Tag Archives: alastair campbell

Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

Papers - Some rights reserved by NS MewsflashIt’s Sunday morning, so here are a dozen of thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices, culled from all those I’ve linked to this past fortnight. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Immigration and the knowledge economy – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg makes the business case for immigration reform in the US, but the lesson is universal: “In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country.”

Mum did to Maggie what she’d done

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Where is the British Borgen?

Alastair Campbell asked an interesting (if not altogether original) question on Twitter this morning:

As a massive fan of The West Wing, and an avid viewer of Borgen, it is a question I have also thought about. Britain is the world leader in political satire, yet we must be close to bottom of the league when it comes to political drama.

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Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013The Economist‘s annual list of the top quality-of-life countries: ‘Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.’ Britain comes 27th. (The Telegraph has a picture-only version here.)

The burdens that Israel should not have to bearBrendan

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Nick Clegg’s mental health initiative provides treatment for half a million people

One of Nick Clegg’s first major speeches as leader of the Liberal Democrats, as Lib Dem Voice reported way back in February 2008, was on the subject of mental health, of ensuring much faster access to therapy for those affected.

In Government, he is able to put his ideas into practice, last year allocating £400 million to talking therapies. I wrote then about why I was so pleased to see that much needed investment.

Today’s Telegraph reports that half a million people have entered treatment under the Coalition’s mental health strategy.

Last night, Nick Clegg held a reception in London …

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A personal view: ending the stigma and waste of mental illness

Less than two months after he was elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg made a widely-reported speech at the Guardian Public Services Summit in St. Albans, on the subject of mental health. Nick pointed out that “One in four Britons suffers from a mental illness at some point in their lives. One in six is suffering at any given time. Mental health issues directly affect most of Britain’s families today.”

It was laudable and maybe surprising for Nick to use a keynote speech so early in his leadership to highlight such an unfashionable subject. For there is no doubt that mental health issues are seen by some as not really an illness, but some spiritual or character weakness on behalf of the sufferer. And yet most of us have either suffered with mental illness, or have a close family member who has done so.

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PMQS: Cameron promised faster wheels amidst squeaky bums

What a relief! For a change, Prime Minister’s Questions gave more cause for Tories to be uneasy than it did for LibDems. Don’t get me wrong, LibDems care passionately about frontline policing. Of course they do. But the Tories tend to see it as more of a cojones (or should I invent the adjective “cojonal” here?) measurement issue – it’s closer to the nerve with them. So I think there must have been a lot of uncomfortable shifting around on the benches behind David Cameron today. “Squeaky bum time”, as Sir Alex might put it.

For once there was a good …

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Guardian verdict on voting reform: “Mr Clegg spoke for progress; Mr Straw for reaction.”

The Guardian has not always been kind to the Coalition since its formation; still less to the Lib Dems. But its stinging rebuke to Labour’s “opposition for opposition’s sake” — with its attempt last night cynically to torpedo the Lib/Con government’s electoral reform measures — might perhaps give the new party leader pause for thought.

In the topsy-turvy world of Coalition politics, two parties which do not support the alternative vote last night voted to endorse a referendum on it; while the party which pledged to introduce it in its manifesto decided to jettison that promise.

It was an irony …

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