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GB on the G20, JP on Jeremy Kyle

Posted on 27 February 2009 | 9:02am

I was at the London Labour Party‘s fundraising dinner in Canary Wharf last night. I was fully intending to blog last night after getting back. But I got home just before midnight to find my mouse had died. You can have all the online malarkey you want, but if your mouse won’t go, and you […]

Charity and the credit crunch, please give generously!

Posted on 26 February 2009 | 8:02am

I’m off to a meeting this morning with Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukaemia Research, to review the charity’s plans for our fiftieth anniversary next year. Every organisation has a history but I think ours is particularly symbolic of the role charity plays in British culture. It started literally with one child’s death almost sixty […]

Why oh why are the Tories not home and dry?

Posted on 24 February 2009 | 9:02am

Polls are the junk food of journalism. They are a cheap(ish) way of guaranteeing a front page lead and (provided it has a suitably negative headline about Labour) a sombre pick up on the morning reviews of the papers. But of course with every passing poll and every passing headline, it gets harder and harder […]

Me, Dermot and ten top songs

Posted on 23 February 2009 | 10:02am

Good response on Facebook last night when I slipped in that D:Ream‘s ‘Things can only get better’ was one of my ten songs when I go on Dermot O’Leary‘s Time Capsule programme on Radio 2 tomorrow night. It is the first of a new series, and I really enjoyed deciding which records to choose. I […]

Names round-up

Posted on 22 February 2009 | 8:02am

Thanks to everyone (particularly Charlie, which nonetheless doesn’t qualify) for suggestions of people instantly recognisable by first name alone. I kicked off with Delia in advance of my lunch with her at Norwich v Burnley yesterday, and yes, to those who asked on my Facebook page, there was custard with the treacle sponge. One or […]

What’s in a name?

Posted on 21 February 2009 | 9:02am

Am still undecided whether to drive or train it to Norwich. Will be a last minute decision. At least the sun is shining, and I have lunch with Delia to look forward to on arrival. I know name-dropping is frowned upon, but lunch with Delia before Norwich v Burnley is a Campbell tradition. I hope […]

Editing the New Statesman

Posted on 20 February 2009 | 11:02am

I have bowed to the democratic demands of my Facebook and Twitter friends, and agreed to accept an invitation to guest edit the New Statesman. When I put up an update saying I was mulling over it, a whole load of messages came through basically saying there was nothing to mull, and I should get […]

Salute Peter M’s proper use of the F word

Posted on 19 February 2009 | 9:02am

Tory blogger Iain Dale, who has many qualities, not least supporting a team that wears claret and blue, suggests I should be hiding away in embarrassment at Peter Mandelson’s ‘tirade’ against Starbucks boss Howard Schultz (didn’t he do the Peanuts cartoons, or was that Charles?) The reason for my embarrassment, says Iain, is that last […]

Labour’s communications challenge for the NHS

Posted on 18 February 2009 | 10:02am

I sat recently at the back of a focus group and watched people discuss their favourite and least favourite brands. It was a business rather than a political exercise, but there were as ever some interesting political points to emerge. At the end of a long discussion, in which the economy dominated, and people admitted […]

In praise of Keighley

Posted on 17 February 2009 | 2:02pm

A friend up north tells me that one of the local papers in my home town of Keighley, Yorkshire, has a report I ought to know about. It says that ‘Politicians and pop stars, academics and business chiefs are being challenged to say why they love the town where they grew up.’ I am listed with […]