Andy Beckett, ‘Promised You a Miracle’

Far from another exercise in eighties nostalgia, this book is a fascinating closer examination of a couple of years that apparently changed Britain forever. It’s fair to say that Beckett is uncertain about the value of this change although he’s open-minded enough to acknowledge the many benefits it brought as well as recognising the human … More Andy Beckett, ‘Promised You a Miracle’

‘Honours for Sale: The Strange Story of Maundy Gregory’ by Gerald McMillan

It is a strange story and one that has been told elsewhere rather more fully than Gerald McMillan was able to in 1954 I think, but the book – stamped ‘Dowlais Library’ has been sitting on the windowsill in our Assembly office for as long as I’ve worked there and curiosity finally got the better of me. Maundy … More ‘Honours for Sale: The Strange Story of Maundy Gregory’ by Gerald McMillan

‘In It Together’ by Matthew D’Ancona

  If you have the slightest interest in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, this book is essential reading. It explains how the coalition came about (and how much secret preparation had been made in the run-up to the 2010 election despite public disavowals) and how it continued to exist despite some severe internal and external … More ‘In It Together’ by Matthew D’Ancona

Patrick Hannan, ‘Wales Off Message’

I recently re-read Patrick Hannan’s ‘Wales Off Message’. Published in 2000 the events and misadventures in Welsh politics it recounts are all familiar to me although he always managed to find a new angle from which to view those events or a undiscovered nugget of fascination, such as Rhodri Morgan’s unprecedented tidying of his sock … More Patrick Hannan, ‘Wales Off Message’

Groom of the Stool: Robert Shepherd, ‘Westminster: A Biography’

Robert Shepherd’s ‘Westminster: a Biography’ covers the whole lifespan of the marshy island which became the centre of power and government in Britain. For me, Westminster has become a workplace and I often forget the history behind the buildings which have shaped the form of government operating in Britain. As a result of this book, … More Groom of the Stool: Robert Shepherd, ‘Westminster: A Biography’