MARGARET BOWKER

       About Margaret

The About page of the weblog follows after this.

Margaret is a blogger, strategist, activist and novelist. She is also an experienced community lobbyist involved, both directly and indirectly, with the successful progress of a number of life-enhancing projects, benefitting the community in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas to the value of several hundred million pounds. The projects usually involve housing and affordable housing, health facilities, educational facilities, and job creation.  In national policy lobbying, the figure is several times that, mainly in housing and energy and the total of both types is now in excess of two billion. As a blogger and strategist, she is a well-known economic and political commentator, writing vison and strategy in  blogs, posts and articles online  in newspapers, think tanks and news agencies. She comments on the UK and internationally, mainly on the US, the EU, and Japan. As a novelist, she produces a widely available arts project on literary romance. 

Originating in North-West London, Margaret lives with her husband, Ron, in Milton Keynes, UK. She attended Chiswick Grammar School for Girls and the now University of Westminster. Her early  employment  was in management, but she was always interested in the arts. In the Sixties and Seventies she was involved in feminism and writing; and by the late Eighties, had expanded into arts novels, producing them on a regular basis. In the mid Ninieties, she developed her lengthy involvement in activism into lobbying for projects benefiting the community. Commentary and strategy came along in the middle of the following decade.

Activism had surfaced with a university  application to a women's college, arguing for women's rights, and after observing activists in '65, (the last CND march), Margaret began to engage with feminism and from '68-75 was an officer in a women's voluntary organisation, headed nationally by a high profile female figure, whilst Ron was sitting on committees led by ministers, like Baroness Castle. Interesting times when young observing female government ministers as well as male.

In the arts field, having been told not to attempt arts novels, Margaret rather stubbornly  (lobbying for a new university was also said to be a 'you'll give it up, sort of task'; University College status was conferred on MK Higher education April 2012) moved on to write ten novels inspired by the great work of Jane Austen. They were preceded by two older novels, and then Evenside, Cruel Inheritance, The Interloper, Farina House, The Long Engagement, Julia, and The Governess, plus the latest novel, Prior Street and the one in progress, Jack's Errand, due out in June 2017.  This activity  in turn led to  starting the literary project, Pembury Publishing, which basically encompasses a few stalwarts and a great desire not to be defeated by mainstream publishing's 'not commerical.' Googling the title and author name of The Interloper or Cruel Inheritance, gives a good idea of how far interest in the literary project has spread into various countries. The writing project books experience considerable availability on the net - thank you.

Margaret is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a Member of the Royal Society of Literature, and a member of the Jane Austen Society.  In the UK,  a member of the Telegraph, Guardian, SEMLEP and HCA communities. She is also a Member of the global think tank and opinion page, Project Syndicate, which is read in 155 countries, and counts presidents, prime ministers, central bankers and significant economists amongst its contributors, including 45 Nobel laureates and 111 Heads of State. Mohamed El-Erian/Margaret Bowker/ Kemal Dervis google pages are examples of Margaret's responses. In addition she was a respondent of the former The Oxford Martin School Thinklong blog and is a member of the Community of the Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University. The New York INET is partnered with Cambridge University. She has represented literature at county level and was a Committee Member of Speakeasy, Milton Keynes Writers Group for ten years. Speakeasy, chaired by well known arts figure, Martin Brocklebank, is followed in a number of countries around the world and unusually for an individual arts group, its website receives a high number of hits, almost a hundred thousand visits in 2010. A 2012 description and photo of Martin at a poetry session is at the end of the page. 

In her parallel interests of activism and community lobbying, Margaret has lobbied many influential bodies both by letter, through other media and in person. This lobbying has included government departments, members of parliament, unitary authorities,  ministers, such as those for  housing, universities and the arts. She has also lobbied or met several secretaries of state, including those for communities, local government, health and business, and their shadows, including  a shadow foreign secretary (now a former Foreign Secretary), a shadow business secretary and an Interim Leader of the Labour party. In addition, she has lobbied government agencies, presidents of royal societies, and on several occasions, even a deputy chief medical officer, when Ron's plus one at the RSPH. This lobbying started  about fourteen years ago and is focused on total, or partial start-off infrastructure funding for large projects in Milton Keynes, attracting millions of pounds. In some cases, the total projects have been major developments up to and in excess of two hundred milion. She has also facilitated these projects where necessary, sometimes urgently requesting  help at minister level, when much needed major projects have been at the risk of collapse; and thanks to the former Government Office for the South East  for advice when starting out on how to lobby for projects at a high level. 

Margaret also writes influential economic and political commentary and vision, both by blogging and articles. Apart from personal and written interaction at government and government agency level, and that with  financial and business editors, this includes either contributing articles to, or posting on: Reuters (UK/US), The Telegraph site (UK/EU, US), The Periscope Post (US/EU/UK/Japan), Matthew Taylor's blog(general), Professor Zeki's Musings (general), The Oxford Martin School (ThinkLONG Blog),  INET, The Wall Street Journal (UK/US/EU/Japan), The Guardian (UK),  Project Syndicate (Japan/EU), The Brookings Institution and Chatham House via PS, the US Congressional newspaper, The Hill.com, Bloomberg (UK) and the Respublica think tank (UK), amongst others. Most of this commentary may be viewed by Googling her name plus the name of the site, except for Reuters. Further commentary and what happened next on some of these postings may be seen on News2 and gives an idea of the high percentage of valid forcasting and useful strategy. A proportion  of commentary and strategy is considered time sensitive and is posted, but not printed. Where appropriate, a synopsis may appear on News2 at a later date. Since early May,Telegraph postings are acknowledged and  Margaret Bowker/Jeremy Warner and Kamal Ahmed pages are available on google.

In addition, Margaret has always been interested in her local area. She helped to establish Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council.  With Ron she did much of the 'history' for a town council under the 1997 Rating Act, completed its draft submission and was Chair of the Interim Council, until the councillors came into their powers. She also liaised for the large Wolverton and surrounding areas protest group, WAM,  and for the past fourteen years, has successfully lobbied for a number of very large projects in Milton Keynes. This includes the New University College, the University Centre, now a campus of MK College, at Bouvier House, CMK, and the amazing Wolverton Park, which has preserved important parts of the UK's railway heritage in the historic town of Wolverton and has received one international and three national awards. St George's Church, Wolverton, is the first church in the world to be built by a railway company.  The latest major project followed and lobbied for is the Central Milton Keynes West End Phase 1 development, now recommencing.

Margaret has alway been unfunded in lobbying for these multi-million pound projects, is non-political and is registered at the Cabinet Office for the approaching government lobbyist register. She is advised and assisted by Ron; and also by other experts such as project directors and departmental policy officers, on an ad hoc basis. Ron is a former Consulting Engineer, Town Councillor, and officer of Speakeasy. He is presently a Fellow of several engineering societies and a Member of the Royal Society for Public Health. Ron was involved in the UK and in other countries with many large projects, including  the construction of Lloyds of London, waste derived fuel, ejector seats, computerised traffic systems, government infrastructure projects and was one of the Engineers advising the Privy Council in setting up the Engineering Council. Ron prepares the manuscripts for Pembury Publishing  and is an experienced project adviser.

They were also Community Lobbyists for the Radcliffe Initiative, Wolverton Swimming Pool complex, and Wolverton health centre, and have lobbied amongst other projects, for Bletchley Park, Stadium MK, green spaces in MK, West End phase 1,  City Status and was interested in the now built Network Rail head office development, and are presently interested in Tesco's Wolverton redevelopment, the university project second building, Saxon Court, the redevelopment and extension of MK Hospital's A&E, and the East-West Rail link project, at over a quarter of a billion, the largest project Margaret has so far followed locally. Update:July 2012, awarded final go ahead and funding. Projects followed nationally and in other countries are often in the billions.  

Margaret, an officer in and a founding member of a women's association in the second wave of the Women's Movement 60s to 70s,  was involved in their expansion  and began to write romantic historical novels with strong female characters more than a decade ago.

Here's the Weblog About page:


This is my weblog and I’m Margaret Bowker, a lobbyist, strategist and novelist. You can find my arts novels, ten so far, in a self-supporting arts project,  on my website, although if something exciting is happening, I will make an entry on the weblog , such as my latest, Prior Street, is doing quite well.

But the main focus of the weblog is a sometimes daily update of my commentary on the economic and political UK and international affairs, that interest me. For example: Greece, the UK, the US, Japan, oil, the EU, the Central Banks etc.  I have been commenting and suggesting policy for a number of years, mostly in the media and think tanks; and sometimes my opinion is requested, as it was before the 2015 UK General Election. I thought the economy and the EU would be highly important and later as the days to the election counted down, energetically urged ‘vote tactically, the Referendum is everything’, on my weblog and other places.

Of course, I hardly need to say this, no-one has to use these  suggestions and I have been known to shout ‘do it’, if it’s all spinning out of control. Sometimes at midnight, as with the Cyprus bailout in 2013 and sometimes early in the morning as in October 2008. When the Markets were dropping like a stone that morning, I was on line shouting on one of the broadsheets – bail out the banks, liquidity, window of opportunity – in my dressing gown. Other examples include the exhortation in the Scottish Referendum, to get up there and run a proper campaign and a few days later, provide a letter of intent, a political MOU; I kept a record on Project Syndicate, on a Barry Eichengreen article;  and lately in July 2015, I urged the Greek PM not to leave the negotiating table, lest he come away with nothing and in October 2015 proposed and hoped that Congress would let Speaker Boehner have the budget and lifting of the debt ceiling before he went.   My ideas and wording frequently seem to be used and 80% or more of this raw policy happens in some form.

You can find a full ABOUT page explaining my background on my website and in turn, the website has a link on the home page to this WordPress weblog. The website has front page updates on my novels, lobbying and commentary, with the commentary section being in précis form and then you use the link.

Well, I’ve been lobbying in the Milton Keynes area of the UK and nationally for about twenty years altogether. I’ve been an activist since young and was a small cog in the Women’s Movement, but chairing a steering group for a town council in the early Nineties, then the council itself, and attending lots of influential meetings where paper was pushed, encouraged/drove me to lobby on behalf of projects benefitting the community.

This type of activity has involved me with projects now totalling some two billion.  Individual lobbying even at a high level is hard work, GOSE, as was, gave me advice, and I have to say for anyone out there thinking wow! I’d like to do that, unpaid and mostly unacknowledged. In fact,  a modest certificate acknowledging our hard work was politically squashed, and the poor lobbyist is hardly ever mentioned when projects are opened, but as they say, or paraphrasing it, if you can’t stand the heat, don’t hang about by the kitchen door.

However,  at a higher level,  some of my major projects nominated me for fellowship of a royal society, which I very much appreciated, and you get on-going pleasure in seeing the completed buildings , facilities being provided and people being housed. So don’t be put off.

 

Martin Brocklebank opens SPEAKEASY'S BARD TO VERSE poetry night at the famous BULL Hotel in Stony Stratford, UK on January 27th 2012. The Bull Hotel is the one referred to in the well-known saying, 'A cock and bull story.' The evening was very successful with performances by well-known poets, including Danni Kushner. See News page for news about Danni, now Bard of Stony Stratford,  and also Mark Niel, Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes. Both are excellent performing live.

Make a Free Website with Yola.