Biteback books in political podcast special

  • October 07, 2010 17:17
  • Katy Scholes

Guardian Books Podcast: Political books special with Polly Toynbee and Will Hutton.

In the midst of party conference season last Saturday's edition of the Guardian Books Podcast reviewed the current role of political literature. The discussion covers the success of Which Way's Up? by Nick Boles and What did the Baby Boomers ever do for us? by Francis Beckett - who is a guest pannelist in the studio - and identifies Biteback as a key new player in the field of political publishing!


Lord Ashcroft's Minority Verdict impresses delegates in Birmingham

  • October 07, 2010 15:33
  • Katy Scholes

"One of the most interesting books about the last election." - David Grossman

On Monday night, as part of their coverage from the Conservative Conference in Birmingham, Newsnight, discussed the reasons behind the Tories' failure to win an overall majority in the 2010 elections.

The programme's Political Correspondent David Grossman drew on observations made by Lord Ashcroft in his latest book Minority Verdict:The Conservative Party, the voters and the 2010 election.

"The key to the result lies in the gap between the change people wanted and the change they thought we were offering. Going into the election, voters had little clear idea of what the Conservatives stood for or what we intended to do in government... At the same time, Labour's scaremongering about our intentions still resonated among too many floating voters who were not convinced we had really changed." - Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft's Minority Verdict is available now priced £10.00


In light of recent events...

  • October 07, 2010 13:06
  • Katy Scholes

...we have reached for the bestselling Yes Minister Miscellany.

What with budget cuts, the revision of defence spending, the occasional leak of official documents and murmerings of the effects upon the Coalition of a replacement of Trident, Yes Minister proves that it really is as timeless as ever:

"Conventional Forces are terribly expensive. Much cheaper just to press a button."

Submit your favourite Yes Minister quote to be entered into our free prize draw. Biteback Publishing is running a competiton in tandem with the Yes, Prime Minister stage show and we're offering three lucky winners the chance to win two tickets to see the show!

To enter, simply email your favourite Yes Minister or Yes Prime Minister one-liner and your contact details to All entries will be entered into a random draw and the winners picked and announced on the Biteback website on 1st November 2010.


Labour's Revival makes its appearance on the mayoral scene

  • October 06, 2010 10:17
  • Katy Scholes

Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone received his copy of Labour's Revival from author Paul Richards at the Labour Conference last week.

May it bring you much happiness Kenneth!

Get your copy of Labour's Revival: the moderniser's manifesto now for £12.99


Conference Diary: Nicholas Jones

  • October 05, 2010 15:44
  • Katy Scholes

Labour’s latest broadside against the Cameron-Coulson partnership

Given the skilful way the Conservatives have used the news media to prepare public opinion for the cutback in child benefit announced at this week’s party conference in Birmingham, it is no wonder that Labour MPs are continuing to gun for David Cameron’s communications chief Andy Coulson.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme – which made fresh allegations about Coulson’s involvement in phone-hacking by News of the World journalists – provided ready-made ammunition for opposition MPs and another barrage of damaging publicity.

But Coulson is standing firmly by his previous denials of having had any knowledge of how the paper’s royal editor hacked into mobile phone messages. This is despite fresh claims by an unidentified former senior journalist that Coulson listened in personally to intercepted voicemails of public figures. Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich, has called on Cameron to make a statement to Parliament.
Nicholas Jones, author of Campaign 2010, says Coulson has a pivotal role as Downing Street’s director of communications in co-ordinating the media build up to announcements by the coalition government about the current spending review. The decision to withdraw child benefit from parents who are higher rate taxpayers was a well kept secret but the possibility of a cut was trailed in both the Sunday newspapers and weekend radio and television programmes, preparing the ground for the Chancellor George Osborne.

Campaign 2010 provides an insider’s account of how Coulson was appointed the Conservatives’ media chief in 2007 and then worked with Cameron to prize the support of the Murdoch press away from the Labour government.

Cameron has been a beneficiary of the style of campaigning journalism favoured by the Sun and the News of the World and under Coulson’s guidance his government is managing to orchestrate favourable coverage for the spending cuts which are now being announced.

Jones says Campaign 2010 gives readers a step-by-step guide as to how Cameron and Coulson succeeded in bringing together the Conservative and Liberal Democrat media teams to promote the first peace-time coalition government and allow Cameron to claim that under his premiership politicians from opposing parties can work together in the national interest.

Nicholas Jones's book Campaign 2010 is available from the Biteback website priced £9.99.