Radio

Tomorrow on my Sunday Morning LBC Politics Show

19 Jan 2013 at 18:17

This is what we have lined up for you tomorrow morning between 10am and 1pm on my LBC Sunday Politics Show.

10am Algeria/Mali. Guests include former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen.

11am Adoptions are lower than ever despite attempts to make adoption easier. Guest from Barnardos

1130 Siobhan Benita names her Communicator of the Week and looks ahead to the events of the next seven days

1145 Tom Swarbrick looks at what makes a goo inauguration speech, plus Sharon Manitta from Democrats Abroad looks ahead to Obama’s second term.

1200 Sunday Debate: Who will be the main winners in Tuesday’s Israeli election and what are its implications? Guests include Donald Macintyre, Dermot Kehoe and Richard harrington

1230 Comedian Dominic Holland talks about his new book in which he describes what it’s like when your son’s success eclipses your own. His son Tom is one of the stars of the film IMPOSSIBLE, about the Tsunami.

1245 Richard Harrington MP reveals his secret life!

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Iain interviews Tory Leadership Candidate Andrea Leadsom

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UK Politics

We Mustn't Send Troops to Mali

19 Jan 2013 at 09:03

Events in Algeria are truly worrying. But it is perhaps the situation in Mali which is of even greater concern. On Thursday former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner seriously suggested that Britain should send ground troops to Mali to support his country’s efforts. Up to now, British support has been restricted to two supply planes. Mr Kouchner regarded that help as rather pathetic, which was rather ungrateful of him. His argument was that because Britain and France had a lot of shared defence interests, we should support each other in times of crisis. A fair point as far as it goes, but one wonders if the boot were on the other foot what might happen.

It is at times like this that the prime ministerial mettle is truly tested. David Cameron may well have to make a very difficult decision indeed. If the French make an official request for British ground troops, what would his response be? He will know that voters would be dead against any sort of military intervention and if he agreed to it would cost him dear in terms of political popularity. But I know of no prime minister who has ever made a military decision on those grounds. A true prime minister would do what’s right even if he knew it would cost him the next election.

So we have to look at the national security arguments on a possible British intervention in Mali. The argument goes that if these Al Qaeda cells are not dealt with, they could intervene in Britain. Well, it’s a possibility. But the counter argument is that if we intervene, it would make an attack even more likely. There’s little doubt that we, by which I mean the international community, would be well advised to try to eliminate Al Qaeda wherever they exist. But surely the sensible thing to do it to let African nations and pan-nation organisations take care of the Al Qaeda cells in Mali. And are we really to believe that France, a nation with 230,000 people in its military – double the number of this country – can’t take care of this situation on its own? Arguments about European solidarity just will not wash.

But perhaps the most decisive argument against a British intervention in Mali is the fact that our armed forces are totally overstretched as it is. We simply cannot get involved in yet another foreign escapade.

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Iain talks to a very 'On Message' Rachel Reeves

Hilarious compilation

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Random Thoughts

It's Snow Joke

18 Jan 2013 at 22:56

So it’s snowing. Big deal. This country has gone stark raving bonkers in its reaction to the latest bout of snowflakes settling on the ground. Many public sector organisations actually told their staff not to come to work purely on the basis of predicted snow, rather than actual snow falling. ‘Elf ‘n’ safety, you see. Some schools have operated a similar policy. Train companies reduced their services in advance, without actually knowing how much snow would be falling. This is pure madness and is yet another blow to our fragile economy. When I was a schoolboy I remember trudging through five feet snowdrifts to get to school. The school bus might have been an hour late, but it got there in the end. Today it wouldn’t even leave the bus garage. We’ve become a nation of snow wimps.

Having said all that, I am like a big kid when it snows. I love it. This afternoon I took my two dogs out for a walk. It’s only the second time they have experienced snow and to watch them romping around in it was a pure delight. Bubba, the miniature Schnauzer, looks a picture after his walk. His legs and ‘undercarriage’ were caked with snow and the only way to get it off is with warm water. And after that he looks a little like a drowned rat.

On Sunday I have to get up very early to drive to London to do my Sunday morning LBC radio show. I certainly won’t let a few inches of snow put me off getting there (famous last words). A couple of years ago I was broadcasting until 10pm and could see a snowstorm raging outside the studio. I remember it took me four hours to drive the 40 miles back home to Tunbridge Wells. Actually, I rather enjoyed it!

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Dogs

Bubba Pic of the Day

18 Jan 2013 at 21:06

Seriously, Daddy, what on earth makes you think I like snow?

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Former Footballer Leon McKenzie Discussions His Depression With Iain

An emotional discussion

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Radio

Best of This Week on my LBC Show

18 Jan 2013 at 13:58

Every Friday on the blog I’m going to provide a few links to some of the interviews I have done over the previous seven days on my LBC show. Here are this week’s offerings.

Book Club hour with Big Issue founder John Bird, talking about his book THE NECESSITY OF POVERTY and Judith O’Reilly, of the Wife in the North blog, who’s written a book called A YEAR OF DOING GOOD. Listen HERE – 45 mins

On Tuesday we did an hour on how people cope with dementia. We took an incredibly moving call from Brenda in Chelmsford who told us about her husband’s situation and how she copes. Get your Kleenex ready. Listen HERE – 10 mins

On Wednesday footballer Leon McKenzie came in for an to talk about depression and why he tried to take his own life. It was an amazing hour, with some great calls. He’s done so much to remove the stigma from mental illness. Listen HERE – 45 mins

Following the Suzanne Moore/Julie Burchill exchanges on transsexualism, we asked on Monday, what’s it like to be a transsexual in Britain today? Our first guest was Suzie Knight whose trans daughter has competed in Miss England. This podcast has been downloaded more than any other I have ever put on line. Listen HERE – 45 mins

On my Sunday show last week former Channel 4 News teechology editor Benjamin Cohen came in to talk about how people have become addicted to social media. Listen HERE – 10 mins

If you click on the radio tab at the top of the page you can find dozens more of my radio interviews.

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Iain interviews Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Author of The Pike

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Rant

The LibDem MEP Who Tweeted "Al Qaeda 1 David Cameron 0"

17 Jan 2013 at 20:19

This is a tweet just sent out by Liberal Democrat MP Graham Watson.

What a disgusting thing to do. If you’d like to let him know what you think, tweet him @grahamwatsonmep.

I wonder whether LibDems will have the good grace to tell him how he has brought their party into disrepute.

UPDATE 9.35: RT @grahamwatsonmep I wish to apologise profusely for the insensitive tweet I issued earlier. I have taken it down.

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LBC Book Club: Iain talks to Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson talks about his book THIS BOY

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UK Politics

Miliband Whips Cameron at PMQs

16 Jan 2013 at 12:25

Well I hope the Prime Minister is on better form than that when he makes his big European speech on Friday. Ed Miliband whipped his sorry pink ass at PMQs today. He was funny, fluent and seemed in command of the House, which even his biggest supporters would acknowledge has not always been the case. David Cameron didn’t really seem up for the fight and his answers rather proved the point I have been trying to make regarding his speech on Friday. If you’ve got nothing definite to say, it’s probably best to say nothing.

I can so no feasible way David Cameron can gain anything from this speech, and his performance today underlined that. There’s nothing he can say which will appease a fairly large group of Tory backbenchers. And there’s nothing he can say which will persuade certain EU leaders to be more sympathetic to Britain’s position. Today he tried to get Ed Miliband to say what his approach would be. Miliband deftly dodged the bullet. All he needs to do is sit back and watch as yet again the Tory Party tears itself apart over this issue. Watch, and smirk.

Miliband 8
Cameron 4

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Video: Iain Reports on Life in Rwanda

18 Doughty Street

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UK Politics

We're to Blame for HMV, Not the Government

16 Jan 2013 at 09:41

A lot has been written about the demise of HMV and yes, it is indeed very sad whenever a well known name like HMV goes into administration. But people need to remember that administration does not necessarily mean bankruptcy. Nipper hasn’t barked his last bark quite yet. It will, however, be very difficult to find a buyer for the business, especially one which would keep the majority of the stores open. It’s one of those occasions where so-called ‘progress’ has led to this situation. I used to spend hundreds of pounds in HMV every year. To be honest I can’t remember the last time I went into an HMV shop. It’s yet another example of Amazon eating up the High Street. As a publisher, I now fear for the future of Waterstone’s (and yes, I’ll keep the comma). It’s undergone a major transformation in its business in the last eighteen months and you have to hope that this will see it through.

It has to be said that Chuka Umunna didn’t have the best of days yesterday. He toured the broadcast studios trying to blame the government for HMV’s woes. The government can indeed be blamed for many things, but HMV’s demise is not one of them. He got skewered by Andrew Neil who asked him when was the last time he had been to HMV. “Christmas,” replied Chuka. “What did you buy?” asked Andrew. “Er, nothing,” said Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary. Quite. Times move on. Just as Vinyl LP manufacturers had to adapt to the CD, the music retail business has to adapt to the internet. It was always going to be difficult for HMV and in a way it’s a surprise it lasted this long. And that’s the challenge for book retailers. We’ve seen the demise of Books etc, Borders and all the other book chains.Only Waterstone’s remains. And long may it remain so. But I wonder how many people will really follow Tim Shipman’s example…

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Video: Iain Dale North Norfol Campaign Video on Coastal Erosion

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day: Ken Clarke

16 Jan 2013 at 09:31

If you realise you’re doomed in Parliament you demand a referendum – that’s what the hangers and floggers used to do.

Ken Clarke, 16 Jan 2013

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Brenda about Dementia

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The LibDem Flip-Flop on a European Referendum

15 Jan 2013 at 10:00

The hypocrisy of the LibDems can be truly astonishing. I suppose that is a statement of the bleeding obvious, but on Europe it is simply breathtaking. The way they are talking about David Cameron’s as yet unnannounced plans for a European referendum, you’d think he was announcing a slaughter of the first born. They seem to conveniently forget that until not that long ago, they were arguing in favour of a full In-Out referendum. Now it seems to me that if you were in favour of an In-Out referendum from 2005-2009, you ought to be now. The arguments in favour of one haven’t changed at all. Every LibDem should be challenged on this. Nick Clegg was challenged on this on the Today Programme this morning and wasn’t convincing in his answer. Listen HERE to his response.

Let’s remember his was what the last LibDem manifesto on Europe said…

The European Union has evolved significantly since the last public vote on membership over thirty years ago. Liberal Democrats therefore remain committed to an in/out referendum the next time a British government signs up for a fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU.

Which, strangely enough is now Conservative policy, disavowed by the LibDems.

We all knew the LibDems’ support for a referendum a few years ago was only skin deep. At the time all they wanted was to embarrass the Conservatives and Labour. Now, all they are trying to do is score points off David Cameron. Shameless politics, and another reason why their support is going down the toilet.

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale deals with an Anti-American caller

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