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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.

 

 

Dallas Pounds brilliantly professional in her presentation at Annual Conference of HospiceUK @ Leeds Amouries

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29
FEB
I attended a TCSF board meeting yesterday which was held at the old Motspur Park athletics ground (I used to run there as a youngster!) which is now the training ground of Fulham FC. I saw Danny Murphy and others playing 3-aside.....
29
FEB
I went with Martin to San Francisco and then Buenos Aires when he was an MP. We were regular buddies in the House of Commons and have slightly lost touch. We made up for it yesterday with a hearty lunch at Pol Au Pot in Ebury Street.
29
FEB
Mabel came to work for me as an intern when a student. She now works for Harriet Harman MP and is also on the alternative list as a Labour candidate for the GLA elections in May. She is potty about politics! I have known her Dad - Alan - for over 20 years and last met him in Mumbai! (As you do). Her mother is Tracy Ullman. 
26
FEB
England did a lot to repair their battered reputation on and off the field yesterday at Twickenham even if they did lose 17-12. The crowd was brilliant and egged on the team and clapped lineout and rucked steals. The tackling was terrific from both sides. So P3 W2 L1 with an away game in Paris and a home came v Ireland at home to come. We'll do well to win any further games. What is clear is that we do not have anyone in the back line capable of scoring aside from Farrell and we have few...
26
FEB
On Friday evening I was a guest of Alan Wright, co-founder of the Penguins with the late Tony Mason, at their committee dinner. I have been on its executive for many years and helped fix their 50th anniversary game at Twickenham.
26
FEB
On Friday, I had lunch courtesy of Tim Crowe, CEO of Synergy, at The Riding House Cafe. The food was excellent as was the atmosphere save for the eclectic choice of music! (Maybe its my age). 
26
FEB
On Friday morning, I had a meeting at Trinity Hospice with our fund-raising team who have surpassed themselves this year (to be fair they seem to do this every year) having already reached their overall targets. Later, I had a catch up with Anne Hooper, our CEO.
26
FEB
1) Caabu's Emergency Fundraising Appeal   In January we launched an  emergency appeal to save Caabu from closure. We need to raise £225,000 to cover our 2012 costs.   The response from members and donors has been swift and we have raised over £30,000 this month, much of this through very kind and generous donations from our members and supporters. We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation of whatever size. All donations help and make a real difference!...
24
FEB
I went last night to the NPG to hear Joanna Trollope talk about her two essays she has written in the NPG book of essays in which famous writers have given a life to an unidentified portrait in the collection. There was then a Q&A and I asked her about whether she wrote with a fountain pen or used a laptop and she replied neither. She could write with any old biro but always, always on lined paper with a margin and only on the right hand page.   
24
FEB
I was a guest at the Ed Miliband & Ken Livingston show in SE1 last night. If I was a betting man I would put a tenner on Ken beating Boris in May. He has so many policies which will take London forward whereas Boris just wants to play being mayor and continue with his columns in the Daily Telegraph.
23
FEB
Why is our Embassy still open in Syria? Why aren't we arming the opposition as we did in Libya? Why are we so timid in taking on the Arab world, Russia and China? Where is the leadership in the Western World?
23
FEB
Pity a Greek citizen; none of the about to be agreed EU second bail out (£zillions) will find its way to help them on the ground. This is just to ease the many and varied European banks debts. Of course the Greek government is petrified at what might happen if it goes bankrupt but to be frank, I can see no other options. These self same politicians lied to gain access to the euro-club and they must own up. My sense is that they will all be swept from power at the next election as
23
FEB
Check out: www.ideaspaceglobal.org and see what you think.....as I met Marc Ortmans, its founder, yesterday. I agreed to become an Ambassador...... We also talked through www.geo2012.com which is in Liverpool for the first time in early March.
22
FEB
Ed Balls was on top form at an invitation-only invite last night in Westminster. He's slowed his delivery and he's simplified his message whilst making it obvious that he will be the next Chancellor of The Exchequer. I warmed to him in a way I have found difficult in the past.  Impressive: very impressive.  I asked him a question about youth unemployment.
22
FEB
John Newbigin is someone I have known for 15 years. We have had many conversations but most have lasted less than five minutes. Yesterday we sat down for an hour at my company HQ - the LooseBox in Horseferry Road and chewed the fat.  We share some common ground - C4, DCMS, Trinity Hospice and now Culture as he is running Creative & Cultural Skills for England and lecturing all over the world for the British Council. His new book is entitled Creativity, Money, Love and...
22
FEB
Inspiring Commerce: The Business of Creativity The Work Foundation 21 Plamer Street London SW1H 0AD 30th March 2012 For more details go to: www.creative-forum.org.uk I am speaking on micro-financing.......
22
FEB
Yesterday, for nearly four hours, I kept as still as I could whilst artist Shelly Bancroft started on a portrait of my good self.....I've another session in two weeks time.......
19
FEB
The NPG should issue a health warning for visitors to the Lucien Freud Portraits for such is its popularity there are just too many people crammed into the small exhibition space. It really is time the NPG was given a much larger space which should also incorporate the Parliamentary portrait collection which is paid for by taxpayers but remains unseen (other than on its web site). This is unacceptable.  Anyway, it was hard to see all of Freud's portraits........ I'm not sure I...
18
FEB
Four years ago I proposed a Swale Film Festival in Sittingbourne and Sheppey and gave a donation to kick start it. Four years on and it has gone from strength to strength thanks to Ken Rowles's hard work. Check it out at: www.swalefilmfestival2012.org.uk  
18
FEB
I was one of three panellists at Sittingbourne Labour Party's monthly meeting last night and which was much fun. It was good to be back and meet so many old friends.   Earlier, I had had supper with Ann and Richard Jenkins and caught up with all their news. Jack, my son , and Tom, their son, were good friends. Tom came and worked in my Westminster office when a student.
18
FEB
Adam Sisman was a senior editor at George Allen & Unwin, in Museum Street, just by the British Museum, when I joined as the sports and leisure book editor in January, 1984. Since then, Adam has become a truly great Biographer - he started with AJP Taylor and more recently, Hugh Trevor Roper. His next will be John le Carre...... Anyway, there I was parked in my car, in Bath, when he walked by with his wife, Robyn, a fiction author (six books and counting). They had been living near...
17
FEB
Adam Lashinsky's book on Apple, whose shares touched $500 this week, is timely. Though the Steve Jobs "autobiography" remains in the best sellers - will it make a Hollywood biopic? - Lashinsky's pithy account is not frightened to call a spade a spade especially when confronting the maverick behaviour of Jobs.  
14
FEB
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's visit to our two Trinity Hospice shops in Kensington: Web only Press Association: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ ALeqM5jKD73KrGgfMVTyu6_-j2M2SG9jrg?docId=N0278451328125039289A    Yahoo! News: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/world-events-1316137200-slideshow/ duchess-cornwall-visits-trinity-hospice-20120201-111629-649.html     Look to the Stars (celebrity giving):...
13
FEB
And suddently there were just two divas left - Aretha and Dionne - as Whitney passes away in a hotel room in her bath. How desperately sad - such a truly inspirational singer and actress.
13
FEB
The Baftas were really good last night with Stephen Fry in command - he mixed humour, insight and gravitas in the right proportions Tinker Taylor was unlucky to come up against The Artists and The Iron Lady. It is time Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh were knighted.
12
FEB
I went to see the beautifully landscaped A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, Viggo Mortensen as a believable Freud and  Michael Fassbender as the rather sticky Carl Jung. It is not exactly an enjoyable film but Ms KK is brilliant and maybe she will find her rewards at the Baftas or The Oscars this year.    
12
FEB
I used to go to this fixture in Rome regularly (starting in 2000) and didn't miss a match until 2010 and I could have gone to this but I have something else cooking in the background and chose to miss it. Actually, watching it live on television was about as it good as it gets as the match was dire. Still the England players have now W2 from 2 and know that in two weeks time against Wales at home they will have a test of fire. There should be changes in the front row, back row, half...
12
FEB
I have had Stetsons (not those large hats seen in Spaghetti Westerns) for over ten years but I keep losing them. They are slightly larger than Andy Caps and I tend to leave them in taxis or cafes. I lost my last one somewhere in Toulon three weeks ago when filming Jonny Wilkinson. You can only find them in John Simons shop in Covent Garden and so I set off to find the shop and searched and searched and searched but alas my sense of direction was awry. At least that's what I thought until...
11
FEB
What a sad place Argentina is. Let me rephrase that. What an appalling set of politicians have led that country since the WW2. It is hard to believe that between WW1 and WW2 Argentina had the world's fourth largest economy. It has largely been downhill ever since. When your economy has failed to grow year after year after year (how on earth is she a member of the G20?) all you can do is lock up your political opponents (occasionally brutalising them), give up your country to a
11
FEB
I tried lying in this morning but though it was freezing here in Westminster, I finally dressed just after 7am. As I was struggling to make my cup of Assam tea a bulb went off in my head.....go and have a shave and a haircut. It is an absolute luxury for a man to be shaved. I am lucky, near me is the finest barbers in London (Adriano's) and across the road from it is simply the best Diner in town (Regency Cafe). It's surprising how much better you feel when you've had Pepi shave you and...
11
FEB
The best time to see our wonderful national museums (surely now the best in the world?) is on Friday evenings when they are less crowded and where they let their collective hair down. Yesterday, I went to the V&A and there was a kind of DJ happening in the foyer which was half hearted if I'm honest. But there was still the Beaton Exhibition on HM The Queen. I didn't think much of Beaton per se and in this exhibition there are very few photographs of real tenderness. There were far...
11
FEB
Peter King, perhaps our greatest alto saxophonist, played last night with his band at the V&A Cafe. The place was heaving and people arriving late were disappointed - you guessed I was one of them as I chose the Beaton before the jazz......next time, next time. Still, it was good to stand and hear the great man though the acoustics aren't made for jazz......
10
FEB
The basket case aka as Greece simply cannot take any more punishment. Her feeble political leaders need to grasp their last chance and step back from membership of the euro. They have lived in their own bubble too long and seem powerless to want to introduce any policies which will actually help their own people. Maybe we can expect a Greek Spring soon when these MPs are driven from their positions in the April elections. Bring it on.
10
FEB
The Football Association has been the laughing stock of the football world and an acute embarrassment to its many fans in England. The lack of any sensible structure either at FIFA or UEFA means players play far too much football. Compare the excitement and organisation of American Football where the league, then knock out concept and wild cards gives most teams a chance to win the Superbowl. Our leagues have too many teams, the season is too long and the quality of...
9
FEB
I chaired the second meeting of Labour's Next Generation Entrepreneurs Network last night at Sofra's Restaurant in Covent Garden. The main speaker was Luke Johnson, serial entrepreneur, FT commentator and a former chairman of C4. He spoke about the need for a Start Up Act. Chuka Umanna, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, responded and they both took questions afterwards. We had a full house (over 100) which was very encouraging.
5
FEB
Last night I went to see The Descendants starring George Clooney (and others!). I found it terribly moving and had used up a box of tissues well before the end. It is a family tragi-comedy set in Hawaii which touches every sinew - a troublesome pre-teen and a late teenager, a husband and wife who have let their relationship slip; a wife who is dying because of a boating accident and an extended family who could become filthy rich. I won't spoil it for you but go and see...
5
FEB
A new look England beat a Scottish side which must have wondered most of the last night and all of today how on earth they let the game slip. In the end England won but they will have to play differently against Italy next week if they are to arrive at Twickenham at the end of the month having played 2 and won 2.   I played in the Calcutta Cup in 1976!!
4
FEB
I have started to go to the late Friday night galleries because the crowds are less and it's just a lovely way of easing yourself into the weekend.  So last night at Tate Britain I saw Don McCullin's Landscapes which were a welcome escape from his usual war torn imagery and then onto Migrations which was decidely bitty. www.tate.org.uk
3
FEB
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Royal Patron to Trinity Hospice, visited our two shops - books and clothing - in Kensington on Wednesday evening and met our full time staff and volunteers. Later, she also attended a private party in Kensington for Trinity supporters. See: www.trinityhospice.org.uk 
3
FEB
I chaired one of the two sessions on Data last night at Denton's in the City. My panel included: Dr Rob Reid, Which? Steve Taylor, entrepreneur Donna Whitehead, Microsoft and Nick Graham, Lawyer @ Denton's We tried to help the packed audience unwind whether the existing legal framework was fit for purpose (it isn't). There will be a fuller account (!) on the BSAC web site at www.bsac.uk.com.
3
FEB
It's probably not a good idea to be too close to the Barbican around noon today. Gathering there for our annual lunch bash will be the Bedford Blues rugby club's Former Players.............
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