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Paul Goodman writes:

Tim Shipman’s Fall Out is a classic piece of instant political history.  His All Out War was the story of the EU referendum campaign and its aftermath.  Fall Out is the tale of last year’s general election and what follows.  Andrew Gimson reviewed the former for us here.

The hardback edition has no index. It also features swearing on an epic scale.  We bring the two together below, perhaps contributing to a debate as we do so.

Is there more bad language in politics than previously?  If so, why this Malcolm Tuckerisation of discourse?  Does it matter, anyway?  For example, how should news outlets report Donald Trump reportedly referring to some nations as “sh*thole countries?  Should they asterisk out the swear word, as we do?  Should James Cleverly say that Nick Timothy should “shut the f*ck up?”

We’re grateful to James Collins for wading through the Augean Stable below and, if not quite clearing it out, at least piling its contents up in an orderly way.

Introduction – Four Minutes to Ten

  • Page xiv – Nick Timothy – ‘The moment I knew it was f*cked was at 9.56pm.’
  • Page xx – SPAD – ‘It dropped on the screen and I thought, “Well it ain’t f*cking that.” I burst into laughter because that is my reaction to anything totally catastrophic.’
  • Page xx – Downing Street Official – ‘Panic looked like the most wonderfully Britain panic, which was total f*cking silence.’
  • Page xx – SPAD – ‘I felt like Andy Dufrense from The Shawshank Redemption. I had crawled through a pile of sh*t and there was supposed to be a boat or money or Morgan Freeman coming to hug me at the end. Instead it was just a pile of poo, and I was stuck in a pond with the train pouring down on me.’
  • Page xxv – Downing Street Aide – ‘She (Theresa May) didn’t want senior bullsh*tters.’
  • Page xxvii – Nick Timothy – ‘We f*cking hate socialism and we want to crush it in a generation.’
  • Page xxviii – Fiona Hill – ‘What am I? The f*cking handbag carrier?’
  • Page xxviii – Colleague of Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy – ‘They’re like siblings. They fight a lot. They don’t care what they say about each other. But there’s a loyalty there. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done, it doesn’t matter how bad the other person’s behaved, they’ll always cover the other’s arse.’
  • Page xxx – Kenneth Clarke – ‘Bloody difficulty woman.’

Chapter Two – ‘No Running Commentary’

  • Page 24 – David Davis – ‘That’s bollocks!’
  • Page 27 – Cabinet Minister – ‘People made an initial scan and thought’ “F*ck!” The number of statutes affected started off in the tens of thousands. It came down significantly to around one thousand.’
  • Page 28 – David Davis – ‘My aim,’ he told his staff, ‘is to imagine a huge Venn diagram of the different groups – politicians, the City industry, the diplomatic corps – and find somewhere in that bloody great Venn diagram where everybody overlaps.’
  • Page 29 – Boris Johnson – ‘Project Fear crap’
  • Page 31 – Boris Johnson – ‘bollocks’
  • Page 33 – David Davis on bankers – ‘the most overpaid useless bunch of wankers I’ve ever met in my life’

Chapter Three – ‘The Enemy Gets a Vote’

  • Page 40 – British Diplomat Official – ‘I’ve been to four or five things when he has been sh*tfaced,’
  • Page 46 – A European Research Group Source – ‘We were just pissing off people at the very top of the EU and that was not what they wanted.’

Chapter Four – ‘Enemies Of The People?’

  • Page 49 – Anna Soubry – ‘If I’d used “f*cking” it would have identified me.’
  • Page 51 – An aide of Elizabeth Truss – ‘You’ve got two choices here and they are both really sh*t.’
  • Page 55 – Former Minister and member of Team 2019 – ‘Amber said, “You’ve got to keep up the good fight, you’ve got to keep pushing,” to which the response was, “You’re in the bloody cabinet!”’
  • Page 59 – A guest sitting next to one of Nick Timothy’s spies, whilst watching over George Osborne at a fundraising dinner – ‘a crock of sh*t’
  • Page 65 – Fiona Hill – ‘I need that list now! How the f*ck did this happen?’
  • Page 65 – Fiona Hill – ‘No, it isn’t f*cking all right. You have taken your eye off the ball again.’
  • Page 65 – Fiona Hill – ‘First. F*cking. Mistake. Why on earth did you listen to that?’
  • Page 65 and 66 – Fiona Hill – ‘Big mistake. You need to realise that the PM does not know her own mind on this stuff and needs me to be the one making these decisions for her. First of all, it shows you’re not in control of this, at all. Secondly where are the f*cking hydrangeas?’
  • Page 66 – Fiona Hill – ‘I’m really sorry to do this, but could we have a van full of clothes for Theresa’s size tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. at Downing Street. I’m afraid the team here have f*cked up.’

Chapter Five – ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Boris?’

  • Page 70 – Senior Government Figure – ‘Boris cared enormously about Chevening. DD couldn’t give a f*ck,’
  • Page 77 – A close friend of Boris Johnson discussing Boris Johnson – ‘He was in a really bad way that week. It really really affected him. It made him think, “What the f*ck am I doing in this f*cking job.”’
  • Page 78 – Theresa May on Boris Johnson – ‘He is, in short, an FFS – a fine foreign secretary.’ No one could be in any doubt that May was miffed. In text speak ‘FFS’ also meant ‘for f*ck’s sake.’
  • Page 78 – Fiona Hill – ‘I wish you’d bloody ring me up.’

Chapter Six – ‘Ivan the Terrible’

  • Page 79 – A civil service mandarin – ‘Ivan’s problem was that while he was knowledgeable, he’d never say in a word what he could say in one hundred. He was bloody irritating, but he did speak truth unto power.’
  • Page 80 – Ivan Rogers on Theresa May and the Cameron regime – ‘treated her pretty sh*ttily.’
  • Page 80 – Ivan Rogers – ‘If they then say, “Interesting point of view but f*ck off”, then that’s okay. The best civil servant gets on and implements the wishes of the boss.’
  • Page 86 – A source close to Boris Johnson – ‘Boris was a bit pissed off with how he did things.’
  • Page 88 – Foreign Office Official – ‘There is a saying, “Don’t f*ck with Tim Barrow,”’

Chapter Seven – ‘Lancaster House’

  • Page 97 – David Davis – ‘mutually assured scaring the sh*t out of each other’.

Chapter Eight – ‘The White House’

  • Page 107 – President Donald Trump – ‘grab them by the pussy’
  • Page 108 – President George W. Bush – ‘some weird sh*t’

Chapter Nine – ‘Triggered’

  • Page 117 – Fiona Hill – ‘F*ck! moments’
  • Page 124 – Member of the pressure group Progress – ‘There is so much money on the pro-European side of the argument that people want to give…but they don’t want to give it to another failed sh*tshow. The idea that they were setting up a new party – that was never what was being discussed. What they were obsessed with was this idea of building a movement that can challenge hard Brexit as a gateway to challenging Brexit itself.’
  • Page 133 – Kate Perrior – ‘F*ck me! Just get a f*cking pen and sign it now’…’We need a photograph now. Sign the f*cking letter!’
  • Page 134 – Downing Street Official – ‘Boris saved our ass on that,’

Chapter Ten – ‘Economically Illiterate’

  • Page 143 – Downing Street Official on Philip Hammond and his relationship with Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy – ‘Treasury people said they would tell him to “shut the f*ck up”’
  • Page 143 – Downing Street Official on Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy and their relationship with Philip Hammond – ‘They called him “The C*nt”’
  • Page 143 – Downing Street Official on Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy and their relationship with Philip Hammond – ‘Nick would say, “We’ve told you what the policy is, f*ck off and follow it.”’
  • Page 143 – Downing Street Source relaying comments by Philip Hammond – ‘I heard Nick Timothy called me the C-word this morning,’
  • Page 145 – An aide of Prime Minister Theresa May – ‘The chancellor’s view was that if you want to spend money, you had to think where you were going to get it from. Nick didn’t give a f*ck where we were going to get the money from. Nick just loves spending money.’
  • Page 146 – An aide of Prime Minister Theresa May on Philip Hammond lecturing Nick Timothy – ‘I’d think to myself, “Don’t say that, stop digging. You’ve just won! Shut Up!” I felt like kicking him under the table. I was thinking, “You’ve not read this moment at all. You’re pissing them off”. He’d just carry on labouring his point. And he’d open up the row again.’
  • Page 152 – An old friend of George Osborne – ‘The c*ntocracy of jealous journalists and jealous colleagues will be out to get you.’

Chapter Eleven – ‘The Snarling Duds of May’

  • Page 156 – A colleague of Fiona Hill – ‘She would regularly say that other people were sh*t.’
  • Page 157 – A Number 10 official – ‘Nick was rude to officials and civil servants, to show that he doesn’t give a f*ck. He did it to show that he was the big boy’
  • Page 157 – Downing Street Source discussing Fiona Hill – ‘Cabinet ministers were treated appallingly…It was like a domestic violence relationship. Even when Number 10 said they could do interviews they didn’t want to because they would get a bollocking the next day. They got slapped time and time again and every now and then they called the police, which Boris did a couple of times.’
  • Page 157 – Theresa May Aide on Fiona Hill – ‘It always came back to, “This is sh*t, where the f*ck did you think this up?” It would come at a distance in an email – she’d never say it face to face.’
  • Page 157 – Downing Street Official discussing Fiona Hill’s treatment of spads – ‘One had to have an almost daily trip to see their psychiatrist and another one displayed all of the signs of self-harm. We are talking about totally f*cking up people’s actual lives.’
  • Page 157 – Downing Street Official discussing Fiona Hill’s treatment of civil servants – They were ‘sh*tting themselves all the time,’
  • Page 157 and 158 – Downing Street Official discussing Fiona Hill’s treatment of cabinet office – ‘You’d get messages like, “It is a f*cking catastrophe that you work for the civil service” and “How the f*ck do you work here?”’
  • Page 158 – Downing Street Official discussing Fiona Hill’s treatment of civil servants – ‘They had to listen to opinions like “So and so is a f*cking idiot.”’
  • Page 159 – Colleague of Jojo Penn – ‘Jojo went around the building acting like an arsehole to be like them,’
  • Page 159 – Downing Street Official – ‘Fiona’s in-tray was overflowing. If you’re so powerful, run the f*cking country, don’t spend 70 per cent of your day on massive rows with people.’
  • Page 161 and 162 – SPAD – ‘No one knew what the f*ck was going on. Katie would be chairing them without knowing what was in the grid, running through the week and asking everybody what was going on. She would have no idea what the PM was doing because Nick and Fi hadn’t decided whether they were going to tell her.’
  • Page 162 – Downing Street Official – ‘Fiona pulled everything out of the grid all the time and then told Katie that it was a sh*t grid,’
  • Page 162 – Downing Street Official quoting Fiona Hill – ‘There’s nothing in this f*cking grid!’
  • Page 163 – Kate Perrior on Fiona Hill – ‘dressed head to toe in flannelette pyjamas and two bottles of red wine down. In hindsight, I should have bloody well let her go.’
  • Page 164 – Chris Brannigan talking to Nick Timothy – ‘There are hundreds of millions of pounds in trade going here, and we’re pissing about over ego.’
  • Page 165 – Allies of Perrior quoting what Fiona Hill said to Kate Perrior – ‘Don’t you ever f*cking talk to the prime minister like that again.’
  • Page 166 – Number 10 official quoting Fiona Hill – ‘Who the f*ck gets off on a f*cking pen?’
  • Page 168 – Fiona Hill to Katie Perrior – ‘What’s your f*cking problem? You don’t have any gravitas, any authority. We thought we were hiring somebody who had a bit of balls. We’ve seen nothing of that.’
  • Page 169 – Katier Perrior to Fiona Hill – ‘If we can’t work together, don’t be surprised when stories appear about splits. I am doing my best to cover up all this sh*t, but I can’t do it on my own.’
  • Page 169 – Katier Perrior to Fiona Hill – ‘We’re meant to be on the same side. It’s not just me – you can’t work with Helen, you can’t work with Lizzie, you can’t work with anyone. In fact, if you’re a woman, you’re f*cking done for!’
  • Page 171 – A Number 10 official discussing Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy’s relationship with Simon Case – ‘The minute they found out he wanted to move on they complete changed tack, were really nice to him. That f*cked the civil servants off even more. When he was having a sh*t time, they felt that he was on their side. The minute he was having a nice time, they felt betrayed.’
  • Page 172 – Number 10 official – ‘Nick said, “This is probably they very place where Cameron and Osborne would josh each other about who was posher.” He said they would say things like, “You’re a posh c*nt,” and “No, you’re a posher c*nt”. “Who is the poshest c*nt of the lot?” This is a conversation between Nick and Fi, and I looked across at the prime minister, thinking, “Do you think this is all right?” There was not a glimmer. She heard blasphemies and obscenities that would make a trooper blush. It wouldn’t have been out of place in the boiler room of a ship.’
  • Page 173 – Kate Perrior on Theresa May – ‘sit there while Fiona would raise some batsh*t crazy idea and not say a word.’
  • Page 175 – Senior figure in the government – ‘They didn’t find anything, but Gus didn’t believe it, and he went into the servers and had their emails rebuilt. There were a whole load of emails to the Daily Mail saying, “Here’s all sh*t on Brodie Clark.” In one of the emails it also said, “We’ve got to make sure we delete all this stuff properly.”’
  • Page 175 – Senior government official – ‘Clark was completely sh*t-bagged. People like Gus O’Donnell tried to raise the alarm bell but Theresa protected them.’
  • Page 178 – One MP who saw both the Cameron and May regimes up close – Number 10 can turn you into a lunatic. I remember some hapless civil servant bringing in a briefing and Steve Hilton tearing it into pieces and jumping up and down on it, screaming and shouting. Someone who’s not worked in there cannot know how relentless it is. It never stops flowing at you. Sh*t rises. All the difficult decisions come up to the top. You see mind-boggling incompetence at every level. For the people that are a proxy for the PM, it is balls-achingly, grindingly exhausting.’

Chapter Twelve – ‘Bolt from the Blue’

  • Page 184 – Lynton Crosby describing Chris Wilkins’ election presentation – ‘classic populist woolly bullsh*t.’
  • Page 185 – Conservative MPs on CCHQ – ‘covering their own arses.’
  • Page 187 – Fiona Hill – ‘There is no way to do it without it being a sh*tshow.’
  • Page 187 – Mark Textor – ‘That’s f*cking crazy.’
  • Page 193 – Conservative Campaign Official – ‘Between elections CCHQ naturally gets sh*t because there’s nothing to do, most of the good people leave and there’s just not much money around,’
  • Page 195 – Fiona Hill on Boris Johnson – ‘he knew he was f*cked’.
  • Page 199 – Patrick McLoughlin to Andrew Bridgen – ‘I don’t know what you’re f*cking smiling at.’
  • Page 199 – Patrick McLoughlin to Andrew Bridgen – ‘This is all your fault. We haven’t f*cking won yet!’
  • Page 200 – A friend of Katie Perrior – ‘Theresa had been convinced by then that Katie was sh*t and a pain in the arse’

Chapter Thirteen – ‘Leninists and Lennonists’

  • Page 204 – Team Corbyn source on the mainstream media – ‘They’re all so f*cking awful it’s unbelievable. They completely swallowed it immediately,’
  • Page 211 – Colleague of Karie Murphy – ‘The reason why Karie is so good is that she’s working-class woman who doesn’t take sh*t’, ‘she tells them to f*ck off and they listen.’
  • Page 212 – Someone present at the shadow cabinet meeting – ‘You could see in people’s eyes that they thought we were going to get twatted,’
  • Page 214 – A Labour Party source – ‘Southside got pissed off because they could only get that week’s grid.’
  • Page 216 – Labour Party official – ‘It was wanky bollocks that Torsten and Greg came up with, but at least it was a grown-up political strategy,’
  • Page 222 – Conservative focus groups on Diane Abbott – ‘proactively bringing up how sh*t she’s been,’

Chapter 14 – ‘Another Galaxy’

  • Page 231 – A senior Tory – ‘It was a gift. It was like a dragon wandered into Downing Street and Theresa slew it. People see Corbyn as a harmless arse. They see Juncker as a dangerous arse.’
  • Page 231 – Conservative campaign official – ‘Selmayr is a sh*t and everyone knows he is a sh*t. But he’s our kind of bogeyman.’

Chapter 15 – ‘Strong and Stable’

  • Page 232 – A witness of Robert Oxley meeting Theresa May – ‘Rob looked like he had shat himself’
  • Page 232 – A senior figure at CCHQ on Lynton Crosby – ‘f*cking ballistic’
  • Page 235 – A source who worked on both the 2015 and 2017 campaigns – ‘In 2015 if that campaign had f*cked up, everyone would be all over Lynton: donors, his clients, the opposition parties, journos. Lynton’s arse was on the line. This time everyone figured, “If this goes badly we’ll still pick up twenty extra seats and it’ll be right as rain.”’
  • Page 237 – Fiona Hill – ‘Why do we care about those f*cking guys? They’ve got f*ck-all viewers,’
  • Page 237 – Lynton Crosby – ‘What the f*ck is he doing there?’
  • Page 238 – A colleague of Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor quoting their discussion of Philip Hammond – ‘a f*cking cheese dick’
  • Page 238 – A colleague of Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor – ‘I’d never really heard “cheese dick” until that point.’
  • Page 241 – Mark Textor – ‘Sh*t, do not say that in front of other people.’
  • Page 242 – Mark Textor – ‘If these clowns f*ck up Brexit it will hurt local jobs and businesses.’
  • Page 245 – A senior figure in the Conservative campaign – ‘Whether it was Lynton’s idea or not, they all – Lynton, Nick and Fi – regurgitated the stuff about her polling numbers being far ahead. Fi in particular swallowed the bullsh*t just as much as Lynton did.’
  • Page 247 – A member of the Conservative media team – ‘Cornwall Live got more hits on the row they caused than they ever would have doing a proper interview. But focus groups showed that stuff cut through, and that really pissed me off.’
  • Page 247 – Conservative political editor – ‘The problem was not that she didn’t take any questions, the problem was that she didn’t give any f*cking answers.’
  • Page 249 – An ally of Lynton Crosby – ‘The idea wasn’t that she was strong and stable, it was that we needed to elect a government with a clear majority so that it can be strong and stable, because you’re going to have to negotiate with a bunch of pricks in Europe. And it all got parodied.’

Chapter Sixteen – ‘From Sharks to Minnows’

  • Page 251 – Nigel Farage to Arron Banks on Steven Woolfe’s altercation with Mike Hookem – ‘It’s not f*cking funny – he’s dead.’
  • Page 254 – Paul Butters – ‘one for direct rule in Northern Ireland, one for the snap election, and one for if they’d blown the sh*t out of [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi’

Chapter Seventeen – ‘Manifesto Destiny’

  • Page 264 – Jeremy Corbyn Aide – ‘It f*cked up our grid,’
  • Page 266 – An ally of John McDonnell – ‘John McDonnell wants to win the flip of a coin. Ife he’s pissed off with you, you know about it,’
  • Page 269 – Andrew Fisher discussing Ed Miliband’s front bench – ‘the most abject collection of complete sh*te.’

Chapter Eighteen – ‘Nothing has Changed!’

  • Page 285 – Minister of the government – ‘It was a wonderful Whitehall f*ck-up,’
  • Page 286 – Conservative campaign official – ‘We got totally shat on for cutting free school meals and charging people with dementia, but we didn’t get the plus side of saying it was costed,’
  • Page 288 – Those involved in the writing of Dilnot Plan policy in the Conservative Party manifesto – ‘complete bollocks’
  • Page 288 and 289 – Senior source in the government – ‘What it’s ended up doing is rationing care for people with dementia, so although they claim they got free care, actually it’s bloody awful for the people who need it,’
  • Page 289 – Will Tanner – ‘You should make sure no one historically remembers this as the Godfrey plan, because a load of people will be really pissed off.’
  • Page 295 – A SPAD speaking of Robert Oxley – ‘Rob pissed off a lot of people.’
  • Page 295 – A colleague of Fiona Hill – ‘Some of her decisions were batsh*t crazy.’
  • Page 299 – A member of the press team – ‘How the f*ck can they not have counted the number of seats?’
  • Page 301 – A member of the press team – ‘We weren’t allowed to fight back on substance,’
  • Page 301 – A member of the press team – ‘Everything had to be “but they’ll f*ck up Brexit”, which isn’t really much use to you when you’re trying to engage over 7p breakfasts.’
  • Page 302 – A Tory official – ‘The lighting was sh*t. The Cameron was bouncing all over the place.’
  • Page 302 – Government minister – ‘is that we produced a bloody brave manifesto which was designed to try and start the journey towards intergenerational justice, and we lost our majority on the basis of the youth vote because that argument was never made.’
  • Page 305 – Jim Messina to Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor – ‘It’s just fallen off the f*cking cliff.’
  • Page 309 – Conservative campaign officials – ‘How the f*ck have they got that?’
  • Page 310 – CCHQ staffer – ‘Why the f*ck’s she said that?’
  • Page 312 – Conservative campaign chiefs – ‘There was definitely a time that when everyone was like, “F*ck. We are in serious trouble.” The CTF one, from the manifesto onwards, was down every single day.’
  • Page 313 – Downing Street Aide – ‘Lynton got f*cked off with Nick and Fi, and then was probably a bit naughty when the manifesto came out.’
  • Page 314 – Conservative campaign aide – ‘You could see Lynton and Tex looking out of the window wondering, “Who is he on the phone to?” They thought he was saying, “It’s Lynton’s fault, Lynton’s f*cked it. Why didn’t Lynton spot it?”’
  • Page 314 – Senior figure in the campaign – ‘From the manifesto onwards it was all tits up. Lynton was frustrated they had ignored his advice. It’s like tracing back through the history of a bitter divorce. There’s one big moment of conflict, and after that every little thing the other does just pisses you off.’
  • Page 315 – An old friend of David Cameron – ‘couldn’t believe the f*ck-ups’,

Chapter Nineteen – ‘Manchester’

  • Page 320 – Downing Street aide – ‘The PM was f*cking furious,’
  • Page 322 – Lucy Powell – ‘I don’t give a sh*t. We’re not doing it.’
  • Page 328 – Labour Party adviser – ‘Why has he started to talk sh*t again?’
  • Page 330 – Mark Textor to Lynton Crosby on Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy – ‘They won’t listen to us on the policy. They won’t respond. They don’t think it’s a big deal. In the age of social media, you can’t sit there for forty-eighty f*cking hours. You’ve got to respond instantly.’
  • Page 330 – Downing Street source – ‘The online stuff was scaring the sh*t out of us,’
  • Page 330 – Conservative Party consultant on Karen Bradley – ‘They put out a cabinet minister who reporters don’t give a sh*t about,’

Chapter Twenty – ‘This Isn’t Working’

  • Page 332 – Fiona Hill – ‘There just isn’t enough f*cking joy in this campaign. We need to make it lighter.’
  • Page 333 – Colleague of Fiona Hill – ‘Fi was complete aware that it was a disaster. The original plan was that the PM would campaign in the way that she had governed. Fi wanted to reposition the whole thing. To go back to big set pieces, hammer the economic message, go home. Stop the “strong and stable” bollocks.’
  • Page 334 – A Downing Street colleague of Nick Timothy – ‘That’s why there was friction between him and Fiona. Normally he loves the fight. Normally he’d say, “F*ck you, I’m going to show that I’m right.” He must have been wounded if he wasn’t fighting for it.’
  • Page 336 – Conservative Party press officer – ‘All we ever gave them was stuff slagging off Corbyn, which was half-arsed,’

Chapter Twenty-One – ‘I, Maybot’

  • Page 340 – SPAD – ‘George always had that completely inadvertent sneer. It’s just how his face landed. If he was a woman you’d say he had a “resting bitch face”. Theresa has a “resting panicked face”. She’s awkward-looking.’
  • Page 345 – SPAD – ‘Amber is a f*cking pro. There is no way that I would have been able to tell that she had had a bereavement that week. I only found out when I read it in the paper.’
  • Page 347 – SPAD – ‘The only time I really walked away thinking we’d properly done Labour in was after the York BBC Question Time. Corbyn had a bad night and we smashed the sh*t out of them in the spin room.’
  • Page 348 – Labour Party aide – ‘Seumas came in. He was so white. He was embarrassed. He knew he had f*cked up massively and there was no one else to blame. Whenever he gets caught out he tries to blame someone else, and this time he had no get-out-of-jail-free-card.’
  • Page 349 – Fiona Hill – ‘If one more person f*cking mentions this, I’m going to lose my sh*t,’
  • Page 351 – Former Downing Street aide – ‘When Cameron was in the sh*t with his back to the wall, you knew he could pull it out of the bag,’

Chapter Twenty-Two – ‘The Corbyn Surge’

  • Page 369 – Diane Abbott – ‘I’ve had death threats, I’ve had people tweeting that I should be hung if “they could find a tree big enough to take the fat bitch’s weight”. There was an EDL-affiliated Twitter account BurnDianeAbbott. I’ve had rape threats, been described as a pathetic, useless, fat, black piece of sh*t, ugly, fat black bitch.’
  • Page 373 – Mark Textor – ‘In thirty years of campaigns I’ve never seen a polling industry as sh*t as the UK polling industry. Ninety per cent of the time it’s just wrong.’
  • Page 373 – Friend of Mark Textor – ‘There was a lot of nervousness, particularly from the donors, about the manifesto. We didn’t want senior party grandees going “Sh*t!”’
  • Page 376 – Gareth Baines Conservative election agent in Vale of Clwyd – ‘Some people told CCHQ to “piss off”, and it’s just as well they did, or they’d be out of jobs now. People were told far too late in the day that the polls were turning against us.’
  • Page 377 – Senior source – ‘he was at the queen’s f*cking garden party’

Chapter Twenty-Three – ‘Political Alchemy’

  • Page 390 – Ruth Davidson – ‘You can’t sell a policy that nobody ever heard of, that takes a paragraph to explain, three weeks before a vote. And you don’t f*ck off pensioners.’
  • Page 390 – Ruth Davidson – ‘We just decided we don’t f*ck off pensioners during a general election campaign, we need their votes. We don’t take stuff off people, that’s not how it works.’
  • Page 391 – A Scottish Tory discussing the SNP – ‘Well whoopdee-f*cking-doo. What did you do for Scotland? F*ck-all.’

Chapter Twenty-Four – ‘London Bridge’

  • Page 399 – Member of Theresa May PM media team – ‘That was the one time where there was a sh*tty story – police numbers – and there was a conscious effort by the campaign to shift it and we did shift it.’

Chapter Twenty-Five – ‘Mayday!’

  • Page 405 – Labour leadership aide – ‘I thought on election night we were going for a f*cking hammering.’
  • Page 406 – Patrick Heneghan to Katy Dillon – ‘Katy, go and find out what kind of shock. What the f*ck does “shocking” mean?’
  • Page 406 – Fiona Hill to Nick Timothy – ‘I’m not f*cking joking about this.’
  • Page 407 – Lynton Crosby – ‘Ah, sh*t.’
  • Page 408 – Lynton Crosby – ‘It’s bullsh*t. We’ll be all right. These numbers are wrong. The swing in Newcastle won’t be as much as they’re expecting. They’ll have to revise it. Keep going. We’ll know by 3am.’
  • Page 408 and 409 – Fiona Hill – ‘Hold your nerve. It will be fine, but it will be a sh*t three hours. Make sure the kids don’t panic, make sure that you cheer them up.’
  • Page 410 – Labour leaders team – ‘F*cking hell,’
  • Page 414 – James McGrory – ‘If you want to see what we’ve lost take a look at that defeat speech from Nick Clegg. Classy as f*ck. What a man.’
  • Page 417 – Nick Timothy – ‘Oh f*ck!’
  • Page 422 – SPAD – ‘That was the brightest moment of last night. If she had lost, that would have been the moment at which I would have cried. It was really nice in a really f*cking dark evening.’
  • Page 425 – Downing Street official – ‘It looked like someone had shat in the meringue – just glum all round,’
  • Page 426 – A text to Lynton Crosby from a previous Australian PM – ‘Bad luck, you had a crap candidate.’

Chapter Twenty-Six – ‘Shellshock’

  • Page 430 – SPAD on Boris Johnson – ‘and if he goes for it, we are f*cked.’
  • Page 430 – Boris Johnson reaction to the exit poll – ‘What the f*ck!’
  • Page 430 – Boris Johnson – ‘Christ, Brexit. This is going to cause massive problems. We’ve f*cked Brexit. We’ve f*cked Brexit.’
  • Page 430 – Boris Johnson’s aides on the exit poll – ‘Goat f*ck.’
  • Page 431 – An aide of Boris Johnson quoting him – ‘There was a lot of, “What the f*ck!? How has this happened? What the hell! What the hell!”’
  • Page 437 – Government minister to an author of the Daily Mail – ‘The headline is f*ckety, f*ck, f*ck with knobs on. The chemical composition of the government has to change. The party will not swallow Nick and Fi any more. Serious people are saying, in numbers, that they have to go. The problem is that she is nothing without them.’
  • Page 438 – A friend of Philip Hammond – ‘He asserted he was bloody fed up of being briefed against by them,’
  • Page 442 – Downing Street Official – ‘My jaw hit the floor because I though, “She missed it, she forgot to mention the result or the party.” I thought “F*ck!” It was a massive failure.’
  • Page 442 – Senior Tory MP – ‘We all f*cking hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f*cked us.’
  • Page 443 – SPAD – ‘What the f*ck was that speech on the doorstep? No contrition, no humility, nothing. Why didn’t she challenge that? Why didn’t she say, “This is crap”? If I turned into something like that my boss would have gone f*cking bonkers. This is why the “Maybot” is so wounding. She just reads out what she’s given to read. She has no judgement of her own.’
  • Page 450 – Tim Farron to his aide Paul Butters – ‘F*ck, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t need this.’
  • Page 452 – A cabinet minister – ‘The idea was that anyone associated with the manifesto had to go. Nick realised that but Fi wasn’t involved in that. In the end I think her capacity to tell people to “f*ck off” may have come back to bite her.’
  • Page 456 – A witness recalling Sajid Javid speaking out to Theresa May over the behaviour of Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy – ‘’There was this intake of breath with people thinking, “How the f*ck is he going to get away with all that?”
  • Page 464 – Aide to Theresa May discussing Philip May – ‘He is one of those few people that she trusts and has any sort of feel for. She looked f*cked, she looked tired and I don’t think she was thinking straight.’
  • Page 465 – Downing Street Staff on Theresa May – ‘I thought, “F*cking hell, are we going to get the PM blubbing in front of the entire Downing Street staff – from the chief of staff down to the custodians, everybody is going to see this.” She pulled herself back.’

Chapter Twenty-Seven – ‘The Four Horsemen’

  • Page 468 – Grant Shapps to a friend of his discussing Nick Timothy – ‘I feel slightly responsible for the mess the country has got itself in. He couldn’t have written that appalling manifesto and presumably wouldn’t have f*cked up the election.’
  • Page 468 – Andrew Mitchell (alleged) – ‘f*cking pleb.’
  • Page 472 – A cabinet minister on Grant Shapps – ‘He always likes these big, swanky-wanky gestures and the bravado does not convert into good practical politics.’
  • Page 473 – A former minister – ‘We don’t need a deal with the bloody DUP. The DUP doesn’t want a general election any more than we do. They don’t want the slightest threat of Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. Call their bluff.’
  • Page 477 – An adviser to Philip Hammond – ‘Theresa May is Philip Hammond with a fanny, and the inverse is also true.’
  • Page 478 – Boris Johnson’s aide to David Davis – ‘I’ll kick you in the bollocks.’
  • Page 478 – David Davis to Boris Johnson’s aide – ‘Well, I’ll kick you in the bollocks.’
  • Page 478 and 479 – A cabinet minister – ‘Boris and his people, quite frankly, need to put a f*cking sock in it.’
  • Page 479 – A cabinet minister on David Davis and Boris Johnson – ‘Their ambitions should only be allowed to express themselves post Brexit or we’re in a complete f*cking mess.’

Chapter Twenty-Eight – Florence and the Maychine Malfunction

  • Page 483 – A civil servant within DExEU on the EU – ‘Not because they’re a bunch of assholes but because that’s just how their process works. That’s why the EU’s a difficult negotiator.’
  • Page 484 – Conservative Party adviser – ‘Make the UK pay as f*cking much money as possible for as f*cking long as possible.’
  • Page 488 – A Conservative MP – ‘I think she’s just signed her own death warrant. She lost our majority in an election she didn’t have to call. Anyone else would have fallen on their sword. The only people propping her up are the hardline Brexiteers. She’ll f*ck up again and then she’ll taken out and shot.’
  • Page 492 – A friend of David Cameron – ‘He’s more interested in what animal he’s going to shoot, or what claret he’s going to have for lunch, or where he’s going to shag Sam next! He’s not a political obsessive, which is one of his great strengths.’
  • Page 492 – Boris Johnson to a friend on David Cameron – ‘He’s a guy who feels he was doing a bloody good job as prime minister and then suddenly he wasn’t allowed to be prime minister any more. He’s pissed off. You can’t blame him.’
  • Page 500 – A Brexit minister – ‘It was a load of bollocks from people who have never done any business planning and spend their time talking down business. It was like they were speaking from the same script.’
  • Page 503 – A former minister on the atmosphere before the 2017 Manchester conference – ‘It’s absolutely sh*t.’
  • Page 504 – David Davis and Boris Johnson’s reaction to Simon Brodkin interrupting the PM at the 2017 Manchester conference – ‘a tosser.’
  • Page 505 – Brandon Lewis’ reaction to slogan on the wall of the conference falling off – ‘What the actual f*ck was that?’
  • Page 507 – Therese Coffey to Grant Shapps to the Conservative MPs main Whatsapp group – ‘STFU’ – shorthand for shut the f*ck up.
  • Page 507 – James Cleverly to accusers on the Conservative MPs main Whatsapp group that he was standing to be leader – ‘wankers’
  • Page 512 – Theresa May’s aide on Philip Hammond – ‘Why the f*ck would anyone talk up a budget a month out like that?’

Conclusion – ‘May was weak in June’

  • Page 517 – SPAD – ‘The whole thing was like crawling through sh*t.’
  • Page 523 and 524 – A former member of the Labour shadow cabinet – ‘It’s like being the night watchman. You can be batting away trying to get the odd six, because you’ve got absolutely f*ck all to lose, and if you’re a memorable night watchman it can win the test, but people forget that most of time you were dead lucky and missed five out of six balls. But if you want to win and you start that far behind, it gives you that freedom.’
  • Page 527 – A Labour Party adviser – ‘It was a game of unforced errors on both sides, but one side made a catastrophic one, literally getting the racquet and twatting themselves in the head with it.’
  • Page 529 – A Labour Party adviser – ‘This generation’s war is over. Blair won the first battle. We just need to make sure that we get as many decent people in there as possible who aren’t certifiable f*cking lunatics.’

P.S: Declaration of interest. One of the ConHome very seldom swears.  Another does so nearly all the time.  We leave readers to work out which is which.

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