Category: “Politics

Prepare for tears, tantrums and an imperfect but miraculous Copenhagen conclusion

Posted on 18 December 2009 | 10:12am

I don’t think I have ever attended an international summit that delivered a perfect outcome. It is the nature of Summitry, the land of compromise. It is also more likely that the more complicated the Summit structures, the less perfect the likelihood of the outcome. And they don’t come much more complicated than Copenhagen. Even […]

London 2012 and Copenhagen today … different approaches to tight deadlines

Posted on 16 December 2009 | 11:12am

There are so many grim headlines with bad numbers in them that this morning one which seemed to buck the trend leapt out at me from the Financial Times. It was not the biggest story on the page – that went to ‘MoD makes cuts to plug budget hole’, alongside ‘Claims of ministry savings queried […]

Tiger cut off at the knees. I bet he’ll be back

Posted on 14 December 2009 | 11:12am

As visitors to our house will know, I have not one but six photos of Tiger Woods on the wall opposite the sofa in the kitchen extension where I do a lot of my work. I bought them from a specialist sports photography agency which often has a stall at Lord’s cricket ground. Taken from […]

Cameron Shameron on the need for new laws to clarify Ashcroft tax status

Posted on 13 December 2009 | 5:12pm

So David Cameron says a Tory government will pass a new law to ensure all MPs and members of the House of Lords pay taxes in Britain. Two thoughts spring quickly to mind. The first is whether, given he keeps going on about Britain being a bust and broken nation, that is really where the country’s legislative […]

When poor mental health creates great art …

Posted on 12 December 2009 | 3:12pm

Since writing All In The Mind, making Cracking Up, and becoming Mind Champion of the Year, I’ve been approached by all manner of mental health organisations and today want to give a plug to one of them. Breakthrough do some fantastic work promoting the creative work of people with mental health problems. They produce magazines […]

Tough day for Labour, but tough questions for Tories too

Posted on 10 December 2009 | 10:12am

Judging by the instant commentary I witnessed yesterday, I don’t suppose the papers will make pretty reading for the government. I haven’t looked. But Alistair Darling’s statement throws up some difficult questions for the Opposition too, and their difficulties in answering them were immediately clear. The public are fully aware of the depth and scale […]

Alistair Darling’s quiet authority key part of recovery.

Posted on 9 December 2009 | 11:12am

Alistair Darling’s big day then. Another one. To be Chancellor of the Exchequer amid the kind of economic storms that have battered the world in the last year or so means there have been plenty of big days. Today is one where most people will take a look or have a listen and Alistair will […]

Clegg risks squeeze as election nears

Posted on 8 December 2009 | 3:12pm

I bumped into former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown at Heathrow yesterday, and found myself on the same flight. We were able later to swap stories about random encounters with passers-by. In his case, someone saying to him ‘didn’t you used to be Paddy Ashdown?’, in mine someone asking me if I was Alastair Campbell and, […]

Copenhagen really matters. Guardian front page sets scene well

Posted on 7 December 2009 | 10:12am

A surprisingly impactful front page of The Guardian today, given that the headline is a non-screaming quote from their own editorial and the only picture an unrelated head and shoulders shot of Helen Mirren advertising Christmas wrapping paper.  Back in my day (writes a middle-aged old fart) front pages were hidden away till as late […]

Four years on, what do we think of Cameron’s leadership?

Posted on 6 December 2009 | 1:12pm

Today is the fourth anniversary of David Cameron’s election as Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. I think we should all just have a moment’s reflection, and ask ourselves what we consider to be the most telling moment, thought, image or (honestly, come on, let’s try) ‘policy’ of those four years. For me, I […]