A VETERAN reporter who trailed the corridors of Parliament for three decades has been shortlisted for a national book award.
Colin Brown, who grew up in Burscough, enjoyed a successful career as a political correspondent for The Guardian, Independent and Sunday Telegraph.
His latest book, Real Britannia, Our Proudest Ten Years – The Glory and the Spin, has been nominated for the Total Politics Political History Book of the Year Award.
Inspired by David Cameron’s 2010 comment that 1940 was Britain’s proudest year, Mr Brown delved into the history books to see if the Prime Minister was right. The top 10 was based on an opinion poll, with Mr Brown taking an in-depth look at the merits and popular myths of each nomination.
Now a freelance journalist, Mr Brown, 62, said: “The starting point for this particular book was the mistake by the Prime Minister for saying Britain was a junior partner to America in 1940.
“A lot of people said he was wrong, which he obviously was [America had not yet entered World War Two], and when he tried to correct himself he said 1940 was still our proudest year. So I started this book saying the inspiration for this book was a gaffe by the Prime Minister.”
Real Britannia explores ten landmark years in British history, examining in detail the key events and their value in our history.
Among the events considered are the suffragette movement and the abolition of slavery. Of course, 1940 is also in there, with Mr Brown describing how his four sisters were evacuated to Southport from Bootle at the start of World War Two, in 1939. One year which could not make the shortlist was 2012, which Mr Brown believes would now be a popular choice after the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.
Born in Parbold, Mr Brown’s family moved to Burscough, where his father owned the old Brown’s chip shop, on Liverpool Road North.
Delighted to be nominated for the award, the winner of which will be announced in February, he said: “I think it’s remarkable to be shortlisted. Whoever wins, I’m in good company, so I’m just grateful to have made it to the shortlist.”