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Welcome to my new website

I sit on the Board at Crowdbnk and I am a Strategic Advisor to StartUpCapitalVenture 2 in San Francisco and 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.

 

 

Fascinating Murray v Tsonga match in NY; Tsonga has lost weight and the first set 5-7

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28
SEP
I do hope David Miliband stays inside the Labour shadow cabinet but it would be understandable if he went off to Harvard or to work for Hillary Clinton. And though last night's unseemly media fest was all about whether he would stay, today's focus was on Ed as he delivered his first leader's speech. And jolly good it was too. He has a lot to do and he outlined just how much in his amusing speech where he seemed quite an ease despite probably not having slept much this past 72 hours....
27
SEP
One of the joys of stepping down from Parliament has been the new time I have had for others and other things. Today was no exception as I had lunch with Mark Fisher who'd also stood down this year after 27 years as MP for Stoke on Trent. He had had two brain operations in the New Year and rightly thought his longer term health should come first plus, and more importantly, he was marrying Gilly, so why not a fresh start? He cooked me lunch up in W10 and we chatted for a day and...
27
SEP
In the 1960s there were three LPs of many which I played again and again they were Sergeant Pepper, Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Good Vibrations. I know there were others from Jimi Hendrix, Santana, the Stones et al but for me these three stood out.  And unlike our parents and because of the changes to technology we can buy them again either as a reversioned cd or simply download a track.   It is hard to believe two Beatles are already no longer with...
26
SEP
Daisy and I went to see Yes, Prime Minister at the Gielgud Theatre on Friday night. Daisy just might have been the youngest there by forty years..... As those of you who have followed first Yes Minister and then Yes, Prime Minister on television back in the early 1980s you will know how close to the bone the scripts were and nothing has changed in this theatrical version first seen at the Chichester Theatre a few months ago.  The theatre was packed and there were laughs aplenty...
26
SEP
Eadweard Muybridge is at The Tate until 16th January 2011. I thought I knew a lot about Muybridge until spending a couple of hours at this wonderfully curated exhibition which comes from the Corcoran in Washington, DC. I think curators should be given the same headlines as an author or a director of a film but you'd struggle to know who was responsible for this or any other exhibition. But after a bit of scrambling around I found them to be Ian Warrell and Carolyn Kerr and well done...
25
SEP
Stephen Fry's second volume of his autobiography The Fry Chronicles: A Memoir has sold 37,325 copies this week easily outselling Tony Blair's A Journey (25,869). Blair's book may yet sell over 200,000 copies. Is the publishing industry now mirroring its film cousins by putting everything into a major book in its first two to three weeks before moving on? 
25
SEP
Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour Party; he just beat his brother David by 1.3%. I backed Ed from day one and was also a small contributor to his campaign. He is the change candidate we need to move the party forward to the next Election. I think the current electoral college is wrong and it should be one member one vote.
24
SEP
If we are really to be a creditable national party again we need to revise our rules. There are two areas which need immediate revision: Leadership Elections 1. Capped at £25k per candidate; one free mail to all members 2. One vote for every member; why should an MP's vote be worth 600 x that of a member? OVOM. 
22
SEP
Lost in the current publishing frenzy over Blair's autocriography is Giles Radice's excellent "Trio - inside the Blair, Brown, Mandelson Project". Radice likes comparison biographies and another good read is his "The Tortoise and The Hares: Attlee, Bevin, Cripps, Dalton and Morrison"
21
SEP
According to a Tory source four Government departments have agreed cuts with the Treasury of between 30% and 40% but none of them managed the demanding 40%........This will be pretty devastating when the cuts come in for 2011-2012 which will make the latter part of 2011 miserable for many. It is not yet clear how the ConDems hope to create more jobs.
21
SEP
Oxford University's new School of Government announced formally yesterday - the Leonard Blavatnik School of Government no less (he has generously donated £75m!) may at some stage mean re-thinking PPE.......
21
SEP
Blair's A Journey tops sales after two weeks of 150,000; Mandelson's absurd named Third Man fails to reach 60,000 despite the hype. Meanwhile Andrew Rawnsley's The End of the Party is now out in paperback with additional chapters highlighting the painful Labour defeat in May and the five days which subsequently shook Whitehall. 
21
SEP
First the confessions, I worked as a freelance for The Times in 1982-83 (Owned by NewsCorp) and for BSkyB (largest shareholder, NewsCorp) in 1995-97. When Rupert Murdoch bought The Times he saved it; it has probably never made a profit. Is it a good newspaper? It is. His other stable mates The Sunday Times, the News of the World and The Sun have mostly recorded annual profits as do some of their web sites.  When Rupert Murdoch established Sky in 1987-88 it was a huge financial...
16
SEP
The Speaker's Works of Art Advisory Committee. The Election Project by Simon Roberts, Photographer. From 2001-2010 I sat on The Speaker's WoAAC and for five years was its vice chairman. The Collection does not have a great collection of photographs and I was keen to see us award our third Election Artist to one. In the end so did the committee and we were so impressed with the short list we then made strenously efforts to commission those that were placed second and...
14
SEP
The Trade Union Conference at Manchester yesterday lay bare some of the nation's anxieties about the 40% cuts in most Government departments, as if you could cut that much and still deliver any worthwhile services? The what-if scenario is what if George Osborne's efforts take the UK economy, just as it is recovering, thanks to the Labour Government's slowly slowly methodology, into a second recession? What will be its plans for growth then and what will its plans be for...
13
SEP
Ed Miliband looks set to become the new leader of the Labour Party. In polls in yesterday's papers it looks as though his low lying, grass roots campaign based on some aspects of Obama's viral campaigns back in 2008, could lead to him winning after the second or third votes have been redistributed. It is clearly wrong and against our party's democratic principles for David Miliband to have raised over £300k for his campaign. A point Andy Burnham, the only non-London based...
13
SEP
Blair's autobiography "A Journey" leads the way open to a possible follow up called "An Arrival" but, notwithstanding its title, it has sold and sold and sold with figures suggesting it broke all records with nearly 100,000 being bought in its opening week. This despite having to pull out of one public signing and one launch party.  It maybe that Peter Mandelson thought he was being clever by bringing forward his own book to capture attention but sales have fallen away...
6
SEP
I'm sure it will have come as some relief that the William Hague story was absent across the red top Sunday newspapers yesterday. There will come a time soon in the UK, as has happened elsewhere, when Bloggers will be sued for defamation and ISPs may well be caught up in an individual case as the carriers of said information. It was embarrassing for the body politic and for the nation as a whole that William Hague had to divulge private information about his wife with...
6
SEP
It is important - if you do not want David Miliband as your choice for the Labour leadership - how you vote in the election. If you vote first for Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham or Ed Balls please make sure you place Ed Miliband 2nd on your ballot paper.
6
SEP
Ballot papers are being delivered across London today.
2
SEP
Some critical questions which remain unanswered: Did the three named Pakistani cricketers lay bets themselves on bowling no-balls or were they promised a percentage of the illegal bets laid back in Pakistan for the act in question? Did they bowl the no balls to demonstrate to the "sting" that it was possible to do but actually this was a dry run and no bets were placed?
2
SEP
There's only really one thing to do this week and that is to go out and buy the book everyone is talking about. It is: Chris Mullin's second volume of his diaries entitled: Decline & Fall (of the Labour Government). His publishing house brought froward the publishing date to 31st August 2010 to pip the other book which is being trashed in almost every newspaper today but which is actually rather a good read. I finished Decline & Fall in two sittings but Blair's A Journey...
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