Unlike many political memoirists, former Labour minister Chris Mullin has a bit of talent in the literary and dramatic direction, having authored both books and a tv series. His latest epistolary foray is to publish his 'secret' diaries from his time as a junior Minister. And he's chosen that well known cheerleader for New Labour, the Daily Mail, as his vehicle of first publication.
Mullin is pretty scathing about many of his colleagues, although his description of Mandelson as someone who can't bear not being the centre of attention can hardly count as an extraordinary revelation. He describes John Prescott's department as the 'Department of Folding Deckchairs', and likens Prescott's leadership of it as being like the court of Boris Yeltsin in Russia. But it is Prescott who comes up trumps. Showing grace and humour in his increasingly unmissable blog, Prescott both recalls Mullin as an excellent minister, and then recalls an occasion when the junior minister was mistaken for a tramp at the entrance to his own ministry.