I've just noticed that The Independent too discusses political memoirs today. The author of the article, Paul Vallely, does not appear to have first-hand knowledge of all the works under discussion. Noting the sheer number of memoirs written by ministers who served under Mrs Thatcher, Vallely writes: "Yet others offer only ammunition for political tittering, such as Norman Fowler's The Minister Decides (the only thing Norman never did, quipped one wag)."
No, no, no! All connoisseurs of the genre know that the title of Lord Fowler's 1991 masterpiece is Ministers Decide. Note the plural. It is an expression of both modesty and collegiality.
I have read this volume. I have to concede that it ought never to have been commissioned; and once commissioned, it ought not to have been published. It is as enervating and trivial as posterity records. Fowler has nary a bad word for anyone. A photograph of the minister flanked by Edwina Currie and a beaming John Major symbolises the author's not really knowing what goes on around him. I should record that Fowler, a former journalist, names Martin Bell as one of his broadcasting heroes (p. 63). He also concludes with prescience: "In John Major, Margaret Thatcher had the successor she wanted. What he achieves will be different, but it will be built on the foundation of the Thatcher years."