Brought to book: David Davies MP

Written by David Davies MP on 22 February 2013 in Culture
From Hungary to the Welsh Assembly to Tudor England, the Conservative MP for Monmouth takes us through his literary musings

This article is from the March 2013 issue of Total Politics

What’s your favourite book?
Various works by Wilbur Smith and George McDonald Fraser.
Whom would you like to write a political biography about?
Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly Lord (Dafydd) Elis-Thomas. He became the speaker of an institution which 20 years previously nobody thought would ever have a chance of being set up. Since then, the Assembly has been steadily gaining extra powers. Dafydd was once a left wing firebrand, and is now seemingly a pillar of the establishment. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, he has achieved far more of his political goals than most MPs - much to the annoyance of Unionists like me!
What was your favourite children’s book?
I am David by Anna Holm is the unforgettable story of a young boy, presumably Jewish, who escapes from a concentration camp, meeting various people good and bad on his journey through Europe to find his mother.
What’s the most inspiring book you have ever read?
The Drifters by James Mitchener was the story of six young people from the flower power generation going through a transitional phase in their lives, I read it in 1989 and it inspired me to go and see a bit of the world.
What’s your favourite political novel?
Any novels by Michael Dobbs – we can all think of colleagues who bear a passing resemblance to his characters!
Name the most significant book of the last 10 years
Anna Funder’s Book Stasiland. This was an early attempt to start coming to terms with the legacy of a post-communist society.
What would you like to write a book about?
Being married to a Hungarian, I am fascinated by the different memories of those who lived under Communism across eastern Europe. For some, it represented draconian authority but surprisingly others I have spoken to enjoy good memories of the era. If I had the time I would explore this further.
Which fictional character would you be?
Dr Who, because I’d love to see how things really were. Was Owain Glyndŵr really interested in an independent Wales or just another baron feuding with the king? How much tolerance did Elizabeth I really offer religious dissidents? I could even check the temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period and the so-called Little Ice Age to show the current increase is nothing out of the ordinary!
David Davies is Conservative MP for Monmouth

Tags: Brought to book, David Davies MP, Issue 56, Life, March 2013

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