Jerry Hayes

Ed Miliband isn’t sad, he’s tragic

ED: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader by Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre is a much better book than it has been given credit for. The making of a really good biography requires research, insight and some good gossip. The trouble is that Ed Miliband has not done anything particularly interesting except

The Zionist and the Zealot

If anyone wants to attempt an understanding of any conflict they should study history. And if anyone wishes to understand the roots of the problems in the Middle East, and in particular Israel and Palestine, they should read Geoffrey Lewis’s beautifully researched and scholarly Balfour & Weizmann: The Zionist, The Zealot and the Emergence of

Archer’s gift

One of the most irritating things about the launch of a Jeffrey Archer book is the high pitched whine of indignation and scorn from that small, bitchy and endangered species, the literary community. Well, after God knows how many years and the sale of 350 million books, they have been remarkably reserved about his latest,

Whatever Next?

  Robin Ferrers has written a wonderful and entertaining book about his life. In many ways his is a life of love; of his family, his country and of life itself. If ever there is an example of someone who personifies the essence of being an English gentleman, in terms of decency, courtesy and a

Transcending the Bounds of Awfulness

Jerry Hayes, the former Conservative MP for Harlow and criminal Barrister, returns to The Spectator Arts Blog with his take on Janet Street Porter’s book Don’t Let The B*****ds Get You Down, which has recently been reprinted in paperback. You really won’t want to put this book down. Because the moment the first page of

Compulsory political reading

What I find so depressing about this book is that so few politicians and journalists have bothered to read it. A couple of days ago I popped in to the Commons for dinner. As I still had Boles’s book in my pocket, every time I bumped into ministers and senior journalists I asked if they

TV: Oh, Mandy

Mandelson: The Real PM? is not so much a fly on a wall as a bluebottle buzzing round a dunghill. Hannah Rothschild invites us to join her on the trail of the gastropodic slime, littered with the rotting corpses of political roadkill, that is Peter Mandelson’s life. It is as gripping as it is depressing.