An Unexpected MP: Confessions of a Political Gossip
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'Some people enter politics because they want to make the world a better place. Then there are those with well-deserved inferiority complexes who want status, power and position. Few believe me, but I entered the House of Commons purely by accident.' High virtue in high office? Not a chance, says Jerry Hayes. No staid autobiography or dry political memoir, An Unexpected MP takes you on a raucous and salacious romp through Westminster, the media and public life. In this no-holds-barred expose, Jerry Hayes shows exactly why people were so surprised when he became an MP - from the duty policeman who told him to bugger off when he rolled up on his first day, to the Iron Lady herself, who looked with a steely eye on his cheerful chutzpah. And, as the perfect antidote to the holier-than-thou, whiter-than-white ways of the current crop of politicos, the shameless - and shamelessly entertaining - Hayes makes a brilliant tour guide to the strange country that is Parliament, taking gleeful swipes at left and right alike. Full of tall tales of unspeakable debauchery on a tsunami of alcohol, An Unexpected MP is a thundering account of the offbeat lunacy of Westminster and Fleet Street.
of the News of the World flashed before me: ‘MP joins mile-high club’. I made my excuses and feigned sleep. I think. God, the Afrikaners were a ghastly bunch. Before each meal was a prayer. And then, when we were politely asked if we required something to drink, the splendid Michael Knowles would always save the day. ‘A large Scotch, please.’ Satan had entered the room, thank heavens or whatever. At one time we met ultra-right leader Jaap Marais, who looked a bit like a budgerigar with a
put-up-or-shut-up challenge and in October 1995 John Redwood resigned from the Cabinet and threw his hat into the ring for the leadership. In turn Major resigned as party leader but remained as Prime Minister. It was a remarkably brave thing to do and one hell of a gamble. The battle for the leadership had begun. And in the space of just a few years the Conservative Party indulged itself in a destructive civil war. What was a little surprising was that Redwood and the rest of the Cabinet had
After all, we remembered Richard Needham as a junior minister a few years earlier mentioning on his mobile that he was having to entertain the ‘old cow’ the next day. The IRA monitored all mobile phone traffic and released the tape. And the ‘old cow’ in question was Margaret Thatcher, who was decidedly frosty when Needham escorted her round Belfast town centre. One day, on the link, Paddy made an announcement. ‘Gentlemen, we have been less than honest with you recently, but for good reason. We
ministers to despair. In the land of the policy-blind, the one-eyed man ended up as king. What has confused so many Tories is that they have to make compromises with the Lib Dems. The remarkable thing about this coalition is not that it works but that it works so well. Policies are thrashed out with proper debate. The top table have grown-up discussions and compromise. And to be fair, the Lib Dems, who at grassroots level are the most dirty and dishonest of campaigners, have been a force for
and democracy. But this doesn’t go anywhere near solving the awful truth that none of us want to publicly admit: the Commission’s doctrine of political unity has a point. The reason the euro has been a catastrophic failure is because there is not a central fiscal policy, as the only way that that can be achieved is through some form of political unity. Member states have been able to get away with lying about their level of debt and the inevitable has happened. There is a respectable argument