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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.

 

 

Border and customs officer numbers down migration up; clearly no connection

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28
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Three cheers for Hollywood they more or less voted for the right films in this year's Oscars........ The King's Speech hardly stuttered once it had been released and this word-of-mouth film won four Oscars including best actor for (Sir) Colin Firth. Natalie Porter deservedly won Best Actress for her part in Bleak Swan aka as Black Swan.   For a full list of 2011 Oscar nominees and winners, visit the official site of the Academy Awards. Major Categories: Best Supporting...
28
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England's cricketers will wonder how they lost the plot against India as they were cruising to a wonderful victory against India despite being set 338 to win. In the end a single of the last ball of the 50th over secured a draw!! Meanwhile, on the back of England's bruising win against France at Twickenham on Saturday, came news that Luke Donald had won the Accenture Matchplay final 3&2. Last year, Luke was often in the lead after three rounds but then never pushed on. Let's hope...
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Editorial Intelligence's third Names Not Numbers weekend kicks off this Friday at Portmeirion. NNN also launches in New York in June and Mumbai in November. www.namesnotnumbers.com
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From: www.bbc.co.uk Enigma genius Alan Turing papers saved for the nation Alan Turing is credited with a key role in breaking wartime German codes A last minute donation from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has saved the papers of the computing genius Alan Turing for the nation. The collection of scientific papers and material relating to Turing's work on wartime codebreaking was in danger of going abroad. He was one of the founding fathers of modern computing and a key...
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At half time England went into the break 9-9 but could so easily have been behind. They gave silly penalties away and looked nervous. After the break they were a different side and should have been given two more tries....so the 17-9 final score did not represent a true picture of their domination.
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What is the Foreign Office for? For over a century it has continually backed the wrong horses overseas - Egypt, Israel, Saudi, India et al. Its senior diplomats live in some kind of 1960s bubble working on this word or this nuance of a sentence for a communique, oblivious of the wider world   None of the WW2 institutions are fit for purpose - UNO, World Bank, WTO and IMF - yet we cling to them as they sink rather than suggesting a complete and thorough reform.   On...
26
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Rupert Murdoch is about to be given the green light by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State at DCMS, to buy the remaining shares in BSkyB which he doesn't already own. The matter will NOT be referred to the Competition Commission despite Ofcom's and the beleaguered Vince Cable's recommendations when he held the brief. So we all have a lot to thank the two Daily Telegraph journalists for screwing this up following the release of their tape recordings of Vince at a confidential advice...
26
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Forty or so Old Oxford Rugby Blues met at the Fleming Collection in Berkeley Street to hear the plans for the re-development of Iffley Road which I have already subscribed to. It was good to touch base with Dudley Wood, the former Secretary of the RFU.
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Yesterday, I attended a lunch actually in Churchill's War Rooms by the side of the Treasury. It was our annual Old Boys reunion of Bedford Rugby Club and five us from the victorious Cup winning team of 1975 made it - Foster Edwards, Bob Demming, Brian Keen, Richard Chadwick and myself. All told over 60 of us squeezed into the room! I started the London lunches five years ago in the House of Commons.   
23
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David Cameron doesn't get foreign affairs, few Prime Ministers do, though they love the air miles. You cannot both go to Egypt to empathise with what has gone on there and then host in Kuwait, a great scion of democracy, a UK arms flotilla of salesmen and women selling to dodgy regimes. It doesn't wash and it was his first major misjudgement.
21
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The Guardian's Media Section every Monday used to be a must-read in the Communications industry.....but not any more. It is limp, behind the times and needs a revamp or a shelving.
19
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If it's Friday then it's my Trinity Hospice day......and I spent yesterday meeting four Trustees to talk through our work for the year; I also attended a fund raising presentation (we had a very good month in January). We are all concerned at the sudden changes to the NHS and what this will do to our funding. www.trinityhospice.org.uk 
17
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The fragile peace between the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon was severely dented over events in Egypt. The White House speaks for the nation, the State Department is there to ensure America power is global whilst the Pentagon seeks to ensure fairly or unfairly America's global opponents experience timely reminders as to who bosses the world. But Egypt showed that America no longer can boss the world. Whilst it may be a decade or two before China overtakes...
17
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What possessed Caroline Spelman to open up the possibility of the privatisation of our forests? Was there an edict from No.10? Was it her impotent civil servants who'd be told to find something to privatise to help her ailing career? We may never know but in the space of a week a dreadful policy, incoherently presented by Spelman has been binned. The Tories simply do not have the common touch.
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So it's okay then if the self-nominated Royal family of Bahrain shoots its own people: welcome to the 13th Century. The real issue for all the Gulf states is that they are in a minority because the ex-pat population not only out numbers them but props them up - whether they be from Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, India, Egypt or the UK. But here's the rub, few of them have passports, few have any local rights to education for their children or proper housing or access to health. And...
17
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Read the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman's Care & Compassion report on old people in the NHS and wonder why compensation for a mistake which leads to death is only worth £2000 and why no-one was fired........ www.ombudsman.org.uk www.tsoshop.co.uk
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I attended the NESTA debate on their new report: Creative Clusters & innovation yesterday at Portcullis House. The report is published at: www.nesta.org.uk
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David Cameron has spent three days trying to justify his BigSoc idea. Given the Economy and the NHS look as though they will require major u-turns during 2011 it does seem rather odd that he should try and convince the nation of its merits. At every county, unitary and borough council level there are substantial cuts and maybe as many as 500,000 pubic servants will be made redundant during the year. He asks if local politicians would make more of them redundant rather than squeeze...
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I popped into Trinity Hospice this morning (as I missed last Friday as I was in Mumbai); I spent time with various members of staff playing my usual catch up.
13
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The Six Nations is now down to either England or France becoming this year's Grand Slam winners. France won it last year and whilst they haven't quite set the world on fire they will surely raise their game for the next match which is England at Twickenham. Yesterday, England took Italy to the cleaners winning 59-13 in grand style with backs linking well with their forwards. Ashton scored 4 tries and looks a world beater. This afternoon in Dublin, France just held Ireland 25-22 in a...
13
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Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding (Guardian Books). The Guardian was one of five papers - El Pais, New York Times, Der Spiegel (a weekly) and Le Monde - to eventually agree a deal late last year with Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, to release secret US tapes covering Iraq and Afghanistan and much else besides. Wikileaks is the first of maybe half a dozen books which will be out over the next three months which...
12
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The Next Mubarak: a wiki for the world Just imagine if the combined forces for good in the western media could combine to create a single online source for those living in the Arab states in north Africa. This would enable those policemen and women, politicians seeking redemption, civil servants and those in the know to release all the files they could lay their hands which implicate their despotic rulers. Now wouldn't that be fun.
12
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127 Hours is Danny Boyle's latest film starring James Franco and Amber Tamblyn and is about Aron Ralston's true life story of being trapped by a fallen boulder in an isolated in a canyon in Utah which leads him to cut off his arm with a penknife......
12
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Wall Street 2 Director Oliver Stone with Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf Gordon Gekko emerges from eight years in prison and seeks to re-create his fortune as a high roller. Sounds kind of trite and unworthy but the script is slick and the pace of the movie is equally fast and there are enough twists and turns to make it worth watching.
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I am back in India on business with Tribal with visits to New Delhi and Mumbai. I first came to Bombay, as it was then, en route to Hong Kong in 1955 on SS Chusan where we were to spend three idyllic years as children with my parents (Dad was in the Royal Engineers). We came back in 1958 on the last troop ship and again stopped off in Bombay where my Grandfather had been with the Royal Artillery. After our voyage home (4 weeks on a floating hotel) troops to the Far East were...
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I have been asked by the APPRugby Group and CSC, the sponsors of our annual award, to help them finesse the players and former players who are due to receive our fifth set of Parliamentary Awards in July, 2011. We will be celebrating the most magical moments of all the rugby world cups since 1987 and we had a business meeting on Frdiay afternoon to update everyone on where we are with the invitees.
5
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Being Friday, I spent the morning with Anne Hooper, our CEO. We went through the admin for the next Board meeting (my first), how the PCT map will be withdrawn in south London and how this will effect us and a TED video on a Dad who was terminally ill but who had the sense to appoint 6 "Dads" to care for his children once he was gone.
5
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England finally shook of the blues (actually the reds) in Cardiff last night by defeating a poor Wales by 26-19. With three home games in row v Italy, France and Scotland before Ireland away (what price tickets for that game?) England look set for a Grand Slam which would set them well for the RWC2011 in New Zealand which starts in September.
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Last night I was taken to the Curzon Mayfair to see Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful based on the under class and human trafficked in Barcelona. There was a brilliant portrayal of the main character by Javier Bardem surely a shoe-in to win the Oscar for best overseas film performance. The film is bleak, black, bawdy and beautiful. Go see it.
3
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Patrick French author of another book on India this time entitled India: A Portrait spoke at the RSA at lunch-time today to yet another full-house. I asked him about the sclerotic nature of the public services there. You can catch it at www.thersa.org  I am due in New Delhi and Mumbai next week.
3
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I will back to India for my sixth visit since 2006 (I went to Bombay as it was known then in 1955 and 1958 en route to Hong Kong and England) next week. This time I will be visiting New Delhi and Mumbai.
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With Colin Herridge (my co-author of Rugby Revolution in 2003) I am writing a book on the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand and over the past two days I have finished chapters 2 and 5!! Now just for the opening chapter.....which needs some editing.........
3
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Live 24 hour television coupled with an always on internet certainly gives everyone a chance to be their own commentator on events in Egypt. The White House, the EU and No.10 no longer know how to call it. Having pussy-footed around for a few days uncertain whether this was another Tunisia or not, they then caught the mood of the well behaved crowds and called for Mubarak to go immediately. And then when he didn't and fighting broke out yesterday they weren't sure what to do caught
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