The meditation on happiness, depression and the death of his friend Philip Gould is moving. I continue to admire Campbell for his openness about the Black Dog, helping to educate people about depression being an illness not just feeling a bit fed up.
As he writes about how he wants to be remembered, his combativeness is also admirable:
I want to know that some of my enmities were worthwhile, that I made life harder for people who deserved it – like Tories who think their divine right is to govern, or journalists who lie, cheat and never face up to the consequences of their lies and cheating. I want to be able to say I was at least part of changing the world for the better and, whatever our critics say, I know that the Labour government of 1997-2007 did plenty of that. I hope that by the time I die I will have played a part in ending the stigma and taboo surrounding mental illness.
I was so taken by the sentiment that I missed those dates the first time I read it. “The Labour government of 1997-2007.” And no, he is not referring to the period during which he worked for the government: he quit in 2003, came back for the 2005 election and again in 2010.
I don’t think that is a Freudian slip.Tagged in: alastair campbell, contemporary history, Gordon Brown
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