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Olympics good place to take stock of primacy of strategy over tactics and reality over PR

Posted on 31 July 2012 | 11:07am

With apologies to Gorkana, who interviewed me a while back, and to whom I said I would post the interview when they ran it, here it is a few days late. They chose to run it on the day of Danny Boyle’s brilliant Olympics opening ceremony, so in common with many others on the planet, […]

The long and winding road to 2012 – and the turning point of a stack of handwritten letters to Tony Blair

Posted on 27 July 2012 | 10:07am

It was as a result of a mid morning phone call from Tessa Jowell that I went to my diaries for 2002 and 2003 and tweeted some of the key moments in the history of the Olympic Bid. She was calling from the athletes’ village, where she is staying for the duration of the Games […]

Bruce Springsteen on depression and the economy – a guest blog from Elvis

Posted on 26 July 2012 | 7:07am

I have introduced you before to my friend Mark Wright, a Labour activist and Elvis impersonator. He does however have an even bigger musical passion than The King, namely The Boss, and alerted me to an interview Bruce Springsteen has given to The New Yorker, in which he talks about his father’s mental health problems […]

More people care about planet’s future than Osborne’s, so Ed Davey needs to win coalition battle

Posted on 24 July 2012 | 11:07am

If I may use a Bullingdon-type expression, I never much fancied the cut of the jib of Chris Huhne when he was Secretary of State for Environment and Climate Change (remember that.) Too much about himself, too fond of the media positioning. I don’t know Ed Davey, his successor, but I wish all power to […]

G4S boss needs a haircut – and Cameron and May need to get a grip

Posted on 15 July 2012 | 9:07am

First impressions matter. Nowhere is that more important than in the growth industry of event security. I like my security guards to look like Howard Webb, tall and strong, with a pleasing manner but really firm authority. I do not feel safe when I am patted down by young men half my size with bad skin, […]

My first ever rebuttal of a sex scene after Fifty Shades of crap Guardian editing

Posted on 7 July 2012 | 4:07pm

Unsurprisingly, Guardian readers have been rubbishing my so-called sex scene in today’s paper, where I was one of several writers asked to try to turn on women with words and so further help fuel the incredible Fifty Shades of Grey publicity campaign. As EL James’ S and M trilogy continues to break all records, and […]

Strategy is God – this and other lessons learned from sport and elsewhere

Posted on 4 July 2012 | 7:07am

I have been a bit snowed under, and travelling, in the last few days, so apologies to anyone who came on here and found a short and rather tired blog on why David Cameron was avoiding having an inquiry into the banks. However, by popular demand (i.e one person who read it whilst perusing the […]

Same fear that stalled a press inquiry drives Cameron’s hesitation on banking inquiry

Posted on 1 July 2012 | 9:07am

I never fully understood why David Cameron fought so hard to resist an inquiry into the practices of the press. As the Leveson Inquiry has unfolded, the hesitation – finally overwhelmed by the tipping point of Millie Dowler – has become apparent. He has been similarly resistant to the idea of an inquiry into the […]

Could POSH become to Cameron’s government the satirical tag that SPIN became to TB’s?

Posted on 25 June 2012 | 5:06am

An edited version of this piece appears in today’s Independent. I have italicised the bigger chunks not in the Indy for any of you who may have read it already, so you can skip to those bits! Also quite interesting for journalism students to see what the sub-editors decided could hit the deck as they […]

Cameron has learned wrong lessons from TB: they should read the books more carefully

Posted on 21 June 2012 | 10:06am

A version of this appears on The Huffington Post site today To the splendidly New Labour King’s Place on Monday, and an onstage interview with Steve Richards of the Independent as part of his ‘Politics Rock and Roll’ series. Steve, one of the less cynical UK commentators, is doing his bit to try to re-engage […]