Alastair's Blog

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A sad, but heart-lifting letter from a young woman struggling for change

Posted on 27 January 2015 | 9:01am

Every now and again, a letter comes in out of the blue that manages both to sadden, but also to make the heart soar a little. Below is one such letter, from a 19-year-old student, Emily Oldfield. It is saddening because it is a reminder of the reality of mental health issues, and of the […]

The truth about the altercation which has become George Galloway’s latest ‘film’-promoting propaganda

Posted on 15 January 2015 | 8:01am

I understand that The Times are today running a story, based on a story in this week’s ‘Ham and High’, about an altercation I had with a member of the public last week. Should any other media be minded to follow up, I thought I would post the full statement I gave to the Ham […]

Time for Labour to regain initiative on the politics of the economy amid Osborne’s failures and flailings

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 12:12pm

Alan Johnson is my next interviewee for GQ, out later this week. Yesterday the magazine’s spin doctors (they’re everywhere you know) put out a few selected quotes and some of the papers have focused on Alan saying Ed Miliband had asked him if he fancied a return to the front bench. Answer, no, though he […]

Politics has so much to learn from business and sport in the art of winning

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 2:11pm

It is always a nice moment when the publisher sends through the final, final version of the cover of a planned new book. It is especially nice when the designer has taken an idea given by the author – I wanted all the names in my WINNERS book inside an Olympic Gold Medal – and […]

What Cameron should say (and won’t) when he loses the Rochester by-election

Posted on 18 November 2014 | 10:11am

‘Mr Cameron did not cause the rise of UKIP, and he can’t stop it.’ In an otherwise very intelligent analysis of the Prime Minister’s problems, the FT’s Janan Ganesh is wrong in the first part of that sentence. Mr Cameron did cause the rise of UKIP, when he offered an In-Out referendum. Until then, they […]

Is ‘spin’ dead in the era of social media?

Posted on 13 November 2014 | 10:11am

Here is the text of a speech I gave this morning to the Festival Of Marketing in London. There was also a good q and a, some of which might be on twitter hashtag #FoM14 Ok. So a while back I am flying into Gatwick from Croatia. I’m the first off the plane. I get […]

Cameron, Clegg, Hunt, how can someone wait six months for mental healthcare if suicide is the other option?

Posted on 24 October 2014 | 11:10am

Earlier this week, as I blogged at the time, I was on the panel of a BBC3 FreeSpeech mental health special. It was fantastic to see and hear so many young people prepared to be open about their mental health conditions. But it was also infuriating and upsetting to hear how many felt they could not […]

Huge thanks to the BBC3 audience of mentally ill youngsters for re-igniting my passion

Posted on 22 October 2014 | 6:10am

Oh my Lord, it is more than a month since I posted a blog, the morning after the Scottish independence referendum. That has to be the longest – yes, it definitely is the longest – I have ever gone without sticking a few thoughts down here. Lots of reasons. Been working overseas a fair bit. Also […]

Whatever the final result, the whole of UK politics has to wake up to some powerful lessons of Scotland

Posted on 18 September 2014 | 9:09pm

Whether it is YES or NO, one thing is certain – UK politics has changed forever as a result of this referendum. I will rephrase that – if UK politics does not change, does not wake up to some of the lessons of recent weeks and months, it means it has a death wish. The first […]

Phone a friend with a vote – and urge a NO vote for the sake of Scotland and the UK

Posted on 16 September 2014 | 9:09am

  Here is a piece on the separation referendum I have written for the Telegraph. I have it on the authority of Alex Salmond no less that I am Scottish. He told me so – indeed he insisted on it after I suggested he didn’t really see south of the border Scots like me as […]