‘Vivid and sincere’: Lord Cormack reviews David Amess' Ayes and Ears a survivor’s guide to Westminster
Conservative MP for Southend West, David Amess, 2019 | Alamy
Part autobiography and part guidebook, Sir David Amess' book will be of particular help to newly elected Members baffled by some of the arcane language and practices of the House of Commons
I well remember David Amess entering the House in 1983. Having secured a surprise victory, he quickly made a name for himself.
He was one of the most jaunty Members of the new intake, always ready to leap to his feet and hardly ever making any speech, or asking any question, without mentioning Basildon.
He was a very ebullient and likeable fellow and so he has remained though almost four decades. Having, against all the odds, held Basildon, he moved a few miles to his present seat, Southend West, in 1997. He is the sort of Member for whom the word irrepressible was invented.
The fundamental sincerity of the man shines through
This is part autobiography, part reflection, part guidebook to newly elected Members baffled by some of the arcane language and practices of the House of Commons.
He ends with a postscript which is mainly a vivid diary of the dramatic events leading up to the resignation of Theresa May and the anointing of Boris Johnson.
A belligerent Brexiteer, David Amess never seeks to hide his own fervent beliefs or to make his views on those who do not share them very clear. However, the fundamental sincerity of the man shines through.
Even when one is far from convinced by the logic of the argument one is always impressed by the fundamental decency of a man who has become one of the best liked figures in the House of Commons.
Lord Cormack is a Conservative peer
Ayes and Ears a survivor’s guide to Westminster by David Amess is published by Luath Press
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