Reaction Weekend

New podcast tackles life in politics and how to handle an inferiority complex 

BY Iain Dale | tweet IainDale   /  13 February 2021

The Imposter podcast with Tom Harris

Tom Harris was a Labour MP between 2001 and 2015. He was also one of the first MPs to harness the power of the internet through his blog, And Another Thing. But in 2010, he announced he was retiring from blogging. He said“it was getting me involved in too many squabbles”, and was having a negative effect on his mental health. He was right to do so. I did the same a month later. His blog also played a major part in him losing his dream ministerial job as a Transport minister in Gordon Brown’s government. After he lost his Glasgow South seat in 2015, along with every other Labour MP in Scotland bar one, he started writing a daily column for the Telegraph Online and he’s never looked back.

This new podcast is rather innovative. Each episode is 12-15 minutes long – a sort of bite sized podcast. In each episode he  regales a story from his life in politics. I can’t work out whether he’s reading from a script or it’s all spontaneous. It’s almost like listening to a chapter at a time from the audiobook of his autobiography.  It’s all highly entertaining and at the end of each episode you are left wanting more. The theme running through most episodes is his immense feeling of inferiority, which we now have come to know as “imposter syndrome”. I suffer from it myself to one degree or another. Neither of us went to public school or Oxbridge, and that’s got a lot to do with it. There’s that constant feeling of not quite belonging in the milieus in which we move.


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