A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin by Chris Mullin

By Chris Mullin

Chris Mullin has been a Labour MP for 20 years, and regardless of his refusal to toe the occasion line - on concerns like ninety days detention, for instance - he has held a number of well known posts. To the apoplexy of the whips, he used to be for a time the one individual appointed to govt who voted opposed to the Iraq conflict. He additionally chaired the house Affairs choose Committee and used to be a member of the Parliamentary Committee, giving him direct entry to the courtroom of Tony Blair. Irreverent, wry and candid, Mullin's willing experience of the ridiculous permits him to offer a miles clearer perception into the workings of presidency than different, extra brazenly winning politicians. He bargains funny and incisive takes on all elements of political existence: from the build-up to Iraq, to the scandalous sums of tax-payers' funds spent on ministerial autos he didn't are looking to use. His seriously acclaimed diary will entertain and amuse a ways past the political sessions.

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It has often been observed that there was a fundamental difference between them, in that Livia did not earn a reputation for exploiting sex as a political weapon. Tacitus, for instance, concedes that she possessed an ‘old-fashioned’ virtue. But sex was clearly an important factor in clinching her marriage to Octavian. 8 From this point on, comparison between the supposed sexual standards of Livia and Agrippina is hardly relevant; Livia had nothing political to gain from sexual intrigue, since her husband the emperor survived long enough for her to ensure the succession for her son.

Unfortunately, Julia the Younger chose to follow in their mother Julia’s footsteps, which not unexpectedly also led to her mother’s fate. 33 Julia the Younger was married to Lucius Aemilius Paullus, consul in AD 1 and they produced a daughter Aemilia Lepida but beyond this we know very little of her earlier life, apart from Pliny’s remark that Julia owned the largest house in Rome and the smallest dwarf. Tacitus informs us that she was convicted of adultery (in AD 8) and exiled to Trimerus off the Apulian coast, where she was sustained by allowances from Livia until her death twenty years later.

When little Caligula joined his mother he became the favourite of the soldiers, dressing up in a diminutive soldier’s uniform and wearing small caligae, the hobnailed boots worn by Roman soldiers, which gave him his familiar nickname. Tacitus’ handling of this episode is interesting. Caligula’s imposture of a miniature soldier was almost certainly his mother’s idea, or at the very least condoned by her, and was an undisguised attempt to court the popularity of the legions, behaviour which, had it been exhibited by her daughter, would have been condemned outright as a shameless scheme to extend her influence.

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