Alastair's Blog

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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 […]

Onsite psychiatric services for major employers will save them in the long run

Posted on 17 February 2013 | 7:02am

Here is a copy of the debate in today’s Observer between me and psychotherapist Oliver James, arguing for and against major employers providing onsite psychiatric support for their staff. Alastair Campbell – I was really pleased to see the headline proclaiming “MPs to get mental health clinic in parliament amid rise in depression and anxiety”. […]

A brilliant guest blog on Children of Alcoholics Week

Posted on 14 February 2013 | 8:02am

A while back I posted a guest blog from Lucy Rocca, who with a friend had set up http://www.soberistas.com a website aimed at helping people like her, who had had a drink problem, and were now trying to stay dry by celebrating being dry. Today I post another brilliant piece from Lucy on life with […]

Why manifestos matter, even if nobody reads them (and should we call them something different?)

Posted on 13 February 2013 | 12:02pm

Below is a piece published by Portland and Labour List yesterday. Among the responses I saw was one suggesting that the problem with manifestos is the word manifesto. It does seem remarkable that so few people are interested enough to read the programmes for government being put forward by parties who could form the government. […]

Don’t miss the Culture Show special on Abraham Lincoln tonight

Posted on 12 February 2013 | 7:02pm

I do not make a habit of apologising to the BBC but sorry, sorry, sorry, I forgot. Forgot what? I promised to do a blog today about the BBC2 Culture Show special on Abraham Lincoln. It is on at 1120pm and presented by Justin Webb. I made this promise when, several weeks ago, I was […]

If only Cameron was as bright and principled as Norman Fowler … Leveson burial chapter 324

Posted on 9 February 2013 | 1:02pm

You know how hard I find it to be overly nice about Tories, but I must salute the indefatigable Norman Fowler for his attempt to make sure the government does not wriggle out of doing the right thing on press regulation. While David Cameron has acted only when he has had no choice, and at […]