Thursday, 1 September 2016

A 'Knives' Q&A in The Big Issue North

I really enjoyed doing a Q&A with Kevin Gopal of The Big Issue North, which went into their recent print edition and can be viewed in full online. Below are a couple of snippets related to current affairs...

A non-Etonian home secretary has just become prime minister, but could a working class one from the North East?
Absolutely. If you just take New Labour’s run of home secretaries – David Blunkett, John Reid and Alan Johnson all came from working class backgrounds, and each might have been prime minister at one time. The Tories tend to more middle or upper-middle class origins, sure – but not David Davis or Patrick McLoughlin or Sajid Javid or Michael Gove, to speak only of the cabinet in recent years. Greg Clark, the new business secretary, is from Middlesbrough and I believe his dad worked as a milkman.

How has the country changed since you wrote Crusaders?
Crusaders was published in 2008 while New Labour was running out of road, as governments do. You could see the Tories had made themselves presentable again, so we were looking at another turn of the wheel, another Conservative era. The coalition and Cameron’s abortive second term were unstable, to say the least, but regrettably Labour in that time has contrived to abandon the business of real politics. So the many troubles we have afoot and headed our way will be for the Tories to contend with, I’d say.

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