David Cameron, pictured here clutching a copy of Deborah Mattinson's Talking To A Brick Wall, attempted to quote from it in PMQs, this afternoon, before being rudely interrupted by the Speaker, John Bercow, who cut him off with:"We won't bother with that." Cameron, who was trying to make a point about Labour spin, protested he was "only trying to boost sales" of the book, which was published last week. Thanks Dave! Deborah, who spoke in front of a capacity audience of journalists, politicos and punters at her book launch at the RSA yesterday evening, recently had her book serialised in the Sunday Times. The staff of Blackwells selling books at the event quickly sold out of stock.
Deborah Mattinson had a unique perspective on the New Labour project. As Britain’s leading political pollster, she has been monitoring public opinion since the mid-1980s, and helped transform Labour into Europe’s greatest election-winning machine of the modern era. Most recently as chief pollster to Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, she has been on the frontline of electoral politics, consistently representing the voter’s side of the story to the politicans. Sometimes, she has encountered scepticism - a belligerent John Smith made an unappreciative witness to one of Deborah’s focus groups - and she has often had to convey unwelcome results - telling a grumpy Gordon Brown he needed to spruce up his appearance cannot have been easy.
Talking to A Brick Wall reviews the New Labour years from the voter’s point of view. It tracks the ups and downs of the Blair/Brown era as seen from beyond Westminster, showing how closely political reputation correlates with voter connection. It profiles the swing voter, shows the importance of women’s votes, and what gives a politician popular appeal, and maps the voters’ views through the 2010 campaign and its immediate aftermath, showing how the electorate has been left out of political decision making and revealing the public’s recipe for rehabilitating the Labour Party and rebuilding trust in democracy.
To order Talking To A Brick Wall click here.