Book Corner: Mrs. Thatcher’s Minister by Alan Clark

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Alan Clark was a “longtime Tory MP, unrepentant womanizer, and unapologetic aristocrat” who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet from 1983 until the end.   This book contains his private diary entries.  He served as Minister of Trade and Minister of State in the Defense ministry.

The Los Angeles Times review states:  “He entered the House of Commons with Mrs. Thatcher, and left it with her, but without the peerage she achieved. He adored her, and she to some extent returned his admiration, relishing his audacity, his delight in political maneuvering, his ambition and his courage, all qualities she shared; but not his amateurishness, his dilettante style, his longing to escape the political treadmill for the Alps or the moors, for she was a workaholic with no outside interests, while Clark had many, not least the company of attractive girls.”

This book will be more interesting for those who already have some knowledge of the players during the Thatcher years.  Clark gives his uncensored thoughts on everyone in government, including himself.  It is interesting to read about the gossip and insecurity of “who is in” and “who is out” and when the next shake up will be.  His entries regarding the waning days of Thatcher’s reign as the Tories fought a leadership campaign are very interesting.

Mr. Clark is not an attorney and this book is not a book about legal issues.  However, its insider’s look at base politics and the goings on in the highest levels of government can be a good reminder for business litigation attorneys to look at every player’s self-interest and insecurities when evaluating motivations.  While we may expect better things from the people leading a nation, their decisions can be just as self-interested as everyone else’s.

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