Matt Hancock’s How I Won the COVID War, out soon: a thrilling read. Page after page of revelations: ‘If I were to get on top of this one, I’d have to work fast. I took lessons from Neil Ferguson’.
‘I was going to get down to it – if it took all-night sessions with staff, I was up for it.’ ‘It was a fearsome projection: I was facing a massive hump in the summer.’
‘It was vital that people stay at home unless needed: even my wife could no longer join me at the office in the evening, and I had police posted just in case.’
‘This is an international problem – I was discussing Uganda into the small hours. How I kept it up, I’ll never know.’
The book is not out for a few months, but the extracts are revealing. Getting through on tiny scraps of data, bearing a hunch and carrying it through, following tiny clues, hacking phones, bribing publishers and getting the ghost-writer drunk – that’s how exclusives are made. What I found was less exciting than I thought: here was Matt, plain Matt Hancock, just as pointless and self-absorbed as he always seemed. If you want drama and fantasy, you have what he thought of himself.