Alistair McAlpine was the greatest of pals wIth Margaret Thatcher.
He ran her election campaigns from his Westminster home.
He was described as “bitter and vitriolic” by the Daily Record, when he realised power was slipping from the Tories in 1997.
” Revenge is sour for Tories who see their greasy grip on power slipping away from them.
His book, honestly titled Once A Jolly Bagman, has been carefully timed to do the most damage to the politician he most detests – Prime Minister John Major.
On the eve of a General Election campaign, McAlpine’s malevolent memoirs destroy once and for all the Prime Minister’s last remaining shred of voter- appeal
His reputation as `Honest John’ and `That NICE Mr Major’ is called in to question as McAlpine says NICE he definitely ain’t.
Tarnishing Major’s reputation for decency is a crippling blow to an already limping campaign to cling to the tenancy of Number 10.
The former money-man exposes the John Major insiders know is the REAL one.
Devious, ducking and diving, ruthlessly ambitious and prepared to ditch loyalties in his single- minded thrust for power.
He also implicates Major in the fund-raising mystery of how the Tories came to wipe out their pounds 18m overdraft with the Royal Bank of Scotland and build up a multi- million-pound campaign fund for the coming General Election.
He says that, on becoming Prime Minister, Major was wrong to become involved in the cash- raising campaign.
It is now known, of course, that much of the money came from shadowy foreign businessmen – including the disgraced Asil Nasir.
The questions that have to be asked are: What concessions did the Tories make for that loot? And exactly how deeply was the Prime Minister involved?
Labour’s deputy leader John Prescott has repeatedly called for an inquiry into party funding by the Nolan Committee on standards in public life.
It’s no wonder that Major has persistently blocked it.
Of course, McAlpine is motivated by malice.
After the toppling of Thatcher, he has defected to Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party and, from his homes in Venice and Monaco, he has conducted a virulent anti- Major campaign.
This scion of the building dynasty who counts himself a Scotsman still carries a torch for Maggie.
He speaks of her as `the most magnificent Baroness Thatcher’ and she called him `one of the most effective fund- raisers of all time’.
He is one of many arch-Thatcherites who will never forgive Major for his betrayal of The Great Leaderene.
According to McAlpine, Major’s biggest sin was to wrest the leadership and Prime Ministership from Thatcher by `stealth’ and back- stabbing.
Maggie’s leadership election was run from McAlpine’s Westminster home.
He recalls the betrayal when Major wouldn’t take the `Save Our Maggie’ call when she needed just a couple of votes.
Major claimed it was because he had just had a wisdom teeth operation.
The political wisdom was that if Major let Maggie sink, he would float to the top. Major’s silence, McAlpine says, “speaks more than a thousand words”.
He believes Tory historian Lord Blake was right when he said: “Thatcher was a giant amongst pygmies.”
Even her enemies have to admit that she certainly dwarfs Major, Portillo, Dorrell and Redwood and the current crop of Conservative contenders.
Only Hezza compared with her in political stature – and he is a spent force.
Maggie once said: “My mission is to destroy socialism,” – and there are good grounds for saying that she was responsible for the re- defining of socialism and the rebuilding of New Labour.
In contrast, there is nothing to remember about Major except for failure and the falling fortunes of the Tories.
And, of course, sleaze.
He is the fag-end of a Tory era of greed and self-interest.”