Alastair's Blog

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Thanks for the thanks. Is online shopping not always like this?

Posted on 17 February 2010 | 10:02am

It is as a statement of fact, rather than with any pride, that I confess to a certain phobia about online shopping. True, I am not that big a shopper anyway, and tend to come out in something of a rash on my annual supermarket visit, on the second day of our summer holiday. But […]

There’ll be another New Big Idea along in a moment

Posted on 16 February 2010 | 9:02am

So the Tories’ New Big Idea (NBI) is the Co-op. They say. Interesting though that the Newsnight report on the NBI  used as part of its explanation a film report  showing where Labour already does it, and some old shots of Dave making a speech saying much the same thing as he was setting out […]

People may listen more to the political GB having heard the personal GB

Posted on 15 February 2010 | 1:02pm

As expected, fairly mixed reviews for the GB interview with Piers Morgan. Some can’t get beyond their loathing of Piers. Others can’t get beyond their negativity about GB. But it is always important to differentiate between media opinion and public opinion. Based on nothing more than instinct, a few conversations and a trawl online, I would say […]

Happy Valentine’s Day. My present to you is Jacques Brel

Posted on 14 February 2010 | 12:02pm

First of all, thank you to everyone who has sent me Valentine’s Day messages and cards on Facebook. As I tweeted earlier this morning, it must be all the nice press I get that makes me so popular and loved. So what can I give in return? Answer … the lyrics, first in French and then my amateur […]

A celeb fest in my weekend of culture

Posted on 13 February 2010 | 10:02am

With Burnley out of the Cup, a spare Saturday has emerged which has allowed my book publicist to crowbar in a bit more culture, and book-plugging. As I am more Radio 5 than Radio 4, especially on Saturdays, I have never listened to Loose Ends, so any tips welcome. We record soon. I am less […]

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 […]