New Labour: Cheap at half the price, says Steve Dyson

Blimey, New Labour don’t half come cheap.

The Guardian yesterday made a great offer for its readers at the end of a multi-page plug for Tony Blair’s memoir.

A colour picture graphic on page six screamed: “To order Tony Blair: A Journey for £18.75 (RRP £25) with free UK p&p from the Guardian Bookshop call 03303 336846″.

Not bad, a £6.25 saving on day one of sales.

But hold on a minute, in the same paper, four pages earlier on page two, there was a half page advert from Waterstones that read: “His story. His words. Half price.”

This equalled a whopping £12.50 off the recommended retail price.

Quite apart from how annoyed Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger might have been at Blair’s duplicitous pricing, the discounts triggered another thought.

Just how low do the prices of socialist memoirs have to go before they sell?

A quick search of Amazon revealed that a new hardback copy of The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour, by Peter Mandelson,  published in July 2010 with an RRP of £25, is available for £12.50, with free postage.

Meanwhile, Prezza: My Story: Pulling No Punches, by John Prescott, published in May 2008 with an RRP of £18.99, is available for £3.08, plus £2.75 for delivery.

And Speaking for Myself: The Autobiography, by Cherie Blair, also published May 2008 with an RRP of £18.99 is now available for £1.64, plus £2.75 for delivery. Cheap as chips!

But don’t worry, comrades – all is not lost.

Any respectable lefty’s book of all time, Aneurin Bevan: A Biography, by the late Michael Foot, in two volumes, can only be bought new in paperback these days, with both January 2009 reprints having the RRP of £20.

Twenty one months later, Volume 1: 1897 to 1945 can still only be bought for £20 (that’s a 0% discount), while Volume 2: 1945 to 1960 has just £1 knocked off, selling at £19.

Incredibly, used copies of the same book are only on sale for MORE than the RRP: Volume 1 from £25 and Volume 2 from £36.96.

Good OLD Labour: you can’t beat the worth of the memoirs. I’ll be keeping my 1982 Bevan reprints (bought back then at £3.95 each) for posterity.

Steve Dyson was editor of the Birmingham Mail 2005-10.

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One Response to “New Labour: Cheap at half the price, says Steve Dyson”

  1. Colin says:

    I saw Dyson’s own book on the Rover debacle of 2000 for sale for a quid in a remainders store!

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