The Twelve Weeks of Lockdown

5 May

A family chorus for children to adapt, The Twelve Weeks of Lockdown is now available on the Medium platform.

Altogether now ….

 

 

Owning The Future

25 Apr

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has just produced a brilliant 2-part paper on future options for central and local government. Here’s my review/summary published on the Medium platform.

https://medium.com/@groupeintellex/owning-the-future-1ed0bb80d5e4?source=friends_link&sk=785da6a59c7c8f57c3f7053ec805120f

FTTH Council Europe releases 2020 edition of pan-Europe Full Fibre league

23 Apr

The new FTTH/B ‘panorama’ is based on September 2019 data collected via network providers and regulators in each country.

Our full report – including a graphic of the table – can be found via ‘Plodding Partners Leave Basecamp’ on the Medium platform.

 

 

Community Leadership and an Easter message

12 Apr

Our latest Action Pointer – the 6th in the series considers the prospects for community leadership when the covid-19 pandemic has passed.

Also published this weekend is an Easter message – We rise to play a greater part – an appreciation of FR Scott’s villanelle as sung by Leonard Cohen on his 2004 album Dear Heather.

To all our readers we wish the very best possible Easter and hopes for a better year to come.

 

 

 

Passing Thoughts – a year in review

2 Apr

In the near-monastic silence of locked-down isolation, capacity for contemplation is no longer a luxury.  Now I come to think about it, this past year was remarkably productive – not that any reader of this blog would know.  Since March 2019 nearly all of my writing has appeared exclusively on theMedium platform.

It may seem odd to be reviewing a financial, rather than calendar, year but, as my last post hinted, April 2019 marked a new beginning and a new regard for the brilliance of the UK’s National Health Service medics.

After an enforced 2-year break it was a joy to once again sail offshore in Tessera even if it would be my last voyage.  By October the decision was made to sell our quarter share of this fine yacht and by March the deed was done – a quite fortuitous outcome given the timing of the pandemic.

From a writing perspective, almost every month Medium carried some interesting pieces culminating in the current series headlined ‘The post-Pathogen Reset Button’.  These Action Pointers are, much like their 1970/80’s forerunners, ‘totally uncalled for’ papers.   They are not concerned so much with the current tribulations but with the emergence of new priorities for future governance.  Action Pointer #5 is scheduled to cover Arts & Ethics  and #6 will turn a spotlight on the leadership requirements for community subsidiarity.  Readers can track back through the series so far via the footnotes of Action Pointer #4,  ‘mending our ways’.

Diligent readers of Groupe Intellex via Medium.com may notice an upturn in political awareness – partly because I now also write for our local Libdems site.  The local Libdem gang are a vitally important irritant in an area dominated by long-serving (and often self-serving) Conservative councillors.  The suspension of the May local elections places an even greater burden on our small band.

Future postings on Medium will, once again, be mirrored on this site.  I pray, that all our friends come through this challenge with renewed enthusiasm for action on priority issues such as the Climate Crisis.

Best Wishes – Stay Home – Stay Safe.

 

 

That Was The Week That Was

31 Mar

It may be over, but I have no intention of letting it go.  It was far too good a week to forget.  Indeed this week will linger long – not just in my memory but in the renewed public spirit that has been engendered.

I’m not, of course, claiming to have been the first to notice.

To be honest I doubted my sanity in a week when the weirdness of Westminster gripped the nation.  But I wrote my thoughts on Tuesday March 26th and then promptly placed them on ice.  I was more than cautious – this was my first day of release from medical mayhem.  It was highly likely that the new medication was warping my wishful thinking mind.

But the words could not be constrained and I published them the following day.  Even then I hedged my bets for fear of immediate castigation.  But I dared not hesitate – I sensed a great change was underway and, although the body politic, the media, the entrenched combatants, were all running on the same old tracks, I found it undeniable that relief was at hand.

Maybe it was the weather.  Maybe it was the sheer relief from months of pain. Maybe it was a hymn of praise to the brilliant talents of our NHS.  Maybe it was my odd early-morning choice of Leonard Cohen’s “You got me singing’.    Whatever. This spirit of joy was unquenchable. ‘Everyone Suddenly Burst Out Singing’ captured exactly how I felt – and amazingly my little inconsequential networked world agreed!

By the end of the week even dedicated politicians were tentatively, cautiously, quietly suggesting a ‘change of tone’.  They were pushing this forward even in the midst of outraged screams of betrayal by ardent Brexiteers.

But this is no time to stand down – the struggle is not yet done.  In Tolkien’s The Hobbit (There and Back Again) Bilbo Baggins utters what would later became one of his favourite sayings.  Bilbo had narrowly escaped from a very angry encounter with the dragon.  “Never”, he said to himself, “Never poke fun at live dragons – you’re not halfway through this adventure yet.”

And that was a very timely thought.  It would have been too easy to ridicule.  Too easy to pour scorn on those in pain.  Too easy to not understand the deep roots of their desperate delusions. Too easy to crow.  Far too easy to seek vengeance.  Even slightly (or grossly) demented dragons need and deserve our help.

All at sea?

We are, still, only halfway though this adventure.  The tone has changed, the tide is turning but renewed purpose has not yet been confirmed.  I’ve been sailing offshore when a storm has devastated the plan. The ship is damaged, the crew scared witless. There is no going back.  This is the time for renewed purpose – a new destination.  Only a few alternatives come easily to mind – but my crew need, more than anything, clear intent to deliver us safely home.

The hand on the helm may be uncertain but the crew can pull together. Time now to steady the ship and seek that new unifying purpose.  Let the restoration of sanity and purposeful survival now flow through the  life-blood of our nations.

(and here endeth the lesson for Mothering Sunday!)

Wake Up – the new series

26 Sep

Hibernation normally occurs in winter.

Activity is minimised. Survival burns through reserves.  The frenetic return is driven by a new hunger.

This year the seasonal cycle was flipped – must have been the heat, or just a weak spring

But – ‘Hej, we’re back now’, and the return is celebrated by Wake Up – a new series of reflections on the scramble to understand what exactly is going on.

Part 1, ‘So You Did?‘, kicked off with a curious blend of a World War 1 recruitment poster and Archbishop Welby’s speech to the TUC conference.

Slightly more awake, Part 2, ‘What Happened’ is out later today. and Part 3 will follow in a week’s time.

Waking Up to the realities of the wider world – new perspectives or just the old ones seen in a new light – dances around the dawn.

We might, of course, hit snooze and slip back into deep slumber – but the alarm is sounding.

Only when properly awake might we realise that we are letting go of something we’ve not fully grasped.

Welcome back.

___________________

UPDATE 01/Oct/2018:  Part 3 ‘Contra Dictions’ – the battles between Facts and Fictions.

UPDATE 09/Oct/2018:  Part 4, the series final, sets the Brexit agonies in context – a blip that now seems insignificant against global imperatives.  It questions the quality of leadership and has a former Dean of St Pauls turning in his grave.