Listen to Iain Dale live on LBC. On today’s show...

  • 4.00pm Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith today set out his stall to beat Jeremy Corbyn but he’s under fire for suggesting that Theresa May should be “smashed back on her heels.” He’s since been forced to apologise? Was he right to, or should he have stuck to his guns?
  • 5.00pm Lots of interesting economic figures out today – I wonder if you voted to Remain on June 23 you now wonder if you voted the wrong way. Far from an economic collapse, everything seems to be going rather well – Growth unexpectedly up, The FTSE at a twelve month high, lots more companies committing hundreds of millions of pounds. Does this prove that Project Fear was just that? Or is it still too early to draw any definitive conclusions?
  • 6.00pm What role can religion play in fighting terrorism? Should all religions work together, as the leaders of France’s various religious groups have suggested today, or is the current environment pushing us to become an ever more secular society? Maybe you think that’s a good thing
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WATCH: Michael Gove Interview & Farage v Heseltine Debate

21 Jun 2016 at 20:41

Quite a show today on LBC. I started off with a one on one interview with Michael Gove, then it was an hour long debate between Michael Heseltine and Nigel Farage. To say they didn’t hit it off was an understatement. Enjoy.

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale Hosts a Phone in Dealing With Grief

A month after his mother died, Iain asks why we find bereavement so difficult.

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UK Politics

It Shouldn't Happen to a Radio Presenter 46: Interviewing George Osborne (The Man With No Post-Brexit Plan)

20 Jun 2016 at 21:32

This evening I did a 30 minute interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on my LBC show. It’s the longest radio interview he’s done in the EU Referendum campaign. It was originally scheduled for last Wednesday but he had to reschedule, which was a pity as it was the day he announced his so-called ‘emergency budget’. Unusually for me, I did a lot of preparation for this interview. Normally I like to treat interviews as conversations but with this one I knew I had to be rather more forensic than my normal style. Listen for yourself, but I think it paid off.

George Osborne has a habit of recognising when an interviewer is about to intervene or interrupt. His voice becomes a little louder and he makes sure he gets out what he had intended to say. He’s actually quite easy to interact with and I rather like interviewing him.

For me there were two main newslines to come out of this interview, but it will be interesting to see what gets the press coverage. For me the biggest revelation was that HM Treasury has done absolutely no planning for a Brexit scenario. Nada. Nichts. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. The polls show Leave and Remain neck and neck, yet the government has done no contingency planning at all? Breathtaking. If you just want to hear that part of the interview, click on the link below.

The other comment which I found most interesting was the section about what would happen on Friday morning. He didn’t seem to rule out redundancy notices being issued almost immediately. He clearly expects there to be some immediate job losses. He will be hoping that his own won’t be the first.

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Iain interviews Fern Britton

Fern Britton talks about mental illness and excessive homework

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Diary

Attitude Column: Why Gay People Should Vote In Exactly the Same Way As Straights

20 Jun 2016 at 09:26

I hope everyone reading this article realises that if we vote to leave the EU in the June 23rd referendum, anyone with a whiff of a limp wrist will be forced to have sex with the opposite sex, equal marriage will be revoked and bullying of LGBT schoolchildren will be encouraged.

I jest of course, but to listen to some of the so-called ‘Project Fear’-inspired scare stories you could be forgiven for wondering.

This vote is probably the most important one any of us will ever take part in, aside from a general election. It deserves to be taken seriously. At the time of writing, the whole debate has been skewed by ludicrous scare stories on both sides.

Apparently leaving the EU would mean £9 billion less funding for the NHS. Remaining would mean we’d be potentially overrun by 75 million Turks. This sort of argument turns people off. What they want is proper debate and for people on both sides to set out a positive vision of what Britain would look like, and be like if we left or remained within the EU. Fat chance of that happening.

Because I present a daily radio show (on LBC, since you ask) I am not declaring how I will vote in the referendum, but I do intend to spend the next few weeks pointing out the idiocy of ‘Project Fear’, and the scare stories put around by people who should know better in the gay community is as good a place to start as any.

The EU has done many positive things, but for the LBGT sector it has done sweet fanny adams. It’s not the EU’s fault. Simply put, it has no jurisdiction over gay (or even anti-gay) policy. All gay legislation in this country has been passed by Labour or Coalition governments, without any input from Brussels whatsoever. Nigel Farage is no doubt very pleased by this.

This is why various Eastern European countries are free to discriminate in any way they like. And believe me they do.

In the unlikely event that a future British government decided to scrap the Equal Marriage Act, there would be diddly squat that the EU could do about it. Ah, says ‘Project Fear’, we could go to the European Court of Human Rights and they could do something about it. Not true. They have no competence in this area. If they did, do we not think that members of the
Russian LGBT community might have availed themselves of the opportunity to take the Putin government to task?

A myth has grown up that it was the European Convention on Human Rights which forced the Blair government to introduce an equal age of consent and to allow gays in the military. It is true that the European Court did indeed rule on these issues but it has no power to force the British government to do anything. The change in the law came about because of political pressure, not because of pressure from the European Court. I should also make clear that even if we withdrew from the EU, we could still stay within the ECHR if we chose to – just as Russia is. But even if we withdrew from that too, we would still have a new British Bill of Human Rights, which would no doubt include protection for all sorts of minorities.

I don’t know of a single MP in the House of Commons today who would even think about turning back the clock on age of consent, adoption or civil partnerships. Even on Equal Marriage, which a majority of Tory MPs opposed, most MPs I know who opposed it would not seek to reverse the legislation.

I hope everyone reading this article will make their decision on how to vote in the referendum on exactly the same as their straight friends. We’ll all be affected in exactly the same way whether we decide to leave or remain. Let’s hope that by June 23rd ‘Project Fear’ has failed and that our political masters finally cotton on that they would do better to paint a positive vision of our future in or out of Europe. Otherwise there will a record low turnout. Happy voting!

This article first appeared in Attitude Magazine

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Did I Put the Thought of Running for Leader Into Jeremy Corbyn's Head?

Maybe

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Diary

ConHome Diary: The Truth About Gove & Health Insurance & What I'll Be Doing on Referendum Night

18 Jun 2016 at 09:48

As I write this I am watching a recording of Michael Gove’s appearance in front of a Question Time audience. One of the questioners was a young woman who asked him about a book he had written more than ten years ago in which he supported an insurance based NHS. This came from an accusation from Sir John Major in an interview with Andrew Marr in which he accused Gove of wanting to privatise the NHS. We keep being asked for the “facts” in this debate. Well let me give them to you. This book was called A BLUE TOMORROW: ESSAYS FOR MODERN CONSERVATIVES. It was published by me, or rather by my then company Politico’s Publishing, in 2001. It was edited by Nicholas Boles and Michael Gove. Edited, not written. It consisted of 21 essays. Not one of the them was written by Michael Gove. The chapter on the health service was written by Justine Greening. It says nothing about funding the NHS through an insurance based system. Instead it says: “Funding should be continued via the taxation system.” I trust that clears it up. And gives you the “facts”.
*

On Tuesday I was supposed to be interviewing George Osborne for half an hour, but unfortunately at the last minute he had to pull out and will now be appearing on my show early next week. Nicky Morgan stepped into the breach, but was on a difficult wicket. She was sent into bat to defend George Osborne’s so-called “Punishment Budget”. Now I often have to interview people I know and who may also be personal friends. I wasn’t looking forward to this as Nicky falls into that category. But I knew I’d be letting my listeners down if I didn’t give her a proper grilling. I usually think a conversational approach to interviewing is the better approach, but there are sometimes you have to go for the jugular in order to test the argument. As you will see from the video, this was one of those occasions. Nicky, however, retained her cool at all times and didn’t allow me to rile her to put her off her stride. Having said that, I found many of her answers on the “Punishment Budget” entirely unconvincing. Defending a line is one thing. Defending the indefensible is another.
*

Since my last column the polls have moved decisively in favour of LEAVE. I still don’t think LEAVE supporters should be too euphoric about that. In the last few days of any campaign there is always a move back to the status quo, and I don’t think this referendum will be any different. The result is on a knife-edge and that should mean a very high turnout. Predicting this referendum is a mug’s game, and I’m not going to predict the result but I do think the turnout will be around 75%. If it’s less than 70% you have to ask what on earth would shake the British public out of their electoral stupor.
*
So Sir Cliff Richard becomes the latest well known person to be cleared of any historic sexual abuse allegations. Any police officer with half a brain could have realised for day one that the allegations were preposterous and fantastical. Yet this has dragged on for 22 months putting Cliff through untold anguish. The police should be ashamed of the way they conduct these sort of inquiries. Having published books by Paul Gambaccini and Harvey Proctor I know in great detail the disgusting way they operate. It’s just not British.
*

So what are the odds of David Cameron being Prime Minister at the end of the month? I have never seen the Tory Party split as much as it is at the moment. People are openly laughing at and ridiculing David Cameron and George Osborne. This is not a good place to be. It’s almost as if they are saying to people “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”. I’m coming to the view that whatever the result of the referendum, there will probably be 50 letters going into Graham Brady. Too many people have been antagonised. If Remain win, I think it is possible for David Cameron to win a vote of confidence but I suspect the margin of victory would be less than that achieved by John Major against John Redwood in 1995. But if Leave win, then I think all bets are off. I cannot see how David Cameron stays. Even the likes of Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith say that he should stay and see through our exit from the EU, but I just cannot see how this is realistic or possible. If Leave win I’d expect David Cameron to resign on Friday or Saturday, but stay on as Prime Minister until a new leader is elected. And that new leader needs to be elected quickly. This might well necessitate a party rule change. But that maybe an argument for another day.
See you on the other side.
*
Referendum night should be quite something. I’ll be co-presenting LBC’s extravaganza with Shelagh Fogarty. We’ll be joined by Alex Salmond and David Davis for the first few hours. No one really knows when the results will start to trickle into the Count Centre in Manchester, so there’ll be quite a lot of chatting. Unlike other results programmes we will also be involving our listeners in the programme. You’ll also be able to watch it via the LBC website or the LBC Facebook Live page.

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Video: Iain Comments on Cameron's Reshuffle

Sky News - 4 Sept 2013

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WATCH: Stop Politicising the Death of Jo Cox & Trying to Shut Down Debate

17 Jun 2016 at 18:35

From my LBC show today.

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Iain & Katy Hopkins Fall Out Over Muslim Immigration

Pin your ears back

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Diary

Attitude Column: The Trans Agenda Shows That The Fight For Equality Is Far From Over

17 Jun 2016 at 09:31

With the advent of equal marriage and all sorts of other pieces of gay friendly legislation it’s easy to reach the conclusion that the battles of the past are over. I think that’s a fairly complacent view when you look at issues that still remain over gay discrimination and bullying in schools and the workplace, but no one can deny that in the last twenty years, things have moved on apace.

But there is one section of the LGBT community which for understandable reasons feels very left behind, and very misunderstood.

It’s only in the last couple of years that transgender issues have been talked about in polite society without provoking a barrage of disgust, abuse and name-calling. I’m not pretending everything is perfect now, but all I know is that trans people can now be far more open about their lives and experiences than at any point in our history, and that’s got to be a good thing.

Straight people can usually understand what it must like to be gay and vice versa, but can any of us truly imagine what it must be like to know that you’ve actually been born with the wrong sexual organs? To live our lives in a way we know not to be natural to us. Can we imagine taking that decision to undergo sex reassignment surgery, knowing that there’s no going back? Ninety-nine point nine per cent of us have never had such thoughts cross our minds, yet for some it’s something that is the natural end to what can be a traumatic process.

The fact that soap operas are starting to introduce trans characters is a mark of how far things have come, with East Enders leading the way.

In the past three years I have held seven or eight-hour long radio phone-ins on transgender issues. Would I have been able to do that even ten years ago without attracting the sort of caller you’d rather not attract? Would trans people have even phoned in? When I first did this as a subject I did wonder whether we’d get a single call. I shouldn’t have worried. But listening to some of the experiences my listeners had gone through was both an education and very emotional.

The bravery displayed by many of them was astounding. I well remember ‘Nicola from Basildon’. ‘Hello, Nicola,’ I began. ‘What would you like to say?’ Nicola turned out to have, shall we say, a rather deep voice. At first it was disconcerting, but like my listeners I soon ignored the timbre of her voice and concentrated on what she was telling me. It was horrific to listen to – the everyday discrimination, the ridicule, the abuse, the piss-taking, all of which led to several suicide attempts.

We’ve even had in-depth discussions about children who have been born in the wrong sex and the parents’ reaction. At what age is it acceptable for gender reassignment treatment to start, for example? How on earth does a child, let alone a parent cope with these kind of issues? And these discussions have been held without anyone phoning in with abuse or condemnation. I’m not pretending there wasn’t any on social media, but twitter is the ideal refuge for bullies and cowards.

Making the transition in your teenage years or your twenties is one thing, but to do it when you’re of more advanced years is quite another. Ask Kellie Maloney. How on earth do you tell your friends and family? It makes coming out as gay seem comparatively easy.

Part of the reason I cover trans issues on my radio show is because it shows those who remain firmly in the trans closet that they are not alone. There are now many trans role models. Paris Lees has blazed a trail for many others – she’s now so mainstream (she’ll hate me for writing that!) that she’s been on Question Time not just once but twice. And there are plenty of others too.

Surely the priority for any society is to encourage everyone to be themselves. We are far from achieving that goal, especially if you are from a religious or ethnic minority background, but compared to even ten years ago we’re certainly making progress.

This article first appeared in Attitude Magazine

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Joyce in Erith... And Cries

In a discussion about infant deaths, Joyce in Erith's story makes Iain weep.

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WATCH: Very Sparky Interview With Nicky Morgan on George Osborne's 'Emergency' Budget

15 Jun 2016 at 21:32

If you like punchy interviews, you’ll like this one.

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale Gets a Scoop From Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary addresses the horse meat scandal and tells Iain it could contain products "injurious to human health"

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Sport

I Doff My Cap to Republic of Ireland Fans

14 Jun 2016 at 10:56

Football fans have taken a trashing in the last few days. But not Irish fans. Credit to fans of Republic of Ireland for paying tribute to the Northern Irish fan who died in an accident in France. This is what true football fans are like.



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Iain talks to Julie in Basildon about bad parenting

An emotional call.

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WATCH: Chris Grayling v Yvette Cooper on Brexit (60 mins)

13 Jun 2016 at 21:09

Today I hosted a one hour EU Referendum debate between Chris Grayling and Yvette Cooper. Later in the week we have the following for you on LBC

WEDNESDAY
4pm Phonein with Alex Salmond
5pm Live studio interview with George Osborne

THURSDAY
4pm One hour debate: Andrea Leadsom v Harriet Harman

FRIDAY
5pm Live studio interview with Sir John Major

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Robert Hardman

Daily Mail royal editor Robert Hardman discusses his new book on The Queen.

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World Politics

A Few Thoughts on Orlando

13 Jun 2016 at 09:39

I don’t go to nightclubs. I can’t say I ever did very much in my youth. But everyone who goes for a night out expects to be safe, and expects to return home at the end of the evening. In Orlando on Saturday night fifty gay people lost their lives just because they made the fateful decision to go to the Pulse nightclub. Fifty three others are injured. It is the biggest loss of life in a single incident in America since 9/11. As the families of the dead grieve for their loved ones, the rest of us seek to find answers to seemingly unanswerable questions.

From what we know, the gunman deliberately chose a gay nightclub to attack. We don’t know how much his religion impacted on his decision, but we know he carried it out in the name of Daesh. It was a homophobic attack of massive proportions. No one is to blame, apart from Omar Mateen himself. Just because he was apparently repulsed by the sight of two men kissing, is no justification for his actions.

The incident again raises issues about American gun laws, but let’s face it, if the US didn’t act after Sandy Hook, nothing is going to change after Orlando. President Obama can talk as much as he likes, but without action, this sort of thing will be repeated.

The great fear now is that there will be copycat attacks. Pride takes place in London later this month. I hope the Met is already reviewing its security protocols. But however much security you deploy, whatever measures you take, a lone attacker always stands a good chance of getting through.

Tonight there are going to be vigils in Soho to remember the dead. This was an attack on America’s gay community and it is important that everyone recognises that it’s felt by every single gay man and woman the world over.

At times like this you often find out the mettle of our political leaders. Their reactions tell you an awful lot about them. Here’s Donald Trump…



I genuinely don’t know how any half intelligent person can support this man’s candidacy.

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Iain Talks to Nigel Evans MP After His acquittal

Nigel Evans tells all.

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