Alastair's Blog

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Labour must expose Gove’s politicisation of education curriculum for what it is

Posted on 21 May 2014 | 9:05am

First, I will declare an interest, in pointing out that my partner Fiona Millar is a founder of, and regular contributor to, the Local Schools Network, which exists to support and promote the many good local State schools in the UK. The need for such a campaign is particularly strong when we have a Conservative government which […]

Cameron’s religious ramblings: if this is leadership God help us

Posted on 18 April 2014 | 7:04am

Not that long ago David Cameron was comparing his religious faith to a fuzzy radio signal in the Chiltern Hills. Now it is The Big Thing. It seems to be the driver of his life and his politics and he is suggesting Christianity should be a bigger driver of the country’s life and politics too. […]

Rebranding a country is about a lot more than ‘spin’

Posted on 16 April 2014 | 6:04am

Below is a piece I have done for PR Week about a project to use international help to try to improve the image and standing of Albania. Say the name of any country in the world and immediately people have a sense of that country. America still comes top of most nation branding surveys. Britain, […]

Wonderful send off for Mark Bennett RIP

Posted on 21 March 2014 | 2:03pm

What a beautiful day and what a wonderful send off for Mark Bennett, the Mayor of Lambeth and my former right-hand man Mark Bennett, who died of a heart attack aged 44. St Leonard’s Church was packed out as hundreds gathered to pay respects, from a former Prime Minister and a Bishop to messengers and […]

Dacre, ‘Lord’ Black, Murdoch on wrong side of argument and history – fight for new regulator close to tipping point

Posted on 19 March 2014 | 6:03am

To Millbank Tower last night – from where we ran the 1997 and 2001 election landslides – to a staging post of another important winning campaign, namely the one to get proper independent regulation of the press. A year on from all parties agreeing to support the Leveson plan for an independent self-regulator underpinned by […]

It should not be a shock that the Education Secretary’s kids go to State schools

Posted on 8 March 2014 | 4:03pm

I am pleased that Michael Gove and his fellow journalist wife Sarah Vine have chosen to send their daughter to a State school. Less pleasing is the idea generated by the coverage that this is some great act of educational and political courage. It should be exceptional for politicians NOT to use the state sector, […]

Galloway wasting police time with his little movie stunt

Posted on 28 February 2014 | 10:02am

George Galloway announced to the world this morning he was on his way to an East London police station to demand the release of the director making his crowd-sourced film, The Killing of Tony Blair. Woodward and Bernstein eat your hearts out. George has become a journalist. Galloway and his acolytes have been using twitter […]

Stand up for the standing up: my Observer debate with Danny Kelly on safe standing

Posted on 16 February 2014 | 3:02pm

Many thanks to The Observer for asking me to debate my pro-safe standing at football stance with Danny Kelly, who says he is opposed, but as you will see, he is actually pretty close to me, and will be a safe stander before too long. If you want to post comments, go to the Observer […]

Cameron’s crisis management skills exposing his usual strategic weakness

Posted on 15 February 2014 | 8:02pm

This is the piece I had in Saturday’s Financial Times… Despite the media addiction to the word “crisis”, real crises for government are exceptionally rare. In the decade I spent alongside Tony Blair, I believe we had five: war in Kosovo; the September 11 attacks, Iraq; and, on the domestic front, foot-and-mouth and fuel protests. […]

Both business and politics struggling to adapt to changed reputations

Posted on 12 February 2014 | 12:02pm

Overcoming my slight fear of heights, I took the lift to the top of The Gherkin today to take part in the launch of Portland’s new document on trust and reputation, Bringing Business Home. Whether me from a left-leaning perspective, City AM editor Allister Heath from the right, FT journalist Elizabeth Rigby or COMRES pollster […]