Tag: “Barack Obama

Deep disillusion in deepest Cleggland; will he defect?

Posted on 29 October 2010 | 9:10am

To deepest Cleggland last night, and if Mark Mardell thinks Barack Obama has disillusion problems, he should get himself to Sheffield for some of the real thing. I was speaking at the University Students’ Union, as part of Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Literary Festival. To be fair, one or two in the audience stuck to […]

Great to see Clinton back on the campaign trail taking on the radical right

Posted on 27 October 2010 | 8:10am

John Sawers, once TB’s foreign policy advisor, now head of MI6, used to take the mick out of what he called my ‘love-in’ with Bill Clinton. That rather overstates it, but fair to say I had and have a lot of admiration for the former US President, not least because of his campaigns and communications […]

Hoping to race to Number 1 in the Chinese bestsellers’ list

Posted on 17 October 2010 | 8:10am

What with fundraisers, festivals, speeches, interviews, inquiries, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, not to mention life on websites, twitter, Facebook and the like, I spend a lot of my time answering questions. Which means it is quite rare to be asked a question I have never been asked before. So many thanks to a man called […]

The day my challenging student warned Cheltenham of war over benefit cuts

Posted on 10 October 2010 | 12:10pm

The Cheltenham Literature Festival seems to get bigger every year. It is possible to see the growth of literary festivals as part of the celebrity culture – so there I was, darling, chatting to Salman Rushdie in the green room, when who should walk in but Alistair Darling and Andrew Marr, then Jilly Cooper rushed over […]

A fascinating day with ‘challenging’ kids

Posted on 2 October 2010 | 7:10am

Had a fascinating time yesterday, my first day as part of an education experiment. I was teaching a group of ‘challenging’ teenagers who have gone through the school system without overly troubling the GCSE scorers, and who have been brought together to see whether ‘inspiring, passionate, achieving’ people (why thank you experiment organisers) can turn […]

Big Society looking thin after Cameron’s Liverpool trip

Posted on 20 July 2010 | 2:07am

As David Cameron works away in the US – gee what a Big Society that is – let us consider what we learned from yesterday’s (re)launch of his Big Society back home. We learned that his favourite Grange Hill character was Gripper Stebson, a bully and a racist. Even for a member of the Bullingdon club […]

Cameron as Obama – you have to laugh – then vote Labour

Posted on 6 May 2010 | 4:05pm

If you took the value of the most expensive negative, personalised poster campaign of modern times, and added it to every pro-Tory, anti-Labour propaganda piece in a national media as biased as in any UK election I can recall, and converted the latter to ad-spend, the Tories have enjoyed superior resources to the tune of tens […]

Obama’s win good news for politics everywhere

Posted on 23 March 2010 | 10:03am

With our own news again dominated this morning by MPs doing and sayings things they shouldn’t be, once again Barack Obama is able to remind us that politics at its best is always the pursuit of noble causes.  As if he does not have enough riding on his back, President Obama’s success or failure in […]

A lesson in campaign mindset from young Labour students

Posted on 31 January 2010 | 1:01pm

I stayed up in Burnley after our latest heroic defeat last night to do a fundraiser for the town’s new Labour candidate Julie Cooper. It was the perfect venue for a speaking event – looking out over the hallowed turf of Turf Moor. But may I assure those political obsessives who complain when I do […]

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 […]