Poor old Theresa May goes to Washington, does a bit of involuntary hand-holding with Donald Trump, and gets enduringly hammered for it. Emmanuel Macron goes beyond handholding to virtual full-on snog mode, treats bromance body language analysts to a whole galaxy of gooey gestures, subjects himself to the patronising removal of imaginary dandruff, and yet garners positive coverage all over the planet. True, there was mild annoyance among some in France that it was a bit Yuck, but by and large the love-in with one of the most hated leaders on earth went well for one of the most...Read More
Jeremy Corbyn having sacked Owen Smith, the leader of the opposition is now closer to the government on Brexit than to a majority of Labour MPs, and a vast majority of the members he claims to listen to. Keir Starmer having made clear that no matter what the deal, no matter what the costs or consequences, there can be no revisiting the basic In or Out decision, Labour’s Brexit spokesman is now closer to Brextremists like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg than he is to the millions in the country who oppose Brexit but see so few in Parliament...Read More
You sometimes get the best answers by throwing back questions to the people who asked them, and seeking the wisdom of crowds. So, Monday night, Edinburgh, and in the question and answer, a man asks me, having heard me on Brexit, Trump and much else besides, whether I see much hope on the political scene. So I throw it back. I ask for a show of hands: “Who feels optimistic about politics right now?” One solitary hand goes up. A gaggle of laughter at the table. It turns out the hand belongs to a Tory councillor, so perhaps he...Read More
You find yourself in some strange places when you have a book out. And so, on Sunday morning when I would normally be out on the bike, or re-watching Match of the Day to see Burnley ‘s equaliser against Manchester City (again), while waiting for Andrew Marr to come on and be gentle with Brextremists, I found myself in a kitchen-cum-TV studio with a collection of guests not normally on my radar. There was someone from Made In Chelsea who I discovered when I heard his name and checked him on my phone, had almost twice as many Twitter...Read More
When you write a 450 page book on winners, with a stack of interviews with some of the greatest winners of our time, you can never be quite sure what the papers will go for. When I sat down to do the first interview with the Sunday Times, I suspected their dream headline would contain the words ‘Miliband’ and ‘loser.’ That was easily avoided – by talking up Ed’s considerable qualities and by emphasizing that I was totally committed to helping Labour win. Given the proximity to the election it was inevitable the paper would want a political headline for the news pages. And one of the main themes of the book is that politics has a lot to learn from the best of business and the best of elite sport. Both in the book and in the interview I have talked of how top sports stars now routinely have psychological support, though their work is physical, whereas politicians tend to shy away from having such support when their work is mainly intellectual, mental. Cue headline ‘Every MP needs a shrink – Alastair Campbell.’ I do not complain. I was a journalist myself for a long time and I know that headline quotes often summarize in dramatic fashion what is actually said. Namely that 100 all politicians would benefit if they had psychological support. The Sunday Times quotes me...Read More
My Latest Book
Saturday Bloody Saturday
A Game More Serious Than Life or Death
Alastair Campbell &
Alastair’s latest book, a novel about 1970s football and terrorism co-written with ex-Burnley striker Paul Fletcher, has become an instant bestseller.
‘Saturday Bloody Saturday’, which tells the story of a struggling Northern football club against the backdrop of an IRA bombing campaign, went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller lists within days of publication by Orion.
You should never meet your heroes, the saying goes. Well, Alastair Campbell met one of his, Paul Fletcher, and a great friendship began. This co-authored novel is its latest manifestation. ‘Of the fourteen books I’ve done, this has been the most fun,’ he said.