- Scandal by Amanda Platell
Piatkus, 297 pp, £5.99, November 1999, ISBN 0 7499 3119 1
Behind every great man is a great spin-doctor. Tony Blair has gorgeous pouting Alistair Campbell, exhack, ex-alcoholic, ex-pornographer, all-round thug and family-values man. What a guy! William Hague meanwhile is not a great man and behind him is Sebastian Coe. Lately, however, he has employed the services of another gorgeous ex-hack, Amanda Platell, fun-loving Aussie, the femme fatale of the Mirror Group, ex-editor of the Sunday Express, and now would-be novelist. Some in the Conservative Party were worried that her book, Scandal, with its lurid yellow cover featuring a high-heeled woman treading on another’s toes and its delicious promise of a ‘sexy, scandalous and utterly authentic exposé of the world of journalism’, would prove an embarrassment to poor sheltered William. Thankfully, another paperback writer has proved to be more of an embarrassment than Platell could ever hope to be. One does not envy Platell her new job – look at the material she has to work with – but perhaps she has had enough of the ‘sexy and scandalous’ world of journalism.