Alastair's Blog

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Happy Birthday Lord Ashcroft HB2U

Posted on 4 March 2010 | 10:03am

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Lord Ashcroft, happy birthday to you. Yes, the Great Man of Mystery celebrates his 64th birthday today. But three problems may be casting a cloud over the cake-cutting. First, he is being talked about in the media, which he seems not to like. Second, despite David […]


Tribute to a lovely man

Posted on 3 March 2010 | 5:03pm

Michael Foot … above all else a lovely man

Posted on 3 March 2010 | 2:03pm

The tributes will focus on Michael Foot the politician, the minister, the leader, the wonderful orator. They will highlight too his journalism and his writing, and the great causes he supported. I hope that what also comes through is what a lovely man he was, right to the end of a life so well lived. The sadness […]

Elvis support for Labour lifts the mood further

Posted on 3 March 2010 | 10:03am

A confession … I sometimes find speaking at Labour Party fundraisers a real chore. There, I’ve said it. Most are fine, some are terrific, but sometimes you’re just not in the mood, there is no energy and organisation when you get there and despite doing your best, you sometimes leave a bit deflated. The people at the many […]

Hoovergate – the rebuttal amid hope of Labour win

Posted on 2 March 2010 | 1:03pm

I find myself once again in the position of having to rebut the accusations of my partner. No, this is not some kind of John Terry/Wayne Bridge drama about to unfold before your eyes, but a response to the sheeer volume of items on twitter re my domestic uselessness. Not satisfied with revealing said DU […]

At least Britney knows what she is singing about

Posted on 1 March 2010 | 10:03am

Sketchwriter Matthew Engel gets all the big gigs. He was the one who outed me as a Britney fan when I felt a tap on my shoulder as she shimmied on stage at Wembley, and Mr Engel was there, to say he was ‘doing a piece on Britney crowds’ and would I like to say […]

News blackout on Olympian success story

Posted on 28 February 2010 | 2:02pm

With the Tories doing enough damage on their own, and the polls continuing to narrow as they happily  ignore all the free advice I give them here, I thought I’d do a rare blog free of Tory bashing. Instead a return to two of my favourite themes – the UK media’s refusal to accept that […]

Kseniya Simonova’s got talent

Posted on 27 February 2010 | 9:02pm

Every so often someone sends you one of those ‘you must see this’ video clips which you’re really glad you didn’t immediately consign to the electronic dustbin.  One such arrived in my inbox yesterday, and though eight minutes is a long time to be taking a punt on someone’s assumptions about how I like to […]

Debate expectations in a good place for GB and Clegg

Posted on 26 February 2010 | 10:02am

In a piece for The Times earlier this week, about how social networking was changing the way many people consume media and interact with the political debate, I referred to the TV debates between the party leaders, which will be a genuinely new development in the forthcoming campaign. I said the relative spending power of […]

We all agree – Carlisle is cleverer than DC

Posted on 25 February 2010 | 11:02am

A call from the lady who might be termed my common law mother-in-law this morning, Audrey, who is aware of my aversion to listening to the news in the morning, and therefore acts as an occasional voluntary media monitoring service. She often calls to tell me what people have said about me, always delighting in delivering mild expletives […]