James Miller


Wednesday, June 28, 2006



Victoria's phone in was all about fat today.

I've never heard so much rubbish in my life.

If you are fat and overweight, you are taking a good few years off your life. The statistics prove it and fat people cost the NHS a fortune. Just as smokers do.

So if you are being truthful to yourself, then lose that weight and keep it off!



I used to have a siesta all the time, but still couldn't keep awake in the evening.

Two years ago, at the age of 56, I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, which affects about one percent of the population. Now, I don't need the siesta and only need about seven hours sleep at night. Life is so much better.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Scotland's Support

The Scots ought not to worry about this.

I don't know an Englishman, who doesn't laugh quietly to himself when Scotland make their usual early exit from competitions. It's just that we have more manners than to bleat on about it!


Trident Replacement

I'm a man to the right of centre and a realist. I certainly would never vote for Gordon Brown.

I definitely won't now as he is intent on spending my taxes on an unneeded nuclear deterrent. Twenty years ago, I would have backed such a system. But not now!


Parking Fines

There are only 7m parking tickets issued each year. That must be about one for several drivers.

Perhaps a better idea would be to increase parking fines substantially, but then allow one parking ticket per year to be reclaimed when the vehicle is retaxed. This would then mean that when you get a ticket because of unfairness, no small change or a slight overstay, you would just reclaim it. However the serious parkers who cause all the trouble would be hit hard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Embryo Screening for Disease

The new screening test of embryos is to be applauded, as anything that can help to improve human life is generally welcomed.

On the other hand it is the tip of a very friendly iceberg, propelled by the dramatic improvement in testing methods, computing and diagnostic instruments.

As an example my granddaughter was diagnosed in utero with a serious hernia of the diaphragm. After a complicated operation at two days old, she is now a normal lively four-year-old. Thirty years ago, she could not have been diagnosed with this condition before birth and would have died.

Many other conditions can be detected directly after birth and others at a few years old. It is important for the health of the whole population, that we develop more tests and make them freely available, so that other illnesses, be they life-threatening or not are properly treated or managed successfully.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Affordable Holidays

The trouble is that people think you have to go to theme parks, zoos of other expensive attractions to have a good time. We never took our three children and I don't think they suffered, as they don't take their own.

We are in the racing business as we breed racehorses and often have one or two in training.

Taking children to a race meeting is usually as much fun for the children as it is for the parents. We've not talking Royal Ascot here, but somewhere like Warwick, Yarmouth, Hamilton or Brighton. The great thing is that all children go racing for FREE! There is usually a lot of child-friendly entertainment and often a crèche.

But if you want a real free show like nothing on earth, get up early and see all of the action on Newmarket Heath between six and eight in the morning. That is FREE too!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Failings of British Mission into Cyberspace

Charles Ross in The Times is right when he says that the reason for our lack of IT megastars is the poor understanding by politicians and civil servants of computing. This probably also explains why there has never been a successful Government computer system. I would also add that there seems to be a distinct lack of computer standards in government departments and agencies like the NHS, which has several incompatible systems doing the same job at different locations.

But it wasn't all gloom in the 1970s and 1980s!

Richard Evans, Robin Lodge, Roy Brown and myself created a software revolution in project management and a system called Artemis, that for many years planned half the major projects in the world. Thirty years later, after several changes of ownership the software product that we created in attics, basements and on the back of fag packets, now has 600,000 users.

Returning to the early 1980s it is interesting to note, that although we dominated the market worldwide having made sales in upwards of fifty countries, we were unknown by the public in the UK, had only made one direct sale to the UK Government and had been awarded two Queens Awards for Export.

All of this had been achieved without any external shareholding and a design team that was significantly lacking in academic qualifications. But we did have guts by the bucketful and the world's best Bank Manager.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Police Getting It Wrong

The Forest Gate episode, the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and many other incidents were accidents waiting to happen.

There will be many more unless the Police in this country are totally reformed. Not with respect to rearranging forces, but by adding and imposing technology that works.

1. As Soham showed the Police computer systems are totally inadequate. Why can a major bank run a computer system for massive amounts of stocks and share registrations and the Police can't run one for much less data?

2. Why weren't the Police at Forest Gate tooled up with high-tech chemical detectors and video cameras?

3. If the BBC can film animals in the wild, surely the Police can have better surveillance?

All of the technology is there but it is not being used. The Police just get bogged down in paperwork and political correctness.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Footballers' Wives

We dealt extensively a few years ago with a very well-known ex-footballer's wife. The interesting thing is that she wrote proper hand-written notes to say thank you to our staff.

That's a different sort of class!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Wasting Water

My wife and I live on a stud with about 50 thirsty racehorses. Our water-meter also serves another family, two staff flats and two cottages, so it must be expensive.

It costs us well under a thousand pounds for a year.

We also have friends who pay three hundred pounds a year for water because they don't have a meter and they probably use well under a quarter of the water we do. So if you want to save money get a meter.

Everybody should be metered. Only the gardeners will find they pay more.

When this happened in the Isle of Wight, it cut water usage by ten percent.

One of the side affects of metering is that water companies can locate the leaks much quicker, by analysing the meters.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Parking Fines

I've always felt terribly aggrieved when I get a parking ticket, as I'm pretty law-abiding on this one and usually there is some unfortunate circumstances, such as misreading the signs or overstaying a meter. I've probably had no more than five tickets in forty years of extensive driving.

I suspect many people are like me and getting a ticket only exacerbates the problem between themselves, the wardens, the police and the local council.

Perhaps a better way would be first to have as you suggest graduated fees for different levels of parking offence.

I would also suggest that they be increased steeply, but that everyone would be allowed to reclaim one parked ticket, when the appropriate vehicle is relicenced.

This would probably not result in any loss of parking revenue, as the same serial illegal parkers would still do it, but the goodwill engendered would be very worth while.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Frank Dobson

No wonder the NHS is in such a mess.

Frank Dobson's prejudiced rubbish On Radio 5 must have done a hell of a good job at demotivating everyone.

If we want to talk about NHS software, it is all down to the fact that the NHS has never had a software policy. Go to Shell, BP, M & S and all those other successful companies and you will find standard software in use throughout the company. The NHS for instance has about a dozen different computer systems for something like pharmacy alone. And all are incompatible.

We created the most successful project management system of all time, Artemis. We sold to everyone worldwide including many to the US Government. We only sold one to the British Government, because civil servants always know best. They don't.


New NHS Boss

The salary offered means that they'll get a monkey!

Nobody in their right mind would apply for that job.