Haven’t You Heard?

cover of haven't you heard
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Why do the indiscretions of some MPs make the front pages while others sink without a trace? How close are journalists to politicians? How on earth is the county run when British politics is such a mess?

In Haven’t You Heard? Gossip, power and how politics really works, Political journalist Marie Le Conte examines the importance of political whispers and rumours and finds out how some of the country’s biggest decisions are really made.

Haven’t You Heard...? looks at the role gossip plays in all areas of politics – for the people in positions of power, the press who have most of the control (or do they?), and how the internet has changed everything.

From policy rows which aren’t about policy at all and boozy nights with dramatic consequences, to people spinning their way to the top and dark secrets never seeing the light of day, Le Conte will set out in great and entertaining detail how Westminster really runs.

Through interviews with over 80 MPs, peers, ministers, civil servants, newspaper editors, lobby correspondents, political advisers, lobbyists, academics, and everyone in between, Haven’t You Heard...? will explore why Westminster can seem so dysfunctional, why it often is, and why it shouldn’t be any other way.

Using a mix of structural analysis, political history and revealing anecdotes, Le Conte will explain why gossip is a vital piece of the puzzle when trying to understand politics as it permeates every layer of SW1, in expected and unexpected ways.

If you’ve ever wondered why “rising star” MPs seemingly rise out of nowhere, how journalists decide who to tip for parties’ leadership, if the civil service is as dull as it seems, and whether the whips really do know everything, your questions will soon be answered.

Marie Le Conte said, “Gossip is often dismissed as a frivolous and feminine pursuit, but anyone ignoring the impact it has on Westminster would be making a terrible mistake. Politics is, as everything else, about people, and people rarely - if ever - make truly rational decisions, based on facts and nothing else. If you want to truly understand politics in this country, it is vital to factor in the friendships, the feuds, the feelings, and all the tittle-tattle that happens behind the scenes.

“The other thing is, of course, that gossip is brilliant fun: working around Westminster means being privy to all sorts of drama, failed plots and mischief, and anyone who complains that politics is too dry certainly hasn’t been really paying attention. The goal of Haven’t You Heard? is to not only to explain why what happens in Westminster is often (worryingly) entertaining, but also why informal conversations and interpersonal relationships are what real power is based on.

Haven’t You Heard? Gossip, power and how politics really works is on sale now published by Bonnier Books UK.