When I was deputy chairman I could travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh without leaving Tory land. In a two-week period I covered every constituency in which we had an MP. There were 14. Now we have only one. We appear to have given up.
But I certainly made mistakes, for which I regret, I think most human beings in their lifetime make mistakes, mine ended up in two years prison - two very remarkable years from which I learnt a lot.
The discipline required for athletics carried through to writing. You call it obsession. I call it discipline. By the way, I see nothing wrong with that.
I think when you've lost an election by 179, there's going to be a period of time after eighteen years in government when you can't do anything right, and people just kick you for the sake of it, will never admit they voted Conservative.
I feel I have had a very interesting life, but I am rather hoping there is still more to come. I still haven't captained the England cricket team, or sung at Carnegie Hall!
I spent my first three weeks there on a wing with 21 murderers. I met some very evil people there but also some men who'd had no upbringing, no chance in life.
I learnt a lot about myself, I learnt a lot about other people and the problems they have. If I was lucky enough to live to a hundred, how I will feel about two per cent of my life being that way, I don't know.
Whenever you analyse anyone who has had any success and they're in the headlines, you will find they are human and make mistakes. I'm certainly that and I've made a lot of mistakes.
We go on a lot in this country about offences being caused by drugs. The truth is just as many offences are caused by drink. And that should be taken into account.
And I did wonder - because it's now three years ago since I left prison - whether there would come a time when I would forget it, or it would be in the past as anything else might be - no, it's there every day of my life.
I've been doing nineteen hours a day on London, nothing else, I mean this has been my whole life, and writing has been put on one side, and if I'm privileged enough to be the Mayor of this city, then I will not write again.
Well I think after leaving prison, and having written three diaries about life in prison, it became a sort of a new challenge to write another novel, to write a new novel.