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...

How Princess Diana 'Introduced' John and Me Via Her Audi Cabriolet

  • 6 Feb 2020

In the summer of 1994 I decided to order my dream car - a brand new Audi Cabriolet. This was the car to be seen in in those days. I had ordered it to be delivered at the beginning of July in order to go on a European motoring holiday with my American friend, Daniel Forrester l...

Diane Abbott: Oops She Did It Again

  • 5 Feb 2020

Diane Abbott fascinates me. Always has. She's clearly a clever woman, but boy does she say - and tweet - some bloody stupid things. Today she was at it again. However, apparently, according to Twitter, we are not allowed to comment on it or criticise her because it's unkind an...

Announcing the 'Iain Dale - The Whole Show' Podcast

  • 4 Feb 2020

Back when I started on LBC in 2010 people's listening habits were much less complex than they are today. Very few people listened to podcasts in those days. Most listened to radio on normal linear platforms.There were few online listeners. Ten years on, things have changed dra...

Should a New Law of Treason Enable Daesh Adherents to be Imprisoned Indefinitely?

  • 3 Feb 2020

I always like being on Jo Coburn's Politics Live show, and today was very enjoyable. I was on with Conservative MP Bim Afolami, Labour rising star Florence Esholami and Laura Hughes from the Financial Times. Naturally, we were all asked to react to the terror attack in ...

I Just Asked Henry Kissinger a Question

  • 2 Feb 2020

An hour ago I got a Facebook message from my friend Daniel Forrester, who was on a train in the US heading from Newark, New Jersey to Washington DC. What's a question you would want to ask him? I replied... Ask him what is his one memory of Richard Nixon. ...

'For the Many' Podcast Reviewed in The Observer

  • 2 Feb 2020

Since November 2017, Jacqui Smith and I have been recording a weekly podcast, called For the Many. We chat about politics, current affairs and the media and anything else that takes our fancy. Over time we have built up a very loyal audience and at the end of the podcast we ta...

It Shouldn't Happen to a Radio Presenter 72: Nine Minutes With Mike Pompeo

  • 1 Feb 2020

My email pinged. "Phone me soonest," it said. It was from a very well connected contact of mine. So I did. I like to oblige, you see. "The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is visiting London next week. I've recommended he does an interview with you and you'll soon recei...

The Best Case for Brexit You'll Ever Read

  • 1 Feb 2020

This morning, a friend sent me this piece, which had appeared on his Facebook feed from someone called Sean McCarney. To me it summed up the whole Brexit debate, and indeed most of my own reasons for voting to leave the EU. He articulates the case for leaving in 500 words in a...

My Thoughts on Brexit Day

  • 31 Jan 2020

I'm at home in Tunbridge Wells tonight. You might think I'd be at some swanky dinner or intending to join the throngs in Parliament Square at 11pm to mark our departure from the European Union. You'd be wrong. I was indeed invited to all these events, and I have no hesitation ...

Wanted by the BBC: Professional Northerner

  • 26 Jan 2020

This article is an updated and amended version of a piece I wrote for ConservativeHome on Friday.   The latest madcap idea dreamt up in the corridors of power to prove that the BBC is in touch with the whole country is to despatch Nick Robinson to be Today's "Friend in t...

My Top Thirty Podcast Recommendations

  • 25 Jan 2020

I find that I'm listening to more and more podcasts. Some of them are very well known and others I discover by accident or through personal recommendation. There's little doubt that listening to audio, as opposed to music, is on the cincrease, whether it's live speech radio, p...