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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.

 

 

The sudden EU increases to the UK's budget would have been flagged up by FTSE 250 company months before; EU needs fundamental reform

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31
AUG
I was at Trinity Hospice this morning for our monthly Fund Raising meeting.
30
AUG
Last night I went along to three presentations from start ups seeking mentoring. They were: ** a company which has created an environment audit rather like a FTSE index ** a company trying to help less able (socially) students at universities break their own glass ceilings and gain access to the City, Law and other professions  ** a micro finance housing bank for India  (which I am involved in)
27
AUG
I read Sarah Wiseman's charming, funny, clever book entitled When God was a Rabbit (the name of a rabbit) yesterday. I loved it and was (mostly) howling with laughter: a great debut novel.
26
AUG
Charlton 0-0 Hull I went with Roger Truelove yesterday to watch Charlton play Hull at The Valley. We had the best of the first half as Hull was so timid and lacking in ambition. We had no clear chances but our sense was we'd win 1-0. However, the torrential downpour in the second half amazingly brought Hull back into the game. In the end Hull could have won it.  I cannot see either team challenging for honours this year. Charlton badly need some mid-field players but that's...
26
AUG
I read Roger Mortimer's letters to his wayward son Charles Mortimer this morning encapsulated in the rather amusing book Dear Lupin (Charles was given this affectionate title by his father). My therapist suggested I read it. Clearly, she thinks this is how my relationship is with my son.
26
AUG
JFK gave the go ahead for the Space Race in a speech dated 25th May, 1961. The Pentagon became very alarmed when the Soviets launched the first Sputnik on 4th October, 1957 in case it could become possible to launch Nuclear Weapons from Space. Neil Armstrong's success on 20th July, 1969 - watched by half the world live on television - put a stopper in that particular bottle. No doubt the Chinese will repeat this feat sometime in this decade.
25
AUG
We were at Richmond Athletic ground last night for the London Scottish v Richmond friendly. There was a goodly crowd despite the on-off rain. London Scottish were comfortable winners using tactics which took them over the gain line as close to their forwards as possible. Richmond lacked any kind of understanding of how to combat this and little leadership. Just as well this was a friendly........Scottish start their season off next week the Championship whilst Richmond start their's a league...
24
AUG
We went to Ronnie Scott's last night to listen to Booker T Jones and were simply bowled over. At least one of us wasn't aware that he'd written the music which Test Match Special has borrowed for the past 25 years or so! The concert was a sell-out and the music as vibrant (and a little too noisy - especially the drums) as ever. Booker T (and Sam Cooke) wrote or arranged so much material for so many US and UK artists and yet has never really been given the credit for it.
23
AUG
Charlton should have won away against Brimingham on Saturday being pipped by a 90th minute goal against Birmingham (1-1). For their first home fixture against Leicester on Tuesday they were 2-0 at half time and came through 2-1 to take them third on four points alongside six other sides. I am going to their next match at home v Hull on Saturday.
23
AUG
Richer Than God is the story of the second coming of Manchester City by The Guardian journalist and supporter David Cohn. It was a great read for someone like myself who also has an interest in the business side of the Premier League. Nonetheless, the sums involved to help re-create City are mind blowing and out of all proportion to the spirit of the game - if that matters anymore.
23
AUG
Tim Wilson came to speak to BSAC yesterday about Business and University (under Chatham House rules). Tim was the author of the Wilson Review where one section of his excellent report looked at the creative media industries. www.hefce.ac.uk/newsarchive2012/name,69548,en.html  
23
AUG
I initiated a meeting with Paul Burstow MP, Hospice Minister, earlier in the year for the Chairs of London Hospices. The Minister suggested that Hospices would have their current PCT grants until April, 2015 (whereas we had expected them to be phased out for April, 2014). This week he confirmed the April, 2015 date (in a letter to me). 
23
AUG
First Jack arrived back from an internship in Cape Town on Tuesday and then yesterday, Daisy arrived back from her travels in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It was good to see them looking so well.
19
AUG
The Fix by Damian Thompson (Collins) I haven't done a book review for aeons. I have continued my reading on Italy, India and America: The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour (****) India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck (highly original) and Barack Obama by David Maraniss (which I didn't much care for) Little America: the War within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (brilliant - what a fiasco that country has become) plus two on Roger Bannister The...
19
AUG
Richmond beat Blackheath 50-20 It wasn't quite the opening game of the season more a friendly as the two oldest club sides in the world played three sessions of thirty minutes. Blackheath struggled all game to match Richmond's fitness and finesse and rarely threatened. Richmond will be pleased with their work out though the backs lacked a little penetration. Richmond next game is against London Scottish on Friday evening.
18
AUG
This was the letter I submitted to the FT on 15th August following James Purnell's extraordinary defence of the Department of Culture, Media & Sport: Dear Sir   (Re: James Purnell article on DCMS and Sport)   It is widely acknowledged by the businesses and organisations which have to deal with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that it is not for fit for purpose. It is by some way the weakest department in Whitehall.   We have a single...
18
AUG
We went to see Chicago at The Garrick yesterday - before it closes at the end of the month - and though it is in its 15th year it was a terrific performance which we much enjoyed. It has a great script, wonderful songs, a fabulous set and lots of clever dancing. We loved it.
18
AUG
I was at Trinity yesterday morning for an interview. We are so lucky that so many people make the Hospice tick not least our fund raising team.
18
AUG
I was a guest of Dr Simon Hepworth and Dr Andrew Fletcher at Imperial on Thursday afternoon. I saw: ** their very exciting plans for Imperial West on the old BBC Worldwide site in Wood Lane ** the Business School and its Entrepreneurial Hub ** the Digital Economy Lab & Tech City I was mightily impressed.
18
AUG
Colin Herridge - my co-author - and me were at Bloomsbury on Wednesday pitching our next rugby book (we've done two together). WE've a bit more work to do on the synopsis but my sense is we might have a commission in about two months time.
14
AUG
We went to see the premier of Shadow Dancer starring Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson at Cineworld in The Haymarket last night. The film was written by Tom Bradby (who also doubles as ITN's main politico journo) and directed by James Marsh and is set in Belfast largely in the early 1990s. This was a gripping film where the photography, music, direction, costumes, script and music combined to act as one as you were drawn into this taut...
13
AUG
Article published by Progress this morning Re-organising & Refreshing Whitehall: some thoughts on Communications and Sport by Derek Wyatt     We created the Office of Communications – Ofcom to you and me – after a long pregnancy in 2003. It combined all of the previous regulators: The Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, Oftel, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency. It didn’t know what to do with...
13
AUG
The Honours We could have given at Wimbledon and the R&A in 2012: Honorary knight/dame hoods Tennis Roger Federer Pete Sampras Billie-Jean King Martina Navratilova Steffi Graf Golf Jack Nicklaus Tom Watson  
13
AUG
Wyatt List for UK Honours for Olympic Athletes 2012 2 Golds equals knighthood or dame hood (based on Kelly Holmes in 2004) 2 Golds or more by or in 2012 Ben Ainslie Bradley Wiggins Mo Farah Jason Kenny Laura Trott Charlotte Dujardin Special compensation: 1gold and 3 silvers Kathy Grainger 2 golds or more 2008 and 2012 Rebecca Adlington Victoria Pendleton As usual the award of honours is a mystery unless you are a member of the Honours Sports committee so
10
AUG
Thunderer Column today p26 The Times: The IOC must end the free tickets and the expensive junkets by Derek Wyatt     The International Olympic Committee (currently 106 members) is not a fit-for-purpose organisation. To avoid its own “Arab Spring” it needs a radical restructure.     It has not backed equal rights for more than half the world's population even though its own Charter says it must “encourage and...
10
AUG
I was a guest - missing the 200m finals - of Janet last night at the BBC. A hundred or so of us saw the next generation television system (to replace Hi-Def) which is currently called Super Hi-Vision (no doubt it will soon be referred to as "Hi-5"). Hi-5 is a partnership between the BBC, NOG and the Olympic Broadcasting Services enabled in the UK by janet (www.ja.net) They had filmed the 100m, Sir Chris Hoy's last gold medal in the keirin at the Velodrome plus Mo and Jess Ennis on...
10
AUG
Editorial Intelligence: Daily Bulletin on Comment Pages Comment Headlines Stories dominating today's comment pages... LONDON OLYMPICS: The Sun's Frankie Boyle thinks everyone is so positive because for two weeks the papers have not been showing us the real news. The Independent's Owen Jones says it's not competitive spirit that poor kids lack, but fields on which to compete. Only state intervention can counter the massive advantages the most privileged schools have. In The Times Philip...
9
AUG
I had a lovely lunch with Jane Placket (Bain) who works at the Beeb and when younger played tennis for England. I first met her in 1986 when she worked at C4 and approached me about writing a novel based on her tennis experiences.
9
AUG
I took Nigel Haunch to the Bayt Qatar (Olympic House) last night in Savoy Place where we had supper and watched the Track & Field finals. The Qataris have decked out the IET with two showcase exhibitions on their plans to host the FIFA Soccer 2022 (the stadium is to die for) and their current building projects in and near Doha. There is also a soukh, a cinema, hospitality upstairs and an exquisite open air restaurant. The IET HQ has had an amazing makeover at some cost...
8
AUG
I went yesterday evening to watch the GB men's hockey team draw somewhat fortuitously 1-1 with Spain and in so doing qualified for the semi-finals. We were last there in 1988 when we went on to win the gold medal.
8
AUG
Published 09.08.12 Sir Please don't ask primary school teachers to solve the crisis in sport for our children (Leader: Sport & Education/6th August 2012). They have enough on their plates. The last Government wasted over £1billion trying to impose a sports system on our secondary schools which largely failed. We have thousands and thousands of vibrant sports organisations in all our communities. They are our sports clubs which do a stunningly good job largely...
7
AUG
I went to the Athletics last night to see five finals: ** Women's shot, pole vault and steeplechase ** Men's 400m hurdles and 400m  The gold medal winners were: ** Our volunteers - always cheerful and so helpful ** The spectators whose knowledge of the sport is the best in the world The disappointment for me was the design of the stadium and the poor sight levels. I simply cannot see how or why any soccer team would want to move here without an agreement that the...
7
AUG
I went with Adrian Metcalfe, who won a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay in Tokyo in 1964 with Robbie Brightwell, Menzies Campbell and John Cooper (who lost his life in the Turkish Air Crash over Paris in 1974), to the Athletics last night.  I will write more about my experience in due course (Adrian has early signs of dementia).  We saw an excellent women's Pole Vault, we could see little of the women's shot putt final which was poorly covered and then the women's...
5
AUG
Jimmy Wales was the guest speaker yesterday afternoon at London House (City Hall) and I was one of eight additional guest support acts. Jimmy talked about Wikipedia which now has 490 million users a month, his failures in the tech space before he stumbled on a free, crowd sourced online encyclopedia and his for profit company: www.wikia.com   He concluded with four recommendations for London's ICT world: ** Failure can be a positive ** Being an entrepreneur is a force for...
5
AUG
I was one of eight support speakers to Jimmy Wales opening remarks yesterday afternoon at London House (City Hall). I said:   ** it was an outrage that Whitehall had overspent by £79 billion in 15 years over computer and data contracts yet no-one has resigned or been held to account.  ** that we have a real shortage of ICT people and therefore will need to import talent in the short-term from India and China but this has been made more difficult by the...
4
AUG
I was at Trinity yesterday for our monthly fund raising update. I also touched base with Anne Hooper, our CEO.
4
AUG
I had lunch yesterday at the delightful restaurant upstairs at RIBA with Harry Rich (CEO) and Gill Webber (Marketing Director) and we chatted about their library collection which has to be the best in the world. 
2
AUG
We went to Lords Cricket Ground yesterday afternoon to watch the Olympic Archery. There was a full house and we braved the wind and cold for over three hours whilst watching the men's and women's competition. The highlight was watching an Iraqi woman with the most basic of equipment participate.  As usual, in the women's the Koreans, Italians and Mexicans looked the best. 
2
AUG
Yesterday, I had a working lunch with Colin Herridge, my co-author. We think our next book project is about to be commissioned and so we worked on our synopsis and marketing plan. 
1
AUG
Why did Putin block further action on Syria? Was it because Syria represents the last vestige of its old world power base from its communist days? Russia is a spent force in the new China-India-American axis. Her media hardly covers the Syrian civil war and yet Putin will not concede that his policies are causing real harm. And when the war is over Russia will have lost its influence there for good. Then there are all these show trials and arrests for people wanting to...
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