Notes on the Second Edition


If I had known how hard it would be to rewrite this book, I’m not sure I would ever have done it. ‘I’ve just got to do a few alterations to the text‘, I said … hah!

Then again, I’ve often said that the hard path is the right path, and so I think it has proved.

The first edition of this book was published under a pen name, largely because I was worried about what I thought might be some negative reactions to it. I needn’t have worried: everyone I’ve told about this book has been hugely supportive, particularly my wife and son, but also, and most gratifyingly, my fellow workers. It was one of them, John McIntosh, who not only very kindly described it as the only interesting book on politics he’d ever read, but who also persuaded me to republish it under my own name.

Thanks, John. (If I collapse from the strain of rewriting the damned thing, it’s your fault.)

Among other things, I wanted to add a bit of humour to it all. I know these are serious matters we’re dealing with here, but I see no reason to make them solemn as well. Hence, the pictures.

I also wanted to break up the text a bit; the obvious way to do this was with quotations. I love Henry David Thoreau’s verdict on the Pyramids; I’d never read this before I went looking for it. I like to think he would have agreed with me.

My thanks to everyone who’s supported me in this, especially those who have waited patiently for me to finish this edition. Every author needs a deadline. Thanks again, guys.


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