Alastair's Blog

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Divisive legend: Lance Armstrong

Posted on 7 July 2009 | 10:07am

There are few more divisive sportsmen than Lance Armstrong. To some (many of them French, who would rather one of their own had dominated the Tour de France) he is a cheat who could not have achieved what he has without doping. To others he is a hero, not just because of his remarkable sporting […]

First hug a hoodie, now grab a gay

Posted on 6 July 2009 | 12:07pm

I was asked to write a blog for LabourList with a Pride London theme. Here it is, but it’s also here. David Cameron last week chose an exclusive central London venue, the Paramount Club, with a ticket price of 50 pounds for a two-hour cocktail party, to blow kisses at the LGBT community. The lucky […]

Mail on Scumday’s wonderful account of Lansley’s kipperdom

Posted on 5 July 2009 | 1:07pm

As you may know, the Daily Mail and Mail on Scumday are not allowed in the house. It’s the same rule I apply to dogshit. But I confess to taking a sneak peek online today, to see whether the Scumday did anything with a ‘story’ they were chasing me about yesterday. Oh they did … and it […]

Ecclestone undermines his own success with alarming views on Hitler

Posted on 4 July 2009 | 2:07pm

It’s hard to see why Bernie Ecclestone chose to give an interview to The Times, which appears today under the headlines ‘Hitler? He got things done, says Ecclestone’ as a news story on Page 3, and, on pages 34 and 35, ‘Despots are underrated, says the supreme leader of Formula One.’ My hunch is that […]

When the conmen move more quickly than the council

Posted on 3 July 2009 | 10:07am

I try hard to avoid being a grumpy old man on here, but every now and then … This story starts in mid May, when in the post was a card from ‘Parcel Express UK’ advising me they had tried to deliver a package, and there was a redelivery charge of £2.20. Cue AC fulmination […]

Andrew Lansley done up like a kipper

Posted on 2 July 2009 | 10:07am

You won’t have found too many words of praise for journalists on here, so stand by for a rare event. I refer to a journalist I have never met, named Sally Gainsbury, who works for a magazine I don’t recall ever reading, named the Health Service Journal. A Facebook friend sent me her latest article, […]

A day spent interviewing footballers, then being interviewed by a transvestite comedian

Posted on 1 July 2009 | 2:07pm

Just missed the train from Preston by a few minutes, so time to knock out a quick blog. Not seen a paper or the news for two or three days, and worried the internet connection won’t last, so not risking dipping in and out of news sites to find out what if any ‘news’ I’ve […]

When the power of black eyes fades

Posted on 30 June 2009 | 9:06am

What with meetings, family stuff, a funeral and then a train journey north, I missed all the political excitement yesterday. I saw a couple of headlines suggesting Peter Mandelson was suggesting the economy is on the mend, then a couple more in which Dave was having a pop at GB, but beyond that, it sort […]

Farewell to Henry Hodge

Posted on 29 June 2009 | 8:06pm

It must be so much easier to plan a funeral if you do God. Getting the tone of a ‘celebration of the life of’ is not easy. The Hodge family got it just right as hundreds gathered to bid farewell to Henry Hodge. Five tributes – all making different points about his life – child, […]

Honouring the power of sport to do good

Posted on 29 June 2009 | 2:06pm

  Off to a celebration of Henry Hodge’s life later today, so I may have a few words to say about that later – like if you haven’t already, please make a donation to; and please accept my apologies that the justgiving site has been a nightmare since we set up the page the […]