Staggering Hubris by Josh Berry
|Staggering Hubris by Josh Berry|
|Reviewer: Peter Magee|
|Summary: What begins as a light-hearted spoof on life in Downing Street turns into something resembling a fly-on-the-wall documentary. There came a point when it almost ceased to be funny because it seems that it was all true...|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: November 2021|
|Publisher: Lightning Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Members of Parliament like us to believe that the country is run by politicians, headed by the Prime minister - the primus inter pares (that's for those of you who are Eton and Oxbridge educated) but the reality is that the prime movers are the special advisers - the SPADS - who are the driving force behind the government. We are in the privileged position of having access to the memoirs of Rafe Hubris, the man who was behind the skilful control of the Covid crisis which was completely contained by the end of 2020. You might not know the name now but he will certainly be the man to watch.
When I started Staggering Hubris, I thought that I'd picked up a light-hearted spoof on life in Downing Street. The humour was, possibly, more schoolboy than my usual taste but it was a fun read which wasn't to be taken too seriously. It was late November 2021 when I started reading and none of the shenanigans which I read about seemed remotely possible. Still, it was amusing to see the mickey taken out of people who seemed to take themselves more seriously than was necessary.
Humour, I was told, this book is just humour. It's not to be taken seriously. The lawyers had obviously had a good look at the manuscript and whilst some of it seemed gloriously close to the bone it was going to be good for a few laughs. At one point I put the book down as real-life intervened for a week or two. When I returned to the book it was to discover that what had filled the airwaves for the last couple of weeks was all there in the book.
There's the secret Santa party (sorry, 'gathering') the get-togethers, the defence of the indefensible, such as the Priti Patel bullying allegations and the tolerance of fifth raters in the cabinet and the absence of principles at the heart of government. Rafe has reached the conclusion that if it benefits me, then it must be good for the country.
I was left with the uneasy feeling that this wasn't humour, this was a fly-on-the-wall documentary and the occupants of Downing Street had managed, somehow, to live down to what had seemed like outrageous satire. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Try it and make your own mind up! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this appeals, you might also enjoy House of Fun: 20 glorious years in parliament by Simon Hoggart.
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