By way of a Christmas present, here’s a sample chapter from my new book. Best wishes to all …
12.1 ‘KINDNESS? THAT TAKES EFFORT.’ (from December 2012)
This post on kindness was going to be my Christmas message until the massacre in Newtown forced me, and many others, to rage against the inhumanity of the US gun laws.
Mind you, even at Sandy Hook, there was evidence of extraordinary human behaviour: ‘What we forget, too often, is the kindness and resilience of this nation.’ And, way beyond kindness, who will forget the heroic bravery of Victoria Soto and her colleagues?
On 18 November, the TV producer John Lloyd was on Desert Island Discs. He is behind such programmes as Spitting Image, Not The Nine o’Clock News, QI and, yippee, Blackadder. In a surprisingly introspective interview, this cultured and educated man said:
‘Intelligence is something you’re given. Kindness? That takes effort.’ Continue reading
Since just before the 2010 General Election to just before this I have tried to show that:
1. The skills, consumer understanding and creative talent of the marketing services industry could be better applied for the good of society as a whole.
2. Even with no money, people at the bottom of society (D/Es), particularly the underprivileged and disabled, deserve to be talked to and treated with all the consideration, care and understanding that commercial advertisers apply to their customers.
3. Human beings are always interesting and often surprising.
From now on, I will focus my blog posts on my own writing and publishing interests.
Everybody cares, every day
This is the last of four posts which provide a new, more creative way of funding the NHS.
So far, I have proposed:
1. That NHS services be more clearly divided into ‘treatment’ and ‘care’
2. That NHS care services be integrated with – and managed by – the charity sector
3. Tax incentives to encourage people to contribute generously to a new National Care Service
Last time, I showed how the very rich could be incentivised by an income tax reduction to 30% subject to that sum being matched by a donation to the National Care Service (NCS). One ‘reward’ would be the allocation of naming rights to NCS homes, wings and wards.
Now, in this post, I will show how everybody can contribute to the NCS every day. Continue reading
Give is better than take
Since I started this blog, I have promoted my view that, in society, we are all consumers – and that professional marketing and advertising, and ‘upstream creative thinking’, could be better employed for the good of society as a whole. All of us.
In 2008, a new book about marketing theory called Nudge was published. It showed how ‘behavioural insights’ could influence human behaviour.
In 2010, a Nudge Unit was established at the Cabinet Office ‘to use behavioural economics and market signals to persuade citizens to behave in a more socially integrated way.’
In 2014, the ‘nudge unit’ was ‘part-privatised‘.
Critics such as Dr Tammy Boyce of The King’s Fund, said: ‘We need to move away from short-term, politically motivated initiatives such as the ‘nudging people’ idea, which are not based on any good evidence and don’t help people make long-term behaviour changes.’
Well, I hope Dr Boyce and The King’s Fund will like the nudge I am about to reveal. Continue reading
Posted in Blog posts
Tagged Anil Agarwal, behavioural insights, Bevan, charity, Dr Tammy Boyce, Lord Sainsbury, National Health Service, NHS, nudge, Nudge Unit, The King's Fund
Wholesale engagement with charity sector
Last time, I discussed the need for the NHS to differentiate between ‘treatment’ and ‘care’. In the last week, three stories have emerged to support this view:
1. Families are being told they have seven days to find their relative a space in a care home – or risk being taken to court (Daily Mail)
Dr Paul Flynn, chairman of the British Medical Association’s consultant committee, said: ‘Pressure on NHS services is at a critical point and cracks are beginning to appear.’
2. Care for people with learning disabilities is ‘failing’, report says (BBC News)
Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive, said: ‘radical changes are needed in NHS and social care.’
3. Private equity giant Terra Firma looking to break up Four Seasons Care Homes (City AM)
Terra Firma, a ‘private equity giant’, bought Four Seasons from Royal Bank of Scotland for £825million two years ago. Now: ‘The plan would see the company divided into three: an arm to deal with NHS patients; one to handle paying customers; and another to focus on brain injuries and mental health.’
I do not understand this. Why the distinction between ‘NHS patients’ and ‘paying customers’? Continue reading
Posted in Blog posts
Tagged Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, Bevan, British Medical Association, charities, Charities Commission, charity, Creative, Department of Health, DOH, Dr Paul Flynn, Four Seasons Care Homes, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS, NHS England, Professor Virginia Berridge, Royal Bank of Scotland, Simon Stevens, Stroke Association, Terra Firma
Isolate ‘care’ from ‘cure’
This is the first in a short series of posts about the NHS.
As a country, the NHS is the biggest issue we face. If we leave it to the politicians – you know, the people who don’t know that invoices for £1.7billion are coming through the door – the NHS could bankrupt us.
Bizarrely, we all know this could happen.
But no one knows what to do about it – or has the guts to take the decisions that need taking.
There are two irreconcilable forces: Continue reading
The man dozed.
For the first time in over a year, he could lie in late in bed. Time to rest from the hassles of home. Phew. Two weeks alone on the Greek Island he loved and
Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’
Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’
The man hauled himself out the bed and his day dreams. He grabbed his favourite kikoy from the bottom of the bed, wrapped it around the middle of his body and opened the door of his perfectly comfortable hotel room. Continue reading
On 4 October, Lord Dannatt, who was introduced as a former ‘Chief of The General Staff and Head of the Army for several years and knows the Middle East well’, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4.
‘We are all united in the fact that the so called Islamic State, and these ISIL fighters, are an abomination and they have got to be confronted and they have got to be faced down….
This has to be looked at at several levels. Yes, of course there a military level…..
But there are other levels at which we have got to go at this. Continue reading
So, while the UK was talking about Scotland, someone has died:
David Clapson’s awful death was the result of grotesque government policies (9 September)
‘The DWP brags about ending the ‘something for nothing’ culture, but benefit sanctions punish the unemployed, disabled and poor in ways that are utterly inhumane.’
Family calls for benefit inquiry after David Clapson death
‘Diabetic David Clapson, 59, from Stevenage, died from lack of insulin, 18 days after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was suspended in July. He was found dead in his flat on 20 July, with £3.44 in his bank account.’
I have posted on this topic before: Continue reading
So, next week the Scots will decide if they want to be independent.
Let me start by declaring a lack of interest in this issue. A complete lack of interest. I think may be one-eighth Scottish but I really don’t care if I have Scottish blood coursing through my veins. It hasn’t affected my life either way.
I have been to Scotland a handful of times. I have watched a couple of rugby internationals in Edinburgh and stayed with some friends in the Borders which was good fun. I may have been to Glasgow once to be on local radio but I really can’t remember. Nor can I be bothered to find out. It really doesn’t matter either way.
I wonder how many Scots have heard of ‘ASEAN’? Continue reading
Posted in Blog posts
Tagged Amazon, ASEAN, Burma, Cambodia, Charlie Kaufman, Coca-Cola, distribution, Edinburgh, EU, General Mills, Glasgow, human behaviour, Indonesia, Kellogg's, Kraft, Laos, Malaysia, marketing strategy, Mars, Nestle, Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather, PepsiCo, population, Procter & Gamble, Scotland, Singapore, South East Asia, Thailand, Unilever, Vietnam