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Buy The Blair Years and raise cash for Labour

Posted on 1 February 2010 | 9:02am

In addition to publishing my new novel, Maya, this week, I am today launching a scheme to raise money for Labour’s campaign to keep out the Tories by selling individually signed copies of The Blair Years.

I don’t pretend it will rival the Belize millions the Tories can rely on, but every little helps, as the man from Tesco’s rightly says.

The plan is this – if you want to get the book with a personal dedication, you order it on the site, stating who you would like me to dedicate it to, and what message – within reason – you would like inside. Meanwhile pay by Paypal.

There are three versions of the book – hardback, trade paperback, and paperback. They retail at £25, £14.99 and £9.99 respectively.

The ones being sold here are the trade paperback, which is the hardback text in a soft cover, usually sold at airports and overseas.

We are charging £15 and I will donate £7.50 of each sale made through this site to the Party.

The idea came to me from the many fundraising dinners I do for local Labour parties. Some make a point of buying my book in advance, getting cut price deals by ordering a few boxloads from the publishers, selling them at face value and keeping the mark up for campaign funds.

I have now purchased a good number myself and asked someone to take charge of running this scheme through the site. John Prescott did something similar with his own book, Prezza, to raise funds for Go Fourth.

I also have a limited number of hardbacks which I intend to sell in the same way, at a higher price, at Labour fundraisers. Likewise if people think they can make money from selling the trade paperbacks at Labour events I will not be attending, they are welcome to buy signed copies here.

I hope some of you will think that whether for yourself, or as a present, or a raffle prize at your own events, this is a book worth having and a scheme worth backing.

The most we have raised for one copy, in the week it came out, was £60,000 paid by a businessman for a copy signed by TB, GB, JP, Alex Ferguson and me at a Labour sports fundraiser.

So it has already raised good sums for the party. As an election nears, I hope it can raise more.

What with quite a few interviews to promote Maya, a few speeches and other things going on, I have a busy week ahead, but we will endeavour to get the signed books out to people in good order. But this is not Amazon, so bear with us if it takes a few days to reach you.

  • Brian Hughes

    Good luck with this. Although we will always win in terms of numbers of activists, having no Ashcroft millions our party needs all the cash it can get to help get the message across.

    But I can’t resist trotting out the old chestnut I first heard used about Edward Heath’s books. He hired a train to charge around the country selling and signing them. It’s said that the unsigned ones are worth more now because of their scarcity value!

    And, a pedant writes, I hope your books don’t contain too many ablative howlers such as “a copy signed by TB, GB, JP, Alex Ferguson and I”. Why is “I” taking over from the more grammatically correct “me” in conjunctive ablatives, genitives and datives so often nowadays? Is it perhaps because the erroneous nominative use of “me” has been so drummed out of people? Or maybe it’s because Latin isn’t part of the core curriculum. Or it could be the BBC’s fault. I’m sure that Eton-educated Dave could, if someone planted the thought in his mind, attempt to pin most of the blame on Ed Balls or Ben Bradshaw…

  • AC

    Brian – grammarian democracy in action. I has become me. Apologies. It is normally I who am the pedant!! (or should that be is?)

  • Helen Jordan

    Good stuff. Already have one but will get one signed and one for my Mum’s birthday – May 6!! Hopefully an omen of good fortune

  • olli issakainen

    AC, get a copy of Maya signed by all Burnley players mentioned in it, and then sell it by auction to raise money for Labour.