Category: “Diaries

TB and Prince Charles in today’s Guardian – some context

Posted on 2 July 2011 | 6:07am

It must say something for the media’s belief in the public’s insatiable diet for Royal stories that for two volumes running, The Guardian has led its serialisation of my diaries on Royal stories. With volume 2, Power and the People, it was the arrangements for Princess Diana’s funeral, and the vexed issue of whether the […]

The risks in getting balance between human rights and Chinese trade and power

Posted on 28 June 2011 | 9:06am

Not speaking a word of Mandarin, I find it hard to work out exactly how hacked off Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was with David Cameron’s stance on human rights yesterday. ‘Finger-pointing’ is certainly not an everyday diplomatic word, but I just have to think of the foreign languages I do know to realise how difficult […]

A figure from our past emerges to tell a wonderful Titanic tale

Posted on 14 June 2011 | 6:06am

A long time ago a man named Christopher Ward became a very important person in my life. I have often thought that if my meeting with him 30-odd years ago had not gone so well, I might never have become a Daily Mirror trainee journalist, and so I might never have met Fiona. If I […]

In light of Robert Gates’ speech, Cameron should set European defence reform as major objective

Posted on 11 June 2011 | 9:06am

By far the most significant UK political event yesterday was the speech by outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. His warning to European allies that they risked military irrelevance, and that the US could not perpetually be relied upon to fund European security was blunt and timely. Of the many surprises about the way the […]

Why Max Clifford hates David Cameron, why Wayne Rooney’s callgirl likes me, and why Mark Lawson is right about culture

Posted on 30 May 2011 | 12:05pm

I hope I’m not giving away Nicky Campbell’s trade secrets when I reveal that yesterday’s BBC Big Questions about the existence or otherwise of heaven was recorded live, and next week’s about the press was recorded immediately afterwards. I know, as the saying goes, because I was there. Trade Secret 2 . . the panellists […]

Public want more variety and less monoprism than media gives them – a despatch from Fowey

Posted on 18 May 2011 | 1:05pm

To remind you of another Rule One of communications – never confuse media opinion with public opinion. And Rule 1a – always expect better, more interesting and more varied questions from the public. If ever I do a media interview these days there will usually come a point where the journalist shifts in his chair, […]

Public will tire very quickly of coalition emotionalism. They should learn from downside of TB-GBery

Posted on 10 May 2011 | 6:05am

One of the most debilitating aspects of divisions in government is the emotional energy they absorb. Whilst I can and regularly do make the case that between them Tony Blair and Gordon Brown achieved a huge amount together, and whilst I can equally make the case that when Peter Mandelson and I were working together […]

A review of my diaries – by me!

Posted on 29 January 2011 | 3:01pm

The New Statesman this week runs a piece I wrote about what I had learned from reading my diaries of our first two years in power. Here it is … ‘Nobody can accuse you of writing a self-serving memoir,’ said Jonathan Powell when he first read my diaries four years ago as part of the […]

Mervyn King treading too close to political lines

Posted on 26 January 2011 | 10:01am

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King is straying perilously close to political territory these days. It is one thing to make statements aimed at helping the Bank fulfil its remit of meeting an inflation target – something it is currently failing to do. It is quite another to chime in behind the Tory government’s ‘no […]

with Coulson gone, bigger issues now confront Cameron. Hunt, Murdoch and the police

Posted on 22 January 2011 | 1:01pm

Sorry for giving away a Loose Ends trade secret by tweeting that I was recording it this morning. I think it used to be done live but what with live bands in the studio and stuff, it probably got a bit complicated, so you can hear it on Radio 4 at 615 this evening, just […]