Tam Dalyell

The whole point about a politician like Tam Dalyell, if you face the thing squarely, is that he lives, plays, breathes, eats and sleeps politics. So, to encounter his shambling figure in corridors other than those of the Palace of Westminster would be an aberration, a perversion of nature, an unsettler of the spirit. This, at least, is what I try to convince myself as I stare dumbly at the phone I have just put down. The conversation has gone like this: Tam Dalyell, in a low, even voice: 'Tam Read more [...]

Ken Livingstone

Upstairs at Politico's, a bookshop-cum-coffee house ten minutes' stroll from Whitehall, Ken Livingstone is sitting with his back to a television set, cupping a chocolate-dusted mocha in his hands. On the screen behind him, Robin Cook is introducing a short film which recalls the highlights of the Labour Party conference in Brighton: the standing ovations, the scenes of Tony Blair glad-handing the adoring multitude, the shots of delegates holding their hair in place as they walk along the windswept Read more [...]

Glenda Jackson

The transport minister opens the door, plucks the cigarette from her lips and says: 'Be with you in a sec. I'm just on the phone to Cherie.' As she hastens back to her desk she steps out of her shoes and hops on one stockinged foot while massaging the toes of the other. 'You were saying?' she croaks, cradling the phone between chin and shoulder. Her office is still cluttered with unpacked crates bulging with personal effects. These include what looks like the long black Cleopatra wig she wore on Read more [...]