Things Can Only Get Worse?

Twenty Confusing Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Black Swan

ISBN: 9781784162634

Category:

Page: 336

View: 830

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'...as the Labour candidate I prepared for every possible question on the local radio Election Phone-In. What I had not prepared for was my mum ringing up to say that she agreed with John O'Farrell. On EVERYTHING.' Where Did We Go Right? is the personal story of one political activist helping Labour progress from its 1997 landslide to the unassailable position it enjoys today. Along the way, he stood for Parliament against Theresa May but failed to step into her shoes; he was dropped from Tony and Cherie's Christmas card list after he revealed he always sent their card on to a friend from the SWP; and he campaigned for a new non-selective inner-city state school, then realised this meant he had to send his kids to a non-selective inner-city state school. The long-awaited sequel to the best-selling Things Can Only Get Better is for everyone who could use a good laugh after Brexit, Boris and Trump. A roller-coaster ride through the last two decades via the very best political jokes (excluding the ones that keep getting elected).

Things Can Only Get Better

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Black Swan

ISBN: 9781784163211

Category: Conservatism

Page: 336

View: 7410

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Like bubonic plague and stone cladding, no-one took Margaret Thatcher seriously until it was too late. Her first act as leader was to appear before the cameras and do a V for Victory sign the wrong way round. She was smiling and telling the British people to f*** off at the same time. It was something we would have to get used to.' Things Can Only Get Better is the personal account of a Labour supporter who survived eighteen miserable years of Conservative government. It is the heartbreaking and hilarious confessions of someone who has been actively involved in helping the Labour party lose elections at every level- school candidate- door-to-door canvasser- working for a Labour MP in the House of Commons; standing as a council candidate; and eventually writing jokes for a shadow cabinet minister. Along the way he slowly came to realise that Michael Foot would never be Prime Minister, that vegetable quiche was not as tasty as chicken tikki masala and that the nuclear arms race was never going to be stopped by face painting alone.

A Journey

My Political Life

Author: Tony Blair

Publisher: Vintage Books Canada

ISBN: 0307398218

Category: Great Britain

Page: 784

View: 8542

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In this remarkably gripping memoir, one of the most dynamic and controversial leaders of modern times gives us a firsthand account of his years in office and beyond. Here, for the first time, Tony Blair recounts his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana's death to the war on terror. With rare honesty and courage, he recounts the belief in ethical intervention that led to his decision to go to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversial of all, Iraq. Filled with fascinating revelations about Blair's close friendship with the Clinton family, his admiration for George W. Bush, and his relationship with Barack Obama, A Journey is a must-read political memoir, providing an unprecedented glimpse into Tony Blair's experiences as Prime Minister, through his own eyes. In his expansive new introduction, Tony Blair discusses his vision of a future based on open-mindedness, yet fully couched in the complex realities of our times.

My Life, Our Times

Author: Gordon Brown

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473549620

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 4012

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Former Prime Minister and the country’s longest-serving Chancellor, Gordon Brown has been a guiding force for Britain and the world over three decades. This is his candid, poignant and deeply relevant story. In describing his upbringing in Scotland as the son of a minister, the near loss of his eyesight as a student and the death of his daughter within days of her birth, he shares the passionately-held principles that have shaped and driven him, reminding us that politics can and should be a calling to serve. Reflecting on the personal and ideological tensions within Labour and its successes and failures in power, he describes how to meet the challenge of pursuing a radical agenda within a credible party of government. He explains how as Chancellor he equipped Britain for a globalised economy while swimming against the neoliberal tide and shows what more must be done to halt rising inequality. In his behind-the-scenes account of the financial crisis and his leading role in saving the world economy from collapse, he addresses the question of who was to blame for the crash and why its causes and consequences still beset us. From the invasion of Iraq to the tragedy of Afghanistan, from the coalition negotiations of 2010 to the referendums on Scottish independence and Europe, Gordon Brown draws on his unique experiences to explain Britain’s current fractured condition. And by showing us what progressive politics has achieved in recent decades, he inspires us with a vision of what it might yet achieve today. Riveting, expert and highly personal, this historic memoir is an invaluable insight into our times.

Betting The House

The Inside Story of the 2017 Election

Author: Tim Ross,Tom McTague

Publisher: Biteback Publishing

ISBN: 1785903233

Category: Political Science

Page: 356

View: 549

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On 18th April 2017, Theresa May stunned Britain by announcing a snap election. With poll leads of more than 20 points over Jeremy Corbyn’s divided Labour Party, the first Tory landslide since Margaret Thatcher’s day seemed certain. Seven weeks later, Tory dreams had turned to dust. Instead of the 100-seat victory she’d been hoping for, May had lost her majority, leaving Parliament hung and her premiership hanging by a thread. Labour MPs, meanwhile, could scarcely believe their luck. Far from delivering the wipe-out that most predicted, Corbyn’s popular, anti-austerity agenda won the party 30 seats, cementing his position as leader and denying May the right to govern alone. This timely and indispensable book gets to the bottom of why the Tories failed, and how Corbyn’s Labour overcame impossible odds to emerge closer to power than at any election since the era of Tony Blair. Who was to blame for the Tories’ mistakes? How could so many politicians and pollsters fail to see what was coming? And what was the secret of Corbyn’s apparently unstoppable rise? Through new interviews and candid private accounts from key players, political journalists Tim Ross and Tom McTague set out to answer these questions and more, piecing together the inside story of this most dramatic and important of elections.

The Best a Man Can Get

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802197884

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 7136

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Michael Adams is a composer of advertising jingles who shares a bachelor pad with three other guys. He spends his days lying in bed (a minifridge positioned perfectly within reach) and playing trivia games with his underachieving roommates. And when he feels like it, Michael crosses the city and returns home to his unsuspecting wife and two small children. Michael is living a double life, stretching out his “wilting salad days” with imaginary business trips and fake deadlines while his wife enjoys the exhausting misery of the little ones. It’s the best thing for his marriage, Michael figures. She can care for the new loves of her life as it seems only she knows how, and he can sleep until the afternoon. Can this double life continue indefinitely? In The Best a Man Can Get, best-selling comic novelist John O’Farrell takes readers on a dark romp through the soul of the contemporary male, torn between eternal adolescence and the very real demands of fatherhood. It’s wry, witty, and surprisingly charming.

I Have A Bream

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407094505

Category: Humor

Page: 400

View: 4121

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Isn't it always the way? You wait ages for one purple flour-filled condom and then three come along at once. Of course the correct procedure for a chemical attack in the House of Commons would have been for MPs to remain in the chamber and remove all items of clothing.I'm not sure which is the more horrific vision; anthrax all over London or Nicholas Soames slipping out of his Y-fronts while chatting to a naked Ann Widdecombe. Here at last is the third collection of John O'Farrell's immensely popular Guardian columns - the final part of the trilogy in which he discovers that Margaret Thatcher is actually his mother. Contained within these covers are a hundred funny, satirical essays on subjects as diverse as Man's ascent from the apes and the re-election of George W. Bush.Plus there is a full account of O'Farrell's heroic but slightly less successful attempt to capture his Tory home town for socialism.He claims that identity fraud has got so bad that an audacious impostor using the name A.L. Blair even managed to get himself a Labour Party card by posing a left-wing champion of wealth distribution and civil rights.He asks why a Blackberry isn't compatible with an Apple.And find out why the Queen didn't go to her own son's wedding; 'What happened to that other girl you were seeing?' 'Mother, we got divorced and then she died in a car crash, remember?' 'Well sometimes you have to work at these things dear...'

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain

Or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0385611986

Category: Great Britain

Page: 498

View: 4640

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From 55BC to 1945, An Utterly Impartial History of Britain elucidates, informs, but most of all laughs at the seemingly incomprehensible events that combine to make up the story of Great Britain.

Postcapitalism

A Guide to Our Future

Author: Paul Mason

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710694

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 6460

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We know that our world is undergoing seismic change—but how can we emerge from the crisis a fairer, more equal society? Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes—economic cycles that veer from boom to bust—from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new. At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open. In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.

May Contain Nuts

A Novel of Extreme Parenting

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802199410

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 5378

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This hilarious novel of a helicopter mom and dad is “a near-flawless caricature of 21st-century upper-middle-class parenthood” (Publishers Weekly). Alice never imagined she would end up like this, so anxious after hearing about the dangers of meteorites that she makes her children wear bike helmets in the wading pool. Her husband, David, has taught their four-year-old to list every animal represented in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. But the more they push their children, the more things there are to worry about. It seems no amount of gluten rationing or herbal teas can improve their children’s intellectual development, and as Alice’s eldest child looks set to fail her entrance exam for the exclusive private school on which her parents have pinned all their hopes, Alice decides to take matters into her own hands. With a baseball cap pulled low over her face, Alice shuffles into a hall of two hundred kids and takes the test in place of her daughter, her first exam in twenty years. From one of Britain’s bestselling comic novelists, praised by the New York Times for “a tart narrative voice and a delectably understated way with wisecracks,” May Contain Nuts is a provocative satire of the manic world of today’s hypercompetitive, overprotective families.

A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Penguin Global

ISBN: 9781846146343

Category: Humor

Page: 107

View: 5650

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John O'Farrell, author of The Man Who Forgot His Wife, An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and Things Can Only Get Better, turns his comedic genius to the problem of capitalism, encapsulated in a Tube train full of passengers stuck underground - part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, as Tfl celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin Also available in a boxset 'Authors include the masterly John Lanchester, the children of Kids Company, comic John O'Farrell and social geographer Danny Dorling. Ranging from the polemical to the fantastical, the personal to the societal, they offer something for every taste. All experience the city as a cultural phenomenon and notice its nature and its people. Read individually they're delightful small reads, pulled together they offer a particular portrait of a global city' Evening Standard 'Exquisitely diverse' The Times 'Eclectic and broad-minded ... beautifully designed' Tom Cox, Observer 'A fascinating collection with a wide range of styles and themes. The design qualities are excellent, as you might expect from Penguin with a consistent look and feel while allowing distinctive covers for each book. This is a very pleasing set of books' A Common Reader blog 'The contrasts and transitions between books are as stirring as the books themselves ... A multidimensional literary jigsaw' Londonist 'A series of short, sharp, city-based vignettes - some personal, some political and some pictorial ... each inimitable author finds that our city is complicated but ultimately connected, full of wit, and just the right amount of grit' Fabric Magazine 'A collection of beautiful books' Grazia [Praise for John O'Farrell]: 'Comic genius' Mirror 'A consistently humorous writer' Mail on Sunday John O'Farrell is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Man Who Forgot His Wife. He has also written comic non-fiction such as An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, the political memoir, Things Can Only Get Better and three collections of his popular Guardian column.

Global Village Idiot

Author: John O'Farrell

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409022633

Category: Humor

Page: 352

View: 6330

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'This week the first pet passports came into effect. Around the country dogs have been hopping into photo booths and trying to look as relaxed as possible, which is not easy when you know you're not allowed on the chair.' Gathered here are the best of John O'Farrell's newspaper columns for the Guardian and the Independent which saw him win the coveted Best Columnist of the Year Award at the prestigious British Liars Awards. Among many other things, he claims that the only conviction in the Tory Party will be when Jeffrey Archer gets sent to prison; that scientists have created a genetically superior monkey which will advertise lapsang souchong instead of PG Tips; and that with the election of George W. Bush, the global village has finally got its own global village idiot.

The Lies of the Land

An Honest History of Political Deceit

Author: Adam Macqueen

Publisher: Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1786492504

Category: Humor

Page: 352

View: 6377

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Trust in our politicians is at an all-time low. We're in a "post-truth" era, where feelings trump facts, and where brazen rhetoric beats honesty. But do politicians lie more than they used to? And do we even want them to tell the truth? In a history full of wit and political acumen, Private Eye journalist Adam Macqueen dissects the gripping stories of the biggest political lies of the last half century, from the Profumo affair to Blair's WMDs to Boris Johnson's £350 million for the NHS. Covering lesser known whoppers, infamous lies from foreign shores ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman"), and some of the resolute untruths from Donald Trump's explosive presidential campaign, this is the quintessential guide to dishonesty from our leaders - and the often pernicious relationship between parliament and the media. But this book is also so much more. It explains how in the space of a lifetime we have gone from the implicit assumption that our rulers have our best interests at heart, to assuming the worst even when - in the majority of cases - politicians are actually doing their best.

Hammer of the Left

The Battle For the Soul of the Labour Party

Author: John Golding

Publisher: Biteback Publishing

ISBN: 1785900331

Category: Political Science

Page: 496

View: 8104

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“We went into the general election with an unelectable leader, in a state of chaos with a manifesto that might have swept us to victory in cloud cuckoo land, but which was held in contempt in the Britain of 1983.” It is said that those who do not learn from past mistakes are doomed to repeat them, and though Golding was describing the Labour Party of the early 1980s, he could just as easily have been talking about its situation today. A lurch to the left and a party in turmoil — the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will, for many, trigger only unhappy memories of the dark days of the 1970s and ’80s, when the party was plagued by a civil war that threatened to end all hopes of re-election. In that battle, moderate elements fought the illiberal hard left for the soul of Labour; that they won, paving the way for later electoral successes, was down to men and women like John Golding. In this visceral, no-holds-barred account, Golding describes how he took on and helped defeat the Militant Tendency and the rest of the hard left, providing not only a vivid portrait of political intrigue and warfare, but a timely reminder for the party of today of the dangers of disunity and of drifting too far from electoral reality.

Clement Attlee

The Man Who Made Modern Britain

Author: John Bew

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190203412

Category: History

Page: 752

View: 2236

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Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill's wartime heroics and larger-than-life personality propelled him to the center of the world stage. To most, he remains Great Britain's greatest Prime Minister, his fame and charisma overshadowing those who followed in his footsteps. Yet while he presided over his country's finest hour, he was not its most consequential leader. In this definitive new biography, John Bew reveals how that designation belongs to Clement Attlee, Churchill's successor, who launched a new era of political, economic, and social reform that would forever change Great Britain. Bew's thorough and keen examination of Attlee, the former leader of the Labour Party, illuminates how his progressive beliefs shaped his influential domestic and international policy. Alternatively criticized for being "too socialist" or "not radical enough," Attlee's quiet tenacity was intrinsic to the success of his party and highly pertinent to British identity overall. In 1948, he established the National Health Service as part of his "British New Deal"-a comprehensive, universal system of insurance, welfare, and family allowances to be enjoyed by all British citizens. Attlee also initiated key advancements in international relations by supporting the development of both the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and by granting independence to India, Burma, and Ceylon. More controversially, he sanctioned the building of Britain's nuclear deterrent in response to the rise of the Soviet Union and the threat of atomic bombs. Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain explores his tenure in the years after the war, as he presided over a radical new government in an age of austerity and imperial decline. Bew mines contemporary memoirs, diaries, and press excerpts to present readers with an illuminating and intimate look into Attlee's life and career. Attentive to both the man and the political landscape, this comprehensive biography provides new insight into the soul of a leader who transformed his country and by extension the vast empire over which it once ruled.

You Are Not a Gadget

Author: Jaron Lanier

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307593142

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 240

View: 1565

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A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse. Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Author: Frederick Douglass

Publisher: Big Nest via PublishDrive

ISBN: 1910833819

Category: Fiction

Page: 106

View: 8608

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One of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life.

The Book of Aron

A novel

Author: Jim Shepard

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101874325

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 1177

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The acclaimed National Book Award finalist—“one of the United States’ finest writers,” according to Joshua Ferris, “full of wit, humanity, and fearless curiosity”—now gives us a novel that will join the short list of classics about children caught up in the Holocaust. Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the German onslaught from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution. He and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives by scuttling around the ghetto to smuggle and trade contraband through the quarantine walls in hopes of keeping their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police, not to mention the Gestapo. When his family is finally stripped away from him, Aron is rescued by Janusz Korczak, a doctor renowned throughout prewar Europe as an advocate of children’s rights who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the Warsaw orphanage. Treblinka awaits them all, but does Aron manage to escape—as his mentor suspected he could—to spread word about the atrocities? Jim Shepard has masterfully made this child’s-eye view of the darkest history mesmerizing, sometimes comic despite all odds, truly heartbreaking, and even inspiring. Anyone who hears Aron’s voice will remember it forever. From the Hardcover edition.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Thomas Piketty

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674979850

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 816

View: 8848

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The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.