Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diplomat blogs: progress since 2007

2007-2008 will forever be an historic year, a milestone in digital diplomacy. It was the year when the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office gave its imprimatur to social media, and officially encouraged and supported its diplomats to start blogging. This … Continue reading

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Scottish Referendum: pause to reflect, then act wisely

The Open University is a Four Nations University, and takes pride in putting its students at the heart of everything it does. It remained neutral in the campaign, offering the expertise of its academics on specific issues. One angle that … Continue reading

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Stephen Grosz talks about The Examined Life

The psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz has written a remarkable best-seller, a collection of stories based on his meetings with patients. I found it inspiring hearing him speak at the Chiswick Book Festival. Grosz has a humble, calming and reassuring manner, is … Continue reading

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Liberal Judaism offers a third-way (article written in my role of Chairman of Liberal Judaism, and published in The Jewish Chronicle 160514)

The growth of the Charedi and secular sections of our community identified by the recent JPR community survey has been much remarked upon. Much less noted has been growth by almost a third of those identifying as progressive. These figures … Continue reading

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To MOOC or not to MOOC: Martin Bean and Mary Beard in discussion on The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4 040314

Sarah Montague: Now then, 250,000 people have signed up to take courses from Britain’s universities online via the website FutureLearn. It was set up a few months ago by the Open University in 20 British universities. In the States, MOOCs … Continue reading

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The Courage to Be – according to Paul Tillich

The Protestant existentialist theologian Paul Tillich summed up “the courage to be”: the courage to be part of a larger whole, the courage to stand alone, and the courage to accept the fact that we are carried by the creative … Continue reading

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Government Communication Service: a new dawn?

Alex Aiken’s New Year message for Government communications is spot on. Building on last year’s Whitehall capability reviews, top ministers and civil servants are recognising that government communications are a critical strategic asset to any government. It’s great to see … Continue reading

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Stephen Ward the Musical: entertaining and troubling

Congratulations to the cast and production team for Stephen Ward, the musical, now being performed at the Aldwych Theatre! Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music, Richard Eyre directed it, and Stephen Mear choreographed it. Alexander Hanson authoritatively plays Ward, Charlotte … Continue reading

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Barclays boss, Antony Jenkins, on rebuilding trust

Antony Jenkins, Barclays CEO, guest editor on The Today Programme, has said that it could take up to ten years to rebuild trust in Barclays (1). Jenkins is ushering in big changes, and one of them is a change of … Continue reading

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Public understanding of crime and justice: the campaign continues

Under the last Labour government, I was a senior civil servant, and in one of my roles, I was Director of Communications at what is now the Ministry of Justice. In many respects, both under the last government and in … Continue reading

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