Alastair's Blog

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First blog

Posted on 5 February 2009 | 3:02pm

Welcome to my website. And welcome to my first blog. I am a late convert to all this online malarkey but now the conversion has happened, I’ve decided to make a real go of it.

I intend to use this site to bring together the various things I do – writing, speaking, strategising, campaigning, whether for Labour or charitable causes close to my heart. I will blog when I feel like it, vlog at least once a week, give Dave Cameron the odd whack, and hopefully engage in a bit of lively debate. Tories welcome. Some of them anyway, if only to be told where they’re going wrong.

Don’t expect me to be at it 24-7 though! I’ve been on Facebook for a few weeks now, dipping in a couple of times each day, and some people seem to spend every hour of every day in online chat. I have enjoyed some of the exchanges with political opponents, of which I seem to have a few, despite having left the frontline ages ago.

Even going on Facebook and writing a weekly e mail for the Go Fourth campaign provoked a mild rash of ‘act your age’ complaint from what might be termed ‘critics’. Ditto, I see, the news that I am to be a mentor and judge in the forthcoming BBC 2 series, The Speaker, to find Britain’s best young public speaker. 

Of course there is a bit of history between me and the Beeb. But it is five years since the Hutton Report was published. Five years is a long time. One and a quarter terms for Barack Obama (we fervently hope). One and a quarter Olympiads.

But when the BBC devoted three hours of documentary airtime to my diaries, (still selling nicely thank you, and the site can guide those who are still looking to buy) oh how the critics got their dander up. I know I’m biased, but I thought it was rather good television. Then there was a mini squall when they gave me an hour to tell the story of my nervous breakdown. (On which, by the way, I think I have had more comments from the public than on anything else I have ever done on telly.) My involvement in The Speaker has got one or two of the ‘critics’ going again. It’s weird really. It is as though there should never be reconciliation between people who fall out from time to time. 

I should warn them – it could have been worse. Originally the BBC approached me about fronting the whole thing. But time constraints, and my worries about the elimination format, led me to rest rict my role. I have to say, having been involved now, my worries about the elimination element were unfounded. The producers handled the competition aspect really well, as shown by the presence of most of the eliminated contestants as spectators at the recently recorded final . 

I hope people watch The Speaker when it comes out in a few weeks time. In the main young people get a bum rap from most of the media. The Speaker gets closer to what the vast bulk of them are – lively, intelligent, hard-working, keen to learn about the world around them – and some pretty good speakers among them too.

  • John Cooper

    Welcome to the world wide web Alastair. Would be fascinated to see how you’d control the party message if you were media man for a party aiming to gain power now.

    Regards

    John

  • Michael Grieve

    dont think signature is good idea in this electronic age

  • Brian Moylan

    Yep site looks nice, just the comments part needs fixing. Can’t see what I”m typing at the moment because of some weird panel/div thing.

  • Alastair Campbell

    It’s all working ok now. Just first day teething troubles.

  • Jane Appleton

    Good website, Alastair, may it grow, succeed and flourish. As for comments about “act your age”, it’s worth reminding people that this isn’t about your age or their age, it’s about the digital age. Welcome to it.

  • JD

    ‘Strategising’ What’s wrong with the word ‘strategy’? Or are you pretending to be less educated than you actually are? Not a good start, but all the best anyway. JD.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38059363467
    NO TO LISBON MEANS NO TO LISBON!

  • Brian Hughes

    Curious layout but I’m sure the content will be worth a look or more. Good luck.

  • Plato

    Pretty site – can you fix the scrolling as I have to manually run my mouse down to move down the columns. Also suggest that your have preview function so typos and mispokes can be spotted.

    Good luck with this – bought your diaries and thought they were compelling reading and just the sort of honesty that is very lacking in certain areas of politics. Look forward to the next installment.

  • Brain smith

    Welcome to the bloggosphere. Just what is needed another amoral corrupt ex-politician or spin meister extreme. Hope you and your party get what is coming to you.

    Must say however the blog is very pretty. Not afraid to get in touch with your feminine side then Mr Campbell? Hope the criticism you receive doesn’t send you into too much of a depression.

  • John C

    Nice design but these scroll bars are BROKEN (IE7 and FF3) clicking below the scroll tab widget should move to the next bit but doesn’t dumping you at the footof the item. The only way to see the middle is to slowly drag the widget which is way non standard and a PITA to boot.

    Best of luck

    jc

  • Mike Rouse

    Design is a bit, er, unconventional for a blog. Also may have overdone it a bit on the bells and whistles. Keep it simple seems like a good strategy to me. That said, it’s brave and I hope it pays off, not least because I do want to see a bit more creativity around the blogosphere. Good luck with your endeavours.

  • neil dutton

    Pleased to see your head peeking once more above the parapet Alastair! Please though, have a word in Number 10 and get the press team more aggressive and pro-active. People have fogotten what Tory rule is like and we are not reminding them, or warning them, anywhere near strongly enough. Good luck to you with this venture.

  • Tory Bear

    is it true you have the Burnley FC logo tattooed on your bottom?

    TB

  • Julian Sambles

    Hi,
    welcome to the Blog word and good to see that you are embracing the digital age.
    Saying that, I would question the quality and style of your blog as i believe it to be a dated, hard to use, navigate etc..
    If you need any assistance in fixing it and getting on google – which you currently are not, even for the search ‘alastair campbell’
    Don’t hesitate to call.
    Julian
    Julian Sambles
    Head of Audience Development
    Telegraph Media Group

  • Wyrdtimes

    Dear Mr Campbell

    As a Yorkshireman and Englishman do you have any views on an English Parliament?

    Do you think the current devolution settlement is fair to England?

    regards
    WT

  • Andy Sawford

    We’ve just launched our blog also, about local democracy, at http://www.lgiu.wordpress.com. I saw you’ve joined Twitter – this has been the best source of incoming traffic to the blog.

  • Uncle Napsack

    Seeing that the elections in Iraq appear to be a success and the green shoots of democracy are appearing, how about calling in a few favours and asking the Iraqi army to invade Britain to assist in regime change to rid us of unelected leaders such a Brown and Meddlesome.

  • Bishop Brennan

    Just wondering if, like your erstwhile master, you believe in God?

    Either way, if you arrived at the Pearly Gates (I guess it’s a big ‘if’ given your contribution to the mess this country’s currently in), and St. Peter asked you to tell the truth about Dr David Kelly before you were allowed in, what would you say?

    Best of luck with the blog – well, it can’t be worse than Dolly Draper’s effort, can it? What is it about Labour spin-doctors and alcohol?

  • Stuart

    Hi Alastair

    We met at the Insurance do down n Brighton in November. I was the pesky chap who asked you about David Kelly when all you wanted to discuss was fluffy kittens. Well it looks like the reinvention project is well underway, and I hope that you stick with it, because all the time people like me will be reminding you of David Kelly and the dodgy dossier.

    Best of British!

    Stuart

  • Barbara Cannon

    Hi Alastair

    Your website is great. For a bloke who did not do all this online malarkey until a few weeks ago you are certainly motoring now!