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Jan. 14th, 2009

Gordon Brown's War Room

I pass no judgement on this photo and have so many fond memories of working and chatting in this room in Downing Street.

I post it for my Russian readers who I imagine will be rather gobsmacked (see if Google Translate can work that one out).

Dec. 1st, 2008

Telegraph Freudian slip

Do you think they meant to say, commenting on making the obituaries editor redundant,  "Staff were very shocked. Obituaries are one of the things identified most strongly with the Telegraph brand," one insider said.

Read the full story here.

Nov. 29th, 2008

Understand India

It's no surprise that the Western media have focused on the impact of the terror attacks through the prism of their own eyes.  To get a take on what all this means to Indians, then look at this new community, more will be added in due course, but now is a time for people to understand India, and we hope this helps: india_politics .

Nov. 28th, 2008

The Oberoi Hotel...

I checked out of the hotel seven days ago having spent three days in Mumbai,  I spent many hours meeting with people in the lobby of the hotel, I even found 20 minutes to swim in the pool.  There was pretty decent security on the door, but obviously not enough.

If you want to know how the internet is changing how people handle these crises, then take a look at this site: Mumbai Help it's an amazing site, run by one of the people who have been helping LiveJournal get off the ground there, make some posts here if you wish, lj_india.




Nov. 14th, 2008

Life on tour with We Have Band

Rock 'n' Roll....

Nov. 4th, 2008

We have band video - this is the real deal.

Is there something to be learnt from Obama and the maverick?

I was rather relieved when George W Bush regained the White House in 2004.  I thought that Tony Blair's chances of being ousted from Downing Street in 2005 would be much greater if the American electorate had booted out their head of state the previous autumn.  Not for the first time this position put me in a minority of one with my then colleagues (I was working for The Guardian...) But I maintained then, and still do now, that Tony Blair would have struggled if Bush had been "punished" by the American electorate for the war in Iraq.

I do not believe there is such a strong read across with the American election this time around. Neither an Obama or McCain presidency will have much impact on Gordon Brown's chances of holding onto power at our general election.  But there is one valuable lesson which Labour has to learn.  Both candidates have fought the election as outsiders, positioning themselves as leading an insurgency to take on vested interests.  Obama's campaign has focussed on the obvious (age, race and disenfranchised support) to achieve this while McCain has proclaimed his "maverick" tendencies at every available opportunity.

Labour too will have to do more develop an argument which positions the party outside the establishment.  This will not be easy having been in power for more than a decade but it is not impossbible.  Especially if the Tories continue to undo much of the progress which they have made over the past two years, with Corfugate being the most notable of a number of recent examples.  Labour's challenge now is to show that it is the only party with the experience and know-how to reform Whitehall and steer the country through troubled global waters.

Oct. 25th, 2008

The Daily Mail: a nasty case of kleptomania

This morning the Daily Mail surpass even themselves in their traditional magpie style of journalism:

"Sources close to the Business Secretary told the Daily Mail that 'to the best of his recollection', he and aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska 'had their first meeting in 2004'."  Those sources will be the letter which Peter wrote to The Times and they published this morning.

"Sources close to the Business Secretary said the confusion had arisen because he was ill when questions about his links to Mr Deripaska first arose. He had treatment for kidney stones earlier this month." Another source?  No, the same one that wrote a letter to The Times this morning.

"It emerged yesterday that Lord Mandelson had been seen with Mr Deripaska at a Moscow restaurant in 2004, after being appointed EU trade commissioner but before taking up the post. " It didn't emerge yesterday, I said I had been with Peter and Oleg Deripaska in a Moscow restaurant on this blog last week.

And so it goes on, to quote the Daily Mail's most repugnant columnist, you really couldn't make it up.

UPDATE: This afternoon the Daily Mail posted a revised story on the above, this time being more explicit about Peter writing the letter to The Times and putting the information himself in the public domain - funny that...

Oct. 22nd, 2008

My bit for the Glenrothes by-election

I wrote this article in The Scotsman to defend a member of the Cabinet.  Let's see if it moves the polls..... Vote Labour!

Guido Fawkes - breaks three and a half year old scoop!

Guido Fawkes is right up to date with this hot one.

The story has already been written about in The Times in April 2005 and dismissed by an EU Spokesperson in the same breathe.

Links available here and here.

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