Alastair's Blog

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

Lance Armstrong liked to play the long game. David Walsh has played even longer, and won

Posted on 20 January 2013 | 12:01pm

I don’t recall exactly where and when it was that I met journalist David Walsh, not long after I had met Lance Armstrong for the first time, but I do recall his shock tinged with anger that I had ‘fallen for the Armstrong lies.’ I think it was at a football match. Indeed I had […]

Cameron’s speech timetabling shambles underlines his DNA problem – all tactics no strategy

Posted on 15 January 2013 | 5:01pm

Here is a piece I have done for The Guardian today. I sometimes wish we had patented “The Grid”, the scheduling tool New Labour developed in opposition and subsequently used in government to seek to bring order and strategy to a mass of often seemingly unrelated activities. These days, most major organisations and businesses have […]

What did the Romans ever do for us (EU section)?

Posted on 12 January 2013 | 10:01am

As David Cameron seemingly spends another weekend deciding whether, where and when to make his much vaunted speech on Europe … as the rest of us ponder the remarkable failure of leadership that has got him into a mess of his own making … as Ed Miliband rightly signals no truck with the idea of […]

Lincoln film, not to mention TB’s first 2.5 years compared with Cameron’s, reminds what a pygmological government we have

Posted on 10 January 2013 | 8:01am

I was lucky enough to go last night to a preview of Lincoln, the new film about America’s greatest President. Immediate thoughts – Daniel Day Lewis nailed on for an Oscar, great decision by Spielberg to focus on a relatively short period of his political life, climaxing with the vote to abolish slavery, pleased it […]

Slowly re-emerging from novel-writing hibernation to see a government that is there for the taking

Posted on 9 January 2013 | 9:01am

It’s flattering I suppose when people notice … that I have not been blogging much. It is becoming a new year tradition, like stomach upsets, broken resolutions, sacked football managers and tiny FA Cup crowds. A year ago it was because I was going through a bad bout of depression. This year it was because […]

Gove helping to destroy Olympic legacy plans. What does he have against sport exactly?

Posted on 18 December 2012 | 10:12am

The BBC did a brilliant job with their Sports Personality show on Sunday. If I had one small complaint it was in the air-brushing of any politics or politicians from the narrative. ‘Keep politics out of sport’ has a certain compelling appeal, but sport is an intensely political area. Always has been (think Eastern Europe, […]

Good to know Team Gove was rattled by Any Questions blog – here is their (sic) rebuttal

Posted on 16 December 2012 | 10:12am

Michael Gove, with his little army of supporters in the media and on the Tory backbenchers, is not used to being challenged over his potty policies which win the support of the mainly privately educated, privately educating editors, but are widely disliked and mistrusted by the public. When I blogged on the discrepancy between media […]

The media love Michael Gove, but the Any Questions audience was not so gullible

Posted on 15 December 2012 | 12:12pm

I hope those inside the political bubble who constantly define Michael Gove as ‘one of the few successes’ of the Cameron government find time to listen to Friday’s Any Questions on Iplayer. Gove’s main success, so far as I can tell, is in persuading the media and the Tory Party that he is a success. […]

Guest blog on the battle between a cancer victim’s family and an insurance company

Posted on 11 December 2012 | 10:12am

By Ben Hewitt Two months ago we lost a good friend, Nic Hughes. He was a creative and talented university lecturer, a loving husband and doting father of amazing twins. He died of cancer aged 44. Nic took out an insurance policy with Friends Life in good faith, convinced that he had given full disclosure […]

Berlusconi sets up an ‘anything could happen’ election

Posted on 10 December 2012 | 1:12pm

I have been trying to imagine what the general reaction would be if Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major or Margaret Thatcher suddenly announced they were planning to run for PM again. Regardless of their respective talents, appeal or skill, I think I only have to pose the question to get most people’s answers. There […]