Category: “Politics

Labour’s communications challenge for the NHS

Posted on 18 February 2009 | 10:02am

I sat recently at the back of a focus group and watched people discuss their favourite and least favourite brands. It was a business rather than a political exercise, but there were as ever some interesting political points to emerge. At the end of a long discussion, in which the economy dominated, and people admitted […]

In praise of Keighley

Posted on 17 February 2009 | 2:02pm

A friend up north tells me that one of the local papers in my home town of Keighley, Yorkshire, has a report I ought to know about. It says that ‘Politicians and pop stars, academics and business chiefs are being challenged to say why they love the town where they grew up.’ I am listed with […]

When marriage is tested

Posted on 16 February 2009 | 1:02pm

It has been interesting to see what kind of twittering or Facebook status updating provokes the most intense responses. Blogging about Boris and the F word started a lively debate. The stuff I did last week on mental health likewise. But football remains the Number 1 talking point for the nation I would say.  As […]

Dave Cameron – is that all there is?

Posted on 14 February 2009 | 11:02am

Sorry to go on about Dave Cameron again (oh ok, I’m not sorry at all) but I saw him blathering on the story about the 13-year-old who became a Dad. He had exactly the same intensity of expression he applies for soundbites on economic calamity, ministerial scandal, diplomatic crisis, global warfare and pestilence or how […]

Boris Johnson: F is for …

Posted on 13 February 2009 | 7:02am

I never read any of the freesheets handed out in London on the grounds that I am unsure which are pouring more money into the evil that is Paul Dacre and his Mail newspapers. But as I travelled on the tube last night it was impossible to escape front pages about Boris Johnson and the […]

The Cameron vacuum

Posted on 12 February 2009 | 2:02pm

Whenever I’m confronted with someone who says they’re thinking of voting Tory, I ask them to name three things David Cameron would do as Prime Minister? Even with people who follow politics closely, it tends to pull them up. Those who are desperate to say something in Dave’s defence then fall back on generalities – […]

Interviewing Clinton part 2

Posted on 12 February 2009 | 9:02am


Lincoln, Obama, Blair and the 24 hour media culture

Posted on 11 February 2009 | 10:02am

I have already vlogged about my (and Barack Obama’s’) favourite book on politics, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her brilliant account of the political genius of Abraham Lincoln was already a hugely successful book even before  Obama’s endorsement, which will take it into a whole new league, marked genuine contribution to history. As […]

Eighteen interviews later …

Posted on 10 February 2009 | 7:02pm

Interviews. You might think it’s easy just to open and close your mouth and see what comes out, but as I come to the end of a day promoting the Time to Change report, I feel more understanding of the time TB said to me ‘if I speak to one more local radio interviewer trying […]

Time to talk about Time to Change on Newsnight

Posted on 9 February 2009 | 10:02pm

I’m on my way to the BBC to go on Newsnight and talk about the Time to Change report on famous figures in history who had mental health problems. Jeremy Paxman has a reputation as a tough interrogator, but on the personal level I have always found him charming and easy to get on with. […]