Tribute

A Tribute to Andy Wilson

11 Jun 2014 at 08:42

I don’t know who it was who said that ‘only the good die young’, but they certainly had a point. Only two months ago I wrote about my friend Corinne de Souza, who died from cancer at the age of 58. Well yesterday I attended the funeral of another friend who also fell victim to that same dreaded disease at the age of 54.

Andy Wilson is not someone many of you will know, but to me and many others he was a total inspiration. I first met Andy back in 2006 when I had the idea of launching Total Politics magazine. I went to see Michael Ashcroft to see if he would back it. He was very enthusiastic and suggested I took the idea further with the man who handled many of his investments. His name was Andy Wilson. Right from the off, Andy became a confidant and a business guru, but also quickly became a friend. But more than anything else he was an enthusiast. He didn’t come from the world of politics or publishing but was fascinated by both. He was a man of ideas and positivity. He understood a company balance sheet like no one else I have ever met, and was able to explain basic accounting issues in a way that even an accounting ignoramus like me could easily understand.

Above all, Andy was a people person. He understood the power of motivation and certainly knew what motivated me. He had the power to make you feel good about what you were doing, even in difficult times. And believe me, when you launch a political magazine at the beginning of a recession, there are difficult times to go through. Even when I had difficult news to impart to him, I would always leave the room feeling much better than when I went in, and there aren’t many people I can say that about.

We didn’t always agree – that would have been odd, but in eight years of a business relationship we never had a cross word. We could be totally straight with each other without either of us taking exception to what the other was saying. He taught me more about running a business than anyone else in my career and I will always remain profoundly grateful for his guidance and inspiration.

His brother in law Damian Thornton gave the most fantastic eulogy yesterday and nothing I can say can improve on what he said. Andy bore his illness with the most tremendous courage and fortitude. He worked for as long as he could., but when he didn’t come to the Political Book Awards in March I knew things must be bad. I never talked to him about what he was going through as I decided that he probably had enough people asking how he was. And I knew if I did ask him and he told me the truth I would become too emotional, and he could do without that.

I mentioned the Political Book Awards. Everyone thinks that event was my brainchild. It wasn’t. It was Andy’s. And next year I want to name an award after him. He was a lover of books and in his eulogy yesterday we learned that on a family holiday at the age of 14. Andy polished off 15 books in 14 days. I would always send him every single book published by Biteback. Every so often he’d send me an email saying “loved that book” or “mystified as to why you took that one on”, and he’d also come up with ideas as to authors we might approach. But it was always done in a spirit of helpfulness. He was always optimistic and positive.

It is largely thanks to Andy that Biteback is now a profitable company. It took us longer than I would have liked to get there, but I do know that without Andy we wouldn’t have got there at all. I’m just so sorry that he didn’t live to see us achieve what he was always confident we could. In my moments of doubt he would take me aside and tell me how well we were doing and success would come.

He also knew how important my broadcasting is to me. I remember telling him LBC had offered me a permanent show, back in August 2010. I explained to him that I had had two dreams in life. One to be an MP and another to have my own radio show. Well the first dream had been extinguished and I really wanted to see if I could live the second. I felt I needed Andy’s and Michael’s blessing as it would effectively mean taking on the equivalent of two full time jobs. They didn’t hesitate to give their approval and I shall remain forever grateful to them both, as it would have been perfectly understandable if they felt that it would have been too much.

This tribute has already become far longer than I had intended, but that’s because there is so much I wanted to say about Andy. I can’t begin to understand how his wife Emma and their three children are coping. But they know from the turnout at the funeral yesterday the level of love and admiration there was for Andy. He was just the most kind, generous, most empathetic man you’re ever likely to meet. As an illustration of that, three years ago John and I were thinking of buying a house in Norfolk, but we couldn’t get a mortgage on it because of the fact it was of non standard construction. We didn’t need a massive mortgage so it was incredibly frustrating to see it slipping through our hands. I was sounding off about this to Andy one day and he immediately offered to lend us the money himself, personally. I was totally bowled over. In the end we didn’t win the auction so it didn’t happen, but I will never forget what he was prepared to do.

I still can’t believe that I won’t see him again. But when I think of him, I will always think of him with his infectious grin. Andy, what a very special man you were. Are. I don’t think you could have possibly comprehended what a massive hole you would leave in the lives of all who knew you. Rest easy, my friend.

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to West Ham Co-Chair David Gold

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Humour/Satire

Possibly the Best Photo Caption Ever

8 Jun 2014 at 10:48

Unless, of course, you can do better…

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LBC Book Club: Iain talks to Nick Harkaway & Simon Hoggart

Iain talks to Nick Harkaway about surviving in the digital age and to The Guardian's parliamentary sketchwriter Simon Hoggart

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Diary

ConHome Diary: The Ten Bills in Prime Minister Dale's Queen's Speech

6 Jun 2014 at 14:11

It comes to something when the measure in the Queen’s Speech which grabs most headlines is a 5p plastic bag tax. Back in the 1980s and 1990s there would be between 18 and 23 bills in the Gracious speech. In this one there were eleven. Now, don’t get me wrong, I rather like the fact that there is less legislation. I certainly don’t want legislation for legislation’s sake, but the trouble with this Queen’s Speech was that it gave the impression of a government which is tinkering around the edges rather than getting to grips with some of big issues facing the country.
*
Given the results of the European elections I still cannot quite understand why there wasn’t a government bill to legislate on a European Referendum in 2017. Ah, say the Tory politicians, this is a Coalition Queen’s Speech, and the LibDems would never agree to it. Well bloody put them on the spot then. Make a big song and dance of it, and force them to publicly veto it. It’s called politics.
*

This has not been a good week for David Cameron’s euro-diplomacy. It looks more and more likely that Britain’s arch-nemesis Jean Claude Juncker will become the new President of the European Commission. If so, I am pretty sure which box my vote will go in in 2017. His appointment will give plenty of ammunition to UKIP who persist in claiming that Cameron won’t be able to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU. After all, if he can’t stop Juncker climbing to power, how on earth will he persuade his fellow EU leaders to give in on anything major. There is now more than a small chance that if he wins the election he could bring forward the In/Out vote and carry it out on the terms of our current membership. Serve the EU right if he did.
*
On Tuesday I have the honour of doing a half hour long interview with Norman Tebbit, one of my political heroes. I have met him on a couple of occasions before and have always been struck by his wonderful sense of humour and glorious wit. He came in to talk about his new children’s novel which is about a disabled boy and his relationship with a golden Labrador called Ben, but naturally he strayed onto present day politics and his memories of the 1980s. I won’t give away too much but he did anoint a future leader of the Conservative Party during the interview, and it was a surprising name. I suspect when the interview is broadcast at 7.30pm on LBC in two Fridays time, it will grab a couple of headlines.
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By the way, if you’re doing nothing better at 7.30pm this evening (Friday 6th), do listen to LBC as I’m interviewing the redoubtable Baroness Trumpington. And next week at 7.30 John Campbell talks about his biography of Roy Jenkins.
*
I was interested to see that SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson was bitterly complaining that there was no mention in the Queen’s Speech to devolve tax raising powers to Scotland. I’d say that tweet betrayed his deep insecurity about the result of the independence referendum. After all, if Scotland votes for independence there would be no need to for such a massive shift in powers anyway. But imagine if the Queen had mentioned it. He’d no doubt have complained about interference by the Westminster government in advance of the referendum. With the Nats you just can’t win.
*

This week a Nigerian lady called Afusat Saliu was deported back to Nigeria along with her two small daughters. She had fought deportation on the grounds that she feared she would be killed by Boko Harem (she had converted to Christianity from Islam) and that her daughters could well be subjected to female genital mutilation. She had been forced to undergo it by her family before she came to this country. Appeal after appeal was made to the Home Secretary and to Norman Baker the LibDem Home Office Minister. The appeals came to nothing and on Wednesday she was sent back to Nigeria. The LibDems make a big deal out of the fact that they have been behind moves to stop this barbaric practice, yet one of their senior ministers has been complicit in sending to little girls back to Nigeria to be potentially brutalised. One can only hope the ministers are right and the mother’s fears prove misplaced. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in Norman Baker’s shoes if events turn out differently. Lynne Featherstone will have his balls for souvenirs.
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Hurrah! Tower Hamlets have completed their election count, which according them was carried out in an exemplary fashion and other councils would do well to copy them. Lol. This week there has been an interesting development. Andy Erlam, who stood for the council under the Red Flag Anti-Corruption Party, has launched an election petition in the High Court. If successful the whole mayoral election could be re-run. Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman consistently refuses to come on my radio show to be held to account. Instead, last week he offered himself to another LBC show … hosted by his good friend and tummy-tickler in chief, Ken Livingstone. Ken’s co-presenter David Mellor made a valiant attempt at pinning Rahman down, but he left the studio unscathed as at every point Ken would intervene with a comment like “Oh it must be terrible for you, Lutfur, all these people smearing you.” “Oh yes, it is,” replied the mayor. Would I have been any more successful? Rahman’s cowardliness means we’ll probably never know.
*

As readers of my old blog will know, there’s nothing I like more than a list. So here are my Top Ten Bills Which Weren’t in the Queen’s Speech But Should Have Been.
1. Police Commissioners (Abolition of, Especially in Kent) Bill
2. Increase in the 40% tax threshold to £75,000 Bill
3. Liberal Democrats (Abolition of) Bill
4. European Referendum (on 5 May 2016) Bill
5. Church of England (Disestablishment of) Bill
6. Inheritance Tax (Abolition of) Bill
7. Ed Miliband (Endangered Species Protection Of) Bill
8. Amazon.com Inc (Force them to pay tax) Bill
9. Joanna Lumley (Listed status) Bill
10. The eBook (Elimination of VAT) Bill

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Video: Iain Dale North Norfol Campaign Video on Coastal Erosion

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Travel

D Day Remembered - A Trip to the Normandy Beaches

5 Jun 2014 at 10:45

My Dad turns 85 in October. He was nine when the Second World War broke out. For him, the war defined his whole life. He was 15 when it ended. To this day he devours every programme he can watch about it. His TV is permanently tuned to the History Channel or the Discovery Channel.

Back in 1994 I took my father to visit the Normandy Beaches, a couple of weeks before the 50th anniversary of D Day. My friend Daniel Forrester from Washington joined us with his father Ed, together with my uncle, Steve Kiddy and a dear family friend, Dennis Nicholls. We stayed in Dennis’s son’s lovely little rustic cottage about twenty miles inland. It was one of the best holidays of my life – full of emotion, some great banter with the French who seemed to want to thank us personally for what our countrymen had done to liberate them in 1944 and it was great to spend 5 days with my Dad, a man who normally hates holidays and hasn’t got a lot of time for ‘abroad’.

Twenty years on, I watch the TV news pictures of the preparations for the D Day Commemorations and become rather wistful, remembering that wonderful week. Daniel’s Dad Ed is no longer with us, nor is Dennis Nicholls, who was such an important part of the events of those seven days. I can’t put into words what happened that week but all who were there know how special it was. It was part ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, part school trip,

except the roles were reversed, with Daniel and I being the teachers and the old boys becoming the kinds. I remember being in a restaurant one evening and my Dad was complaining about the ‘foreign muck’ on his plate. ’You’ll sit there until you eat it,’ I remember telling him rather sternly. And do you know what? He did, and he enjoyed it. He became a bit of a hit with French waitresses I seem to remember, and on a visit to a cafe at Juno Beach, I saw him dancing with one of them. There was certainly life in the old dog then, and there still is!

The week was full of emotion as we visited the five beaches where those brave soldiers and sailors landed. We visited the wonderfully well kept cemeteries and never failed to get a little emotional, as we paid our respects to those who had fallen. We even went to a German war cemetery. I had expected my father to refuse to set foot in the grounds, but strangely it affected him more than it did the rest of us. I have rarely seen my Dad cry, but he had tears running down his cheeks.

The one moment I remember more than any other was the moment I stood before a grave with the name Ian Dale on it. I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. Like virtually other family in the country, mine lost several members during both world wars. It’s in weeks like this that we remember their sacrifice so the rest of us could live in peace and freedom.

Ed, Dennis, wherever you are now, I bet you’re both chuckling as you remember that wonderful week in Normandy twenty years ago. And you’ll also be smiling as you see the tears running down my face as I type this and Daniel reads it.

Daniel and I don’t see each other very often. He’s a successful author and entrepreneur living in New Jersey with his wife and two children. We may not see each other very often. He may not be a relation, but to me he is like a brother and will always be a soulmate.

If you’d like to see all the photos from our 1994 trip, click HERE . Here’s my favourite picture of my Dad, taken on that trip.

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UK Politics

Could the EU block an In/Out Referendum in Britain?

2 Jun 2014 at 21:57

I was alerted to a fascinating (and very badly written) ePetition tonight. It concerns the EU’s apparent future ability to ban a UK Government from holding a referendum in 2017. Here’s the text…

Full and open disclosure on EU Qualified majority voting and it’s effect on a 2017 EU referendum

Responsible department: Cabinet Office

If the PM is trying to say we can have a referendum vote in 2017 which is after our full transition into the European Unions qualified majority voting(QMV) system then this can be refused under EU law and is something that will never happen. The people of the united kingdom have a right to know this before the campaigns for the 2015 General Elections. after which time we will have lost control of our nation and sovereignty to the european union. We want it explained to the people of this nation in no uncertain terms and the information duly released to ALL forms of media and public statements made to avoid any confusion during the 2015 General elections.

I have to say this is a new one on me. Can anyone shed any light on what it asserts, or is it a load of bollocks? If it’s true then what price David Cameron’s ability to renegotiate the terms of our membership? After the Juncker debacle, I’d say they were already looking shaky. If he can’t prevent the appointment of the most Federalist politician in Europe, I don’t hold out much hope of him achieving much else.

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Video: Iain & Derek Draper on Question Time Extra (Part 1)

BBC News 24, October 12 2007

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Random Thoughts

Attitude Column: What's So Wrong With Porn?

2 Jun 2014 at 12:32

Let me pose a question to you. If straight men enjoy watching lesbian porn, is it not reasonable to assume that straight women enjoy watching gay men go at it on their BluRay screens? You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But try as I might among my female friends and workmates I can’t find a single one who finds the thought of watching male-on-male action in the least bit arousing. Maybe they’re all lying and are too embarrassed to admit it. The reason I say that is because apparently an increasing number of women are ordering gay porn DVDs by mail order. I can’t think they are buying them for their husbands, but you never know!

Interestingly, more and more people are prepared to be very open about their habitual viewing on onanistic porn. Porn has become part of people’s everyday lives in a way it wasn’t even ten years ago. Back in the day, anyone found viewing porn, whether it was a smutty magazine or a sitting in the back row of the local porn cinema, would have meant a profound moment of shame for the perpetrator. Nowadays, if you were found looking at Readers’ Wives or Zipper it would barely raise a titter.

The reason for this is undoubtedly the proliferation of online porn. Older generations are able to access whatever version of porn turns them on, at the press of a button. They don’t even have to pay for it any longer. It’s anonymous, and with the advent of smart phones and tablets, available when and where people want it. The same of course, goes for younger generations, but the difference is that online porn forms a part of people’s lives from a very early age. Smart phones and tablets have ‘normalised’ porn in ways which are not altogether healthy.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a very liberal attitude towards porn. I certainly don’t regard it as exploitative, which is what feminists have long argued. To me, the greatest power a woman has is over her own body. If she wants to sell access to it, far being exploited, she is empowering herself. Just as men are.

But the prevalence of porn in schools should concern all of us. Not just what could be termed as ‘normal’ porn, but the sort which would make even liberal minded people like me turn pink at the gills. In short, 14 year olds are increasingly coming to believe that violence and sex are innately linked because that’s what they see on their smart phones. I remember talking to a mother on my radio show whose 14 year old son was addicted to porn and quite happily admitted it. Being a good mother she had had a calm, reasoned discussion with him about it and he agreed it was becoming a problem, not least for the number of sheets his mother had to keep washing. But how many parents would actually sit down with a child and talk about porn addiction with them? Very few.

This does not mean I think we should return to a puritanical society where erections were not allowed to be shown on film, as was the case in this country until about twenty years ago. Far from it. Adults who wish to watch porn should be allowed to do so without undue interference from the state. Where porn is concerned, an Englishman’s or Englishwoman’s smartphone is their castle.

We’re told that watching porn is proof that the person who’s watching it doesn’t have an adequate sex life or a good and fulfilling relationship. I’ve never bought into that argument. Some people have higher sex drives than others. Better to watch porn and use it as an outlet for a high sex drive, than cheat on a partner. Isn’t that the adult way of looking at it?

The transformation of the porn industry in recent years has stemmed from ‘reality porn’, where people film themselves indulging in various sexual acts and then upload the footage on free access sites which are free to view for the end user. In the end, this could spell the end of professionally produced porn films as fewer and fewer people are prepared to pay £20 for a porn DVD or £10 a month for a porn website subscription. Monkey spanking has never been cheaper!

_This article first appeared in the June issue of Attitude Magazine.

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Michael Winner

From the LBC Book Club on 20 December 2010, Michael Winner spends an hour talking to Iain about his life and relationships with the rich and famous.

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Random Thoughts

I Never Thought I Would Be a Second Hand Car Dealer...

1 Jun 2014 at 16:07

‘Ere, John, got a new motor? Well, since you ask, I do have one for sale, or rather my partner does. Check out the details on Ebay or Autotrader. It’s a rather magnificent Mercedes ML350 4×4. It’s very competitively priced and available for sale right now. It’s a 2011 model on a ‘60’ plate and has done 53,000 miles. A word from Simmo…

One previous owner to myself having been Mercedes Benz HQ. I have owned and enjoyed this car for the last three years, during which time it has been 100% reliable. Always maintained by my local Mercedes dealership and therefore has complete MB service history. The car is finished in Lazurite Blue which took me quite some time to track down and has the Mercedes Artico black leather and suede interior. The condition of the car both inside and out is excellent and remains quite literally looking as good as new. A pleasure to drive and very easy to park with both front and rear parking sensors. Fantastic music system that has a 6 cd multichanger, ipod connection and radio. The car also has built in Bluetooth for mobile phone connection. Air Conditioning is standard. The 7 speed automatic gearbox is incredibly smooth and has paddle shifts on the steering wheel should you wish to manually change using the tiptronic feature. The car is obviously great in all seasons with the four wheel drive and high visibility driving position. The seats are incredibly comfortable and adjust in all directions electronically.

Those of you who know me know how much Simmo cares for his cars. He is very good at buying and keeping them but less good at selling them. So with this one I am giving him a gentle shove…

If you’re interested, email me using the Contact button above.

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Joan Collins

Joan Collins discusses her book THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JOAN.

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Diary

ConHome Diary: Alex Salmond: "If the BBC Was On Fire, I Wouldn't Piss On it"

30 May 2014 at 14:15

First of all an apology. Several of you have been in touch to express your disappointment that this column has been less smutty of late, compared to its previous standards. I suspect you won’t have cause to complain this week. Others might though…
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Apparently Alex Salmond and the BBC don’t get on. The SNP leader has been known to have a volcanic ‘tantie’ at the coverage the Beeb gives to the Yes campaign. Well, his spin doctors and the head honchos at the BBC in Scotland decided to have a peacemaking meeting. It didn’t exactly get off to a good start when Salmond marched into the room and boomed: “Before we start I just want you all to know that if the BBC was on fire, I wouldn’t piss on it.” Hear hear, I hear many ConHome readers thinking.
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Poor Cleggy. You’ve got to feel sorry for him. It can’t be nice to know that at the age of 47 it can only go downhill from here. At the time of writing he is clinging to his job by the skin of his teeth, but it’s not inconceivable that he could be replaced as LibDem leader, even though the attempts to do so have so far been ridiculously badly executed. Know him by his enemies, I suppose, and he is very lucky to have the cackhanded Lord Oakeshott as his enemy-in-chief. Oakeshott is best friends with Vince Cable, who just happened to plan a trip to China to coincide with the announcement of the European election results. At least he didn’t have a John Major-esque toothache issue, but the effect was the same. Not that it would have been pre-planned of course. Never let it be suggested. It was, of course, a happy coincidence. But not even Vince Cable could have reckoned with the idiocy of Lord Oakeshott. But just because Oakeshott failed, that doesn’t mean Clegg is safe. LibDem Voice polled 1000 LibDem members and only 54% wanted Clegg to remain as leader. That is not a good position to be in. At all.
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If Clegg did go, I am told by sources at Number Ten, that this would spell the end of the coalition and that it would not continue under a new LibDem leader. If that’s the case, you just wonder why they don’t call it quits now and go their own separate ways. The Number Ten Tory operation to shore up Nick Clegg was quite a sight to behold. Backbenchers were ordered to stop criticising Clegg and to desist in revelling in his woes. Cabinet Ministers, led by Ken Clarke, went on the media to praise him. A wag on twitter suggested Clarke would make an excellent new leader of the LibDems. Or maybe the Tories could let him go on a free transfer.
*

It’s not often I am stuck for words, but last week when I rang someone to invite them onto my LBC Drivetime show, I was. This was their answer: “Yup, happy to come on, but I want you to know I will be interrupting my afternoon fuck for you.” What does one reply to that? “Oh, sorry, it’ll only be a quick in and out.” Or “Don’t worry, I’ll get you off quickly.” Or maybe, “Well, on the radio all I can do is promise you a bit of oral entertainment…”. Perhaps I’ll stop there. After all, I don’t want this column to reach a premature climax, do I?
*
Just for the record I did actually vote Conservative last week. A year ago I had fully intended to back Nigel Farage, but in the end I just couldn’t stomach UKIP’s anti-immigration rhetoric. Parts of it sickened me. I don’t believe it was racist and I don’t believe Farage himself has a racist bone in his body, but those terrible posters were the final straw. On my way back from the Sky News paper review a couple of weeks ago I had a Romanian driver. I talked to him all the way back to Tunbridge Wells about his life in this country and his motives for coming here. I just wish Nigel Farage had been sitting in the car with me. My Romanian friend said he had never claimed benefits and knew no one else from his country who had. He came here to better himself and his family, and in the end isn’t that would anyone would do? He held profoundly conservative values and his work ethic was transparent. He wasn’t scrounging off anyone, he was proud that this country had welcomed him, although he did say that friends of his had encountered some hostility in the last few weeks from people who ought to know better.
*

On Sunday I did the Andrew Marr Show paper review with actress Sheila Hancock. Call me Mystic Meg but I had a premonition that we wouldn’t get on, and so it proved. She’s a great actress but a typical lefty luvvie. And bloody rude. It wasn’t until I watched it back that I realised that throughout everything I said she sat there rolling her eyes and sneering. We didn’t get off to a good start, when right at the beginning she said she was fed up with the “celebrations” of the 100th anniversary of World War One. I leapt in and corrected her and pointed out they weren’t celebrations, they were commemorations and the two were very different. It all went downhill from there. Chemistry really is important in paper review pairings. I work really well with Jacqui Smith on Sky because we can spark off each other and have a laugh even when we are daggers drawn. I’m afraid that was never going to happen with Ms Hancock. Normally on Andrew Marr I am paired with Helena Kennedy or Polly Toynbee. Sitting next to Sheila Hancock made me miss them more than I thought possible. You can watch the Marr paper review here. [insert link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SxvyMiiR3U]
*
When Paul Goodman asked me to resume this column at the end of March I said I’d do it until the European elections and then decide whether to continue. Well, I’m afraid you’re stuck with me for a bit yet. And with my smut. Whether you like it or not.

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell talks about his final volume of diaries BURDEN OF POWER

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UK Politics

So How Accurate Were My Euro Election Predictions?

26 May 2014 at 19:53

Making predictions, especially in politics, is a bit of a fool’s game, but there’s no fool like an old fool so I put my money where my mouth was and predicted the outcome of the European elections. I reckon I didn’t do too badly…

CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Predicted Seats: 20
Actual Seats: 19

LABOUR PARTY
Predicted Seats: 18
Actual Seats: 20

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Predicted Seats: 1
Actual Seats: 1

UKIP
Predicted Seats: 24
Actual Seats: 24

GREEN PARTY
Predicted Seats: 3
Actual Seats: 3

BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY
Predicted Seats: 0
Actual Seats: 0

SNP
Predicted Seats: 3
Actual Seats: 2

PLAID CYMRU
Predicted Seats in 2014: 1
Predicted Seats Range: 1

On the regional predictions I was a little less accurate, but I got four regions bang on.

EAST OF ENGLAND
Prediction: UKIP 3, Con 2, Lab 1, Green 1
Actual: UKIP 3, Con 3, Lab 1

SOUTH EAST
Prediction: UKIP 4, Con 3, Lab 2, Green 1
Actual: UKIP 4, Con 3, Lab 1, Green, LibDem 1

SOUTH WEST
Prediction: LibDem 1, Con 2, UKIP 3
Actual: Con 2, UKIP 2, Green 1, Lab 1

LONDON
Prediction: UKIP 2, Con 2, Lab 3, Green 1
Actual: UKIP 1, Con 2, Lab 4, Green 1

WEST MIDLANDS
Prediction: Con 2, Lab 2, UKIP 3
Actual: Con 2, Lab 2, UKIP 3
GOLD STAR!

EAST MIDLANDS
Prediction: Con 2, Lab 1, UKIP 2
Actual: Con2, Lab 1, UKIP 2
GOLD STAR!

NORTH WEST
Prediction: Con 2, Lab 3, UKIP 3
Actual: Con 2, Lab 3, UKIP 3
GOLD STAR

NORTH EAST
Prediction: Con 1, Lab 1, UKIP 1
Actual: Lab 2, UKIP 1

SCOTLAND
Prediction: SNP 3, Lab 2, Con 1
Actual: SNP 2, Lab 2, Con 1, UKIP 1

YORKSHIRE & HUMBER
Prediction: Con 2, Lab 2, UKIP 2
Actual: Con 1, Lab 2, UKIP 3

WALES
Prediction: Lab 1, Plaid 1, Con 1, UKIP 1
Actual: Lab 1, Plaid 1, Con 1, UKIP 1
GOLD STAR

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell reveals to Iain he is thinking about becoming an MP

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Video

On the Andrew Marr Sofa

25 May 2014 at 14:04

This is the newspaper review on today’s Andrew Marr Show, which I did with the actress Sheila Hancock. Something tells me Ms Hancock did not become a fan.

Hattip to @Liarpoliticians who recorded it.

PS Duncan Barkes and I are presenting LBC’s 6 hour election marathon tonight from 9pm Hope you will join us!

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LBC Book Club: Iain talks to Jennifer Saunders

Iain talks to Jennifer Saunders about her new autobiography 'Bonkers'.

Listen now