Alastair's Blog

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Do we care more about the NHS or moats?

Posted on 4 June 2009 | 12:06am

I’ll come on to ‘vote Labour’ in a moment, but first …. It’s amazing how quickly your spirits can be restored if you get outside the noise of the Westminster media bubble. I mentioned yesterday I was on my way to a mental health conference in Hull, part of ‘Business Week’ on Humberside. My event […]

Guardian of social justice or attention-seeker?

Posted on 3 June 2009 | 10:06am

Up early and off to Hull for a mental health conference. Having caught the end of Newsnight, I was thinking it would be good for my own mental health if I avoided the papers, but it is impossible to escape the bombardment of the media age when travelling.  Airports are the worst. 24 hour news […]

Who says Britain can’t deliver the best?

Posted on 2 June 2009 | 8:06am

You can have all the factual analysis you want, but sometimes major government decisions have to rely on the instinct of the major figures in the government. Whether or not to go for the Olympics in 2012 was one such decision.  As I record in my diaries (page 657) we were getting all sorts of […]

Mainstream has a duty to vote against BNP

Posted on 1 June 2009 | 11:06am

After posting my blog on the BNP and Diversity yesterday (apologies to Diversity for having them in the same sentence as the BNP) I went for a long bike ride, with the wind behind me all the way back from Chipping Barnet, read a bit, wrote a bit, watched a bit of the French Open before checking […]

Let Diversity inspire a vote against the hate-filled BNP

Posted on 31 May 2009 | 12:05pm

For part of Saturday night I was channel-hopping between Britain’s Got Talent and the second part of Robert Carlyle’s portrayal of  Adolf Hitler on Channel 4. On BGT, I voted for Shaheen, with a sneaky side vote for Stavros Flatley, my daughter voted for Aidan Davis, and Fiona voted for Susan Boyle in part out […]

White House whack at UK media well-timed but sure to be ignored

Posted on 30 May 2009 | 1:05pm

‘Joe Public’ is a mythical figure often used by journalists to indicate what is sometimes termed the ordinary man in the street. But I wonder what ‘Joe Journalist’ might be thinking of the whacking administered to the British press by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. I imagine, especially right now with the UK political […]

Elvis has a plan to make MPs King again

Posted on 29 May 2009 | 12:05pm

Elvis Presley is alive and well and living in the form of impersonator Mark Wright, who has come up with an interesting idea to help MPs through the expenses storm. I know Mark because as well as being Elvis, he is also a committed Labour supporter, who has done fundraisers for the party. Like Elvis, […]

At least there’s a campaign on in Italy

Posted on 28 May 2009 | 9:05am

Greetings from a Rome strangely subdued despite pockets of happy Spaniards and deeply disappointed Manchester United supporters. Enough of football. The better team on the night won, United did not play as they can. Darren Fletcher was badly missed. Basta. I have two political observations to make before heading home. First, may I join in […]

A blow to gay rights and a boost for Cameron’s short-termism

Posted on 27 May 2009 | 11:05am

One of my favourite quotes about politics came from New York Governor Mario Cuomo – ‘we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose.’ Barack Obama fought one of the most wonderfully poetic campaigns and now has to be in full-on prose mode as he struggles with war, economic meltdown and environmental danger. Not to […]

It’s my blog and I’ll be a big kid if I want to

Posted on 26 May 2009 | 11:05pm

I read somewhere the other day that I was a ‘prolific blogger.’ Am I? I don’t think so. One a day most days, like shaving, very occasionally two, but I try to ensure it takes up no more than twenty minutes to half an hour.  If I was a proper blogger, I’d have been straight […]