I began my blog the day after I formally left the civil service in mid-2011.
In those early days I very much defined myself as a former civil servant. But much time has passed since then and the civil service is a slightly different creature to what it was. Possibly more so than under any previous transition of party control in central government.
I tweet through Puffles the dragon fairy - an account I started in the civil service in the days when there was no guidance. Later on, I was to have a small hand in the drafting of the new guidance published in 2012 (see here). I’ve also used social media to input into select committee hearings – see here for a case study. This makes Puffles the first dragon fairy to be mentioned on Cabinet Office’s website and in a parliamentary debate.
In recent times I’ve moved away from focussing on the civil service and Westminster politics towards community action in Cambridge – my home town to which I’ve returned. This is both due to circumstances – deteriorating mental health, finances and much less time spent in London, as well as becoming much more aware of the challenges Cambridge faces.
I’ve often described Cambridge as a city with a global brand but the infrastructure of a market town. Hence writing my own draft manifesto for Cambridge for the purposes of starting and continuing conversations across the city and beyond that don’t often happen inside local political circles.
I hope you’ll find the content both stimulating and enjoyable to read. I’m not looking for everyone to agree with everything I write – the world would be a boring place if we did. (Think of the Prime Minister being asked lots of loaded questions at Prime Minister’s Questions – exactly). Feel free to disagree – but play the issue, not the writer – and please keep it polite.