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 did the first interview after he left office with Gordon Brown, spending a day with him in his freezing constituency, in a thin summer dress. She has been described by Clive James as “a wonderful, gutsy” writer, and by 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 the lead comment 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.
27th January 2016
“Angela Merkel,” said Bill Bryson, “is my hero.” We were sitting by a lake, in a quiet part of Surrey, talking about his new book, The Road to Little Dribbling. It was only a year since he had completed his own British citizenship test, after living in the “small island” that made him his fortune for nearly 40 years. Angela Merkel had just announced that all Syrians would be “welcome” in her country. “Germany is a strong country,” she said, “we will manage”.
Germany is a strong country, but now even Europe’s most powerful country is struggling to cope. In the months since Merkel’s welcome, barbed wire fences have gone up across Europe. More men, women and children have climbed into boats. More men, women and children have drowned. It was a photo of a dead toddler washed up on a beach that triggered Angela Merkel’s announcement. It took a photo of a dead toddler to trigger a wa