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In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government

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Matthew d'Ancona's In It Together is the revelatory inside story of Britain's coalition government. With exclusive, unprecedented access to all the major senior figures, from David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg, he will tell the truth behind key relationships, the U-turns, the shifts in policies, the dramatic fights and arguments and the warring with Matthew d'Ancona's In It Together is the revelatory inside story of Britain's coalition government. With exclusive, unprecedented access to all the major senior figures, from David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg, he will tell the truth behind key relationships, the U-turns, the shifts in policies, the dramatic fights and arguments and the warring within the party. A breathtaking book that takes you into the heart of government, it reveals the truth behind the corridors of Whitehall and Number 10.


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Matthew d'Ancona's In It Together is the revelatory inside story of Britain's coalition government. With exclusive, unprecedented access to all the major senior figures, from David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg, he will tell the truth behind key relationships, the U-turns, the shifts in policies, the dramatic fights and arguments and the warring with Matthew d'Ancona's In It Together is the revelatory inside story of Britain's coalition government. With exclusive, unprecedented access to all the major senior figures, from David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson and Nick Clegg, he will tell the truth behind key relationships, the U-turns, the shifts in policies, the dramatic fights and arguments and the warring within the party. A breathtaking book that takes you into the heart of government, it reveals the truth behind the corridors of Whitehall and Number 10.

49 review for In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government

  1. 5 out of 5

    George

    This book by the journalist Matthew D'Ancona on Britain's Coalition government was recommended to me by someone who works in politics - partly around Westminster - as a must-read if I wanted to understand more about its inner workings. 'In It Together', a title taken from one of the key pieces of rhetoric used by politicians in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government, is an account of the relationships between those politicians, and how the government has operated behind the scenes--develope This book by the journalist Matthew D'Ancona on Britain's Coalition government was recommended to me by someone who works in politics - partly around Westminster - as a must-read if I wanted to understand more about its inner workings. 'In It Together', a title taken from one of the key pieces of rhetoric used by politicians in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government, is an account of the relationships between those politicians, and how the government has operated behind the scenes--developed through the author's Parliamentary contacts and his interviews with politicians. The book is gripping from start to finish. I started taking a real interest in national politics when the General Election of 2010 was taking place, when I was 17 and a few months short of being able to vote, so the story of the Coalition government is one that I've been following ever since the fateful 'rose garden' scene with David Cameron and Nick Clegg announcing their new political partnership (ITN video of the occasion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlvpre...). The book has led me to recall a lot of the major issues and stories from 2010 up to today, and has made me feel more informed, not only as a student with an interest in politics, but as a member of today's electorate. Another aspect of the book worth mentioning is that of superb quotations and painting of situations: for instance, there's Clegg's insecurity as a leader ("I wasn't really leading", he is claimed to have said, after the failure of the AV referendum and the tuition fees u-turn), and the clashes between Clegg and the prime minister (Cameron is reported to have said to his deputy: "You can go off and do whatever you want with Labour!"). Even if you completely disagree with the Coalition's politics, you'll be able to enjoy the way that the author so finely humanises our leaders and governors, and brings a touch of novelistic characterisation to figures that we read every day about and might mostly see from a distance in a two-dimensional way. So I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in British politics in the modern day, and how government works behind the stage curtains. You'll also feel like you're in-the-know: ever something to be desired when you have political friends that all think they know everything about the government, and current affairs, but aren't privy to Westminster gossip.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robert Smith

    'In It Together' is an authoritative, comprehensive account of the Coalition. Perhaps the bible of Cameron and Clegg's government - but with two years of the relationship still to play out - more accurately, the first testament. Those who regularly read Matthew d'Ancona's columns for the Telegraph and Evening Standard will be familiar with his Westminster insider access - and his moderate, informed, centre-right political outlook. There are no hugely revealing scoops or game-changing revelations, 'In It Together' is an authoritative, comprehensive account of the Coalition. Perhaps the bible of Cameron and Clegg's government - but with two years of the relationship still to play out - more accurately, the first testament. Those who regularly read Matthew d'Ancona's columns for the Telegraph and Evening Standard will be familiar with his Westminster insider access - and his moderate, informed, centre-right political outlook. There are no hugely revealing scoops or game-changing revelations, but that is reflective of the out-in-public nature of coalition government workings, and the fact that the characters involved are simply no match for those of New Labour who they replaced. That being said, there is plenty to keep the reader gripped: d'Ancona essentially the Coalition's 'fly on the wall'. Perhaps most revealing is the somewhat tense relationship between Iain Duncan Smith and George Osborne; the Chancellor portrayed as a shrewd political operator throughout. The writing style is fluid and engaging. d'Ancona is fond of a metaphor - 'a tweet is a long time in politics' or 'if it takes a village to raise a child, then it certainly takes a newsroom to train a hack' - but that is usually no bad thing. Moreover, the content is well-connected among key themes (broadly chronological, but not always). All in all, a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the first coalition government since WW2. Just one small bugbear: for a marriage - or civil partnership - of blue and yellow, why the red cover?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Heiner

    Many of us don't follow/believe in politics in the modern age because there are so few "operators" - people who know how to get deals done with people who fundamentally disagree with them. I agree with Russell Kirk that politics is the art of the possible and the 5 years of Coalition Government in Britain were hardly a model of how such parties with divergent views on so many things came together in the national interest and really succeeded. The story only gets you up to the 2015 election so it Many of us don't follow/believe in politics in the modern age because there are so few "operators" - people who know how to get deals done with people who fundamentally disagree with them. I agree with Russell Kirk that politics is the art of the possible and the 5 years of Coalition Government in Britain were hardly a model of how such parties with divergent views on so many things came together in the national interest and really succeeded. The story only gets you up to the 2015 election so it doesn't have the surprise result no one expected - which led to the Lib Dems paying for the sins of the coalition and the Tories reaping the rewards. I came away from this book, and from a close observation of the 2015 GE, greatly edified by the Lib Dems as principled types. If you want to learn more about a government that actually managed to accomplish some great things in 5 years of ruling, read this book. It's definitely an insider's view, and not in the Woodwardesque gossipy, preachy way. D'Ancona leads with a pretty dispassionate tone throughout and it serves this kind of work very well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Sinck

    Now this is Gossip with a capital G. If you like your politics spicy, fuelled by intrigue, swearing, rows between colleagues, with a dash of sex, corruption and deficit reduction, then you'll love this book. D'Ancona takes us from the birth of the coalition through a series of events (not chronologically ordered but thematically) most of which provided the coalition with a panic or two - Coulson, Education reform, NHS reform and so on. We gain an insight into why the Liberal Democrats were willin Now this is Gossip with a capital G. If you like your politics spicy, fuelled by intrigue, swearing, rows between colleagues, with a dash of sex, corruption and deficit reduction, then you'll love this book. D'Ancona takes us from the birth of the coalition through a series of events (not chronologically ordered but thematically) most of which provided the coalition with a panic or two - Coulson, Education reform, NHS reform and so on. We gain an insight into why the Liberal Democrats were willing to go into a pact with a party they previously had little in common with, learning on the way that IDS (for example) refused to speak to George Osborne for months about Child Benefit; that Boris gleefully admitted he took credit for the Olympics won and organised by others; and that Dave and George say F**k more often than you'd suppose. Not for everyone I suppose, but i ripped through this book in a day or so, such was my interest. If politics and political gossip is your bag then bag this book for Christmas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Gardner

    Very well written and fascinating account of the beginnings and workings of the coalition. I don't agree with the author's politics, but it does us good to push ourselves out of our comfort zones sometimes. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the behind the scenes deals and personalities that have kept the coalition together, even if at times it has come close to collapse. I voted libdem at the last election and was horrified when they went into partnership with the conservative Very well written and fascinating account of the beginnings and workings of the coalition. I don't agree with the author's politics, but it does us good to push ourselves out of our comfort zones sometimes. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the behind the scenes deals and personalities that have kept the coalition together, even if at times it has come close to collapse. I voted libdem at the last election and was horrified when they went into partnership with the conservatives. I now understand more about that decision, but I'm not persuaded it was the best decision, and I think it signalled the end of the libdem party. If the next election brings us another coalition it will be interesting to see what form that takes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adam Powell

    Matthew d'Ancona's closeness to the people he writes about weakens this book. Historians need not only the distance of time but also objectivity. In It Together has neither. However, there's plenty of detail about the Coalition I never knew and it's here that d'Ancona's contacts with senior government figures is a plus. Later historians will find In It Together a useful reference work but this is not the definitive account of Cameron's government. Matthew d'Ancona's closeness to the people he writes about weakens this book. Historians need not only the distance of time but also objectivity. In It Together has neither. However, there's plenty of detail about the Coalition I never knew and it's here that d'Ancona's contacts with senior government figures is a plus. Later historians will find In It Together a useful reference work but this is not the definitive account of Cameron's government.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Simon O'connor

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sion

  9. 5 out of 5

    Colin Stephens

  10. 5 out of 5

    timothy m sharp

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Macdonald

  12. 5 out of 5

    Simon Turner

  13. 5 out of 5

    Harold Talbot-Tomlinson

  14. 5 out of 5

    James

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tony Warren

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cory Hazlehurst

  17. 4 out of 5

    Russell

  18. 4 out of 5

    James Tuite

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Clarke

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neil Kernohan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allan Johnstone

  23. 5 out of 5

    Noah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Graves

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annalise Murray

  26. 5 out of 5

    James

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Smith

  29. 5 out of 5

    Neal O'kelly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ash

  31. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  32. 5 out of 5

    Peter Butters

  33. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Precht

  34. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Yule

  35. 5 out of 5

    Richard Wilson

  36. 4 out of 5

    Oscar

  37. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  38. 5 out of 5

    Duncan Geddes

  39. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

  40. 5 out of 5

    Dom Giles

  41. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  42. 5 out of 5

    James

  43. 4 out of 5

    Christian

  44. 4 out of 5

    Anita

  45. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  46. 4 out of 5

    José Machado

  47. 5 out of 5

    Kim Le Liboux

  48. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  49. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thomas

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