Alastair's Blog

Filter blog posts:  Show all | Articles only | Videos only RSS feed

Business right to be worried about Tory axe on RDAs

Posted on 23 November 2009 | 10:11am

If a clutch of business groups had attacked an important Labour policy when we were in Opposition, I think you would have heard of it. Front page news, ramped across the TV channels, you’d have heard it. Had the CBI, The British Chambers of Commerce and the EEF manufacturers’ group all attacked our decision to […]

Why should Brown and Cameron apologise for being seen to pay tribute to the war dead?

Posted on 22 November 2009 | 11:11am

Having taken a potshot at David Cameron for hiring a personal photographer, I suppose I ought to be pleased that this has landed him in a spot of bother. But I’m afraid I cannot get wound up over the complaint by Westminster Abbey that Cameron and Gordon Brown had their pictures taken without permission in […]

Beware climate change denial dressed up as ‘commonsense’

Posted on 21 November 2009 | 12:11pm

If you need any reminder of the challenge facing Ed Miliband as he works for a deal at the Copenhagen climate change summit, look no further than today’s interview in the Financial Times with the elected mayor in Ed’s Doncaster seat. Peter Davies surprised even himself when he was elected mayor standing for English Democrats, winning […]

Something for the weekend – a long lazy blog lifted from interviews

Posted on 20 November 2009 | 12:11pm

This must be one of the longest, and certainly the laziest, blog I have ever done. Just a bit busy you see. I was doing a speech to sports governing bodies in The Midlands yesterday, so took the opportunity to visit my Mum, stayed over, raced back this morning for a meeting then a dental appointment […]

If France and FIFA won’t act on Thierry Henry, let’s have a boycott of Gillette razors

Posted on 19 November 2009 | 10:11am

Central London was heaving last night with happy, cheering, chanting, singing, flag-waving Algerians celebrating the win over Egypt that took them to the World Cup next year. There is nothing quite like international sport, and particularly football, for generating that kind of traffic-stopping joy, which was being repeated by the Algerian diaspora around the world. I was […]

Never in the history of human taxation has so much been promised from so many to so few

Posted on 18 November 2009 | 6:11pm

So GB has suggested that the Tories’ inheritance tax pledge is the first tax cut in history where those proposing it will personally know those who stand to gain. I think this should be put to the test. Can we not have a list of the 3000 estates who will make six figures and more from […]

Tories far from ‘effete and unfamiliar’ when it comes to twisted tax priorities

Posted on 18 November 2009 | 9:11am

After yesterday’s rebuttal of the FT Deutschland, I come a bit closer to home today, to rebut a piece that has popped up in my inbox from the Evening Standard. A better paper since Boris’s wannabee arts supremo (ahem) Veronica Wadley was despatched from the editor’s chair, the Standard’s writers could nonetheless do with honing […]

Two very different stories of depression

Posted on 17 November 2009 | 5:11pm

Back to the depression front today, with two very different stories to report from different parts of the world. First from Australia, where senior politician Kevin Foley has held an emotional press conference to ‘confess’ that for several years he has been treated for depression. South Australia’s Labour deputy Prime Minister and finance minister, Foley ‘came out’ after Opposition […]

Congrats to Ellie on PPB campaign, and Willy Hague on getting van Rompuy

Posted on 17 November 2009 | 11:11am

Congratulations to young (I know it sounds patronising, but it is kind of relevant) Ellie Gellard who is today enjoying the sweet taste of campaign success. To people with political blood flowing through their veins, there are few better feelings. Ellie started the online campaign to persuade the Labour powers-that-be to choose, as their next party […]

Private schools worse than State schools – unless it’s drugs you’re after. Discuss

Posted on 16 November 2009 | 12:11pm

Well, we got a good little debate going yesterday on the back of my blog on Fiona’s exchanges with Toby Young on Sky News over his plans to set up a new school. Amid the differences of opinion btween them was a shared disdain for the angst of middle-class parents who support State education in […]