Yet I have to admit, I finished the book wondering if I made a terrible error of judgement. Political autobiography is often said to be a work of fiction about oneself, and maybe this book is no different, and yet I felt a certain honesty pouring out of the pages. Have I been hoodwinked or was I wrong? If I have been hoodwinked, then it’s Levy’s ghostwriter, the brilliant Ned Temko, who has pulled off a coup.
Michael Levy is a self made businessman, from a very poor background. An East London boy who made it good. He makes no bones about enjoying the nicer things in life and admits he’s one of the vainest individuals on the planet. And it is this vanity, I suspect, which has got him into so much trouble in the political world. He liked being feted by high profile celebrities and politicians. It may be a weakness, but I can think of worse.
He became the very symbol of a changed Labour Party. He was shameless in exploiting rich donors and clearly got a kick out of it. He is the most successful political fundraiser since Alistair McAlpine in the 1980s for Margaret Thatcher. The Labour Party may feel bitter towards him for many reasons, but they have more reasons to thank him. Boy, how they could do with him now.
Much of the book revolves around Levy’s jewishness. I learnt more about what it’s like being a jew in Britain, and indeed about the Middle East than I have learnt from any other book. And for that reason alone I have no hesitation in recommending it. There, that’s a surprise, isn’t it? Buy it HERE.