I.B. Tauris books are currently unavailable for purchase on this site, as we are migrating to www.bloomsbury.com.
For UK customers, books are now available for purchase online via the Bloomsbury site.


For US customers, books will be available to purchase via the Bloomsbury site from 1st February 2019. Thank you for your patience with this process.
If you would like to place a US order before 1st February 2019, please email orders@btpubservices.com.

Print details Printable details

 

Westminster Diary: Farewell to Office: Volume 2

Westminster Diary: Farewell to Office: Volume 2
Bernard Donoughue

  • Hardback | Not defined | £25.00

    Email me when available
  • Hardback | In Stock | $40.00

    add to basket

Description

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.

Author Info

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.

Review

‘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

'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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

 

 

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Hardback
ISBN: 9781784539467
Publication Date: 30 Oct 2017
Number of Pages: 384
Height: 226
Width: 155
Illustrations: 15 black and white illustrations in an 8 page plate section

Also of Interest

Guns, Kites and Horses: Three Diaries from the Western Front

Guns, Kites and Horses
Hardback
£29.00 | $90.00

Berryman's Shakespeare: Essays, Letters and Other Writings by John Berryman

Berryman's Shakespeare
John Berryman
Paperback
£12.99

Letters of Transit: Essays on Travel, History, Politics and Family Life Abroad

Letters of Transit
Matthew Stevenson
Paperback
£12.99 | $18.00

New Product Alerts

Sign up now

Powered by Google