28 January 2011

The End Of The Party (paperback)

The End Of The Party
Andrew Rawnsley has added two new chapters to his book The End Of The Party, for the paperback edition. The book was originally published early last year (making its title either presumptuous or prophetic), before the various internal plots against Gordon Brown and the indecisive 2010 UK general election. These events are now included in the paperback edition.

Rawnsley's first history of New Labour, Servants Of The People, covered only Tony Blair's first term in government. The End Of The Party, much wider in scope, features Blair's second and third terms, and Brown's election defeat. Blair has subsequently published his own account of his premiership, A Journey; Peter Mandelson's memoir The Third Man includes an inside account of last year's post-election negotiations.

Servants Of The People's biggest scoop was an anonymous briefing that Brown had "psychological flaws". Rawnsley did not reveal the source of this quote, writing only that it came from "someone who has an extremely good claim to know the mind of the Prime Minister". Like Bob Woodward (Obama's Wars) and the authors of Game Change, Rawnsley relies on 'deep background' interviews with senior yet unidentified figures, and he has not yet fulfilled his pledge to reveal his sources after Blair left office. In The End Of The Party, Rawnsley hinted indirectly that Alastair Campbell was the source of the "psychological flaws" quote; while Campbell's book The Blair Years contained no reference to the incident, the unedited version published this year confirms that Campbell was indeed responsible.