Great books you should read No.2: Things can only get better

D:ream to aisle seven! Spillage on aisle seven!If you’ve ever sat in the back room of a pub, terrified that a new member will meet one of the headbangers that seem to populate the local branches of every party, then this is for you.

John O’Farrell went from being a hard core Labour activist to a professional comedy writer ( Yes, I know. Insert joke here.) and tells the tale of how one starts out an inflexible idealist, and is gradually  worn down by a mixture of inevitable compromise but also the tempting comforts of  being middle class.

Regardless of one’s political background, any party activist will enjoy this. Especially the stories of canvassing and encountering that voter who seems to exist in every country who announces  “If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it!” as if it has dripped for the first time ever from his lips. Or the party member who brings everything back to the same issue: ” Well the Iraq war was tragic but what about the dogshit on Langer Avenue?”

TCOGB is also great on the simple isolation one encounters inside a party that keeps on losing. As power seems to get further and further away, the members become more and more obsessed with internal party totems and devote increasing energy not to winning elections but denouncing each other or feeling morally smug. Fine Gael please note.

Both funny and earnest, a must for the political junkie.  

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