Alastair's Blog

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How perceptions change – A night out with Joey Barton, and two happy Frenchmen

Posted on 6 March 2013 | 11:03am

This is a piece I did for the programme for last night’s big match, Manch…., I mean Burnley v Barnsley. Pix on twitter from a while back! So Joey Barton is a total scumbag, is he not? That would I suspect be the view of most football fans and perhaps also people he has played […]

If mental disorder accounts for almost a quarter of our health burden, why so far down pecking order?

Posted on 18 February 2013 | 11:02am

With thanks to South London and Maudsley psychiatrist Jonathan Campion, here is a summary of the report I referred to in my debate with Oliver James in yesterday’s Observer. This statistic that 23percent of our health burden comes from mental disorder, compared with 16percent for cancer and cardiovascular, needs to become as well known and […]

Onsite psychiatric services for major employers will save them in the long run

Posted on 17 February 2013 | 7:02am

Here is a copy of the debate in today’s Observer between me and psychotherapist Oliver James, arguing for and against major employers providing onsite psychiatric support for their staff. Alastair Campbell – I was really pleased to see the headline proclaiming “MPs to get mental health clinic in parliament amid rise in depression and anxiety”. […]

A brilliant guest blog on Children of Alcoholics Week

Posted on 14 February 2013 | 8:02am

A while back I posted a guest blog from Lucy Rocca, who with a friend had set up a website aimed at helping people like her, who had had a drink problem, and were now trying to stay dry by celebrating being dry. Today I post another brilliant piece from Lucy on life with […]

Why manifestos matter, even if nobody reads them (and should we call them something different?)

Posted on 13 February 2013 | 12:02pm

Below is a piece published by Portland and Labour List yesterday. Among the responses I saw was one suggesting that the problem with manifestos is the word manifesto. It does seem remarkable that so few people are interested enough to read the programmes for government being put forward by parties who could form the government. […]

Don’t miss the Culture Show special on Abraham Lincoln tonight

Posted on 12 February 2013 | 7:02pm

I do not make a habit of apologising to the BBC but sorry, sorry, sorry, I forgot. Forgot what? I promised to do a blog today about the BBC2 Culture Show special on Abraham Lincoln. It is on at 1120pm and presented by Justin Webb. I made this promise when, several weeks ago, I was […]

If only Cameron was as bright and principled as Norman Fowler … Leveson burial chapter 324

Posted on 9 February 2013 | 1:02pm

You know how hard I find it to be overly nice about Tories, but I must salute the indefatigable Norman Fowler for his attempt to make sure the government does not wriggle out of doing the right thing on press regulation. While David Cameron has acted only when he has had no choice, and at […]

Musings on Borgen, strong women, the gap in the UK TV market, and Maradona

Posted on 2 February 2013 | 9:02am

The outpouring of jealousy at my meeting ‘Birgitte’ from Borgen was not quite on a par with that inspired by my ‘never talk about it’ football playing with Diego Maradona. It was there nonetheless, from the ‘jammy bastard’ tweets to the observation from Andrew Neil that he ‘never knew Danish could be so hypnotic.’ So […]

Time to think differently about mental health care

Posted on 31 January 2013 | 12:01pm

The King’s Fund has launched a debate about the future of health and social care, called ‘Time to think Differently.’ They asked me to write a piece on mental health. To find out more about the King’s Fund debate, visit here. Meanwhile here is the piece I have done for them… So it is time […]

Lance Armstrong liked to play the long game. David Walsh has played even longer, and won

Posted on 20 January 2013 | 12:01pm

I don’t recall exactly where and when it was that I met journalist David Walsh, not long after I had met Lance Armstrong for the first time, but I do recall his shock tinged with anger that I had ‘fallen for the Armstrong lies.’ I think it was at a football match. Indeed I had […]