Labour's Revival: A Moderniser's Manifesto by Paul Richards

  • September 27, 2010 12:34
  • Katy Scholes


"Paul Richards writes with conviction and lucidity. The new Labour leader should read this book."
Rachel Sylvester, The Times

Well the votes were in this weekend and in defeating the favourite (and his brother), Ed Miliband steps up to lead the Labour Party. Following a general election when its coalition of support has been fractured and its traditional voters have deserted it in their tens of thousands, the question is: will he be able to steer the party back to power?

Paul Richards, the founder of and columnist for Progress magazine, provides some guidance in his new book Labour's Revival: A Moderniser's Manifesto. He analyses Labour's strategic errors and the debilitating bumps in the road, plots against Gordon Brown’s leadership, poor election results and policy U-turns. He outlines the task ahead for Labour and calls on it to adopt a new agenda on public service reform, local ownership and control, a green economy and a renewed democracy.

As the Labour Party, with its new leader Ed Miliband at the helm, searches its soul and debates the future, Labour’s Revival provides a wake-up call for anyone who wants to see it come back as a serious party of government.

Labour's Revival: A Moderniser's Manifesto by Paul Richards is available to buy from the Biteback website priced £12.99

Permalink


Some Yes, Minister light relief on a Monday morning

  • September 27, 2010 10:21
  • Katy Scholes

For a bit of light relief on a rather drab Monday morning, we thought we'd post a classic exchange between Yes Minister's Sir Humphrey and Bernard Woolley to put a smile on everyone's faces!

Sir Humphrey: Now go in there and inform me of their conversation.
Bernard Woolley: I'm not sure I can do that, Sir Humphrey. It might be confidential.
Sir Humphrey: Bernard, the matter at issue is the defence of the realm and the stability of the government.
Bernard Woolley: But you only need to know things on a need-to-know basis.
Sir Humphrey: I need to know everything! How else can I judge whether or not I need to know it?
Bernard Woolley: So that means you need to know things even when you don't need to know. You need to know them not because you need to know them, but because you need to know whether or not you need to know. And if you don't need to know you still need to know, so that you know there is no need to know.

Got your own favourite Yes, Minister quote? Let us know and enter our fantastic competition and you could win tickets to see the Yes, Prime Minister play at London's Gielgud theatre!

For more quotes, facts, titbits, lists and tips, check out The Yes Minister Miscellany by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, available from the Biteback website, priced £6.99.

Permalink


The boom in coverage of the baby-boomers

  • September 24, 2010 17:09
  • Katy Scholes

In the latest issue of Total Politics magazine, “self-hating boomer” David Willetts MP argues that the baby-boomer generation (those born between 1945 and 1965) have been, and continue to be, selfish in failing to pass the riches their generation bore to their successors.

Another article this week, this time in the Evening Standard, relayed figures showing the high pressure that ageing baby boomers are expected to place on the Dept. Of Work and Pensions as well as on health and social services in London.

Never one to miss a trick, Francis Beckett, author of What Did the Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us?, makes a solid case in his book - and in person at the RSA launch event for it - for why the benefits that the baby boomers enjoyed have been denied to the youth of today.

Though there is some ambiguity over the parameters of the boom (Beckett limits it to those born between 1945 and 1955), this isn’t an argument that’s showing signs of slowing down. As the boomers retire and their children take the reins on the deficit and try to get to grips with its consequences, the issue will remain a contentious one.

So brush up on the generation blame game now and get your copy of What Did the Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us? for £12.99 here.

Permalink


The Yes Minister Miscellany by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn

  • September 23, 2010 17:36
  • Katy Scholes

"Yes Minister was more than a sit-com, it was a crash course in Contemporary Political Studies - it opened the lid on the way the Government operated. It remains the most quintessentially British of the British sitcoms." Arnando Iannucci

Coinciding with our fantastic competition to win tickets to see Yes, Prime Minister at London's Gielgud Theatre, Biteback's Yes Minister Miscellany is out now in paperback.

Yes Minister, together with its sequel Yes Prime Minister, is one of the most popular and critically successful British sitcoms of all time, largely due to its fascinatingly accurate observations of the sparring between Paul Eddington's naive minister, Jim Hacker, and Nigel Hawthorne's infernally cunning Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby. Highly influential, the programme has coloured the way we look at politics today, and how politicians see themselves.

This brilliantly funny book includes lists of interesting and little-known facts about the series; Sir Humphrey's finest obfuscations; how to be a civil servant; translating civil service speak; how to stall a minister; and other essential tips from the show. Introduced by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, (also behind the Gielgud's wonderful new show) the Yes Minister Miscellany also includes important dates, classic scenes, and the legendary Margaret Thatcher sketch in its entirety. This is the perfect book for fans of great British comedy!

The Yes Minister Miscellany by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn is available to buy from the Biteback website, priced £6.99

Don't forget to enter our terrific competition to win tickets to see Yes, Prime Minister!!

Permalink


Talking to a Brick Wall - a "must-read" - so we felt we must tell you!

  • September 22, 2010 15:43
  • Katy Scholes

"Deborah Mattinson's book goes beyond the soap opera of New Labour to explain its inner mechanics, the decline of the Brown years and - crucially - what the public really thought. A very important and hugely intelligent political text, and a must-read for anyone with an interest in how politics and popular opinion interact."

- Matthew D'Ancona

Talking To A Brick Wall is available now from Biteback for £17.99

Permalink