Category: “Politics

If only ministers were as wise as these three young people: a little investment can lead to savings down the track.

Posted on 27 October 2015 | 10:10am

While the government was busy trying to cut tax credits for some of our poorest families, and while millions were watching Panorama’s documentary on the calamitous impact of cuts to mental health services, I was at an inspiring event which showed how a little investment in mental health can lead to savings as well as […]

Cameron, Osborne, Hunt should watch tonight’s Panorama to see the gap between their words and their country

Posted on 24 October 2015 | 3:10pm

I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight’s version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it […]

Good luck to the pro-UK-in-EU campaign. Even having this damned referendum is bad for Britain

Posted on 12 October 2015 | 10:10am

So the pro-Britain in Europe campaign moves into a different phase today, with M and S former boss Stuart Rose fronting up a collection of business people and politicians who have the considerable task of challenging the tons of anti-European propaganda that has been thrown our way for years. I wish them luck. Unless David Cameron completely […]

Charles Kennedy would have loved both the debate and the outcome of last night’s Europe vote

Posted on 26 September 2015 | 1:09pm

Charles Kennedy would have enjoyed last night’s debate on Europe at the Glasgow University Union where he honed his own great debating skills. The debate, set to become an annual event, was in his memory, and the result – overwhelming support for continuing membership of the EU – would no doubt have pleased him. The place […]

VW could become a far bigger crisis for Merkel than Pig-Gate or Coke-Gate are for Cameron

Posted on 23 September 2015 | 2:09pm

I am not really a car person but I drive a Volkswagen. It is a strong brand. It says reliable. It says German. Which emphasises reliable. And, translated, it means People’s Car, which is kind of nice. That brand has taken many years to build, the reputation decades to cement. Now all of that is […]

Fifteen observations, sporting and political, from the opening game of the Rugby World Cup

Posted on 19 September 2015 | 9:09am

Fifteen (see what I did there – not eleven, not thirteen, but fifteen – because this is rugby union we’re talking now) 1. It confirmed the genius of Danny Boyle. The RWC opening ceremony was fine set against the standards of most sporting opening ceremonies. But in scope, scale and creativity – and cost of […]

When politics becomes blood sport – welcome to The Killing Season, power Aussie Rules style

Posted on 23 June 2015 | 8:06am

One of my favourite foreign politicians when starting out with Tony Blair was then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating. Clever, funny, tough, with a desire to batter the Tories that was closer to my own approach to politics than that of my more big-tented boss. With Keating, though he was cute enough at internal politics […]

Why is it always the sports guys who seem to open my mind?

Posted on 21 June 2015 | 12:06pm

I know some of you might think I am one of those people who always thinks he is right. And to be frank, more often than not I am. But I do have a more open mind than most and I do actually love meeting people who make me think differently. Recently I have met […]

Why Arsene Wenger is an inspiration in the battle against alcohol

Posted on 7 June 2015 | 1:06pm

You see, even when I am writing about alcoholism, I have to get in something about sport. Did I tell you I had a book out? It is called WINNERS AND HOW THEY SUCCEED. Arsene Wenger is in it. So are lots of other great sports, business and political winners. And so is my pledge […]

We got it wrong. Now we must have the soul-searching and honest debate we have perhaps avoided too long

Posted on 8 May 2015 | 8:05am

After yesterday’s very long blog, today a very short one, admitting that I was wrong. Not wrong in thinking Labour SHOULD win, but clearly wrong in thinking we would. Sometimes, when advising people I work with, I will say beware the dangers of being so deep inside your own team’s bubble that you end up […]