Category: “Politics

The loser in the debates was the public – and not for the reasons you think

Posted on 27 March 2015 | 4:03pm

So after all the hype, the ads, the contorted build-up, the dozens of days of negotiations, the thousands of headlines, the millions of words of pre-match and post-match analysis, just over three million people bothered to tune in for the first ‘big debate’ agreed between the parties and the broadcasters. That is a shamingly low figure for […]

Our national debate risks reducing us to a national joke

Posted on 25 March 2015 | 8:03am

To the Canadian High Commission yesterday to chair a very enjoyable Portland seminar on digital diplomacy. One of the panellists was former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer, who is now High Commissioner to London. Amid the social media enthusiasts he brought a few words of warning, not least his view that twitter in particular risked […]

As Osborne proclaims an economic miracle, please read this shaming letter from a sick young person’s mother

Posted on 18 March 2015 | 10:03am

I still don’t do God, but I know there are many good people who do, and I met one such recently, namely the Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart. We got talking about mental health services, and since our meeting the Bishop has written to me about a family friend and former parishioner of his in Hessle, […]

Australia is a winning country, but it looks to me like Tony Abbott is a losing PM

Posted on 1 March 2015 | 12:03pm

If Australians awake tomorrow to see a bleary-eyed me talking to them down a line from late evening London, apologies. In addition to trying to stick to a long-planned media and events book launch schedule, I have had to factor in Burnley FC and, less expectedly, hospital visits to a relative taken ill. So, barely a week […]

Politics is high stress psychological work – politicians would benefit from psychological support

Posted on 15 February 2015 | 9:02am

When you write a 450 page book on winners, with a stack of interviews with some of the greatest winners of our time, you can never be quite sure what the papers will go for. When I sat down to do the first interview with the Sunday Times, I suspected their dream headline would contain […]

PinkVanGate, FinkGate, BaldwinGate – why Labour should take heart from Tory press desperation

Posted on 14 February 2015 | 6:02am

From PinkVanGate to FinkGate to BaldwinRobinsonGate, the election is getting nasty and silly at the same time, and there are two common factors running through them all – Tory desperation and the Tory press. Let’s take them one by one. Is it sensible for the Labour Party to have a specific campaign aimed at women […]

Time for Labour to regain initiative on the politics of the economy amid Osborne’s failures and flailings

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 12:12pm

Alan Johnson is my next interviewee for GQ, out later this week. Yesterday the magazine’s spin doctors (they’re everywhere you know) put out a few selected quotes and some of the papers have focused on Alan saying Ed Miliband had asked him if he fancied a return to the front bench. Answer, no, though he […]

Politics has so much to learn from business and sport in the art of winning

Posted on 21 November 2014 | 2:11pm

It is always a nice moment when the publisher sends through the final, final version of the cover of a planned new book. It is especially nice when the designer has taken an idea given by the author – I wanted all the names in my WINNERS book inside an Olympic Gold Medal – and […]

What Cameron should say (and won’t) when he loses the Rochester by-election

Posted on 18 November 2014 | 10:11am

‘Mr Cameron did not cause the rise of UKIP, and he can’t stop it.’ In an otherwise very intelligent analysis of the Prime Minister’s problems, the FT’s Janan Ganesh is wrong in the first part of that sentence. Mr Cameron did cause the rise of UKIP, when he offered an In-Out referendum. Until then, they […]

Is ‘spin’ dead in the era of social media?

Posted on 13 November 2014 | 10:11am

Here is the text of a speech I gave this morning to the Festival Of Marketing in London. There was also a good q and a, some of which might be on twitter hashtag #FoM14 Ok. So a while back I am flying into Gatwick from Croatia. I’m the first off the plane. I get […]