what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Behind the blog

So many blogs, books and papers about the state of the world/one’s country! So little time! How to identify what’s worth reading? That’s the main aim of this blog.

I’ve been getting a lot of hits in the past few days – and therefore feel the need to introduce myself to new readers.

This blog doesn’t peddle any political line. It’s written by someone who has been lucky enough to be able to paddle his own canoe for more than 40 years and to write things as he saw them – no matter the jarring effect it might have on his readers. I’ve been a “maverick” insider since an early age, for 22 years an influential political strategist in a powerful Scottish Region, helping to change the way it operated and writing critically about that experience
And, for the last 22 years, I’ve led various teams of consultants in transition countries in efforts to pass on our understanding of what makes for systems of “good government or good governance”. And written critically about such programmes – my website has some of the papers. I vividly remember one of my (Prussian) superiors expostulating to one of the papers - "we do not pay you to think..... but to obey!" I kid you not - this from a Berlin consultancy. Please note that I am a great admirer of Germany - as you will see from searching my various posts on the country!

And all during this period, I’ve been reading avidly to try to understand how organisations get so perverted – and how we can prevent that. The blog tries to share the best of that writing

My heroes are
I believe in people coming together at a local level to work for the common benefit - principles enshrined in communitarianism (about which I do have some reservations). I spent a lot of time supporting the work of social enterprise in low-income communities. None of this went down all that well with the technocrats or even members) of my political party - and the national politicians to whose books I contributed (Cook and Brown) soon changed their tune when they had a taste of power.
But, above all, I am a passionate sceptic or sceptic pluralist as I put in a blogpost in September 2011 - see, for example, my Just Words?

The caricature is one of the great William Hogarth's - "Academics"

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