I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

A Short Guide to Modern Politics, the Coalition and the General Election


Exactly a week after the general election, two men – ‘Call me Dave’ and ‘Call me Nick’ – walked side by side into the rose garden of No. 10 Downing Street to give their first press-conference as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, looking for all the world like men in love. It was a romance in which people wanted to believe. But it was also one that people couldn't help but mistrust. Most unnerving, however, was the sense that they both couldn't quite believe their luck.

Cameron: I can't believe it. All those people out there just for us ...
Clegg: I know. It's mad, isn't it? I have to keep pinching myself as well.
Cameron: Go on say it again ...
Clegg: What?
Cameron: Call me Prime Minister ...

The storms the Dave and Nick partnership would have to face (same sex marriage, plebgate, triple dip recession, riots ...) were then unclear. Now, almost five years on, this up-to-the-minute portrait of Westminster and the forthcoming General Election exposes the realities of the Coalition, while offering an indispensible guide to a half-decade of madness:

· * Foreign Policy - The new 'special relationship' - William Hague and Angelina Jolie
· * The Economy - Osborne finally cracks it: boom in London; bust everywhere else.
· * Immigration - should the entire population of Bulgaria pick strawberries for us?
· * The Opposition - how Labour got the wrong Miliband.
* UKIP, PPI, ISIS and other dubious acronyms.
· * The countdown to the General Election 2015: five years of planning since the last one.
Insightful, painful, very funny, this is a must-read for all of us with a vote, whichever side we thought we were on.


  • Crace has a secret weapon in his armoury when he tells the story of the coalition and modern politics: his imaginary accounts of conversations between the people in power. They leave you thinking: “So THAT’s how it was!” It’s a rare gift. And it’s very funny.
    John Humphrys

About the author

John Crace

John Crace is the Guardian's parliamentary sketch writer and author of the ‘Digested Read’ columns and he writes regularly for Grazia. He is the author of I Never Promised you a Rose Garden: A short guide to modern politics, the coalition and the general election and also Baby Alarm: A Neurotic’s Guide to Fatherhood, Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success , Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp, Brideshead Abbreviated: the Digested Read of the Twentieth Century and The Digested Twenty-first Century. He lives in London.
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