Alastair's Blog

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Alan Johnson right to stand up for security services

Posted on 12 February 2010 | 2:02pm

I’m pleased to see Home Secretary Alan Johnson hitting back at the media coverage of the Security Service, and supporting a similarly spirited defence of MI5 by its head Jonathan Evans. The coverage is a very good example of how the modern media works. A judge makes a judgement which the British government has sought […]

Time to turn up volume on sport schools revolution

Posted on 11 February 2010 | 10:02am

A day out of book promotion mode today to head to a conference organised by the Youth Sport Trust to celebrate the work of specialist Sports Colleges. When TB talked of the three domestic priorities being ‘education, education, education’ sport was always an important part of that. The size of today’s event, with more than […]

Let’s give Cameron a Doris Day moment over Ashcroft

Posted on 10 February 2010 | 10:02am

David Cameron, his eye ever on a passing bandwagon, used the prosecutions arising from the expenses scandal to leap upon the one marked ‘new politics.’ Put to one side the fact that his remarks seemed to drive a bus through the age old principle of innocent until proven guilty, they also showed up a phenomenal […]

Time for Maya’s voice to be heard amid the non-tears

Posted on 9 February 2010 | 9:02am

It is modestly comic how some media saddos continue to imagine I somehow used my magical powers of spin to ensure publication of my novel, Maya, coincided with my appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry. Never having been one of those ‘all publicity is good publicity’ people, I don’t quite buy the line that because I […]

Marr needs to explain his ‘sexed up’ question re casualties

Posted on 8 February 2010 | 1:02pm

May I return to the claim made by Andrew Marr yesterday – and presented without qualification – that 600,000 Iraqis died in the Iraq war? I did not push back at the time, because he added that these were UN figures. And given I had only just recovered from the moment of exasperation I described […]

On GB’s tears with Piers, and my emotional moment with Marr

Posted on 7 February 2010 | 4:02pm

Some commentators are already suggesting GB must have gone into his interview with Piers Morgan with his express purpose of crying over the loss of his daughter. I have not seen the interview but I have seen Gordon in the past get very emotional indeed about losing his first child, and about the fact that one of […]

On NI, Tory fears of Labour spinsters, and headbands in sport

Posted on 6 February 2010 | 10:02am

I was at a dinner a few weeks ago with Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, who was distinctly gloomy about ever getting a proper resolution to policing and justice issues, which were always fraught but which finally appear to have been sorted. So congratulations to the two governments and the parties for reaching an agreement […]

Daily Mail tells truth shock horror

Posted on 5 February 2010 | 8:02am

I am indebted to Labour’s candidate in East Dunbartonshire, Mary Galbraith, for alerting me to an article which is about to make a miniscule piece of media history by becoming the first ever Daily Mail article that I quote favourably. Yes, I know, I know, it is the most hateful and vile scumrag ever to […]

Welcome to the virtual Maya launch party

Posted on 4 February 2010 | 10:02am

Seventeen … the number so far of texts and emails from journalists wanting to know why they haven’t been invited to the launch party for Maya, my new novel published TODAY!! Three … the number of others asking the same question. The journalists are likely to think this is because I have so few friends.***(see […]

Public ahead of press on the mess that is Cameron

Posted on 3 February 2010 | 1:02pm

Jonathan Freedland, writing in The Guardian, states ‘David Cameron is a mess. When will the media say so?’ It is a question I have been asking for some time, and it is nice to be joined by someone from The Guardian, some of whose reporters and commentators have been as much a part of the ‘give Dave an easy […]