Category Archives: Random stuff

On re-reading “1984” – the Brexit connection

Over the last few days I’ve done a fair bit of travelling. Memphis to Chattanooga by bus, then back to Nashville, and the flight home via Detroit. Amongst other things I took the opportunity to re-read George Orwell’s dystopian classic … Continue reading

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The “Put it to the People” march, central London, 23 March 2019

Like a million or so other people, I went to the Put it to the People march in central London today. Ostensibly a march for another referendum, the mood was much more about cancelling the whole Brexit thing right now. … Continue reading

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Beauty in small things

Back in the early 2000s, when I’d recently become a senior civil servant, I went on a two week leadership course. It was brilliant, and one of the highlights was a day on creativity (yes, in the civil service!) where … Continue reading

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Reflections on retirement

Yesterday was my last day at IPSA – the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which regulates MPs’ expenses and decides their pay and pensions. I was the Director of Policy and Communications there. I’d been there since its creation in early … Continue reading

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My novel: “The Decision”

I’ve written a novel. It’s called “The Decision”. It’s now available for sale – direct from me at the moment. Like to know what it’s about? Here’s a summary; “The Decision” is a novel about politics, the environment, relationships and … Continue reading

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Belfast Part Two: The City in Pictures

Part two of my Belfast trilogy. Mainly photos, but putting them together reminded me how much I loved this city. Even though I’d never looked properly around it before, I felt it was part of me. My second city – … Continue reading

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Belfast Part One: A Driver’s Story

My wife, Kath, and I have just been to Belfast and environs for a few days. It was a brilliant trip. For me, the first proper visit to the the place that my mother is from – I’ve had a … Continue reading

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Love and Hope (for Manchester)

Last night’s atrocity at the Manchester Arena is beyond words, as many, including the singer Ariana Grande in the aftermath, have said. Beyond senseless. Pure evil. I have nothing I can add to that – just my heartfelt best wishes … Continue reading

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In Manchester

On 24 and 25 March I spent some time in Manchester, one of England’s great cities, but one I don’t know terribly well, other than for its football and music. I’ve been there quite a few times in the past, … Continue reading

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Leaving London – just for one day

London, Euston Station, Friday morning 24 March. Waiting for my train to Manchester. From one great city to another. Going to see Car Seat Headrest tonight. I’ve been to Manchester quite often, but only on work trips or stag-dos. I’ve … Continue reading

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