now have to decide whether to action another print run.
Amazon still have some copies left, so if you haven't got yours yet, you can order it HERE.