Often shocking and always controversial, Hammer of the Left provides a compelling testament to the battle for Labour's soul.
'No modern Prime Minister has an easy, tranquil life. Few, however, have faced as many difficulties as Jim Callaghan did between 1976 and 1979 or have become as tired and exhausted. Without a parliamentary majority, not only did he have to contend with the massive economic problems from the oil crisis but also the enormous trouble created by two characters straight out of the world of make-believe: Anthony Wedgwood Benn and Eric Heffer.'
In the late 1970s and early 1980s John Golding, known as the 'Hammer of the Left', was one of the most influential figures in the Labour Party. As MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme and a top trade union 'fixer', he led the moderates' fight back against Tony Benn, Militant and the hard left.
In this posthumously published memoir, edited by Paul Farrelly, Golding details his ruthless quest to remove Benn and Heffer from Labour's National Executive Committee. He reveals how he and his 'union mafia' made sure that Benn lost his Bristol seat - and with it his leadership ambitions - and describes the back-room fixing which dashed Roy Hattersley's hopes and delivered the leadership to Neil Kinnock.