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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.

 

 

Off to Blues House in New Orleans for brunch

Blog

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30
JUL
Mitt Romney's desperate tour abroad (taking barely a leaf from Barack Obama's acclaimed European tour in 2008) shows us what a dangerous politician he is. He barely knows anything about Foreign Affairs and forgets names at the drop of a hat. Has he Sarah Palin's DNA locked away in a jar somewhere? He may have been feted in Israel but not to have visited Palestine or Saudi or Qatar or Tunisia or Libya or Egypt was a sop to events back home. It was not the sign of a man who had a grasp...
30
JUL
The fiasco over ticketing for a major world sporting event is not a new phenomenon. The real problem is that there isn't an equivalent eBay system for them to be made available three hours beforehand (people have to travel). The real question is how much do these tickets represent? And why weren't Londoners who all have paid extra on their Council tax bills offered them first?  
30
JUL
We went for a long weekend to Elciego, about 70 miles south of Bilbao, in northern Spain, which house the great Riojan vineyard known as the Marques de Riscal (though we searched high and low we couldn't find out whether there really ever was a Marques....). We stayed at the Frank Gehry designed Vineyard Hotel (2006) on the site which was both a real surprise and a delight. I went to the opening of his band stand in the Millennium Park in Chicago in July, 2004...
26
JUL
Peter Varney saved Charlton Athletic nearly two years ago when it was 48 hours away from financial melt-down. So, I was surprised when he announced he was stepping down from the Board two weeks ago..........yesterday, we had a catch up lunch at Belle Vista in Blackheath. Thankfully he is staying on the CAFC Trust which is doing so well.  
25
JUL
I went to a meeting of BSAC - Chatham House rules - where for a couple of hours we discussed a number of issues which might be included in a White Paper. We have more meetings next month.
25
JUL
If Lord Justice Leveson aims to have an initial report ready by October he will have to put his skates on unless of course he has been working on drafts for the past six weeks or so. If he does report in October then the Government will no doubt ask for some time to review it. However, some kind of new statutory body could be outlined in the Queen's Speech in November, 2013 and be on the statute book by mid to late 2014. But, a Tory government would not want a...
24
JUL
Once Leveson reports in early 2013, MPs should have a free vote to put in place a statutory body to regulate all media.
24
JUL
I went up to Oxford last week to meet Susan and Dyan from China-Oxford Scholarship Trust and we had a lovely lunch at Turl Street Kitchen which is a relatively new outpost. I strongly commend it but book. www.turlstreetkitchen.co.uk 01865 264171
24
JUL
A, a dear friend with relatives in Syria and Lebanon, invited me to lunch last Saturday and we spent the time reviewing the Middle East. My sense was that the ruling class was already moving to Belarus and it would be good to know whether Asma al-Asad, the wife of the President of Syria, has already left the country. The Chinese restaurant itself was a delight and packed.
23
JUL
I have been to most sporting occasions in the UK and quite a few elsewhere - baseball  and US Football, rugby world cup finals in Oz and France and SA, F1 in Hungary, the soccer world cup in Japan and the America's Cup in Fremantle. I am taken by the knowledge of the crowds at The Open, Wimbledon, Lord's and The Oval, Twickenham, Aintree, the Tour de France, Crystal Palace (track and field), Wembley (rugby league) and F1. I doubt if another nation has such a band of loyal...
23
JUL
Would anyone have split his empire into two and added value immediately to the share price? Well Rupert Murdoch did a couple of weeks back and now he has stood down from the newspapers side which must have been a wrench considering how much he adores them. Will he sell them? I doubt it but if he is removed from chairing either company by shareholder revolts he will sell the newspapers. It's never over till it's over.
23
JUL
I went up to Oxford last Friday on the Oxford Tube from Victoria (a snip at £13 return) to meet Susan Yu and Dyan Sterling from the China Oxford Scholarship Fund. Twenty years ago a couple of Oxford Alumni in HK thought it a good idea to create a fund for Chinese students to study at Oxford which was very prescient....... We had a goodly chat and I said I would try and help their cause. (I was brought up in HK).
23
JUL
I went with Roger Truelove, a dear friend, to The Oval yesterday to watch England toil in the sun. This is a fine South African side and they are deservedly at the top of the world rankings. We may be 0-1 down before the close of play today.
18
JUL
I went to hear Ed Miliband speak at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Hall in Moorgate last night. He was supported by Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna and most of the Shadow Cabinet. Over 450 City folk turned out. Ed M has had a goodly year to date.
18
JUL
En route to hearing Ed Miliband speak I stopped off at The Barbican to see the Bauhaus exhibition (it closes on 12th August and is open most days till late).  This is a sumptuous exhibition and definitely a must-see. Bauhaus was born in Weimar in 1919 - home to Goethe and Schiller - it moved to Dessau in 1925 and then finally came to rest in Berlin where the Nazis closed it in 1933.  The artists, photographers, poets, architects and designers were the finest in the...
17
JUL
We went to see George (music) and Ira (lyrics) Gerswhin's Porgy & Bess last night at the Coliseum. America's best known opera was originally set in South Carolina but for this performance the Cape Town Opera's production was unsurprisingly set in Soweto though this made the fishing scenes more difficult to comprehend.  It was a most enjoyable evening.  
14
JUL
Gloucestershire v Essex at Cheltenham College I travelled up to Highnam on Thursday evening, to stay with Richard A. who has a house on land which was previously owned by a Quaker family and so, of course, the estate has no public house. Three of us were assembling there to make an assault on Cheltenham College on Friday to watch Gloucestershire v Essex in a four day match. I cannot remember the last time I watch a four-dayer. To be honest aside from Test matches I have lost...
14
JUL
Cheltenham and then Woolhope and Putley It was a lovely sunny day yesterday so we travelled in hope that we would be able to see some cricket at Cheltenham College but on arrival we were told the outfield was too wet and play would start at the earliest after lunch. AS rain was due after lunch we hunched that we wouldn't see any cricket at all and legged it to Woolhope and then Putley in Herefordshire to meet up with more friends. We lunched at delightful Crown Inn at Woolhope before...
12
JUL
Letter published in the Sheerness Times Guardian: 11th July, 2012 Dear Sir   Over two years into the Coalition Government we are experiencing a double dip recession directly as result of George Osborne's budgets which went for public sector cuts with no policies - except U-turns -for growth. Worse, we have seen David Cameron frankly dancing on a pin as he puts one leg in and one leg out every time he goes to a European summit. He is playing to his narrow...
12
JUL
I was on the first panel this morning chaired by Peter York and Carla Buzasi (Huff Post UK) which tried to examine Ideas & Identity in a Mobile World. Our eclectic panel included Caroline Daniel (FT), David Erasmus (Givey), Nick Harkaway (Author) and MT Rainey (TH_NK). Follow the arguments at www.editorialintelligence.com and www.commentconference.com  
10
JUL
I was up at 0430 this morning and on my way to Oxford today to be a privileged guest at the Iffley Road track where Roger Bannister was to light the Olympic torch. On my way up the M40 there were dozens of workers painting the Olympic lanes ready for 2012 in just 17 days I arrived at just after six and had a cup of tea and then met Brough Scott, Jack Rowell, Simon Halliday, Sally Jones, Seb Coe and John Curry (AELTC).  Sir Roger Bannister lit the torch and told us how he used the...
10
JUL
We have a vibrant Former MPs Association and tonight we had our annual get together in The Speaker's residence (we paid)  i met Eldon Griffiths, my former MP when I was living in Bury St Edmunds, and I had last met him when I was a Postie (I was working in the local sorting office), Ian Taylor, Howard Stoate, Harry Greenaway, Bowen Wells and many others It was a fun evening.
10
JUL
Last night I went to the launch party for Tom Levitt's latest book: Partners for Good at The Work Foundation close to St James's Park tube station. There was a goodly crowd for his launch. Go buy.....
9
JUL
The BBC has spent over £2 billion of the licence fee on BBC3 and BBC4. IN the past year its sports department has lost nearly every bid for live sport. NHK, the BBC's equivalent PBS broadcaster in Japan has two terrestrial channels and two satellite channels - an equivalent BBC1 and BBC2 on terrestrial and a Sports and an Educational channel on satellite. There's a message here for the new DG. 
7
JUL
I was asked to offer some mentoring to a UCL post grad student - Gal Moore - and we have ended up trying to put the flesh on his idea for a micro-financing housing bank for India. On Wednesday, we worked on our Board, our Advisory Board and an appropriate Hindi word which would encapsulate the spirit of the enterprise. We're still very much a work in progress but we will soon be out bidding for funding.
7
JUL
I knew Michael Crick, the C4 news reporter (he was at Newsnight for ten years) when I was an MP and we met up more recently at a Trinity Hospice Open Garden Day. It transpired that a close relative of his was in our hospice late last year. This week we met up for lunch at The Atrium close to Parliament. It houses the Westminster media pack. As we were surveying the menu, Michael espied Denis MacShane MP walking down the stairs. "Well, he'll be pleased" he said " my...
7
JUL
Tim was appointed my minder by Labour Party HQ for the 2005 General Election. He was then finishing off his DPhil on, if my memory serves me correctly Butterflies in Madagascar of maybe it was about Nudist Colonies in Australia: my memory isn't was it used to be. He rather brilliantly gained a First at Oxford. He kept me on the straight and narrow during the campaign helping us to win by the not inconsiderable margin of 79 votes after a couple of recounts. Anyway, he now works...
7
JUL
In late 2010, I proposed to John Denham MP, then Shadow SoS for BIS, that we should create a group for Entrepreneurs and re-establish our credentials as a party interested in business. We "floated" our Next Generation of Entrepreneurs group last year and have had three meetings in London. On Thursday evening, we travelled up to Manchester to host our fourth meeting with local start ups. Manchester is a City on the move and in digital terms wants to be in the top 5 Digital Cities in
4
JUL
Six CEOs and four chairs from a cross section of London Hospices met on Monday night to share intelligence; this was a first and we agreed to meet again. 
4
JUL
I had an hour with Jim Dawton of www.designit.com the Copenhagen based design company yesterday. 
4
JUL
I had an hour with Nick Keller the founder and CEO of Beyond Sport yesterday. Their big shindig in London is happening 24th-26th July 2012. 
4
JUL
I went to the opening of the two sports exhibitions to coincide with London 2012 at RIBA last night. The first was entitled: Design Stories - the Architecture Behind 2012 and showed models of most of the major stadia which comprises the Lea Valley site whilst the second: After the Party - The Legacy of Celebration was more cerebral and worrying as it highlighted some of the success and quite a lot of failures of buildings which were built to celebrate an event but had no afterlife. 
3
JUL
On Sunday I joined a couple of thousand Canadian citizens celebrating their national day in Trafalgar Square. On 1st July 1867, Canada became an independent country though as per usual we Brits kept hold of some powers which were gradually relinquished...... My mother was born in Ottawa and raised in Vancouver and my (late) brother and sister took Canadian citizenship when they moved to British Columbia in 1967 and 1972 respectively. Since 1979, I have visited Vancouver (x8),...
3
JUL
I went to see the excellent BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition at the NPG on Sunday. Go see.
3
JUL
I had lunch yesterday with Vivien Smiley who now works part-time for the LTA (she does have three children under 5) having been the Comms Director there for some time. We had a goodly chat about the state of UK tennis where our women are finally coming through into the Top 100.
3
JUL
I dropped into Parliament yesterday to have half an hour with Jon Cruddas where we chewed the political cud.
2
JUL
We went to see Debbie Jones (vocals and acoustic guitar) and Justin Randall (piano and vocal) yesterday lunch time at Ronnie's and they and their band had the place stomping and jiving. What a great new-ish Jazz band. Go see.
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