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Welcome to my new website

I run my own digital content and strategy company. I sit on the Board at Crowdbnk and I am 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, NHS Innovations SE, Major Stanley's Trust at Oxford and the Great Retail Revival Foundation.

 

 

Empty test match ground on a third day; clearly too many test matches will kill the game.....is the ICC that bothered?

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31
MAY
About Professor Putnam Robert D. Putnam is Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, and Visiting Professor, University of Manchester has written more than a dozen books, including Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work, both among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century.    In 2005 he initiated The Saguro Seminar: Civic Engagement In America, an ongoing initiative aimed at developing recommendations for strategies to help...
30
MAY
Why are there so many world sporting bodies in Switzerland? Why did Switzerland vote against joining the EU? How are they related? FIFA, the IOC and other sporting organisations have settled in Zurich and Lausanne because they were encouraged too by different Swiss cantons who can make local rules principally about tax.   Not all of Switzerland voted against joining the EU; the French part (Geneva) voted for it but the German part (including the bankers in Zurich) voted
30
MAY
For a sport which is beyond reproach, it was very disappointing to hear all the boos for Luke Donald at Wentworth yesterday at the BMW Championship especially as they would have come from largely British spectators. Luke Donald has taken the tougher route of living in America and playing on the US PGA tour (htough eh is a regular visitor to the Euroepan tour too) where his game has come on leaps and bounds. Good on him; it takes guts to become a big fish in a big pond. Those who...
30
MAY
I played Saturday soccer in the morning for a local team in Leigh-on-Sea and rugby in the afternoon for my school - Westcliff County High School - from the ages of 11 to 16. I loved soccer and like many youngsters thought I was good enough to make it professionally. The trouble was I was also reasonably good at rugby, playing first for Essex and then Eastern Counties U15s. At South Benfleet primary school I had played soccer when only nine years old for SE Essex but when
30
MAY
I took the train to Tunbridge Wells yesterday from Charing Cross - a snip at £10 - to watch Kent play Leicestershire in the LV County Championship Division Two league. Leicestershire languish at next-to-bottom with 50 points from six games whilst their opponents Kent are actually at the bottom of the league with 43 points also from six matches.  It's not that I am a Kent supporter but having lived there for the past 13 years (as an MP for Sittingbourne & Sheppey) I have...
30
MAY
When President Obama was first here two years ago (March, 2009) I wrote to Speaker Martin and Prime Minister Brown asking if he could address both Houses of Parliament. The Speaker said it wasn't in his remit and I never received a reply from No.10.  Still, the boy didn't too bad last week though the love-fest was a tad embarrassing for one and all.   
28
MAY
The Premier League should seize the moment and call for a new world body for soccer.
28
MAY
Yesterday was my Hospice day and I spent most of the morning there talking to  Anne Hooper, our CEO & Caroline Clark, our wonderful chaplain, who will soon be retiring. In the afternoon, I met our new Trustee, Geraldine Walters, Director of Nursing at King's College Hospital. She also chairs the London Network for Nurses and Midwives, is Visiting Professor at Buckinghamshire New University and a member of the National Clinical Audit Advisory...
27
MAY
Political stage management has reached new heights (or depths) these past two weeks. First, we had a very sensible and low key - over due - first visit of our monarch to Ireland since independence. Then President O'Bama arrived as part one of his Family Mystery tour to claim Mickey O'bama as a long lost cousin. How we lapped it up and how he seized the moment and the glass of Guinness (was HRH Prince Philip's anguish look at his glass the longest scowl in...
26
MAY
The vacancy at the top of the IMF should go to one of the BRIC companies. We are fooling ourselves by backing Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister, and we're only doing this to spite former PM Gordon Brown. Brown's work at the IMF in 2007-08 was central to the saving of the world's economies. For David Cameron and especially George Osborne to line up behind Lagarde shows a meanness of spirit but leaving that to one side either we understand the essence of globalisation or we make...
26
MAY
What a shambles world soccer is in; a pathetic President seeking re-election; an organisation riven with corruption and what does our own FA do in the forthcoming elections there? It abstains. You couldn't make it up.
25
MAY
Hardly a day goes by without some further news that this or that part of the existing NHS Bill, currently on pause, has been altered..... In case you're confused here's some help: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12177084 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12750695 . http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/governance_regulation_and_accountability/index.html#keypoints http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/8379284/Andrew-Lansley-signals-retreat-over-NHS-reforms.html
24
MAY
Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south west London, held its second Open Garden Day and welcomed over a thousand local families; they enjoyed the beautiful gardens whilst their children had their faces painted and bounced on castles or had books read to them. Patients also enjoyed their company.  
22
MAY
Chris Huhne MP, a Secretary of State no less,  may have hung himself out to dry. Presumably, he filled in and then signed the form about the "speeding offence" ..........his soon-to-be ex-wife took the wrap (not the first partner to be asked to do so judging from a breakfast I was at earlier in the week).  Do you mean he cannot recall doing this or that his car was in his wife's name?   I think we should be told before the bell
22
MAY
Mitch Daniels, Governor, Indiana since 2004 Nothing much happens in Indiana except Indianapolis: it's a middle American state with a lot of middling. And then there's Mitch Daniels. He still isn't sure about putting his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination; he hates the fund-raising and endless dinners which it inevitably brings. So what if the fund raising could be done by another group of supporters? Enter George W Bush and the Republican team from...
19
MAY
I went to the pre-auction party at Bloomsbury to look at a couple of photographs I was keen on - one on Astaire (a Bert Hardy) and another on Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore (Terry O'Neill). The Astaire featured Audrey Hepburn but alas nothing from "Dancing Shoes".  
19
MAY
It's been an Editorial Intelligence kind of week: Monday: Board meeting Tuesday: Comment Club breakfast thought pieces at Somerset House Thursday (tonight): I'm chairing our Comment Club's dinner www.editorialintelligence.com
19
MAY
Let's make some assumptions - Scotland is going to distance itself from England and Wales over the next five years whether that be by moving to fiscal independence first or complete independence (are they different propositions?). The House of Lords is not going to be reformed but an unelected House is no longer appropriate. The answer? Four lower Parliaments - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - with equal powers but bound together by a UK Senate (which is what the House...
17
MAY
I had a lunch arranged with Jon Cruddas at the Cork & Bottle which was great fun; moving on from Leicester Square I bumped into Ed Balls and for good measure then met the shadow BIS team in the late afternoon.   The talking points were Andrew Rawnsley's article in The Observer and Ed Miliband's inner council meeting on Sunday morning.
17
MAY
The Ivy League universities aren't quite what you think. London Review of Books: http://www.lrb.co.uk
17
MAY
Last week you win a majority of the seats in a Scottish Parliament and then you announce you will at some stage hold a referendum on independence. Does Alex Salmond pose one, two or three questions on the Ballot paper? One would be too strong asking voters for a Yes or a No. Three might be confusing but if they were: a) full independence b) full fiscal independence or c) a compromise on both you'd likely vote for b) but at least the voters would be able to give an indication of what...
17
MAY
If the Lib Dems lose another Secretary of State or VIP politician (David Laws) then Cameron must reflect on whether his coalition partners are up for it.. What price a general election in September, 2012 just after the warm glow of the London Olympics?
15
MAY
I went to the V&A to see:   "The Cult of Beauty - the Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900" (until 17th July) and curated by Stephen Calloway When I read for my first degree at the Open University back in the mid- seventies, I studied the history of art and architecture from 1850 and for my dissertation I chose the work of Thomas Jeckyll, the Norwich based, architect and designer, then still largely unknown. (Thomas Jeckyll by Susan Weber Soros and Catherine Arbuthnott...
14
MAY
Where does the phrase "A level playing field come from?" Could it have been borrowed from sport - as in a soccer or rugby field? Who first used the term? Politicians spend their lives calling for a level playing field in policy terms but if the field wasn't level to start with how can any policy make it "level"?  
14
MAY
It's been a busy month - of sorts - I've been in Siena for a two week break, my first holiday for two years (I was too ill last year) and then I've just come back from five days in Qatar where I spoke at the Doha Forum. So, I've missed three Fridays at Trinity Hospice in Clapham where I am the relatively new chairman of the Trustees. Last Friday (6th), I popped in to chat to Anne Hooper, our chief executive, and yesterday, we met Nicholas Woolf, the Chairman of the Princess Alice...
14
MAY
Manchester can stand tall tonight - United has won the league and City the FA Cup. Being a Charlton Athletic supporter and tiny share holder, it matters little to me, though a question that is worth pondering is which UK city has a the biggest shortgage of soccer playing fields for soccer for men and women? Step forward Manchester....
14
MAY
When I was a publisher at George Allen & Unwin in 1984 I commissioned a photographic essay of the great Seve Ballesteros by award winning snapper David Ashdown. In 1988, I saw his triumph close up at The Open at Royal Lytham and St Anne's. He was a golfing magician and when he had mastered the tricks of the fairways and greens (getting to the "dance floor" as the early professionals called it in America) to charge them he would attract a huge following as the crowds left whoever they...
14
MAY
There is another pleasure when you have to take an eight hour flight, as I did last week, to Doha and that is being able to catch up on "Films Missed"! Normally, any flight over five hours is a signal for me to spend my time asleep but more recently as the in-flight entertainment has become more and more bespoke I have enjoyed watching those films I have missed. I watched the rather slow moving and somewhat staid "Burlesque" but was then riveted with "The Fighter" which was a...
14
MAY
I first went to Qatar in 2002 or 2003; I have been back five more times.....It grows at such a pace that it is hard to understand why.......... Qatar has a population of about 300,000 Qataris and 1.3 million migrant workers and/or ex pats depending on their status. The Emir is enlightened for an Arab/Muslim state. Until recently, though it has impressive investments in this country - Canary Wharf, Chelsea Barracks, Harrods et al - it has only became the centre of the world's focus...
5
MAY
WE can argue about why we are voting on AV on the same day as some elections across the UK but the fact is today is the day to change British politics forever. In 1997, 2001 and 2005 I was never elected by 50% of the voters and the only way that your MP can claim he has the authority of a majority of the voters is for there to be a change to AV. So today change the political landscape forever and vote AV. Of course the Tories don't want it, it would hurt them the most. They claim...
5
MAY
I went to Fidelity HQ's on Tuesday evening in the Ciot of London for the launch of the new University of Exeter's Business School. See: www.exeter.ac.uk/business-school
3
MAY
When all the plaudits die down and the US political machinery trains its fire on its own dire economy, the fact remains that last week all the Republican Presidential hopefuls could ask for was President Obama's birth certificate. You couldn't really make it up. America: a country where less than 50% bother to vote for their own president, where $billions is spent on such elections and yet they have the nerve to espouse their democratic message around the world as though its...
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