Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review – Unspeakable by John Bercow

This review was first published on the 16th May 2020 but was republished on the 27th April 2022 in light of the finding by the Independent Expert Panel into John Bercow’s behaviour as speaker.

In his decade as Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow became, without any doubt, the most controversial Speaker in modern parliamentary history. In the final quarter of his term as Speaker, it appeared that even any veneer of impartiality had began to fade. In this book the shackles of neutrality are completely off and the author appears to revel, at times far too much, in this newfound freedom.

Notably, the are parts of the book that make uncomfortable reading, with frequent character attacks that are unnecessary and to which many of the victims have no realistic right of reply. Frankly, there is just too much of this book that is self-serving. Whilst it remains extremely interesting from a constitutional standpoint – it is disappointing in other ways.

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Book Review: The Alastair Campbell Diaries Volume 1 Prelude to Power 1994-1997

This Book Review was guest written by a Sixth-Form Student

This book gives a day-to-day guide about the events that Alastair Campbell went through from the day that John Smith passed away until Tony Blair walked into 10 Downing Street as the first Labour Prime Minister since 1979. This long diary from 1994-1997 gives an excellent insight into the British media and the personalities that were involved within politics in the 1990’s.

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Book Review – No.10: The Geography of Power at Downing Street

Reading this book, as a Politics teacher, was either informative or interesting throughout, it never failed to deliver on one of these criteria. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book to read.

Plenty of films and TV Series delve into the geography of the West Wing of the White House. Of course, The West Wing, is the most prominent of these. Few do the same in the UK. Even Yes Prime Minister is largely based from the Cabinet Room and the the office of the Cabinet Secretary. This book attempts to explain how Downing Street works, how it has evolved and why this is important.

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