Alastair's Blog

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Well done BBC Inside Sport. Shame on media for news blackout on Coulson bullying case

Posted on 26 November 2009 | 1:11pm

First of all, congratulations to BBC Inside Sport for its film last night on depression in sport. Gabby Logan’s sensitive and revealing interviews with cricketer Marcus Trescothick, boxer Frank Bruno, footballer Neil Lennon and All Black rugby star John Kirwan were not just good TV. They will also help the continuing campaign to break down […]

Well done BBC in Mental Health Media awards. Looking forward to Inside Sport on depression tonight

Posted on 25 November 2009 | 10:11am

I am out tonight recording the voiceover for a new official Burnley FC DVD – stay with me, stay with me, this is not another Burnley blog, I promise. I’m just hoping I get back in time for Inside Sport on BBC1 at 1045, which has a feature on depression in sport. From the trailers […]

BBC main bulletin blackout on leaders’ speeches bizarre

Posted on 24 November 2009 | 10:11am

The economy is always fundamental to any election, and the debates upon it therefore central to the choice faced by voters. So yesterday, with all three main party leaders speaking to the CBI, was a useful and surely newsworthy opportunity for the leaders to set out their stalls, and for the public get a chance […]

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 […]