Commentary and Strategy
Posting in the media and think tanks has been on-going for about a decade, although it has a longer history elsewhere. A full list is on the About page, but posts tend to follow the good analysts, commentators and policy makers from platform to platform. Project Syndicate, a global think tank and opinion page, which is read in 153 countries and of which Margaret is a member, attracts very influential contributors. A more detailed record of commentary and strategy can be found on the Weblog, a link to which is at the top of this page, the Wordpress button, and has included strategy on the Referendum in Scotland, the UK election and referendum, Greece, Central bank rates, the UK Budget, the EU and Oil to name a few.
The weblog is full of comments about the UK referendum. Here's the one I made on June 22. The Referendum - wow! at last it has finally arrived. I've waited 25 years for this, since I was collecting signatures; and of course, being an activist from young and sovereignty being of the utmost importance to me, I can do no other vote leave.www.margaretbowker.wordpress.com.
October 6 2016 - On Project Syndicate a response to Joseph Nye on Globalisation. So if Globalisation needs reform, what should it look like? Should it be more nationally friendly and less the tool of the elites? Is Matthew Taylor's forthcoming Review of Modern Employment for the UK Government part of this movement? An interesting article by Joseph Nye, requiring a lot of thought. It's a broad subject, possibly ranging from do countries use self protecting rules for incoming buy-ups and do they protect those who are not attractive to globalisation forces? Big debate likely.
March 2016 - reply to Governor Rajan on Project Syndicate. Yes, there's a lot of debt in the world, but that of the Central banks is going to sit there. An individual country's debt stands a good chance of being restructured and in the case of Greece, starting fairly soon. I suppose in a way there's already a feeling of working together economically. The UK and US are not putting rates up, but not going into negative territory either; a sort of anchoring while other make their moves. TheG20 summit in London 2009 was when the institution was said to have come of age. Is Raghuram Rajan looking for the formation of a Global Economics Hub where advanced global economic policy is created and present to theG20?
Here's another example of a referendum comment posted on The Guardian site. Catherine Mann is the Chief Economist of the OECD.
March 10 - pm
Read Catherine Mann's blog carefully. But what worries me about this extreme warning scenario is that you're going for broke, you've got to win. If you don't, then you run the risk of causing what you fear. I would prefer a more balanced approach from the In camp that says, okay, for various reasons, we'd be better off in, but if the people decide differently, everyone keep calm, it's manageable.
A few examples of other postings follow: July 2, on Yanis Varoufakis's own blog, on Greece: if I were in your shoes, debt restructuring not being on the table would also be an absolute red line for me. Still think this. Discussed and agreed in April, being worked on and will come into effect in May 2018.
September 15 - on the BBC site in reply to Robert Peston on the Federal Reserve - The time is not right to take risks - no rate rise. The rate stayed the same. Still blogging - no rise in December. There was a rise, which some commentators were unhappy about. Markets fell in new year on global economy, oil and other reasons. Lobbying now for there not to be a rise in either June or July 2016.
September 22 - on The Guardian on Greece - hoping to see more or less the same cabinet, continuity being important, and saying that in my opinion, if Greece delivers so will the Eurozone on debt restructuring, recapitalising the banks etc. PM Tsipras later said his new cabinet is based on continuity.
September 27 - would have been on the Guardian, computer being updated, on Jeremy Corbyn allowing his shadow cabinet to vote with their consciences on Trident. Hope that applies to all the party. A sensible adjustment.
September 30 - posted on Telegraph in reply to Szu Ping Chan on IMF/Emerging Markets, agreeing with IMF's smooth transition for the eventual normalisation of monetary policy, i.e. rises, the Fed giving specific notice for sometime next year and a measures safet
See also recent posts in reply to Anatole Kaletsky on Project Syndicate, Olivier Blanchard on IMF Direct and Ben Bernanke on Brookings.
The following images show two of the projects Margaret has been involved with and lobbied for. Image 1 is Wolverton Pool and Fitness Centre opened in 2013. Lobbying includes both big and small projects. The images show the latter, both these were under ten million, but others such as the East West Rail Link, now under construction, is valued at 270 million and the housing project Kickstart at a billion and a half. Projects are usually lobbied for at the project's own request and Ron, see the About page, who is an experienced project adviser, assesses how much work they will be and chances of success. No funding remember.
Wolverton Health Centre rebuild , image 2, for which Margaret was the lobbyist for seven years at the LIFT agency's request, was the last project locally, now that Wolverton Park and Stratford Park have been built. These last two projects were substantial housing developments comprising hundreds of dwellings with 30% affordable housing.
The very much needed re-development of A&E, another lobbied-for project, has started. Bedford healthcare review, A Case For Change, in conjunction with Monitor is be put out to consultation in the summer of 2016 and decided by the end of the year. 2.9 million was awarded for more bays in A&E and more funding in principle. The hospital is bidding for about £180 million to develop and improve its facilities.
Lobbied Health Secretary July 10 2014 on A&E, response received August 2. Lobbied the Health Secretary on September 13 2015 on the future and capital funding of Milton Keynes University Hospital. Reply received September 29. Attended the hospital's AGM. The CCG say the public consultation will take place in 2016, schedule to be released mid November. More lobbying updates on the Weblog. www.margaretbowker.wordpress.com
Margaret is very interested in housing and lobbied for the l.5 billion Government/HCA Kick-Start national housing initiative back in 2009 at the agency's request. Late January 2014, HCA launched a l.7 billion Affordable Homes Programme. Margaret is a member of the HCA community and lobbied for the agency's implementation in 2008. HCA is working with the delivery of the 7 billion housing funding in the 2014 Budget. March 2 2015 - the government proposes the building of 200,00 starter homes, mainly on brownfield land.
New Novel - Jack's Errand
The first chapter of Jack's Errand is now available on its page.
Jack's Errand is the title of the new novel and probably, it will be the first in a series. For a change, and there's been eight of them, it's not an historical novel. So the writing project arising from Speakeasy is over and this one is totally different. It's a thriller based in today's UK; they say write about what you know and I was stuck for a moment, but found I knew more than I thought. It's written in the first person and I've actually finished writing it, longhand. Did it in about three months, the fastest I've ever written a book. Some writers do two a year and that's amazing, but longhand novel writing is a longer process. So now it has to be read in via the appropriate softwear, someone else's job, and corrected and it should be ready about September.
There's some more about the characters on the Prior Street Page, but here's a taster. Cousins Jack Westwood and Tony Bruce live in a middle floor flat in Westminster. Tony, the younger cousin, is well off and Jack has just finished his MA and is broke, and to remedy it so that he can contribute towards the food and phone, he puts an advert in an newspaper offering his services about the house and garden. He also says he will run errands of any nature, which he later regrets until he gets a respectable reply, or so it seems.
Talking about books, I'm sometimes asked if Dr Margaret Bowker and I are one and the same person, probably because our books are advertised, as if we were, on the sites. So, no, we are not, although it's possible we're related through a similarity in family history.
PRIOR STREET NOW AVAILABLE on Kindle
The latest published book PRIOR STREET is quite a tome at a hundred and fifty thousand words, inspired by the immortal Jane Austen and part of the Pembury Publishing arts project. In a break with tradition, it's written from the male viewpoint, and is available on KINDLE. The paper back version has also now been released and is on sale various UK, US and Europe Amazon sites, and other domestic ones, including New Zealand, Poland, Finland an
PEMBURY PUBLISHING worked alongside the Jane Austen inspired literary project rather daringly known as the Modern Classics Series, which arose from Margaret's time in Speakeasy. The project was challenged to get work of this nature, literary, romantic, historical drama in circulation without spending any money, no piles of books allowed in the spare room.
The project was also urged on by mainstream publishers refusing slightly altered Austen novels when submitted by David Lassman and in the early days, by a number of arts people, and even those not always agreeing with it; and Milton Kahn, the Santa Barbara agent, saying it was a fascinating concept; and more recently by Michael Chwe, a Californian game theorist professor, interested in Austen.
The PRIOR STREET page, see button above, will in future be an Arts page, with an interesting blog on writing and poetry excerpts from my Poet friends. It will open thus:
Apart from a little poetry published in the Seventies, my writing started properly in at the beginning of the Nineties, when I obtained a second-hand computer from an amazing high rise estate in inner city London, a separate tale in itself. Hand written drafts look interesting but are not really workable and Pembury Publishing, my Arts publisher, kindly transcribes all my longhand, although not many organisations, of whatever size, would...
Farina House will go onto Kindle in the near future and later on, The Long Engagement.