“Hugo launches a campaign to save a local hospital for no other reason than to annoy an independent candidate in his constituency who’s been getting on his nerves,……”
“A dynastic sense of entitlement to rule runs through the book……..”
Decca Aitkenhead www.thetimes.co.uk
Sasha Swire on the Camerons, Boris and her sensational secret diaries
…..Swire couldn’t care less about the optics of democracy. Her diary is full of references to her “marchioness dowager” mother-in-law, who travels with a butler, records Hugo bunking off from parliament to go shooting and quotes him cracking an eye-wateringly offensive joke about people on benefits while hosting an A-list Tory party fundraising auction. When Cameron’s resignation honours list, in which Hugo was knighted, is roundly condemned in the press, she writes: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Why can’t Dave pack out the list with his cronies if he wants to?” Hugo launches a campaign to save a local hospital for no other reason than to annoy an independent candidate in his constituency who’s been getting on his nerves, yet Swire fumes indignantly about Cameron promoting MPs on the basis of their “good back story — ethnic, woman” because “this isn’t the serious politics of government”. By the end of the book I realise I’ve scribbled “Pot, kettle!” in the margins of at least a dozen pages.
A dynastic sense of entitlement to rule runs through the book. One entry huffs, “The thing that’s really got my goat is the fact that [her father] John is not in the Lords,” and Hugo even puts in a call to No 10 to complain on Nott’s behalf. This strikes me as a bit rich, for Swire is endlessly ridiculing everyone else for their vanity and ambition. At one point, I remind her, she notes that the diplomat Hugh Powell, “being a Powell, has a genetic assumption of divine rule and is wondering when and how he is ever going to get into Downing Street”. She nods. “Mmm, he won’t like that. But it’s true.” Weren’t she and Hugo just as bad as everyone else? “Of course we would have been,” she concedes casually…..