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Day of destiny for the real footballer of the year

Posted on 8 March 2009 | 9:03am

Unstoppable Manchester United have secured 65 out of a possible 81 Premier League points so far this season. But who comes second in the list of those who have taken most points (proportionately) from top flight opposition? Yes, you’ve guessed it, the club whose colours explain the claret and blue of this website, namely Burnley FC. […]

Private advice to Peggy Mitchell – the leaked note in full

Posted on 7 March 2009 | 8:03am

I knew politics was sometimes dirty, but I cannot believe what has happened. Some dastardly sort has leaked to The Sun a private note I wrote to Peggy Mitchell as she continues her campaign for election to Walford Borough Council. An edited version appears on Page 8 of the paper today.  There has to be […]

Boris, the Tories and the tummy-tickling poodle press

Posted on 6 March 2009 | 9:03am

Imagine that Mayor Ken Livinsgtone had been in contact with, and made odd public comments about, a Labour MP at the centre of a police investigation? Imagine that this had led to an inquiry which, whilst saying Mr Livingstone was not in breach of the rules of the Greater London Authority and the Metropolitan Police […]

A day in the life of the self-obsessed TV reporter

Posted on 5 March 2009 | 7:03am

If anyone wants a good illustration of the utter self-obsession of the modern TV journalist, they need look no further than the sad spectacle of Adam Boulton rebutting a JP blog from outside the White House. I mean, with all due respect to JP, whom I love dearly, did the Sky reporter not have better things […]

GB – good speech, well delivered

Posted on 4 March 2009 | 7:03pm

I watched Gordon’s speech to Congress in the company of BBC journalists as I was commenting on it for The News Channel. Half way through, I could tell they were listening more intently than is often the case. Then when I heard Jon Sopel say ‘this is better than his usual…’ (as near as a politician […]

Notes on the environment, a role in EastEnders

Posted on 4 March 2009 | 10:03am

As an obsessive speller, I was horrified to see that in twittering on a speech I did on the environment yesterday, I mangled the word environment into ‘environmenent.’ I blamed this rare mis-spell on the fact that my tweet was about John Prescott, and I was therefore suffering from Subconcious Wordmangling Syndrome. Then someone pointed […]

She may be my ‘wife’ but it is time to rebut!

Posted on 3 March 2009 | 10:03am

I knew something was up when I got a rash of texts about dishwashers yesterday late morning. I was working on a speech at the time, so pushed the phone to one side and ignored them. Then, out on my bike in the afternoon, a fellow cyclist overtaking me in Regent’s Park (an increasingly frequent […]

Some speeches matter more than others

Posted on 2 March 2009 | 12:03pm

At a q and a I did last week, someone asked me what made Tony Blair nervous. ‘Big set piece speeches,’ I replied, instinctively. I’ve thought about it a bit more since, and I think the instincts were right. My diaries record several instances of him saying, before Budget debates in Opposition, or Queen’s Speech […]

Mental health and the Carling Cup Final

Posted on 1 March 2009 | 9:03am

The two are not directly related, but sum up the day ahead. Off shortly to the BBC to film a piece for Comic Relief on mental health. Comic Relief are one of the big backers of the Time to Change campaign aimed at ending mental health discrimination. Some have suggested that kind of money would […]

Inside the chocolate factory

Posted on 28 February 2009 | 10:02am

I thought I knew North London fairly well. So whenever I’ve seen ‘The Chocolate Factory’, I’ve always assumed I knew what it was. Indeed, as we parked the car before last night’s fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party, saw it was taking place next to the Chocolate Factory, and Fiona asked ‘what’s The […]