My spot on the new blog tour for Where Did I Go Right? How the Left Lost Me.
‘Voting Conservative is like buying a James Blunt album: loads of people have
done it, but weirdly you never meet them …’
Comedian Geoff Norcott should have been Labour through and through. He grew up on a council estate, both of his parents were disabled, and his Dad was a Union man. So, how was it that he grew up to vote Tory? In this courageously honest and provocative memoir, Geoff unpicks his working-class upbringing and his political journey from left to right. Raised by a fierce matriarch and a maverick father on a South London council estate where they filmed scenes for The Bill, Geoff spends his youth attempting to put out kitchen fires with aerosols and leaping in and out of industrial skips. But as he reaches adolescence, his political views begin to be influenced by major events including the early 90s recession, the credit crunch, and a chance encounter with Conservative PM John Major. As an adult, Geoff begins to have the gnawing feeling that the values and traditions he grew up with no longer match Labour’s. And, as Brexit appears, he feels even more like a double agent operating behind enemy lines. Written with warmth, wit and often laugh-out-loud humour, Where Did I Go Right? is Geoff’s attempt to understand why he ended up voting ‘for the bad guys’, and why blue collared conservatism could be here to stay.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’m definitely on the left of politics, and I admit that whilst I have always made sure to vote (you can’t moan about anything if you didn’t at least take part!) I do often try and tune it out, especially at the moment. But I’ve always found Geoff to be funny, honest and self-deprecating, when he pops up on The Mash Report and Mock the Week. I love those qualities in a person.
I also firmly believe that you should try and see other people’s perspectives, otherwise you are trapped, assuming that you know everything, in a narrow view of the world. So I thought reading his biography would be a good move.
This book begins with Geoff’s working class childhood on a council estate in South London, his Dad a Union man; so far, so Labour, and then charts his path through school, university and profession. Brexit is of course included, again I voted differently to Geoff and it’s interesting to see a different perspective.
The memoir is bookended with the General Election of December 2019. It is very funny, and in parts rather sad and lonely, as Geoff deals with tragedy in his life far from the political world.
I did enjoy reading this book, and I do recommend it.