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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.

 

 

Huge mistake beginning a Test Match on a Sunday; day 4 ground empty as it was yesterday

Blog

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Tate Liverpool's Retrospective on Rene Magritte (it runs until 16th October 2011) is a must-see exhibition and if you book your rail ticket early enough you can still do a day return from London for under £60. There is much to see that is new including his posters, photographs, home movies, commercial art and letters. Moreover, seeing his work as a whole demonstrated at least to me the profound influence he has had on modern advertising and on on our current crop of artists. He...
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Liverpool  Labour Party Conference 2011 Ticket to Ride I have a soft spot for Liverpool. It has been central to the wealth of the nation for over 150 years but since WW2 the City, despite the swinging sixties and the Beatles and the stunning success of Liverpool FC et al, it partly lost its way.  Today, some of the old swagger is back especially around the Albert Dock which has been transformed. I first encountered it one dark, dank, cold February morning in 1958 as
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Liverpool Labour Party Conference 2011 Day 1 A Hard Day's Night I was still ill this time last year to go to the Party Conference and so missed Ed's coronation which was a pity as I had supported him. In 2007, I had voted for Harriet Harman as deputy leader and she just crept in at the last. I had wanted a woman to be our deputy and was glad to see the Party is to enshrine this in our regulations. I had been ever present since 1994 when Paul , now the MP for Newcastle under Lyme,...
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Liverpool Labour Party Conference 2011 Day 2 Good Morning, Good Morning I woke suddenly at just after 8am realising I and already missed my working breakfast. I was half dressed as I raced out of my hotel ..... I was part of the Shadow BIS team which had put on a whole day's alternative conference for FTSE100 companies and the like. I had agreed to the morning session before Ed Balls' big speech just after midday. I was not at my best. Balls' was good, coherent and sensible...
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Liverpool Labour Party Conference 2011 Day 3 Yesterday Today I did two things. In the morning, I went to Tate Liverpool now in its 22nd year to see the Rene Magritte exhibition which was simply spectacular. About 800 people a day have been coming to it since it opened in late June (it runs until mid October) with many more at the weekend so my sense was that over 100,000 will have seen it which, given the recession, is very impressive. I left humming Paul Simon's "Rene and...
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Liverpool Labour Party Conference 2011 I Want to Hold Your Hand Wyatt's Bumping Into Guide ***** Ten minutes or more conversation **** Five minutes *** A one minute Hello ** Hand shake or peck on the cheek * Business card exchange ***** Paul Farrelly MP, Jonathan Shaw, Neil Stewart, Tom Bradby (ITN), Alex Russell (Sport England), Tina Davy, Nigel Warner (ITV), Mary Fagan (ITV), Jack McConnell, **** Ed Miliband, Tom Levitt, Martha Kearney (Radio 4)F, Lucian Hudson (OU),...
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I had a pre-order for Julian Assange's autobiography but on Thursday Amazon sent me an email telling me it was no longer available notwithstanding the serialisation rights in The Independent and the mountain of books already in Waterstones. Then, I went back on the site to see that it was available afterall..........   Anyway, it has been a hard read and hardly a page turner. I think it a muddle of a book and that is probably because of the haste in which Canongate, the...
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Last Friday week I took a trip down memory lane first by train from Fenchurch Street to Chalkwell and then via Jim Harrison's house (my PE teacher) to Westcliff CHS, my first secondary school, which I attended from 1961-66. I was the main speaker at the Old Boys annual dinner.  Two of my class/sports mates - Ron Curtis and Ian Fowler - went out of their way to attend and we spent half an hour remembering our golden age! The past isn't what it used to be.  It was a...
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We had quite a beano at Oxford over the past two days: first with five celebratory lectures at the Said Business School on Thursday for two hours, followed by a dinner at Balliol College and then a Board meeting on Friday morning. We inaugurated two award ceremonies: (i) Internet & Society Awards for the Public Good and (ii) Internet & Society Lifetime Achievement Awards which were well received.  I started the ball rolling on the Oxford Internet Institute
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I took Jack, my son, to see Tinker, Tailor on Sunday afternoon to a packed Cineworld in the Fulham Road. All the hype was true: it was an exceptional film, beautifully shot, wonderfully scored with a host of outstanding performances especially Gary Oldman (who may well win an Oscar nomination) as George Smiley. The story would be familiar to those old enough to recall the book by John le Carre published in June, 1974 which was adapted for BBC television in 1979 (and starred Alec Guinness...
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Braving the drenching of a Saturday afternoon at Camberley, I went to watch my 19 year old son play for the Normans (Richmond's 4th XV). They came second and deservedly so. Undaunted, we then moved back to the Athletic Ground to watch the 1st XV devour Hertford to maintain Richmond's position as top of the table for National League 2 South. Whisper this.... but Charlton also won away 3-2 to take them to the top of Division 1 (the old Third Division)!
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I went to the newly opened Hammersmith Academy (Years 7 and 12) yesterday to sign up as a Business Mentor; the building is to die for. The official opening will be on 28th September 2011 and I have made a small contribution through the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (our members have raised £1m for them).  
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In the week when Palestine will seek official recognition as a country from the UNO Security Council which sadly America and the UK will veto or rather the UK will hide behind America and allow them to veto despite support from Russia and China (how bankrupt is the West over this issue?), I went this morning to the CAABU offices in Gough Square to a round table discussion led by two members of Ir Amin.  Ir Amim ("City of Nations" or "City of Peoples") focuses on Jerusalem...
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Labour Party supports Palestinian statehood bid   Douglas Alexander MP, Labour's shadow Foreign Minister has written to William Hague setting out Labour's position on the Palestinian statehood bid ahead of the United Nations General Assembly: "The case made by the Palestinians for recognition as a state is strong. This week, at the United Nations, the British Government should be willing to support the recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of continuing steps to achieve
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Next week, Palestine will attempt to persuade the UNO it should be recognised as a country in its own right. Let's hope it is successful. It is time the country came in from the cold.
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Bleary-eyed 30 or so of us representing the Commentariat met this morning at Webber Shandwick to finalise the short list for this year's Comment Awards organised by Editorial Intelligence. I was a judge on two panels: Mainstream Media Blogger & Columnist of the Year whilst we were all asked to decide on the newspaper with the Best Comment Pages. My lips are sealed but the short-list should be out later today!
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This is Alistair Darling's rather good book on the Banking Crisis which took over his life whilst Chancellor of The Exchequer. It has been widely reviewed and favourably too. Alistair isn't quite the dour Scot people make him out to be but he is a no nonsense sort of guy with a very safe pair of hands which he displayed in all his senior political positions in the Cabinet (Treasury/Social Security/Works & Pensions/Transport & Treasury again). Indeed only Jack Straw and...
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The Comment Awards 2011 - Category Shortlists   Commentariat of the Year – Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover Shortlist: Matthew d’Ancona – The Daily Telegraph Suzanne Moore – The Guardian Peter Oborne – The Daily Telegraph   Best Comment Pages Shortlist: Financial Times The Guardian The Times   Best Online Comment Site Shortlist: Mumsnet Reuters Breakingviews Coffee House @ The Spectator   Columnist of the Year Shortlist: Peter...
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I went to see Jane Eyre last night at the Kensington Odeon. London streets were on meltdown for most of the day - there were 9.11 services everywhere leading to closures, there was something in Whitehall so Parliament Square was blocked for an hour and then there was a street festival on the Embankment for most of the afternoon. Transport for London needs to have a state of the art traffic web site which updates every five minutes and links into mobiles and gsm systems. Maybe they could just...
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The first round of the wretched pool matches is now underway. The rains held off for the opening ceremony but alas kicked it on Saturday and Sunday. Wales were denied a win against the Springboks because there is no appeal allowed by a team and so a penalty kick that just went over was ruled nor to have (why not introduce the Tennis equivalent of 1 each per team per half?). England were abject, Scotland and Ireland were no better whereas Wales showed real verve and could yet...
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The Credit Crunch began in 2008; the Vickers Report was published this morning. George Osborne says the reforms will be in place in 2019 eleven years late. Is it any wonder we have such a  dysfunctional democracy? Parties should go into the next election with the slogan "Protect the Bankers' Bonuses".
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Remembering 9.11 I was at a lunch with the Motorola EMEA Board in The Strand when Anna, who ran my office in Parliament, paged me to tell me I ought to try and see a television screen immediately. I made an excuse found a set in the hotel only to see the one of the Twin Towers in smoke. Within half an hour I was back at my desk watching the second plane hit the second tower. You had to pinch yourself as it seemed like a scene from a movie not a real live event. At...
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Yesterday, I went to The Valley to see them beat Exeter 2-0. I thoguht Exeter had been unlucky not to be given an early goal as the ball looked to have crossed the line but without technology the referee decided otherwise and from that incident Exeter then lost a player after something he had said to him......and eventually we ran out winners though we were not at our best. However, a win's a win and we are back up to second in the League 1.
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I went last night to Ronnie Scott's to hear James Pearson and Dave Newton (two grands on the stage) pay homage to Oscar Peterson. "House Full" signs were up early and the crowd had a ball. It was a joy to be there.  It's on again tonight at 2030.
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Heather Brooke's new book "The Revolution Will be Digitised: Dispatches From the Information War" is essentially an aide memoire into what has happened in our digital world over the past two years. Nonetheless it is a cracking read.
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Tom Bingham was our most senior Law Lord and his book shines a brilliant light into what exactly do we mean by the term "The Rule of Law". This is a precise and intelligent read and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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