Category: “Diaries

If Boris Johnson’s Kosovo analogy was planned, then Cameron has a problem

Posted on 28 October 2010 | 12:10pm

You can never quite tell with Boris Johnson whether what comes out of his mouth is planned or wholly accidental. That he has some concerns about the coalition government’s planned changes to housing benefit is already known. But to put the changes, and their potential impact, into the same breath as ‘Kosovo-style social cleansing’ goes […]

Hoping to race to Number 1 in the Chinese bestsellers’ list

Posted on 17 October 2010 | 8:10am

What with fundraisers, festivals, speeches, interviews, inquiries, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, not to mention life on websites, twitter, Facebook and the like, I spend a lot of my time answering questions. Which means it is quite rare to be asked a question I have never been asked before. So many thanks to a man called […]

The day my challenging student warned Cheltenham of war over benefit cuts

Posted on 10 October 2010 | 12:10pm

The Cheltenham Literature Festival seems to get bigger every year. It is possible to see the growth of literary festivals as part of the celebrity culture – so there I was, darling, chatting to Salman Rushdie in the green room, when who should walk in but Alistair Darling and Andrew Marr, then Jilly Cooper rushed over […]

Nothing to say and so little time not to say it

Posted on 17 September 2010 | 3:09pm

Not had time to watch any news or read any papers (except over shoulders of fellow tube travellers) so beyond knowing that the Pope is in town after a successful Scottish leg of his UK tour, that Boris looked smarter than usual when he met him last night, that some men have been arrested in connection […]

Fancy a night out with Kevin Spacey?

Posted on 6 September 2010 | 9:09am

 If so, check your diary and go to I promise, as someone who has enjoyed a few nights out with Kevin Spacey, that you won’t regret the investment. What’s more, you will be helping a great cause, namely Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Charities are having to fight harder and harder to fund their programmes, and we rely […]

A gentle castigation of TB from my mental health friends

Posted on 3 September 2010 | 9:09am

My mental health campaign friends are not best pleased with TB’s ‘two types of crazy people’ reference in his book.

Torybashing in abeyance – best wishes to William and Ffion Hague

Posted on 2 September 2010 | 9:09am

I’ve always had a bit more time for William Hague than some of the other Tory leaders TB saw off during his leadership of the Labour Party. John Major could never forgive Tony for beating him and likes to think it was all done by spin rather than a leader of real drive and substance; Michael […]

Cameron’s views on Labour leadership might be worth heeding

Posted on 29 August 2010 | 4:08pm

Cameron reportedly wants Ed Miliband as Labour leader. Black propaganda, or a genuine view born of thinking the situation through? I think the latter

Beautiful but macabre setting for work on volume 2 of diaries

Posted on 24 July 2010 | 8:07am

Greetings from Lake Megunticook. Those of you who read my second novel, Maya, may have heard of it. It is the place in Maine, New England, where the narrator, Steve, came to write the story of his friendship with Maya. In a piece of detail, I (or Steve) described how youngsters leapt from a 60 […]

A few musings on diaries (mine) and memoirs (Peter M’s)

Posted on 14 July 2010 | 1:07am

The Daily Telegraph yesterday asked me to fill their notebook slot with any thoughts inspired by the coverage of Peter Mandelson’s book. Here they are, as printed in the paper today. One of the reasons I keep a diary is that when ev ents are fast-moving and days and nights roll into each other, my […]