I have absolutely no idea whether Andrew Marr had his ear more firmly to the ground than the rest of us, or had his tongue firmly in his cheek, when he wrote Children of the Master, his second novel.
This narrative is set some years down the track. Although Britain has left the European union, there are many things still to be resolved, Scotland being one of them. In politics, as in life, there are numerous different things going on, but where this story differs (I sincerely hope) from real politics and real life, is that behind the scenes there is a manipulative grotesque – an ex-Prime Minister – with a small team of acolytes who are working the members of the current government, organising regime change, and grooming, there is no other word for it, candidates for high office – the children of the title.
Everything, or nearly everything, is going according to plan – only one of the less well connected minions suddenly loses the plot and spills the beans, with dramatic effect.
Andrew Marr is a compelling writer, this is a really excellent story – I only wish none of it had, or could possibly come true. But with heads rolling, back-stabbing and political futures biting the dust, it would seem that Mr Marr has got it bang to rights.
Maybe because of his journalistic background, and his present political TV show, he has caught the language and behaviour of politicians to a nicety. But can they really be so spiteful and unprincipled as this novel seems to suggest? Well, read the papers this week and you do begin to wonder.
If this book is right, we will have a woman Prime Minister fairly soon. Let us hope that she is very much more committed in her personal relationships but also has a generous dash of the steely determination that will be required to bargain our way out of the mess that is Brexit, in such a way that not too many people wake up with Regrexit on their minds.
On with the divorce…