Alastair's Blog

Filter blog posts:  Show all | Articles only | Videos only RSS feed

Changing the lens on mental health (and detecting yet more opposition to Brexit)

Posted on 21 November 2017 | 10:11am

Last night I was at Reading University, delivering the Peter Campbell Lecture – no relation – in honour of the founding head of the University’s Department of Politics and International Relations. I was allowed to talk about anything I wanted, and decided to speak about the need for a new approach to, and new thinking […]

The speeches our leaders should make … Instead May ‘celebrates’ the vilest Brit alive, Paul Dacre

Posted on 9 November 2017 | 10:11am

As the Brexit chaos continues, with ministers now falling by the wayside at a rate of one a week, the PM held in near contempt by those who remain in Cabinet, the NHS Chief Executive having to go public with what everyone working in it knows – that Brexit could kill it off, just as […]

Speech – Why I find it impossible to ‘get behind’ Brexit, and why MPs and business need to fight harder against it

Posted on 21 September 2017 | 2:09pm

Text of speech to CBI dinner, Ely Cathedral, this evening So you’re thinking why is he wearing a kilt? You’re thinking … he’s not going to get his bloody bagpipes out is he? There are two reasons I am in a kilt. One is that in common with Gordon Brown, I hate black tie. And […]

On the new diaries, Piers, Owen Jones, TBGB, Theresa/Boris, Dave/George

Posted on 20 September 2017 | 8:09am

Another year, another volume of diaries, this one covering the time from Tony Blair’s third election win to his departure from office two years later. A majority of 66 – what would Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn give for one of those? – insufficient to stave off the forces that wanted him out. Talking to […]

Interviews with Mayweather (2014) and McGregor (2015)

Posted on 27 August 2017 | 7:08am

Well, as hype went, it went well. Look at pretty much any major news site around the world and the Mayweather-McGregor fight is trending, and both men are standing by for a massive flow of cash into their coffers. The fight ended as most expected it to, with the ‘real boxer’ winning, but with the […]

A tribute to (and long interview with) the Living Legend that is Usain Bolt

Posted on 6 August 2017 | 9:08am

Well, that was a day of unwanted outcomes on the sporting front … Burnley’s ‘friendly’ against Hanover abandoned because of German thuggery … and somewhat more significantly, Usain Bolt failing to deliver the fairytale ending to his individual track career that most members of the human race were hoping for. As I said here yesterday, […]

A tribute to (and long interview with) the great Mo Farah

Posted on 5 August 2017 | 8:08am

Sometimes, as I moan and groan about backache, Brexit, or Burnley selling Michael Keane, I perhaps overlook just how blessed I am. To quote the fantastic Hebridean band Skipinnish ‘feel the wonder of the world, you are alive.‘ I had one of those feeling blessed moments last night in the build up to, and then […]

If you haven’t booked a holiday yet, you should try Albania. Promise

Posted on 30 July 2017 | 1:07pm

I would normally wait a few days before posting a New European column, but an editing malfunction means those who have got the print version – which despite this malfunction I strongly recommend because of all the other good things in the paper – the last few lines of my piece have vanished from view! So here is the whole thing […]

As the national mood shifts,a reminder that the £350m for the NHS was just one of many Brexit lies past present future

Posted on 14 July 2017 | 9:07am

I am well aware I live in LME land – indeed perhaps the NW3 postcode could hardly be more Liberal Metropolitan Elite if it tried. I am also aware that I wear my anti-Brexit views loudly, so most of the people I bump into round here, in so far as they have a view about […]

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 […]