Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewart is a former ITV news presenter

It’s too early to call for Cressida Dick’s scalp

Politics, at its most pathetic, is the Downing Street pack screaming at Prime Ministers, ‘Will you resign?’. At its best, politics and political journalism build up an unanswerable case against a miscreant and take a scalp. The scenes at Clapham Common, last night, were shocking. I have, however, worked in TV news for long enough

Impartiality and the battle for broadcast

Two big kites were launched by the Sunday Times that could, should they fly, redraw the broadcasting landscape. ‘BBC critics set for top jobs in broadcasting’ its front-page headline announced. The Prime Minister, it suggested, has offered Lord Charles Moore the chairmanship of the BBC and Paul Dacre, the chairmanship of the media regulator Ofcom.

How Boris’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ can get off the ground

Jack Kennedy’s 1961 declaration ‘We choose to go to the Moon’ was treated with a little more enthusiasm than Boris Johnson’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ pledge this week. Both caused eyebrows to be raised, on cost and practicality. But the former was done, eight years later; the later is, at best, a work in progress – at

We’ve failed the class of 2020

Much of the coverage of today’s exam results is dominated by disappointed Jacks and furious Jills. Determined parents are planning legal action against predicted grades which they say are inaccurate, unfair and result from a Government/Ofqual safety net that is not fit for purpose. While good state schools and many big-name private schools have done well,

Was what I said about travellers offensive?

Public discourse has become the linguistic equivalent of walking on egg-shells. Fear of causing offence is truncating open and free-ranging thought.  I took a call from a listener – Frankie from Huntingdon – on my Talk Radio show yesterday. He objected to something I’d said. I’d been discussing rural crime with the National Farmers Union

The deliberate ambiguity over policing face masks

Today is the first day of the Covid-19 pandemic in England when you must wear a mask if you go shopping.  Up to now ministers and health and scientific advisors have played fast and loose with facial coverings. Judgements on their merit and usefulness have waxed and waned from the ‘yeah, but no, but yeah’ of

Boris’s TV briefings could end the lobby pantomime

The daily coronavirus briefings from Downing Street were wildly popular by one measure, drawing in millions of viewers, but were they any use? Like them or loathe them, it seems that we will be seeing plenty more of them. Boris Johnson has decided that, from October, the ‘briefings sessions’ should be televised. Journalists and former spin

How the High Street can bounce back after Covid

The death of the High Street has been greatly exaggerated before, but could this really be it for our town centre shops? The ease of Amazon has made life under lockdown bearable and has tempted people away from popping to the shops. As a result, more and more shops are boarded up. Even large companies