Alastair's Blog

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For heaven’s sake bring back standing at football – an issue no longer being decided by logic

Posted on 16 January 2016 | 11:01am

It was not just the third away win in a week that made Burnley’s trip to Brentford so enjoyable last night. Nor was it merely that the 3-1 victory was secured by first half goals from Scott Arfield, Joey Barton and George Boyd that would not have looked out of place had the venue been the […]

A bit of nostalgia on the town where I was born

Posted on 12 January 2016 | 9:01am

I do like writing, and usually I am the one deciding what to write, and enjoying the oddness of where ideas come from and why they strike me as being interesting at that time. But every now and then someone else comes along and provokes the idea. So it was over Christmas when the Yorkshire […]

Flood damage is a cruel metaphor for Tory failure to see that cuts have consequences. It is defining Britain

Posted on 30 December 2015 | 2:12pm

Here is a piece I have done this morning for International Business Times. I sometimes think David Cameron lives his life as his own Action Man doll, dressing himself up according to the various demeanours he wishes to display. For Parliament it is the classic dark blue suit, white shirt and (always, as if he […]

Five thousand words or so on how today’s challenges for leaders are tougher than 1997, and lots of other stuff. Happy Christmas

Posted on 20 December 2015 | 1:12pm

I’ve not done a big blog for a while, so as I penned this speech for a conference in France today, and I saw it was getting close to the 5,000 word mark, I thought ‘why not? Get it up there.’ The conference is in Montpellier in southern France and they asked me to reflect […]

‘European history will see this as the age of Merkel’

Posted on 11 December 2015 | 9:12am

Angela Merkel having – rightly in my view – been named Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’, I thought I would post the mini-profile of the German Chancellor I wrote in WINNERS AND HOW THEY SUCCEED. This was written before Ukraine, the continuing fallout from the Greek/Eurozone financial calamity, and the migration crisis were all […]

Fantastic backing for #Equality4MentalHealth campaign. Please add your support here to help end historic injustice

Posted on 2 November 2015 | 7:11am

Around the time of Charles Kennedy’s death I spent a lot of time talking to his Lib Dem colleague, Norman Lamb. I didn’t know him very well but had always felt, when he was a health minister, that he and Nick Clegg got mental health on the coalition agenda in a way that would not […]

Brailsford cycling genius + Bloodwise great cause = fantastic night out. Sign up here

Posted on 29 October 2015 | 11:10am

Sir Dave Brailsford is a modern sporting genius. And Bloodwise is a great charity. So I hopefully won’t need to give too hard a sell to get some of you to come along to hear the former talk about his life and times, and raise money for the latter in the process. November 25, London. […]

If only ministers were as wise as these three young people: a little investment can lead to savings down the track.

Posted on 27 October 2015 | 10:10am

While the government was busy trying to cut tax credits for some of our poorest families, and while millions were watching Panorama’s documentary on the calamitous impact of cuts to mental health services, I was at an inspiring event which showed how a little investment in mental health can lead to savings as well as […]

Cameron, Osborne, Hunt should watch tonight’s Panorama to see the gap between their words and their country

Posted on 24 October 2015 | 3:10pm

I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight’s version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it […]

Good luck to the pro-UK-in-EU campaign. Even having this damned referendum is bad for Britain

Posted on 12 October 2015 | 10:10am

So the pro-Britain in Europe campaign moves into a different phase today, with M and S former boss Stuart Rose fronting up a collection of business people and politicians who have the considerable task of challenging the tons of anti-European propaganda that has been thrown our way for years. I wish them luck. Unless David Cameron completely […]