Some practical experience as an ‘expert’ adviser

[Because of my public profile I’ve had a number of ‘queries’ about my ‘qualifications’. I’ll address some of my political experience in another post, but I thought it might be useful to just give a small idea of what I’ve been doing over the past quarter century in my advisory work.]

Since becoming an academic I’ve had the privilege to be asked to advise a wide variety of Governments and public agencies. I know ‘expertise’ has been questioned recently, but I think most sensible people recognise it as important. So here’s a few examples….. Continue reading

Dover Harbour – illicit fishing

Time for a confession.

When I was about 10 years old I was already engaged in a risky criminal enterprise.

As you can see from the picture, Dover Harbour is really big. People fished in the harbour, off the beach and from the Harbour walls. But as you can see from this aerial picture there’s a vast expanse in the middle where no-one could fish. Except us. Continue reading

Notes on the attacks in Paris (and a personal dimension)

These are just some thoughts about the attacks in Paris. They’re not a thorough narrative or analysis, but things that have occurred to me as I have followed the story today.

For personal reasons this has been a particular concern, which I’ll explain at the end. Continue reading

Dover – York St – 1952:1960

My son was recently doing a project for school on “Victorian Housing”. They were asked to look at remaining Victorian houses in their area and describe them. This made me realise how distorting this was – because what remains of Victorian housing is middle and upper class. The working class slums have been knocked down.

I was born in a real working class, privately rented, house in Dover in 1952. It makes the ‘Monty Python’ sketch about “I was so poor that…” look all too real. Continue reading

Tongue out of cheek (or 18 hours in A&E)

imageI am currently in the ENT Dept at Wythenshawe, having spent the night in A@E. (That photo is from last night, about 12:00, its returned to normal now).

I had a recurrence of my mysterious massive tongue swelling episode, which I had about 3 months ago, last night.

After big dose of intravenous piriton and steroids it has subsided back to normal over night. They still have no idea what is triggering it so expecting more tests etc but as outpatient. But must emphasise the medical treatment was excellent and quick – its what happens next when things get “interesting”. Continue reading