I only open my mouth to change feet …

I’ve been going to Job Club sessions on a Saturday morning; last Saturday we had Interview Practice.  For this we had to take in a CV and a job advert for a job we wanted and we were each interviewed in turn.

The mock interviews were done by an accountant from Accenture.  After a few minutes my ‘interview’ morphed into a chat about why I want to get out of IT.  I said I am going into conflict resolution, in particular, war prevention.  This got him interested and I got the best part of 45 minutes to explain:

  • why most of the people I knew in IT are now no longer in it because the UK has outsourced the IT industry overseas (hey, guess what Accenture do);
  • how the NHS has wasted £12 billion on NPfIT (National Programme for IT) and CFH (Connecting For Health) because the NHS “knows best” and refuses to use government-mandated (by the Cabinet Office) government best practice methods like MSP and PRINCE2 (he agreed about the NHS behaviour but didn’t know it applies to IT there too);
  • why arming civilian Syrians would create another Afghanistan in that we’d be back in 20 years fighting the people we’d armed (“I hadn’t thought of it that way”);
  • how it is not right for the government of a democracy to use warfare, or worse, arming civilians and generating proxy wars, to cause death as a way of promoting peace when alternative methods of change do exist (“Really?  Like what?”).

Some of what I had to say really took his interest. He asked whether I knew about the local Peace Centre, I told him how I helped with the planning for an event in July, have been researching new contacts for them and just last week spent two days there adding to a briefing paper on extremist violent groups worldwide.  He was most impressed.  I came out feeling it had gone rather well.

Anyway, my good lady wife said to me today “So, are you going to blog about the interview?


Because it sounds like you did a good job of informing David Mowat of your views.

The interviewer, the accountant from Accenture, is David Mowat MP, the Conservative MP for Warrington South.

And today the EU is debating whether they should be arming the Syrian civilians.  (The US, unsurprisingly, says the EU should dump arms in the region, while Austria and others are saying the EU is a peace organisation and should not be adding to the conflict.)

The Austrian foreign minister has said it was wrong for the EU to be receiving the Nobel peace prize on the one hand and taking sides in the Syrian civil war on the other.

And I’ve just been adding my 2p worth with a member of the UK government.

Oo-er.  I think I’ve just done my first political lobbying.

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