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Easy to blame politicians and media for apathy, but public need to take a look at themselves too

Posted on 17 November 2012 | 7:11am

The government has rightly been criticised for the lacklustre nature of their campaign to promote the need for their ‘flagship’ policy of Police Crime Commissioners. Likewise the media has been criticised – including by me – for making apathy and ignorance the story all the way through the campaign, rather than seeing their role as […]

As Entwistle falls on his sword, I wonder what Chris Patten’s next big Establishment job will be

Posted on 11 November 2012 | 9:11am

Chris Patten, the son of a jazzman, and a Catholic, is not a traditional Establishment figure. But one of the powers of our Establishment is its ability to allow in certain outsiders, provided they then follow the rules of the game. Baron Patten of Barnes, CH PC, former Tory MP and Cabinet minister, former Governor […]

On France’s non economy, German efficiency, and Helmut Schmidt’s view of the world

Posted on 4 November 2012 | 5:11pm

I know there are few things more irritating than powerful or well-known names (I was allegedly the former once, and in so allegedly being became the latter in some parts of the world) hitting the blogosphere or twitterland to bemoan bad service, a late train, a delivery that hasn’t arrived. Indeed, I suspect the most […]

Guardian editorial on Leveson gives far too much credence to Dacre-Murdoch vested interests protection plan

Posted on 2 November 2012 | 9:11am

I would not normally concern myself too much with the sleeping patterns of the editor of The Guardian, but judging by his editorial on the upcoming Leveson Report, I sense a lot of tossing and turning has been going on. Apologies for not providing a link, but I am having a technologically challenged morning, so […]

Good to see Ed Miliband focusing on economic as well as social gains of changed attitudes to mental health

Posted on 29 October 2012 | 11:10am

Ed Miliband’s speech on mental health today is a significant – and good – moment in the campaign to improve understanding and treatment of mental illness in Britain. It is perhaps particulalry significant that this is his first major policy speech since he launched the theme of One Nation Labour at the party conference a […]

Despite the past, a little support for the BBC, victims of changed prism syndrome

Posted on 24 October 2012 | 3:10pm

I have refrained from saying too much about the Jimmy Savile saga, not least because any time I mention anything to do with a BBC ‘crisis,’ out from the woodwork come those who continue to defend the Beeb’s false reporting and grossly unprofessional handling of the WMD dossier issue a decade or so ago. It […]

Still I can’t get Chris Mullin on Twitter, but I will, even as @vegetablegrower

Posted on 18 October 2012 | 10:10am

For the third time, I failed to persuade Chris Mullin, who would be brilliant if he embraced it, to join Twitter last night. As fellow diarists of the New Labour era, we seem to have become a fairly regular double act and this time he was interviewing me at Chatham House about the influence of […]

Sad stories as Irish leave home; and a reminder not all governments as useless with the economy as Cameron’s

Posted on 6 October 2012 | 11:10am

Good fun as ever in Ireland yesterday, with a seminar on alcohol abuse with politicians and policy experts, a meeting with the See Change and Headline campaigns against mental health stigma, a tour of twitter HQ and then off to the Late Late Show. Great to meet up again with retiring (in both senses of […]

Technological illiteracy (TB’s), hubris (mine), loathing of Downton Abbey, (mine) and a question (Dave, Nick and Ed)

Posted on 4 October 2012 | 1:10pm

To the Institute of Directors this morning and a speech to a large room full of experts from public and private sector, at a conference organised by software specialists KANA. It is always good to get an audience laughing before going into serious stuff like economic mayhem, political shambles and transport fiasco. So I told […]

The door is opening on a public hearing for Ed Miliband, which makes this a big week for Labour

Posted on 30 September 2012 | 1:09pm

I missed Ed Miliband on the Marr programme and so, as is increasingly the case these days, I rely on twitter for a sense of how it went. According to some, Marr was a tad tougher than he tends to be on the other leaders, whilst the general reaction to Ed seems to have been […]