Unspeakable: The Autobiography

October 29, 2020
Unspeakable: The Autobiography

Candid. Controversial. Gripping.The fascinating memoirs of the former Speaker of the House ofCommons, John Bercow, one of the most famous people in politics inthe last decade.Unspeakable is John Bercow's characteristically forthrightand incisive account of his unique vantage point into Britishpolitics. Containing verdicts on many of the leading figures ofthis era, from Tony Blair to David Cameron, Theresa May, and BorisJohnson, Bercow explores and explains the ways in which he hassought to democratise the business of Parliament, using theSpeakership to champion the rights of backbench MPs and hold thegovernment to account.In his own words, "I made friends and enemies alike, but fromstart to finish I sought to do the right, rather than theconvenient, thing and to be a decent public servant." From thestart, Bercow tackles head-on his regretted fascination withdefinably right-wing attitudes and describes his inexorable marchto more progressive thinking since his election as Member ofParliament for Buckingham in 1997. It is essential reading foranyone interested in the business of politics and how our democracyis - or should be - run, with fascinating insights into Bercow'sfamily background and early interest in politics.When Bercow retired as Speaker of the House of Commons on 31stOctober, he had become one of the most recognisable andiconoclastic figures in British politics, and had created a vacancyof huge importance. As Speaker since 2009 he had a ringside seatduring one of the most febrile periods in modern British history,presiding over the Commons while it had to contend with key issuessuch as austerity in the light of the financial crisis; thecoalition government between the Conservatives and LiberalDemocrats; and of course the most intractable problem of all - howto deliver on the 2016 referendum decision that Britain shouldleave the EU.