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WATCH: CNN Talk: What Should Theresa May Do About the Russian Spy Poisoning?

12 Mar 2018 at 12:02

CNNTalk goes five days a week from today, every day at 11am for the next two weeks, then back to 12 noon. Today we discuss Russia and the poisoning in Salisbury. We have a lovely new desk too! Afua Hirsch was sitting in for Ayesha Hazarika.

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Peter Hain & Toby Harnden

Peter Hain discusses OUTSIDE IN and Toby Harnden talks about his history of the Welsh Guards.

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Sport

Idiots, Thugs & Knuckleheads - The "Fans" Who Embarrass the Real Supporters

10 Mar 2018 at 18:06

When I woke up this morning I must have had a premonition. Having been looking forward to the West Ham Burnley game all week, I just couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to go. Perhaps it’s just that I’m knackered after a very long week, but I didn’t even get out of bed to do the Tunbridge Wells park run either.

So I can’t write a match report because I wasn’t there, and judging by what I have heard, I’m glad I wasn’t.

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I listened to the BBC London commentary for most of the first half and from what they said we were unlucky to go into half time without a goal. Both Lanzini and Mario might have scored had luck been on their side. Again, I must have ad a premonition because instead of listening to the second half commentary I decided to watch an episode of OUTLANDER (highly recommended!). It was only when my phone kept pinging with messages from my Arsenal supporting friend Matt that I realised things were going very awry. I knew we were 2-0 down, but what I hadn’t reckoned with is some of our idiot fans disgracing themselves. Again.

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I have attended fewer home matches this season than any other of the 25 seasons I have had a season ticket. I have two season tickets but it’s rare that I can persuade anyone to come with me. It’s not that I smell, or my friends don’t want to watch West Ham, they’re put off by what they’ve heard about the ‘incidents’ in the crowd. And who can blame them after what happened today. It’s embarrassing. At the last game I attended – and remember, I sit in the 1966 seats – there was an actual fight ten rows above me. West Ham fans, fighting each other.

I’m told a fan ran on and stole one of the corner flags. Others ran onto the pitch. One “fan” even confronted Mark Noble.I imagine there were no doubt a few fights too. Em-barassing, with a capital E.

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What do these knuckleheads think they’re achieving apart from dragging our reputation through the mud yet again?

They can blame the sodding board or Karren Brady all they like, but in the end there are 11 players on the pitch, and if they aren’t performing, there’s nothing the Board can do about it. The team that Moyes put out today should have been capable of beating Burnley. Even at 2-0 down it might have been possibel for them to salvage something out of the game. But the action of a minority of idiots in the crowd soon put paid to that. So well done, guys. great work. You absolute w**kers.

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Perhaps these people think that these actions will force Sullivan and Gold to sell the club, and if that happened, everything would be rosy in the garden. Well be careful what you wish for. New owners are no guarantors of success. Ask Leeds fans. Ask West Brom fans. Ask Southampton fans. I could go on. Does anyone think a new owner from China, Russia or Azerbaijan is going to care about the club as much as lifelong fans like the two Davids? Don’t get me wrong, they’ve made a fair few mistakes in their time, but they have made decisions which they thought were right at the time.

Look at this headline on the Sport Bible website…

Burnley Substitutes Let Kids Sit On The Bench To Escape Mayhem From The Stands

The kids were West Ham supporters. When they get home their parents will probably resolve never to take them to another game. Well done knuckleheads.

I’m rapidly getting to the point where I genuinely wonder whether I will renew the season tickets I’ve had for 25 years. Not because I don’t like the London Stadium because I do. Not because I can’t cope with seeing the team I love underperform – I’m used to it. No. The reason I may not renew is entirely because I don’t want to attend games which are ruined by idiots and thugs. I don’t want to be embarrassed anymore. That’s not what being a West Ham fan is all about.

Before the match a tribute was made to Bobby Moore. The great man will be turning in his grave tonight.

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Iain Says No to a Second Referendum

And takes on a caller....

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WATCH: CNN Talk - Trump Meets Kim Jong Un: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

9 Mar 2018 at 23:31

Twelve hours after Donald Trump accepts an invitation to meet Kim Jong Un, we discuss the likelihood of success on today’s CNN Talk.

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Photjournalist Paul Conroy

Paul Conroy talks about his terrible injuries from Syria and his work with Marie Colvin.

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Diary

ConHome Diary: Some Advice for DD, The Rise of Penny Mordaunt & Henry Boltonski

9 Mar 2018 at 13:34

Henry Bolton announced on Wednesday that he was starting a new political party called ONE NATION. Better than EIN VOLK, I suppose. It was a pretty amateurish start, given that his logo was low res, the ‘1’ inside the ‘O’ in ‘One’ was off centre and the website was unsearchable on Google. It got worse. I invited him to come on my LBC show only for him to tell me that much as he’d love to, he’d already committed to give his first exclusive interview to Russia Today. Well that tells us all we need to know, doesn’t it.
Yesterday we learned that UKIP needs to find £100,000 by the end of the month otherwise they will go bust. Bolton left them with quite a mess to clear up, didn’t he. It would be easy to come up with a conspiracy theory about this shambles, and several have. The most entertaining is that given Henry Bolton used to be a LibDem member, he was a LibDem plant. Obviously preposterous. I suspect we’ll hear some rather more serious allegations over the coming weeks.

Theresa May’s biggest strength has been the lack of a serious alternative to her leadership. I still think that she will still be PM at the end of the year, partly because of the non-emergence of any serious contender. Michael Gove, I’d say, would probably be the ‘under the bus’ candidate at the moment, but it is now up to other cabinet ministers to put in good performances and therefore be seen as possible successors. One cabinet minister who has had a ‘good war’ in the last few months is the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt. Her handling of the Oxfam scandal was exemplary. She had a strategy, a firm position and was articulate in explaining it. One to watch, I’d say.
*
So the British Communist Party says it will support Jeremy Corbyn and not stand candidates against Labour. Well knock me out with a frozen leg of pork…
*

The Draft EU Negotiating Guidelines are a disgrace. They offer literally nothing to negotiate on. Their way or the highway is the message they’re clearly intent on sending. If I were advising David Davis I’d be advising him to make a very robust response, along the lines of ‘come back to us when you’ve got something sensible to say’. At some stage their bluff needs to be called. We’re not Greece, and we’re not going to be treated like Greece.
*
On Wednesday I interviewed Marina Litvenenko on my radio show, following the poisoning incident in Salisbury. I am always aware that for her, whenever there something like this happens, it must bring back all the pain of what happened to her husband Alexander. At the time of writing, we don’t know exactly what happened but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Russian state involvement is highly probable. Given that Mr Skirpal’s wife and son were both killed in separate car crashes in Russia, and the fact that there have been at least 14 killings of Russian nationals on British soil in the last few years, you’d have to try very hard to think of an alternative explanation. The big question is that if it’s proven that there is Russian state involvement in this incident, what does the UK do about it? Answers on a postcard to the Foreign Secretary, please.
*

On Wednesday it was announced by CNN that CNNTalk, the show I appear on at midday on Mondays and Fridays is going 5 days a week. Obviously, I’m delighted that CNN think the programme has been such a success, but I am greatly amused by some of the comments on Twitter. Some nutters really do believe that because I appear on a CNN programme I must be told what to say. Others ask how I can work for such a network, which Donald Trump delights in dubbing the home of fake news. Very easily, and I am proud to do so. Their coverage of international affairs is unrivalled and they have a superb team of highly professional and often brave journalists. I became addicted to watching CNN during the first Gulf War, and if you’d told me then that 25 years later I’d be part of one of their most highly rated shows, I’d have never believed you. It’s a simple format in many way – half an hour’s discussion on one topic between three people – me, Ayesha Hazarika and Liam Halligan – who clearly like and respect each other but aren’t afraid to mix it when necessary, with a host – Max Foster – who knows when to just let us get on with it. For the next two weeks, because of the time difference with the US, we’re on at 11am on CNN International or you can stream on their Facebook Live page but at the end of the month we revert to our normal time of 12 noon. If you’ve never watched, give it a try – channel 506 on Sky.

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LBC 97.3: Iain talks to a Shoplifter

LBC interview

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TV/Film/Theatre

CNN Talk to go Daily - Hit CNN International Show to Run Five Days a Week

7 Mar 2018 at 10:00


This is the press release CNN have just issued announcing that CNN Talk is going 5 days a week from next Monday. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this show and even prouder that it has become so popular the world over. Last May we launched it and in September it went two days a week. It works because all four of us – Ayesha Hazarika, Liam Halligan, host Max Foster and me all get on well and gell together in a unique manner. We have had some feisty debates but the audience knows that even if we sometimes exchange some firey words we all have an innate respect for each other.

CNN Talk with Max Foster is to run five days a week from Monday March 12, the network announced today.

The panel show, which airs on CNN International and live streams on Facebook simultaneously, was launched in May 2017; in addition to CNN International’s global TV audience, it reaches up to two million Facebook users. Programmes stimulate thousands of comments online from across the world, many of which are added live to the debate on air. Topics reflect the major news stories and talking points of the day

Host Max Foster will be joined by regular guests Ayesha Hazarika MBE, former UK Labour Party Special Adviser who is a columnist for The Scotsman and London Evening Standard as well as a comedian and broadcaster; UK radio station LBC presenter and political publisher, Iain Dale; and Liam Halligan, known for his regular columns in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator and Unherd.com. CNN correspondents and other experts will also regularly join the show as guests; Christiane Amanpour, Nima Elbagir and Fred Pleitgen have all featured in recent shows.

Gill Penlington, Senior Director, News & Events Programming, at CNN International, said: “From the very beginning this show has struck a chord with audiences. The level of engagement we’ve seen has been phenomenal. Having a daily edition of the programme will allow us to get into a wider range of topics through the week and broaden what is already a diverse and highly flexible agenda.”

Recent CNN Talk shows have focused on topics including Donald Trump’s presidency, Brexit, gun control, international terrorism, sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement. The show has travelled to Berlin, Brussels and Paris, covered the royal engagement from outside Buckingham Palace, and discussed the Parsons Green bomb attack in London from the scene.

CNN Talk airs Monday to Friday at 6am ET/11am GMT/12pm CET*, from 12 March.

After the clocks change it will switch to its regular time of 7am ET/12pm BST/1pm CET, from Monday 26 March.

If you’ve never seen an edition of CNNTalk, here’s what you’ve been missing. By the way, we have the cameras on for 5 minutes before the show starts for the Facebook audience, and they stay on during the ad break in the middle.

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Iain takes on Katie Hopkins

He accuses her of stirring up dark emotions

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WATCH: CNN Talk - Does Hollywood Politics Make a Difference?

5 Mar 2018 at 22:09

A look back at The Oscars and whether Hollywood poliics is virtual signalling or really can make a difference. Ayesha and Liam get a little bit feisty.

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Caller Tells Me Homosexuality is a Salvation Issue

Course it is.

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WATCH: The Andrew Marr Show Paper Review & My Red Suit Jacket (But Not the Trousers)

4 Mar 2018 at 13:10

The Marr Show paper review from earlier today with me and the New Statesman’s Helen Lewis. Most people on Twitter were more concerned with what I was wearing that what I was saying, it seems. I bought it online from Empire Outlets. Just so you know!

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to Nadine Dorries

Nadine accuses female Tory MPs who criticise her for her jungle exploits of 'jealousy'.

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WATCH: CNN Talk - How Can People Trafficking From North Africa Be Stopped?

3 Mar 2018 at 00:05

Tens of thousands of migrants are trafficked through Nigeria every year. CNN’s Nima Elbagir went undercover to learn about the horrific experience and met a man who escaped slavery after being trafficked. We talked about her films and how the world can stop people trafficking.

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Iain talks to the stars of 'Handbagged'

Not easy interviewing Margaret Thatcher and the Queen. At the same time.

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Diary

ConHome Diary: It's the Way Theresa May Tells Them! Boom Boom!

2 Mar 2018 at 12:25

I had to smile when John Major said there should be a free vote on the Brexit deal. As an ex Whip himself, and someone used to the black arts of the genre, he knows full well that no government could allow a free vote on an issue of this constitutional magnitude. This is no issue of conscience, it’s one of implementing government policy. I well remember the Maastricht debates and the whipping methods that were used to “persuade” recalcitrant Eurosceptic MPs – or ‘bastards’ as the then prime minister was apt to call them – to go through the division lobbies in support of their own government’s policy. And quite right too. But irony or ironies, it seems to have escaped everyone’s notice who was the whip responsible for getting the bill through Parliament. Have a guess… go on… Well, it was none other than one David Michael Davis. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when DD next meets JM. Could be quite a conversation!
*
I know this sounds too much like a conspiracy theory but many people are interpreting Michel Barnier’s press conference remarks as a blatant attempt to topple Theresa May’s government. The theory goes that he and the Commission are in league with Labour and the timing of the release of the draft legal agreement was timed to coincide with Jeremy Corbyn’s new policy of staying in a Customs Union, and by in effect trying to annexe Northern Ireland the Commission is putting forward a legally binding proposal which they know the prime minister cannot possibly accept – or more to the point, the DUP cannot possibly accept. Why say it when you know it must be an absolute red line for the UK, and you know that full well? I don’t normally buy into conspiracy theories, but this one may have a few legs.
*

On Wednesday evening Theresa May gave a speech at the Westminster Correspondents Dinner. This is a bit like the White House Correspondents Dinner, but about a hundredth of the size. I’ve just seen the first 10 minutes of the speech on Facebook and it was truly funny. Quite why the speech isn’t filmed or televised, I don’t know, because it showed a side of the Prime Minister we rarely see. She actually has a very well developed and somewhat risqué sense of humour, and Number Ten should let it be seen much more often. One anecdote she relayed was while canvassing in her constituency at the election she knocked on a door but there was no reply. She knew someone was in because she could see through the window that they were lying down. She knocked again. Again, no answer. She then noticed the door ajar so she pushed it open. It was at that moment she realised that the person lying down was actually lying down on top of another person. “It brought a new meaning to the term ‘deep and special relationship’…” she said. Boom boom.
*
The lazy British media are in full “aren’t we crap because we can’t cope with a bit of snow” mode. Truth is that if we did what they seem to want us to do and spend a huge amount of money on snow ploughs and gritters and extra equipment to make sure trains run, it would only be deployed once or twice every five or ten years. The Germans manage better than us for the very simple reason that it happens every year there. Germans change their tyres every autumn and fit special winter grip tyres to all their cars. Can you imagine if we were told to the same? Me neither. Keep calm and carry on.
*

Talking of the snow, on Wednesday I nearly didn’t make it into London. We live on a hill and our driveway is at a 30 degree angle. It took five attempts to get my car onto the road. The trains were running OKish, so job done. Or so I thought. In the middle of my radio show I saw a text saying that Southeastern Trains were cancelling all their services on Thursday. I checked on TheTrainline.com and sure enough, everything was cancelled. I booked myself into a hotel, because I absolutely had to be in London yesterday as I had to attend the Global Awards in the evening. Sadly though, even though I had had the foresight to bring in a change of shirt and undercrackers, it meant that the world would be denied the sight of me in my new red suit. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve discovered a website shop called Empire Outlets. I never thought I’d order suits on the internet, but I took the plunge and have now ordered three from them. Cheapish at around £150 and great quality. I did wonder what the red one would look like, but I’m delighted with it. I’ll wear it on TV one day so you can judge for yourselves. And before anyone asks, no, I have not been paid to write this, or offered a freebie. If I get good customer service, I believe in saying so, just as I would if I had had a bad experience.

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Video: Iain Dale spars with Polly Toynbee

Sky News paper review

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Watch: CNNTalk - What Should the World Do About Syria?

26 Feb 2018 at 17:20

In today’s CNN Talk we discuss what the world should do about what is happening in Syria. With Max Foster, Ayesha Hazarika, Liam Halligan and me.

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Video: Iain & Yasmin Alibhai Brown debate new media

Sunday AM with Andrew Marr

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