Simon Heffer

He Won’t Convert Us

Ruling Britannia


Michael Joseph 320pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Andrew Marr is one of our most gifted and thoughtful newspaper political columnists. He is also, as this and earlier works of his prove, one of the few capable of writing a proper book. I admire him, his intellect and his diligence greatly, even if I profoundly disagree with some of the main conclusions of his new book – a book which, if he is unlucky, will come to be known as the political counterpart to Will Hutton’s infinitely less intelligent and less plausible The State We’re In.

Marr, like most of the rest of us, has come to the conclusion that there is much wrong with the way Britain is governed. I should start with the point on which I agree with him most, which is his view on Europe. He sensibly argues that there should be a ‘multispeed’ Europe in which there are basic things that we all do and other things that some of us do and some of us do not do. It is fine in principle, but the chances of it ever happening look pretty remote, and Marr is wise to state elsewhere that he is not horrified by the prospect of our leaving the European Union, difficult though that would be. It may yet come to that.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,