Tag: “Tony Blair

Clegg needs to do more than fulminate. This is also about wealth, power and opportunity

Posted on 8 August 2011 | 12:08pm

Nick Clegg is right to say the violence in London has been unacceptable, and the thieving opportunistic, and the senior police officer put up to do interviews in the absence of a Commissioner right to say the rooters and looters do not represent their communities. But both are wrong if they see this purely as […]

On resignation, Greg Dyke, little black books, and why The Guardian needs an awayday on fame and how to describe people

Posted on 4 August 2011 | 11:08am

I had really wanted to see the ‘My Resignation’ documentary on BBC4 last night. It is an interesting theme and the people making it seemed a cut above your average instant docmaker. Having interviewed me on a rainy day like today, they were also polite enough to tell me when the programme was on. But […]

Cameron’s judgement an issue; but inquiry will now go deeper than if press had listened to critics before

Posted on 14 July 2011 | 7:07am

Just as News International threw Andy Coulson to the wolves in advance of last week’s PMQs, so at yesterday’s the PM did the same. In truth however, if Mr Cameron’s former communications director ‘turns out to have lied to me’ of course it will say something about Mr Coulson. But it will also say something […]

Time and chance for a new settlement between politics, media and public – we should all seize it

Posted on 11 July 2011 | 6:07am

In 2009 I attended the wedding of News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. The ceremony took place by a lake, at a country estate. I stood next to TV presenter Piers Morgan, while Paul Dacre, Daily Mail editor, was a few yards away. Rupert Murdoch was closer to the action. David Cameron hung back up […]

The day I tried to talk to David Cameron about doing some of the things he announced today

Posted on 8 July 2011 | 9:07am

Apart from his weakness over BSkyB, David Cameron – finally – said and did a lot of the right things in his opening statement at his press conference today. Once the questions got under way, however, the arrogance and the peevishness started to creep in. I know part of his defence of his poor judgement […]

TB and Prince Charles in today’s Guardian – some context

Posted on 2 July 2011 | 6:07am

It must say something for the media’s belief in the public’s insatiable diet for Royal stories that for two volumes running, The Guardian has led its serialisation of my diaries on Royal stories. With volume 2, Power and the People, it was the arrangements for Princess Diana’s funeral, and the vexed issue of whether the […]

On China, consumer spending, and crime, three big bad straws in the wind for Osborne

Posted on 29 June 2011 | 8:06am

First, a postscript from my last blogpost, on China … yesterday Premier Wen Jiabao presided over the signing of deals with Germany worth almost £10billion (compared with the £1.4bn trade agreements signed with the UK.) There will be many reasons for this, but one may well be the Germans’ lighter touch on the issue of […]

The risks in getting balance between human rights and Chinese trade and power

Posted on 28 June 2011 | 9:06am

Not speaking a word of Mandarin, I find it hard to work out exactly how hacked off Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was with David Cameron’s stance on human rights yesterday. ‘Finger-pointing’ is certainly not an everyday diplomatic word, but I just have to think of the foreign languages I do know to realise how difficult […]

Twitterbanter with Piers apart, the Jonathan Rees questions will have to be answered

Posted on 12 June 2011 | 6:06pm

Whether people agree or disagree with what the Blair government did with regard to Iraq, I don’t think anyone can say we have not answered questions on the subject. In addition to the four inquiries to which I have testified, I have been asked about the subject in hundreds if not thousands of interviews and […]

In light of Robert Gates’ speech, Cameron should set European defence reform as major objective

Posted on 11 June 2011 | 9:06am

By far the most significant UK political event yesterday was the speech by outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. His warning to European allies that they risked military irrelevance, and that the US could not perpetually be relied upon to fund European security was blunt and timely. Of the many surprises about the way the […]