Many thanks to the new coalition government for helping to make Question Time even more enjoyable.
Their idiotic decision to try to get me kicked off the panel by refusing to field a minister if I was ‘the Labour voice’ was stupid on so many levels it is hard to know where to start.
First, this is Queen’s Speech week, and for the government not to be properly represented is a straightforward failure of communications management. It is also an insult to the programme, the audience of Gravesend, and to the much trumpted Clamberon notion that they are pursuing a new politics of engagement.
Second, it suggested that since becoming the government despite their failure to secure a majority, the Tories have gone all cocky and decided they can start to dictate the terms on which impartial broadcasters go about their business. I may be a bit of a control freak but the idea of saying you can only have x if y is axed was way beyond my understanding of the rules of the game.
Third, it suggests they’re a bit frit, and unsure about defending the shifting sands of coalition politics.
I sensed something was going on through the week, because whenever I tried to ascertain from the programme makers who else was on they were a bit vague. I knew that Piers Morgan was on, but that was it.
Then came word that they were hopeful of getting chief secretary David Laws. Good choice I thought, in the week of the cuts announcement and the centrality of the Treasury to the Queen’s Speech. But they weren’t sure about a Tory, and they thought they might get a Green but really it was not straightforward.
Two days later came word that no, it seemed Laws couldn’t do it after all. So who? They weren’t sure.
It was only in the last 24 hours that I finally learned John Redwood, Susan Kramer and Max Hastings were on.
And I only learned as the programme started the reason why there was no minister. I thought I must be hallucinating at first. Did David Dimbleby just say the government would only field a minister if I was bounced? I think he did.
I thought there and then of pulling out the David Laws framed photo my daughter had suggested I take on to let people know who Mr Laws was, and remind them why I’d spent a few hours researching his views (though I wonder if he even knew of the ludicrous discussions being pursued on his behalf)
Instead I waited to the end and later we toasted him, and all the absent friends of the new Con-Dem government who exposed qualities governments in the first flush of youth ought not to be displaying – cowardice, incompetence and boneheadedness.
* Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.
totally agree with this. they campaign on new politics, invitation to form a government but don’t engage with the public when its an important week. if they keep doing what theyr doing though, its good for labour 😉
I am still trying to work out why there are members from both the Lib Dems and the Cons on Question Time.
Think the main reason they bottled it was because of the press conference announcement re cuts but the positive has to be that such a cowardly act in Queen’s Speech week will be another nail in the coalition coffin.
Be interesting to see just how many of the media lovies report it and how they report it.
I did wonder how you came to conveniently have a photo of David Laws about your person.
A truly amazing moment when the Laws photo came out!
Great point you made re: “free schools” too. If local authorities are stifling schools so much, how can the high-performance schools that the Tories seek to “reward” even exist considering that they themselves are under local authority control?! I was so focussed on the figures and funding that that obvious contradiction passed me by!
“Second, it suggested that since becoming the government despite their failure to secure a majority, the Tories have gone all cocky and decided they can start to dictate the terms on which impartial broadcasters go about their business. I may be a bit of a control freak but the idea of saying you can only have x if y is axed was way beyond my understanding of the rules of the game.”
Frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
“The new Con-Dem government who exposed qualities governments in the first flush of youth ought not to be displaying – cowardice, incompetence and boneheadedness.”
I found Morgan and Hastings nauseating on Iraq. Kramer and all LibDems are difficult to watch at this point. There’s whoring and then there’s whoring: stomach churning stuff.
And you, well, you were awesome.
The discussion between yourself and Piers Morgan about Iraq was one of the better parts of the show – a robust discussion. Ah, but between two non-politicians, on a political discussion show with only one parliamentarian (Redwood) on the panel. Even the LibDem was an ex-MP. Where have they all gone?
I’d suspected the reason for lack of a government minister was being kept from yourself at least. The BBC releasing a statement from their Executive Editor at 9pm just as the recording of the show starts seemed gutless to me – it gave the panel no chance to prepare their responses to the no-show by a government minister. Good recovery by yourself at the start of the show, and we’ll believe you that you don’t secretly have that picture of David Laws in your office. Pinned up on a dart board, obviously, the frame was just for show.
The government refused to send a minister unless the opposition sent a front bencher and Dimbleby announced this, as a criticism of Downing Street. Yet the way the programme was conducted showed just how wise the government was not to play along with the BBC’s manipulation of the panel. You are not a front bencher, nor an elected member of Parliament.
It is a shame that Laws was not on as he would have been far more effective than Kramer. I never liked Redwood before, but tonight I thought he talked alot of sense. He, as a right winger is even willing to help make this coalition work.
I heard you mention wining the 2005 election, again. NuLabour lost more votes in 2005 than in 2010. And you would have lost even more had the Tories not put out that billboard, “Vote Blair, get Brown” which brought back disenchanted grassroots voters. You still had a huge majority, due to the boundary changes when you lot got in, making it hard for you to lose seats. I hope now Clegg changes the boundaries to make them fair to all the parties, especially as we are not going to have PR.
Great word, “frit”.
Did you see Dave at the Queen’s speech? I thought he looked decidedly shifty. And his aggression during the debate was a sure sign of insecurity.
Is he finding that being in charge is not quite what he envisaged? After all, he was so desperate to get into Downing Street that he’d have eaten his own grandmother, let alone his party.
Is he finding that being held to account by the press at last is not that comfortable? He was SO loved before the election.
Or are the Tory right rattling his cage? I bet he was hoping that once Gordon Brown, his great adversary, had left the stage, it would all be plain sailing. After all, how could we not love him, this bike riding, cool dude, down with “da youft”, young, virile, PR perfect man of the people?
Poor Dave. So many trials ahead. Does he have what it takes? We’ll see.
Thank you for being the first person I have heard to say on a national TV broadcast that the Conservative policy on so called “free” schools is a charter for pushy parents to further their ambition for a privileged education for their children at the expense of others. And for pointing out that if they don’t like or are not satisfied with the provision made by the LEA they are already at liberty to get involved to turn the school around.
I am the produce of a “bog standard” comprehensive school education and my 3rd child is just about to take his GCSEs at the local “comp”. Our local High School is part of our community, has very good and committed teachers and all of my children have been both successful and happy there. The elder 2 are currently at University, and the 3rd hopefully onto A levels at Sheffield college. I am sick of hearing the new government talking down our young people’s futures and the Education system we currently have, thanks to a decent programme of investment by the Labour governments. My eldest son started at local high school in 1998 and my youngest is just about to leave. I have witnessed how the school has been transformed over the last 13 years.
the reason was obvious to me, they wanted redwood on to promote the tory view about the cgt.
Tonight on QT has some deeper unsettling reverberations.
It is a significant reminder that the ‘con-dems’ quake in the face of challenging intellectual discourse BUT more worrying is that the elected intellects of the progressive left are seen as an easy option i.e. the amateur con-dems would have turned up for anyone but you?!!
You must stay close to the new opposition labour party and help them rock and quake the new whimps in ministerial positions. GOD HELP BRITAIN if this is our governments approach to awkward debate! Our national interests are open to gross manipulation by the mandarins across the globe if this is typical of the con-dems.
Also – many thanks for not apologising for the decisions of the Blair government wrt the Iraq war – one day the ’emotional politics’ of this will give way to an honest historical reflection leading to the formal dialogue it deserves.
I am Supporting David Miliband also as an LP member though I wish you were in the leadership election.
You were Brilliant tonight in BBCQT.
It was heartening to hear a real argument; that between you and Piers about IRAQ.
Why are Britain’s historical responsibilities in middle-east never used in modern argument about our duty/responsibility there? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the workers of the UK that got us involved in these Asian/Arabic conflicts although many, many, thousands of us have died in and for them in the last century.
So much for Cleeg and Cam’s new politics all rather shabby and a touch pathetic by the ConDems but then again the tories have been playing billy big boots over the media for a while now so i suppose it was to be expected that they’d try to run roughshod over question time.
All a bit sad really.
The reality of the situation was the Coalition was prepared to put up a front line Government Minister provided there was a representative from New Labour of similar standing.
The BBC decided that an unelected spin doctor would represent labour which was unacceptable to number 10.
The BBC and Alastair Cambell spun the truth as usual. This is old politics and the reason New Labour lost the election.
I’m a teacher who has been spitting feathers about free schools for days, and was fascinated by last nights show. I have been around long enough to teach under New Labour and the last year of the Tory Government. My teaching practises and NQT year were pre 1997. I remember the leaky toilets and buildings, the asking parents to donate drawing paper, and the horrendous conditions of teaching 35+ reception children in a mobile which was a fridge in the winter and an oven in the summer. And does anybody else remember the first lot of NC curriculum documents under the Tories? Now there was an over prescriptive curriculum!
I remember the complete hope and joy in my staff room after the election in 97. In contrast I’d say the mood right now is a cross between confusion and fear. I have four kids now who are benefiting from the eduacation policies of the Labour Governemnt in the most wonderful ways. As a teacher I have grumbld about SATS and League Tables, but have enjoyed my career, my working conditions and the sheer joy of teaching. The fire in my belly for all things education is as strong as ever and the reason it has stayed fresh is for the reasons outlined above.
No education system is perfect, and I too have my “if I ruled the world” wish list. But free schools are not on the list. And here the Tories will have a problem. Teachers, on the whole, do not want or believe in them. There is no mood for a change of this sort. Where I live, with a surplus, not a shortage, of places there is real fear that to open up a free school anywhere here could be a disaster for the rest of us. Sadly, secondary schools around here are already making staff cuts because of a decline in expected pupil numbers.
Already what we see fron this Government is policy induced by political ideology, at the expense of logic, reason or even morality. And last night I heard them say that this education system was a failure. What an insult to me and my colleagues who work our butts off everyday for the nation’s kids. Not to mention the previous Government. Already they show the contempt they hold for the public sector and it’s work force.
Before watching Question Time my hubby and I went out to see the movie “Cemetery Junction.” This Government will, I hope, arrive at the same destination fairly quickly. Which is why on my “to do” list for today is join the Labour party. My only regret being that I did not do it years ago.
But like many wonderful things, you don’t realise what you have got until it is gone.
Nice to see you still strike fear in their hearts!
I can imagine just how the govs media chums will report this – the same way tories twits tweeted last night – by resorting to personal insults and innuendo. They know they have no argument against this kind of behavior, just as the gov knows that really it doesn’t have to explain anything, if anything goes wrong – blame the old gov, if that doesn’t work let the LDs take the fall!
You need to appreciate your revised place in the pecking order. When the PM attends PMQs he faces the Leader of HM Opposition. When the DPM attends PMQs he faces the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. If a Member of the Cabinet particiaptes in BBC Question Time he has the right to believe that he will be shown the respect and courtsey of debating with a member of the Shadow Cabinet. You can attend as one of the “others” but please don’t mistake yourself for a senior elected Politician. You don’t qualify.
Question Time is past my bedtime and bad for my heart, but it was good to hear you on R5L this am. Congrats on being too scary for the collision govt!
You’re right re the unlikelihood of a quick election. Rather than trying to rewrite the history of the build-up to the war in Iraq, the most important tasks for Labour’s new leader will be to rebuild the party’s dysfunctional campaigning machine and to keep morale up during the long years of opposition.
Since the Ealing Southall election the party’s campaigns have become increasingly ineffective. Where did it all go wrong? With some honourable localised exceptions, this year’s was generally as woeful as last year’s European one.
Why are party employees apparently making so many rookie errors? Are too many of them inexperienced theoreticians who are failing to listen to more experienced campaigners? How have ‘contacts’ targets come to be so dominant? Does no one recognise the need to measure quality rather than mere quantity?
Well done Alastair another polished performance, they still don’t understand you point on Iraq, you have continue to defended you point of view,which has not change. I agree with you the point on your children dying was not relvant and a non question.
Have you ever read the Art of War (sun tzu, sun Wu) if yes do you belive we could have follow some of his ways of the last 100 years.
Perhaps you and the BBC could explain just why it was wrong for the Government not to have a cabinet minister on QT in the week of the Queen’s Speech but perfectly acceptable for an unelected ex-spin doctor to appear on behalf of the Opposition. This is of course a rhetorical question as we are used to such humbug from both you and the BBC. Predictably, you and Morgan attempted to talk over the other members of the panel at every opportunity in your normal hectoring ways.
The Government was quite right to refuse to participate unless an Opposition elected frontbencher was there to debate – spin doctors don’t qualify. I can imagine your ire if Andy Coulson had been put up to debate with Liam Byrne in the last Government.
And, of course, you can’t debate can you? Spin, half-truths and interruptions and repeated propaganda (“It was global”) – magnificient. Honest political debate – not your line is it?
im glad you are around campbell, you make a decison to vote conservative so much easier ….. many thanks
Did not see the show-but this has MADE MY DAY!
In addition to spineless and gutless-we can now add YELLOW to Call me “Just like that” as the great Tommy Cooper so rightly said.
The Long March has started!!!
you were incredibly rude at the end of the show – showing a complete lack of respect to John Redwood, who was more than adequate in defending the coalition government policy.
In truth the reason that a Government Minister did not go on the show was that to go up against an unelected spin doctor, whos job it was to spin fact and make it look good for the goverment would have been an absolute joke. Who was it in the labour administration that said “September 11 2001 was a good day to bury bad news”
you are a disgrace
Alistair, unfortunately when people see you speaking for Labour, it does them no favours. You are part of the old discredited bunch and no matter how many times you try to defend your actions with regard to Iraq, you always look uncomfortable and sound as if you are lying. An apology from you and you distancing yourself from Labour would be the best thing for them. You gave the impression that you had complete disregard for the parents who lost their sons and daughters in the war. Your glib answer when asked if it was your children going to war did not convince me. An apology at this point would have showed you really had regrets but you refuse to admit you were wrong. As for the leadership contest if anyone thinks David Milliband or his brother or Ed Balls are any threat to Cameron they are completely deluded. They are all part of the same old package and Ed Balls and Ed Milliband are still lying and spinning pretending they disapproved of the war to try to gain public support. The answer to that is We are not stupid. If any of these become Labour’s leader you can expect to be out of power for a very long time. If people were as angry with the Coalition as you say, the Thirsk election would have had a very different outcome but Labour only managed third place.Labour needs to go back to what it was, a party for the ordinary working people not a lying, spinning party with MPs who are only in politics for themselves and couldn’t give two hoots about their constituents. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to feel Labour was my party again, the one I voted for countless times over the years. But as it stands there are no Labour values that I recognise in the leading runners in the contest.
Absolutely right AC
You’re so desperate to still be relevant aren’t you?!!Does anyone out there care about Question Time?
Looks like things went badly wrong for Labour in Thirsk. I reckon the 2010 election will be your high watermark.
I hope Laws et al are busy sorting out the wreck that Labour have left in the finances. If only you cared as much about our country as you do about yourself.
They should have had the government represented by a tub of pâté de foie gras.
I have to say how clever you are at getting the BBC to carry your views; but is that not always the case?
What about an elected Labour representative?
Clearly, it is Labour who are “frit”!
If Gordon Brown had tried to rig the Question Time panel we would never have heard the last of it and terms such as Stalinesque would have been banded about freely by Cameron’s puppet media.
Robert please what is all this talk about an ‘unelected’ spin doctor representing the opposition Labour Party? Is Alastair Campbell not a British citizen? Should the BBC not be allowed to invite anyone the wish to?
Why should the Liberals and Tories dictate who represents the Labour Party at a televised Question Time? I could understand the logic of your argument if its the Parliament.
Surely if the government were as open as they claim in the new era of the new politics then there is nothing to fear!
Get real, you may not like Alastair or even detest him but his views count for something.
well i think it’s rather simple. In this new Con-Lib world, a world in which you become government without a majority and in government when you came third and lost seats, then why would you turn up? it seems today that up is down, down is up and it doesn’t matter which way you turned anyway even if it did! in such a world i think i shall start playing football again, i’m guessing that i would be man of the match even though i tripped at the first whistle, scored an own goal and fainted after a header!!!
The only elected person on the panel was a Tory. Couldn’t Labour manage to get one of their crap leadership candidates on?
Coulson now seemingly saying I was on QT to ‘flog a book’. I assume he means Prelude to Power, out next week, extracts in The Guardian tomorrow, proceeds to the Labour Party. In fact Question Time initially offered me next week to appear on the programme, and I said I would rather not because whilst there are plenty of programmes on which book promotion is acceptable, I did not think Question Time was one of them. I am sure the editor of the programme will confirm. So they came back with a few other dates and this was the only one I could do. No big deal. I would also remind people that on many many occasions, Labour ministers appeared on the panel alongside non-politician voices supportive of other parties. Memo to Coulson – hole. Dig. Stop.
Alastair, you were magnificent, as usual. You never disappoint us, not only by always pointing up the unfair policies, ideas and ethics of the tories, but also always loyally supporting and defending Tony Blair and the legacy of the Labour government. A Conservative government would never have given older people a winter fuel payment – I remember just before 1997 that the temperature had to drop below a certain level before a paltry sum was paid (I think it was £10, or some insignificant amount).
I would also like to say to you that I believe that the role of ‘spin doctor’ – especially in the early days of the last labour term to be a wholly necessary and honourable occupation, because we all know that if you didn’t do that job so effectively, the Murdoch press would have eaten you all up for breakfast!
Talking of toast – yes, the libdems will, in time, be sidelined and gobbled up by the tories. I can see that many people want the coalition to work, but it just feels all wrong, and there will be, after the novelty of being in power wears off, much disillusion on both sides and the next dish on the menu will be crumble, (with the libdem cooking apples melting into a mushy mess – sorry, got carried away there!)
We have so much to thank the Labour party for, but mainly I would like to send a huge thankyou for the NHS. All my family have had emergency treatment in the last few years. From heart attack (outcome excellent), to Derbyshire Mental Health Services (treatment above and beyond the expected, with amazing care and professionalism – outcome excellent).
Now though, we are all worried that these services will be cut or sidelined by Cleggeron.
You must keep on doing what you do, Alastair, and lets make sure that the most able and talented candidate, (though, I fear, it will be difficult for anybody to match the charisma of TB), becomes the next labour leader, for the sake of everybody, especially those, like us, on low incomes, who cannot afford to pay for life saving treatments.
p.s. thanks for standing up to Adam Boulton – he really revealed his true colours in that encounter. (It was also v. entertaining!)
p.p.s. We all know that the war in Iraq was terrible and devasting and many people have lost their lives and families, but Saddam DID have WMD – biological- which he had used against his ‘own people’. Occasionally, you hear people, quietly, saying they had no doubt that Saddam’s removal was necessary. But they are usually drowned out by voices shouting that it was the wrong thing to do, and that the majority of British people disagree with the war. How can they say that? Was there a referendum of views? No. These people have no right to claim that they know what the majority are thinking. (As I believe that no political party should have the right to use the Union Flag e.g. bnp) I refer you to the esteemed physicist Jim Al-Khallili on a recent Desert Island Discs who said that many members of his family disappeared under Saddam’s regime, and he and his immediate family would have too, had they not fled in time.
Keep up the good work Alastair.
Nice of No. 10 to plug it, though.
You would think at this stage a new government would jump at the chance of getting out the message of their new mandate, regardless of who else was on the panel. If they can’t do that now, what hope do they have for the next five years? At best this is arrogance, at worst crippling indecision. I wasn’t impressed by Osborne ducking Darlings urgent question the other day either.
one has to ask why, in such an important week, the BBC decided to invite someone who is not even in the PLP instead of a shadow minister..?
Once more the exMirror spin doctor is the story.
When Labour can put up a Shadow, I imagine the Government will return the compliment.
Firstly, despite the obvious ego involved we should all remember, friend and foe alike, that Alistair Campbell is unelected, has never been elected, and thus holds no official status or mandate in public life.
As for the programme itself, it was all going ok for Campbell (if a little too typically angry in his answers) until we reached a question on his old bete-noire…Iraq. Piers Morgan has long ceased to be effective, but a combination of Sir Max Hastings and that bearded member of the public who skewered AC on his role in the war really summed up the man’s problems.Whether he likes it or not, and for all his amusing smokescreens about BBC interference, AC will always be remembered by the vast majority of British people – the non Labour voting majority -for the Iraq war, and his shameful part in it.
C’est la vie.
Very funny! The wriggling of the ConDemns to try to justify this outrageous bit of incompetent Stalinesque shennanigans could not be doing more to solidify the Labour vote. Has David Flaws actually been on QT before? He looks such a fool. Not only have the Tories stitched him up by giving him the most unpopular role in Govt (the equivalent of older kids daring a tiny tot to pick up a dead rat for their amusement, allowing them to keep their own hands clean), but now they have made him look like a coward. And I seen that VC has already cleared the path in case he wants to make a swift exit by resigning as LD dep leader
If we get away from the issue of playing the man and not the policy, all last night showed was how far out of touch this lot in government are. I’m sicking of hearing the deficit used as an excuse to ram through ideological positions. Let’s tell it as it is frequently and at every opoortunity – we intervened in the economy to stop a recession getting deeper – they opposed that, simple as. Their model is a rehash of ‘trickle down’ with over a thousand business leaders signing up to tax their employees but not themselves. Please remind – 49% of the structural deficit is underpinned by assets i.e. shares in banks. Before the election they wanted to sell off those assets at a knock down price.
More TV appearances please Alastair – they don’t like you and are afraid and that’s enough for me.
I am absolutely foaming and you were spot on – we are electing a PM not a Labour leader and now is not the time for self indulgence – we have to stop their mo.
Well done last night
PS – Office of Budget Responsibility the ‘independent office to oversee the economy’ headed by sir Alan Budd. Remember he was not the best team player as Thatcher’s adviser and is an arch monetarist. Let’s continue to make the argument for pump priming a fragile economy not following a failed ideology.
Pretty sure i’ve seen the Government Minsters debating in parliament with other elected officials. I expect they’ve got better things to do with their time than argue with a couple of ex newspaper reporters on TV.
No one is doubting your value as one of the key architects of New Labour Alastair. But you are in danger, in my humble opinion, of being consigned to a slot in history that has unfortunately become associated with spin, double speak, corruption and bullying.
I also believe this “shadow” affects many of the current Labour candidates, typified by Ed Balls. You can’t dismiss the significant breadth of feeling that Labour has been unduly and inappropriately propped up by unelected executives, unfortunately placing you in the same camp as the deeply loathed dark and “formerly disgraced”, Lord Mandy.
Given the challenges the country currently faces (and there’s little doubt most people still don’t fully appreciate the extent of the issues), I believe there’s little appetite for less than constructive party point scoring right now. Much of the content of the debate last night fell into that category “Uncle Vince looks unhappy” etc.
Personally, I believe you’re a global leader in the communications field.Like many people I bought the New Labour offer. But that time has passed and I hope that whatever you have planned re the Campbell evolution is going to be as constructive and productive as the folk in the UK lifeboat need right now.
Any truth to the rumour that David Laws left a note on the Question Time table saying “I’m terribly sorry but there’s no bottle left”?
I agree the Government were wrong and silly to act as they did but they are not the only ones with form in seeking to “dictate the terms on which impartial broadcasters go about their business”. Who was it- as one example – who sought to persuade the BBC to lead their news bulletin with a Tony Blair speech rather than the OJ Simpson verdict ?
In delapsus resurgum. laughed out loud last night. awesome performance. you rock!
It was far more important for the Government to put a representative up after all they are the government and must answer for the decisions they take. I presume the BBC felt that between AC and Piers Morgan that was enough opposition.
Alastair can you help publicise Cleggs hypocrisy about Gary McKinnon. It was one of his big campaign issues and he appears to have done a complete about turn. There has been evry little press coverage of it.
My only comment is that I see this as an own goal for our new government. Whatever the true reasoning behind their decision (not being prepared to face the public as there is no “party policy” to quote back…yet is my bet) hanging the excuse on AC is pretty weak & ill thought through. It is above all an insult to the programme (which is our flagship political TV forum & the audience in Gravesend & viewing)
I’m starting to think that anyone in 2010 who passionately believes that his/her political party is so vastly different to – and so much better than – the alternative, needs to get a life.
Good work again, last night on QT, Alastair.
You may have taken a bit of a browbeating on Iraq, but at least you had the cojones to turn up and argue your case – unlike some …
Following your recent (magnificent) swatting aside of Adam Boulton, I make the score now 2-0 to Campbell, with the opposition in disarray!
You should become an MP.
You’re a cheeky bastard.
QT finished up with you getting a friendly toasting from Moron for an indefensible position which no one with half a braincell believes you believe for a second.
I bet you picked Redwood and Hasting and Kramer. Redwood blew up. Hastings is sensible but is cursed with sounding wrong. Kramer is just ugly.
Over at Guido, they’re giving you a kicking. Methinks they do protest …
Alistair, your “such fun” comment sums you up to me. You have done so much to undermine British politics with the way you work, you are a figure of derision amongst the British population.
Am I a Tory? No, I’m Labour through and through. And whilst we rebuild this party, you should consider getting out of the way so that we can rebuild this party without people like you.
Alistair, you have many remarkable qualities and the Con/Dem omission was a mistake. But you’re aggessiveness is thuggish and like Cyclops can only see the world from a single point of view (Labour). We could do with a little humility from Labour at the moment – Brown showed it, I can’t recall it from you.
Well done on a brilliant, bravura performance last night on Question Time. You really stuck it to the lame Tory and Lib Con MPs with your usual admirable clarity and passion. A real own goal by the coalition-let’s hope they gift Labour more ridiculous moves like this one.
First Adam Boulton, now David Laws. It’s so wonderful I almost feel like weeping with the sheer beauty of it all.
QT was a good laugh but this was due to you refusing to apologise and wrigling as usual. Your constant sniffing I thought maybe a medical condition but maybe its your ‘tell’ you sniff when you lie…..so that would be about every 25 seconds then ! I think you should now move on and try something else, New labour is dead and your time is over.
I haven’t watched QT yet but will do on iplayer over the weekend but the one thing I will say is how funny it is to see Tories posting Anti AC comments on his own web site!!
Why are you reading AC blogs if you despise him?? Is it because your are scared of what he has to say and what he may expose?
As predicted we are being treated like kids by the new ‘elected’ Government and I think it needs straight talking people like AC to start scrutinising their so called policies!!
Keep it up AC!!
Alastair. I hope that your book sells well. I won’t be buying it myself, but there is not doubt you generate a great deal of emotion, not all of it positive. Not much seems to dent your ego even when you mess up. Are you ever going to admit how wrong and cruel you were when you were in a position to infuence the Government. How dare you assume to criticse the new Government who have a large mess left by labour to clear up. I hope they carry on making clear that no one senior will ever appear on the same programme as you. The right decision I’d say.
I think this is just the start of the Tory-Lib Dem government trying to control the news agenda. It did not work under Labour and it will not work under the Tories. Close scrutiny of the Con/Lib Dem government policy vis a vis the press since they came to power just under two weeks ago is symptomatic of a worrying trend to control and conceal so that we do not have a proper and full debate of the major issues facing the country. The attempt to impose the 55% parliamentary rule is one example of this. I still cannot understand how the Lib Dems who lost both share of the popular vote and seats are in government with a Tory Party who only gained 36% of the national vote. How can these two sets of votes combined respresent a truly national coalition. The net effect of this control agenda is that we have not had a full debate on the national debt and the structural defecit which so far is couched in right wing reportage and yet is presented as fact and truth. Where is the alternative political voice going to emanate when the Labour Party is engaged in a long drawn out leadership contest. Who will speak for elderely, the vulnerable and the frail to use David Cameron’s words when the second set of public cuts kick in? (second in the sense that they will follow the first set of cuts(. Who will speak out against the new education bill and challenge the myths that such schools will be free. We need a credible and authehtic opposition to engage and to engage now, regardless of the leadership election.
The Question Night fiasco interested me. I am suspicious of this coalition. I think there is far too much “honeymoon” about it. Add a thick smattering of inexperience and you get a concoction that could go off pop! Do they really want to tie the knot for 5 years?! So this silly QN incident shows that they are not only not all singing from the same hymn sheet, but don’t actually have a hymn sheet in the first place.
Of course you are not the flavour of the month, but you have a grudging respect from many people because you say what you think, at least I think you do! This action will be seen by many as cowardice by No 10. That they were worried that you might be a bit too smart for them. Not what they intended at all. And of course there is the whole issue of editorial freedom . . I had better get back to work in Minnesota. At least British politics look so much more wholesome from over here.
Alistair – weren’t you being rather misleading on Question Time when discussing what personal losses you would accept as reasonable for the price of the Iraq War? You suggested that if your children were in the army then their sacrfice would be tragic but accepted. This was not the point – what if your children were not in the army and were victims of the conflict…would that then be a cost that you would have been willing to accpet? Remember, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis paid this price. We had one 7/7 attack and the nation, obviously, mourned…Iraq had hundreds of such events, often many on the same day…was that a reasonable price for those people to accept?
They Condemocrats are already running scared.
They probabaly couldn’t bear the thought of another minister being made to squirm in their seat as the Home Secretary/Minister for Equality did last week when questioned about her views on gay adoption.
So it was fin for you, was it? I doubt many who regularly watch Question Time to see politicians being held to account by the public thought it would be fun to watch you in place of someone who has actually had the the conviction to contest an election. With 258 MPs, you would have thought the Labour party could have found a legitimate representative, instead of some twisted hack who wouldn’t recognise an objective opinion if it hit him in the face.
If you are to have any credibility as a party political representative, you should have the strength of character to test the public’s approval by contesting an election. At present, there’s no reason any value should be leant to your opinion.
Alastair, the highlight of last night’s Question Time was your ridiculous defence of the Iraq invasion. In comparison this “interference” by no. 10 is trivial.
Good on the BBC for saying no…but maybe they should select their panelists in a better way. I mean, you AND Piers Morgan together? His only redeeming feature is the footbal team he supports.
I was at the AFME conference and saw you speak. I started to think “he’s ok, all the charity work” but last night plus your efforts around the election…
You are one of the most depisable characters in public life.
Unelected, in your own eyes never wrong, in your own eyes the
only person who has the right answer to anything, in your own eyes
everyone else is always wrong if they simply disagree with your
The quicker you are consigned to the scrapheap of public life the
You appear to be just a troublemaker out to make a headline
at every opportunity to make yourself a grubby living.
A great demonstration, last night, of how arrogant and timid the current Conservative administration.
Your comments regarding the Labour leadership comments were on the ball. Your support for David Miliband is a sign of your good judgement on the factors involved in choosing a leader in this day and age.
Since when can the Tories (sorry condems) dictate who the BBC can or can’t have on Question Time. Murdoch hasn’t taken them over yet has he? Or have I missed something. Was that what Dave’s secret chat with him was about?
I seem to remember countless times during the last Governments term of office when tories regularly used people ouside the party on Question Time, but the Labour party never objected or refused to field a minister.
What an arrogant spineless bunch we now have as our government.
Alastair, you were magnificent as always and never more needed than now. Long may you continue to rattle their cages.
Why should No 10 regard that Question Time was to be a forum for a minister to appear when an unelected (ex) Lib Dem MP, Moron, Hastings and Campbell were the other members of the panel?
Did the Labour party have no-one better? Could they not have put Balls up? You have never been elected, but I am sure your pals would be happy to put you up for PMQ’s if Harpoon cannot make it over the coming months.
Take a step back Al, mind you do not fall off your ego now, and think before you commit yourself in print. You do look and sound ridiculous nowadays.
The Beast of Balsover needs a new image and that would be a real job for you for the rest of this parliament.
Graet stuff from you on Question Time last night, Alastair. I personally believe that the Tories and Liberals complement eaxh other perfectly… the fatuous and the self-righteous! The David Laws picture was just as entertaining as Adam Boulton throwing his toys out of his pram the other week.
I’m going to call you Mr Marmite because I’m still unsure if I like you. Sometimes I see you in interviews and I think – yeah, respect, he’s okay. Other times………………….
One thing I am sure about is that you make good TV! I usually watch Question Time in bed, and usually fall asleep, but last night’s show was pure entertainment!
I see you’re milking it – can’t fault you for that, I guess I’d do the same – Mr Marmite 😉
Was Alistair Campbell wearing a Red Star on his jacket about a week ago on Ch 4 News? Very sad indeed!
Just wanted to complement you on your performance last night at Question Time. You were professional, precise and coherent. Unlike the others on the panel you answered the questions and did not waffle around the subject! Well done. Unlike Downing Street I hope you will continue to partake in Question Time.
Well done for prompting a ConDem “Tub of Lard” moment. I suspect that there will be more to come!
Last nights question time loved it very enjoyable tv.
Mr campbell i thought you were great im a big fan . Discussed the show with my work mates at cov uni we really enjoyed question time we all usually nod off mid show but we stayed awake through out.
we are all fans of yours well done
Go AC!! They must be terrified of you….
Can’t believe the ConDems were so daft as to let this happen. Did they really think it wouldn’t come out? Amateurs!
Blimey, two weeks in and they’re falling apart.Cameron has dug a trench in No10 and started a war with the BBC. The word that springs to mind is pathetic, when the government of the day can’t even send a minister to debate the Queen’s speech. Your reputation seems to carry more kudos than you thought. Perhaps when we have to deal with Iran, you should offer your services, as they won’t know what to do.
I thought it had to be a joke, when I heard David Dimbleby what he said. It is usually third-world despots that sink to this, not British governments. Coulson’s decision(if it was his), has just made the our government look weak, in a time when economic confidence is critical, and a strong will is needed to stand up to nuclear proliferation in the rogue states of this world.
They have to get real, and quick. The public are losing faith in the coalition by the day, so heaven knows how the city and foreign markets view us. It speaks volumes how people who failed in opposition, will fail in government; but I thought at least they could get the basics right.
However, should we really be surprised? During the election they wouldn’t and couldn’t answer the questions.
Politics is a tough business, but government is tougher. A lot tougher than the coalition realised. This is partly down to New Labour setting the bar so high. Tony and Gordon made it look easy for so long, because they were formidable politicians, and knew their business. As a partnership, they were political dynamite. They got on with the business of government, and improved peoples lives so much in a short time, that we came to take it for granted.
That’s why, whoever leads the party in future, will have the confidence of the public. They all have a record in government, that people will come to remember and trust, and a legacy that will resonate, while the coalition fail to govern.
Best question time for ages and your contribution was a HUGE reason for that. The lunacy of the Coalition position of refusing to have someone appear if you were on was perfectly illustrated by your revealing your framed picture of Laws!! Great to see you in the media more often these days and looking forward to the diary hitting the shelves
I have to say that I enjoyed the lively debate and to have you on really did open up the topics, I also thought that the discussion between you and Piers who is also a Labour voter showed that we can still have different opinions as voters but in the end vote the same way. I feel that last weeks show highlights a difficult road ahead with the coalition as Mr Heseltine and Simon Jones did not see eye to eye and it didn’t appear a happy marriage at least not yet. Labour must get a strong leader and work nto highlight the failures to get in power. Can you speak to Harriot? Good luck with the book
You were brilliant on QT last night. You should run for leadership of the Labour Party. Nothing would terrify the Tories/Libs more and you’d wipe the floor with Tory Boy in the house. Please consider!
I thougth that as soon as you abandoned Labour it became clear it could not continue in Government, so good to have you back even though you (and none of you) can defend the Iraq war. QT was excellent last night and demonstrated amply the paranoia of NeoCons, sorry, NewCons, and should illustrate for the public the spineless fools that they have let in to pursue their own agenda.
Particularly liked your comments on last night’s QT about schools. Too right parents should become involved in their childrens’ education, particularly the middle class whingers who can’t afford to send their little darlings to private schools. From what I’ve seen of the Eton/Oxbridge set I can’t say that path provides a particularly effective education anyway. I remember my father telling me about 30 years ago that public education wasn’t a long-established tradition and that it would be attacked by conservatives at every possible opportunity.
You were great last night Ally,but “pushy parents” tend to be interested in their kids school as long as their kids go to that school, once they’ve left they’re rarely bothered anymore. This makes Goves plans completely mad to me, and I speak as a school governor of over 14yrs. I do remember the bad old days of leaking roofs, low morale and no money. No one should ever forget how it was Labour that rescued education in this country. Itruly fear for the education system in this country. Max Hastings was wrong, why is it the media constantly slag off how well our kids work, study and revise to get good qualifications?
On another matter I visited the new police station today in Bury, £21M of Labour investment providing a superb building which the police are delighted with. On the same day the Condems have cut Gtr Manchester’s police budget by nearly £7m. It will be interesting to see how bad the cuts are in the south of the country.
I think the point that the nice Mr Cameron’s stooges were making was that it was beneath the dignity of the ruling classes to have to debate with people of inferior rank. Good point IMHO, and perhaps they should also be able to dictate what questions are asked to avoid any unseemly embarrasment of our betters.
Have you ever sought a public mandate?
The Cons are now claiming that the BBC booked Redwood while they were still making up their mind. Err, surely if that were true, all Downing Street needed to do was say they DO have someone and for them to have a word with Mr Redwood to get him to back down and David Flaws could have gone on. Do they have no control over their backbenchers? Or are they ditherers? Or maybe the original story was true??
Agree whole-heartedly with the positive comments here, especially Graham J and Nancy. Absolutely feeble behaviour from the Con-Dem govt. However they try to justify their decision, the bottom line is that they look both cowardly and ridiculous. The real reason they refused to make an appearance is because they are scared and know you’ll make mincemeat out of them. And that’s not idle flattery, that’s fact.
At least the panellists to DD’s right had been brave enough to turn up. However, they did at times look extremely discomfited. Redwood, for all his bluster, doesn’t have his heart in the new set-up. He’s got too many issues himself with the ConDems (the Capital Gains Tax hike being just one). Susan Kramer was finding it difficult to justify her party’s direction, and it must rankle a bit that she lost out to young and inexperienced whippersnapper Zac Goldsmith, one of Dave’s favoured few. And Max Hastings (although he may be a good historian) doesn’t have a clue when he’s talking about current affairs and just falls back on a load of Daily Mail nonsense.
You also got lots of ‘nod-along’ moments from the audience, I noticed.
Certainly had you appeared in the ‘fifth’ chair and a Labour MP had also appeared there would have been much whinging that that was unbalanced, unfair etc. So basically you could never have been allowed to appear.
I think it will prove very counter-productive, and provide endless fun for our comedians – I particularly look forward to the news quiz take!
You were excellent and I applaud the beeb for their integrity and for having balls when the govt do not! Long may they withstand such ridiculous posturing pressure!! Meglamania already?
Certainly had you appeared in the ‘fifth’ chair and a Labour MP had also appeared there would have been much whinging that that was unbalanced, unfair etc. So basically you could never have been allowed to appear.
I think it will prove very counter-productive, and provide endless fun for our comedians – I particularly look forward to the news quiz take!
You were excellent and I applaud the beeb for their integrity and for having balls when the govt do not! Long may they withstand such ridiculous posturing pressure!! Meglamania already?
I’ve just read all the sycophantic, “Oh Alastair, aren’t you wonderful rubbish” on you blog.
The truth is that political history will show that you are one of the 4 architects of failure that has resulted in the UK being in such a dreadful state.
The sadness is that all your “fans” simply can’t see through all your utter b******t albeit extremely well articulated.
Unfortunately, I know that your total arrogance will prevent you recognising any sort of failing on your behalf but rest assured, you’re not perfect by any means.
Oh, and by the way, the other 3 are of course Blair, Brown and Mandelson as if anyone needed reminding!!!
What a shame that Labour had these 4 driving things for so long. Without them, I suspect that the Party would still be in Government.
ps…did anyone else notice AC’s creeping up to the candidate who will clearly win the election for Party leader? Pathetic!!!
We all know that the war in Iraq was terrible and devasting and many people have lost their lives and families, but Saddam DID have WMD – biological- which he had used against his ‘own people’. Occasionally, you hear people, quietly, saying they had no doubt that Saddam’s removal was necessary.””
Nancy, I suggest you get yopur facts right before you open your eamil. When the evil tyrant, Saddam, used biological weapons on the Iraqi Kurds about 15 YEARS AGO, that would have been the time to get rid of him. But he was a friend of the West then. He DID NOT HAVE WMD. Hanz Blix aksed for a few more weeks, but had he been given them the LIES and SPIN, dogdy dossiers picked off the internet etc would have become apparent.
Thirsk & Malton Result
CONSERVATIVES 20.167 (52.9%)
LIB DEMS 8,886 (23.3%)
LABOUR 5,169 (13.5%)
UKIP 2,502 (6.6%)
For all those waiting for the coalition to fall apart, you may be waiting a very long time.
The coaltion got 76% of the vote, which, by the way, YouGov poll showed 70% was the populations support for the coalition.
Off Topic a bit but I can’t believe John Prescott, that good working class lad and proud of it, has accepted a peerage. What a hypocrite! All to placate Pauline for his philandering ways. He should be ashamed of himself! Hopefully one day this whole system will be abolished and we won’t have outgoing PMs like Gordon Brown having a laugh and foisting some of the most undeserving Lords ever on us. Ian Paisley may have worked towards peace and mellowed in his later years but he was one of the biggest bigots and instigators of the start of the trouble in Northern Ireland. Sue Nye, (Gordon’s secretary) what a joke! Is this compensation for the moods and tantrums and flying Nokias. Floella Benjamin from Play School was that it? What has she done to deserve this? It would be absolutely hilarious if it wasn’t so disgraceful. I suppose we should be thankful that at least we are not saddled with Baroness Cherie or Lord Tony but no,they are too busy making millions elsewhere like the good socialists that they are.
Last night’s Question Time was one of the best I’ve ever seen.All the members of the panel were sincerely passionate in their differing points of view and I thought that Alastair Campbell communicated his point of view and belief in a clear, lucid sincere and as always entertaining manner. I hope that he will become a regular participant on Question Time for I admire individuals who are loyal and speak their minds!
I think the entire episode shows the new Govt’s appetite for political debate very clearly: If they feel they may not win an argument, they don’t even want to be in the room. Fail.
13 years of Govt -after 18 years of opposition. What “failure”?
Furthermore -if AC is so “washed out” etc -how come the coalition didn’t have the bottle to put a minister up against him?
The “disaster” of Iraq -yeah -sorry for kicking out a fascist regime.
Finally -why is it the allegedly “left wing” Leadership candidates who are so keen to suck up to racists -in the same way they suck up to the fascist Baath Party Thugs in their apologies for the War?
If I had to choose only 1 positive about this webpage it would be the comment by R Ford! It totally sums up everything I feel about Alastair Campbell. The king of spin, like Kaa hypnotising Mowgli, like Goebbels fooling the world with his propoganda machine, like Tony Bliar and Gordon clown lying to everyone, everyday. Oh, that was you really AC wasn’t it?
Piers Morgan gave you a chance to apologise and you still believed that you didn’t spin a whole load of BS.
You are what you are and I guess you have to live with that as it is too late to change your spots now.
I look at your website picture, think of your response to the gentleman’s question to you on Question Time last night, and my thoughts are un-printable.
Goodbye – forever!
This morning on Today I listened to Evan Davis interviewing Tory supporting ‘actor’ Michael Caine. He ( MC ) said’ I always wished that David Laws and Vince Cable were in the Tory party and now they are’. From the mouth of babes and Tory supporting ‘actors’……………
Firstly Alastair QT was a triumph-thanks!
When will people get over Iraq? there are no more troops there and the history is done…right or wrong its over.
I want to see more documentaries on how the changes have affected the lives of ordinary people in Iraq. Remember that 10 times as many Iraqi’s died at the hands of Iranian backed insurgents than coalition forces. The people feared not the British or Americans but the Fanatical fundamentalists.
I am worried that this new govt is running away with its self without any Labour resistance. Clearly Clegg and Cameron are not going to respect the house by making policy statements outside first. Cameron using today to announce plans to restructure the economy when the house was not sitting and there will be the weekend to hide behind. I think Cameron is far too arrogant at the moment he is acting like a 100 majority election landslide winner rather than a sordid stich up of the loser and the also ran.
I am already begining to hate his voice on the tv….condecending and like a teacher talking to a class of 10 year olds.
He is also overly aggresive and evaisive in the house to the point of being bratish.
David Laws out Osborned Oik in response to the urgent question from AD….he positively relishes the fight and I am sure Paddy Ashdown was right when he called him a Tory spy a few years back. DL is to the right of Redwood at the moment.
Lastly next time you watch recordings from the commons with Oik sitting on the benches watch his eyes, he is a mad man I am sure of it….God help us when the first crisis hits this nation he wont have a clue.
Excellent Q Time
What asses the government are turning out to be? For years they were happy to go on Question Time to harp on about whatever they wanted to moan about….but lo and behold, they get into power and turn all shy and reclusive. They are even scared to appear with a pussy cat like our Alistair. I didn’t realise that when this government said they were all about the deficit, they meant a deficit in facing tough questions..that’s the only defecit I can see…and we have just over 4 years and 11 months of this (and counting)
Who do you represent and how many votes did you get?
Re the Question Time Lib-Con debacle when I heard it my jaw fell on the floor, it took me a while to pick myself up, this is such a school boy error. The Lib-Con government should be ashamed of themselves, they are answerable to the people of this countrym is this how this government intending on behaving also on the world stage? They all immature.P.S love the Adam Boulton melt down!
Alistair, you were great on question time, well done! Only one thing, I am Sick of people saying the goverment and yourself new there were no WMD’s such as pierce morgan. Please make it clear to them the world thought he had WMD…. they were sure because the west had bloody sold them too him for gods sake, this point is so annoying, please make it clear tho those who question.
Sir, delighted to hear you, Mr Alastair Campbell, on BBC Question Time pitch in favour of Mr David Miliband, as the best choice of new Labour Party leader, whilst also claiming other candidates, like the two Ed’s – Ed Miliband and Ed Balls – equally worthy contestants
So far, so good. Although at least one hopeful presents media problems, I fear
See, headline writers for tabloid newspapers, notoriously get over-excited prematurely. For instance, they relish prospects of penning future headlines that don’t pan out quite the way they’d planned
Best case? The Sun’s front page headline on Thursday, 7th January 1993 read “Virgin Screws BA” – which annoyed editor Kelvin MacKenzie. A court case verdict against Richard Branson would’ve allowed wording, the other way around
MacKenzie favoured “BA Screws Virgin” for a neater headline
Now, consider Mr Ed Balls. He wants his name announced as the new leader of the Labour Party at their annual conference on 25th September, right?
Tell me, can we expect a spate of “Balls” headlines, then? Abit more “back-to-frontness, ahead, to overshadow the Labour leadership contest. Say, “Balls kicks Tories in the … in the what?
In the Cameron and Clegg, surely not?! Sounds like cockney rhyming slang, but what’s it stand for, eh?
Besides, who’s supposed to kick whom? And, what in, exactly? Please enlighten us – I’m certain you, sir, would be more familiar with the Gospel Oak vernacular
Truth is, I simply cannot see party leadership supporters broadcasting “ … I’m with Balls on this one, it’s Big Ed Balls for me” – not without laughing, sorry
There, see? Proof of trying – I’ve just dribbled down my own Tannoy already
So, I trust with the “Alastair Campbell Blessing” of Mr David Miliband, he does win the leadership contest. Because, if not, we’re in danger of the Labour Party being led by a surnamed laughing-stock, sadly. “Balls for PM, anyone? And why not Balls for AM, too?”
“Balls in the morning, Balls at noon, then Balls at supper time, too … ” – sounding more and more like the song lyrics of a certifiable Christmas 2010 number one hit-single to me already
Are you sure your colleague candidate’s surname is even “fit for purpose” as future Downing Street incumbency?
TM in Portsmouth, here. And in some confusion, too
Now we know why he didn’t want to appear on QT!
Being Gay is not a crime and plenty of other openly gay MP’s why hide it? Maybe its the fact his lover is a lobbyist…another scandal to come out on Sunday perhaps.
He has to go now, there is no way he can survive…..bye bye Tory in LD clothing…..oh and sort out those frown lines they are way off kilter.
I think pulling out that photo frame was one of the best moments of Question Time. Brilliant and you really got them by the b*lls.
It was very good the way Dimbley gave his preamble about a person from the coalition bottling it and I do think it was because of fear and being able to answer the tough questions. At least Alastair you know that coalition are terrified of you. Having done you the favour of telling you, I think you could be very effective over the next few months and years (if it lasts that long).
Piers was fab on the programme and I did take his side in his one on one with you because I always believed and do to this day that the Iraq war was totally wrong and fought on the orders of George Bush. Our country had no principle or judgement in the matter. I like a lot of what you say Alastair but your stance on the war spoils it for you.
Looks like Liam Byrne knew something we didn’t when he left his note…that it was David Laws who’d taken all the money and given it to his partner!!!! No wonder he didn’t want to be on Question Time!!!
One more point on iraq AC. As someone else said, SADAM USED WMD ON HIS OWN PEOPLE, SO OF COURSE EVERYONE THOUGHT HE HAD THEM.
I still didn’t agree with the war, but this point is key for you and TB who i believe are good people who did a good job for britain
This whole QT situation is just arrant nonsense. Why on ea
rth would the Government be foolish enough to put up a senior elected representative,with commensurate responsibilities,against a man who represents nothing and is answerable to no one.I don’t blame Alastair Campbell for making capital out of this farce;but the blame should fall on the BBC for failing to put together an A list panel to discuss the implications of the Queen’s Speech.
Nor does the never-ending line of sycophants and groupies with their dewy-eyed adulation do you or Labour any favours for the future.You appear to revel in your own celebrity and have willingly taken on the role of mouthpiece for the newly dispossessed Labour left.Perhaps it’s not surprising that no Labour MP was inclined to sit on the same panel as you either for,like it or not,you are now indelibly associated with political and strategic failure.Your appeal is far too narrow for Labour’s future electoral success,which equally is probably why you’ve never had the courage to put your own self forward for election.
Remain a commentator, writer and pretend villain but leave politics to the real men.You had your chance but blew it when you became an apologist for Blair and the Iraq war.Quit whilst your still basking in the warm glow of your success in leading Gordon on a one-way trip to the political gallows,yes that really was a master stroke.Stop listening to the siren voices on here urging you ever onward,extolling the wondrous achievements of New Labour;some are just misguided others,sadly,plain delusional.My own personal favourite,by the way, is Graham Jones who deserves a life-time award for raising myopia to an art form.
In these early days of the coalition it is far too soon to know whether it can drag us out of the disaster bequeathed to us by Labour.One thing is certain,however,
and that is that Parliament needs a strong,coherent and plausible Opposition.Under new leadership there is no reason why Labour cannot provide this but only,Mr. Campbell,if it is completely clear of your malign influence.
Well with tonight’s revelations on Mr Laws, and I refer soley to the money claims, do we now have a reason for his non appearance on QT last night?
Can he possibly keep his ministerial position now Alastair?
David Flaws position is now surely untenable. Chickened out of QT in Queens Speech week when the top priority for the ConDems is his plans to wield the axe, and now it appears that while he expects the rest of us in the country to tighten our belts, he has made dubious expenses claims on the public purse to the tune of £40k. Interesting too that the assassin’s knife was wielded by the Torygraph
After all the pious behavior during the election from the Lib-dems, and Clegg’s plague on both your houses speech in the first debate, it seems they are just as bad.
I’m sure it’s pocket money to a millionaire like Mr Laws, but there are millions of people across the country, who regard £40,000 as a fortune.
Seeing Vince Cable on the news with Cameron, where he looked as if he was in excruciating pain just being filmed with him. Every time Cameron tried to make friendly chat, the poor man flinched in terror.
Congratulations to John Prescott on his peerage, though I still can’t picture him in the Lords myself. An elected second house would be my own preference, but there is a place in parliament, for notable people to contribute to parliamentary debate. I’m just not sure, that the power to stall legislation, is justifiable when unelected.
John has given so much to the party, but more to the country. Can’t wait to see him take on Hislop this week on HIGNFY. The episode we are all waiting for though, is AC chairing the programme.
It may have beeb you but someone said on Question Time that Labour still won the election after the Iraq war. The reason for this is that the Tories also supported the war, and it’s what we expected them to do as we know that the Tories were always the lap-dog of the US. Tony Blair was becoming very much like a Tory.
If the Tories voted against that war they would have certainly won it but they were just as evil and complicit in the crime. That;s why many people just go put off politics and others went to Lib Dems when it was under its more principled leader Charles Kennedy.
A great mistrust was caused by the war and it continued when the evidence was finally out. Alastair I honestly think you should come clean and admit it was a big mistake otherwise Labour will not win back many of its old voters.
Alastair, you were going great last night I thought, though I was sorry what you said about Dianne. Think of it this way- a black, woman prime minister; just think what could be achieved and vis-à-vis Obama and the US. And would you help her with her speeches? (And, by the way, who is Cameron’s spin doctor?)
Yes, you were going well, last night, until David Dimbleby “allowed” the inevitable red herring about Iraq which was I think slipped in by John Redwood. (No-one in the audience asked a question about Iraq). In fact, it was Dimbleby who kept the theme going. I am sorry you chose to answer him. Dimbleby does this, I’ve noticed, particularly to ‘Labour’ panellists. Usually rigorous in making panellists stick to the question, he nevertheless lets red herrings slip in on subjects which either he is interested in, or which are on subjects which he knows will clearly depress or belittle the Labour person, even if the subject is completely off the point.
But frankly, where is your killer instinct? I think you are too “nice” to people who ask you about this very boring subject. For goodness’ sake, tell the next person who asks you about Iraq, to get lost. The number of times I have heard you being asked the same old thing about that subject, I feel disappointed and bored stiff. And if I feel like that, then I am sure that three quarters of the audience who were there last night, felt like that, too. The reasons for going into Iraq are by now such ancient history, that I thought that you were going to get through QT without being asked about it. You have nothing more you can possibly say on the subject and nothing to apologise for. (Remember: “Never apologise, never explain”.) Anyone who has read your excellent diaries should know the answer to the question anyway. I think you should start getting really shirty about it; you’ve answered the question 100 times already so tell the questioner/s either to disappear or just refuse to answer.
I think people want a little period of calm now and to enjoy such ‘honeymoon period’ as there’s going to be with this lot in power and before the rot sets in. And I want a bit of time to assess them and to think what the future may hold. I think we should be kind to the Lib Dems. It’s pretty obvious what’s in store for them-gradually becoming slaves to the Eton mob, then being blamed for everything that goes wrong, while the toffs will take the credit for the odd thing that goes right. And, of course, the media are already regrouped to put a massive spoke in the wheel for the Lib Dems, and naturally are sided with the Tories. Thus it ever was.
Agree, but there is no doubt about you being a control freak. Did you keep count of how many times you interrupted others when it was their turn to speak, and double-guessed for your benefit what they were saying when they did? When are you going to let others put their own feet in their mouths rather than watching you do so?
Getting your retaliation in first as usual did nothing to disguise sidestepping the absence of an old/new Lab elected presence on the panel. In view of the Queen’s Speech, i am amazed that QT appeared not to have invited one in preferential treatment of your full diary. John Redwood might then have had someone better able to test his arguments.
Still, perhaps the BBC felt justly rewarded when you revealed the real reason for re-invading Iraq was regime change rather than the tragic pretence of WMD possession being legal grounds based on the absence of evidence when evidence of absence had yet to run its UN mandated course. That said, i agree with your argument but not its timing. I suugest the real lesson other than the lack of necessity then was that the reckless Saddam and his regime should not only have been kicked out of Kuwait but also brought down in the first place. Why? Because of the implication that the lack of political will to do so meant he and his regime’s lives were worth more then those we, the coalition and the Iraqis lost and were maimed. (A replacement government, civil agencies and miltary forces under UN mandate could then have been put in place until the Iraqi peoples were enabled to self-determine the form(s) of governance best suited to their mutual needs.)
On “academies”, pity that the lass was not encouraged to make her point (i think) that rigour of examination bodies and who should select under which examinees are tested for their ability to think for themselves rather than the taught test be resolved for all educational establisments too.
All in all, the second informative QT in a row, and one which D Milliband might regret your endorsement as much as D Law might not your less flattering frame than his own. By all means keep up the spinning though if you wish to screw yourself into the ground.
Now we know the real reason for the Government refusing to sit on the Question Time panel with you Alastair. It was supposed to be David Laws!
Too scared to be outed live on TV. Pity!
Dull,dull dull, so the BBC and Msr Campbell spin a story – lets look at this another way- why was there no Labour Party elected member of parliament?
Distinct amnesia on this blog – no one remember the amazing number of times the Labour Party when in the 13 yrs of disastrous Govt failed to put up a rep on newsnight, or sky news, or Radio chat shows – all when difficult news stories were to be covered but were always there for the good news.
So an unelected mouth peice tips up for labour at a time when he’s a book to plug – surprise surprise
New Politics – David Law!
So the ConDems cannot get their collective acts together to put a minister on QT and blame Labour, BBC or anyone else for their indecision. Why din’t they just turn up and make their points about the Queens Speach and Labour’s front bench absence?
Perhaps they were worried that you would have the same effect on their minister as you did with Boulton, or maybe the Tories were just doing paymaster Murdoch’s bidding by trying to get you kicked off the show.
By the way, I thought it was one of the most intelligent QTs for a long time if you ignore Susan Kramer’s unconvincing conversion to conservatism. Perhaps the show needs less front bench sloganising and more real debate from independent minded supporters of the main parties.
Nice to see Mr Campbell cashing in on New Labour tensions yet again. Just for once why don’t you think about the party instead of yourself and your bank account?
What a great week for the new comms team headed by Andy ‘the snoop’ Coulson. First the unprecedented leak of the Queens Speech, second, the beautifully finessed failure to hold an enquiry into th leak, then ‘Question Time fiasco’, now a fantastic resignation statement from David Laws, George Osborne’s ‘mini-me’ which I can only assume was signed off by ‘the snoop’. One interesting point not mentioned in the pieties issued today from various lumanaries from the ConDem coaltion – Do you have to declare in members interests if your long term partner was a ‘lobbyist’ and who got them the job in the first place? Wonder who the landlord lobied for and does Laws have any further revelations to get off his chest?
What a fiasco for the government at QT!!!I somehow get the feeling that the Tories are out to get you AC for your services to Labour…Well done to Dimbleby for announcing it on air…and Bravo AC for a virtuoso performance on QT…I think you made every opportunity count as judged by the applause you got for your answers…Can`t wait for your uncut diaries