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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.

 

 

Seems as though sanity has broken out with King family case; Southampton hospital and Hampshire police should be ashamed of their behaviour

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28
AUG
Pedro Almodovar is the finest Spanish director of films since the heady days of Luis Bufnuel. His latest film: The Skin I Live In stars Antonio Banderas and new muse Elena Anaya, though she was in his film of 2002: Talk to Her. It explores much of the themes of previous films and is an acknowledgement to a past movie entitled Live Flesh (a lose adaption of Ruth Rendell's 1997 novel of the same name). Skin covers: a  sex change, voyeurism, brutal sex,...
28
AUG
National 2 League South Opening game of the season v Hartpury College (newly promoted) Not much is known about Hartpury College save they serve as a feeder club to Gloucester and have been promoted seven years in succession which is going it. They have a couple of past Welsh internationals in their Autumn years and a back line, fly half notwithstanding, with youth, verve and pace. Though they were shortly behind 7-0 to the home side, Hartpury controlled most of the first half and ten...
28
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George Osborne said in today's The Observer that the plans announced earlier this week - which gives the power to levy UK taxes on UK citizens "hidden" bank accounts in Switzerland - is the beginning of a clamp down on all overseas accounts. This smells. We need first to put into the public domain the names of those UK taxpayers who have failed to legally pay their rightful taxes in the UK. We need to publicise the lawyers and accountants who have been their advisors. The UK...
27
AUG
As the western economies teeter on the brink of a second recession it is clear that everyone is no longer certain what the solution is? Nor is there unanimous agreement on what really causes growth especially at this moment in time. In his new book The End of Growth, which has just been published in the UK, Richard Heinberg suggests that the two current economic theories which have dominated since the mid 1930s are no longer relevant. They are (i) Keynes/Keynesian -...
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Middle East and North Africa Programme Publications & Comment Recent commentary and resources on developments in Libya from the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme:    Chatham House on Libya What might a post-Gaddafi government look like?  As the rebels come closer to securing Tripoli, Jane Kinninmont considers what form a post-Gaddafi government might take for The Guardian. "At present, the Transitional National Council is united by...
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Sixteen of the last eighteen RFU Presidents of the RFU have sent a letter to the current President about their concerns over the direction of the organisation. Let's hope they make the letter public as soon as possible.
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Over 115,000 UK citizens have signed the Hillsborough Petition asking for full disclosure of why so many Liverpool supporters lost their lives. Please sign it; search: "No.10 Petitions" and it will come up. Thanks.
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AUG
Last night at Goldington Road, ten of us from the Bedford v Llanelli (12-28) match back in 1975 were the official guests of the Club and it was our job to turn on the new floodlights. The old ones were first on show for that Llanelli fixture. The crowd last night for the friendly was 3,003. Back in 1975, we had to delay the start of our game for 20 minutes as the queues stretched back and down Goldington Road. Over 6,000 came to see Phil Bennett and his great side. Of our original...
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The last of Chris Mullins' three volume set of Diaries - which he has produced since he stood down in May, 2010 after 23 years as the MP for Sunderland South - was published earlier this week. The first two covered 1999-2010 and were insightful, witty and penetrating in analysis and this one entitled A Walk-On Part is no different.   Whilst Diaries are a rarity in American political history - the two accounts of Obama's win in 2008 have been David Plouffe's The...
18
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Ecuador: time for it to open its eyes to the world instead of itself     Two thirds of the way through my life (here’s hoping) and I seem to have missed much of Central and Southern America. My grandparents managed India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) whilst my parents lived in Nigeria and Hong Kong having been brought up in Canada and Ceylon. I once asked my grandmother – then in her 80s - where India was but she couldn’t point to it on a map. I guess you can spot the Empire writ large in
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Three games in and Charlton sit at the top of the old third division: played 3 won 3 with two of those wins away from home; Scunthorpe on Saturday at home.....can this be our year? Let's hope so.
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From wikipedia: The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) is a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film, directed by Juan José Campanella, based on Eduardo Sacheri's novel La Pregunta de Sus Ojos (The Question in Their Eyes). The film stars Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil in a joint production of Argentine and Spanish companies. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards, making Argentina the first country in Latin America to win it...
17
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From wikipedia: The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American thriller film adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly, starring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy and Marisa Tomei. The film is directed by Brad Furman, with a screenplay written by John Romano. I saw it last week and can recommend it. Here's the plot: Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller (McConaughey) operates around Los Angeles County out of a Lincoln Town Car. Haller has spent most...
16
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The number of books on Google grows and grows - I can count six in my collection and now here is a seventh.... Douglas Edwards was the 59th employee at Google; he lucked out and walked away with $millions when he left five years ago. This is his story.
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AUG
The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour is an extraordinary book by one of the UK's great authors; and if you are only half interested in what made Italy (eventually) into a nation state (it is celebrating its 150th year, this year) then this is the book for you. As someone who visits Italy regularly (twice this year) I couldn't put it down; it is so readably and so full of nuggets and joy. Go read.
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Towards the end of his life I had supper with Elwyn Jones, the former Attorney General and Lord Chancellor. I asked him if there was anything he regretted in the Justice system. He said that just after WW2 the judiciary felt that sentencing should be along the lines of a "Short, sharp shock" but they were convinced otherwise by the first wave of sociologists who said that offenders needed long sentences. Long sentences have never worked but it is my belief that until we...
13
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I have been out of action with altitude sickness in Quito, Ecuador and only feel better today after two days on oxygen. I will resume my blogs today and tomorrow but in the meantime very well done England at Edgbaston.    
8
AUG
I drove up to Aldeburgh yesterday to check in at the Thompson Gallery sale of two artists - Michael Sanders and Emma Williams. I'd bought a large Sanders's of a misty beach scene soon looking back at Aldeburgh from Thorpeness last year and was tempted by an Emma Williams painting of the famous Chip Shop but when I called earlier last week it had already gone. On walking round the Gallery - and to my delight - there was another painting of the Chip shop still unsold...
7
AUG
Over 80,000 spectators in the first week of August tells you that there is nothing much wrong with the marketing department at Twickenham where a rusty England just held off a fitter and faster moving Wales by 23-19. Wales chose not to kick at goal with five penalties seeking instead to gain the double advantage by kicking for touch and then hoping to win the lineout close to the England line. It nearly succeeded but as the score line suggests in a world cup match points on the board...
5
AUG
The thought of one third of all babies born today reaching the age of 100 is hard to take in. How on earth will we have enough resources to look after them when they are in their 80s and 90s?  But we can't wait until then we have to make savings now. Here's one suggestion: The NHS will be free from the ages of 0-18 (25 if a part or full time student) and Over 70 Between 18-70 it will be compulsory to hold...
3
AUG
There was a kerfuffle involving England, Pakistan and an umpire called Darrell Hair back in August 2006 when he accused the Pakistan bowlers of ball tampering and all hell was let lose. The Sky commentary team with not one professional journalist amongst them didn't know what to do and coverage of the incident was poor as they panicked and failed to ask the right questions. It wasn't a matter that they were too close to the game it was just they didn't know the Laws well enough (nor do I...
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/01/syria-hama-civil-war Syria teeters on the brink The regime's campaign of brutality in Hama could push Syria towards civil war. But how will the international community react? In Hama, Syrians no longer know where to bury their dead. Following the assault on Syria's fourth largest city<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/31/syria-hama-crackdown-tanks-protests> by tanks and bulldozers at 5am on Sunday morning,...
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