Shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award
"He uses his closeness to events for over 30 years to draw conclusions about the dynamics of governments, both Conservative and Labour. He understands what happens when an administration 'runs out of steam' as he puts it. Moreover, time and again his judgement of people and events rings true." The Spectator
From victory in 1979 to humiliation in 1997 and beyond - and the beginnings of a revival.
A Political Suicide covers the extraordinary journey of the Conservative government from the victory of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 to the humiliating defeat of 1997 and beyond, with repercussions that still reverberate today. The book is almost entirely about what Norman Fowler saw personally as a Cabinet minister with Margaret Thatcher, as party chairman for John Major and in William Hague's shadow Cabinet. It is largely drawn from diaries kept by the author during the 1980s and 1990s.
This fascinating book looks at the significant landmarks from 1979 onwards: the early unpopularity, redeemed by the Falklands War; the ejection from the ERM; the fiasco of the poll tax, which helped to bring down Thatcher; the succession of John Major; success in the first Gulf War; the civil war within the party over Maastricht and Europe generally; and the merry-go-round of leadership changes.
After a decade in the wilderness there are early signs of recovery in the Conservatives, but the wounds need time to heal. This important and timely book concludes with an analysis of the similarities between what befell the Conservatives and the years of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - similarities which become stronger as each month goes by.