David Mytton

Book Review (3/5) – For the Record (David Cameron)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

I read half of this and listened to the other half whilst travelling – credit to David Cameron for reading the entirety of his audiobook. I also think it was a good move to record his thoughts on tape every month whilst he was in office. There is always a danger of “mis-remembering” events to suit your own narrative and so having a proper record of your thoughts at the time helps to avoid that.

Partially. Whilst Cameron does provide his opinions on many things, positive and negative, he does lean towards a more positive view on his legacy. Not unexpected, of course. Cameron is my favourite PM of recent times but there were quite a few instances where he glosses over major issues, or suggests they are in a better state than they really are. The big example from my own area of interest is in relation to antibiotic resistance. This was adopted as a personal mission by Cameron and he spearheaded a major review, real action was taken and he evangelised the issue on the world stage. Unfortunately, the UK lost its leadership position on that issue once he left office, something Cameron doesn’t seem to acknowledge. This was highlighted on a recent podcast with Lord O’Neill, who led that review: https://overcast.fm/+VP5d0JX4s

I found the book got more in depth as it got closer to current times. The last few chapters on the lead up to, and during the EU referendum campaign, were the most detailed and had the most commentary. Earlier chapters were somewhat hit and miss in the level of detail and post-hoc opinion. No wonder, given the importance of the issue and how it will define his legacy.

If you have time, worth a read. But if not, read Tim Shipman first.