Life: Left of Centre

So a moth-balled blog and a new chapter in life call for a totally new theme… “Lessons from Mexico”.

Who knew, but a new life in Mexico causes you to ponder a few things…

“What is important in life, where next, what exciting opportunities are out there, where do and don’t you enjoy and what is there to learn.”

I’m hoping this  will become an exciting new series of reflections on Mexico, it’s people, politics, culture and effect on my life.

For now, Viva Mexico. Me gusta la vida loca 😉

 

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So, a new year, a new start – for all of us. A chance to look back at 2012, with all its great moments and those we’d prefer to forget. Like any other year really. But it’s also an opportunity to look forward. Whether it be New Year resolutions or just learning from our mistakes, we all look to the New Year with a sense of optimism.

It’s with that optimism, and a firm sense of fun, that I present to you 5 predictions from across the worlds of politics, the arts, travel and sport – the original topics of this blog. Enjoy!

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With just over a week to go until the 4th presidential election of the 21st century, President Barack Obama is entering the closing stages of his final election campaign. In a political career that stretches back 20 years, this is perhaps his defining moment. As the Americans put it – will he be a “one-hit-wonder”, or a “two-term legend”. So with election day looming on Tuesday 6th November, what are his prospects? Will Romney’s comeback knock him off course? What do the electoral maths look like?

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On Friday, 7th September, came the news that unemployment (or the ‘jobless rate’, as Americans call it) had fallen to 8.1%. Much of this was due to people giving up on work altogether, however. For every 1 job created, 4 Americans fell out of the labour market altogether. In fact, officially, the ‘Labour Force Participation Rate’ – the indicator of how many Americans are engaged in work or searching for work – fell to 63.5%, it’s lowest rate since September 1981. This date is notable as being almost one year on from President Jimmy Carter’s (the 39th incumbent of the Office) defeat after a struggling economy hit home, alongside numerous foreign policy mishaps and misadventures.

Could the same thing happen to the 44th and current President, Barack Obama on November 6th; welcoming to the stage the 45th President, Mitt Romney??…

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To kick us off in this new world of blogging, I give you a blog I wrote in mid-2011, on the benefits of sustainable social entrepreneurship in the Higher Education sector. Enjoy!..

What do I mean by the ‘Social Aspirational Gap’? Well, I’ve borrowed the phrase from Matthew Taylor’s (Chair of the RSA and formally head of the No. 10 Policy Unit under ex PM Tony Blair) excellent keynote address to the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education’s) Annual Conference last week. It is essentially the gap between where society is now and where we want it to be in the future. The question is; do we have the tools required to get there?

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So after a short hiatus – where real-world novelty and excitement has meant it has now been nearly a month since I last posted here – I’m back, and with a two new focusses to add to this blog…

1) Higher Education and Social Enterprise

I have always been passionate about not only the Third and Volunteering sectors, but also the Higher Education sector. Indeed the last 10 years of my life have been dedicated to them.

With a brand new full-time role under my belt, embedding social entrepreneurship (sustainable do-gooding for those to whom this vernacular is foreign) and enterprise within universities across England,  it seems very appropriate to be talking about a subject area that is so dear to my heart (all views my own of course!)

For politics alone will not change society – but rather the combination of a committed, grassroots movement, who embrace and drive forwards change. Higher Education is a hugely fertile ground for this, and I’m here to say more!

2) Sport: wherefore art thou?

One of the original focussed of this blog was to have been the world of Sport. Another passion of mine, and one that I have strong views on – as with the other topics listed here under the ‘categories’ section.

Those of you with a keen eye (and probably those without too!) will have spotted that I have so far posted a total of ‘0’ blogs on the topic. Never fear though – this will be changing over the coming months!

Right, update over – on to the blogs!

Today David Cameron made a speech in Manchester on the Eurozone crisis. He argued that it’s time to “make up, or break up”. Like something out of a cheap soap opera, the UK Prime Minister is speculating and his party is briefing furiously that there’s simply no getting away from the course we’re on. Austerity is the way forwards, and Greece in particular has to get on with it; as is, no questions asked – as that famous Fleetwood Mac song goes.

And isn’t this whole debate taking on a rather dated, 1980s feel to it. There’s no alternative for Greece, even though its exit from the Eurozone would spread a contagion that could quite easily break the Euro and seriously damage Britain’s already tepid, stalled recovery. So what’s the plan Dave? Where do we go next? Any clue? What of Francois Hollande’s ‘Changement’? And what are the odds on an 11th government falling in the Eurozone since 2008?

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What I’ve been saying…

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