Alastair's Blog

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The power of the human spirit in a marathon is greater than a bomb

Posted on 16 April 2013 | 1:04pm

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The Right’s politicisation of Margaret Thatcher’s death, part two

Posted on 11 April 2013 | 1:04pm

As I said yesterday, I spent Monday driving down from Scotland, listening to hour upon hour of coverage about Mrs Thatcher’s death. When the news was announced that David Cameron was cutting short his meetings with European leaders to return to London, I thought ‘why?’ The answer is perhaps becoming clearer. What would he, as […]

MPs must surely (if respectfully) DEBATE the Thatcher legacy today, not merely pay tribute

Posted on 10 April 2013 | 7:04am

If there is one thing Margaret Thatcher liked it was a good argument; and if there was one place where she felt those arguments should be held, it was in the House of Commons. So whilst it is right and proper that MPs pay genuine respect to her strengths and achievements in Parliament today, and […]

Time for a rethink on standing at football

Posted on 1 April 2013 | 11:04am

Posting this piece, which was published on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free this morning, as I watch both home and away ends at Stamford Bridge standing, without apparent risk or inconvenience. — To any football fan who fancies an interesting, neutral weekend away, take a look at the Bundesliga fixtures, and take a trip to […]

Why I chose my ten favourite twitterers

Posted on 21 March 2013 | 9:03am

I was asked by twitter to give them a message for their seventh ‘birthday’ and select my ten favourite twitterers. My message for twitter is ‘I like twitter because it enables people to create their own media landscape. I hope it does not become too commercial.’ And here are my top ten, as just tweeted, […]

Lessons for Labour in fascinating Axelrod account of Obama election win

Posted on 15 March 2013 | 11:03am

I suppose political strategists are likely to be more interested in interviews with political strategists than most people, but anyone with an interest in politics, campaigns and the next election should read the interview below. It is with political strategist David Axelrod, a key member of the team for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns; conducted […]

Two days to Red Nose Day – time to resist compassion fatigue and keep helping those in dire need

Posted on 13 March 2013 | 10:03am

In 25 years, Comic Relief and its famous Red Nose have helped to raise more than £600million, money which has been used to help millions of people both in the UK and Africa. On a trip to Ghana earlier this year I met some of the most recent beneficiaries, as the country struggles to address […]

Next generation of young women needs to get the feminist fight going again

Posted on 10 March 2013 | 11:03am

At 55, I am lucky enough still to have three generations of women in my family life; an elderly but fit mother, in her 80s; a partner of the same age as me with whom, I worked out the other day, I have now spent around one fifth of my life asleep; and a daughter […]

How perceptions change – A night out with Joey Barton, and two happy Frenchmen

Posted on 6 March 2013 | 11:03am

This is a piece I did for the programme for last night’s big match, Manch…., I mean Burnley v Barnsley. Pix on twitter from a while back! So Joey Barton is a total scumbag, is he not? That would I suspect be the view of most football fans and perhaps also people he has played […]

If mental disorder accounts for almost a quarter of our health burden, why so far down pecking order?

Posted on 18 February 2013 | 11:02am

With thanks to South London and Maudsley psychiatrist Jonathan Campion, here is a summary of the report I referred to in my debate with Oliver James in yesterday’s Observer. This statistic that 23percent of our health burden comes from mental disorder, compared with 16percent for cancer and cardiovascular, needs to become as well known and […]