Category: “Politics

Guardian sightings and the email and bath plug agenda

Posted on 15 April 2009 | 11:04am

It says something about the kind of (left of centre) visitors we have up here in Scotland that on successive days we have had sightings of The Guardian.  Sighting one, on Monday, had a short extract from my blog on the Damian McBride affair, followed by a line from right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes which looked […]

The spin is all in the prism

Posted on 14 April 2009 | 9:04am

‘Gordon Brown’s attempts to soften his image with a family pet for his young sons backfired yesterday as a canine spin operation went horribly wrong.  Downing Street had been planning to give the story of the Browns’ new dog to The Guardian, who were angry that The Times had recently been favoured with an exclusive […]

A setback, not a crisis

Posted on 13 April 2009 | 12:04pm

The word crisis is the most overused in the media lexicon. In ten years with Tony Blair, I think I witnessed five full blown crises – Iraq, Kosovo, September 11, fuel protests and foot and mouth disease. There were hundreds of situations described as crises, but for me that means a set of circumstances which […]

The real lessons from Damian McBride

Posted on 12 April 2009 | 10:04am

These days I tend to find out news as much through interview bids as through listening to the radio or reading the papers. Sky or Radio Five Live are usually first, by email, with a phone call ten minutes later if I haven’t replied, then a rash of BBC producers, followed by a broadsheet asking […]

John Prescott lazy? NO WAY

Posted on 9 April 2009 | 9:04am

It’s obviously becoming stand-up-for-oldies week. Yesterday David Frost on his 70th birthday. Today another veteran into his eighth decade on the planet in the form of John Prescott. John is of course perfectly good at standing up for himself, as anyone who followed 2001 election visits to North Wales will remember. But in an era […]

David Frost is seventy

Posted on 8 April 2009 | 8:04am

The birthday dinner, which kept me from both the Champions League and The Speaker last night, was for broadcaster David Frost. Seventy.  Any suggestion the veteran broadcaster might be slowing down was dispelled when his son Wilfred announced to the gathering at one point that first thing this morning, his Dad was due to be […]

The Speaker, BBC2, tonight and tomorrow 8pm

Posted on 7 April 2009 | 2:04pm

I’m out at a birthday dinner tonight, so will be spared the difficult choice between Champions League football and BBC 2’s new reality TV/elimination-contest programme, The Speaker. Reality TV and elimination contest are two concepts usually enough on their own to make sure I don’t watch, but I hope I’m right in saying this one […]

Obama, colds and being woken by Korean missiles

Posted on 6 April 2009 | 11:04am

There are not that many circumstances in which I feel sympathy for that collection of individuals, mainly male, described as ‘world leaders.’ They have reached the top in their chosen path; they have support systems which make their lives, whatever the scale of pressure on them and their time, run fairly smoothly; above all they have […]

When a call matters more than protocol

Posted on 5 April 2009 | 11:04am

More than once, I had a mobile phone suddenly tossed my way as Tony Blair realised the car was about to arrive. Usually it was obvious when the journey was coming to an end and he could sign off in traditional polite fashion. But sometimes, we would just arrive, the car would stop suddenly, and a door […]

Could Cameron have delivered the G20 deal?

Posted on 3 April 2009 | 10:04am

I promise that my tweet of last night – wondering whether David Cameron as Prime Minister could have delivered the G20 deal – was not merely rhetorical.  If the polls are right, and don’t change some time soon, then Cameron may be the next PM, suddenly dealing with global economic issues, war and a planet […]