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Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit

Narrated by: Philip Webster
Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: History, European
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the greatest political journalists of recent times, an insider's account of four decades of covering the British political scene, packed with tales of the biggest political happenings of the last half century.

Philip Webster covered politics for The Times newspaper for 43 years, including 18 years as its political editor. He has been at the centre of all the big stories of the past four decades - the fall of Labour in 1979, the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the emergence and fall of John Major, the rise and fall of Tony Blair and his wars with Gordon Brown, the aftermath of 9/11, the war in Iraq, the fall of Brown, the rise and rise of David Cameron and the shock election of Jeremy Corbyn.

Webster offers fresh insight into the great stories of his time. He gives a frank and revelatory insider's account of great political events since Michael Heseltine brandished the Mace, the night the Callaghan government fell, the day Sir Geoffrey Howe brought down Margaret Thatcher, the day Tony Blair said farewell, the night MPs voted for war in Iraq and every Budget and autumn statement for 40 years.

With the wit and geniality that has made him so many friends in politics, he reveals how stories came into his hands and how political journalism influences events as they unfolded. He has witnessed what he terms a golden age of political journalism, and this book offers an intimate account of his trade. The essential handbook for anyone interested by the craft of journalism, Inside Story reviews three decades of lead stories and the many politicians, great and small, he has encountered.

©2016 Philip Webster (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Webster is simply the best - a journalist with a sensational range of stories." (Andrew Marr)
"Philip Webster is a journalist of real intelligence and integrity with an ability to get on with all sides of the political spectrum." (Alastair Campbell)
"One of the greatest political journalists of my lifetime." (Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator)
"A brilliant journalist." (Tony Blair)

What members say

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-16

Fascinating insight, after the event, of so much in politics over the last 40 years.

Well observed intrigue. The background stories were really fascinating. I felt that I knew the characters much better after listening to this book.
It a 'long listen' and great for flights and car journeys.
I would recommend it to anyone who want the background to so many political events of the last 40+ years.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • 03-29-17

really interesting read & fascinating perspectiv

very enjoyable book and recount of political history of recent decades...some fascinating insights as well

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 02-15-17

Woeful narration.

Interesting book but narration is so monotone that you just want to quit listening and go do something that you'll know is going to hurt.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • grant g
  • 01-29-17

Dissappointing

What disappointed you about Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit?

Despite his incredible access to many of the major political players of the last 40 years the book for the most part remains very much at surface level. Perhaps due to the title I was expecting slightly more insight. The sections on recent events such as Brexit read pretty much as a linear collection of newspaper reports/summaries. The parts covering events further back proved more interesting primarily because they refreshed my memory. Webster's delivery pretty much kills any strong anecdotes he might have had. I listened to it all at 1.25 x and it still felt he needed a sugary doughnut and an expresso to pep him up. His sense of self importance when describing the tension at breaking his John Major and Edwina Curry exclusive was uncomfortable. It was undoubtedly a great story but let's not overlook the fact it really was tantamount to tabloid/celebrity gossip and he was hardly breaking open the Watergate scandal. Also a failure to give his views from inside the Murdoch empire or on the phone hacking scandal seemed a conspicuous omission.

If you’ve listened to books by Philip Webster before, how does this one compare?

N/A

Would you be willing to try another one of Philip Webster’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from Inside Story: Politics, Intrigue and Treachery from Thatcher to Brexit?

A professional orator would have been a sound investment

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Loomes
  • 10-16-17

Decent story spoiled by narrator

What could have been a good listen was made challenging to listen to by the author deciding to narrate his own book. The right narrator can make or break a book - no matter how good the book is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen W.
  • 05-02-17

Fascinating

A wonderfully entertaining read, perfectly narrated by the author. Insightful, impartial informative and totally fascinating.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Andrew A. Brown
  • 07-17-19

Excellent

A great listen through an incredible period of politics, very much recommended to any interested in politics.

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  • DominicMilo
  • 07-02-19

A linear run through

A linear run through of well-known political events, scratching the surface of the media and lobby process, very dully presented. No insights, nothing new.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-19

should be called no inside story or intrigue.

Really struggled to finish, repetitive and boring. the performance at lot like the writers life.

I am not normally critical but some one should stop this robbery. let me begin he says he is impartial, clearly not true. points out his best story is calling out Jhon major for cheating long after he was a has been. at a cost to the victim.

Quickly touches on the phone-hacking scandal basically ignoring the ethical points. moans about the decline in papers news etc... sadly does not consider, the parallel with trust and government / news propaganda pals network. (George Osborne and the best man at his wedding running the BBC) currently being ignored. with the rise of Trump Corbyn and Brexit. all in complete contradiction to news gods and think tanks.

Most of the big real news stories, he admits he was in the pub or playing golf. so 3rd person not inside story at best. he actually admitted to picking MPs to have lunch with, mainly because of how much they drank. sad case.

he sings the praises of TB. again touches on the IRA and half of the government with back door communications with them. No mention of JC attempt to make it official as a positive move. I think other than his life in government as an indirect instructed mowth peace, he clearly drinks a lot and can use shorthand better than most.
but his inability to see a change in the use of media and the change of popular political change is amazing it made the book feel empty of thoughts.

He says TB would have got another term without Brown. hahaha political but blind. Blair would not even have a manifesto without brown. Any insiders would know this as well as Tony getting a seat in browns office because he asked smith due to being bullied off other MPs. again makes me think his book 2D.

The clear change with the electorate, after Iraq and kelly the points he whitewashes over. points Corbyn was against with most voters and again ignored. Felt the book very boring and repetitive, always banging on about how good his short had is and how a lot of MPs like to openly use spin with him personally.

Never once looks into a story about conflicts of interest, no in-depth facts about expense scandal no intrigue at all. no mention of George Osbornes father in law having involvement with fracking, and his son in laws law changes. points you would think should be in the topics covered.

No mention of Mays lost pedophile documents and unexpected rise to power. or her husband business. very one sided.

no mention of Corbyn grassroots creating the biggest labour party in the EU. no attempt to explain the difference between antisemitism and anti-Zionist.

his book is very dreary vanilla with limited explanation on any of the points he makes. I did like the story about edd and David being used against each other, it really did show the similarities of conservative throat cut back stab government, and the blue blairight clone.
he gives a good idea on the time they spend in fighting and drinking in the pub than running the country. The same model grassroots labour need to avoid in all future governments. he doesn't see or explain the correlation of core paying people of his dwindling newspaper are the minority of people who can afford it... possibly years of the same have institutionalised him so I don't blame him for his clearly one-sided views. it is after all the only stories his paper will sell.

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  • Guy
  • 01-19-19

Great book, appalling narrator

This book provides fascinating insights into the world of British politics in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

However, while very interesting & intriguing, for me the narrator ruined it. His mangling of spoken English, odd syntax and quite simply weird pronunciations of certain words were distracting, irritating and frustrating. His style & tone are depressing and arrogant. That the narrator is the author points to that arrogance.

Worth listening to if you can bear the torture of the English language.