Alastair's Blog

Filter blog posts:  Show all | Articles only | Videos only RSS feed

Hezza shows the new boys what a growth plan looks like

Posted on 31 October 2012 | 8:10am

As I predicted on Sunday, Michael Heseltine’s response to the silly briefing against him by Osborne and Co has been to crank up rather than wind down his interventionist ideas to get growth going. Still able to command attention when he wants, his report ranges far and wide, covering transport, energy, planning, regional development, skills, […]

Good to see Ed Miliband focusing on economic as well as social gains of changed attitudes to mental health

Posted on 29 October 2012 | 11:10am

Ed Miliband’s speech on mental health today is a significant – and good – moment in the campaign to improve understanding and treatment of mental illness in Britain. It is perhaps particulalry significant that this is his first major policy speech since he launched the theme of One Nation Labour at the party conference a […]

Heseltine comes up with sensible interventionist ideas to boost growth – so Osborne briefs against him

Posted on 28 October 2012 | 8:10am

Michael Heseltine will be sitting with a cup of coffee at his country pile, thinking about when to take a tour of his fabulous gardens, whilst flicking through the Sunday papers, a ritual through the many decades of his business and political career. It is likely to please him that he is in them, still […]

Cameron’s alcohol strategy is missing the point – a guest blog from a recovering middle class alcoholic

Posted on 26 October 2012 | 1:10pm

Interesting morning in a series of meetings covering variously alcohol abuse, Page 3 girls (and the campaign to get The Sun to drop them and so catch up with the modern world), banks and their diversity policies and various specifications to do with a new bike. Forgive me if for now I focus on the […]

Despite the past, a little support for the BBC, victims of changed prism syndrome

Posted on 24 October 2012 | 3:10pm

I have refrained from saying too much about the Jimmy Savile saga, not least because any time I mention anything to do with a BBC ‘crisis,’ out from the woodwork come those who continue to defend the Beeb’s false reporting and grossly unprofessional handling of the WMD dossier issue a decade or so ago. It […]

Clegg has quietly resigned from the lightning conductor role – which is to his advantage, but another problem for Cameron

Posted on 21 October 2012 | 9:10am

The reason we ended up with a coalition government is that the public did not want Labour back for a fourth term but they did not want the old Tory Party back either. So they chucked in the Lib Dems and said ‘you lot sort it out.’ Analysed coldly, David Cameron should have won the […]

Tommy Sheridan did the Better Together camp a favour – by exposing faultline in Salmond’s Rainbow Coalition

Posted on 19 October 2012 | 11:10am

I wonder if Tommy Sheridan ever gets fed up of being called a ‘firebrand Scottish politician’? Probably not, any more than the far more loathsome George Galloway tires of presenting himself as the victim of conspiracy theories, the latest of which is so tiresome I could not get beyond the first eight sentences of The […]

Still I can’t get Chris Mullin on Twitter, but I will, even as @vegetablegrower

Posted on 18 October 2012 | 10:10am

For the third time, I failed to persuade Chris Mullin, who would be brilliant if he embraced it, to join Twitter last night. As fellow diarists of the New Labour era, we seem to have become a fairly regular double act and this time he was interviewing me at Chatham House about the influence of […]

Cameron has yet to make much mark on history; let us hope it is not as the PM who presided over break up of UK

Posted on 15 October 2012 | 2:10pm

You might remember that a week ago, following George Osborne’s ludicrous statement that Tony Blair ‘achieved nothing’ in ten years in power, I reeled off some of the facts that negated his view. I also noted that so far, there was little by comparison that the Cameron government could put down as historically equivalent to […]

India Knight so wrong to say ‘no stigma to depression’ and ‘everybody gets depressed’ – Time to Change

Posted on 9 October 2012 | 7:10am

Sunday Times columnist India Knight and the charity MIND got into a good old ding dong yesterday after she wrote a column (which I have posted below) on the slew of celebrity memoirs revealing the author to have had depression. As the row kicked off, she and her supporters sought to justify her piece by […]