Author: admin

We must strive to keep Brexit an ‘if’ not a ‘when’

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...

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Young want to stop Brexit.. we can help them

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...

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Politics is high stress psychological work – politicians would benefit from psychological support

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...

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Buy All In The Mind and raise cash for mental health campaigns

In the run-up to the election we sold several hundred signed copies of The Blair Years via the website, with half the proceeds going to the Labour Party. Now I want to do something similar with my first novel, All In The Mind, about a psychiatrist and his patients. But this time the proceeds are time going to mental health charities. Employing the special deal available to authors, I have bought a supply of copies of the hardback. I am offering signed copies at £14.99 plus postage and packing, with half of the money per copy going to mental health charities. As you may know I was elected last year’s Mind champion, so Mind is one obvious cause. I am also a campaigner for Time to Change, and work with Rethink on this and other campaigns, so that is another. Rethink is already out there helping to market this – you can order a signed copy from Rethink’s mental health shop. As with The Blair Years, I will individually sign the books, and messages requested can be posted when making an order online. With The Blair Years scheme we prided ourselves on getting books out in days but as I am about to go for our annual holiday in France, this time people may have to be more patient. However, if you get an order in in the next three days,...

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Beautiful but macabre setting for work on volume 2 of diaries

Greetings from Lake Megunticook. Those of you who read my second novel, Maya, may have heard of it. It is the place in Maine, New England, where the narrator, Steve, came to write the story of his friendship with Maya. In a piece of detail, I (or Steve) described how youngsters leapt from a 60 foot high mossy ledge into the lake as a coming of age dare, and how the person renting the lakeside home to Steve advised him against trying it. Proving the old adage that fact is stranger than fiction, the lake is currently buzzing with police and marine rescue boats and divers because yesterday four young men went leaping from the cliff, and only three came back. Our hosts say it is the first time they have heard of anyone actually losing their life trying the leap, though people are warned against it. Just as fictional Steve finished his book here, so I am going through volume 2 of my diaries, Power and the People, which covers the heady first two years of the Blair government, a period which included everything from Princess Diana’s death to Monica Lewinsky, the Good Friday Agreement, the Omagh bombing, devolution, Britain’s presidency of the EU, Kosovo, the first attacks on Iraq, the first sex scandal (Robin Cook), Peter Mandelson’s first resignation, and much else besides. As well as checking...

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My Latest Book

Book cover image

Saturday Bloody Saturday

A Game More Serious Than Life or Death


Alastair Campbell &
Paul Fletcher

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.