Alastair's Blog

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Fantastic backing for #Equality4MentalHealth campaign. Please add your support here to help end historic injustice

Posted on 2 November 2015 | 7:11am

Around the time of Charles Kennedy’s death I spent a lot of time talking to his Lib Dem colleague, Norman Lamb. I didn’t know him very well but had always felt, when he was a health minister, that he and Nick Clegg got mental health on the coalition agenda in a way that would not […]

Brailsford cycling genius + Bloodwise great cause = fantastic night out. Sign up here

Posted on 29 October 2015 | 11:10am

Sir Dave Brailsford is a modern sporting genius. And Bloodwise is a great charity. So I hopefully won’t need to give too hard a sell to get some of you to come along to hear the former talk about his life and times, and raise money for the latter in the process. November 25, London. […]

If only ministers were as wise as these three young people: a little investment can lead to savings down the track.

Posted on 27 October 2015 | 10:10am

While the government was busy trying to cut tax credits for some of our poorest families, and while millions were watching Panorama’s documentary on the calamitous impact of cuts to mental health services, I was at an inspiring event which showed how a little investment in mental health can lead to savings as well as […]

Cameron, Osborne, Hunt should watch tonight’s Panorama to see the gap between their words and their country

Posted on 24 October 2015 | 3:10pm

I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight’s version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it […]

Good luck to the pro-UK-in-EU campaign. Even having this damned referendum is bad for Britain

Posted on 12 October 2015 | 10:10am

So the pro-Britain in Europe campaign moves into a different phase today, with M and S former boss Stuart Rose fronting up a collection of business people and politicians who have the considerable task of challenging the tons of anti-European propaganda that has been thrown our way for years. I wish them luck. Unless David Cameron completely […]

Charles Kennedy would have loved both the debate and the outcome of last night’s Europe vote

Posted on 26 September 2015 | 1:09pm

Charles Kennedy would have enjoyed last night’s debate on Europe at the Glasgow University Union where he honed his own great debating skills. The debate, set to become an annual event, was in his memory, and the result – overwhelming support for continuing membership of the EU – would no doubt have pleased him. The place […]

VW could become a far bigger crisis for Merkel than Pig-Gate or Coke-Gate are for Cameron

Posted on 23 September 2015 | 2:09pm

I am not really a car person but I drive a Volkswagen. It is a strong brand. It says reliable. It says German. Which emphasises reliable. And, translated, it means People’s Car, which is kind of nice. That brand has taken many years to build, the reputation decades to cement. Now all of that is […]

An ancient city of hatred with romance at its heart

Posted on 22 September 2015 | 8:09am

A guest blog from my son Calum, fellow football fanatic and fellow football romantic. Anyone who has ever driven into Marseille from the North side of town should have an inkling of what the city is all about. Its high rise estates, such as Le Castellane (the biggest council estate in Europe) dominate the Northern […]

Fifteen observations, sporting and political, from the opening game of the Rugby World Cup

Posted on 19 September 2015 | 9:09am

Fifteen (see what I did there – not eleven, not thirteen, but fifteen – because this is rugby union we’re talking now) 1. It confirmed the genius of Danny Boyle. The RWC opening ceremony was fine set against the standards of most sporting opening ceremonies. But in scope, scale and creativity – and cost of […]

Nice guy, good MP, making the weather: but it has to be ABC – Anyone But Corbyn. Labour could be finished if he wins

Posted on 10 August 2015 | 11:08am

I have thought long and hard, having said two months ago I didn’t intend to get involved in the Labour leadership debate, about whether to publish this piece. I am also aware that there is a risk that it will have precisely the opposite of the effect I hope it has – namely to make […]