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What matters in the Campbell diaries

9 July 2007 18:54

If you can’t be bothered ploughing through the Campbell memoirs, BBC2 has done a superb job filleting it. I’ve just had a preview of the three-part documentary starting on Wednesday… Continue reading


Boris for Mayor: A ten-step program

9 July 2007 17:23

1) Do you remember in Peter Pan when poor Tinkerbell fades away because no-one believes in fairies, and how miraculously she perks up when the children begin to clap? Well,… Continue reading


Mo Mowlam, not as useful as she was popular

9 July 2007 16:32

August 17th, 1998 on how useless Mo Mowlam was in drafting a statement after the Omagh bomb: “We then had the ludicrous situation of TB having to ask Mo for… Continue reading

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The Dodgy Dossier

9 July 2007 16:30

Sunday 21st June 2003, on demands that he should resign over the “dodgy dossier” on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: “I hadn’t slept well. I was avoiding answering the… Continue reading

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9 July 2007 16:25

June 2nd 2003, on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: “TB was still in ‘it’s ridiculous’ mode and getting more and more irritated by what was… Continue reading

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Mandelson’s first resignation

9 July 2007 16:22

December 19th 1998, on the news breaking that Peter Mandelson had borrowed money from Geoffrey Robinson to buy a house: “I had a long chat with Peter M, who claimed… Continue reading


‘Two families with the same woman’

9 July 2007 16:17

July 11th, 2002 on TB telling him that Cherie was pregnant: “He then walked over to the wall, leaned against it, laughed and said ‘There’s another complication I need to… Continue reading


Downing Street wives

9 July 2007 16:13

July 25th, 2003 On Cherie Blair firing Alastair Campbell’s wife Fiona Millar as her adviser, accusing her of briefing against her. ”I told TB about CB’s call and said that… Continue reading

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The Mandelson-Brown relationship

9 July 2007 16:08

May 9th 1996, on Peter Mandelson’s row with Gordon Brown over political strategy: “They started talking very loudly at each other, just a few decibels short of shouting. TB, who… Continue reading

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Campbell considered suicide

9 July 2007 15:46

August 10th, 2003 on being told while on holiday in France that the Hutton Inquiry wanted to read his diaries: “I had received the request for my diary on Thursday… Continue reading

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Reading the Campbell diaries, Part III

9 July 2007 14:17

August 11th, 1994: on Blair telling him about his plans to ditch Clause 4, while trying to persuade Campbell to work as his press secretary: “By now, he had also… Continue reading

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Reading the Campbell diaries, Part II

9 July 2007 12:03

January 24th, 2001 on Peter Mandelson’s second resignation, over the Hinduja passports-for-favours affair: “I went back up and TB looked absolutely wretched. Peter looked becalmed. TB said he had made… Continue reading

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Reading the Campbell diaries

9 July 2007 11:59

Anthony Browne, director of the think-tank Policy Exchange and prior to that the chief political correspondent of The Times, is plucking out the most interesting passages from the just published… Continue reading

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Snuffing away

9 July 2007 11:53

Marvellous to read James Delingpole on snuff in this week’s issue and the very next day to go out to lunch and encounter two people both enthusiastically snuffling away. They… Continue reading


More Mole than Machiavelli

9 July 2007 11:43

Well, Alan Clark he aint. The publication today of Alastair Campbell’s diaries looks set to be a colossal damp squib. I haven’t read the 794-page book, but judging from the… Continue reading


Advice for Cameron’s Campbell

9 July 2007 9:13

Amidst all the publicity surrounding the publication of Alastair Campbell’s diaries, it is easy to forget that David Cameron’s new spin doctor, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, starts… Continue reading


What happened at Live Earth

8 July 2007 22:24

Read Matthew d’Ancona’s Live Earth reports: Live from Live Earth, Rocking for the Planet, Gore’s message is confusing, can Geri be clearer?, Let’s save this funny old world, Nan-archy in… Continue reading

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Obama’s challenge

8 July 2007 19:05

Newsweek has a great cover story about Barack Obama that touches on one of the least-talked about, but most interesting issues surrounding his candidacy: the worry among some black leaders… Continue reading


What’s missing from the Blair years?

8 July 2007 11:27

A "gold mine": that is how the Tories would regard Alastair Campbell’s unexpurgated diaries, according to Campbell himself. In an interview with Andrew Marr, the great spin doctor admitted that… Continue reading

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Where the UK terror cells are

8 July 2007 11:10

The News of the World (where yours truly is a columnist) is not only top for celebrity news (they had the Wills/Kate reunion last week) but its news stories are… Continue reading


Nobody does it better

8 July 2007 0:39

During Terence Stamp’s summing up speech at Live Earth, I very nearly lost the will to live – a self-defeating performance by the actor, given that the whole point of… Continue reading


Turning it up to 11

7 July 2007 23:41

There are few sights in Western civilisation to compare with Spinal Tap performing ‘Stonehenge’ and it is at least arguable that the risk of impending apocalypse caused by climate change… Continue reading


The excellence of Tree-Stock

7 July 2007 23:34

Teatime has come and gone here at Tree-Stock, and we have yawned our way through tepid sets by Corinne Bailey Rae and the insufferably wimpy Keane. Don’t send a bunch… Continue reading

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Nan-archy in the UK

7 July 2007 23:26

Call it ‘nan-archy’: the anarchy of rock’n’roll grafted onto the spirit of the nanny state.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers bounce and rave pleasingly in front of a huge rolling… Continue reading

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Let’s save this funny old world

7 July 2007 23:18

Almost exactly 24 years ago, in July 1983, the IRA planned to kill Charles and Diana by bombing a Duran Duran concert at the Dominion, Tottenham Court Road.  I was… Continue reading