The Welfare State is dead – long live the Kinky State

Kingofnetherlands

I don’t mean the type of adulterous scooter socialism enjoyed by French President Francois Hollande – I mean an agile and nimble State that is deftly able to do more with less. Kinky like an inflection point in a trend line. Kinky as in ‘crinkled’ and ‘intertwined’ and ‘complex’ and ‘strikingly unconventional’. Kinky like talk about the rise of smart power in a multi-polar world – because this is the new practical reality, not because the laissez-faire types won the ideological debate about the size of the state. Quite the contrary, it’s dangerous to mistake coincidence for causality.

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Open letter: Concerns about process in the land deal that is part of the ZhongRong Group’s proposal in Crystal Palace

Tank Man Due Process Please– If you agree with this letter, then please sign the petition here

Open Letter from
Residents in the Crystal Palace area
17 January 2014

Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP
Hon Jim Dowd MP
Hon Steve Reed MP
Hon Chuka Umunna MP

cc    Mayor Boris Johnson
.      Darren Johnson AM

CONCERNS ABOUT PROCESS IN THE LAND DEAL THAT IS PART OF THE ZHONGRONG GROUP’S PROPOSAL IN CRYSTAL PALACE

Dear Dame Tessa, Mr Dowd, Mr Reed and Mr Umunna,

We are writing to you, as residents in your respective constituencies, about our concerns regarding the land deal that is currently being negotiated as part of the ZhongRong Group’s (ZRG) proposal for a new Crystal Palace building. Specifically we are seeking your guidance about the appropriateness of the current process for the potential disposal of Metropolitan Open Land by a Local Authority to a private organisation for development. Continue reading

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A new Crystal Palace: phoenix rising or setting sun?

20131005-124326cropped Local residents ‘outside the tent’. Photo: Sarah Glover.

Local residents, who were excluded from a media conference in Crystal Palace Park, pressed their ears to the windows so that they could hear what was being said. On 3 Oct 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chinese billionaire Mr Ni Zhaoxing announced plans by Mr Ni’s ZhongRong Group to resurrect the Victorian Crystal Palace. News of the scheme has for some time been leaking disorderly via the media – a PR faux pas without question.

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A royal visit in pictures – hosting HRH the Duke of Gloucester in the Crystal Palace Subway

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To prove that Royal Mail takes ROYAL MAIL very seriously: The Duke’s office kindly sent a letter of thanks to the Subway team. Any regular letter would have had practically no chance of finding us – but this one did because it was franked by the Buckingham Palace post office. Continue reading

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How to accelerate social investment – my interview/ podcast for Cambridge University, Judge Business School

Discussing the opportunities and challenges of bringing together finance and social investment. Social investment is still a small market segment but has tremendous potential. There are more investors who are looking for projects that can deliver both social impact and financial returns, while organisations that historically relied on grants look for alternative sources of funding without losing sight of their social purpose.

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The fancy names aren’t helping – let’s call it investment and get on with doing it properly

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The extent of debate (and often disagreement) about the definition of social impact investment is fascinating – exploring in great depth the nuances and prerequisite principles for investing in a way that seeks both positive social outcomes and financial returns. But this discourse risks being divisive and self-defeating. Does this complexity actually attract or repel new investors from engaging in this exciting market?

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Evidence Submission – UK Parlimentary Commission on Banking Standards

The Houses of Parliament

The Commission on Banking Standards is appointed by both Houses of Parliament to consider and report on:

  • professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, taking account of regulatory and competition investigations into the LIBOR rate-setting process
  • lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest, and their implications for regulation and for Government policy and to make recommendations for legislative and other action

A copy of my evidence submission 8 February 2013 is published below, read the invitation from the Commission to submit here.

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