Commissioned Writing

Alastair Stewart

Alastair is a public affairs consultant and freelance writer. He regularly writes about politics, history and culture with a particular interest in the life of Sir Winston Churchill.

cOLUMNS

Print editions

See print editions. 

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The Scotsman

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Why Douglas Ross should remain an MP 

Scottish independence: How a federal UK could save the Union

George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman can teach us a lesson in morality

Donald Trump is the President who would be king, just as shine comes off Britain’s Royal family

VE Day: Why Britain is not overly obsessed with the Second World War

Climate change means lockdown-induced boom in working from home is here to stay

Coronavirus: Why we should beware talk of global utopia after Covid-19 threat recedes 

Coronavirus: Is Britain now at war with Covid-19? 

Coronavirus: How Covid-19 could torpedo independence

Amateur ‘coronavirus experts’ should learn a lesson from Jurgen Klopp

Thatcher, Churchill and the Lib Dems: The danger posed by simplistic judgements 

Freedom of movement in the EU was a geopolitical wonder

How Scotland’s political parties failed to respond to devolution

How TV talent shows exploit a horrible human instinct

Why hating the Tories is bad for Scotland

We need healthy debate over avoidable deaths

Never mind saving the world, a Jane Bond could change it 

How Hollywood seems to be embracing use of ‘ghost actors’

Should we treat Tony Blair as an elder statesman or put him on trial?

Churchill’s roar drowns out Johnson’s huge ego 

We need to talk about an independent Scotland’s foreign policy

Brexit: Why Gibraltar’s border issue is most likely flashpoint for violence

Nuclear weapons: Big question is whether UK would use them in revenge

Brexit: How Brexiteers’ worldview can be understood through history 

Brexit Britain must realise it cannot stand alone in the 21st-century world

Why people are not listening to Greta Thunberg

A robust Tory party can only be good for Scotland’s democracy 

Corbyn can save the Union if he embraces federalism

Why political opinion polls may well be harming our democracy

How to make your career ambitions come true in the digital age 

The danger to democracy posed by voting apps and internet politics

How we’ve failed to heed Nikita Khrushchev’s warning about personality cults

How US-style politics could be damaging British democracy

What the public can learn from MPs’ pragmatism

French Revolution has lessons for Brexit Britain

One more (reluctant) fight – that’s why we love comeback screen heroes (print only)

The European Union’s biggest failure? Explaining what it does

Why we’re fascinated by Jeremy Kyle, Katie Hopkins and the like

Why Gothic Edinburgh was born to be Gotham City

MP for Spain? Expats need a voice

Brexit: Why it’s wrong to blame the older generation

Social media addiction is gaining recognition from an unlikely source 

How does the UK reconcile post Brexit? (print only)

Brexit: To expats in EU, the UK sounds like it’s preparing for war 

Dear John McDonnell, if Winston Churchill is a villain, who is a hero? 

Scottish independence would strip Churchill of his ‘Britishness’

Here’s how to end the UK’s ‘elective dictatorship’ 

Will tourist tax have the same effect on tourists as plastic bag tax had on
bags? 

What Donald Tusk can learn from Winston Churchill 

Winston Churchill: Ross Greer is wrong, but so is Piers Morgan 

Scottish Secretary should be elected by MSPs

Donald Trump’s wealth is no reason to denounce him 

Churchill once defended ‘Scottish nationalism’ at Ibrox stadium

Disagreeing is a virtue our society is fast forgetting (print only)

Macedonian village healer changed my life in a way I didn’t expect

North Macedonia? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me!

Scotland is the Casablanca of the Great Brexit

Special interest

Print gallery 

THE TIMES

It’s time for Scotland to reclaim Winston Churchill (PDF)

Edinburgh Evening News

Churchill’s Scottish connections run deeper than we may think

FINEST HOUR

Why have the Scots forsaken Churchill? 

THE SCOTSMAN

VE Day: Why Britain is not overly obsessed with the Second World War

Thatcher, Churchill and the Lib Dems: The danger posed by simplistic judgements 

Churchill’s roar drowns out Johnson’s huge ego 

Dear John McDonnell, if Winston Churchill is a villain, who is a hero? 

Scottish independence would strip Churchill of his ‘Britishness’

What Donald Tusk can learn from Winston Churchill 

Winston Churchill: Ross Greer is wrong, but so is Piers Morgan 

Churchill once defended ‘Scottish nationalism’ at Ibrox stadium

Johnson should take care what conflicts he conjures up (print only)

BBC RADIO SCOTLAND

 

HISTORY SCOTLAND

Part 1: Debunking the cult of Churchill

Using primary sources to explore the statesman’s life and work.

Part 2: Churchill as a military leader

A look at Churchill’s reputation as a boorish war leader with a penchant for expeditions over expediency. Is it justified?

Part 3: Churchill the actor

For all his flaws and quirks, Churchill makes for an infinitely more interesting character study than the heavily redacted, and catastrophically cliched, caricature of a stoic leader with a jutted jaw and cigar.

Part 4: Why the real quotes are better than the memes

Alastair calls for a more significant distinction between the real and apocryphal stories about Churchill.

Part 5: A heavy drinker?

Examining Churchill’s reputation as a heavy drinker.

Part 6: The real price of ale

If Churchill wasn’t an alcoholic, but if he fanned tall drinking tales about himself, then what was he at heart?

Part 7: Churchill was a peacemaker, not just a warrior

Exploring Churchill’s post-war role as a peacemaker.

Part 8: The Dream reveal’s Churchill’s soul

What ‘The Dream’ can tell us about Churchill’s relationship with the father he thought never believed in him.

E-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Would Churchill have voted for Brexit? 

THE SOL TIMES

When Churchill bribed Franco (print)

THINK SCOTLAND

Review | Pip Utton: Churchill

Magazine

History Scotland

Churchill: Remember the man, not the myth

Part 1: Debunking the cult of Churchill

Using primary sources to explore the statesman’s life and work.

Part 2: Churchill as a military leader

A look at Churchill’s reputation as a boorish war leader with a penchant for expeditions over expediency. Is it justified?

Part 3: Churchill the actor

For all his flaws and quirks, Churchill makes for an infinitely more interesting character study than the heavily redacted, and catastrophically cliched, caricature of a stoic leader with a jutted jaw and cigar.

Part 4: Why the real quotes are better than the memes

Alastair calls for a more significant distinction between the real and apocryphal stories about Churchill.

Part 5: A heavy drinker?

Examining Churchill’s reputation as a heavy drinker.

Part 6: The real price of ale

If Churchill wasn’t an alcoholic, but if he fanned tall drinking tales about himself, then what was he at heart?

Part 7: Churchill was a peacemaker, not just a warrior

Exploring Churchill’s postwar role as a peacemaker.

Part 8: The Dream reveal’s Churchill’s soul

What ‘The Dream’ can tell us about Churchill’s relationship with the father he thought never believed in him.

Part 9: Churchill & Europe – the ultimate myth?

The many Churchills, the many Europes.

*

The Scot who nearly killed Franco

Public Affairs, PR & Digital

Print gallery 

Providing public affairs, public relations, design and digital support to clients. Sample work below. 

Recognition

Digital community consultation | Scottish Government best practice 

Press coverage

Orbit digital engagement deemed best practice by Scottish Government (Scottish Housing News)

Edinburgh company’s digital engagement deemed best practice by Scottish Government (Deadline News)

Best practice digital nod for Orbit Communications (Scotland on Sunday)

Alastair Stewart: Adapting to COVID-19 with Orbit Communications (Scottish Housing News)

Switch to digital is boosting community engagement (Consultation Institute)

 
 

Insight

Covid-19 could be a digital starting gun (Orbit)

We must be mindful of the isolation time bomb (Orbit)

Alastair Stewart: Adapting to COVID-19 with Orbit Communications (LinkedIn)

How to raise community support for planning proposals (Orbit)

2020 – Looking ahead to another curveball year? (Orbit)

Webinar Series

Engagement and project approval  

Green light for Canongate office development

£140 million Grade A office block to go ahead on Argyle Street

Pinkhill flats plans set to be approved despite residents’ privacy fears

Build to rent Skyliner towers get green light for Leith

Digital

Gilston Park – 

Parkhead Hub – https://parkheadhub.scot/

British Land – Dougalston – https://bldougalston.co.uk/

Buckholm Corner – https://buckholmcorner.com/

Queensberry Properties – https://finance-house.co.uk/

PLATFORM_ – https://platform-edinburgh.co.uk/

Consultation

Former Edinburgh Lloyds Banking call centre to be converted into 170 flats

Public event will discuss plans to demolish Leith buildings such as John Lewis depot for housing

Around 145 student flats planned at old petrol station site on Montrose Terrace, Edinburgh

Podcast

 

Press & Brand

Envipco among VIBES finalists for environment partnership

Events

Gorgie farm welcomes the Dalry llama

Explore ‘Glesca’ and ‘Embra’ on interactive Scots language map

DRS trial concludes with strong results

Campaign


International Churchill
Society

I pitched an article that became the basis for a dedicated edition of ‘Finest Hour’ focussing on Churchill’s connections with Scotland. 

I wrote the leading feature considering why the Scots have forsaken Churchill. I also coordinated the Scottish PR campaign to raise awareness of the edition including the research appeal.

The edition included a foreward by former prime minister Gordon Brown. 

Dedicated landing page: http://winstonchurchill.org/finest-hour-scotland/

Journal: Why have the Scots forsaken Churchill? 

Press release: First scholarly research appeal launched into Churchill and Scotland

Coverage

Print gallery 

The Times: Campaign to honour Churchill’s connections north of the border (PDF)

It’s time for Scotland to reclaim Winston Churchill (PDF)

The Scotsman: Winston Churchill should be a ‘celebrated hero in Scotland

Edinburgh Evening News: Churchill’s Scottish connections run deeper than we may think

The Herald: Efforts are underway to recognise Churchill’s Scottish connections

Deadline NewsAcademics appeal for information in bid to make Churchill a “celebrated hero” in Scotland

The Courier: Quest launched to unlock treasure trove of Churchill’s Scottish connections

Third Force News: Churchill’s Scottish links explored 

Scottish Field: Bid to uncover Churchill’s untold Scots connections 

North Edinburgh News: Churchill and Scotland: First scholarly research appeal launched

Print gallery 

Working with the United Macedonian Diaspora to raise awareness about the implications of the Prespa Agreement and Macedonian accession to NATO and the EU. 

North Macedonia? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me! (The Scotsman)

Macedonian village healer changed my life in a way I didn’t expect (The Scotsman)

UMD appoints new communications director (UMD)

Колумна на новинарот Алистер Стујарт: Северна Македонија? Не ме прави Севернобританец (Don’t you North Briton me!) (Kurir)

Шкотски новинар за Преспански договор: Катастрофална пирова победа за Владата на Заев (Express MK)

Колумна на новинарот Алистер Стујарт: Северна Македонија? Не ме прави Севернобританец (The Grid)

Северна Македонија? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me! (Time.MK)

Аластер Стујарт: Северна Македонија? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me! (Denesen) 

Северна Македонија? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me! (Off.net.mk)

Идниот македонски зет од Шкотска не сака да биде „Севернобританец (New Macedonia)

Обединетата Македонска Дијаспора (ОМД) назначи нов Директор за Комуникации (Observer, Macedonia) 

Why the United Macedonian Diaspora matters (UMD) 

Print gallery 

Launched a six-month campaign to introduce MPs for British citizens living in Europe. Central focus was on raising awareness as to the current status quo and putting forward suggested reforms. 

Print Gallery

Campaign to introduce MPs for British expatriates (Petition)

Scottish teacher launches petition for MPs for expats (Edinburgh Reporter)

Brexit: Brits in Spain react to Theresa May’s speech (The Local)

Scottish expat in Spain campaigns for MPs to represent Brits living abroad (The Olive Press News)

Teacher in Spain launches online petition for MPs for Brits living abroad (EuroWeekly News)

Almeria writer launches petition for MPs for British citizens abroad (The Sol Times)

March for The People’s Vote (Bremain in Spain) 

Why Do We Need A People’s Vote? (Bremain in Spain) 

Votes for Life must only be the beginning (Bremain in Spain) 

Member of the month – Newsletter – Alastair Stewart (Bremain in Spain) 

International Columns

EUROWEEKLY NEWS

Teacher in Spain launches online petition for MPs for Brits living abroad

A very British fudge – why democratising the Monarchy may be the best compromise 

It’s time to call Theresa May undemocratic

Votes for life must only be the beginning

Why it’s time for overseas MPs

Passports are a hint of things to come

Guns will stop the US government? Give me a break

Is Batfleck the hero for the Trump generation?

Star Trek: Discovery isn’t really Star Trek

If Nigel Farage is calling for a second referendum, it’s time…

Decluttering social media

New Year’s resolutions are hogwash

The Apprentice is bad for business and bad for the BBC

Have you noticed something about Bond villains?

I’m a member of the Scottish Parliament – Get Me Out Of Here

It’s not superhero fatigue, it’s misery fatigue

Brits abroad must help support stray cats and dogs

Shouldn’t International Men’s Day be as important as the female…

Lights, camera, Salmond!

The rise of the social media wedding

Kevin Spacey has betrayed his fans and they’re hurting too

Why irredentism explains Brexit

Catalonia was a gross injustice, plain and simple

The day America accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb on Spain

Read this before you see the film Dunkirk

Don’t be afraid of the big, bad doctor

The Diana tapes are a ‘macabre indulgence’

Brexit, the game show!

Stop panicking about new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker

Expatriates need to stop calling themselves ‘expats’

Doctor Who travels through space, time and… Spain

Why doesn’t Spain love the iPhone?

Why Brexit matters in Almeria

Print gallery 

Columns

A street called 17 January 1966 

At home and abroad: What does Europe mean? (print)

A very British fudge – Why democratising the Monarchy is the only way forward

Brexit makes me angry, and you should be too

Brexit, the game show! (print)

Brexit thoughts: Through the glass, darkly with Mrs May (print)

Boris, Brexit and Britons in Spain (print)

Brits abroad must support stray cats in Europe

Can you compare Scotland and Catalonia (print)

Catalonia was a gross injustice, plain and simple (print)

Decluttering the hell of social media

Did the sun really seton the British empire? (print)

Doctor Who travels through space, time…and Spain

Don’t be afraid of the big, bad doctor (print)

Dual mandates are wrecking British politics (print)

Expatriates need to stop calling themselves ‘expats’ (print)

Gibraltar doesn’t, shouldn’t and won’t bother the Spanish (print)

Grenfell Tower blaze victims deserve justice (print)

Guns will stop the US government? Give me a break!

Have you noticed something about Bond villains? (print)

History and hope over terror and tyranny (print)

How do the Spanish feel about the UK general election? (print)

I’m a member of the Scottish Parliament, get me out of here!

If Nigel Farage is calling for a second referendum, it’s time for a rethink 

Is Batfleck the hero for the Trump generation?

Is Discovery Star Trek?

It’s time to call Theresa May undemocratic

It’s not superhero fatigue, it’s misery fatigue

Kevin Spacey has betrayed his fans and they’re hurting too 

Lights, camera, Salmond

May, Rajoy and ‘Brexpats’ (print)

May is right to hold a general election (print)

May-day: Looking at the general election (print)

Moggmentum is the last straw of sanity (print)

New Year’s resolutions are hogwash 

Of course Wonder Woman deserves and all-female showing (print)

Opinion: Terrorism can’t become normalised (print)

Our responses to terror must be consistent (print)

Passports are a hint of things to come

Read this before you see Dunkirk (print)

Shouldn’t International Men’s Day be as important as International Women’s Day?

Stop panicking about Jodie Whittaker (print)

The Apprentice is bad for business and bad for the BBC

The Diana tapes are a macabre indulgence (print)

The old men in grey suits should be listened to (print)

The rise of the social media wedding

Tired of government officials lying to you? (print)

Trains, planes and bins: how Almeria works (print)

Trump’s obvious historical strategy (print)

The UK is not coming apart at the seams over Europe (print)

Understanding Spain’s political parties (print)

Votes for life must only be the beginning

When Churchill bribed Franco (print)

Who’s who in Almeria politics (print)

Why Brexit matters to Almeria (Almeria)

Why Esteban Gonzalez Pons’ comments on Scotland don’t matter (print)

Why doesn’t Spain love the iPhone? (print)

Why irredentism explains Brexit

Why it’s time for overseas MPs

Why Theresa May is wrong about human rights (print)

Why Tim Farron had to go (print)

Why Trump matters to Europe (print)

Why Spain and Britain are two peas in a pod (print)

WIll apps kill pubs? (print)

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