When was the last time that you changed your mind? About someone or some incident or conversation?
In that Temple of Universal Provision (Sainsburys) I went in search or a Father’s Day card and was taken past the books. Most of the new titles were going for a song. My choice (I was in need of some bedtime reading that didn’t stretch the mind) was Cheri Booth – Speaking for Myself A surprise for me – yes – because she was one of those public figures that I had rather made up my mind about. And the judgement wasn’t entirely generous!
Many of you know my interest in modern political biography and so I was intrigued to read about events of the past couple of decades from another perspective.
I was very pleasantly surprised by both the quality of the text, the woman and why I had allowed mostly the media to shape such a negative impression of this formidable woman. She writes very honestly about her upbringing in Liverpool, abandoned by her father at an early age, her religious upbringing and her battle to get to University. She emerges with a fierce sense of justice and with an abiding strong Scouse spirit and humour that allow her to survive and conquer against some very difficult odds. Here is a warm woman with integrity and intelligence. I came to enjoy her determination (sometimes against her husband) and the way she simply tells it as it is!
She paints a picture of domestic life in 10 Downing Street and her unstinting care and struggle to safegaurd her children’s privacy and continue her career as a leading lawyer.
We get some very amusing information about foreign trips and relationships with Gordon Brown. I roared with laughter at her goings on with the Royal family. She settles some scores and expresses her views with clarity and depth.
How quickly we judge – and how often we are wrong. I promise to try better. Now – what about John Prescott’s autobiography? Perhaps I might persuade a friend to pick it up for me??!!