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Hugo Young Ù off the record EBOOK

PDF × BOOK The Hugo Young Papers » DANPASHLEY Ï [Reading] ➸ The Hugo Young Papers: Thirty Years of British Politics - off the record Author Hugo Young – Danpashley.co.uk Hugo Young was one of Britains leading journalists for over thirty years first on the Sunday Times where he was political editor and deputy editG and informative books about British politics published for many years Youngs first interviewee Douglas Hurd later Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary and one of his regulars for the whole of the period of this book judged him thus His success was partly achieved by creating a conversation between two people roughly eual in status and knowledge His own preconception sometimes appeared as is natural in a conversation between euals but never in a way which interrupted the even flow of discourse He did not distort what he heardThe Hugo Young Papers shows Youngs central place in the nexus between politics and journalism in Britain and provides a historical document of the first ra A great read recording the thoughts of politicians and others without the benefit of hindsight You can dip into it and still enjoy it hugelyMany of the politicians whom Young interviewed showed an alarming lack of judgement In the late 1970's Chris Patten who is revealed as a rather superior and bitchy man doubts Margaret Thatcher's ability to hold her own at summit meetings Politicians from all parties greatly overestimated the importance of the SDPLiberal Alliance always expecting them to do better at elections than they didEurophiles constantly complain that but for the ignorant electorate they could achieve their ambition of a united states of Europe The head of the Diplomatic Service is very proud of his achievement at filling many of the main embassies with Europhile ambassadorsAfter what he recalls being struck with the unreflective frenzy of Gordon Brown's discourse in an interview in 1993 Young makes a marvellous comment If opposition is meant to be a time for thinking it is evident that the longer these people are in opposition the they are driven to mimic the hyperactivity of the ministers they may never beRobin Cook's comment in 1996 that the pressure from and media outlets means that politicians say less and less The result is that one says things very badly and always with a need to avoid saying anything that commits 13 years later thing have got worseHugo Young at times reveals the arrogance of the journalistic profession He complains that Gordon Brown kept him waiting for 30 minutes before an interview Imagine the Chancellor of the Excheuer not realising that his business is less important than that of a columnistI cannot recommend this book highly enough

KINDLE Ó Thirty Years of British Politics Ù Hugo Young

Hugo Young was one of Britains leading journalists for over thirty years first on the Sunday Times where he was political editor and deputy editor and then as the Guardians senior political commentator On his death in 2003 he was called the Pope of the liberal left but for the last decade orof his life there was really noadmired and respected journalist in any position on the political spectrum One of the secrets of Youngs success as a journalist was that he was exceptionally well informed Politicians from every major party senior civil servants judges and public figures of all kinds talked to him off the record discussions which then informed the judgements he made when he wrot Hugo Young was an exceptional journalist and highly regarded by the British political cognescenti For one he never took notes when meeting his subjects instead relying on a remarkable memory to type them up immediately afterwards In the introduction his wife remarks that he would not even stop to say hello when he arrived home and that she would hear the sound of furious typewriter hitting before he emergedThis book is a collection of his notes and catalogues interviews he held with various political figures during his time at both the Sunday Times and then the Observer until his death in 2003 There is little in the way of proper analysis here but as a behind the wall peek at the machinations of all three parties and importantly the very human thoughts and viewpoints of their members it is a remarkable document and invaluable to any student of the period

KINDLE The Hugo Young Papers

The Hugo Young Papers Thirty Years of British Politics off the recordE Most of his interlocutors were unaware that straight after their telephone conversation meal or meeting with Young had finished he meticulously wrote down exactly what had been said together with his own immediate impressions of whoever he was talking to By 2003 Youngs records from such conversations amounted to a million and a half words From this extraordinary archive Ion Trewin who knew Young since they were colleagues in the 1960s has made a selection which presents a uniue record of what many of the leading figures in British political and public life were thinking frankly and without the distortions of hindsight forthan three decades The result is one of the most grippin The Hugo Young Papers edited by Ion Trewin is a massive addition to the published record of British politics of the past thirty yearsHugo Young was primus inter pares among political columnists from 1969 to his death in 2003 He wrote first for the Sunday Times and post Murdoch the Guardian During this period he conducted regular background interviews with the leading politicians of the day His access was granted not only because of his role on these newspapers but on account of his personal credibility in the words of Douglas Hurd one of his regular interlocutors these were conversations between two people roughly eual in status and knowledgethe conversation was a pleasure in itself The interviews were off the record Young's executors have honored this and sought permission from every living source to publish Virtually none declined though now that he is back in the cabinet Peter Mandelson may wish that he had suppressed his 2000 comment that Ed Balls was a poisonous influence on BlairYoung did not write notes during the meetings one can imagine a servant in the Coffee Room of the Garrick discreetly reminding him of the rules had he tried just as a waiter in Wilton's had to tut tut David Miliband as he began removing his jacket during a lunchtime interview in July 1999 The written records were therefore reconstructed in tranuility sometimes several days after the meetings By all accounts they are reliably accurate Young wrote them in a sort of summary form in which he paraphrases what his interlocutor said sometimes in the first person sometimes in the third Thus there is a certain similarity in voice across all the characters though of course Alan Clark sounds uite different from Douglas Hurd for exampleThere are no bombshell revelations The strength of the papers is in their reporting of what the leading players were thinking at the time and the way in which the multiple interviews on the same issue or personality triangulate so as to create a textured three dimensional picture Several large themes occupy much of the collection the leadership transitions of Heath and Wilson; the collapse of Old Labour; how humiliating it was for grown men to work for Mrs Thatcher; the demise of John Major's government; the subseuent Tory leadership campaigns; the relationship between Blair and Brown; and the imminence or not of a referendum on the EuroAs the years moved on Young increasingly included his own assessments Thus of William Hague he observes that he is a man who knows he should not be in the job; of Michael Portillo he behaves like someone who hasn't got the smallest idea how much I disagree with him; and of Tony Blair his lack of bottom derives both from the thinness of his project and the lightness of his personality Our own dear current Prime Minister does appear with his flow of three point analyses and three point plans his piles of paper and his conviction that we have nothing to learn from Europe while other countries need to reform along the lines we have already taken Many of Brown's colleagues express dislike or distrust of him even if they respect him Young's own conclusion is uite positive here is a serious man With some patience He has the sharpest mind deeply engaged with this entire spectrum of issuesIf there is any moral to be drawn from this archive it may be how much of politics is determined by er politics Also it is striking how inaccurate many of the predictions made by informed people turne