Category: “Politics

Biscuitgate and Susan Boyle, no win territory for GB

Posted on 19 October 2009 | 12:10pm

How long before ‘Biscuitgate’ pops up in the ongoing saga of Gordon Brown and his choice of favourite biscuit? Oh, it just did. Richard Nixon, you who opened our politics to the Daddy of the Gates, the Water-one, you have a lot to answer for. Biscuitgate is real ‘can’t win territory’ for GB, as I learned at the […]

Hating the Mail – a mindset worth having

Posted on 17 October 2009 | 11:10am

I booked a cab the other day, and saw The Daily Mail lying on the seat next to the driver. ‘Sorry,’ I said ‘you can have me in the cab, or you can have the Mail, but you can’t have both.’ It was not the first time I had given this ultimatum to unsuspecting drivers. […]

Talking Cameron and Obama with US Democrats. Progressive Convervatism? No, he can’t

Posted on 16 October 2009 | 10:10am

To a meeting of US Democrats Abroad last night, to be interviewed by Catherine Mayer of Time magazine, then by the audience. Always interesting to get the take of politically minded foreigners on our domestic scene, and there was more evidence, admittedly from generally Labour-minded people, that the Tories are weaker than is generally assumed. More […]

Inspired by kids’ green passion

Posted on 14 October 2009 | 6:10pm

Back from a very nice day spent talking about campaigns with 100 schoolchildren aged 11-14 who have decided they’re going to change the world – or at least the bits of the world they live in. Ten teams of ten are the finalists in the npower Climate Cops SOS competition to find the best green […]

Good news on leukaemia, good news on student activism

Posted on 13 October 2009 | 8:10am

Late night, early morrning … both containing reasons to be cheerful. Late night because I was speaking to Oxford University Labour Club, where there was a mood and an energy to the gathering that confirmed my view that support and activism for Labour can grow the more people focus on the idea there may be […]

Musings from Bertie Ahern, and how I won the Nobel prize for literature

Posted on 12 October 2009 | 9:10am

By popular demand (well, a few Facebook friends and a few Irish journalists) here are some of Bertie Ahern’s reflections from my 80 minute chat with him at the Cheltenham Book Festival. As I tweeted yesterday, he thought Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was premature; that these prizes should be for achievement not expectation, and […]

Continuing double standards in the media

Posted on 11 October 2009 | 11:10am

As I am interviewing Bertie Ahern at the Cheltenham Festival later today, I thought I’d catch him on the Marr programme to see whether he was in suit and tie or smart casual, and thereby get my dress code guidance. This is after all the man who when chairing an international summit wore the most […]

The best policies in Cameron’s speech were those of Labour Big Government

Posted on 8 October 2009 | 5:10pm

In the next few hours, someone will do us the service of telling us which words and phrases were most used in David Cameron’s speech. ‘Big Government’ will, I suspect, be top of the pops. Whilst professing to hate Gordon Brown’s ‘dividing lines’ approach to politics, this was an attempt to make Big State v Small State […]

Tongues slipping all over the place

Posted on 8 October 2009 | 9:10am

Did Nick Robinson really refer to David Cameron as the Prime Minister? And should any of us be terribly surprised? Now of course it is possible to excuse the BBC political editor’s mistake as a slip of the tongue. The Conference season has been going for some weeks. That is an awful lot of day […]

Cameron confuses strategy and tactics and puts Union at risk

Posted on 7 October 2009 | 10:10am

Off to Scotland today and, in what those who ever ate with him call ‘Robert Maxwell catering’, I will be at two dinners, one an awards ceremony, the second a Labour fundraiser. For Captain Bob, two dinners was in fact sometimes a conservative assessment of his eating capacity. I remember once attending a dinner he […]