Monday, 31 January 2011

Registering with Technorati

It has been suggested I register this blog with Technorati and they ask me to post this code: KBZVG35BPQCB so have now done so to be compliant. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sudan concerns rise of troubles ahead

BBC News reports the referendum on the South has gone in favour of independence which is not a surprise, over 99% shows that this was never much of a question.

Whether Abyei gets a vote to go with the North or South. The oil rich territory remains a rich and coveted resource, a flashpoint as the interested parties may push with force to claim the oil.
I am glad the South has had the chance to speak. More freedom to Africa is good providing they also have the autonomy to choose their own destiny. If destiny is imposed by others then this isn't freedom...
With protests in Khartoum following the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, it seems an uncertain time in North Sudan although this is not a country renowned for eschewing violence, I fear for the stability in the North.
I remain deeply concerned and I worry that the prize of peace may yet be devoured by the jaws of civil war. I hope the 9th July will bring the birth of the latest Country 'South Sudan' into a joyous period of prosperity and mutual support with its neighbours. However I fear that natural resource disputes fuelled by greed may undermine such hopes, I so hope I am wrong!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Social Housing, we need to build the yellow brick road to somewhere brighter and better!

I enjoyed reading Kathleen Kelly's Blog 'social housing reform road nowhere'

Kathleen is employed as Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Policy & Research Manager. The article is a worthy read and does pose questions regarding the current direction of coalition housing policy.

I disagree with the Coalitions current policy initiative promoting flexible tenancies as I do not think they are the answer for social housing. If indeed they are the answer, then I seriously dislike the question. I agree with the summation in the last sentence of Kathleen's blog stability is key in housing to give people a foundation to build there lives on. I also like her analogy of aspiration that social housing can be the spring board to opportunity. I think localism can and should be the answer especially after so long of central planning from Whitehall which has only increased since the 80s.

Without going back to the tower blocks we need to rethink the way we do social housing. I think we need to look at what has worked in the past specifically I champion housing cooperatives. I also think promotion of mutuality in housing associations would be good. There is a clear need to develop cohesive housing development and social housing must be prioritised to help people stabilise their lives, it is the responsibility of those in leadership to implement such a strategy. Individuals need stability before they can contribute to build the much vaunted Big Society. Enabling citizens to enjoy suitable stable long term shelter can not be beyond our collective wit!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

What is even more evil than intolerance? (there can only be one thing)

As ever on the internet it is possible to encounter something that makes you think (as well as a lot that doesn't). On Tumblr a site I have not joined but was referred to, I saw the question below with the suggestion that their could be only one thing worse than intolerance...

"What is even more evil than intolerance? (there can only be one thing)"

My immediate thought was tolerance of the intolerable as an answer...that which prevents the freedom of others interfering in law abiding and constructive lives. While I am a tolerant guy and willing to adapt where possible and to suck it in to make things happen as I am and continue to be very outcome focussed. As human trafficking, genocide, torture, abuse and rape are all things I think are great wrongs and should not be tolerated, they should be addressed through due legal process. If it is a smaller wrong or slight, this may be not practicable as other considerations inevitably in our messy world must be considered then I suppose long suffering is the alternative neither option appealing.

To paraphrase Burke 'All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing'. I know I am not prepared to do nothing but equally I am measured in my responses as the optimal outcome is what I am working for and this is often not aligned with my own self interest, altruism. Working in the voluntary and community sector is comparatively under remunerated in cash terms. As I am not a reductionist and do value social capital, my perception is of creating a larger synergy which can fit under the term Big Society or more naturally for me community politics. In summary to stop evil and the politics of hate we need to subscribe to loving/caring or 'unconditional positive regard' as Carl Rogers calls it and a live giving, sharing politics.

Involvement in what happens, mucking in, caring about other people and generally making our locality a better place to live can be infectious and can make surprisingly large differences to peoples lives. Be active, be involved and lets make a difference together our Big Society starts with us and it is what we make it. Despite many attempts to legislate happiness, it is our quest and our adventure and we share our own with those we interact with as we are like or not to some extent interdependent and therefore our utility will affect others. This is a sacred quest to make the world better than we found it to reach our with availability and vulnerability to others and form real community, to make things happen for good and to seek what may be termed sustainable happiness, a more spiritual harmonised and cohesive society...God knows how but I am sure together we can have an impact, we can commit virtue and no matter the cost this is a cause worth living for!

Friday, 21 January 2011


I have just left a message on the voice mail wishing Andy Coulson well as he spends more time with his family, I am sure he might have time to hack it later... 

Andy Coulson resignation

Andy Coulson resignation is a long time in coming but I supposed timed well since Andy would have been planning this eventuality for some time

Having just come back from lunch and having been delighted to hear Ed Alleyne Johnson busking at the coppergate shopping centre York, he is an amazing violinist, whose music makes me smile even on a sad day...

Thursday, 20 January 2011

crossroads... prioritising the way ahead

With the dust now settled and the way ahead clear all sorts of exciting possibilities for me exists. I quest forward to manifest my own adventure with my family and friends beside me into tomorrows dawn together. It is exciting and full of potential...but what happens next? as they say in the movies * To be continues * (or in other words not sure yet). Open to invitations:

It has been lovely receiving so many good wishes from those I have worked with in so many different ways. As I reflect on my achievements of the last three years, as the Executive Director having increased turnover from 120k to 300k+ in 3years, increasing membership from 20 to 160+, volunteers from less than 50 to over 150 and increasing impact of the charity by maximising outputs of volunteer hours delivering a quality service for vulnerable local people. Leading the charity into a merger with Our Celebration to produce a new combined charity with a projected turnover well in excess of 1/2 million for 2011-12.

In June 2010 York and District Mind was rated by the Social Return On Investment network for the RBS SE100 index ranking the social enterprise as 69th in the UK overall and 35th in terms of impact. In Yorkshire and Humber we are 6th overall and 3rd in terms of impact.

Having had a portfolio career to date building a wide skill base and with a desire to achieve more for people in whatever role or position I translate through or end up in during 2011.

I am learning a lot as I study for Chartered Director status with the Institute of Directors and have received a lot of support and guidance from those around me which is much appreciated.

On with the adventure!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday's Mikish Musing - international focus on sudan

Sudan it is pleasing to see the southern referendum go so credibly. However the final demarcation of the north /south border due to the underlying oilfields is where the tension will be evident. While I am happy with the progress so far however I am not overly optimistic as I think this is likely to have more pain and suffering before resolution.
I am concerned that the vote on whether Abyei goes with north or south is likely to be a flashpoint as the oil, greed and national interest is unfortunately likely to conflict. As has so often happened in Dafor ethnic division and competition for limited resources.
If we do not maintain our vigilance and exert political and economic influence, more could well die sacrificed for man's greed *sigh* Nevertheless a big thank you to those working hard to make the referendum work in the south...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

In the settling dust of a frantic week

Live coverage of the unrest in Tunisia I hope stability will come I fear destability may not leave like the President...

Liberal Democrat vote goes up in Oldham at the by election, a good performance by Elwyn Watkins who after taking on Woolas for dishonourable behaviour is well positioned for the next general election,  and with two more byelections on the way Barnsley Central  and Leicester

When the dust settles and we move forward, with Inflation on the rise and an economic translation from the public to private sector with what I hope is not just lip service to the community sector of Big Society. Volunteers and Voluntary organisations are not free and reducing the budgets will have an impact, can innovation and efficiencies improve our economy and can we grow enough to avoid a double dip recession or the Japanese flatlining of the economy. I hope we avoid cities in the dust  and not scare the horses too much!

Personal branding and centralising ones on line profile through Google seems to be what is happening in the murky world of Search Engine Optimisation. I have had a go at putting my profile together on Google to help connect everything and organise it better  I have also found Friend feed useful for combining posts and informing people of my cyber activity which includes blogging regarding issues I encounter when serving as a Councillor.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

that difficult second post...

In case you have missed it I am flirting with becoming a blogger...

I am experimenting with Blogger, although I might try other platforms to get comfortable and expand the blog. Dreamwidth and wordpress have been suggested as better platforms to blog from, by some friends. Do you have a preferred platform for blogging or any tips, if so any recommendations greatly received!

I might get a little political from time to time. Over the weekend I was saddened reading Nadine Dorries blog post on Friday 7th Jan, then on Saturday the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords during a politician reaching out to the people and the deaths was unspeakable senseless During this week it has been contrasted and put into perspective by Thursday's Oldham by election caused by a politician being dishonourable, then a retired Labour MP is jailed and today another elected MP again who stood representing Labour admits to dishonourable behaviour in court. Reflecting on the forthcoming May local elections and improving democratic accountability to the public trust. We so need honour, courage, character and competence in our politicians focused on working for local people not for their own vain glory or profit! 
I plan to get rhythm going with posting and I hope to maintain your interest. Any suggestions for topics to blog on all ideas well received *grin* and appreciated.

To promote this blog I have joined Friend Feed here: I was delighted to get a plug from as we are both starting blogs at the same time I wish ever success too An Englishwoman in Pennsylvania

Although I now wonder when is a blog a blog and when is it something more? and figuring out how to make it something more.

Thank you for reading...before you go if you can think of a riddle then please do share it!

Monday, 10 January 2011

First post

My ambition is to maximise the use of available resources to build social capital through quality sustainable enterprises that help those involved, generates good will and helps people live life to the full by enjoying the products and services provided.

Simply to help people, with what works and will work into the future efficiently as practicable.

I would recommend that you dear reader become a community activist with some experience making things happen as a Councillor and helping people as a CAB manager. I know we need more people making things happen for good.

In this season the Big Society is in and I want to make it our big society which is pretty much what a lot of us have been doing for years for example by starting a Credit Union, standing for public office or volunteering to help.

Complaining is easy, finding ideas to make things better is improvement and best of all is making the effort to make things better!

Do you have ideas to improve things do let me know!