Not having lived in London during Ken’s stints at the GLC or as mayor of London, I wanted to know more about the man who likes newts. I learnt all I ever wanted to know and more (much, much more) in this detailed self-justification. At the outset, during a long first section of his impoverished childhood growing up in South London (not far from where I live now), followed by tediously detailed accounts of council committee meetings, I wasn’t sure if I’d have the stamina to get to the end. But I persevered, and what came through was a conviction politician, shaped by an epic trip across Africa as a young man (something I’m glad to have read about, although while I was reading it, I wasn’t so sure). It was also striking how market friendly and common sense is Red Ken, as opposed to the media portrait (it must be hard to fight your whole life against a picture you don’t recognise).