Alastair's Blog

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Johnson seems to get it on immigration. Right on advisors advising too

Posted on 3 November 2009 | 11:11am

It’s a shame Alan Johnson became embroiled in the controversy over the sacking of a drugs policy advisor just as he was making an important speech on immigration. I hope nonetheless that the Home Secretary’s basic message gets through, because it suggests he ‘gets it.’ As I know from my time trying to explain government […]

Public opinion on climate change – the public might be the problem

Posted on 2 November 2009 | 11:11am

It is one of the golden rules of democratic politics that you are never allowed to turn towards the public and tell them they are the problem. Like many golden rules, from time to time it deserves to be broken. Because when you read a survey which states that only 15 per cent of British people worry […]

In praise of Stephen Fry, who should tweet or not as he sees fit

Posted on 1 November 2009 | 9:11am

When I did a documentary on my breakdown and depression last year, I said that it must be hard bordering on impossible for someone who does not get depression fully to understand what it is like.  The best description I could come up with is that it is like being dead and alive at the […]

John Sergeant spot on re TB. TB’s Olympics legacy. Liam Gallagher’s generosity

Posted on 30 October 2009 | 11:10am

A couple of nice surprises on Question Time last night. First, I was fearing real car crash telly with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith appearing for the first time since she got caught up in the expenses scandal. But she handled herself well in difficult circumstances. So that was surprise numero uno. Second, it was […]

Conservative contortions on Europe and Blair

Posted on 29 October 2009 | 11:10am

It is fascinating to watch the Conservative contortions over Europe and Tony Blair. They suggest Europe as an issue remains a huge problem for them. These are problems David Cameron needs to sort out, because if he were to become Prime Minister, one of the many surprises in store for him is just how much […]

Two-jobs Osborne suffering credibility deficit

Posted on 28 October 2009 | 9:10am

The Financial Times had an interesting editorial yesterday, on shadow chancellor George Osborne’s attempt to ally himself with the public anger over bankers’ bonuses. At the heart of the article was a question that is asked widely in political and business circles – whether Osborne can be both shadow chancellor, seeking to show he has […]

Canaries win AC spin award with dark nights productivity survey

Posted on 27 October 2009 | 9:10am

And this week’s Spin of the Week award goes to … drum roll, drum roll … the Canary Island tourism board, Promotur. If you don’t know why, you probably weren’t concentrating yesterday because you are among the 52 per cent of us – allegedly – whose productivity dropped as we struggled to cope with the […]

Blair – dead big in Japan!

Posted on 26 October 2009 | 5:10pm

David Miliband said yesterday that foreign governments, and opposition parties, found it odd in the extreme that Britain’s Conservatives were actively campaigning against Tony Blair becoming the first ‘President of Europe’. However TB may be seen at home, where he divides opinion strongly, among the political classes in most countries he is seen as a […]

No complacency, variants on a theme

Posted on 24 October 2009 | 9:10am

Doubtless a few polls will be kicking around this weekend, and after my message to Labour yesterday to guard against complacency in the face of the BNP, a warning to the Tories today. December 5, 1996, Gallup poll. Labour 59. Tories 22. Now that’s what I call a lead. And they’re nowhere near it, because they […]

Griffin may have been dreadful, but there can be no complacency

Posted on 23 October 2009 | 11:10am

I don’t suppose that the inside of Nick Griffin’s head is a great place to be, what with all that racism, homophobia, curiously selective history, and confusion over what he has or hasn’t said in the past. But I would like to be inside that head this morning, to know what he really thinks about his performance on […]