Alastair's Blog

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Pre-G20 hype matters less than post-G20 process

Posted on 29 March 2009 | 1:03pm

Lots of talk of expectation setting pre the G20 Summit. It is hard enough if you have near total control over an event – as with a single speech by a single politician, when other people’s hopes and expectations for it can impact for good or bad. It is even harder when it is a […]

The Damned United

Posted on 28 March 2009 | 10:03am

I liked it, though not as much as I was hoping to. My sons said much the same. My partner and daughter weren’t that keen to come, which suggests in the build up the message has been football, football, football, rather than incredible story of extraordinary period in the life of remarkable human being. First things […]

A hobby horse, a plug and a bit of sport

Posted on 27 March 2009 | 10:03am

A bit rushed this morning, but enough time to get on one of my hobby horses, plug a radio piece for a TV project I’m involved in, and promote the good side of sport. First, the hobby horse – it is a myth that young people are not interested in politics and political debate. Interesting […]

Cloughie – he had a lot to be big-headed about

Posted on 26 March 2009 | 9:03am

Up in Manchester for a speech yesterday, and what an unexpected treat to get back to my hotel room at half ten and channel hop my way to the ITV documentary on Brian Clough.  Non-football fans stay with me …. this was not just about football. It was modern history. A look at one of […]

A sad sight of the old fearing the young

Posted on 25 March 2009 | 5:03pm

I’ve never fully understood quite why Mirror hack Kevin Maguire feels so bitter, but boy does he? I know he still goes on about some Bill Clinton article he drafted which I am supposed to have given to The Sun. I’ve never had the heart to tell him his draft was so badly written I […]

Post-modern, post-structural, or bullshit?

Posted on 25 March 2009 | 8:03am

And so, by popular demand from Facebook friends and Twitter followers, my blog review of my BBC review of In The Loop. First, let me express my continuing confusion as to what does and does not connect with you online community people. I mean, yesterday morning I posted a moderately thoughtful blog about the lessons […]

Learning the right lessons from Obama

Posted on 24 March 2009 | 8:03am

Lots of memories stirred last night as I sat on a panel to help launch the Fabian Society’s latest book, The Change We Need, on lessons Britain can learn from Barack Obama’s victory. Memories because the venue was Millbank Tower’s media centre, scene of dozens, hundreds of briefings and press conferences in the run up […]

Lazy Dave needs to keep an eye on lazy Ken

Posted on 23 March 2009 | 11:03am

When Ken Clarke was Chancellor, civil servants (and the Prime Minister) used to complain you could never get hold of him at the weekends, and that he would often spend much of Monday travelling back from his constituency without a mobile phone. However irritating this was for some, it all helped build up the image of […]

Farewell favourite restaurant, hello hometown

Posted on 22 March 2009 | 8:03am

Nice but sad evening out last night. Nice because we saw old friends – my first Mirror editor Mike Molloy, his wife Sandie and daughter Kate. Sad because it was the last time we will go to our favourite restaurant. We have been going to La Casalinga in St John’s Wood High Street for thirty […]

Dave, Danny and have the Tories really changed?

Posted on 21 March 2009 | 8:03am

I’ve pre-recorded an interview for BBC Radio 4’s The Week In Westminster this morning. Back in the days when I was almost a journalist, I used to present the programme myself, so I was in the same Millbank studio, joining Danny Finkelstein for the two of us to be quizzed by Steve Richards about whether […]