Best of Enemies: The Norman Fowler Diaries


Biteback Publishing
13 November 2023

At the heart of power with two Prime Ministers

The Best of Enemies is the political diaries of one of the most significant politicians of the late twentieth century. Covering the Thatcher/Major period – during which time Norman Fowler held prominent positions in the Cabinet and as party chairman – Fowler’s diaries observe both Prime Ministers, and their Cabinet colleagues, at close quarters.

Fowler brings his training as a journalist to bear on these diaries, which are full of insights and anecdotes and resonate powerfully with the situation the Conservative Party faces today, with industrial strife, waning authority and a Labour Party looking like a government in waiting.

The entries raise other issues that are still unresolved. They range from the effect that the private sexual conduct of a minister should have on a career to whether an entirely ‘hands-off’ approach to industrial strategy is in the national interest.

Norman Fowler’s diaries provide a ringside seat to the struggles of their time. These are not the diaries of an ex-minister seeking to justify their own record; rather, they are the story of how two Prime Ministers rose and fell and caused their party to split apart, told by someone who was there at the time.

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