Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Questions for Alastair Campbell

Next week Alastair Campbell publishes the first volume of his unexpurgated diaries, covering Labour's years in opposition under Tony Blair.

And also next week, I shall be interviewing him for my next IN CONVERSATION for Total Politics. I'm starting to think about what to ask him. If you have bright ideas for questions you think I should put to him, feel free to leave them in the comments.

40 comments:

Volantiz said...

Is there anything he regret doing or be a part of?

startledcod said...

Alastair,
i) Could you explain in detail your understanding of the word truth?
ii) Have you at any time, in your professional career, displayed what anything that the wider public could discern as moral behaviour?
iii) On what basis did you feel able to be involved at all in the putative coalition talks between Labour and the Liberla Democrats?

Just for starters.

OldSlaughter said...

"You have previously described your role in ensuring that the Government's message is heard most effectively without making any reference to wider moral or societal responsibilities. Do you feel that a job such as that which you held has higher moral or societal considerations or are you merely a professional handling a brief?
Is there are higher considerations, how much consideration did you give them?

George said...

You could ask him how he squares up morality and ethics with the work that he has done. Which can best be summed up, as agressively maintaining the mendacity of a Government, that existed solely as a mythic creation of the Politico/PR industry that it relied upon to maintain the illusion that it was actually doing something postive.

20/20 hindsight gives us the ability to see beyond the smoke and mirrors, that NuLab was deeply divisive and spendthrift and have brought the country to ruin. Does he have a conscience that can deal with this apparant anomaly to generally accepted ethical behaviour and standards.

Sean Haffey said...

1. Do you regret your starring role in the "Making Your Mind Up" video?

2. What do you see as NL's greatest achievement in office?

3. What was your greatest disappointment?

4. DO you agree with ANthony Seldon's assessment of the first NL term as one of wasted opportunities?

5. What happened to "education, education, education"?

6. Are there too many political advisors employed in Downing Street who are paid for by the taxpayer?

Beatrice said...

You have worked in politics and you have been open about your experience of mental illness. Do you have any plans to promote involvement in party, regional or Parliamentary politics amongst people from this particular group?

The Grim Reaper said...

Depends what sort of interview you're going for, Iain. If it's a hard-hitting serious political interview, I'd ask him about the death of Dr David Kelly and his role in the whole sorry saga.

If, on the other hand, it's a Mumsnet style interview, I'd ask him whether he makes a nice cup of coffee. Or maybe ask him what his favourite biscuit is. We'll see whether he can answer it in less than 24 hours - Gordon couldn't.

Richard said...

Would you accept the charge that you are a bit of a bully, and were part of a bullying culture in Downing Street?

Bon said...

How can you sleep at night when you see the mess we're in now?

Benny said...

Which hurt him more; Labour losing the General Election or Burnley being relegated?

Charlotte Corday said...

According to Rachel Sylvester in "The Times", you used to refer to Mr. Blair, Mr. Brown and Lord Mandleson as "The three poofs" Why?

Alan Douglas said...

How can he justify his withholding of the information appearing in his 2010 biography from the electorate, while publishing a bowdlerised version in 2007 (?).

Presumably by quoting loyalty to the Labour Party. Fine, but is there NO loyalty to the country, onto which he helped foist the most incompetent PM we have ever had ?

Alan Douglas

Londonerr said...

Q. You have been present - and would have had an influence - at some of the most difficult times for the Lab govt: Iraq war, Kelly's death, scandal after scandal. Will you apologise to the country for any of these matters?

Q. As part of your party's renewal in opposition you will have to confess that you have made mistakes. Which mistakes will you own up to?

Q. How do you answer Michael Howard's assertion that you, more than any other person, are responsible for the lowering of the tone of our political/public life. You didn't answer his assertions in an interview with Paxman and Howard in May 2007, would you answer it now.

Charlie said...

Iain - you've got to hammer him on the sexed-up dossier, and perhaps more importantly, the ultimate impact on Dr Kelly: what exactly was Ali's role in that debacle?

Nonny Mouse said...

Did Labour lose because of:
a) bad policies
b) failure of leadership
c) failure to communicate

Raedwald said...

Alastair,

Whether true or not, it looks like you will be remembered as the man who distorted the evidence on which the country went to war in 2003.

Now in the afternoon of your life, is it worth expending any more time or energy in trying to refute this obloquy?

alastair said...

Would you have interviewed Goebbels in 1945 if you had had the oportunity?

Maybe you should ask Alastair Campbell if he had learned his propaganda techniques (eg the "big lie") from Goebbels or if not, from whom?

AndrewSouthLondon said...

Do you think the Malcolm Tucker character in the popular political comedy "In the Thick of It" bears any resemblance to you or your role in Downing Street?

Gavin Gamble said...

Ask Mr Boulton.

Kcila said...

1. Hand on heart did you and Blair genuinely belive that Labour could achieve such an enormous landslide in 97.

2. Can you explain Clarke Carlisle's "faces like slapped boots" expression.

waymore said...

Now that he has left the building, just how "flawed" is Gordon Brown?

Right Hon. said...

Q1.) Is it true that you think Malcolm Tucker is a wimp?

Q2.) Owen Coyle: pragmatist or traitor?

Grand_Inquisitor said...

Having seen your spinning over the years, is your maxim "All is fair in Love, War and Politics"?

Have you read Machiavelli's "The Prince"?

Jules said...

"When is it acceptable to lie and when is it necessary to tell the truth?"

Jules said...

When you look in the mirror, do you see Malcolm Tucker (Thick of It) or Tobias Ziegler (West Wing)?

Paddy Briggs said...

Do you think Burnley will spring back to the Premiership next season?

Dame Davina Pancake said...

Err, what, exactly renders my previous comment unsuitable?

D x

Jamie said...

Can you name:

a) Three policies introduced by New Labour with which you disagreed?
b) Three policies introduced or so far proposed by the coalition government with which you agree?

fyoc said...

If Adam Boulton and yourself were in a fight, considering that you're a great big girl, you'd probably lose, wouldn't you?

Dorian Smith said...

Paddy Briggs, your asinine post (compared to questions posed by others) says everything about you.

By the way, who took your photo? They managed to capture your smugness perfectly.

Marcus said...

Do you admire Adam Boulton's ability to cut through the "chaff" and get to the core of an argument, while always keeping his cool?

HampsteadOwl said...

Ask him about his near breakdown on Marr's show back in February when we was pressed over Blair and Iraq.

Understand he could be defensive or angry over that, but he was nearly in tears. Where did that come from?

Rita said...

Why did he feel it necessary to remark on the findings by the Hutton enquiry on David Kelly's death:
a) himself
b) from behind a lectern at the base of a grand staircase
c) in presidential style
Does he now regret that action?

Cynical Cow said...

Did you really write erotic stories? Because you've obviously lost the knack. That sex scene in novel 'Maya' has to be the worst ever in recent fiction. Any plans for more dodgy chick lit books!?

Unsworth said...

Iain, do you believe that any of your questions will receive full, frank and honest answers?

The problem for all of us is to know when he lies and when he tells the truth. Best therefore to treat all responses with suspicion - and that is his legacy and his undoing.

Local Member said...

(1) What do you now think of your old boss Robert Maxwell?

(2) Do you regret physically attacking another journalist who you felt was disrepectful when Maxwell died?

(3) In 1998, did you leak any information about Geoffrey Robinson's £373,000 loan to Peter Mandelson?

Praguetory said...

Tell him that one of your readers has asked how would we be able to tell if Al was telling the truth?

Jimmy said...

Does the venomous and hysterical abuse you receive tell us anything about the conservatives' need to find a convenient scapegoat for three consecutive election defeats which avoids the need to confront their own inadequacies?

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

No it doesn't. It demonstrates that most people regard Campbell with loathing and disgust. Why do you think that might be?

Weygand said...

"Some years ago, Michael Howard said to you on Newsnight that you 'had bullied and lied across our political life' and 'had done more to lower the political tone than anything else'.

Even if untrue, this is a commonly held opinion, how does it make you feel?"

Although, I have to say that I fear that whatever you ask, you will be unable to prevent Campbell trotting out the usual spiel, and why anybody would pay to read that is beyond me.