I’ll be honest, this is partly just a bit of personal auditing, my tidy mind needing to keep track of what I have been writing over recent days and weeks of lockdown. It helps when I am writing to keep tabs on what I have said and where I might have said it before.
But I hope others among you may find it useful to have it all in one place. I have been pretty prolific during the Covid crisis, taking my own advice to ‘think in ink,’ and in addition to the many pieces on here, and more that I have probably forgotten, I have finished a non-Corona novel, and started another book too. That may partly explain why I want to bring it all together. I’ve also been busy on the music front too, as you will see.
This mainly consists of blogs and articles but I have thrown in the occasional tweet at memorable or important moments, and some of the media interviews done from home.
The last thing I wrote before I went into self-isolation, after Sport Relief on March 13, was this about the fight I was due to have with Piers Morgan. I went ahead without him but on returning that night decided even if the government were continuing to dither about lockdown, I wasn’t. I had seen and heard enough to know it was time to stay home. Here, and Hampstead Heath for my daily walk, are the only places I have seen since then. And Piers, though I was angry with him for bottling out of our fight, which could have raised tons for Sport Relief, has redeemed himself somewhat since, being one of a small number of journalists (or MPs for that matter) actually challenging the government, raising tough issues and asking tough questions.
March 17 – A piece for The Article on the many early mistakes made by the government as most of the rest of the world took it more seriously than our government did.
March 18 – A review for GQ of the rather tame and timid BBC documentary on Dominic Cummings. Sorry, Emily Maitlis, but I expect you agree.
March 19 – A piece for The New European comparing Tony Blair and Boris Johnson on crisis management.
March 22 – An important tweet on homelessness (not mine). For years the Tories have said you will never be able to end street dwelling homelessness. And they did when it suited them.
March 23 – A tweet in which I am still trying to give the government the benefit of the doubt, fair and reasonable chap that I am.
March 23 – Sneaking a photo of my brother Donald’s ashes being scattered in Tiree into first BBC interview from home. Seeing the bookshelves of politicians and journalists has been one of the better side effects of this crisis.
March 23 – Evening Standard podcast on the government handling of the crisis. Still trying to be reasonable and give them the benefit of the doubt.
March 23 – Piece for The Article on Dominic Cummings being the wrong man at the wrong time, though he does seem to have vanished.
March 23 – LBC interview on the government mixed messages. Even now, I am probably holding back. I think the messaging is dreadful, confusing and still the approach is way too cavalier.
March 24 – Piece for The New European with further thoughts on how Boris Johnson should be conducting himself. The paper has adapted really well to the post-Brexit (sic) world.
March 24 – Twenty points on how to guard against depression and anxiety (also appeared in Guardian and GQ)
March 24 – Important interview by scientist worried the government is not following science. Of the many irritating mantras, ‘we are following the science’ is up there.
March 24 – Finding it hard to maintain supportive stance re government mixed messaging
March 25 – Talk Radio interview re mixed messages
March 26 – Piece for The New European on the Johnson press briefings
March 26 – Blog: Trying to look on the bright side
March 26 – The first clap for the NHS Sissy, piping our next door neighbour home
March 26 – A tweet I hope the publishers noticed re my Tree of the Day contests on social media
March 26 – Piece for GQ on insomnia/depression
March 27 – The day the Tree Olympics were born
March 27 – Podcast interview with Julie Etchingham ITN
March 28 – A superb New European front cover
March 29 – BLOG on a new Coronavirus side effect – lists.
March 29 – The day I stopped watching Trump
March 29 – My favourite piece of football nostalgia of the many old games shown
March 30 – BLOG suggesting government cut out the cliches at briefings
March 31 – Piece for GQ on things that would never have happened without the virus, like me using a vacuum cleaner
March 31 – Gently suggesting in a piece for The Article how government and media might improve the daily Number 10 briefing idea for govt and media gentle
March 31 – Suggestions to journalists pre-briefing
March 31 – Piece for New York Times on how Johnson should study Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comms
April 1 – Piece for The Article suggesting questions and how not to answer them
April 1- BLOG on how the Number 10 briefings are not serving the public interest
April 2 – Podcast interview on depression
April 2 – The New European running my Look On The Bright Side blog
April 2 – Telegraph piece urging government to get a grip of comms
April 2 No shit Sherlock – the view on Cheltenham
April 2 – New bagpipe tune for next door neighbour, nurse Sissy Bridge
April 3 – Attack on Hancock in The Article for nakedly Populist whack at footballers
April 3 – Piece for the Standard on crisis management and how the government is doing
April 3 – FT film on Labour
April 3 – Podcast interview Eamonn Mallie who was often a thorn in our side during the peace process. But we both agreed journalism had gone downhill since.
April 3 – heartbreaking photo on the boy buried without his family
April 3 – Brian Moore also No Shit Sherlock
April 4 – Blog on Observations so far
April 4 – Remarkable interview Channel 4 News with Welsh intensive care doctor
April 5 – Piece for the Telegraph on The Queen ahead of her address to the nation
April 5 – Blog bringing together themes from various pieces so far
April 6 – TV debut for Fiona’s debut haircut
April 7 – Piece for The Article re the lockdown haircut
April 7 – Piece for the Telegraph on PM illness, and how government must not get distracted
April 7 – Blog on a wonderful surprise arising from article on The Queen
April 8 – Piece for The Article on the disproportionate focus on Boris Johnson’s illness
April 8 – Talk Radio interview re same
April 8 – Tweet re EU exodus damaging NHS
April 8 – Piece for New Zealand Herald on Jacinda Ardern
April 9 – Piece for The Article re importance of music in a crisis
April 9 – Blog re same, with more links
April 9 – My bagpipe concert for Joe.Uk
April 9 – News of charity bagpipe tune plan
April 10 – Piece for The Article on woeful media questioning. The briefings are really doing my head in now, and I note from the response that many others feel the same, including some of the best known journalists in the country.
April 10 – Piece for The Independent on Jacinda Ardern
April 10 – Reuters interview on football
April 10 – tweet re Hancock
April 10 – And re Personal Protective Equipment
April 10 – Worst front page so far. A ‘Good Friday’, as the death toll hits new heights.
April 10 – The interview that helped push it to No 1
April 10 – A moment of agreement with Adam Boulton
April 10 – Interview on Frank Warren podcast Some really good questions.
April 11 – Story on our charity single getting to Number 1
April 11 – On Hancock’s woeful answer on dead NHS staff
April 11 – Blog on Patel briefing
April 11 – Sky News interview on failing media and government comms
Over and out for now.