Alastair's Blog

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Getting a good look at Vince Cable

Posted on 17 May 2009 | 9:05am

To the Charleston book festival yesterday so that Fiona could indulge her Bloomsbury thing, which I have never quite got, and I could take a good look at Vince Cable, to try to work out why he appears able to buck the trend in the dominant ‘all politicians are terrible’ culture. I met him a […]

How do you solve a problem like Silvio?

Posted on 16 May 2009 | 9:05am

As politicians here await the next blow from a newspaper driving the agenda over their expenses, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is involved in his own media scrap. The Continental press tends to be much less intrusive than ours, but when his wife announced she was leaving him, and cited his relationship with a young […]

It was the internet wot won it

Posted on 15 May 2009 | 10:05am

Many thanks for all the kind messages last night after Mind announced (on Twitter) that I was the mental health charity’s Champion of the Year.  Judging by the sheer volume of messages on Facebook, I think Jane Appleton’s FB group supporting me had an effect. Also I was told last night that when previous Champion […]

There now follows … a good whack at Cameron

Posted on 14 May 2009 | 5:05pm

It will be very hard for the parties to get much attention for their election broadcasts amid the ongoing expenses fiasco. Which is a pity, because I have had a sneak preview of Labour’s tonight, and it is very nice finally to see a decent -sized boot going into David Cameron. Well, not a boot actually, […]

They got their kit off – so you get your cash out

Posted on 14 May 2009 | 7:05am

(… and if you read to the end, you might win something) So come on, be honest, how many of you have changed your charitable giving habits since the recession began? Judging by the waves of people rushing past the tin-rattlers I saw at Euston yesterday, plenty of you. We hear lots of business people […]

Expenses row must not obscure Tory intentions on minimum wage

Posted on 13 May 2009 | 4:05pm

I’m not saying the expenses row is trivial. It is not. Some of the revelations have been genuinely shocking.  But there is something else going on in Westminster that requires a little more attention than it is getting. Because it goes to the heart of the difference between the main parties. I don’t mean the […]

We love you Burnley, we do … what a night

Posted on 13 May 2009 | 2:05am

Just got in. Not a hope in hell of getting to sleep. Too wired. Watching it all again on Sky. What a fantastic night. Better than beating Chelsea. I feel so so sorry for people who do not get football, who will never know what it is like to feel as the Burnley fans felt […]

A tweet cannot express the wonders of TGV

Posted on 12 May 2009 | 8:05am

I know that Twitter is meant to be the biggest thing since the last biggest thing – but let’s be honest, there are limitations as well as pleasures and challenges in communicating with 140 characters. A bit like soundbites in politics. They can’t tell the whole story. So last night I was going for a […]

It’s Mind week – Get it off your Chest with me and Stephen Fry

Posted on 11 May 2009 | 6:05am

I have no idea how days and weeks come to be such and such Day and such and such Week, but I do know that today sees the start of Mind week. I know because I am on my way to the BBC to talk it up on Radio 5 (0745) and Breakfast TV (0810) […]

Hate the Mail, love Obama

Posted on 10 May 2009 | 10:05am

So I wake to a lovely sunny day, remember that Fiona is away, reflect warmly on yesterday’s win, delete the latest rash of radio and TV messages asking me to do an interview on MPs expenses, then wonder what to blog about before I go out on the bike. I could resurrect, for one day only, […]