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Diary of an MP's Wife: Inside and Outside Power: 'riotously candid' Sunday Times

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To the evident lack of understanding of their mother, they became followers of Jeremy Corbyn and his hope for a better Britain. She insists she never originally intended to publish the resulting inside story of a turbulent Tory decade, for fear it would be seen as a betrayal. But what these diaries do reveal in all it's vainglory is the great lie at the heart of Cameron's austerity: "We are all in this together. After all, this is the same Dave who on another now-infamous occasion blamed pheromones for wanting to drag her into nearby bushes to “give her one”.

Perennials PERENNIALS constant friends A selection of novels, memoirs and more by some of our favourite authors. In 500-odd pages of deftly edited diary entries covering her observations and conversations during the tumultuous years of 2010 to 2019, she lifts the veil on the doings of a political class that is difficult to like, admire or respect. Just once in a while a book comes long which allows the hot-polloi to peep behind the curtain and see the machinery of the theatre of British political life. At first it proved ideal shallow bedtime reading – entertaining gossipy disclosures about the world of Cameron, Osborne, Johnson, Gove, Raab etc. By 2015 she is fretting that Ed Miliband is clearly “on to something” in pledging to abolish non-dom status and that the Tories have become too harsh towards the poor, “unforgiving of personal circumstances, relentless in telling people to stop whingeing and make a go of it”.A professional partner and loyal spouse, Swire has strong political opinions herself – sometimes more ‘No, Minister’ than ‘Yes’. Its weaknesses were, as many have said, a lack of footnotes about who people referred to were, particularly in the early part of the journal. There’s a scene in Sasha Swire’s Diary of an MP’s Wife, an insider’s account of the Tory clique that has ruled Britain for the past decade, which somehow sums it all up. Of course, there is something about the phrase 'political wife' that still evokes an image of a passive, helmet-haired, jam-making woman standing silently behind her husband, either smiling admirably as he asks for votes or frowning firmly as he admits to abusing his power or marriage.

I am happy to give this book five stars and recommend everybody read it at least once in their lives. In all the 538 pages, I found just one hint, one smidgeon of self-knowledge sneaking through a golden cloak of privilege. Remarkables REMARKABLES Intriguing, stunning, or otherwise remarkable books These include fine editions, foreign publications exceptional for their interest or production, special editions and some first-rate books from very small publishers.A leaver by temperament, in a circle of Tory remainers, by the end Sasha has come to feel something of an outsider herself. She was a feisty hater (the Slav thing, through her mother) and I was amused at her annoyance at her father not being in the House of Lords. Swire’s other close confidantes include No 10 gatekeeper Kate Fall, a woman who knows where plenty of bodies are buried, and Amber Rudd, who as home secretary becomes her window into May’s cabinet once Hugo has fallen out of favour.

We have come a long way, thankfully, since the days of political wives being expected to stand mutely by their man. Nothing is quite good enough, though, not least the fact that as the mere wife of a junior minister, she is not provided with an official car and driver when attending “excruciatingly dull” public functions in long dresses and painful heels.Diary of an MP’s Wife is a searingly honest, wildly indiscreet and often uproarious account of what life is like in the thick of it. Overall, I revelled in this expose of privilege and politics (who knew quite so many shooting weekends still took place?

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