As readers of my Tropical City Discs column will know, my family moved around a lot when I was young.

I decided that I'd celebrate that - with a seminar tour taking in some of the places that formed me...


I could go on for hours, days even, about how easy it is to use various techniques to manipulate the thoughts of a person who is targeted as a vehicle for financial crime.

Hell, I do go on for hours, days even, about it when people pay me to present seminars that show them how their companies can avoid being a victim of such offences.

But some of the most fun lessons are found when I, me, the one who knows, understands and communicates this stuff, falls victim...


My third disk and the story that goes with it.


It seems like only a few weeks ago, but I've just realised it was almost four months ago, that I wrote the first in what was supposed to be a short series.


The WWW didn't really exist when I started using the internet. We had bulletin boards, arcane chat room protocols, some weird techy stuff that allowed me to send e-mails to the USA from London if I routed them through Hong Kong (don't ask, I can't remember how I did it) and most communications revolved around what would today be called ecosystems, for example CompuServe and America On Line.

All the ingredients were present for social media but there was no integration. The internet was for techies.

That soon changed, and we changed with it.


It's difficult to understand what happened at the end of the week before Christmas.

Egypt's resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories was first delayed, then withdrawn after Israel pushed diplomatic buttons in Washington and found incoming President Trump to be an ally.

Then four countries put forward their own resolution and that was passed, because for the first time in a long time the USA did not exercise its veto to strike down a resolution critical of Israel's illegal acts.

That the Resolution was passed is a very good...


When I was young, and we had our first TV, I remember hiding behind the settee (I'm a Midlands lad, "sofas" were for pooftahs) when The Daleks appeared on Doctor Who.

I remember my Aunt laughing as she came down from the "box room" where she was staying for a couple of days and banging the door into my feet which protruded.

Now, rather older and, one hopes, rather wiser, I'm looking at my TV room and wondering if there's space behind the sofa (see, I'm reconstructed) for me to hide while the results of the US presidential election are announced.


If you are British, you will know that there are a number of reasons why the BBC earns its licence fee.

Mostly, it's not the junk TV like Eastenders, nor is the dreadful BBC website which is journalistically bankrupt and often barely literate.

And it's not the platform for stridency that is Woman's Hour.

No, it's things like its excellent drama on TV and Radio and Radio 4's "Letter to America," now sadly dead along with its creator, and Desert Island Discs. Sadly, the Roy Plomley years have gone and good as his replacements have been, it's not the same without those...


I know: for the past x decades, anyone who says "I don't like Mondays" is accused of plagiarism but it's not true. I'm a lot older than that song and I've never liked Mondays.

I can't get the hang of Wednesday afternoons, either, although that's for an entirely different reason.


My father, Roy, died on 11 June 2016 after a sudden decline in his general condition.

This is my tribute to him.


David Cameron, speaking in Japan where he is attending the G7 Summit, has said that the young, in Britain, should register to vote. He says it may be the most important vote of their lives and it is for them to decide what kind of country they want to live in. He’s exactly right.

And when they do, they should vote to leave the EU. This is why. And as someone who supported the “yes” vote in 1975, I start with a mea culpa.


I woke this morning expecting to pack for a trip, do a few bits and pieces at work, put the data I need for travel onto a portable drive and clean the house so I don’t come back to a dump, all after enjoying the first cup of tar-like coffee that starts my day.

As usual, while the espresso machine was heating up, I looked at the overnight e-mails. There, right in plain view, was another example of why the internet needs a major clean up.


The William Rhodes Secondary Technical School in Chesterfield was often the school of choice, above the grammar school for those who passed their 11 Plus examination. On the recommendation of my junior school headmaster, I went there: it was, he said "a school for individuals." It was wonderful and when I had to move to another area, I was heartbroken.

In the intervening years, things have...


A report in The Guardian says that the leader of the “eBible Fellowship” has announced that the world will end on 7th October.


There is no doubt that strong action is needed against Da’esh / ISIS / ISIL. But have we lost sight of the fact that the brutality of Syrian President Assad against Syrians was the catalyst for the current conflict and foreign intervention?


There’s a serious problem in Financial Crime Risk Management and Compliance: the lack of precision in language means no one knows where they stand.


I’m amused by the social media campaigns for Corbyn as an icon of socialism in the UK.

It seems that he’s the man for everyone – so long as you are from a minority that he can claim to support or a self-interest group that can garner votes from its members.


We all make mistakes and often for the best of reasons.

Often, it’s difficult to make the judgement to correct them, partly because of ego, partly because we don’t know what’s gone wrong and therefore a fix is nothing more than a shot in the dark, or sometimes it’s because we know what has gone wrong but we don’t understand why it has gone wrong.


In terms of sentencing in English law, there is, in effect, an upper figure. Murder is generally subject to a life term, but convicts are released “on licence” – some earlier than later but, if they are going to be released at all, rarely more than 14 years. The maximum sentence for theft, robbery, money laundering, terrorist financing is, in each case, 14 years per count.


I am constantly amazed by the utter rubbish spouted by so many so called experts in the field of counter-money laundering, including many who proudly add various letters after their names.


We don't have to argue for or against the macro effects of global warming. Just look out of the window, or count the number of showers you need each day.

As if proof were needed: three days of a long weekend and Kuala Lumpur is almost free of pollution and the temperature has dropped by two degrees.


Yanis Varoufakis, has resigned. In one of his last pronouncements as Greek Finance Minister, Varoufakis said the idea that Greece could print Drachmas was a fallacy. He is reported as having said "we destroyed all the presses."

While he might be right in one respect, that of printing actual Drachma notes, he's fundamentally wrong in another. There is an option that would fix much of the crisis - although it's one that would cause the EU to have a major fit.


We've been here before and if it wasn't so serious, at least part of it would be funny.

Instead, MLROs across Europe have a nightmare in the making.


Imagine that you need to book a flight at short notice from London to Kuala Lumpur and back. There aren't many options but you find one with a transit in Abu Dhabi and, even better, it only takes about an hour longer than a direct flight.

So you book it on-line through a reputable on-line service but, because the flight is at short notice, it's necessary to do some of the paperwork by phone.