Rudeness can be necessary. I can be rude if I feel there's a purpose.
Sometimes it's the only way to challenge arguments when they're, frankly, wrong. Some people are just rude for the sake of it, and I'm not fond of that. I don't think I'm nearly as angry as the reputation. I just don't suffer fools, I abhor racism and snobbery, and I don't like it when you ask people to do something that's their job and they don't do it properly.
Teaching is bloody exhausting. I've been doing that Jamie's Dream School thing. These were kids with real problems, but they were bright and, given a chance, will turn out OK. The media paint an incredibly negative picture of education, partly because almost every editor sends their kids to public school and has a vested interest in running down the state sector.
We didn't ignore that huge anti-war march in 2003. It was listened to. It was just that in the end the government took a different decision.
The last time I was drunk was in 1986, but it's not the last time I took a drink. I stopped drinking in March 1986, after a breakdown. I haven't been wholly abstemious since – I occasionally have a social drink. I think, depending on who you are, you can manage being a non-drinker but sometimes taking one.
I cry a lot. The media label people so easily, and I seem to have been burdened with "alpha male". I accept it, I suppose, but it's too simple. Is it alpha male to have a nervous breakdown? One of my sons, when he read my diary, said: "Bloody hell, Dad, do we have to put up with all this crying?" Is that alpha male?
The main thing I regret about those years in power is our obsession with day-to-day news. We had such a majority and such goodwill we could have got away with ignoring the press and gone for grand strategy. But by the time Tony and I and John [Prescott] had come to that view, it was getting too late.
It's hard to swear without passion. I keep being stopped by people who want me to be Malcolm Tucker. Someone the other day asked me to tell him to fuck off. So I did. But without much passion, and he got really annoyed.
Sometimes the things we miss are exactly the ones we don't miss. There are parts of being in power I miss a lot. The sense of having a full-on 24/7 purpose, but equally, one of the things I don't miss is having a full-on 24/7 purpose.
You can't "dodge" depression, if you're fated. Usually I feel a sense of emptiness in the middle-distance, approaching. You can try all you want, but there's nothing you can do to stop it. And it arrives, and it's almost… physical. For a long time I wasn't really open about it, even with Fiona [Millar, his partner]. Now I find openness helps. Exercise helps.
When they cut open my heart I wonder whether it'll be inscribed "Labour" or "Burnley". There's a guy who's made a flag for me! It's got Campbell tartan in the background, and scribbles from my diaries, a claret-and-blue laurel, red roses; it's got forget-me-nots, which is leukaemia research, and a bee from the crest of Burnley. Perfect. All of these things.
Diaries Volume Two: Power and the People is out now. Alastair Campbell will speak at the Tigrent Learning UK Great Minds 2011 Conference on 26 March in support of Make-A-Wish Foundation UK. To book, visit tigrentconference.co.uk
To read all the interviews in this series, go to
• This article was amended on 16 March 2011 to correct "Campbelltown" to Campbell tartan and "a B from the crest of Burnley", to bee.
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