People have become accustomed to thinking of those involved in politics as being in it for themselves. Yet there was a time when those given to pursuing careers in public life were passionate about that which they sought to improve. I am not the biggest fan of Margaret Thatcher and as much as I found her unpleasant, the lady said what she meant and meant what she said. She then went on to do exactly what she said she would. Tony Benn, from the very polar opposite point of view, was another politician whose integrity remained intact. He was honest, sincere and stayed true to his beliefs throughout his long career. The same can be said for Caroline Lucas. Lucas has the same qualities as Thatcher in that she says what she means, and means what she says. But Caroline Lucas is cut from the same cloth as Tony Benn. As a progressive Green, she pursues environmental policies but not at the cost of a broader, more pluralistic outlook. Her desire to see a fairer, cross-class sharing of wealth where the elite, along with the corporates, are encouraged to pay taxes commensurate with their earnings is fair and just. Particularly in light of the past 36 years where Hayek has ruled supreme, and where investments banks with their sidekick, the free market, have dictated how we should live. This lady is, above all else, a staunch Democrat. She is unafraid of treading on the corns of the old school when the old school needs treading on.
A darn good read this, full of intelligent insight, and written with a degree of passion that is missing in modern day Parliament. This powerful book reveals a woman not only passionate about her political career but about serving those for whom she has been elected to do a job.
It isn’t just her passion that makes this book such an interesting read but the concise way her arguments are delivered. Yes, she has a variety of opinions and yes, they can be flawed but her conviction is largely unhampered by partisanism. She is a politician who, if not unique in her principled approach, is very much a rarity.
Lucas’ clarity and vision are a godsend within the stale chambers of Parliament. She makes solid arguments against the lame erectile dysfunctional politics that currently afflict our mainstream parties. Nevertheless, her intelligence and passion are tempered by a desire for cooperation rather than confrontation
As a memoir ‘Honourable Friends?’ is perhaps a little too ambiguous in its categorisation. It tends to focus on recent events, or issues that have arisen since Caroline Lucas became an elected Member of Parliament. But as a statement of personal intent and as a reflection of the past five years this is a perfect political memoir.