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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 […]

Poor Piers Morgan cannot bear to admit the truth about my sporting prowess

Posted on 13 July 2014 | 1:07pm

For two days in a row I have to rebut the heinous slurs of the right-wing media. Yesterday The Sun on Sunday on my work in Albania, today mon vieux ami-ennemi Piers Morgan in the aptly named Mail on Scumday. I do not allow the wretched rag in the house, just as I don’t allow […]

Rebranding a country is about a lot more than ‘spin’

Posted on 16 April 2014 | 6:04am

Below is a piece I have done for PR Week about a project to use international help to try to improve the image and standing of Albania. Say the name of any country in the world and immediately people have a sense of that country. America still comes top of most nation branding surveys. Britain, […]

Galloway wasting police time with his little movie stunt

Posted on 28 February 2014 | 10:02am

George Galloway announced to the world this morning he was on his way to an East London police station to demand the release of the director making his crowd-sourced film, The Killing of Tony Blair. Woodward and Bernstein eat your hearts out. George has become a journalist. Galloway and his acolytes have been using twitter […]

Stand up for the standing up: my Observer debate with Danny Kelly on safe standing

Posted on 16 February 2014 | 3:02pm

Many thanks to The Observer for asking me to debate my pro-safe standing at football stance with Danny Kelly, who says he is opposed, but as you will see, he is actually pretty close to me, and will be a safe stander before too long. If you want to post comments, go to the Observer […]

Cameron’s crisis management skills exposing his usual strategic weakness

Posted on 15 February 2014 | 8:02pm

This is the piece I had in Saturday’s Financial Times… Despite the media addiction to the word “crisis”, real crises for government are exceptionally rare. In the decade I spent alongside Tony Blair, I believe we had five: war in Kosovo; the September 11 attacks, Iraq; and, on the domestic front, foot-and-mouth and fuel protests. […]

A tribute to Mark Bennett, staff member who became a friend

Posted on 4 February 2014 | 9:02pm

I would like to add my voice to the tributes which have been paid to Mark Bennett, who died today. Just writing those words – ‘who died today’ – adds to the horrible sense of shock I felt on receiving a phone call from our mutual friend Margaret McDonagh to be told the dreadful news. […]

My blog for World Cancer Day

Posted on 3 February 2014 | 10:02pm

Today is World Cancer Day, where those fighting cancer across the world come together to raise awareness of the disease, and what needs to be done so that the work can go on to beat it. As Theodore Roosevelt said ‘believe you can, and you’re half way there.’ Well I don’t know if we are […]

Brilliant debunking of immigration lies from the Dacre Lie Machine

Posted on 25 January 2014 | 7:01am

Just before Christmas, I wrote a blog about the way that media-driven myths were driving government policy and political debate, for example on the issue of immigration. If you need a reminder you can read it here, but first I recommend you read this brilliant expose of one paper’s lies and myths about the so-called […]