Maggie - Her Fatal Legacy

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2005, 12:00am

Maggie - Her Fatal Legacy

by John Sergeant

Pan Books, $130

John Sergeant says he ran into Chris Patten at a bash and Hong Kong's last governor was withering in his view of Lady Thatcher: 'She destroyed the Conservative Party.' Hence the title. He was going to call this book Maggie and Her Handbag. Well, that's the story the Daily Telegraph's Spy tells - another anecdote from veteran political journalist Sergeant. The British critics weren't very kind to this book when it came out early this year. It's now in paperback, with a new epilogue to take in the recent election. Maggie - Her Fatal Legacy is a routine account of the fall of the Iron Lady and how she caused the Tories to self-destruct. Sergeant is long on anecdote, short on analysis. It's thin on what her fatal legacy is: three terms of Tony Blair? Still, it's an easy enough read, a potted history of the Conservative Party from 1979 to John Major and Michael Howard. The Economist notes the lesson for Blair: Go before you're pushed, and don't bag your successor.