Alastair's Blog

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Prepare for avalanche of Ashcroft posters for Tories

Posted on 30 December 2009 | 3:12pm

I will forgive Jack Straw his little jibe at the expense of Burnley FC in his piece on the Tories in today’s Independent. The Blackburn MP says he will donate two tickets to see Burnley reserves to anyone who can name a Tory councillor who has complained locally about the effect of the extra investment […]

Here’s Good Luck to you, Mrs Robinson

Posted on 29 December 2009 | 12:12pm

BBC Northern Ireland called this morning, asking me to do an interview about the decision of Democratic Unionist MP Iris Robinson to step down, citing her severe depression as the reason. Mrs Robinson is also a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and wife of First Minister Peter Robinson, so she knows a thing or […]

One man’s White Christmas joy is another’s football disaster

Posted on 24 December 2009 | 1:12pm

Both partner and daughter have woken to utter ‘oh no’ as they have seen the mild rain failing, helping to melt the lying snow, and dent the chances of a White Christmas. He has a lot to answer for does Bing Crosby. All that dreaming of a White Christmas, infecting everyone else’s dreams and desires […]

My favourite fact of the day – a French decimal time system

Posted on 23 December 2009 | 4:12pm

Every now and then you read something that makes you go ‘wow, I never knew that,’ and then it sticks with you sufficient for you to memorise it, not least because you spend far too much time thinking about it. I came across one such something this morning, in an article about Russian President Dmitry […]

A few crisis management tips for Eurostar

Posted on 22 December 2009 | 11:12am

If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have put Eurostar in my top ten brands list. Given its long and tortuous history -it arrived 120 years after the original Act of Parliament allowing for the tunnel to be built was passed – the Channel Tunnel has been one of the great infrastructure advances of our […]

Do we need same approach to booze as smoking?

Posted on 19 December 2009 | 9:12am

There can’t be many teenagers out there unaware that if a boy and a girl have unprotected sex, there is a chance of a girl getting pregnant, and/or both getting a sexually transmitted disease.  Just as there can’t be too many people unaware that if you drink a lot, there is a chance of getting […]

Prepare for tears, tantrums and an imperfect but miraculous Copenhagen conclusion

Posted on 18 December 2009 | 10:12am

I don’t think I have ever attended an international summit that delivered a perfect outcome. It is the nature of Summitry, the land of compromise. It is also more likely that the more complicated the Summit structures, the less perfect the likelihood of the outcome. And they don’t come much more complicated than Copenhagen. Even […]

London 2012 and Copenhagen today … different approaches to tight deadlines

Posted on 16 December 2009 | 11:12am

There are so many grim headlines with bad numbers in them that this morning one which seemed to buck the trend leapt out at me from the Financial Times. It was not the biggest story on the page – that went to ‘MoD makes cuts to plug budget hole’, alongside ‘Claims of ministry savings queried […]

Tiger cut off at the knees. I bet he’ll be back

Posted on 14 December 2009 | 11:12am

As visitors to our house will know, I have not one but six photos of Tiger Woods on the wall opposite the sofa in the kitchen extension where I do a lot of my work. I bought them from a specialist sports photography agency which often has a stall at Lord’s cricket ground. Taken from […]

Cameron Shameron on the need for new laws to clarify Ashcroft tax status

Posted on 13 December 2009 | 5:12pm

So David Cameron says a Tory government will pass a new law to ensure all MPs and members of the House of Lords pay taxes in Britain. Two thoughts spring quickly to mind. The first is whether, given he keeps going on about Britain being a bust and broken nation, that is really where the country’s legislative […]