Alastair's Blog

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Marr needs to explain his ‘sexed up’ question re casualties

Posted on 8 February 2010 | 1:02pm

May I return to the claim made by Andrew Marr yesterday – and presented without qualification – that 600,000 Iraqis died in the Iraq war? I did not push back at the time, because he added that these were UN figures. And given I had only just recovered from the moment of exasperation I described […]

On GB’s tears with Piers, and my emotional moment with Marr

Posted on 7 February 2010 | 4:02pm

Some commentators are already suggesting GB must have gone into his interview with Piers Morgan with his express purpose of crying over the loss of his daughter. I have not seen the interview but I have seen Gordon in the past get very emotional indeed about losing his first child, and about the fact that one of […]

On NI, Tory fears of Labour spinsters, and headbands in sport

Posted on 6 February 2010 | 10:02am

I was at a dinner a few weeks ago with Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, who was distinctly gloomy about ever getting a proper resolution to policing and justice issues, which were always fraught but which finally appear to have been sorted. So congratulations to the two governments and the parties for reaching an agreement […]

Daily Mail tells truth shock horror

Posted on 5 February 2010 | 8:02am

I am indebted to Labour’s candidate in East Dunbartonshire, Mary Galbraith, for alerting me to an article which is about to make a miniscule piece of media history by becoming the first ever Daily Mail article that I quote favourably. Yes, I know, I know, it is the most hateful and vile scumrag ever to […]

Welcome to the virtual Maya launch party

Posted on 4 February 2010 | 10:02am

Seventeen … the number so far of texts and emails from journalists wanting to know why they haven’t been invited to the launch party for Maya, my new novel published TODAY!! Three … the number of others asking the same question. The journalists are likely to think this is because I have so few friends.***(see […]

Public ahead of press on the mess that is Cameron

Posted on 3 February 2010 | 1:02pm

Jonathan Freedland, writing in The Guardian, states ‘David Cameron is a mess. When will the media say so?’ It is a question I have been asking for some time, and it is nice to be joined by someone from The Guardian, some of whose reporters and commentators have been as much a part of the ‘give Dave an easy […]

Cameron winning on media support but losing on leadership

Posted on 2 February 2010 | 10:02am

Leadership is in large part about how you react under pressure. Pressure does not come much greater than that which faced Gordon Brown when an economic whirlwind struck, and the world feared a plunge into a 30s style depression. This morning I look at a Financial Times front page headline which says ‘Manufacturing surges back’ […]


Buy books, raise money for Labour

Posted on 1 February 2010 | 9:02am

Buy The Blair Years and raise cash for Labour

Posted on 1 February 2010 | 9:02am

In addition to publishing my new novel, Maya, this week, I am today launching a scheme to raise money for Labour’s campaign to keep out the Tories by selling individually signed copies of The Blair Years. I don’t pretend it will rival the Belize millions the Tories can rely on, but every little helps, as […]

A lesson in campaign mindset from young Labour students

Posted on 31 January 2010 | 1:01pm

I stayed up in Burnley after our latest heroic defeat last night to do a fundraiser for the town’s new Labour candidate Julie Cooper. It was the perfect venue for a speaking event – looking out over the hallowed turf of Turf Moor. But may I assure those political obsessives who complain when I do […]