Category: “Politics

Wonderful send off for Mark Bennett RIP

Posted on 21 March 2014 | 2:03pm

What a beautiful day and what a wonderful send off for Mark Bennett, the Mayor of Lambeth and my former right-hand man Mark Bennett, who died of a heart attack aged 44. St Leonard’s Church was packed out as hundreds gathered to pay respects, from a former Prime Minister and a Bishop to messengers and […]

Dacre, ‘Lord’ Black, Murdoch on wrong side of argument and history – fight for new regulator close to tipping point

Posted on 19 March 2014 | 6:03am

To Millbank Tower last night – from where we ran the 1997 and 2001 election landslides – to a staging post of another important winning campaign, namely the one to get proper independent regulation of the press. A year on from all parties agreeing to support the Leveson plan for an independent self-regulator underpinned by […]

It should not be a shock that the Education Secretary’s kids go to State schools

Posted on 8 March 2014 | 4:03pm

I am pleased that Michael Gove and his fellow journalist wife Sarah Vine have chosen to send their daughter to a State school. Less pleasing is the idea generated by the coverage that this is some great act of educational and political courage. It should be exceptional for politicians NOT to use the state sector, […]

Both business and politics struggling to adapt to changed reputations

Posted on 12 February 2014 | 12:02pm

Overcoming my slight fear of heights, I took the lift to the top of The Gherkin today to take part in the launch of Portland’s new document on trust and reputation, Bringing Business Home. Whether me from a left-leaning perspective, City AM editor Allister Heath from the right, FT journalist Elizabeth Rigby or COMRES pollster […]

Miliband party reforms an opportunity to take broader message of change to the country

Posted on 1 February 2014 | 9:02am

If the battles fought by Neil Kinnock and John Smith to change the Labour Party seem like an age ago, that is because they were. It is now more than 20 years since they fought for the principle of One Member, One Vote. I was still a journalist, Paul Dacre was not yet begun his […]

Self interested media/business attacks on 50p an opportunity for Labour (with PS on hypocrite Dacre)

Posted on 27 January 2014 | 9:01am

As the debate over Labour’s 50p tax plans develops, it is worth remembering that a small proportion of people will be affected by it, but that a very large proportion of the small proportion will be writing and talking about it in our national media. This partly explains the well-organised avalanche of business voices wheeled […]

Guest blog on the government’s shameful dumping of its alcohol strategy – from a liver specialist who lives with the fallout

Posted on 17 January 2014 | 11:01am

Nick Sheron, a liver specialist from Southampton, unwittingly provided the creative spark that led to me writing My Name Is, my novel about alcoholism, from the perspective of a young woman. When I made a BBC documentary about middle-class alcoholism, he was one of our interviewees, and he made the point that whereas once his […]

On immigration, Europe and much else besides, it’s time Cameron stopped letting myth drive policy

Posted on 15 December 2013 | 3:12pm

If anyone needs any more evidence of how sustained media lies and distorted agenda setting has created a people out of touch with its own country, please take a look at this piece of work by IpsosMori and King’s College London. It is a survey of what British people think are the facts behind some […]

Memories of Mandela: uniquely inspiring, a good man responsible for great things

Posted on 6 December 2013 | 10:12am

Well, I suppose we have all had a long time to get used to the idea it might happen, but that does not minimise the sadness, nor the sense of loss, that he has finally gone. Both are reflections of the fact that Nelson Mandela was one of the small number of historical figures from […]

Cameron and Johnson share prices falling simultaneously, Osborne supporters note

Posted on 30 November 2013 | 10:11am

David Cameron’s all-over-the-shopness continues apace, with one of his ‘strategists’ (sic) briefing that his new ‘strategy’ (sic) is to steal any good ideas put forward by Labour. In tones reminiscent of the tough-talking Lynton Crosby, the strategist briefs that Cameron will take the bones, and leave Labour with the gristle. Mmm, tasty. But clever? Not […]