don't read the menu options and go directly to the page content 
Welcome to my new website

I am a NED @ Crowdbnk and a Strategic Advisor to StartUpCapitalVenture 2 in San Francisco; I am also on the CITI Advisory Board @ Columbia University, NY.

I chair Trinity Hospice, Clapham, NISE NHS Innovations SE, Major Stanley's Trust at OURFC and the Great Retail Revival Foundation.

 

 

Could the UK Govt run a national registration scheme for Gift Aid? It would be so much easier to administer than the current system.

Blog

You are here: Home / Blog
31
DEC
New Year's Resolutions for 2011 ** read more Fiction ** cook from recipes taken from a River Cottage book - a birthday present (!) ** improve my health (bad year 2010) ** travel more ** finish my book on Politics: Events Dear Boy, Events ** make the final of the RWC 2011 in NZ
31
DEC
I'm not a skier; my arthritic knees make it impossible for me to pull myself up once I have had what is called prosaically a "wipeout"......however, Daisy and Jack, my two children, are pretty good skiers and like their Dad to indulge them. We've skied in St Martin de Belleville, Davos, Whistler and now Verbier and I've tried board skiing (a gold medal failure) in Gstaad. Between them, they appear to have also skied most other places in France and a little in Spain and Austria
31
DEC
Trinity Hospice, Clapham www.trinityhospice.org.uk At the end of January, 2011, I will become the new chairman of the Trustees at Trinity Hospice in Clapham. My grandfather, father and brother (leaving three young sons) all died of various types of cancer. When I was an MP I donated £1000 from my fees from media and polling to Demelza House hospice in my constituency which helped young (sometimes very young) with cancer. I was also a very strong supporter of its work and...
28
DEC
In April, 2009 I was part of the KRG All Party Parliamentary group's visit to northern Iraq. Whilst there we were taken to the new airport which had yet to open and I suggested, given the one mile runway, that Jeremy Clarkson might like to take a drive. On my return to the UK, I contacted the producer of Top Gear and yesterday Clarkson and the crew made it. This is what they said: Jeremy Clarkson: "This is the Kurdistan part of Iraq, everybody is really friendly, frankly
26
DEC
There's nothing finer than waking up in another country (Switzerland) not known for its sporting prowess (okay, apart from the boy Federer) and turning on your wifi to find Australia were 98 all out on the first day of the Fourth Test at the MCG (I was there last in 1999) and England were 157-0, yep, for nought! Moreover, Alastair Cook's phenomenal series continues as he is 80 n.o.. To think he was almost dropped from the side in the summer.   Wouldn't it be just fine and
26
DEC
What kind of management, having failed to clear snow from its runways for three days because of a lack of equipment, sees its passengers waiting for the same three days and switches off the heating at Heathrow at 10pm??? Step forward the dreadful lot who own Heathrow: GRUPO FERROVIAL. Why were people subjected to queuing outside in the cold at Eurostar? Here's what should happen next: ** a new independent regulator (paid for by the owners of airports and the airlines who use them)...
26
DEC
In between finishing off my next book on the Rugby World Cup 2011 (with co-author Colin Herridge), I was able to read the following books: ***** The New Machiavelli by Jonathan Powell; a Christmas cracker must-read for all politicos ** Five Days to Power by Rob Wilson MP; slightly boring assessment of the Tory-Lib Dem pact back in May, 2010 ** After the Lemons: the Glory Days of Bath rugby by Kevin Coughlan, Peter Hall & Colin Gale; volume two takes us from 1965 to 1996 and...
23
DEC
No amount of sticking plaster will save the Lib Dems as a party with integrity. They have sold their birthright to the Tories who are gleeful at their ongoing demise. They will be decimated in the local elections in May and indeed if anyone is actually examining the odd by-election result at county or local council level (e.g. Dover) they are hardly registering a vote.  Those Lib Dem ministers who know the deal is over should step aside and rejoin their own party before it...
21
DEC
Secretary of State Vince Cable MP caught in a Daily Telegraph sting should do the decent thing and join the Labour Party.
15
DEC
I was invited by Sport England to the launch of the Parliamentary Sport Fellowship scheme for 2011-2012 in the House of Commons this afternoon. When I started the scheme in 2005 only eight MPs joined in but last year nearly 30 MPs and Peers passed through and we are hopeful nearly 50 will sign up!! Here's hoping..... as it is very important in the cuts that Sport has a voice in Parliament.
14
DEC
Julian Assange has done the global citizen a service by putting online the US sourced leaks known affectionately as wikileaks. The recent spate which may last another month are being coordinated with the working cooperation of, at least, The Guardian (UK),  the New York Times (USA) & Le Monde (France).  In essence what is at stake here is whose information is it? Does it belong to Governments or does it belong to its citizens who elect...
13
DEC
Ask any Tory candidate in the May 2010 Election and they would have told you that Labour's noise about pending cuts to the Educational Maintenance Allowances and to Sure Starts should the Tories win were absolutely baseless. David Cameron said they'd be no cuts to either EMA or Sure Starts but guess what? EMAs are to go and Sure Starts have been cut by at least 11% and their funding is no longer ring fenced.  It is simply outrageous to close the two most important elements which have
12
DEC
I went to see Mike Leigh's recently released (5/11/10) film: Another Year starring David Bradley and Jim Broadbent on Saturday. It is split into the four seasons and revolves around a blissfully happy couple and their family and work colleagues. It lasted 2 hours 9 minutes and it makes you concentrate very hard indeed despite the usual free flowing, ad libbing script. The camera shots are held just that extra few seconds to take you inside each personality. In the end optimism just defeats...
12
DEC
I was keen to see the Gauguin Exhibition this morning (on until 16/01/11) but had completely forgotten about Al Weiwei's 100 million ceramic Sunflower Seeds and was floored by them.   The Gauguin entrance fee was £15 each and was overpriced. I am beginning to think that Exhibition prices are edging towards £20 a) Because of the scandalous cuts to the Arts from the coalition government (though the DCMS ministerial team has no Lib Dems) and b) because the Tate would...
10
DEC
Oxford with less than 35% of the ball in the second half comfortably held off a stronger Cambridge XV having led 15-3 at half time. Oxford were more inventive and held their passes under pressure. Cambridge disrupted the Oxford scrum and the lineout but were all fingers and thumbs and should have scored three times in the second half. Nonetheless, Oxford deserved their victory for a purple patch in the first half which saw them score two well taken tries.
6
DEC
FIFA has its headquarters in Zurich to hide behind the Canton walls; it sues English writers such as David Yallop (They Stole the Game) and Andrew Jennings (Foul) inside this wall and sometimes outside but NEVER in the UK. FIFA simply stinks and it was a great mistake of the FA to bid for the World Cup given how badly it did in 1998 (6 votes). The FA itself lives in cloud cuckoo land and needs a top to toe clear out but like turkeys voting for Christmas this is never ever going to...
6
DEC
The amazing jazz pianists and composer Dave Brubeck who is 90 today (a good month to have a birthday!) had a special BBC 2 Arena programme with Clint Eastwood and others. See it here: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00wbp64/Arena_Dave_Brubeck_In_His_Own_Sweet_Way/  
1
DEC
The venue: Edelman in Victoria Street, SW1 The topic: The Big Society The Speakers: Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, John Armitt, ODA, Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph, Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror and John Sauven of Greenpeace The Chairman: Robert Phillips, Edelman CEO The debate: www.edelman.com The question from me: I posed the question that just as Bonhoeffer had predicted the church would become the social church after WW2 -viz Oxfam, War on Want, Shelter, Samaritans et
website by Hudson Berkley Reinhart Ltd