Monday, 10 July 2017

Big Ideas Notebook

I have a notebook called "Big Ideas". I didn't actually mean to buy a notebook called Big Ideas - I was looking for something to write revision notes in for my Open University exam in June, and picked up a packet of three and one of them came with the front cover emblazoned with "Big Ideas".

But something quite interesting has happened.

I have a long commute and drive a lot as part of my job, and especially after the commute in the morning, I often have a few minutes before starting work and I just jot any ideas down.

In addition, I've started using PodBean to listen to my favourite podcasts including Radio 4's In Our Time, This American Life, HBR's Ideascast and Bloomberg's Odd Lots podcast, and this has led to loads more inspiration and ideas, and now  just quickly jot them down.

The interesting thing that has happened is my thoughts are beginning to coalesce under subjects and plans, and work together to play off each other.


So, in short, if you aren't already - buy or make your own "Big Ideas" notebook - it could be worth it's weight in gold one day!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

How to Kill a Brexit

I don’t want to make a prediction, because as we all know the volatility of our current political situation and the multi-level constitutional crises that last years Brexit vote brought on leads to a lot of egg on a lot of faces, however there are a few observations I’d like  to make...
 
So, after Mr Cummings “did a Ratner” and following on from Gisela Stuart also saying that Brexit was a mistake – they are not constrained by constituents or really parties anymore, so we can take this to be their honest opinion – if key architects of Brexit can see it’s a disaster then it could be (with the emphasis on could) that the thing will be abandoned. Parliament has a habit of kicking problems it doesn’t like to deal with into the long grass, and even now the debate is about safety standards because of Grenfell Tower, the public sector pay cap because of the election result and it feels, to be honest, like the debate has moved on. But we can’t just casually long grass it and move onto something else like Parliament seems to indicate it wants to. As  every month, there will be a week of negotiations, grinding us on to decision point after decision point, which seems to preclude our usual appetite for a good old-fashioned British fudge.
 
My anxiety is that an effective minister can often drive through reforms if the Prime Minister is either weak, like May or not particularly interested in the detail, like Cameron, then dramatic reforms such as Gove’s to education can take place.  I’m worried David Davis could lead us into disaster primarily because nobody else is paying attention. At this time, maybe our best bet for self-preservation is the spreadsheets of Phillip Hammond. Can he kill Brexit? I suppose it remains to be seen, however it's striking that some of it's architects seem to want to scupper it now.
 
I’ll leave you with the superb, and controversial words of Oscar Wilde from the Ballad of Reading Gaol vis-à-vis the recent comments regarding Brexit by Dominic Cummings
 
 
"Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"