Talk:Alastair Campbell

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Mental Health Campaigner?[edit]

Now that Mr. Campbell's main/only source of income (in that, via the high profile it gives him, he retains access to the media) is from a mental health charity, he promotes the idea that people suffering from mental health disorders should 'come out' and tell everyone, including their employees. He appeared as a guest on Andrew Neil's BBC1 show tonight (03/02/12)promoting this idea as a means of reducing the stigma of mental health disorders. He even suggested that even politicians suffering from depression should come clean, and should not be asked to take time off. I seem to recall that when Andrew Marr asked Tony Bliar whether he was on anti-depressants (he appears to have been on Prozac at the time, itself a cause of overwhelming changes of mood and inability to make rational judgements), Campbell complained to Marr and his employers - does anyone have a link to coverage of this? Maybe Campbell's 'tell your employer' strategy might have prevented the 'suicide' of David Kelly :) 79.70.232.125 (talk) 00:29, 3 February 2012 (UTC)OMG79.70.232.125 (talk) 00:29, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Psychiatric diagnosis?[edit]

Does a 'Porn Writer and Hack' describing himself as a 'Communicator, Writer and Strategist' fall on his own website qualify him under ICD-10 or DSM definitions as a 'Delusional Thinker'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by TWLofthouse (talkcontribs) 00:21, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Expletive deleted?[edit]

It seems somewhat pointless having a redacted expletive in one part of an article and having it in full later so I've changed the redacted one for the sake of consistency. I'm sure Campbell didn't write "f***" in his diary with asterisks so why quote it that way.

Court case[edit]

Could someone add a bit about the court case? I seem to remember a case where Campbell was a witness and a judge described him as unreliable and untrustworthy, which sounds about right. JW 11:06, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Sure, it was a libel case, and its mentioned in this Oberver article by Matthew Young <http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/matthew-norman-campbell-needs-a-maritime-adventure-482795.html>

It was Rupert Allason (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Allason>)In 1996, Allason sued Alastair Campbell for malicious falsehood with regard to an article printed in the Daily Mirror in November 1992. The jury found in Allason's favour, although he was not awarded damages. In a retrial in 1998, he was awarded £1,050 in damages and 75% of his costs. Full articles at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/142548.stm> & <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/138291.stm>. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.77.115.228 (talk) 00:43, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Alcohol[edit]

I'm not sure if it's right to call his problems with alcohol alcoholism since he has gained control over his drinking. Alcoholism can't disappear that way. I recommend 'problems with alcohol' instead. Mubli

HE IS AN ALCOHOLIC STILL THEN? IT IS SOMETHING AA INSIST ALL THEIR MEMBERS DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS - SURELY IT SHOULD READ THAT HE IS still AN ALCOHOLIC, SINCE BY PSYCHIATRIC DEFINITIONS AT LEAST, IT IS SOMETHING ONE REMAINS FOR EVER? {user: DrLofthouse 2 April 2006]
The AA view of alcoholism is not definitive, and very far from psychiatric. Many people curtail rather than stop their drinking.82.19.66.37 14:05, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Are we absolutely sure it was only alcohol??? In his recent diaries he describes a classic stress induced paranoid schizophrenic episode, and goes on further to say that even his GP advised him he was not up to the job he had, as he broke out in hives under pressure, suffered uncontrollable agressive feelings, and basically flipped out under pressure - doesnt really tally with classic 'alcoholism' to me, maybe a Psychiatrist could enlighten us further on this?

Campbell's Forum articles[edit]

anyone know any links to his pornography? There was a link on the internet with all of it, plus several psychologists interpretation of how unstable it indicated he was, but this appears to have been pulled off! Is it true he purchase copyright of all his articles after becoming hugely famous, so as to preserve his legacy??????? [user:DrLofthouse 2 April 2006]

Given that he works in media relations, perhaps he pulled himself off? Dw290 13:14, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Manufacturing evidence?[edit]

The intro claim that Campbell has been accused of "manufacturing evidence" is untrue. He has been accused of stating a weak case in extreme terms, but not of actually making evidence up. David | Talk 10:15, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Who then actually 'cut and paste' an electronic copy of the plagiarised Thesis material into the final document? Who performed the final edit? Did the inquiry ever establish this?


This section may need to be updated soon in view of this weeks' claims ...(Link to articles)212.139.103.236 (talk) 00:50, 14 May 2011 (UTC)drlofthouse212.139.103.236 (talk) 00:50, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Just some praise...[edit]

... to whoever wrote this rather wonderful bit of subtle juxtaposition:

A bet with a colleague led to his first published work being a piece of pornography published under the pen-name "The Riviera Gigolo" in the magazine Penthouse Forum. Campbell spent a year in the South of France as part of his degree.

Humour on Wikipedia that doesn't involve the words "cock" or "gay". Top stuff. Soobrickay 21:35, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Is it true one article made reference to a 'Lolita'-type character- can't find a reference, but have seen it suggested?? Yuk, no wonder he became a p###-artiste with filth in his head!

Sorry for totally ruining the non-gay-cock humour, but the degree sentence seemed clunky there since "The Riviera Gigolo" is a piece written under Campbell's own name about (surprise!) being a gigolo in France. Do feel free to move it back if you like. Hunt the Thimble 10:05, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Did he pay any Income Tax on these articles?

Picture?[edit]

Just a thought --Reverieuk 21:50, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposed removal of The Apprentice UK template[edit]

I have started a discussion at Template talk:The Apprentice UK proposing the removal of template {{The Apprentice UK}} from this article (and the articles on other celebrities having appeared in the show). Please contribute your opinions to a discussion there. UkPaolo/talk 10:05, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Campbell's loyalty...[edit]

I'm unable to identify what, if any source was used for the following, much less that it's being treated with appropriate weight. Seems fairly inappropriate for WP:BLP:

Campbell's loyalty to Robert Maxwell was demonstrated when he punched Guardian Michael White after he joked about "Captain Bob, Bob, Bob...bobbing" shortly after Maxwell's drowning in 1991. Campbell later put this down to stress at the thought of himself and others losing their job following the demise of the Daily Mirror proprietor[1].

--Ronz 20:42, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but it is quite true and was much commented upon at the time. Found the Simon Hoggart reference from a few years ago within moments of Googling, though not the attempt at the 'Bobbing' joke. It does suggest the kind of person Campbell is, at least some of the time, and should be included. It was not originally added by myself, the aim was simply to clarify it in my edit. Philip Cross 20:53, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. However I think we need to follow WP:WEIGHT and WP:BLP. --Ronz 20:57, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the refs! I think we're fine unless someone else has concerns. --Ronz 21:10, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

William Ellis School[edit]

This should be deleted:

"However this has not prevented them moving house to Hampstead Heath and thus into the catchment area of the elite selective entry William Ellis School in north London so that their children Rory, Calum & Grace Campbell might be educated there and from her as serving as Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors of the school."

I live very near William Ellis and can safely say that it is neither elite or selective. Its not awful, but is a pretty bog-standard London comprehensive. And its only a boys school, so there's no way the daughter is there. I'm fairly sure she is at Parliament Hill School. Anyway, point is that this is an uncalled-for criticism.--129.11.77.198 (talk) 19:55, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Notability[edit]

This whole page is silly. It goes through the man's life without ever explaining why he is famous. Do you know who Brown's director of communications is? I don't. Alistair Campbell is not notable because of his job, but because of his alleged role in Blair government and his personality.

This page needs to mention: sexing up the dossier; swearing, lots; being angry; manipulating the media; putting the appearance of government over the substance; the culture of spin.... ect. true or not that's why he's famous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.205.74.238 (talk) 12:23, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

MI5 deal?[edit]

Any ideas on the source of speculation he avoided prosecution over the 'dodgy dossier' by persuading MI5 he was of more use to national security (and them) if he stayed inside the New Labour hierarchy and acted as an information source? Sort of double agent for the Establishment ? Can't locate the article: any clues? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.69.96.243 (talk) 14:34, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Photo[edit]

is not very good, is it normal to have photos of someone else in a biography? I thought it was supposed to be a portrait.(Off2riorob (talk) 16:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC))

Personal life[edit]

no mention of partner or if married or not. Has he fathered any children and so on.

Not sure if this line is true[edit]

"Both have been criticized as overstating or distorting the actual intelligence findings."

I'm not sure this happened. The intelligence findings were that there were WMD in Iraq. The cross party committee agreed that the evidence showed this.

The only area for debate is Blairs "without doubt" section, and the "45 minute claim". However the 45 minute claim was also the CIA intelligence. It wasn't created by Blair or Campbell.

The 45 minute claim wasn't referring to hitting the UK. It was referring to Iraqs ability to invade/attack a neighbour - ala Kuwait.

The only real argument is that they purposefully did not make this clear to mislead. However, I wouldn't call this distortion of findings, or overstating findings.

The 45 minute claim was the CIA findings Cjmooney9 (talk) 18:30, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Full backup is provided in our articles on the two dossiers and in "Alastair Campbell had Iraq dossier changed to fit US claims", the Guardian article that I cited in support of the language you question. The Guardian article begins:

Fresh evidence has emerged that Tony Blair's discredited Iraqi arms dossier was "sexed up" on the instructions of Alastair Campbell, his communications chief, to fit with claims from the US administration that were known to be false.

The article goes on to state that "those drafting the notorious dossier colluded with the US administration to make exaggerated claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction." The particular point that the Guardian highlighted in the subheading to its story was one that you don't mention: "'WMD in a year' allegation halved original timescale after compilers told to compare contents with Bush speech". The intelligence was that it would take Saddam two years, but that was changed to one year (a clear distortion, to say the least) so as to be consistent with Bush's false claims. JamesMLane t c 10:05, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Question Time[edit]

Apparently Downing Street wouldn't allow a front bench minster onto last night's Question Time unless they dropped Alastair Campbell from the line up. And Cameron thinks he isn't the new Blair? Anyway, if I can find a good reference about this I might add it. TheRetroGuy (talk) 17:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

This whole article is very poorly put together and not up to the standards one normally expects here. The subject was an important participant in recent government decisions such as the UK's involvement in the Iraq war and therefore this aspect needs more analysis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.21.81.240 (talk) 22:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Fails to capture the essence of his notability[edit]

This article totally fails to capture the essential point about Campbell's significance: his immense contribution (if one can call it that) to the development of deceit as a basic tool of public life in the United Kingdom. I don't know enough about Campbell to be able to adjust the article appropriately without breaching wikipedia's policies, but the article does need to get across, in a neutral way of course, that Campbell is a significant historical figure for his contribution to the arts of misrepresentation. Without that, the article is just a collection of trivia. Alex Middleton (talk) 20:32, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

This week's revelations by M15 agents may provide more insight into his 'misrepresentation' skills - <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13371751> 212.139.103.236 (talk) 00:58, 14 May 2011 (UTC)Schizont212.139.103.236 (talk) 00:58, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Very much agree with Alex above. The man has been a walking disaster for British public life. 86.165.108.106 (talk) 12:23, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Chat politics[edit]

I saw user:Katieh5584 correctly reverted an article by 78.149.239.236 which lacked a citation. I'm restoring it, but although it is an apparently impartial source, I have doubts about it's long term viability which I'll raise on the politics board. Same issues apply to Jacob Rees-Mogg. Neutral point of view is a separate topic. JRPG (talk) 11:32, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

"Religion = None" vs. "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (atheist)" in infoboxes.[edit]

Per WP:BRD and WP:TALKDONTREVERT, This comment concerns this edit and this revert.

There are many reasons for not saying "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (atheist)" in Wikipedia infoboxes. They include:


It implies something that is not true

Saying "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (atheist)" in Wikipedia infoboxes implies that atheism is a religion. It is like saying "Hair color = Bald", "TV Channel = Off" or "Type of shoe = Barefoot".
"Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby." --Penn Jillette
"Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position." --Bill Maher

It is highly objectionable to many atheists.

Many atheists strongly object to calling atheism a religion,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] and arguments such as "atheism is just another religion: it takes faith to not believe in God" are a standard argument used by religious apologists.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

It goes against consensus

This was discussed at length at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 142#Changing "Religion = none" to "Religion = Atheist" on BLP infoboxes. Opinions were mixed, but the two positions with the most support were "Religion = None" or removing the Religion entry entirely.
More recently, it was discussed at Template talk:Infobox person#Religion means what?, and again the consensus was for "Religion = None".
I have changed "Religion: Atheist" to "Religion: None:" on hundreds of Wikipedia infoboxes, and have received multiple "thank you" notifications for doing so. In only a tiny minority of the edits has anyone objected to or reverted the edit, and in every case so far the consensus after discussion was for "Religion = None". I am confident that if anyone post an WP:RFC on the subject the result will be the same.

It is unsourced

If anyone insists on keeping "Religion = Atheist" or "Religion = None (Atheist)" in any Wikipedia infobox, they must first provide a citation to a reliable source that established that the individual is [A] An atheist, and [B] considers atheism to be a religion. There is at least one page that does have such a source: Ian McKellen. Because we have a reliable source that establishes that Ian McKellen considers atheism to be a religion, his infobox correctly says "Religion: Atheist". In all other cases, the assertion that atheism is a religion is an unsourced claim.

It attempts to shoehorn too much information into a one-word infobox entry

In the article, there is room for nuance and explanation, but in the infobox, we are limited to concise summaries of non-disputed material. Terms such as "atheist", "agnostic", "humanist", "areligious", and "anti-religion" mean different things to different people, but "Religion = None" is perfectly clear to all readers, and they can and should go to the article text to find out which of the subtly different variations of not belonging to a religion applies.

It violates the principle of least astonishment.

Consider what would happen if Lady Gaga decided to list "Banana" as her birth date. We would document that fact in the main article with a citation to a reliable source (along with other sources that disagree and say she was born on March 28, 1986). We would not put "Birth date = Banana" in the infobox, because that would cause some readers to stop and say "wait...what? Banana is not a birth date...". Likewise we should not put anything in an infobox that would cause some readers to stop and say "wait...what? Atheism is not a religion..."

In many cases, it technically correct, but incomplete to the point of being misleading.

When this came up on Teller (magician), who strongly self-identifies as an atheist, nobody had the slightest problem with saying that Teller is an atheist. It was the claim that atheism is a religion that multiple editors objected to. Penn Jillette wrote "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby", so we know that Penn objects to having atheism identified as a religion.
In the case of Penn, Teller and many others, they are atheists who reject all theistic religions, but they also reject all non-theistic religions, and a large number of non-religious beliefs. See List of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episodes for an incomplete list. Atheism just skims the surface of Penn & Teller's unbelief.

"Religion = None" is the only choice that represents the data accurately and without bias. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:58, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Firstly greetings Guy, & I concede I should have put a note on the talk page. FWIW I am a bald atheist:). I don't have particularly strong views on this & certainly not enough interest in theology/philosophy to argue on it. I just want to give the most accurate description of Campbell's view of his own religion. I'm happy to follow consensus. Regards JRPG (talk) 13:17, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:58, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Alastair Campbell/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Good biographical information, but could use more external references. Needs an infobox and photograph UkPaolo/talk 10:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 10:20, 11 March 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 07:02, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Strangely thin[edit]

How curious that the space devoted in this article to Campbell's crucial time in government - that is, what he is notable for - is dwarfed by all the unnotable details as his early life, his alcoholism & depression, and his recent patchy attempts at a media career. This imbalance seems oddly self-serving. Why would that be I wonder? Ben Finn (talk) 22:36, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

I agree. This article is little more than a hagiography. It is clearly being edited by fans and friends to Campbell. Wikipedia should be ashamed. 129.210.51.99 (talk) 19:16, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

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