Welcome to my blog site

It’s good of you to find the time to read my thoughts on the range of issues. There are plenty of professional commentators out there examining the big issues of the day, so I’m keen to try to look at things from slightly different angles. Most importantly, I’ll want to bring the perspective of an experienced practitioner in public policy. I’m not apolitical, but I am politically homeless, and have been for some years.

I’m concerned about the world, and of course not alone in that. We live, as the Chinese curse (which isn’t a Chinese curse) says, in interesting times. I think back over my own life, and I’ve never lived in anything but ‘interesting times’, starting with the Cold War and moving through a multitude of greater or lesser upheavals before arriving at the present era.

I’m a natural optimist, but that’s taken a battering in recent years. At the moment, I really can’t tell whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. Some days, when I see how the truth has been twisted by populists, authoritarians and online conspiracy theorists, I’m not even sure there is a glass. But in the end I have to let the optimism win through. Despite our current difficulties, and even though it often doesn’t feel like it, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that this is the best time in human history to be alive. We might be facing a modern plague, but at least we have science, rather than superstition, with which to address it.

Please let me have your feedback on my posts, either here or on social media. I’m keen always to improve, and also to pick up any themes you think worth exploring. The only rule I hope we can agree on for that conversation is this: let’s try to seek out the truth, and not the truth we want to hear.