Monday, July 04, 2011

This Blog Is Now Closed

This blog is now closed.

To read Iain Dale's new mega-blog

Dale & Co

go to

from midnight on 8 July

twitter: @daleandcompany

Friday, July 01, 2011

Gio - A Tribute

Gio Simmonsdale

Maybe it's somehow fitting that this will be the last ever blogpost on this blog. It marks the end of two eras - the end of this blog, as in a few days time my new site, Dale & Co launches, and also the end of a life.

Five hours ago my beloved little Jack Russell, Gio, died. Those of you who have ever had the privilege of owning a dog will know what a devastating time this is for me and my family, who loved him with all our hearts. It is scant consolation to know that we gave him the best life a dog could possibly have, as a gaping hole has opened up in our lives, which can never, ever be filled.

Most Jack Russells are characters, and Gio was no exception. He was a cheeky little blighter and had us all wrapped around his little paws.

Gio was a Battersea dog. Back in early 1998 we went to Battersea, ostensibly to get a fully grown, house trained dog. We emerged with a six week old Jack Russell puppy who was so small that I could hold him in the palm of my hand. People often ask why we called him Gio? I wanted to call him Rio, after Rio Ferdinand, but that was vetoed by he who must obeyed. But I wear an aftershave called Aqua di Gio, and as I was shaving one morning I saw it on the shelf and thought to myself that Gio sounded enough like Rio, and it was just right for him. After that, my aftershave became known as Gio’s piss...

When I grew up we had always had Jack Russells so I knew what wonderful dogs they could be, but I had no idea this little mite would give us so much pleasure and become such an integral part of our lives. He was a dog that everyone loved. And Gio loved them back. Well, almost everyone. He didn’t care much for children, and let them know it in a typical Jack Russell kind of way - he would give them a nip. For some unfathomable reason he also didn’t like people on bicycles. If he saw someone riding a bike he would literally go mental.

During the first few years of Gio’s life, he would come to work with John and me at our Westminster bookshop, Politico’s. We barred him in behind the counter, but on several occasions he escaped and delighted running round the shop at full pelt, causing total havoc. The customers thought it was an absolute hoot.

In his early years Gio was a very fit and active dog. He loved going to the park and haring after a tennis ball I would throw. He never tired of it and would happily carry on for half an hour given half a chance. Sadly, this activity came to an end when one day he jumped off a sofa and damaged a knee ligament. Although we were still able to take him for walks, he wasn’t allowed to run at all, which meant that over time he became a bit of a porker. This proved to be a real problem as Gio was a terrible food thief. You’d give him his meal and ten minutes later he’d give you a look which said “Daddy, why are you starving me, give me some of your doughnut”. And believe me, he had this look which made you want to give in to his every demand. We didn’t, but felt very guilty for refusing him anything.

My worst memory of Gio's life was when he was run over. And it was my fault. He was on an extendable lead and I was walking ahead of him when I suddenly became aware of an approaching car. It happened in slo-motion. I heard a thud, and then Gio emerged from the side of the car and sat down on the pavement holding his paw up. I gathered him up, ran home bawling my eyes out, thinking he would die. We put him in blankets and rushed to the vet who diagnosed a sprained leg. It could have been so much worse.

Back in 2005 Gio spent a morning with me on the general election campaign trail in Cromer. We bought him a union jack coat. But sadly even Gio’s charms couldn’t rescue me from an inglorious defeat at the hands of Norman Lamb.

Gio was a dog that liked his routine. At 2pm precisely he would sit by the dog chew draw. At 10pm he would demand his nightly rich tea biscuit and slurp of cranberry juice. On his nightly walk he would go so far and no further. And like all Jack Russells, a walk in his view was less about exercise and more about having a good old sniff.

But over the last year there had been a clear decline in the little scamp’s health. He developed a slight heart problem and seemed to pant too much. We were warned by the vet that he might not be long for this world. But he was a doughty fighter and bounced back again. But just before I went to Australia it became clear that he was struggling. I dreaded going away for three weeks with the thought in the back of my mind that I might not see him again. My partner John and I chatted on Skype video twice a day and I made him show me Gio each time, just so that I could be reassured he was still alive. I know John dreaded having to tell me he had died while I was away.

Whenever I go away the one thing that keeps me going is the thought of the welcome Gio will give me when I get home. And that was my abiding thought as I flew back from Australia the Sunday before last. But instead of being delighted to see me when I walked though the door, and instead of giving my face a good licking, he just looked at me to say “Oh, you're back then.” And then he wandered into the kitchen. I was gutted. And I knew then that something was seriously wrong. He had also clearly lost a lot of weight. He’d come to my sofa for “a love” – and just stare u at me into my eyes, as if to say “Daddy, what’s wrong with me, please put it right”. That look never failed to bring a tear to my eye.

Anyway, the vet then diagnosed diabetes. We were told he’d need an insulin injection every day. But then a minor miracle happened. An hour after the first injection he was back to his old self. He was eating properly, full of life, tail erect, being cheeky, keen to go on his walk, and everything seemed right with the world. But it wasn’t to last.

I got home from my radio show on Friday night to find that a few minutes before I got there he had had what we thought was a hypoglycaemic attack. He had fitted. We got the vet out to see him, hoping beyond hope that he would be able to fix him. Instead he delivered the devastating news that Gio was unlikely to make it through the night. It appeared he had had a stroke. He wasn’t in pain, but the sadness in his eyes told its own story. As the hours wore on, his breathing got gradually weaker, and at 5.30am he passed away.

Our lives will never be the same. He meant everything to John and me. He and John were devoted to each other. Gio knew that if he felt ill, it would be John that would make him better. He was the constant in Gio's life. John and I are very different. John is stoic and knows what to do if Gio is in pain. I collapse into an emotional jelly. And so it was last night. Gio spent most of his ast few hours staring up at John and I. If he could have spoken, he would have said to John: "Thank you, Daddy, thanks for being there for me. Thanks for giving me a wonderful life".

If you haven’t had a dog in your life you cannot comprehend the gaping void that can never, ever be filled. Someone said the best thing to do it get another dog immediately. I just couldn’t. It would feel like betraying his memory.

As I complete this tribute to the best friend I am ever going to have, it provides little solace to know in my heart that we gave Gio the best life a dog could ever have. Maybe one day we’ll feel ready to try to do the same for another rescue dog. But there will never be another Gio.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Australian Diary: The Second Week

Sitting here basking in 32 degree heat, looking out over a balmy Darwin sunset in northern Australia I am wondering why anyone would ever leave this heavenly place. I’ve been in Australia for nearly two weeks and have loved every minute of it. It’s a truly fabulous country and it’s easy to see why so many Brits come here to live. It’s a very optimistic country and you get a sense of the optimism just by looking into people’s faces as you walk down the street. Strangers smile at you. They chat to you with ease. There are none of the scowls you get if you ever make eye contact with anyone on the streets of London. There’s none of the scepticism so prevalent in our society in the UK. This is a can do country with a positive attitude.

The political part of my trip ended a week ago – I was here to deliver a number of speeches for Microsoft Australia, two of which were in Parliament House in Canberra. So with that part of the trip over with, it was time to do a little relaxing and sightseeing.

On Monday I took train ride up the coast to Newcastle, and very scenic was too – the train ride, I mean, not Newcastle. I got to Sydney Central station early in the morning and bought my ticket, which was unbelievably cheap. Bearing in mind it was a 320 km round trip it only cost £8. I took comfort in the fact that it was about the only cheap thing I had encountered on my trip so far. I then asked how much a first class ticket would be. “Sir, all our seats are first class.” That put me in my place,

The journey through the Hawkesbury River was stunning. The train never seemed to break more than about 50mph and it took three hours before we arrived in Newcastle. I had been warned that it wasn’t exactly a beautiful town, and so it proved. I wandered round the harbour area and up to Nobby’s Beach (yes, honestly) before waiting to catch a trolley bus tour of the town at 1pm. The trolley bus duly arrived and I turned out to be the only customer. The driver said he couldn’t take me on my own but would drop me at the town’s new maritime museum. Which he did. And it was closed.

Buses in Newcastle are free, and all of them run virtually empty. There’s a lesson there somewhere. I was amused to see that the buses were going to outlying town suburbs called Morpeth and Wallsend! So back to Sydney I went, and enjoyed the scenic railway for a second time.

In the evening I met Alice Wright for dinner in a wonderful Italian restaurant in Surry Hills. Alice was the floor manager at 18 Doughty Street and is now living in Sydney with her Aussie boyfriend. She is a speechwriter for the New South Wales minister for tourism. It was great to see her again and reminisce about all the programmes we made together.

It was another early start on Tuesday. I was picked up shortly after 7am from my city centre apartment by a tour company who were taking me on a tour of the Blue Mountains. James, the tour guide, immediately told me the bus would be very full. “There are two of you,” he joked. And there were. Me and a Canadian girl called Angela. The advantages of travelling in the Australian winter. We started off by visiting an Aboriginal Cultural Centre and then headed up into the mountains. Stunning scenery and more than a little of the Grand Canyon about parts of it. We even saw some kangaroos. I know it’s pathetic, but that was the highlight. “Whatcha say, Skip? Grandma’s fallen down a mineshaft?” Readers of a younger generation won’t get that, but those of us who were brought up on Skippy the Bush Kangaroo will!

On Thursday I flew up to Darwin to spend the weekend with Shane Stone, a friend of mine who is a former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. It’s a four hour flight from Sydney. To give you some geographical perspective, Darwin is further from Sydney than London is from Moscow. It’s the dry season in Darwin at the moment and a very pleasant 30 degrees. We were joined by two of Shane’s colleagues and were immediately driven to Crocosaurus Cove where we saw some very big crocodiles indeed! On Friday morning we headed out to Channel Point, which is a 140 mile drive, mainly on dirt roads. It’s on the coast, opposite the Peron Islands and is a compound of about 20 properties. It’s totally isolated from anywhere. You walk along the beach and you feel as if you are about to star in an episode of LOST. I’ve never been fishing before, but that’s what people do here. All the time. All day. Except that the wind was too strong, thereby preventing us from going out on the water. But we fished in a creek and laid crab traps. I eventually learned how to cast a rod, but didn’t end up catching anything. But I did catch crabs. There’s a joke there somewhere.

We headed back to Darwin this morning. I had to laugh at the start of an article in the local Darwin newspaper today. “Darwin is in the grip of winter. Temperatures descended to a chilly 25 degrees centigrade yesterday...” You have to laugh.

We caught the afternoon flight back to Sydney. I’m now gearing myself up for the final week of my stay here, which will be dominated by broadcasting my LBC show every day from 4am-7am from the Today FM studios.

And I am going to meet some long lost relatives in Sydney, I never knew I had. More of that another time.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Australian Diary: The First Week

I last came to Australia twenty years ago, in September 1991. Last time Australia was in recession was in 1991. The week I arrive here the country goes into negative growth for the first time since 1991. Sorry, Australia, I seem to bring recessions with me. I didn't mean it. Honest.

There are very few countries in the world I could live in. Australia is one of them. When I came here twenty years ago, I had expected not to like Australia. I have no idea why I thought that, because I fell in love with the country. Unfortunately, on that trip I only had about 2 days free time so had little opportunity to have a proper look round. We went to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, but spent all our time working. We were advising the Australian Liberal Party on reforming laws governing the employment of dock workers. On our first day in the country we were warned that if the dockers' unions found out we were here, our lives would be in danger. Nice. There was no such warning this time!

I never intended to wait twenty years to return, but time somehow just slipped by. So, why am I here? Well, those nice people at Microsoft invited me to do a week long speaking tour, and frankly, who was I to refuse? I then thought that it was rather idiotic just to spend one week here, so tagged on another week, and then had the bright idea of broadcasting my LBC show for a week from Sydney, and I will be doing that from 13-18 June. Unfortunately I miscalculated the time difference and I will actually be broadcasting my normal evening show from 4am to 7am in the morning.

I arrived in the country on Sunday morning and had a day and a half before my first speaking engagement. On Monday morning I recorded a 30 minute podcast interview with one of Australia's leading bloggers, Stilgherrian, which you can find HERE.

On Monday afternoon I switched on the Australian version of Sky News (same graphics and music as the UK version, interestingly) to watch Question Time from the House of Representatives in Canberra. More of that later. Ahem. One thing though, I was rather captivated by the Australian Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop, who I had never encountered before. I tweeted...

"Loving the hairstyle of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Australia. I hear she was Krystal Carrington's stunt double in Dynasty"

I didn't realise I had so many twitter followers here in Australia, as this appeared in most of the newspaper diary columns the next day. As you're about to see, I didn't learn my lesson...

My first speaking commitment was at the Sydney Institute on Monday evening, where I gave a talk on the world of political blogging and new media. It was a very engaged audience, who seemed well versed in British politics. Sajid Javid MP had been there the week before. Later that evening AMP hosted a dinner for me at the top of their harbourside office block. The night views over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge were stupendous. But it really was singing for my supper. There were about 20 guests and they grilled me between courses for a good couple of hours. Still, liking the sound of my own voice has never been a problem for me!

On Tuesday it was up early for the flight to Canberra. Very early. We got to the Hyatt in Canberra at about 10am. I had two speeches to complete writing, but I was so tired I thought I'd have a quick zzzz before getting down to it. Quick zzzz. Hmmm. I woke up at 2pm. Bugger. But luckily just in time to watch Question Time again. In Australia, the House of Commons sits for only 80 days a year - an innovation we should copy - and on each day there is a 90 minute Question Time session in which all government ministers partake. The behaviour in the chamber on this occasion was even worse than the day before. And that's saying something. I like adversarial politics. I would hate to have a sterile chamber like the US House of Representatives or the German Bundestag, but the Australians take adversarial politics to ridiculous levels. The pure hatred and loathing on the facts of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have to be seen to be believed. And the others take their lead from them. The Speaker, a gentle soul called Harry Jenkins, seems powerless to call order. Every few seconds he murmurs 'Order' but few take any notice. He names people. Still they take no notice. He can send people out of the chamber for an hour to cool down, and does. He can ban people. But they see no shame in being named or sin-binned. Indeed, it seems to be a badge of honour. The Speaker doesn't ever seem to stand. He just sits there and every 20 seconds or so, says 'Order'. To me, he is part of the problem. He's not an authority figure, and boy does that chamber need an authority figure. Anyway, during Tuesday's session I tweeted this...

"The UK House of Commons is often accused of behaving like a playground. It has nothing on the Aussie House of Reps. Unbelievable behaviour."

This led to quite a strong reaction on Twitter and gained me about 200 extra followers. Remarkably virtually everyone agreed. In retrospect I suppose I might have got a lot of tweets accusing me of being a whinging Pom, but there was only one blogger who really took issue with me and that was because of a bit of a misunderstanding. As a result of the tweet the BBC World Service rang and asked if I would expand on my view on their World Update programme with Dan Damon, which I duly did. Unfortunately they then posted a heavily edited transcript of my remarks, which they made out was an article by me. It wasn't.

And so it started. Radio interview after radio interview about what I had said. This afternoon I did a half hour phone in on Sydney's ABC 702AM station, which is their equivalent of ABC. Remarkably every caller agreed with me. Tomorrow I am on with Andrew Bolt on the Melbourne Breakfast show and then a station in Perth. It's remarkable what one tweet can launch!

If you think I am exaggerating about the Australian Parliament read THIS superb article by the FT's Matthew Engel.

That evening I met a dozen Aussie bloggers for dinner, along with several people from Microsoft.

Next morning, it was showtime! I delivered the keynote speech at the Microsoft/Open Forum Politics & Technology Forum at Parliament House. My speech was to be on Openness & Transparency and was scheduled to last 40 minutes. I have to say I don't think I have ever given a 40 minute speech before. I reckon that unless you're Martin Luther King or Barack Obama, people tend to switch off after 20 minutes no matter how good you are. So I deliberately timed a vicious attack on Julian Assange for the 25 minute mark. It worked. I think.

I then took part in a 90 minute long panel with top Aussie blogger Stilgherrian (that's his real name. He doesn't have a second one), Gianpaolo Carrera from Microsoft, Professor Eric Clements from the US, Shadow Chancellor (or Treasurer as they say here) Joe Hockey and Sentator Kate Lundy, PPS to the Prime Minister and Sarah Palin look-a-like (and I mean that in an admiring way, Kate!) and an expert in social media. It all seemed to go off well. I wasn't sure if my speech had worked, but all the twitter reaction seemed positive.

Later on, over lunch, I delivered a second speech to the All Party UK/Australia Friendship group of Senators and MPs. It was good to meet so many of them, especially the redoubtable Bronwyn Bishop, who I hit it off with - she's Australia's answer to Ann Widdecombe! I talked about the role of technology in the 2010 election.

Later in the afternoon we flew back to Sydney. I was due to have dinner with my old colleague from 18 Doughty Street days, Alice Wright, but I was so tired I put her off until Monday.

Today I had breakfast and lunch with Shane Stone. Shane is on the board of the holding company which owns Biteback, and he is the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territories and also a former Liberal Party President. Next week I am going to Darwin to stay with him. We're apparently going fishing in crocodile country, 300km west of Darwin. Apparently the boats have to have reinforced floors to stop the crocs biting through. I shall try not be a wuss.

I also went to the Microsoft offices to talk to 30 or 40 of their staff. I did it all off the cuff today, which is my favoured method of speaking and we had a really good Q & A. And that was the final part of the working bit of my trip.

I now have 6 days in Sydney to do as I please. I reckon I shall take a few day trips out of the city, maybe to the Blue Mountains one day and the Hunter Valley another. I also want to do a Sydney Harbour boat trip.

And I also need to start thinking about inviting guests to appear on my LBC show. The question is: will I be able to persuade people to come to the studios for 6am!

Just a final word about my first impressions of Australia on this visit. The one thing that has struck me so far is that it is an incredible optimistic, cheerful nation. People actually smile at you. You don't get many smiles to the dozen in London, but here, it's as if people are enjoying life and are not letting problems get them down. Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city and on the outside at least has coped very well with integrating a huge number of migrants from fellow Asian countries. But the prices! My God, this is the most expensive place I have ever been in my life. It's far more expensive than Scandinavia and Switzerland. A Mars Bar costs £2! A can of coke in the hotel is £5. I ordered a club sandwich, a cranberry juice and a cherry strudel desert. The bill came to more than £55. Breakfast is £30. Madness. Luckily, it;s those nice people at Microsoft who are paying, but after Saturday I am on my own!

Anyway, I have rambled on for long enough. I'll write another blogpost next weekend, assuming I haven't been eaten by crocodiles in the Northern Territories by then...

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Daley (Half) Dozen: Friday

1. Stephen Glover isn't sure he can trust his friend Chris Huhne.
2. George Readings condemns the left for allying with Islamists.
3. Julia Manning provides the solutions to Clegg's problems.
4. Liz Truss condemns the private sector surviving on subsidy.
5. Olly Grender wonders how Michael Moore will cope with Salmond.
6. Daniel Hannan examines how the British are viewed abroad.

On My LBC Show Tonight From 7pm

Next week I will be sitting in for Nick Ferrari and hosting the LBC Breakfast Show from 7-10am.


7PM: Terror suspects: What should we do with people we suspect of terrorism? A man the police think could conduct a terrorist attack in London has been exported to a Midlands city in order to protect the London public. Why isn’t this man behind bars?

8PM Cars: Is Britain falling out of love with the car? A new study shows that fewer and fewer of us are learning to drive and we have reached what some are calling “peak car”. Car use in London has held steady over the last 15 years. Why? Is it because more people work from home? Has public transport got better?

9PM The sale of Waterstones: What do you want to see from your local bookshop? Are bookshops destined for the retail scrapheap?

930PM Twitter: Do you use twitter? Do you regard it as a force for good or ill?

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Thursday

1. Better Nation bids farewell to British Political Debate.
2. Nicholas Watt praises the Queen for her performance in Ireland.
3. Jeremy Warner warns against Brown becoming IMF Chief.
4. David Blackburn on what Ken Clarke show have said.
5. Peter Watt insists the Labour party must stop fighting cuts.
6. Fraser Nelson examines how debt affects our security.
7. Fleet Street Fox points out what we would miss without tabloids.
8. Peter Botting has a few ideas to change MPs.
9. Alex Canfor-Dumas is confused about the idea of Blue Labour.
10. Tom Bradby looks at the future of Scotland.
11. Paul Waugh reveals who tripped up Spelman on circuses.
12. Matthew Sinclair attacks crony capitalism.

On My LBC Show Tonight From 7pm...

7PM Trade Union bribery: So, bus drivers are trying to force Boris Johnson to pay them a bonus during the Olympics for, er, working normally. What should Boris Johnson say to their unions? Isn’t this brazen extortion?

8PM Britain’s place in the world: Liam Fox says Britain will remain in the premier league of military powers. How important is that, and is it all dependent on military strength? Isn’t it about time we realised that we are no longer a major league world power and adapted our defence and foreign policies appropriately?

9PM LBC Legal Hour: with Daniel Barnett

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Wednesday

1. David Blackburn thinks Graeme Archer proves right wing blogs aren't dead.
2. Jerry Hayes gives us the lowdown on rape sentencing.
3. Political Scrapbook look at the Cabinet Of The Living Dead.
4. Thomas Sowell provides us with his usual economic wisdom.
5. Mark Wallace isn't pleased with Ken Clarke's attitude to rapists.
6. Harry Cole insists that Chris Huhne must go.
7. Robert Halfon reckons a PR elected Lords will create more patronage.
8. Sunny Hundal reviews Lord Ashcroft's latest analysis.
9. Robert Colville shows that the Trade Unions have never been so tame.
10. Michael Crick is getting ready to watch the scramble of MPs.
11. Cranmer tackles House of Lords reform.
12. Andy Mayer is disapointed with the health reform retreat.

On my LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Unemployment: Unemployment has fallen for the second quarter in a row. Signs of a recovery or a straw in the wind? Is this proof that the private sector is rising to the occasion and replacing the jobs shed by the public sector? But the number of women out of work is the highest for some time. Why do women suffer disproportionately in difficult economic times? Guest: Chris Grayling

8PM Ken Clarke: The Justice Secretary caused outrage today over his remarks on degrees of rape. Ed Miliband called for the PM to sack him, while women’s groups have been up in arms. Isn’t he another politician whose only crime is to speak the truth as he sees it, or do you think he should he pay with his job for his apparent crassness? Did his language offend you? And hasn’t this who episode marred a proper debate out sentencing for rapists?

9PM LBC Parliament Philip Lee, Conservative MP for Bracknell, Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, and Julian Huppert, LibDem MP for Cambridge.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Monday

1. Matthew Barrett unveils the Westminster Brat Pack.
2. Ben Brogan reckons Nick Clegg is boosted by Huhne's implosion.
3. Guido proves that Huhne's wife couldn't have been speeding.
4. Mark Wallace discovers further signs of a Conservative/Lib Dem merger.
5. Paul Waugh wonders who could replace Huhne.
6. Adrian Masters looks at the Welsh Conservative leadership race.
7. Mark Gettleson analyses Ed's flashman joke with the voters.
8. Neil Midgley reports another example of BBC waste.
9. Michael O'Brien reveals that Donald Trump won't be standing for President.
10. Dan Hodges doesn't think the Military Covenant should be enshrined.
11. Daniel Korski thinks Briton could run the IMF.
12. Brian Micklethwait has a collection of Rally Against Debt signs.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Libya: The International Criminal Court is seeking the arrest of Colonel Gadaffi for crime against humanity. Does this give the international community the excuse it needs to intensify the campaign in Libya and hunt down the Libyan leader.

8PM Dying Matters Awareness Week: Why is death such a taboo subject in Britain? Why are we so reluctant to talk to each other about dying? Is it because we fear death? Is the desire to live forever a natural one? Has your attitude to dying changed as you’ve got older? Why are women more scared of dying than men? Does the fear of dying make us reluctant to plan for the end of our own lives. Surely if we talk about it, plan ahead we can prevent the things we are frightened about from happening?

9PM LBC Book Club with Kay Burley (First Ladies, HarperCollins, pb £7.99) and Catherine Mayer (Amortality, Vermillion, PB, £12.99)

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tim Ireland Issued With Harassment Warning

Nadine Dorries has just posted this on her blog...

Today I had a meeting with Bedfordshire Police. They informed me that under caution and recorded on tape at Guildford Police station, Tim Ireland, of Bloggerheads, has been issued with a warning under section two of the Harassment Act.

If you wish to read Tim Ireland's defence and explanation, click HERE.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Daley (Half) Dozen: Friday

1. Raheem Kassam reckons Mehdi Hasan is delusional.
2. Paul Waugh shows that the City want David Laws back.
3. Amber Elliott can't believe how bad Labour's online strategy is.
4. David Blackburn explains how Bin Laden lives beyond the grave.
5. Political Scrapbook prove that chauvinism isn't dead.
6. Liberal Vision remind us about tomorrow's Rally Against Debt.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM David Laws: LibDem MP David Laws is, if the leaks are to be believed, about to be suspended from the House of Commons for 7 days. Is that the right punishment, or has he paid too high a price? What kind of loss has he been to the coalition government and do you think he can ever make a return?

8PM Drugs: Channel 4 is going to film people taking class A drugs live on TV. Do you think that this should be allowed? And if we allow people to take ecstasy on live TV isn’t that the first stage to the full legalisation of drugs?

9PM LBC Parliament with Mary Macleod (Con, Brentford & Isleworth), Caroline Pidgeon (LibDem GLA member) & Denis MacShane (Lab, Rotherham).

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

The Standards & Privileges Committee: J'Accuse

When something is leaked it's usually a good idea to seek to understand the leaker's motivation. So when we heard that the David Laws report was being leaked left right and centre, I immediately thought: "Who's done that and why?" It seems clear to me that a member of the Standards & Privileges Committee is most likely to be the guilty party, and they did it to cause maximum damage to David Laws. Why? Because they want to prevent him being brought back into government. So, who was it? These are the members of the Standards & Privileges Committee...

Rt hon Kevin Barron MP (Chair) Labour
Sir Paul Beresford MP Conservative
Tom Blenkinsop MP Labour
Annette Brooke MP Liberal Democrat
Rt hon Tom Clarke MP Labour
Mr Geoffrey Cox MP Conservative
Matthew Hancock MP Conservative
Mr Oliver Heald MP Conservative
Heather Wheeler MP Conservative
Dr Alan Whitehead MP Labour

This is not the first time members of this committee have behaved in a disgraceful way, and I have no doubt it won't be the last. But what does it say about a committee which is supposed to oversee standards in Parliament, that certain members of it can't resist leaking and giving out privileged information? If they are the people who uphold the rules of the House of Commons but can't obey the rules themselves, what faith can we have in them?

From the reporting, it is also clear that the leaker only leaked the most damaging passages to David Laws. So I suggest we all wait for the final report tomorrow before we rush to judgement.

Me and My Blog

From the BBC College of Journalism site.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Tuesday

1. Melanie Phillips argues against the 50% target for university students.
2. Dylan Sharpe looks back at the highs and lows of the AV campaign.
3. Max Atkinson is proud of his former pupil.
4. Mark Gettleson thinks he knows future Conservative strategy.
5. Morgan Kelly doesn't want bailouts for Ireland.
6. Dan Hodges concedes there is no "progressive majority".
7. Nick de Bois shows how NHS competition will increase quality.
8. Roy Greenslade condemns the Telegraph for subterfuge.
9. Dizzy is looking for Chris Huhne's shoulders. Can you help?
10. Paul Goodman warns that Osborne is the one delaying NHS reform.
11. Peter Hoskin analyses Cameron's interview in The Sun.
12. Dan Hannan reckons the Lib Dems have selective memory.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Coalition: Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the creation of the coalition. I want to know what you want to see the coalition do in its second year. Does David Cameron need to shake up his team and have a reshuffle. Who should he sack, and which talent should he promote? And should be bring back David Laws into the cabinet? And does Ed Miliband need to change tactics to score a few more political hits?

8PM The LBC YouGovStone debate: We’ll be crossing to the Royal Commonwealth Society where my colleague James O’Brien will be hosting a debate on the coalition’s first year, featuring LBC’s very own Mehdi Hasan and David Mellor, together with Dianne Abbott, Dame Anne Leslie, Vicky Pryce and Peter Kellner.

9PM LBC Medical Hour with Dr Rob Hicks.
Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

So So Gay...

The website SoSoGay has done an extended interview with me, which you can read HERE. If you're interested :).

Monday, May 09, 2011

On My LBC Show Tonight From 7pm...

7PM Coalition: Should David Cameron lay down the law, act like a leader and tell the LibDems exactly where they can put their demands, even if it risks the coalition collapsing? Why do the LibDems think they are in any sort of bargaining position to issue demands when they’ve just suffered a terrible electoral battering? If you were David Cameron, what would you tell Nick Clegg?

8PM Universities: Should we now accept that fewer 18 year olds should go to university? The last Labour government set a target of 50% of 18 year olds to go to university without ever really thinking through the consequences. Were they right to do that or have they created a generation of young people who feel they’ve failed if they don’t complete a degree?

9PM LBC Book Club With Paddy Ashdown, whose autobiography A FORTUNATE LIFE is published in paperback by Aurum at £9.99.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Sunday, May 08, 2011

All I Am Saying, Is Give Clegg a Job!

When LibDem MPs return to Westminster this week they could be forgiven for having a collective panic attack. In their 22 year history they have never had such an onslaught of the political heebie-jeebies as they experienced at the hands of 12 million grumpy voters this week.

Cleggmania has turned into Cleggophobia. Every policy Nick Clegg touches now is seen to be toxic.

Westminster pundits are already writing him off as a political busted flush. But then again, these are the very same commentators who didn’t see the SNP landslide coming in Scotland. They are the same people who predicted the Tories would lose more than 1,000 local council seats, when in fact David Cameron ended up with 81 more councillors on Friday than he had had only 24 hours earlier.

No, the Westminster commentariat is being rather previous in writing off the political career of Nicholas William Peter Clegg.

It may sometimes be difficult to believe but the Nick Clegg you see making apologetic, contrite statements on TV this weekend is the very same Nick Clegg who, only twelve months ago was riding on the crest of a political wave. He is the same man, with the same talents as the one who convinced so many people in TV debates that he was the real political deal.

Since then it hasn’t exactly been an easy ride for the LibDem leader. He became the anti-poster boy for students over the tuition fees issue. So unpopular did he become that the Yes to AV campaign wanted nothing to do with him. His presence in the Yes to AV campaign was regarded as toxic by the pro AV people. Elements of his own party have started whispering against him. They should be careful what they wish for.

Just twelve short months ago, Clegg led the Liberal Democrats into power for the first time in three quarters of a century. He out negotiated the Conservatives and secured a huge amount of the LibDem manifesto in the coalition agreement. Indeed, quite a lot of it has already been implemented, but you’d never know it because Clegg and his colleagues have been so inept at telling us. Instead, they concentrate on how they have supposedly stopped the wicked Tories from laying waste to the economy. It’s as if their message has become “Vote for us, we’re quite good at stopping the Tories being Tories.”

The sight of Chris Huhne and Paddy Ashdown stomping from TV studio to TV studio whinging about how the Conservatives have, shock horror, been ruthless in campaigning for a No Vote in the AV referendum has been pathetic to behold. You want to pull the dummy from their mouths and shout ‘Diddums’.

The sainted Vince Cable bleats on about how the Tories are “ruthless, calculating and tribal,” without the faintest hint of irony in his voice. Has he never observed a LibDem by election campaign? Labour and Conservative supporters still remember the LibDem campaign manual which urged their candidatess to “stir wickedly, act shamelessly”?

A friend of mine in Norfolk opened the door to LibDem canvasser last week. “I’m fed up with the lies your MPs have told,” he said. “Ah, but we don’t lie at local level, “ said the LibDem activist without a hint of a smile. The gut reaction of many LibDem activists and parliamentarians will be to distance themselves from David Cameron and the coalition. This would be a mistake. They have made their bed and there is nowhere else for them to lie. They will succeed or fail together, so they have to make the best of it. LibDem ministers like Vince Cable should think about that the next time they prepare to self indulgently sound off in the media.

The LibDems must also take on board the fact that David Cameron is no longer prepared to wrap Nick Clegg in a comfort blanket. Time after time the Prime Minister has come to his deputy’s rescue – much to the irritation of his backbenchers – and offered him a bauble, a little crumb of comfort at a difficult time. He’s turned a blind eye when LibDem ministers have gone off message, while at the same time coming down on his own rebellious backbenchers like a ton of bricks. No longer. Cameron has rediscovered his inner Conservative. Some would say, and not before time.

But what does Nick Clegg do now? Part of his problem is that the job of Deputy Prime Minister is not a real job. In many ways it’s a non job – ‘not worth a bucket of warm spit’, as John Nance Garner once said of the US Vice Presidency. Clegg’s only real policy role is to be in charge of political and constitutional reform. Well that’s worked out well, hasn’t it? And next up is House of Lords reform. Clegg would be well advised to wash his hands of that particular hornet’s nest because it is almost certainly going to end in failure.

Clegg’s best chance of recovering his once towering reputation is for David Cameron to be given a proper departmental job. It almost doesn’t matter which one. But it would give him an opportunity to actually do something, rather than just talk. If it were me, I’d give Clegg the job of Health Secretary. Then we’d see if he would sink or swim.

But that is the only concession David Cameron should make to the LibDems. He should indeed be ‘ruthless and calculating’, and send off any LibDem demanding futher concessions on health reform or indeed any other policy covered in the coalition agreement with their tails between their legs. What could they do about it? Nothing. They have nowhere else to go. The LibDems know that if they were to leave the coalition they would become the laughing stock of British politics. I know it. You know it. David Cameron knows it and more importantly, so does Nick Clegg.

Secondly, the LibDems need to start talking about issues which come up in conversation down the Dog & Duck. AV was never going to be one of those issues. The very fact that only eight boroughs in the UK voted in favour of AV demonstrated that perfectly. It was a ‘chattering class’ issue. No wonder the eight boroughs included the elitist climes of Oxford, Cambridge, Islington and Camden. No one else cared. It’s the same with House of Lords reform. The Westminster elites discuss it over their sun dried tomatos and polenta, but no one in the real world sees it as a political priority.

Clegg will always be a lightning rod for the LibDem side of the coalition. It comes with the job, but he needs to ensure that the burden is shared. It’s about time he reigned in Vince Cable and told him to knuckle down and do his job and that he can’t be Mr Popular all the time. The tendency of LibDems like Vince Cable and Simon Hughes to wear their political consciences on their sleeves is not an attractive one. It makes them look weak and ill-fitted to the job of leadership and government.

There is one further move that Nick Clegg can make to revive LibDem fortunes, and that is to ask the Prime Minister to restore David Laws to the Cabinet. The events of the last few months show how much his strategic brain has been missed. It is a scandal that the Standards Commissioner is taking so long to decide on his case, which is the only thing standing between him and a return to office.

The LibDems have always been at their happiest when they can chant in unison “I protest”. Government is not about protesting, it’s about making difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions and standing by them. Nick Clegg and his party still have to prove that they are capable of doing this. But there’s still time.

Yesterday was an electoral wipeout for the LibDems all across England, Scotland and Wales. It could hardly have been worse. And yet they still achieved 15% of the vote, which is way above their poll ratings. That will give them at least a crumb of comfort and persuade LibDem electoral strategists that all is not lost. Yet.

Friday, May 06, 2011

On My LBC Show Tonight: 7pm to Midnight

In just a few minutes Declan Harvey and I will be hosting an hour long nightly news special looking at the verdict of the 7/7 inquests. Should there now be a full public enquiry? How should the security services be reformed, and how did the emergency services perform? Declan and I will be joined in the studio by relatives and survivors of the 7/7 bombings and we’ll hear direct from them, as to whether they’re satisfied with the verdicts.

And at eight we start another four hour election special, during which we’ll be bringing you the results of the AV referendum and looking back at the local elections, Welsh Assembly and Scottish parliament elections with our expert panel.

Joining me in the studio will be Tony McNulty, Professor Colin Rallings and Therese Coffey MP and we'll be getting reaction from the national count at the Excel Centre.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Wednesday

1. David Starkey warns adopting AV could send us back into the past.
2. Shamik Das thinks Ken Livingstone has gone mad.
3. Joe Murphy shows the brainchild of the AV baby posters.
4. Lloyd Evans reviews PMQs.
5. Tom Perrin warns Cameron against a reshuffle.
6. Guido reveals that Eddie Izzard is just another politician.
7. John Redwood reckons it is time to bring our troops home.
8. Daniel Korski wonders if Chris Huhne is proving coalitions don't work.
9. Douglas Carswell has decided which way he is going to vote.
10. Ben Duckworth doesn't think Chris Huhne will be the next Lib Dem leader.
11. Toby Harnden reports on the loose lipped Joe Biden.
12. Tim Padgett catches up with the students who were with Bush on 9/11.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Middle East Peace Process: As David Cameron meets the Israeli Prime Minister in London I want to ask you tonight what effect is the Arab Spring having on the efforts to negotiate a lasting middle east peace process? Can Israel ever deal with Hamas, and if not how can we ever hope to achieve peace? What effect will the killing of bin Laden have, and is it now the time for President Obama to launch a big new initiative?

8PM Cinemas: Could watching a film at the cinema soon be a thing of the past? Major Hollywood studios are planning to allow you to download major new movies at home almost as soon as they are released. Cinema chains are up in arms. How have your movie watching habits changed? Would you regret the demise of the British cinema?

And from 9pm it's the LBC Parliament with Conservative MP Patrick Mercer (Newark), Labour MP Mike Gapes (Ilford South) and Liberal Democrat commentator Olly Grender.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Tuesday

1. Nick Pickles reveals an astonishing example of NHS waste.
2. Guido asks if Ed Miliband supports dancing on Thatcher's grave.
3. Political Scrapbook has pictures of the No to AV ice cream van.
4. Ed West doesn't look forward to the rise of "deathers".
5. Dan Hodges will shed no tears for Osama Bin Laden.
6. John Redwood shows that AV won't get rid of safe seats.
7. Aaron Ellis tries to understand the Pakistani dimension.
8. Dan Hannan congratulates Stephen Harper in Canada.
9. Gary Gibbon reckons Huhne is gearing up for the leadership.
10. Harry Cole highlights the contradictions of the Yes campaign.
11. Peter Hoskin reports that the CIA Director takes Pakistan to task.
12. Alastair Campbell admits he feels sorry for Nick Clegg.

The Great AV Debate On My LBC Show Tonight

From 7.15pm

The Great AV Debate with Margaret Beckett & Steve Norris from the No to AV campaign and Greg Dyke and Peter Hain from the Yes to Fair Votes campaign.

They will be debating the merits or otherwise of AV between 7.15 and 8pm and then we'll be opening up the phonelines so you can interrogate them live on air.

From 9pm it's the LBC Medical Hour with Dr Rob Hicks.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Monday, May 02, 2011

On My LBC Show From 10am till 2pm Today...

Only one story in town today, the killing of Osama bin Laden. I want your reaction throughout the four hours I'm broadcasting on this Bank Holiday Monday. We'll be mixing calls with reaction from politicians, diplomats and pundits. You can expect to hear from...

John Decker, White House Correspondent of Reuters
Sir Menzies Campbell
Douglas Alexander
Alistair Burt
David Davis
Sir Christopher Meyer
Charlie Wolf
Shashank Joshi

We'll also be talking to one of those celebrating outside the White House.

Jo Phillips will be with me between 11 and 12 ostensibly reviewing the papers, but I suspect not!

Do call in on 0845 60 60 973.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vote For the Name of my New Website

In the next few weeks I will be launching a new website. In effect it is a site which will contain daily articles from me, but also 7 or 8 other articles each day from a range of other contributors. It will be like a blog, in that people can comment on every article (after registering) but it will look more like a magazine or newspaper site. It will cover politics, media, the arts, books, films and sport, but with an emphasis on politics and current affairs. Contributors include more than fifty politicians, journalists, commentators, public affairs professionals, academics, pollsters, elections experts, business people and radio presenters.

The site will have no editorial line. It is not a right wing site, as will be evidenced from the range of contributors.

But I have a problem. I still can't decide what to call the site. I have canvassed suggestions, but none has really stood out as obvious. I want the site to be clearly associated with me, yet the site name, or subtitle, needs to clearly demonstrate that it is not just me and that many others are involved too.

So I want you to vote and we'll see if you all come up with a overwhelming favourite.

Vote HERE.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On My LBC Show From 7.30pm...

7.30-10PM Well, what a day it’s been. Even I, as an ardent royalist, hadn’t expected it to be quite so inspiring, exhilarating and enjoyable. It was a day when the whole country came together to wish a very special couple all the happiness in the world. It was a day of pageantry and pomp, and don’t we in Britain do it well? Celebrations are still taking place all over London as street parties continue right through the evening. What are we going to do over the next three hours? We’re going to ask you about your memories of the day. How was the Royal Wedding for you? I want to know how your street party went, what did you think of the ceremony, of the dress, of, ahem, Princess Eugenie’s antlers? And if you have republican sympathies, was there a part of you that enjoyed the wedding just a little bit more than you thought you would? Phone me on 0845 60 60 973.

Make sure you are listening at 9pm when I will be getting reaction from 'Lady Thatcher' among others to the day's events. There might be a word or two from Ed Miliband too...

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Thursday

1. Ben Brogan wants to see Cameron's inner Tory.
2. Michael Crick thinks Lansley may swap with Hammond.
3. Quentin Letts gives his thoughts on the sexism scandal.
4. Political Scrapbook reveals Chris Grayling faces sleaze probe.
5. Caroline Crampton wonders if Norman Lamb has got his facts right.
6. Gay Collins looks at how to achieve equality in the boardroom.
7. Daniel Knowles makes Ed Balls aware of the facts.
8. Richard English stands up for Britain.
9. Walaa Idris addresses the issue of Barack Obama's birth.
10. David Gibson hopes this wedding questions future Royal Invitations.
11. Byrne Tofferings supports the EU, go and tell him what you think.
12. Guido unveils No to AV's secret weapon...

On My LBC Show Tonight From 7pm...

7-9PM As the big day approaches it’s the Royal Wedding all the way on the programme tonight, right up to 9pm. Is your bunting up, have you put your flags out? How will you be marking the big day? Over the next two hours we’re going to preview the events of tomorrow and I want to hear from you what you’re planning to do, are you camping out on the Mall tonight, I want to know what you think of the royal wedding and whether we’ve all gone over the top. Personally I think all grumpiness should be banned for the day and let us as a country come together and rejoice. But if you want to have a grump let’s get it over with tonight, shall we? 0845 60 60 973

9-10PM LBC Legal Hour with Daniel Barnett

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Reward! What Should I Call My New Site?

As I wrote HERE, in a few weeks time, I will be launching a new website. But I have a problem. I still can't decide what to call it.

It's a kind of blogazine - I will write every day on the site, but there will be 30 or 40 other contributors from politics and the media. Some you will have heard of - others you won't know. The site won't have any political line, and we'll have film and book reviews too.

Iain Dale & Co, Iain Dale & Friends, The Iain Dale Collective, The Iain Dale Collection are all suggestions that have been made, but I wonder if it would be better to have a name which didn't include mine. Someone suggested Agora. I rather like that, but maybe it's too offbeam, and not enough people know what it means.

One thing I do know is that I don't want to use a derivative of my surname.


And to encourage you, I will offer £100 worth of books to anyone who comes up with the name I eventually go with!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Wednesday

1. Norman Tebbit gets tough on Tim Farron and the Lib Dems.
2. Caroline Crampton speaks to Andrew Lansley on NHS reform.
3. Guido Fawkes argues against injunctions.
4. Charlie Beckett thinks Marr should quit interviewing politicians.
5. David Singleton looks at how David Cameron has ended spin.
6. James Forsyth reckons the PM needs to control his temper.
7. Andrew Neil rejoices as Britain avoids a double dip.
8. Nicholas Watt examines the future Lib Dem leader.
9. Conor Pope shows the danger of Parliamentary emails.
10. Natalie Gonnella looks at what US conservatives think of Trump.
11. Alastair Campbell can't call the French election.
12. Sam Bowman wants to make libertarianism more relevant.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Syria: What should we do about Syria? Is diplomatic protest enough? Should the coalition widen its remit to take action against Syria if the killings continue? Guests: Sir Andrew Green (former Ambassador to Syria) and Roger Godsiff MP (Lab, Chairman of the All Party Group on Syria).

8PM Royal Wedding: William and Kate haven’t issued a wedding list, but most couples still do. Are they outdated? Do they irritate you as much as they irritate me? If you were buying a present for William & Kate, what would it be? What’s the worst wedding present you got, and would it have been avoided if you had had a wedding list?

9PM LBC Parliament with Nigel Farage (UKIP leader), Norman Lamb (LibDem, North Norfolk & Chief Political & Parliamentary Adviser to Nick Clegg), Michael Fallon (Con, Sevenoaks and Political Adviser to the Prime Minister), and Jeremy Corbyn (Lab, Islington North)

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Tuesday

1. Amber Elliot gives her take on the AV referendum.
2. Ed Staite reckons Chris Huhna has damaged politics forever.
3. Thomas Sowell warns against the Republicans choosing Donald Trump.
4. Guido thinks using Mandy is a sign of desperation.
5. Alex Deane highlights Andrew Marr's hypocrisy.
6. Nick Silver explores the true scale of our national debt.
7. Ben Brogan analyses the politics of Nazi graffiti
8. Mark Ferguson shows why Labour aren't ready for an election.
9. Daniel Korski wonders if we will see a Deputy Prime Minister's Office.
10. David Hencke supports progressive electoral reform, but is voting no to AV.
11. Katharine Birbalsingh wants results before we give teachers a fortune.
12. David Howden examines Mervyn King's "Operation Bernhard".

On My LBC Programme From 7pm...

7PM AV: Could it threaten the future of the coalition? Will you be voting along partisan lines or are you actually looking at the arguments? Will you take Peter Mandelson’s advice and use your vote to give David Cameron a kicking or is this referendum more important than that? How can the two campaigns get your vote over the next nine days?

8PM NHS: A fifth of staff at some hospitals wouldn’t want their own family treated in them. What does that tell us? Does it reinforce the arguments of those who believe the NHS needs radical reform? What does it say about those who work in the 12hospitals concerned that they clearly tolerate bad standards of care and cleanliness?

9PM LBC Medical Hour with Dr Rob Hicks.

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Thursday

1. The ASI encourages the government to allow free schools to make a profit.
2. Graeme Archer tackles the myths of Yes to AV.
3. Archbishop Cranmer flaunts the idea of Arnie, President of Europe.
4. Walaa Idris wonders if it is time to say goodbye to the EU.
5. Christine Odone shows why Kate Middleton will be better than Diana.
6. Alistair Thompson thinks Miliband needs to worry about AV splits.
7. Nick Pickles reminds the Daily Mail of their paparazzi pledge.
8. Julian Huppert attacks the government's digital policy.
9. Aarron Ellis doesn't think we should be in Afghanistan.
10. Mark Ferguson reckons Nick Clegg is a massive liability.
11. Douglas Carswell has discovered the eurosceptics secret weapon.
12. Tim Worstall shows us how to make money out of the new Cuba.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM NHS Cuts: Are NHS cuts a complete myth? That’s the conclusion the Daily Mail’s James Slack has come to. More money than ever is going into the NHS. Is it about time we faced up to the truth that it is trade unions and vested interests who are misleading the British public and that the supposed cuts just aren’t happening?

8PM Cigarette Bins: Westminster City Council today won their court case against Addison Lee, the cab company, who were being challenged over their sponsorship of cigarette bins outside pubs and restaurants. The council spent £100,000 on the case. Do you, like me, think this is a scandalous waste of public money?

9PM LBC Legal Hour with Daniel Barnett
Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Wednesday

1. Brendan O'Neill defends the working class.
2. City Unslicker wants peopel to stop using children as shields.
3. Daniel Hannan shows that an EU budget hike will wipe out spending cuts.
4. Matthew Hancock thinks Labour are taking lessons from the US.
5. John Redwood calls for a freeze in the aid budget.
6. Political Scrapbook looks at the loser Lib Dem Lords.
7. Mark Pack can even learn a thing or two from Lord Ashcroft.
8. Anthony Painter analyses the conservatism of the Left.
9. Madsen Pirie offers an alternative to bailouts.
10. Labour Uncut are shocked by Tom Watson's apology.
11. Direct Democracy aren't pleased with the EU budget rise.
12. Charlotte Henry tweaks the Cabinet.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM EU Budget: Incredibly the EU thinks Britain should pay another £680 million into its coffers. It wants to increase its budget by 4.9% next year – that on top of the 6% increase it demanded this year. Why should British taxpayers pay a single penny more into the EU budget when we’re having to make budget cuts at home? Guests: Nigel Farage and Patrizio Fiorilli, a spokeman for the European Commission.

8PM The Living Wage: The cosmetics chain Lush has become the first private sector company to guarantee its staff a living wage of £7.85 an hour. No Oxford Street retailer will commit to the scheme. Should London employers follow the 140 City organisations and the public sector and adopt the Living Wage? Or do you think that employers have far too many burdens and red tape to deal with that they just can’t cope with any more extra costs?

9PM LBC Parliament with Chris Leslie (Labour MP for Nottingham East), Jonathan Isaby (Co-editor of ConservativeHome) and Jo Christie-Smith (LibDem blogger)
Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Tuesday

1. Mats Persson analyses the price of the Euro in Finland.
2. Colin Bullen looks at the betrayal of our fishermen.
3. Guido has 170 billion reasons why Brown shouldn't be IMF Chief.
4. James Green reports that the Daily Mail is going to takeover the world.
5. Witterings from Witney shows why MPs work for party, not constituents.
6. Mark Ferguson takes a look at the "Purple Bookers".
7. Roger Helmer asks where are the cuts?
8. Conservative Home unveil Boris' new team.
9. Dizzy thinks Libya is good, especially if it is for oil.
10. David Gibson reckons the USA should forget Cold War feuds.
11. Biteback are pleased with the Twitter furore they have caused.
12. Political Scrapbook reveal more than 50 Lib Dem councillors have defected.

On My LBC Show From 7pm...

7PM Libya: Britain is sending military advisers to advise the rebels. Is this proof that we now have Mission Creep? Guests: John Baron MP & Douglas Alexander MP

8PM IMF: David Cameron is said to be ready to veto Gordon Brown as head of the IMF? Is he right to do so, or is it a sign of political vindictiveness? Guests: Derek Scott and Jacqui Smith.

9PM LBC Medical Hour with Dr Peter Ilves.
Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Daley Dozen: Monday

1. The Evening Standard calls on Londoners to vote NO to AV.
2. Ben Brogan proves why George Osborne is right.
3. The ASI reckons the True Finns are a sign of things to come in the EU.
4. Jim Pickard shows Widdy would have won Strictly under FPTP.
5. Jeremy Browne highlights the achievements of the Lib Dems.
6. Nick Robinson is wondering where Nick Clegg has gone.
7. Dan Hannan explains why Britain shouldn't join the Portugese bailout.
8. Political Scrapbook report that Liverpool Lib Dem Leader quits.
9. The Mole has two good reason why Vince Cable shouldn't get the sack.
10. Mark Wallace reveals the mess behind the scenes at Census 2011.
11. Rory Meakin wants to go without publically funded dance.
12. Will Heaven thinks two young historians maybe the future of the Conservatives.

On My LBC Show Tonight From 7pm...

7PM AV: Is this the most offputting political campaign in recent memory? Is the intervention of David Cameron a desperate attempt by the No supporters to add some respectability to their campaign? And what do you make of the fact that the Yes campaign's inability to get Ed Miliband and Nicl Clegg to share the same platform?

8PM London: How English is London? John Cleese reckons London has become distinctly unEnglish and he’s moved to Bath, which he considers more English. What word would you use to describe our capital city and has it changed over the last thirty years?

9PM LBC Book Club with Humfrey Hunter (The Men Files: What men Really Think About Life, Love, Dating and A Whole Lot More, Headline, Hardback, £12.99) and Neil Humphreys (Premier Leech, Marshall Cavendish, Paperback, £7.99)

Listen at 97.3 FM, on DAB, Sky 0112, Virgin 973 or at Phone in on 0845 60 60 973. Text 84850. Email Tweet me @lbc973

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Lynette Burrows "Snogging" Interview

Several people have asked me to post the interview I did on Thursday on my LBC programme with "Family commentator" Lynette Burrows. It lasts ten minutes and I can assure you is well worth listening to the end. I was speaking to her about whether kissing in public is ever acceptable, in the light of the two gay men who were thrown out of the John Snow pub in Soho for kissing.

LynetteBurrows by IainDale