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BOOK REVIEW: Pam’s Political Confessions

Pam’s Political Confessions – Candid Comments On A Short Affair
by Pam Corkery
Hodder Moa Beckett

If there was ever any doubt that Pam Corkery despised politics then she has well and truly set the record straight with her latest book – 'Pam’s Political Confessions'.

The title of the book is somewhat misleading. It’s not really about confessions at all, rather a range of cynical opinions covering, well… just about everything really. But perhaps Jim Anderton in particular.

The book is broken down into chapters that cover Pam’s opinions of the five main parties in parliament and then the six main leaders. Other than that there is a quick chapter on the Press Gallery, an equally quick chapter on campaigning and an introduction. And that’s the whole book.

For people who follow politics the book will hold very few surprises and perhaps confirm some theories. Above all the book is proof, if anyone ever needed it, that Pam Corkery should never have gone into politics. She didn’t like it and she didn’t cope.

And so she has taken some fairly tame and cheap parting shots at her colleagues and, above all, the party she left behind. Most people have heard the rumours that Anderton is a bit of a dictator, know of the tenuous relationship between politicians and the media and know that parliament is not the kind of environment in which to bring up children.

Other than that ‘Pam’s Confessions’ contains little else. Content aside I didn’t really like the style in which it was written either, trying just a little too hard to be funny or cynical. These comments which appear on the books cover - so they’re obviously highlights - illustrate a point in case:

Jim Anderton – “… as Jim gets older, the party will pump him full of steroids and wheel him to a balcony for public appearances”.

Jenny Shipley – “… those enormous brooches and medallions that Shipley favours – she could take someone’s eye out with one of those things”.

I hope you get the idea. The whole book is written like that.

Pam Corkery has achieved little more than telling anyone who wants to know how much she hates parliament, how much she dislikes Jim Anderton and how big everyone elses egos are. And the timing of the whole affair needs to be examined too. Launching a book which is highly critical of your ex-party two months before an election while they’re low in the polls is hardly a dignified way to stage an exit. And where did she find the time to write it anyway?

Corkery may argue that parliament is far from the most dignified of places, but parliament would probably throw that right back at her. ‘Pam’s Confessions’ is unremarkable and over fast. Much like the political career of the author.


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