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A Difference of Opinion

The Autobiography of Jim Sillars

by Jim Sillars


2212 in stock

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ISBN: 9781780276830
Published: 02 Sep 2021
Format: Paperback
Extent: 320
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Birlinn
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About the Book

Jim Sillars as a working-class schoolboy was told by the Deputy Rector at Ayr Academy that  he would end up a ‘common labourer’, and by the Rector that he would ‘make nothing of himself’. He went on to be elected an MP twice, reaching high levels of political leadership, and making a continuing high-profile contribution to public life and policy. During a 60-year career in politics he moved from being a Labour MP and staunch Unionist – known as the hammer of the Nats – to becoming a prominent member of the SNP. He won the Govan by-election for the SNP, controversially became a columnist for the Scottish Sun, and when he lost his seat in 1992 notoriously described Scots as ‘90-minute patriots’.

His 33-year marriage to Margo MacDonald and her involvement in nationalist politics is covered in the book. Though he is still a member of the SNP, both he and Margo clashed repeatedly with the SNP leadership, and he is now a sharp critic of the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and what he describes as the SNP’s cult of personality.

The Author

Jim Sillars

Jim Sillars was born and brought up in Ayr. After a succession of early jobs, he joined the Royal Navy and was drafted to Hong Kong. Leaving the Navy he went into the Fire Brigade, becoming active in trade unionism and the Labour Party. Following years serving as a Labour MP in Westminster he split with Labour Party and formed the Scottish Labour Party before joining the SNP. He was elected the SNP MP for Govan in 1988. In his later career he became Assistant to the Secretary General of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and also served six years on the board of Scottish Enterprise. He lives in Edinburgh.

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