Alastair's Blog

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A plea for five-figure cyber-donations

Posted on 17 June 2009 | 7:06am

I am determined to get my first big cyber-donation for Leukaemia Research, so please pass this among any rich friends and relatives you think might have a spare fifty grand, or any businesses who are doing ok despite the recession and looking for new Corporate Social Responsibility schemes. Then I will get them along to the kind […]

On two inquiries

Posted on 16 June 2009 | 8:06am

What with the extraordinary events unfolding in Iran, and the announcement of the inquiry into the war in Iraq, there was no room on the main news last night for the case of Christine Laird, who was accused of lying about her history of depression when she applied for a job with Cheltenham Borough Council. […]

From India to Iran to Labour wit

Posted on 15 June 2009 | 10:06am

If diplomacy is war by other means, sometimes the same can be said of sport, which is why an India-Pakistan cricket match has long been on my list of ‘must see before I die’ sporting events. The appetite was further whetted by the sight and sound of the Indian support at the Twenty20 clash with England […]

Memories of Princess Diana

Posted on 14 June 2009 | 9:06am

We had a nice time at the Althorp literary festival, the first that Fiona and I have done with separate his’n’hers sessions on our books, me on All In The Mind, Fiona on her Secret World of the Working Mother. The festivals I have done have tended to be very white, middle-aged, middle-class events, and […]

A House Divided?

Posted on 13 June 2009 | 2:06am

There has been a good response to the latest email I sent out to Go Fourth supporters this week. I know there will be some crossover between Go Fourth subscribers and people who visit here, but thought those who are not Go Fourthers might like to see it anyway.  Dear Go Fourth A long one […]

A humbling NHS experience, a media row and a good GB speech

Posted on 12 June 2009 | 10:06am

What a truly inspiring and humbling time I had at the new Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Rathbone hospital in Liverpool yesterday.  It was not just the evident quality of care being provided for a small number of seriously ill men. It was also the clear emphasis that was put on making sure the views […]

Psychiatrists heading for relegation in ‘disease prestige’ league table

Posted on 11 June 2009 | 10:06am

I promised an update on my morning with the psychiatrists in Sedgefield, and I really really tried to get it to you yesterday. Don’t blame me. Blame something called Globetrotter Connect on my laptop. Whichever bits of the globe it was connected to, they didn’t include any of the bits where I was trotting and […]

The shrinks await

Posted on 10 June 2009 | 9:06am

Knocking this off very quickly before heading to a conference in the North East to make a speech on mental health. So before too long I will be in a room full of psychiatrists, in Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield. With the BBC leading on a report suggesting real pressure on NHS finances in […]

As Obama fights for healthcare, let’s celebrate the record here

Posted on 9 June 2009 | 12:06pm

My God, is it really fifteen years since Hillary Clinton’s efforts to deliver universal healthcare for Americans were defeated in the US Congress? The same year Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party? A lot has happened in both countries since. And as Barack Obama takes off where the wife of his predecessor but one […]

Anger at BNP seats must be turned into activism

Posted on 8 June 2009 | 2:06pm

There is a tendency for everyone in politics, both politicians and commentators, to make single sweeping judgements based upon what ultimately are a myriad complicated reasons that swing votes one way or another. So for Labour politicians doing the media rounds last night, getting hit hard by the expenses scandal became the most common attempt […]