A clear and important voice in British journalism Carol Ann Duffy
Christina Patterson is a writer, broadcaster and columnist. She writes, for The Sunday Times and The Guardian, about society, culture, politics, books and the arts. She has been described by Clive James as “a wonderful, gutsy” writer, and by the former poet laureate Andrew Motion as “one of the best columnists around”.
After terrible experiences of nursing, she has tried to do what she can to make things better. She did a special report on nursing in The Independent, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2013, has made programmes about it for Radio 4, and presented a film about it for The One Show. A regular commentator on radio and TV news and cultural programmes, she has written for The Observer, Time, The Spectator, the New Statesman, the TLS, the Literary Review, High Life, Intelligent Life, The Huffington Post and The Independent, where she did “The Christina Patterson interview” and wrote the lead op-ed piece once a week.
She also works as a communications consultant and media trainer, helping leaders and organisations hone their messages. She agrees with Orwell that the "slovenliness of our language" can lead to "foolish thoughts", and that if you can't think clearly you haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of persuading people that you have a good story to tell.
She has been on a number of boards and is currently a trustee of Shaw Trust, a charity helping people at disadvantage, or with a disability, into employment.
1st May 2016
The weather forecast wasn't good, but the weather forecast was wrong. Today it's the 1st of May and London has been bathed in sunshine. I had planned to spend the best part of it catching up with emails and doing some of the other things that sometimes make modern life feel as if you're trying to scramble your way up an escalator that's programmed never to stop. But when I looked up from my laptop, I kept catching glimpses of a blue, blue sky and in the end, that blue sky forced me out.
Every weekend of my childhood, my father would demand silence for the man on the TV who would point at a map and tell us what to expect. If the man said "sunshine and showers", my father would nod. The showers were for the flowers. Fair enough. If the man said "steady rain", my father's face would fall. But if the man on the TV talked about blue skies, my father's face would light up. Blue skies meant that the world was OK. Blue skies couldn