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My friends in The New Statesman – Fergie, Fiona, Tony, Sarah, Kevin, ‘Dacre,’ and a great GB idea for the G20

Posted on 18 March 2009 | 10:03am

As you may have seen both online and in some of the papers today, Alex Ferguson is the front cover of my one-off issue of the New Statesman and inside is a long chat about football, politics, leadership and a fascinating insight into his life and his mind. TV viewers will know that Alex does not open […]

Iraq, Iran, GB, Obama and diplomatic chess

Posted on 17 March 2009 | 10:03am

A new survey on opinion in Iraq (broadly positive and so largely ignored by the UK media) shows people feel safer and more optimistic about their future. Eighty-five per cent describe security as good or quite good, up 23 per cent. Fifty-nine per cent say they feel safe in their neighbourhoods, up 22 per cent. […]

The Age of Stupid

Posted on 16 March 2009 | 8:03am

As previous postings have shown, I went to the premiere of The Age of Stupid with considerable interest and goodwill, and a belief that it would be a real changemaker. It still might be. It stars Pete Postlethwaite as an archivist in 2055, alone in a world devastated by climate change, clicking his finger on […]

Is all change good?

Posted on 15 March 2009 | 10:03am

Since getting into blogging, Twitter and Facebook, it has been interesting to see what kind of message, tweet or status update gets people going. I’d love to be able to say it is the serious heavyweight political contribution or call to arms, and to be fair, I have been impressed by the level and nature […]

The pressure of being a post-modern sex god

Posted on 14 March 2009 | 10:03am

So off to another Burnley home game. I had honestly (sic) been thinking I would stay home, wash the car, trim the edges of the lawn, help pick new fabrics for the worn sofa, maybe bake a cake and read all the reviews of Fiona’s book and their focus on my inability (sic) to load […]

Cameron still hasn’t sealed the deal with business

Posted on 13 March 2009 | 9:03am

Last night I was speaking in Nottingham and was advised to ‘keep it short and funny’ by one of the organisers.  I did my best but it was a long way to go for a Monty Python sketch so I did 20 minutes, fifteen of them moderately amusing anecdotes about people as varied as TB, […]

Stand up for social workers

Posted on 12 March 2009 | 8:03am

I sometimes go on about how Labour politicians tend only to get covered through a negative media prism. But they have it easy compared with social workers, again in the spotlight with the publication of the Laming Review which followed the Baby P disaster. Of course when something so dreadful happens, it is right to […]

Surely Malcolm Tucker could have told Armando Ianucci … You can’t spin a spinner

Posted on 11 March 2009 | 10:03am

Perhaps I was wrong to twitter yesterday that I was about to sit down and watch a special screening of In The Loop, Armando Ianucci’s feature film based on his successful and often very funny TV programme, The Thick of It, but expanded into the story of the US-UK relationship in the run up to […]

Start of a new approach from Labour?

Posted on 10 March 2009 | 9:03am

Greetings from a beautiful Hampshire countryside hotel where I am due to make a speech to business leaders about leadership.  So out early to the hotel gym and how refreshing it was to hear on the news that the government is unveiling the next stages of public service reform.  The main focus for the TV […]

A peace process still strong

Posted on 9 March 2009 | 8:03am

‘Saturday August 15 1998 (holiday, Flassan)  Wendy Abbs [Downing Street duty clerk] came through on the other line to say there had been a huge explosion in Omagh, 12 thought to be dead, the PM was just being told, having just arrived at the house in France … I asked her to fix a conference […]