Alastair's Blog

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One year on from the referendum, it is becoming clearer Brexit needs to be stopped to prevent damage to Britain

Posted on 23 June 2017 | 9:06am

Last night I was at The Guildhall to do the after dinner turn at the Franco-British Young Leaders’ gathering, which brings together rising stars in politics, business, the military, media and academia. It is a joint initiative of the UK ambassador to Paris, David Cameron’s former chief of staff of Ed Llewellyn, and the French […]

Not going to say ‘told you so,’ Mrs May – oh, I just did!

Posted on 3 June 2017 | 4:06pm

It seemed like such a good idea at the time, didn’t it, to call an election with the anti-Brexit backlash seemingly weakening, Labour languishing in the polls, Theresa May’s ratings high, and the right wing media portraying her as some kind of cross between Thatcher, the Queen and Boudicca. It does not seem like such […]

On Brexit, Trump, trust and whither politics

Posted on 29 April 2017 | 7:04am

Here is the text of the speech I gave this week to the DJOEF conference in Copenhagen, on Brexit, Trump, trust, winning and whither politics I am very flattered that you have asked me to talk about the two themes – trust and winning. On trust I am the man who if you believe some […]

How a Brexit breakfast vote and a Brixton Prison trip restored my sense of hope

Posted on 2 March 2017 | 5:03pm

As we slide one more week closer to the calamity that Brexit will bring, two memorable meetings stand out for me from the past few days. The first, of which more later, was on Monday evening inside Brixton Prison (cue ‘shame they let you out’ tweets from the usual saddoes). The second, on Thursday morning, […]

What I would have said on Newsnight if the Mail hadn’t bottled out of defending itself over Wikpedia ban

Posted on 10 February 2017 | 11:02am

May I start with an apology to the hosts of a dinner I was speaking at last night, which I left slightly ahead of schedule, in order to get to TV Centre for an interview on Newsnight. Apologies especially to those fellow Daily Mail haters (aka all civilised members of society) who said they were […]

If you can’t swear properly in the fucking Guardian about mental health, where the fuck can you?

Posted on 18 January 2017 | 11:01am

So, first of all, many thanks to The Guardian, who have once more allowed me a platform to argue the basic case that we are light year away from parity between mental and physical health. Here is the piece they have just posted, to coincide with the launch of the MQ charity’s #WeSwear campaign designed […]

Brexit increasingly means shambles, and one which prevents NHS shambles being sorted too

Posted on 8 January 2017 | 9:01am

It seems that tomorrow Theresa May intends to say once more that mental health is a priority of hers. She said the same on the day she became Prime Minister. So I wish she could have been at the Royal College of Psychiatrists on Friday for a celebration of the work of psychiatrist Peter Tyrer. She […]

What Trump, Brexit and the rise of populism say about politics and media now and in the future

Posted on 8 December 2016 | 9:12am

Yesterday I made a speech to a conference organised by Fremantle Media, the independent production company that has given us such delights – depending on your taste – as Pop Idol, The Price is Right, and The Bill. They wanted me to talk about Trump, Brexit, the rise of populism, and what it all said […]

An essay on the poison to our national life that is Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail

Posted on 7 November 2016 | 11:11am

Some of you may know I do a monthly interview for GQ magazine. This month’s, out this week,  features Nicola Adams. But last month the editor asked me to take a different tack and use my usual space to explain why I so loathe the Daily Mail. Nice commission to have. When the magazine put […]

Another day, another important mental health campaign – #StopTheCharge and end a scandal

Posted on 11 October 2016 | 11:10am

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and I spoke about stigma – again – at the Leeds Community Foundation where the signs of change coming were all around. The city council’s brilliant CEO Tom Riordan speaking not only about his life growing up partly in foster care, with an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother often going […]