Category: “Politics

GB – good speech, well delivered

Posted on 4 March 2009 | 7:03pm

I watched Gordon’s speech to Congress in the company of BBC journalists as I was commenting on it for The News Channel. Half way through, I could tell they were listening more intently than is often the case. Then when I heard Jon Sopel say ‘this is better than his usual…’ (as near as a politician […]

Some speeches matter more than others

Posted on 2 March 2009 | 12:03pm

At a q and a I did last week, someone asked me what made Tony Blair nervous. ‘Big set piece speeches,’ I replied, instinctively. I’ve thought about it a bit more since, and I think the instincts were right. My diaries record several instances of him saying, before Budget debates in Opposition, or Queen’s Speech […]

Inside the chocolate factory

Posted on 28 February 2009 | 10:02am

I thought I knew North London fairly well. So whenever I’ve seen ‘The Chocolate Factory’, I’ve always assumed I knew what it was. Indeed, as we parked the car before last night’s fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party, saw it was taking place next to the Chocolate Factory, and Fiona asked ‘what’s The […]

GB on the G20, JP on Jeremy Kyle

Posted on 27 February 2009 | 9:02am

I was at the London Labour Party‘s fundraising dinner in Canary Wharf last night. I was fully intending to blog last night after getting back. But I got home just before midnight to find my mouse had died. You can have all the online malarkey you want, but if your mouse won’t go, and you […]

Charity and the credit crunch, please give generously!

Posted on 26 February 2009 | 8:02am

I’m off to a meeting this morning with Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukaemia Research, to review the charity’s plans for our fiftieth anniversary next year. Every organisation has a history but I think ours is particularly symbolic of the role charity plays in British culture. It started literally with one child’s death almost sixty […]

Why oh why are the Tories not home and dry?

Posted on 24 February 2009 | 9:02am

Polls are the junk food of journalism. They are a cheap(ish) way of guaranteeing a front page lead and (provided it has a suitably negative headline about Labour) a sombre pick up on the morning reviews of the papers. But of course with every passing poll and every passing headline, it gets harder and harder […]

Names round-up

Posted on 22 February 2009 | 8:02am

Thanks to everyone (particularly Charlie, which nonetheless doesn’t qualify) for suggestions of people instantly recognisable by first name alone. I kicked off with Delia in advance of my lunch with her at Norwich v Burnley yesterday, and yes, to those who asked on my Facebook page, there was custard with the treacle sponge. One or […]

Editing the New Statesman

Posted on 20 February 2009 | 11:02am

I have bowed to the democratic demands of my Facebook and Twitter friends, and agreed to accept an invitation to guest edit the New Statesman. When I put up an update saying I was mulling over it, a whole load of messages came through basically saying there was nothing to mull, and I should get […]

Salute Peter M’s proper use of the F word

Posted on 19 February 2009 | 9:02am

Tory blogger Iain Dale, who has many qualities, not least supporting a team that wears claret and blue, suggests I should be hiding away in embarrassment at Peter Mandelson’s ‘tirade’ against Starbucks boss Howard Schultz (didn’t he do the Peanuts cartoons, or was that Charles?) The reason for my embarrassment, says Iain, is that last […]

Labour’s communications challenge for the NHS

Posted on 18 February 2009 | 10:02am

I sat recently at the back of a focus group and watched people discuss their favourite and least favourite brands. It was a business rather than a political exercise, but there were as ever some interesting political points to emerge. At the end of a long discussion, in which the economy dominated, and people admitted […]