'Yes, Minister' take on the Spending Review...

  • October 21, 2010 16:28
  • Katy Scholes

The spending review came as a harsh blow to the majority of people in the UK yesterday, including those in the book industries, so we've been perking ourselves up with some Yes, Minister humour in the office.

This one's a good'n in light of the MOD cuts:

Sir Humphrey: Don't you believe that Great Britain should have the best?
Jim Hacker: Yes, of course.
Sir Humphrey: Very well, if you walked into a nuclear missile showroom you would buy the Trident - it's lovely, it's elegant,, it's beautiful. It is quite simply the best and Britain should have the best. In the world of the nuclear missile it is the Savile Row suit, the Rolls-Royce Corniche, the Chateau Lafite 1945. it is the nuclear missile Harrods would sell you. What more can I say?
Jim Hacker: Only that it costs £15 billion and we don't need it.
Sir Humphrey: Well, you can say that about anything at Harrods.

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Want to know what Wayne Rooney's thinking? - No perhaps not - well maybe a little bit

  • October 21, 2010 12:11
  • Katy Scholes

Extracts from Rooney's Gold featured in The Sun today with details of the court case that resulted, among other things, in Paul Stretford - Rooney's agent - being dismissed as an unreliable witness and being banned and fined by the FA.

Read all about it, and about the people behind-the-scenes, in the warts-and-all biography of Wayne Rooney by one of the BBC's leading investigative journalists - John Sweeney - by buying the book here, priced £18.99.


Daily Politics: Lord Lawson - "history of incompetence" to blame for budget deficit

  • October 19, 2010 17:20
  • Katy Scholes

Lord Lawson talks to Andrew Neil and Anita Anand on the Daily Politics show about the difficulties faced by the coalition government in making spending cuts this week. On the eve of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Lawson suggests that the cuts need to be tough and they need to happen now – whilst the impact of the new government’s influence is at its strongest.

Click on this link to watch the full Daily Politics show which includes coverage of the protest against the cuts outside Westminster today and Lord Lawson discussing the “history of incompetence” that has lead to the budget deficit.

The chancellor, George Osborne, will set out the government's four year public spending plans in the full Spending Review 2010 tomorrow at 12:30.

The full account of Lord Lawson's thoughts on the current global economic situation can be found in his new book Memoirs of a Tory Radical available now for £14.99 from Biteback.


The Tory radical, Nigel Lawson is never one to disappoint

  • October 18, 2010 14:32
  • Katy Scholes

To coincide with the release of his fully abridged and updated Memoirs of a Tory Radical, Nigel Lawson was interviewed for the Sunday Telegraph this weekend where he discussed the various subjects in his book as well as the challenges facing George Osborne in the run up to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The former Chancellor revealed he has high hopes that his latest successor will hold his ground and have the confidence to make the necessary cuts to be announced on Wednesday.

“It is absolutely imperative that George makes a start now. A big start. As big as he can. There is always, of course, a limit in a democracy as to what is politically possible so you have to respect that limit. But in my experience governments tend to be too timid.”

In a video interview which corresponds with the piece here, Lord Lawson also talks about climate change, university funding and fears of a global currency war.

Fully updated with new material, the revised edition of his classic political autobiography, View From Number 11 - Memoirs of A Tory Radical gets straight to the heart of economic policy-making at a time of crisis and creative change and includes a final chapter which reflects on current events, including the banking crisis.

Memoirs of a Tory Radical is available now from Biteback priced £14.99


Brought to Book: Vin Arthey

  • October 15, 2010 14:37
  • Katy Scholes

Vin Arthey, author of the Dialogue Espionage Classic, The Kremlin's Geordie Spy , gets Brought to Book:

What is your favourite book and why?

Can I give you two? Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment, for the fairy stories themselves and for the exploration of their importance and their meanings. And George Orwell's Collected Essays, Letters and Journalism, for the honesty and the clarity of the writing and Orwell's understanding of England - its people and its language. If you're going to be brutal, it would be the Bettelheim, because I can get it into my pocket.

As a child, what was your favourite book and why?

Richmal Crompton's Just William. My father gave it to me, his copy, I still have it, when I was seven or eight. It was my first experience of laughing out loud when reading a book. Reading it gave me such joy. It still does. I read it aloud to my own children. I can remember all of us all rolling around with laughter. My children love books, and I hope that experience is part of the reason.

What book would you take on holiday this year?

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. It takes me years to get round to the Booker winners, but I'm catching up. It's been recommended to me by so many different people, from other writers to folk in my village pub. I'm preparing to savour it. With a bit of luck I’ll be able to get to Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question before next year’s winner is announced!

Do you have a favourite espionage book/biography?

Has to be Pavel Sudoplatov's Special Tasks. It's not always reliable, of course, but it spans the whole of Soviet history and the aftermath. It lifts curtains, pushes doors ajar, and when you peep in you see so much, and want to find out more.

Which book published in the last ten years do you think is the most significant?

I suppose you mean of those I've read. I'm sure the world will say that there have been more significant books, in the great scheme, but for me it's been Robert Dallek's two volume biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant. It's not just a life story but an explanation of the United States and its world role in the last 100 years.

Which literary character would you most like to be and why?

P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves - because he's the problem solver's problem solver. And because of the opportunity to control the ruling class!

Get your copy of Vin's book The Kremlin's Geordie Spy for £9.99 here.