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.
6th July 2016
On Saturday I went to Chartwell. I saw the desk, and books, and clothes, and letters of the greatest leader of the twentieth century. I saw the uniforms, and robes, and velvet onesie of a big, big man who led our country through the biggest war in history, and who won that war and showed us that Britain was great. If that man had seen what had happened to our country in the past ten days, I think he would have hung his giant head in shame.
You would almost need one of the big, fat volumes he wrote to set it all down. But since blog posts are meant to be short, here's a summary:
First, there was a referendum. That referendum was only called to calm down some very right-wing Tory MPs. It was meant to secure the reputation of a man who always thought he would be a good Prime Minister, and in many ways was a good Prime Minister, but who made one catastrophic mistake. That man had spent his whole life winning. He won the race to be leader of his party. He won the con