Blog

A Reader Writes... My Struggle to Return to the UK From Thailand

  • 29 Mar 2020

I've been getting a lot of emails from people telling me of their difficulties during this Coronavirus crisis. A lot of them are from British nationals struggling to get back to this country. On Wednesday on my show I talked to Peter in Peru who was having great difficulties. ...

If 24 Hour News Channels Had Existed in 1944

  • 29 Mar 2020

This appeared in my ConservativeHome Diary this week. To read the rest, click HERE.   There isn’t a sector of society or the economy that hasn’t changed over the last month. Even politicians of different parties are being nice to each other and acting in a partisan way. ...

Coronavirus: The Co-Parenting Challenges Facing Divorced Parents

  • 27 Mar 2020

When the Prime Minister made his address to the nation on Monday evening he stated in clear terms that households should not now visit relatives with whom they do not live. Many divorced parents must have wondered how that would affect contact with their children. The follo...

Ten Books To Get You Through Coronavirus

  • 25 Mar 2020

The Fog by James Herbert This book taught me more about sex than any other. It's a horror story about a fog which causes people to do, well, some "interesting" things. I'll never forget the gym scene! Power Trip by Damian McBride In the top 5 of the 600 books ...

We All Need to Take the Strain Off the NHS

  • 22 Mar 2020

It's quite clear that the NHS is soon going to come under intolerable pressure. The least we can all do is to try to not burden it with unnecessary visits. I got an email from a listener, Sam, a few minutes ago. We all need to think like Sam... Love the show I have been a...

Book Update: Publication Date of WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG Delayed Until August

  • 20 Mar 2020

As many of you will know, I have a book coming out this year, all about the decline in public discourse. I learned yesterday that the publishers, HarperCollins, have decided to postpone publication from 28 May to 6 August. I wholly understand (and support) the decision. Eve...

Ten Ways to Help You Survive Twelve Weeks of Self-Isolation

  • 20 Mar 2020

  Watch 120 episodes of MADAM SECRETARY on Amazon Prime. It's like West Wing and with a Secretary of State who saves the world in every episode. Great feelgood telly Download every song ever made by MANGO GROOVE and play them on a loop Watch all five series of OUTLAN...

Something Must be Done to Help Individuals and Business. But What?

  • 18 Mar 2020

In every crisis there's always a cry from the media and the general public for 'action this day'. The 'Something Must Be Done' crowd are in full cry. And when something is 'done', it's rarely ever considered to be enough.  Yesterday the government announced a raft of measur...

Why I'm in 'Spendid Isolation' and Broadcasting from Home

  • 17 Mar 2020

Given the government’s advice yesterday, I am now in what I am calling Splendid Isolation. Why? Because I am a type 2 diabetic and therefore in a high risk group. The government advice is that anyone in a high risk group – ie the elderly those with diabetes or a respiratory...

Coronavirus: Why Schools Should Stay Open & The Country Shouldn't Be Put in Lockdown - Yet

  • 14 Mar 2020

You will have seen Professor John Ashton on your TV screens over the last few days, or heard him on your radio. He certainly talks a good game, and on the surface makes some good points when he criticises the government's entire policy over Coronavirus. The trouble was, his ma...

Coronavirus: Nudge, Action This Day & the Need to Minimise Risk

  • 14 Mar 2020

One of the big debates that we should be having is the conflict between the power of the state and the responsibility of the individual. Throughout the Coronavirus crisis there have been constant calls for the government to take action - usually quite drastic action. There's n...

The BBC Must Redefine its Mission & Get on the Front Foot

  • 9 Mar 2020

About a month ago I was asked to contribute to an instant new book on the future of the BBC. Last week it was published by Bite-Sized Books as an eBook and £6.99 paperback, under the title Is the BBC Peril? Does it Deserve to be? Other contributors include John Simpson, Gillia...

The Priti Patel Affair - "I'm Assertive. You're a Bully. Discuss"

  • 9 Mar 2020

This is from my ConservativeHome column, published on Friday. Dominic Cummings took great pleasure in fighting the ‘Education Blob’ when he was one of Michael Gove’s SPADs at the Department of Education some years ago. That fight is now being reprised with the whole of the ...

It's Time to Reverse the Decline in NHS Bed Numbers (UPDATED)

  • 8 Mar 2020

Back in January 2018, I wrote a long article looking at the issue of the decline in the number of hospital beds since the 1980s. It provoked a lot of reaction, and I know both Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Ashworth read it. The Coronavirus crisis has brought the subject back into t...

Telegraph Column: The BBC Should Get on the Front Foot and Stop Navel Gazing

  • 7 Mar 2020

This article appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 6 March 2020. The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, didn’t beat around the bush in his first major speech yesterday. He said the BBC must do more to reflect the country and avoid providing a “narrow urban outlook”. There must ...

Coronavirus: It's About Time Public Health England Stopped Hiding

  • 1 Mar 2020

As a radio presenter you often face dilemmas covering controversial subjects. When there's a terror incident, at what point does it become OK to speculate about who perpetrated it? And this week we've faced this question: how do you cover the Coronavirus without scaremongering...

Ten Sayings That Really Annoy Me

  • 26 Feb 2020

Iain, please add me to your LinkedIn Network No, because I don't know you Iain, you're better than that I'm really not And joining Iain Dale are Grace Blakeley and Nihal Arthanayake Go figure So... Why does everyone start their answer with 'so'. yes, I'm looking at yo...

Is the BBC in Peril? Does it Deserve to be?

  • 26 Feb 2020

  I've got a chapter in a new book, which is being published this week. It's all about the future shape of the BBC and contains contributions from all sorts of people with views on this important subject, including David Cox , Rob Wilson, Brian Winston, Jean Seaton, Ivo...

Regulatory Equivalence Maybe, Regulatory Alignment No

  • 22 Feb 2020

I wonder if you’ve read David Frost’s speech in Brussels. If not, do yourself a favour and do so. Future historians will look back on it and regard it as just as significant as Margaret Thatcher’s 1988 Bruges speech. It’s actually a speech that Boris Johnson should have mad...

My Take on the Reshuffle Fallout

  • 16 Feb 2020

It seems the estimable editor of ConservativeHome, Mr Paul Goodman, was the only one to foresee the departure of Sajid Javid as chancellor. That’s why he’s on the big bucks. Clearly Boris and his team thought that Sajid would cave, just as all the other ministers did, who w...