Let’s have a party for #NHS66 – and make it a BIG one

Originally posted on Big Up the NHS:

Saturday the 5 th July will be the 66 th birthday of the NHS and we should celebrate. There will be a series of events organised on the day under the banner NHS66. I propose that one of these should be the biggest themed birthday party ever held .

How will it work?

This is of course not one party but a lot of separate parties held by individuals or organisations with a common theme – the birthday of the NHS – and all happening on the same day.

There are no rules about what form they should take. Indoors or outdoors, barbecue or fine dining, disco or ballroom – anything goes. The main thing is that they should be held primarily to celebrate the NHS and badged with the NHS66 logo.

Fancy dress is often a popular option but there are others. You could make your party a fundraiser…

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Virtual meeting software review

I’ve been reviewing quite a few recently for both inside / outside work. Video and audio quality have improved but there are still often issues for both hearing and speaking during a live meeting. I recently ran a google hangout inside an adobe connect meeting room and also a telephone for audio but that all got a bit Dr Who. I was keen to try out alternatives to mainstream technology providers. Fortunately there is signs of life outside of google  and others, but nearly all are based in the US at the moment.

Unfortunately open source alternatives tend to get bought up very quickly by proprietary providers. The reason for reviewing now was to investigate using a smartphone and tablet – I tested them using iPad and Xperia Z smartphone.

There is a an overview of microphones and some cheaper recording options for mobile devices from JISC.

I used the grid in Wikipedia as a starting place and then tweaked accordingly. The attached provides some examples but will carry on searching for now.


Any commenters promoting google or associated products will be deleted so please don’t waste either my time or yours by attempting it here.

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Posted in blog, ICT, Technology

Professional Services and Management

Many generations have suffered in different ways because of ideas picked up on management courses that are totally unrelated and do not work in the environments they have been recommended. I believe this is because they do not come from the environments in which they have been recommended. This appears to be reaching new heights in the UK with decades of rubbish pedalled mostly by US interests who crash economies at regular intervals, create fake markets etc And their specialist skills (the ones of which they have experience) seem to consist of fraud at a number of levels and covering them up.

I worked for PwC as some people reading this blog may know – I applied for an online learning role at the recommendation of a colleague in Poole where I was working at the time. I was on a second interview somewhere else too at the time but I thought at the time, this was going to be an amazing experience. Like others involved with teaching, training and online learning fed on a diet of so-called management wisdom I thought this was a great thing to do. I realised after taking the role that it wasn’t for me, it was too easy to become part of a culture that had people who thought that they deserved to be where they were, because they had offices in over 180 countries, that somehow made them more important than they were, that because they worked for hours doing something, they deserved more than others, that somehow they were better than others. Had I heard about PFI and other monstrosities in public services I would have left sooner. I’m sure it’s the same across the other 3 and worse across all 4.

There still seem to be generations who are fed on this diet too but don’t really try to pull it apart – and as blogged several years ago some people go on MBAs or similar where they just continue to absorb models of so-called management and business wisdom and it continues.

A Pulse article shows that management consultancy spend has apparently decreased from a group of determined companies and individuals who celebrate destruction of public services, create industries out of nothing and charge ridiculous fees that bankrupt organisations which of course is their intention – how else can you succeed in the destruction. But it continues with the appalling tender for external consultants to advise CCGs – why – because they think they’re worth it – their unprofessional services and mismanagement consultancy.

Executive and management education is not going to change any time soon, yet another industry out of an industry of nothing. And no doubt academic writing will be full of the theorizing about the why, what and how. There should be a new class of visa in the UK specifically for management consultancies, professional services and the UK based ones who have operations in other countries.







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Journeys: Mark

Originally posted on Mole Valley to USA:

Always liked this one:

Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, [5]
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson

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Twitter silence from Turkiye – a bird without wings

May have posted before, an interview with Louis de Bernieres – author of Birds without Wings, which is not about Twitter but about a period of time in Turkey with wars, ideologies… from a blogpost review of the book

From his desk, in an unsent letter to his old fugitive friend, Karatavuk laments that we are all birds without wings, that we are stuck here on earth, and that because we are stuck, we are made to endure to unimaginable horrors. It would be a depressing end to a beautifully written book were it not for this very important fact: Karatavuk’s utter dejection in the wake of the horrors of war is the necessary soil in which the virtues of peace, love and tolerance can once again take root. In his sorrow there is hope that future generations can learn to avoid the Big Ideas—converting the heathen and making the world safe for democracy, for instance—that constantly get mankind into trouble.1

I don’t know what is happening in Turkey / Turkiye right now, I haven’t been back for several years. I hope the situation improves, I sincerely hope Recep Tayyip Erdogan bey realises that social media is not so different to many family occasions in Turkey when all your relatives constantly speak at once (especially the ones that can drive you to extreme frustration), pause to have cups of tea and sit down whilst they discuss life and all the events.

1. Lawrence M (2012) A Review of Birds Without Wings, by Louis de Bernieres, available at http://fragmentedobsessions.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/a-review-of-birds-without-wings-by-louis-de-bernieres/

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Posted in blog, violence

Biology coursework

I have completed it but unable to post here because a student did similar last year and the plagiarism detection software picked it up.

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NHS, immigration and please let Michel finish his masters

We were talking about the proposed changes to the NHS with the immigration bill currently going through Parliament at a community meeting today. Charging was discussed and how if people do not use GP services then they were more likely to use A&E which was confirmed by members of the community. Mortality rates and support during pregnancy and childbirth due to the proposed changes were also discussed and public health. Everyone agreed that the health aspects of this bill are yet another attempt to increase privatisation of the NHS through another  back door.

This is a bill which affects everyone, beyond ethnicity – if you are sick and don’t get treated you will be less likely to work either voluntarily or in paid employment and will be spending less. If your immune system is less resistant you are more likely to be susceptible to an infectious disease and this could spread amongst families, communities, towns and cities. Scarlet fever is back, TB is higher than other Western European countries, malnutrition is increasing again.

Leeds No Borders is a well-respected local group who campaign on a number of immigration issues and to ensure ethical services are provided to those who need them. However, so far during the passage of the immigration bill, all of the Leeds MPs (including Labour and LibDem) have either voted for the bill or abstained.

LNB are trying to highlight the changes being proposed in this bill and how it affects everyone across all aspects of their lives. International students are also vulnerable even now:

Michel is in Leeds, please sign the petition to allow him to complete his masters, this is why:

I’m an international student, originally from Cameroon. I came to the UK with great hopes to study and improve my English and employment prospects. I am a MSc Supply Chain Management student at Leeds Met and have been since Feb 2013. Everything was going well until two weeks ago when I received this letter from the Home Office saying my application for my student visa extension has been refused .

As you imagine, I am under incredible pressure whilst my studies draw to a close as I have to submit my thesis by the end of May.
Since receiving this letter I feel totally lost and unable to continue to focus on my studies. To have to deal with the Home Office threats of deportation is just too much. All I ask is to accomplish my master program without this extra stress. I feel I have been treated unfairly by the Home Office who took over a year to consider my application. In this time I always paid my fees and continued to study so why now when I have just 3 months to go do they decide to interfere?

After paying £11,250 to Leeds Metropolitan University and hundreds to a solicitor and the Home Office in visa fees, I’m told to go leave without having completed my studies and will effectively end up with absolutely nothing.

Please sign my petition calling for Teresa May to let me complete my studies and stay for my graduation ceremony.


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