Outside In by Peter Hain


October 2012

Peter Hain s has been an extraordinary life. He has held an array of glittering posts in the British political firmament, from key roles in the Foreign Office and the Department of Trade and Industry, to leadership of the Commons and brokering the 2007 devolution settlement in Northern Ireland. Formerly an outsider he became an insider , as one of the government s most effective ministers. Underpinning Hain s career is a tradition of political campaigning stretching back nearly four decades; the political values he holds today springing directly from the injustices he witnessed when he was growing up, and which drew him into politics in the first place. His journey to become a British Cabinet Minister started on a different continent. Growing up as a child in Pretoria, South Africa, life changed irrevocably when a close family friend was hanged by the apartheid government. Before that the security police had taken his activist parents away in the middle of the night. Later, in Britain, he was sent a letter bomb. As the eldest child, Hain was left to look after his younger brother and two small sisters. Thus began his career as a militant anti-apartheid protester. When his parents were released, the state made the lives of Peter and his family unbearably difficult. Far from the bloated memoirs of a former government insider, this is the story of a courageous, campaigning life that is intrinsically bound up with the destiny of South Africa.

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