I know I’ve lost touch with politics, but one of the few things I’ve encountered recently, which has at least encouraged me to keep my toe in the water, is Alan Clark’s autobiography. It’s a wonderful book, beautifully written. OK, so his politics are pretty awful, but he presents himself well, and his humanity comes across superbly. I wish I suffered from his “culpable weaknesses”—you’ll have to read the book to understand that one!
I don’t have any real ambitions to get back into politics at the moment. My political feelings seem to be mainly negative. I am horrified by the slowly worsening Tory nationalism. I think it’s far more dangerous than naïve fundamentalism (you know, the kind that assumes that anyone who disagrees with them must be “spawn of the devil”) because senior politicians do know how people tick, and despite this they stir the flames. I entirely agree with Paddy Ashdown’s warnings on the matter. But I won’t get back into politics, because I can’t recreate enthusiasm or passion from negatives.