Listen: Rachel Reeves Repeats the Same Point 8 times in 80 Seconds

14 Feb 2013 at 23:28

I rather like Rachel Reeves. She’s got some original ideas and is clearly very clever. You don’t get to work at the Bank of England if you’re not. But tonight on my LBC show she gave a car crash of an interview on the 10p tax rate and the mansion tax. It bore all the hallmarks of someone defending a policy they had been told they must go out and defend, using a cribsheet from Party HQ saying "repeat after me, this is the point you must concentrate on. The interview lasted about 7 minutes, but she kept saying the same thing over and over again. I picked her up on it three times.

Have a listen to THIS. It’s 80 seconds long and she repeats the same point 8 times. I seem to remember Ed Miliband doing the same thing once. Just because your leader does it, it doesn’t mean you have to. It certainly didn’t go down well with my listeners.



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Tory MP Heidi Allen Goes Totally Off Message...


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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day: Anonymous Trade Unionist

14 Feb 2013 at 16:49

If he swallowed a sixpence, he would shit a corkscrew

Anonymous Trade Unionist, on Harold Wilson



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Iain Dale leads a discussion on whether gender segregation is ever right


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UK Politics

Ed Miliband on the 10p Tax Rate: Then & Now

14 Feb 2013 at 11:54

This is Ed Miliband making the case for abolishing the 10p tax rate in 2008.

“When you make a big set of changes in the tax system, some people do lose out. That is a matter of regret. Of course it is. But overall these changes make the tax system fairer.” (Source: IFS)

And this is what he has said this morning…

“We would tax houses worth over £2 million. And we would use the money to cut taxes for working people. We would put right a mistake made by Gordon Brown and the last Labour government. We would use the money raised by a mansion tax to reintroduce a lower 10 pence starting rate of tax, with the size of the band depending on the amount raised.

So in 2008 he reckons it made the tax system fairer when the 10p tax rate was abolished. Does that mean he’s proposing to make in more unfair now?

I am all in favour of a 10p tax band, which I reckon ought to apply for all earnings between £10,000 and £20,000 in an ideal world. But I have no idea how much that would cost, but it would undoubtedly be several billion pounds.[Update: Putting it up to £12,500 would cost £6.2 billion]. There are all sorts of ways this could be funded, but Ed Miliband has yet again decided on a soak the rich policy. All well and good, but in parts of London and the South East many people who own a £2 million house are not cash rich at all, and only live in such a house because it has been in their family for decades, and it is only down to the vagaries of property prices which have put them in that bracket.

Finally, I rather liked this tweet from Tom Harris MP, which tries to justify Ed Miliband’s change of heart…

BREAKING: Ed Miliband honoured collective cabinet responsibility in last govt. We’ll bring you more as this story develops five years ago.”



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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Simon Mann

Former mercenary Simon Mann discusses his new book.

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UK Politics

BBC Parliament Tonight: Harold Wilson Evening Starts at 6pm

14 Feb 2013 at 10:44

I was two years old when Harold Wilson first became Prime Minister, and 13 when he left office. But I do remember him. I remember telling my parents in one of the 1974 election why they should vote for him. Even then I was a Eurosceptic and held it against Ted Heath that he had taken us into the Common Market. Wilson was in many ways the first Prime Minister of the age of spin. His press officer, Joe Haines, was a tabloid journalist and was really the first Downing Street Communications Director to use the dark arts of spin to any great extent. And he had a willing accomplice in Harold Wilson. His biggest affectation was the use of his pipe to burnish his man of the people credentials. He apparently never used it when off camera. For inverse snobbery reasons he seemed embarrassed by his past as an Oxford Don. Wilson will never go down in history as a great Prime Minister, and in a league table would feature somewhere in the middle. His greatest achievement was probably holding the Labour Party together and managing the big personalities and egos around his cabinet table. But he failed to tackle the country’s economic challenges, largely because he was unable to tame the unions.

Anyway, the point of this post is to alert you to a veritable orgy of Harold Wilson memories which will be shown on BBC Parliament this evening from 6pm. Be sure and set your Sky Plus. Unbelievably the BBC Parliament website makes no mention of if, but here’s the schedule…

6.00 Peter Snow introduces the evening
6.05 Interview following election as leader 1963
6.15 Panorma: Profile of Harold Wilson and Alec Douglas-Home on the election trail from 19 October 1964.
6.45 Interview with Wilson’s son Robin
7.00 1966 General Election
7.10 The Pound in Your Pocket Broadcast
7.20 1970 General Election
7.30 Yesterday’s Men
8.10 The Making of Yesterday’s Men
8.25 1975 Referendum
8.35 1975 Party Conference speech
9.05 Resignation interview
9.20 David Holmes interview, the then BBC Political Editor
9.30 Panel discussion on Wilson chaired by Peter Snow
10.00 Friday Night, Saturday morning talk show presented by Wilson

I’d love BBC Parliament to do much more of this sort of thing. Political geeks deserve a bit of TV pampering once in a while!



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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Tom Bower

Tom Bower discusses his biography of Simon Cowell and his other books.

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Valentine's Special: The Talk Radio Top Totty List 2013

13 Feb 2013 at 18:35

Every Valentine’s Day, Adam Boulton and his Sky News colleagues reveal their Top 20 Most Fanciable MPs. Some years ago I caused a bit of a stir by turning the tables and compiling the Top 20 Most Fanciable Political Journalists. To be honest it was a struggle to get to 20. So, this year, I thought I would do something different and take a look at my new profession, talk radio. There are some fine figures in the talk radio field. Indeed, some of the figures are so fine, they are magnificent. Clearly ALL my colleagues at LBC deserve to be in this list, but we have decided only to include a representative sample, so as to be fair to all our competitors. Obviously I take full responsibility for any offence caused, but the ranking has been decided by a secret committee of LBC producers whose identity must, for security reasons, remain confidential. Anyway, here we go. Get ready to feast your eyes, control your moistness and above all, keep your hands where we can see them.

1. Anita Anand
BBC Radios 4 & Five Live

There’s a saying that certain presenters have an ideal face for radio. The inventor of that phrase never met Anita Anand, who possesses quite possibly the most beautiful visage ever to sit in front of a six inch black tube with some wire on the end.

2. Nick Conrad
BBC Radio Norfolk

Known as the ‘gayest’ straight man in radio, he has everyone swooning. Whether he’s being naughty in Norfolk, feisty on 5 Live or whacky on BBC WM, he knows just how to touch a listener’s G spot. Ahaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Nikki Bedi
BBC Radio London

A lovely voice to go to bed to, need we say more? But we don’t want to go to sleep because that would mean we would stop imagining the face behind the voice.

4. Ian Collins
LBC 97.3

The man with the sleekest haircut in radio. Ladies, imagine running your sticky fingers through those auburn locks. This jock is hot to shock.

5. Emma Barnett
LBC 97.3

The ultimate ‘not just a pretty face’ Emma is a woman of many talents, not least administering the brightest pink lipstick in Christendom and telling us about ‘Wimmins’ things in the Telegraph. Probably best she’s never given an overnight slot on the radio, though. Think of the consequences.

6. Richard Bacon
BBC 5 Live

RIchard’s catchphrase is ‘Help’! Woman of Britain, sorry, but he would spurn your offers of help. This radio hunk’s wild child days are over, we tell you. Over! Down girls!

7. Petrie Hosken
LBC 97.3

Petrie is a real dish, and she’d like nothing more than to experiment on you. Bring your injection equipment.

8. Ian Payne
LBC 97.3 & BBC 5 Live

Ladies, Ian Payne will happily deliver you the news or show you some sport. But he’s a bit busy at weekends, so if you could clear your weekday diaries, please, he’d appreciate it. And he knows how to show his appreciation. And he even likes labradors.

9. Joanne Good
BBC Radio London

Boy is she good. Good by name, good by nature. Some of us remember her as a will o’ the wisp actress in Crossroads, But in radio she has found her real metier. The way she handles a microphone has to be seen to be believed. Swoon.

10. James O’Brien
LBC 97.3

The hostest with the mostest, whatever James may lack in the six pack department he makes up for with his massive brain. If you want to spend an hour of mystery with a top jock, James is undoubtedly your man. Especially on Thursdays. At 12.

11. Julia Hartley-Brewer
LBC 97.3

Be still our beating hearts. Julia H-B is such a fine figure of a woman, it’s difficult to know where to start without dribbling over her voluptuousness. And many have. We don’t know why it is, but her very name conjours up an image of her with a whip. [better stop there – ed].

12. Jeremy Vine
BBC Radio 2

He’s got the biggest one in talk radio, and he’s proud of it. His audience that is. He’ll even wear a cowboy hat if you ask nicely

13. Anne Diamond
BBC Radio Berkshire

Some women get better looking as they get older, and we think Anne’s a perfect example. The original face of Breakfast telly, she has that go to bed voice on the radio that instantly keeps you awake. Yes, we know she’s on in the mornings… She really is the original morning glory.

14. Graham Torrington
BBC Local Radio

Mr Smoothychops himself has all you ladies cooing with delight as he tells his late night love stories. The silver fox may appear to be snogging the microphone, but really, ladies, his lip are puckering for you, and you alone.

15. Shelagh Fogarty
BBC Radio 5 Live

The only radio presenter, so far as we know, to dive head first into the Serpentine wearing very little to cover her blushes. She does an excellent line in talking ‘dirty scouse’, a talent which she has sadly not felt able to bring to the airwaves. You can take the girl out of Liverpool…

16. Tony Horne
Wire, Wish & Tower FM

His twitter handle, @horneymedia, doesn’t lie. His smouldering looks have had an effect on the ladies across the north of England. He’s recently broken out of his Newcastle habitat and he’s laying waste to the whole of the north you lucky ladies.

17. Victoria Derbyshire
BBC Radio 5 Live

Vicky D gets better looking as she gets older. The cheeky little minx enjoys flirting with politicians of all colours and clearly has a thing for Ed Balls. Well, who hasn’t?

18. Julia George
BBC Radio Kent

Definitely the thinking man’s crumpet, Julia George entertains Kent each morning. She soothes, she coos, she ought to be the voiceover artist for the Flake adverts. I think we can all agree on that…

19. James Whale
LBC 97.3

His fan club doesn’t just consist of women of a certain age or the clinically unsighted. His velvet voice has women across London swooning as they drive home to the clutches of their rampant rabbits. Allegedly.

20. Rachel Burden
BBC Radio 5 Live

The thinking woman’s Rod Stewart, Rachel’s mellifluous tones wakes us up each morning, as she attempts to put Nicky Campbell (Oh no, Nicky, you’re not on the list. Maybe next year!) in his place. One almost imagines her as a school teacher. When we say ‘almost’….

Now, remember, this is all a bit of fun. Not to be taken seriously Not to have a sense of humour failure over. Especially if you are not on the list. Ok?!



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Video: Iain appears with Bucks Fizz in a Making Your Mind Up Video

A get out the vote video with a funny ending :)

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UK Politics

For Labour in Eastleigh Things Just Got Better

12 Feb 2013 at 23:36

This was always going to be a fascinating by-election but tonight’s selection of John O’Farrell as the Labour candidate could make it even more interesting. My suspicion is that he could well attract not just LibDem votes but also a few Tory ones too. He’s a bit of a name, but is the sort of Labour candidate that doesn’t frighten the horses. He looks a bit like a Tory and can sound like one. If he runs an insurgent campaign he could do very well indeed. The LibDems will be more concerned tonight than they will admit.

They will also be monitoring the amount of media attention devoted to O’Farrell. There will be a temptation for much of the media to give him far more attention than Labour’s 13% poll rating deserves. There will also be many editors who would like nothing better to cultivate O’Farrell and promote a surprise Labour win. Not because they are biased towards Labour but because it would be a great political story. The tectonic plates would have shifted.

This by-election is very difficult to call. My instinct tells me the Conservatives have most to lose here. If they don’t win there will be any who see it as a sign that the next election will be out of reach. If the LibDems don’t win, some will take it as a sign of their impending implosion, but they would try to downplay it and blame it on Chris Huhne. Unlike others I’m happy to put my neck on the block and predict a narrow Tory win. That’ scuppered their chances!

More worryingly for David Cameron will be today’s ICM poll which shows that 51% of women intend voting Labour and only 25% Conservative. It really is unthinkable that the Tories could win if those figures stay unchanged. For whatever reason – and we can all think of some – women seem to have fallen out of love with the Prime Minister. He’d better start addressing this problem urgently. But how?



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LBC 97.3: Tom Swarbrick with an Amusing Take on Obama's Inauguration

LBC reporter Tom Swarbrick wonders which US President sounds like the Thunderbirds narrator. Prepare to be amused.

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My Interview on Why I Returned to Blogging With the Mars Hill Blog

11 Feb 2013 at 21:37

This is an interview I did at the weekend with Paul Burgin (pictured) of the Mars Hill blog. I hope it may be of interest to my readers

PB: In 2010 you seemed to land a blow in the political blogosphere by deciding to quit. Remind us why you made that decision and do you feel you made the right decision for that time in hindsight?
ID: I absolutely made the right decision at the time. I had fallen out of love with blogging, I wasn’t doing it properly and something had to give. I was working at Biteback during the day and doing LBC at night and to be honest I was floundering. I had made a rod for my own back as I was doing 5-10 posts a day. I knew if I reduced it to one or two I would just get moans, so I decided to finish altogether. I never said it would be forever, though, and always intended to start again when the time was right.

What made you decide to start blogging again?
In July 2011 I launched Dale & Co, a group blog, but to be honest I was never happy with it. It started well enough but I only wrote occasionally and that was the only time the traffic spiked. It’s not that it didn’t have readers, it did, but the quality and frequency of contributions was erratic and there wasn’t a newsy element to it. It did make stars out of one or two people, but I never enjoyed it. It needed someone to grip it. So in about August last year I decided to scrap it and start a new blog. I talked to my web guy and he started on a new design and eventually we launched again just after Christmas. I decided very early on not to try to replicate the old blog. I’d blog when I wanted to and not when others seemed to demand it. After a two year gap, people would by and large have forgotten the prolificness of the old site. I decided not to make a big announcement, or make a big thing of it, just to start and see how it went. I do want people to read the blog, but I am not going to chase traffic for the sake of it.

Would you say blogging has changed over the past seven or eight years?
A lot of my old contemporaries have disappeared, which make it slightly less fun. I miss Tom Harris especially. I think blogging has also been usurped by Twitter. I love Twitter and find it very useful in so many ways but there is only so much you can say in 140 characters. I’m ashamed to say that I more or less stopped reading blogs. Even Guido and ConservativeHome lost their appeal. I’d look at those sites several times a week as opposed to several times a day. I got out of the habit of looking at my Google Feed Reader. I’m now back in the habit but to be honest most of what I see is a load of old tat. I have a rolling Daley Dozen on my new blog but it is rare that I can find 12 entries to fill it.

Many well known political bloggers have hung up their keyboard over the last four years or so, at one point there was a flurry of them; Tom Harris, Alex Hilton, Sadie Smith, Donal Blaney among others! What would you say is the secret of survival and how should bloggers adapt to the current changing scene?
I don’t think there is a secret of survival. Some of us quit when we don’t really have anything more interesting to say. Dizzy, possibly my favourite blogger, is quite happy to go through fallow periods and the start up again. That seems to be happening to a lot of people. I think every blogger is unique and must decide what is right for them. No amount of pressure from anyone can force someone into doing something they don’t want to do. If you’ve got nothing further to say, and you’re boring even yourself, it’s probably time for a break or even stop altogether.

As one reviewer of your book The Blogfather put it, you have moved on from a blogger who was trying to enter Parliament to being somewhat politically semi-detached, how comfortable do you feel with that?
I got the LBC job. The radio provides me with the adrenaline fix which politics used to provide and I am totally comfortable. Yes, I would love to have been an MP, but since I made the decision not to try for a seat again, I feel almost liberated. I never did really hold back too much, which may be one reason why I never made it (!), but now I am beholden to no one and can say what I like. I did think I might regret the decision, but two and a half years later I haven’t at all. Indeed, I am positively pleased I made it. I sometimes wonder what I would feel like if I hadn’t .

Would you say, depending on how things look at this moment, your return is short or long term?
It’s difficult to say. I don’t really think of things like that. I may well go through fallow periods, but I hope I will be around for a long time to come. Six weeks on I really enjoy being back. I seem to have caused a stir with a few things I have written and while the new blog is not quite the same as the old one, it has attracted a much higher audience than I expected it to. I don’t expect ever to get back to the heights of 150,000 absolute uniques a month and I shan’t attempt to. For some reason I am writing much longer blogposts than I used to. Many of my old blogs were only three or four lines long. On the new blog I seem to write mini essays. I used to do a lot of lists. So far I haven’t done many of those. Some people will no doubt be relieved!



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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to singer Alfie Boe

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World Politics

Remembering Armenia's Karine Kazinian

11 Feb 2013 at 16:52

When I went to Armenia a few years ago I met a politician called Karine Kazinian At the time she was the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister and she had quite an effect on me. Indeed, I wrote THIS blogpost about her. Here’s an excerpt…

I had the pleasure of having an uproarious chat with the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, a lady called Karine Ghazinyan (pic). She’s only been in the job six months, having previously been Armenian Ambassador to Rumania and Germany. Armenian Ministers are not politicians – they are appointees by the Prime Minister. She was the most untypical diplomat I have ever met – a real Margaret Thatcher in the making if ever I saw one. She also had a good line in jokes from the Soviet era… Both the American and Soviet constitutions guaranteed freedom of speech. The difference was that the American constitution guaranteed freedom after the speech. Boom boom. And… Damn, I can’t remember the other one.

Back in 2011 she was appointed Armenia’s Ambassador to the UK, and helped transform relationships between our two countries.

Anyway, I got an email this afternoon from my friend Dan Hamilton, which rather rocked me.

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that your excellent description of my late friend “Karine Kazinian” (sometimes written as “Ghazinian”) as an “Armenian Margaret Thatcher” was mentioned at her memorial service on Thursday evening. It was one of the few happy points in what was an horrendously difficult and sad evening. It’s still hard to believe we won’t see her again – but I thought you’d appreciate knowing.

I am ashamed that I had no idea she had died. Armenia has lots a truly great lady.

Frankly I can do no better than point you towards Dan Hamilton’s excellent blogpost which he wrote on the day Katrine died. He was a good friend of hers and writes poignantly about her life, and the very sad circumstances in which she lost it.



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Iain Tells James O'Brien Why he's Wrong on the Tube Strike

Very wrong.

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Remember You're a Conservative, Mr Hunt

11 Feb 2013 at 12:56

When I heard that the new much needed social care reform were going to be paid for by raiding the Inheritance Tax tin, I was frankly incredulous No one who calls themselves a Conservative should have any truck with increasing the burden of Inheritance Tax. It is a tax on aspiration, a tax on success and effectively licensed robbery. When the Conservatives launched their manifesto promise to take anyone who isn’t a millionaire out of the Inheritance Tax net I cheered. I remember making a speech suggesting just that at the 2005 conference, only to be told by George Osborne that this wasn’t a proceed of growth he intended sharing. Yet two years later he ruined Gordon Brown’s election plans by announcing he would increase the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1 million. Sadly that fell victim to the LibDems in the Coalition Agreement.

The government is doing exactly the right thing in reforming social care, and planning for the long term. But by effectively increasing Inheritance Tax he’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul. I cannot for the life of me imagine why George Osborne agreed to this. And agreed to it he must have. It shows huge political naivete and yet again the Government misses a chance to prove their Conservative credentials. I’ve said before that Jeremy Hunt isn’t a very political politician. He hasn’t got any sound Conservative roots. And this is proven today. He may be tempted to put this down to the need to pacify the LibDems, but if this had been a LibDem victory, don’t you think they would be shouting from the rooftops how they’ve persuaded the evil Tories to become slightly less evil?

Jeremy Hunt has made quite a good start as Health Secretary in some ways, but he does need to remember he is actually a Conservative, rather than a nanny statist. A true Conservative would not only never countenance the extension of Inheritance Tax, he would make clear that it is a tax which, in the long term, should be abolished.



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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale Has a Row With an Argie Apologist

Professor Guillermo and Iain were supposed to talk about the Falklands. They really didn't get on.

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My Ten Favourite Places in the World

10 Feb 2013 at 23:40

On my old blog, I used to do a lot of lists. Some people liked them. Others found them annoying. Well, I think it’s time for one on my shiny new blog, don’t you? So, here are my ten favourite places in the whole wide world… in no particular order…

Washington DC

Washington has everything I want from a capital city. Fantastic sights, great restaurants,political haunts and some memorable bars. I first went to Washington in 1990, visiting friends and I have been back about 20 times since. The magic of the place always gets me. Each time I go back, I make sure I go to the Lincoln Memorial at midnight and just sit in front of it staring down the Washington Mall, just contemplating my life. I also love to sit in the Central Cafe in Union Station. I’ve only been to the White House once, but I got a private tour, and even blogged from the Oval Office. Not many people can say that! I last went in November last year to broadcast a week of programmes for LBC.


I first went to Sydney back in 1992. Twenty years later I returned. Like Washington, Sydney has everything I want from a city. It’s far more cosmopolitan than Washington and is now massively multicultural. For me, Sydney’s main attraction is the water. The beaches are wonderful and the harbour has to be experienced. It’s impossible to describe its magnificence to someone who has never been there. Oddly, up close the Opera house is a little disappointing. I could imagine living in Sydney, and there aren’t many places in the world I could say that about. It’s also possibly the most expensive place I have ever been to, and that includes Switzerland. One day I want to go back and spent three months touring Australia. Can’t see it happening, though.


People who have never been there imagine Switzerland to be incredibly boring, and from this picture, you probably think I do too. Not a bit of it. I’ve spent most of my time in the German speaking part around Zurich and Lucerne. I love water and I love snow, and I love chocolate. So that gives you a clue as to why I love the country. It’s certainly one of the most scenic countries I have ever been to. Driving around there’s always something to look at. I took my mother on a weekend to Zurich three or four years ago. The memories of that trip will stay with me for a long time.


In 1991 I became the first British person to go to Beirut since the release of John McCarthy. Believe it or not I was speaking at a conference on transport privatisation. I got an SAS guard, and this picture shows me at the hotel with two soldiers from the Lebanese army. I was advised to stay in the hotel, but I couldn’t resist it and took myself off into the centre of Beirut and was then shown round the mountains and valleys surrounding Beirut. I must have been mad, but it was a memorable trip and I would love to go back now. Then, the place was largely still in ruins.

North Norfolk

North Norfolk feels like home to me, even though I am an Essex boy. The coastline is unique and s very beautiful. When I was at university in Norwich I would often drive up to the coast and walk along Mundesley beach on my own at midnight and just contemplate life. When I became Tory candidate for the area in 2003 I thought I had gone to heaven. We had a lovely little cottage in Swanton Abbott but had to sell it when I lost the election. We’ve just bought a house in Lamas, and hope to move in in the Spring. If I have my way, we’ll move there lock, stock and barrell at some point.

Bad Wildungen

Bad Wildungen is a spa town near Kassel in Hessen. I spent my gap year there in 1980-81. It’s where I learned to speak German fluently, while working in a hospital for paraplegics. I guess it was that year that made me grow up. In truth I love Germany as a whole. I also spent a year teaching in a school near Stuttgart. That was less enjoyable, but I did love my weekends in the Black Forest. This photo was taken in Bavaria. I just couldn’t resist it. I really miss my German family and it’s about time I went back to visit them.


I only spent about four days in Colorado, but what a four days. It was back in 1990. I absolutely loved Denver. We then spent two days in Vail skiing. What an experience. I forgot to apply any sun lotion and suffered the consequences. My face exploded, but it gave me the best sun tan I have ever had, which lasted for about 6 months. The skiing was better than anywhere i have ever skiied in Switzerland or Austria. It seemed a different kind of snow. I also spent a great evening in Boulder, Colorado at a dinner theatre, watching Chess.


I’ve only been to Israel once, and it was only four days, but boy was a lot packed in. This picture is from the Golan Heights. We went to the Sea of Galilee and stood on the spot where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. I’m not religious, but it did feel like a rather holy experience. Jerusalem was something else too. I love the markets, the smells, the people. We also went to Ramallah. We stayed in Tel Aviv, which is a real westernised city and full of sights.


I went to Budapest on the spur of the moment in 1990. I was in Vienna with an American friend and we decided to drive to the border. We hadn’t realised you could now cross, so cross we did, and ended up spending three days in Hungary. We found that the country’s first McDonald’s was just being built. The food was astonishing and everything was very cheap, including a luxury hotel. The Parliament building was very gothic and made me feel quite at home. Lovely people too. Highly recommended.


Rwanda is not a place I ever thought I would visit, but I am so glad I did. It was back in 2007 and I went to make a documentary, covering the social action projects embarked on by a group of Conservative volunteers. I had never seen such poverty anywhere else before, and yet it seemed a very happy country bearing in mind what had happened in 1994, when 800,000 tutsies were killed. We were based in the capital, Kigali, where the taxis take the form of hitching a ride on the back of a motorcycle. Great fun, but very dangerous. The roads are haphazard and the drivers are lunatics but it’s an incredibly beautiful country and one day I’d like to return.



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Video: Iain "persuades" Ed Balls to play the piano

LBC 97.3

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