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Welcome to my blog I like to shine a light on stuff in Britain that needs a kick up the arse. Think a lack of school places, or the fact we lag behind Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan for quality of life, or the trains not running, is just bad luck? Think again. Our broken down systems belong to another era. I have been drawing on my knowledge of innovation and best practice from around the world to fix commercial and public organisations for 35 years. As a senior strategist, I’ve advised both the Thatcher and Blair governments. I was on the global board of PricewaterhouseCoopers, chaired Demos and Relate. Oh, and did I mention my brother is Jack Straw? I have a unique take on the inside workings – and unworkings - of government. In this blog I’d like you to learn how decisions are really taken, for you to marvel at dodgy delivery and to wonder at governments flying blind. The Thick of It? Yes, Minister? House of Cards? Yep, more fact than fiction. Follow me. Come along for the ride, that is if there aren’t never ending roadworks*/ so many forms to fill in*/ delays at hospital* (*delete as appropriate). If you’d like to dig a little deeper, please check out my white papers and articles and my book

Has Britain (or indeed Ireland) got Government Talent?

in Blog

First published by: SluggerO’Toole.com

Why can’t UK government do a Macron? That’s very simple to answer: because of our Constitution, such as it is. It ensures that the competence pool for government is strictly limited.

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Three Reasons Our Railways Don’t Work (and How To Fix Them)

in Blog

Published by: SluggerO’Toole.com

How on earth could one of the world’s most advanced cities manage to disrupt its essential transport infrastructure, the lives of so many, and its economic activity so foolishly, and with such little interest from those in power?

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If Medics Treated Patients As Governments Treat the NHS,
We’d All Be Dead

in Blog

Published by: SluggerO’Toole.com, Socialist Health Association

Another Secretary of State pushes determinedly, blindly on with NHS reforms, deluded in the notion that they alone can solve the great mystery of health.

My message is: no matter how well intentioned, your policy making is doomed to fail, as others have failed before you. May I humbly suggest another solution?

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School for Scandal, or Where’s the Learning in Schools Policy?

in Blog

Published by: TeacherToolkit, Local Schools Network

How can we engage, deliberate and decide on what’s best for our education system?

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Unity Through Understanding, Or the Alternative To Shouting at Each Other

in Blog

This week I’ve been trying to understand why people hold views that are seemingly self-defeating. The two obvious examples are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and the Brexiteers in areas of high EU subsidy.

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Do the Storm Clouds of Brexit Hold a Silver Lining?

in Blog

Do the Storm Clouds of Brexit Hold a Silver Lining? As a management consultant bidding for work in one of the world’s most competitive markets, winning a prestigious project felt triumphal – followed quickly by the “crikey, how on earth are we going to deliver that?” The Brexiteers looked just like that on the morning…

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A Busted Flush in the House of Cards

in Blog

I’ve spent all of my 35 year working life in and around government trying to make it work – by which I mean doing something that genuinely improves our lives. At some point the cold realization dawned on me that I was largely wasting my time. With this light bulb switched on, my personal political…

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