Alastair's Blog

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Memo to Labour – energy, fight, future policy, stand up for Labour record, Britain, NHS, immigration too, and demolish worst govt in memory

Posted on 21 September 2013 | 9:09am

Having been in hospital from Monday to Thursday I watched more TV news than usual this week, and spotted a trend, one which is useful to Labour as the party conference begins. It is that the Tory Government strategy, such as it exists, is essentially founded on the approach in that silly book ‘is it […]

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband should listen to police and doctors re costs of booze

Posted on 15 September 2013 | 4:09pm

I was going to spend part of today’s sickbed sojourn writing a blog about the Lib Dem conference, but Chief Constable Adrian Lee’s remarks that Britain needs to take a long hard look at its drinking culture, not least because fifty per cent of violent crime is now booze-fuelled, and ACPO’s clear effort to get […]

Extracts from speech to Royal Television Society dinner last night – as requested by a few of you

Posted on 13 September 2013 | 12:09pm

RTS cambridge sept 12 2013 Hope you’re enjoying the conference. Hope you’re enjoying the latest round in the longest running soap opera of our lifetime, BBC leadership … Is it really ten years since Greg Dyke left to spend more time with his anger? No, truth be told we have both moved on. Saw him […]

More rebuttal on book interview headlines – and reminder to Labour re ‘mess we inherited’ rebuttal on economy

Posted on 9 September 2013 | 7:09am

Another day, another perfectly fair, accurately quoted interview, this time in the Daily Telegraph, with Celia Walden. There are various reasons why I said ‘yes’ when she asked to do the piece. First, because I always liked her and I always liked her Dad, former Tory MP George Walden. Second, and most importantly because after […]

Blog as rebuttal and media monitoring

Posted on 7 September 2013 | 9:09am

I was probably being a little churlish last night, on seeing the Guardian headline on my interview with Decca Aitkenhead – ‘you have to have at least the threat of military action’ – and tweeting that it had probably been written before the interview was filed. As some of you quickly took to twitter to […]

Have we got the balance right between the ‘war on drugs’ and dealing with alcohol abuse?

Posted on 4 September 2013 | 8:09am

I am about to do some interviews about my new novel, My Name Is …, out next week, which tells the story of a young girl’s descent into alcoholism. It is a novel, a story, but I hope one that makes people think a little about their and the country’s relationship with alcohol. Now making […]

Burnley getting on the map for all the right reasons

Posted on 27 August 2013 | 2:08pm

I really hope Burnley’s award as ‘The Most Enterprising Area in the UK’ gets a bit of national attention. It has been a long hard struggle for the town, its businesses, its politicians and people to fight against an image founded largely on cloth caps, derelict mills, tiny terraced houses, race riots and the BNP. […]

Women and alcohol – when ‘normal’ drinking slips into problem territory

Posted on 22 August 2013 | 6:08am

A while back I posted a guest blog by the founders of Soberistas.com an online group set up to help women worried about their drinking. Now Lucy Rocca, one of the Soberistas, has co- written a book with Sarah Turner, The Sober Revolution, – Women Calling Time On Wine O’Clock, and the response suggests there […]

‘The mess we inherited’ – some facts with which to fight the Tory Big Lies

Posted on 19 August 2013 | 9:08am

​​ I am indebted to Professor Vernon Bogdanor, who among other things was David Cameron’s tutor at Oxford, for drawing my attention to a recent report by the LSE Growth Commission. Anyone who looks at the mix of academics, business leaders, economists and banking experts on the Commission will be unable to dismiss them as […]

Labour must rebut ‘the mess we inherited’ to expose the mess the Tories are making

Posted on 13 August 2013 | 11:08am

Just before the summer break, I did a fundraiser for Labour Welsh Assembly member Leighton Andrews, and during the q and a was asked if it was too late for Labour to fight back against the coalition mantra about ‘the mess we inherited.’ My reply, which seemed to meet with broad approval, was a very […]