Giles Radice's diaries, which cover the years from 1980 - 2001, are not only an account of a distinguished parliamentary and political life. It is also one of only two published Labour diaries for the period (the other, of course, being that of Tony Benn) - and it is the only one written from a 'modernising' position. It follows the success of Radice's critically acclaimed Friends and Rivals, his group biography of Roy Jenkins, Denis Healey and Anthony Crosland, by giving an insider's view of the frustrating years in opposition in the 1980s, the short-lived John Smith leadership, the rise to power of Tony Blair, and of the success and failures of the Labour government from 1997-2001. It is a gripping read for all 'diary' aficionados, as well as being essential source material for historians and students of the modern Labour party. The book contains descriptions of Labour's civil war in the 1980s and the SDP split; the flaws in the Kinnock leadership; the fall of Mrs Thatcher; John Major's uneasy premiership; the rise of Tony Blair and the 1997 triumph; and a compelling portrait of Labour in power, including the tensions between Blair and Brown.
It also provides an exceptional account of the European issue in British politics, as well as the fall of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. Above all, it exposes a revealing insight into the life of a senior Member of Parliament, with all its hopes, pressures and frustrations and its impact on family life.
Giles Radice was a Labour MP for twenty-eight years and is now in the House of Lords. He was a member of Roy Jenkins' campaign team in his unsuccessful Labour leadership bid in 1976, and acted as campaign manager for Healey in his victory in 1981 over Benn for the deputy leadership, which saved the party from disintegration. Tony Blair once called him 'a Blairite before Blair'. Radice was chairman of the European Movement from 1995 to 2001 and helped set up Britain in Europe, of which he is a board member.