I piled into his autobiography over the past week looking to get to the heart of the mystery of the tiny dancer David Cameron loathed above all others, but honestly juicy details of life in Westminster are few and far between... Here are some of my favourite bits.
Working at no.10 whatever the weather (and boy did we have some storms in our time) is a privilege beyond compare. I used to literally pinch myself walking past the tourists through the Downing Street gates every morning, to remind myself how transitory it was, how much responsibility even a lowly aide like me had, and most of all never to take it for granted. When the music stops, it takes a chunk out of you, and you lose your bearings for a short time. I hope David Cameron and his team recover theirs quickly. I hope they remember the extraordinary honour it is to serve your country. And I hope they learn to cherish the freedom that comes from leaving no.10 and returning to the ranks of those they used to govern.
Over the weekend my piece on why the UK government turned away more than 2,700 non-EU nurses was widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, but after ...
Today, Monday 23rd May, the UK's Minister for International Development Justine Greening, Gordon Brown, and other influential figures will announce a new fund for education in emergencies at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. Save the Children is launching a new campaign at the summit to ensure that no refugee child, anywhere in the world, is out of school for more than a month.
We have seen how thousands of Nepalese girls, forced onto the streets after the Nepal earthquake, have been trafficked into India and even sold into the United Kingdom. Gross abuses, including rape, have been reported in Iraq. We have heard, at first hand, how Syrian refugee girls as young as eight and nine have been forced into working for exploitative employers when they should be at school. And the plight of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from their school two years ago in Nigeria's Borno province continues to haunt us.
Though it's never yet been run, I wish somebody could start up a popularity contest to decide, once and for all, who is The Most Awful Brit Alive Toda...
Being backward-looking is a curse in politics. We need to know our history, so that we do not repeat the wrong bits. But pining for a bygone era, or looking to recreate something that has been and gone, never works. Worse still it stops you being able to shape the future. As centre-left people who want a Labour government, this is our task.
Many Labour MPs are currently receiving threats of de-selection, usually coupled with abuse. Yet amidst all the sound and fury, there is another issue which Labour should face. Do we look or sound like the people we represent? The short answer is that we often don't. Being selected as a candidate in a winnable seat is time consuming and expensive. The result has been the increasing professionalisation of politics. So here's a really radical idea. Let's stop doing it like that...
I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight's version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it or ramming it down throats. I know our government leaders are busy (almost all) men, but I hope they find time to watch it. Because while they talk the talk on mental health, as the Prime Minister did in his party conference speech, the documentary shows the reality of mental health services on the frontline.
The back-and-forth drama between politicians is unlikely to decrease anytime soon and in the current political climate, perhaps we need all the humour we can get. And who knows-picturing Cameron, Clegg and Miliband setting up their own cafeteria rules and sashaying down a hallway to Missy Elliott might be just what we all need.
A concerted march against Jeremy Corbyn's candidacy for leader of Labour is in full stride across the political spectrum. Right and left, neoliberal a...
Today is about action, not just words - it is World Humanitarian Day. It is not a celebration. It is a much-needed recognition of those "who face danger and adversity in order to help others," a clear signal that there IS good in the world and a message to millions that life is precious. And what better way to recognise those who help others in the most dire circumstances than to announce we will give priority to new and better international support so humanitarians can carry out their mission to provide every child with opportunity in some of the most trying circumstances.
I always believed that Labour had lost it's fight because it had lost sight of it's purpose. I was wrong. The party machines remains acutely aware of that purposes, it just chooses to ignore it. The three mainstream candidates have united to show only too clearly that their fight is still within them, it is still bristling.
The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto promised to 'back British business' and make Britain 'the best place to do business in Europe' but since being elected in May this has not been the type of Conservative Government that business thought it would be getting.
Pete Wishart is not one to mince his words. The nationalists' de facto spokesman on English votes for English laws (EVEL) launched a broadside on the floor of the house last week. For the SNP leader of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, the proposals on the table are "a complete and utter mess".
Today the Angry Birds are a little bit angrier. The characters that have become a worldwide gaming phenomenon are flapping even more furiously because 58million children are not in school and learning. Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish creator of Angry Birds, has added a huge boost to the #UpFor School campaign by launching a new tournament where players are asked to sign the petition going to global leaders. It demands that every child has the right to go to school and already has the support of seven million people worldwide.