23 June 2017
Today, 23 June, is International Widows Day, the UN’s global day of action to fight discrimination against widows. This annual event was the brainchild of Lord Raj Loomba, whose Loomba Foundation has for 20 years helped poor widows and their children, and brought their plight to the world’s attention.
A young widow and an old widow at a government-supported ashram in Vindravan. Photograph © 2013 Amy Toensing. The beginning

The story of The Loomba Foundation begins on 23 June 1954, when…

16 June 2017

In the wake of Grenfell Tower, Theresa May’s position has become untenable. It has been clear since the election that the Conservative party no longer wants her as leader, except only in…

7 June 2017

To me, the choice was clear when Theresa May saw her chance and called a general election. What kind of country will Britain be? What part will it play in the existential questions faced by the…

27 April 2017
Why Enterprise City UK is important for all of Manchester, not just the creative entrepreneurs who will make it their base.
Roundtable discussion at the launch of Enterprise City UK at Old Granada Studios, Manchester, 26 April

On Monday last week, the Washington Post carried a headline that read: “This guy…

19 February 2017

The Bonded Warehouse is a looming presence in the middle of the old Granada Studios complex in Manchester city centre: a cavernous reminder of the industrial revolution, soon to be transformed…

23 September 2016

Those with an eye for detail may have spotted that 1990 – the year this charity was established – is actually 26, not 25, years ago. However, the trustees in their wisdom have decided that just…

28 July 2016

Representatives of the creative industries in the North West convened at Manchester Metropolitan University on 28th July to discuss Brexit and ensure the government is fully informed…

7 July 2016

A well-attended mini-conference of the Creative Industries Federation on July 7th 2016 at Kings College, London, called at short notice to inform CIF input and advice to the new…

27 June 2016

Hope against fear, was how Brexiters characterised the battle. Hope in hell versus fear of the inevitable, this is starting to look like in the sober light of day. But no-one knows what…

24 June 2016

My live updates today:

19.16 pm. Media reports all say Scotland’s First Minister is pushing for a second independence referendum, but the canny Ms Sturgeon’s position may be…

14 June 2016

June 14, 2016. What will Devo-Manc and the Northern Powerhouse mean for the cultural economy? This question was explored at The Art of Devolution: Culture and the North, a conference of…

10 June 2016

(Even if the price of EU membership was £350m a week – which it’s not – we could only spend it on the NHS if

We cut aid to our farmers We cut regional aid We cut aid to our poorer…
21 March 2016
The Loomba Foundation’s World Widows Report was launched on March 17, 2016 at the United Nations in New York by Lord Loomba, World Widows Report editor Kasper de Graaf and former UK international development minister Baroness Northover.
At the UK Mission to the United Nations, New York. Pictured l-r: Julie Morizet (Foreign Office), Baroness Northover, Lord Loomba, Margaret Owen (Widows for Peace), Kasper de Graaf.

The World…

8 February 2016

[Feb 8, 2016. Introduction to a lecture organised by The Boar as part of a series to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the…

16 October 2015

It is the second year we’ve organised a public debate as a highlight of the Design Manchester festival – and once again, our panel underscored Manchester’s place at the heart of the nation’s…

31 October 2014

Oct 31, 2014. Organised as part of DesignManchester 14, NORTH: The Great Debate brought together national and regional leaders of the…

19 September 2014

Edinburgh chose to stay in the United Kingdom - but what will that be?

“For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate … at least 119 Honourable…

9 May 2013

This was my introduction to Close & Remote’s Secure Cities discussion at Deptford Lounge on 9 May 2013.

11 October 2011

In 2005, the proportion of the world’s population living in cities reached 49% (3.2 billion people). By 2030, 60% of the global population – five billion – is expected to live in urban areas.…

3 March 2011

The lot of a widow is shocking in many parts of the world, the sorrow of losing her husband compounded by cruelty and injustice. Tradition variously dictates that she is unable to work or…

6 August 2010

When conferred by Margaret “every prime minister needs a Willy” Thatcher on William Whitelaw, the title of deputy prime minister was little more than a device to help her neutralise the “wet”…

11 June 2010

The Dutch this weekend are conducting the kind of horsetrading held up by Tory newspapers before Britain’s election last month to scare us off a hung parliament. In the event, the UK quickly…

28 November 2008

On 5 November 2008, Applied Information Group managing…

14 May 2008

Attitudes to the use and availability of publicly owned information have shifted significantly in recent years, partly due to technological advances, and partly to political commitments to…

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