I have an extensive, and wide-ranging, publication record alongside this Blog.
I have written for the Guardian, Building Design, and many other publications. In 2014 I wrote a good deal about Woolwich Central: winner of Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup, and a development that was approved by a planning committee I chaired in 2007 (see my piece on Guardian Comment is Free, Woolwich Central: my regrettable part in its rise, and a similar piece in Building Design magazine). Since summer 2017 I have been helping to research a new history of Court Number One at the Old Bailey, due to be published by John Murray in 2019.
As a councillor in Greenwich until 2014, I blogged extensively about public services, politics and local news at the Blackheath Westcombe Labour website. Since 2015 I have worked with Lifebook, a specialist biography publisher, ghost-writing memoirs for a number of confidential private clients. As a member of the management committee of the Friends of Westcombe Woodlands, an ecology project in Greenwich, I wrote a comprehensive history of the Woodlands for the Friends’ website in 2013. I have also written a short guide to historic buildings and landscapes in the Nene Valley, where I now live, for the Churches Conservation Trust.
From 1998 to 2004 I juggled a political career with working as a reporter on Printing World, then the weekly news magazine of the British printing industry. Along with a lot of business reporting – given the challenges posed by 9/11, consolidation and the rise of Internet I mainly covered printers going bust, not starting up – I specialised in industrial relations, fraud and curse of “phoenix” companies. Appropriately, Printing World ceased publication a couple of years after I left in 2004 (Printing World‘s online incarnation, dotprint.com, does not survive but you can read some of my old stories here, here and here).
My first proper job (after studying English at Balliol College, Oxford, which I’ve blogged about here), was as a cub reporter for the Millbrook Round Table, a weekly newspaper in upstate New York, in 1997-98. As well as a crash-course in the rules of American football, this was a great introduction to writing copy quickly to weekly deadlines, and political intrigue (the Internet was in its infancy then so my stories are not online, though you can see one of my front pages here).