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Good day to be heading for France

Posted on 30 March 2012 | 9:03am

Beautiful sunny day, and with all that is happening, thank heavens I’m off to France later to have a little peek at the elections there. Perfect time of year for France, the government there is not causing through its sheer ineptitude a petrol shortage, the election is finely poised, and there is no chance of […]

News agenda still tending to suit the Tories

Posted on 27 March 2012 | 12:03pm

Just caught the BBC TV news headlines. Lead story new planning rules being brought in by the government. Second story a rise in the cost of stamps. So neither of them particularly good stories for the government; the first will lead to lots of angst among countryside campaigners, not to mention NIMBYism; the second will […]

Time for Britain to face up to drink problem

Posted on 23 March 2012 | 1:03pm

Whether or not David Cameron rushed forward today’s move on alcohol pricing to distract from the granny tax row, I am pleased he has shown that the issue of Britain’s drink problem is firmly on the agenda. When I was making a recent Panorama on ‘Britain’s Hidden Alcoholics’ I was aware that the Prime Minister […]

BBC website piece on tonight’s Panorama on alcohol

Posted on 20 February 2012 | 9:02am

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former spokesman, examines the British middle class’s troubled relationship with alcohol and his own long and complicated history with drink. To read the headlines about Britain’s drink problem, you might think it is largely an issue of teenage binge-drinking in town centres up and down the country. You would be very […]

Two telly films in two days risks AC overkill, but I hope you enjoy them

Posted on 18 February 2012 | 9:02am

As the people I make the programmes with will testify, I have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with TV. It’s the F factor, as in F for faff, that holds me back from doing more, and it surprises me that an industry that has become so advanced, and such a big part of our lives, still […]

Britain- an Alcocracy sitting on a Boozequake

Posted on 16 February 2012 | 4:02pm

I am very pleased that The Times pulled out my invented word – alcocracy – as one of their headings on my piece on alcohol today. Here’s hoping that it has more success than my last deliberately invented word – garbagic – in entering the language. Garbagic was a word I came up with to […]

North London bus driver restores faith in human nature – TfL give that man a rise

Posted on 27 January 2012 | 8:01am

I hope someone at Transport for London is reading. I hope said TfL person, on reading to the end, will take a few minutes to try to find the person I am writing about, and reward him in some way. Yes, it’s one of those ‘restores your faith in human nature’ times. The person in […]

Black Dog means no blog from not-so-Happy Depressive

Posted on 6 January 2012 | 4:01pm

So I am walking down Victoria Street a couple of hours ago, and a very kindly lady stops me, says hello and asks me why I haven’t blogged for a while. I could tell in her eyes that she knew the answer … This happened a couple of days after I had been walking down […]

Happy Christmas from the Happy Depressive

Posted on 24 December 2011 | 4:12pm

Just arrived in the very wild and wet Scottish Highlands, to be told by all and sundry that ‘this is nothing’ compared with the wetness and wildness of a couple of weeks ago. It is however beautiful as ever. Meanwhile, in an act that even I consider to be a tad close to heathen-ness, I […]

Help fight the online dominance of the Right

Posted on 21 December 2011 | 12:12pm

I know times are hard for a lot of people, and Christmas makes them harder than ever on the financial front, so I hope you don’t mind me using this pre-Christmas blog to ask regular visitors to chip in for a good cause – no, not (this time) Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, or any of […]