Norman Baker was on the Daily Politics last week talking about life as a Coalition minister. You can see the interview above.
He has also been talking to the Sussex Express:
To many people Norman Baker is as authentic a part of Lewes as the Castle or the Brewery, epitomising the county town the way, for example, Jilly Cooper epitomises the shires or Pam Ayres epitomised Norfolk [the geography a bit off in both cases].
Against the Grain is the perfect title for his biography.
Like Lewes, he is slightly bohemian (not for effect), plain speaking, anti-authoritarian, quirky and possibly an uncomfortable political bedfellow. (David Cameron memorably described him as ‘the most annoying man in Parliament’). Times columnist Matthew Parris called him ‘a classic House of Commons bore’ but also said: ‘you underestimate him at your peril.’
His book is full of astonishing revelations and the most wonderful, insightful gossip. Did he keep a diary? “No, I collected press cuttings, partly because it was a defence if someone said: ‘You said that’ and I knew I had not but also partly because at that stage I thought I might write something.
“I also had access to papers, particularly for the Ministry of Transport but while at the Home Office I decided I would keep detailed notes.”
His book vividly describes his early territory as a local councillor, and later an MP representing – among other villages – Glynde and Firle. “In the Civic War, Firle was Royalist and Glynde was Parliamentarian – I think they still see it in that way a little.”I am sure Norman would like me to point out that Against the Grain is published by Biteback.