Culture 1 September 2010 Ralph Miliband on Labour memoirs Blair's magnum opus confirms what Miliband père knew 50 years ago. Print HTML We shouldn't be surprised by the tortuous self-justifications, not to mention the luridly overheated prose, of Tony Blair's new book. As the father of two of the men vying to be Blair's successor-but-one put it nearly 50 years ago: "Labour leaders do not write good memoirs." This was how Ralph Miliband began a review (£) in early 1961 of the autobiography of Peter Mandelson's grandfather, Herbert Morrison. He went on: As a contribution to history in general and to Labour history in particular, his book is virtually worthless . . . and as personal account of politics-as-lived, it is scarcely better. Why then bother? Because Labourism needs to be better understood and because Morrison's story, for all its deficiencies (in some ways because of them), affords some help to that better understanding. › Web Only: the best of the blogs Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman. 12 issues for £12 Subscribe More Related articles Mathias Énard is the most brazen French writer since Houellebecq Sex and the city: the novel that listens in on New York Parenting remains primarily women’s work. Is that why it’s passed over in literature?