Lucky George: Memoirs of an Anti-politician

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9780140282214: Lucky George: Memoirs of an Anti-politician

This biography details George Walden's accounts of his amorous adventures in Cold War Moscow, Hong Kong and Peking and the sentimental education of a young diplomat in his days at the foreign office. Though his passionately held views on a number of subjects, particularly European culture, shine out, it is principally with a strong impression of the author's personality and unsuitability for the life of a politician that the reader will leave this book.

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George Walden was a Conservative MP for 14 years until 1997. But, as the title suggests, for most of that time he was an 'Anti-Politician' with a tendency to speak his mind--including telling the Government and his constituents to "bugger off" if provoked. Lucky George is an amusing autobiography and charts our hero's life from a council estate in Dagenham, to mixing with royalty on the Royal Yacht Britannia. The first part of this book concentrates on Communism and Walden's pursuit of women. He spent a year in Russia, where he had his first real affair, then returned to London where he worked as an expert in Communism and had a number of amorous encounters, one of which had cause to make him visit an STD Clinic. Later Walden was posted to Peking and his account captures the horror and hysteria of the Cultural Revolution. After a spell as David Owen's Private Secretary, then Peter Carrington's, when they were successively Foreign Secretary, he looked set for a glittering career as an ambassador but he decided to turn his back on diplomacy and became a Conservative MP. After a brief spell as Minister for Higher Education, he returned to the backbenches where he spent his time drinking, castigating minor royals and not toeing the party line. Walden is witty and acerbic in his assessment of politicians and public figures past and present and he manages to paint an alternative view of politics and diplomacy which makes for a very enjoyable read. -- Carina Trimingham

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George Walden
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