Required Reading

Philip Gould

This is an entry about Philip Gould. Who is Philip Gould I hear you ask? Well Philip Gould was a mover and shaker behind ‘New Labour’, he was one of the backroom boys who got the Labour Party out of it’s almost Communist ideology and helped bring it back from the brink and unelectable to the center left. He helped get Tony Blair and New Labour elected, politics has been his life and he neglected his wife and his children because of the demands of politics. Today at 61 he is the wise old sage that the political aspiring and savvy come to seek counsel.

Sadly he has cancer and has been given less than three months to live. I am not keen on Tony Blair but Tony Blair said something very wise to Philip Gould on hearing he was going to die. He said that the cancer hadn’t finished with him and now was the time for Gould to discover his purpose in life. And this is what he’s been doing, he’s been writing.  Today, he wants to talk about all he has learned, but it’s a very different story to the one he expected to be telling. Not so much about high politics, as the intimacies of family life, friendship and love.

He gave an interview (here) to the Guardian newspaper last week. After a lifetime devoted to politics his priorities are not to write about politics but to write about the love of his life; his wife, his children, his family, his friends and how beautiful the flowers in the park are.  It’s infinitely better to learn the priorities of life at the beginning of your life rather than at the end of it when it’s too late to do anything about it. It should be required reading for every kid just about to enter University.