20 September 2018, The Tablet

Instinct for devilment


Instinct for devilment

Austin Mitchell
Photo:

 

Properly defined, a maverick is an unbranded animal, especially a mother­less calf, usually to be found in a herd of cattle on the American prairie. At Westminster, it is an MP who chafes at the discipline of party whips and government control. A sucker for jokes, television presenter turned politician Austin Mitchell would probably say it’s a man who kicks against the pricks.

There are many humorous digs in his warts-and-all autobiography, delivered after almost four decades as the Honourable Member for Grimsby. Most are funny, others not quite so. He has a keen satirical eye. So, nail-biting Gordon Brown is “a polite Dalek”. Domineering and socially prejudiced Margaret Thatcher was “an oil-fuelled Boudicca”. 

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading


Register for free to read this article in full


Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £21.50 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login