Category: “Foreign Policy

For Romney, read McCain; for Ryan, read Palin. Good tactics, bad strategy. Obama can smile

Posted on 14 August 2012 | 11:08am

This is not hindsight speaking, because I said at the time of John McCain’s appointment of Sarah Palin as his running mate that it was ‘tactically brilliant, strategically disastrous.’ I have said it many times since, as The McCain-Palin blunder is one of my favourite case studies when out and about talking on why strategy […]

Great time on The Wright Stuff, and why I am renaming my diaries Fifty Shades of Power

Posted on 26 June 2012 | 11:06am

I must admit to being a bit grouchy with Random House publicity for getting me up for another early start in order to spend much of the morning as a panellist on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff. I am not a daytime telly kind of person … Yet I really enjoyed it, not least because […]

Free research for anyone minded to follow up Independent on Sunday non-story splash

Posted on 23 June 2012 | 9:06pm

Based on a passage in my diary (clearly missed by The Guardian who serialised Burden of Power last week) The IoS has splashed with ‘How Blair misled Cabinet on Iraq.’ The Guardian were right to miss it first time round. I went into rebuttal mode with reporter Jane Merrick on twitter, pointing out that the […]

Murdoch’s phone call on Iraq … a little contextualisation

Posted on 16 June 2012 | 6:06am

To be fair to Rupert Murdoch – you don’t hear that too often these days – News International were right to say last night that ‘there isn’t any evidence in Alastair Campbell’s diaries’ that ‘ he was pressing Tony Blair on Iraq on behalf of the Republicans. Nor, to be fair to me, have I […]

Plenty for Cameron to be nervous about as confident Hollande takes the reins in the rain

Posted on 16 May 2012 | 8:05am

I was in Paris for part of the aftermath of former Presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s spectacular fall. The mood in the Parti Socialiste at the time was one of real anxiety, for all the considerable unpopularity of President Sarkozy. DSK had looked like a shoo in not just for the candidature but for the Presidency. […]

The life changing impact of football – guest blog from organiser of the Street Child World Cup

Posted on 21 April 2012 | 8:04am

By Joe Hewitt “Sometimes it is hell on the streets but when I play football I feel as if I’m in heaven.” Thamires, Brazil. Football is accessible even to those who have the least in this world, providing street children around the globe with fun, hope, companionship and confidence for a brighter future away from […]

If Sarkozy loses, Cameron should reflect that omnipresent hyperactivity may have been a factor

Posted on 19 April 2012 | 10:04am

If, as is being widely suggested, Francois Hollande wins the French elections, and Nicolas Sarkozy becomes a rare, single-term President, there are one or two lessons David Cameron might try to draw on … once he has repaired the damage done to Anglo-French relations by effectively endorsing Sarko. The main lesson relates to hyperactivity. When […]

I don’t criticise Cameron for his handling of failed hostage rescue mission

Posted on 9 March 2012 | 5:03pm

I just did a short interview on Five Live on the fall-out (literally in the case of relations between Britain and Italy) from the failed attempt to rescue two hostages in Nigeria. I was preceded by an Italian politician who was venting her spleen at David Cameron’s failure to consult his Italian opposite number until […]

Francois Hollande could be the beneficiary of Merkel-Sarko election pact

Posted on 30 January 2012 | 9:01am

Yes that was me tweeting in German last night, digging into my modern languages education to remember all I could, and surprised how much that was. Truth is, as I am about to say to a conference in Berlin when I speak in English, French is the dominant foreign language in my head, and when […]

At long last Europe’s leaders realise youth unemployment has to be top of the agenda

Posted on 29 January 2012 | 12:01pm

Endlich, enfin, AT BLOODY LAST … Europe’s leaders are starting to realise that they might have to do something beyond enjoying the scenery in Davos to address the problem of youth unemployment. This morning’s Observer leads on the raising of jobs and the young to the top of the agenda for the upcoming EU summit. […]