ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Politico's Publishing, 8 Artillery Row, Westminster, London SWIP IRZ, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Political journalist, and author. Daily Mail, London, England, political editor of Mail on Sunday.
Second Term: A Story of Spin, Sabotage, and Seduction, Politico's Publishers (London, England), 2000.
Tory Wars: Conservatives in Crisis, Politico's Publishers (London, England), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Simon Walters, a British journalist and political editor of the Mail on Sunday, moved from writing for newspapers to authoring books with his 2000 work Second Term: A Story of Spin, Sabotage, and Seduction. In this work Walters tells the story of Steven Cane, a fictional British prime minister who desperately wants to be the first person from his party to be elected for a second term. But crises plague Cane and threaten his chance for re-election. Terrorists are released early from prison; there is a euro referendum; and he is troubled—or troubles himself—with his relationships with his wife, the queen, and with Charlie, his press secretary, with whom he is cheating on his wife. Sex, rage, and scandal magnify as the election draws closer. Reviewer Charlie Whelan called the book "an enjoyable political romp" in his New Statesman review.
In Walters' next book, Tory Wars: Conservatives in Crisis published in 2001, he chronicles the conservative Tory Party's period of chaos during the year prior to the general election in 2001, the second in a row that went to the Labour Party. Walters, by personally interviewing his subjects, explains the endless drama between Tory leader William Hague and his shadow chancellor Michael Portillo. Everyone hated everyone, Walters explains. Before the 2001 election, the party was split in half, one side with Hague, the other with Portillo. Both sides frequently threatened to resign, and Hague and Portillo lived in constant fear of press leaks from one another. Portillo repeatedly tried to get Hague to fire his press secretary, and Hague tried to convince Portillo to fire a chief of staff. The endless squabble helped to make Hague the only Conservative Party leader who didn't become prime minister of England.
As appendices, Walters includes a chronology and an explanation of the party's key committees. The 246-page book is "a pleasant read which invokes depression when you see just how the Conservative Party has suffered," a contributor to M2 Best Books wrote.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
M2 Best Books, March 13, 2002, review of Tory Wars: Conservatives in Crisis.
New Statesman, August 7, 2000, Charlie Whelan, review of Second Term: A Story of Spin, Sabotage and Seduction.
Times Literary Supplement, April 12, 2002, Anthony Seldon, review of Tory Wars: Conservatives in Crisis, p. 28.*