Alastair's Blog

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Press Clegg-bashing not helping Cameron. Debate should be on policy

Posted on 22 April 2010 | 12:04pm

As the Tories encourage the papers to savage Nick Clegg any which way they can, it is worth remembering that they have been doing much the same to Gordon Brown for months, backed by one of the biggest and most personal poster campaigns in history. Has it helped David Cameron? Not much. His and his […]

Clegg’s debate strategy hardly new honest politics

Posted on 21 April 2010 | 12:04pm

Just been for a run round Cardiff, looking fabulous in the sunshine (Cardiff, that is, not me; I looked a bit slow and knackered and felt relieved I am not doing the London Marathon on Sunday.) I ran past the Welsh Assembly, which has done a lot to give Wales a greater confidence and sense […]

More policy on the telly please

Posted on 20 April 2010 | 7:04pm

There is a bit of a problem with the way the media, public service broadcasters included, now cover politics in general and elections in particular. Back in my journalistic days, writes a middle-aged old fart, not only did the manifestoes get covered seriously and in full but so, on subsequent days, did specific policy issues […]

As Cameron revises body language, focus should be Lib Dem policy

Posted on 20 April 2010 | 10:04am

With my usual indebtedness to the Labour Party media monitoring unit, may I commend for your attention a story on page 2 of the Financial Times, headlined ‘Cameron to relax poise for TV’ . Now whenever you see an anonymous quote in a newspaper, you are entitled to assume there is a fair chance it […]

Cameron junks broadcast – is he morphing into John Major?

Posted on 19 April 2010 | 2:04pm

David Cameron has junked tonight’s planned party election broadcast in favour of one that ‘responds to the public mood.’ Now what does that remind me of? Where was I? Oh yes, Southampton, April 16, 1997 … with TB, when news came through that John Major had junked that evening’s planned party election broadcast in favour […]

Come on Dave and Nick – stop the carping

Posted on 19 April 2010 | 9:04am

There really is something quite unpleasant seeing the two big parties take lumps off each other. Come on, Nick and David, this is so old politics. The public are crying out for something more elevated than all this yah-boo blue-orange, orange-blue carping. That’s why I was so pleased to hear that the party put third […]

A friendly letter to David Cameron

Posted on 18 April 2010 | 10:04am

Dear David, First the good news. We had our wobbles too. No, not this week (and by the way perhaps I should send you the ‘what Cameron will do’ note I did pre-debate. Of my top ten that you should have done, you only did three and a half.) But enough of that. You want […]

Clegg rise good news for the campaign

Posted on 17 April 2010 | 10:04am

The rise in Lib Dem support since the TV debate is the best thing that can happen to this election. Oh ok, a sudden ten point rise for Labour, matched by a Tory slide, would have been better, but it was never likely, so this is a good second best. It means finally there is the […]

The election landscape has changed. Exciting times

Posted on 16 April 2010 | 2:04pm

My old mate Bruce Grocott, Tony Blair’s parliamentary aide and a top top man, once said that if he and I ever wrote a book, we should call it ‘why I was right all along.’ It was a variation on the theme of ‘they’re all mad apart from you and me and even you are […]

Clegg wins on style, Brown on substance, Cameron on shallowness

Posted on 16 April 2010 | 1:04am

As I do a fair bit of media-whacking, let me start my post-debate analysis with a few words of praise for Alastair Stewart. The ITV chair of the first leaders’ debate resisted the temptation to make himself a big part of the procedings and he moved events along at a good pace. As a TV […]