Friday, July 16, 2010

Life in all its Glory

Just about to sign off for two weeks. It's about three months since I left my day job (as CEO of Speaking Up) and, although I have hardly stopped, I feel happier now than I probably ever have.

Can't quite work out why. I think its three things. The first is the powerful drug of freedom from the limitations of daily organisational life. By the end, this was getting to me a bit and I was totally ready to go. The second is the variety I now enjoy. Life's now split three ways between my non exec stuff (including Councillor and Chair of APSU), a third speaking/teaching/writing and a third on my New Thing.

After my break, New Thing will get about a half of my time and I will cut down a bit on the money-earning stuff. It feels like a fascintating time to be venturing out. The First 100 Days of this new government has been incredibly energetic, giving a real sense of seriousness about change. Although some of it worries me, I am willing to go with it, like many people because I felt that Labour was fucking it up really quite awfully. Even without the financial crisis, we'd still be in a major mess.

Blogging, you will notice has taken a slight back-seat. I hope to resume with gusto in August - I really have been running hard recently.

My biggest laugh came this week when I arrived early for a meeting at the RSA and overheard all the staff in the cafe backslapping over some report they had brought out which, somehow, had got loads of coverage on Today and Five Live. The RSA was calling for everyone to be trained to intervene in anti-social behaviour. It sounded like a very weak attempt to sound `Big Society' but which ended up caught in a hare-brained call for `training'for all public sector workers in intervention skills. Something for the Big Society straight from the toolbox of Ed Balls.

Listening to them, quietly in the corner with my laptop, I had to wonder whether any of these immaculately educated people really had much idea of just how scared a lot of people are of getting involved. There's too many examples of it all going wrong for many of us to bother. This they put down to `media sensationalism'. Had someone started kicking off down in the cafe there (not very likely I know!), I wonder how many of them would have been putting matters to right. Most, I suspect, would continue staring at their laptops, as one, quite sensisbly, normally does.

Quite what Samuel Johnson and Benjamin Franklin would have made of this latest output of the RSA I really don't know. But I can't imagine they would have thought much of it.

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