Alastair's Blog

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Tough day for Labour, but tough questions for Tories too

Posted on 10 December 2009 | 10:12am

Judging by the instant commentary I witnessed yesterday, I don’t suppose the papers will make pretty reading for the government. I haven’t looked. But Alistair Darling’s statement throws up some difficult questions for the Opposition too, and their difficulties in answering them were immediately clear. The public are fully aware of the depth and scale […]

Alistair Darling’s quiet authority key part of recovery.

Posted on 9 December 2009 | 11:12am

Alistair Darling’s big day then. Another one. To be Chancellor of the Exchequer amid the kind of economic storms that have battered the world in the last year or so means there have been plenty of big days. Today is one where most people will take a look or have a listen and Alistair will […]

Clegg risks squeeze as election nears

Posted on 8 December 2009 | 3:12pm

I bumped into former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown at Heathrow yesterday, and found myself on the same flight. We were able later to swap stories about random encounters with passers-by. In his case, someone saying to him ‘didn’t you used to be Paddy Ashdown?’, in mine someone asking me if I was Alastair Campbell and, […]

Copenhagen really matters. Guardian front page sets scene well

Posted on 7 December 2009 | 10:12am

A surprisingly impactful front page of The Guardian today, given that the headline is a non-screaming quote from their own editorial and the only picture an unrelated head and shoulders shot of Helen Mirren advertising Christmas wrapping paper.  Back in my day (writes a middle-aged old fart) front pages were hidden away till as late […]

Four years on, what do we think of Cameron’s leadership?

Posted on 6 December 2009 | 1:12pm

Today is the fourth anniversary of David Cameron’s election as Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. I think we should all just have a moment’s reflection, and ask ourselves what we consider to be the most telling moment, thought, image or (honestly, come on, let’s try) ‘policy’ of those four years. For me, I […]

Boris and Waddles, an everyday tale of Tory croneyism

Posted on 5 December 2009 | 9:12am

If you want another angle on how ‘modern Toryism’ might look in power, study the tale of Boris Johnson and Veronica Wadley. Most of you know who Boris is by now. Old Etonian (oh sorry, not allowed to say that), ex Telegraph journalist, funny on quiz shows, blonde mop, became London mayor …. … with […]

The Speaker’s wife is a credit to him, and spot on about Cameron’s Toryism

Posted on 4 December 2009 | 10:12am

I bumped into Commons Speaker John Bercow at a charity do the other night, and we had a little chat about the need for politics to do a better job of defending itself against media negativity, and about what it’s like living with strong-minded women who don’t always agree with everything we say and do. […]

PMQs win for GB was a direct result of Cameron’s strategic failure

Posted on 3 December 2009 | 8:12am

So GB trounced Cameron at PMQs yesterday. That was the word used by my taxi driver, who had been listening on Five Live, and by plenty of others who texted, called and variously communicated the view that GB had been on form and DC on the floor. I subsequently watched it myself – don’t you […]

Cameron’s conkers add to his problem with serious opinion

Posted on 2 December 2009 | 10:12am

I was up in Bolton for a mental health conference yesterday, then out at a dinner, and so missed all the news all day and by the time I got in, I just wanted to get to bed. But I was aware that yesterday a very important political leader had made a very important speech on […]

Sarko at risk of riling Obama and GB. Cameron on conkers

Posted on 1 December 2009 | 10:12am

A couple of weeks ago, a French magazine asked me to write a piece about the relationship between Presidents Obama and Sarkozy. We might like to think that politics and diplomacy is all about issues, policies, ideals, and there is a fair bit of that. But there is no point pretending personalities do not come […]