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Sunday, 2 September 2007

Going to Greece tomorrow

We are packing. We are checking. Tomorrow we leave for Corfu. This morning I got the chapter down below 5000 words as Kim had insisted, and emailed it to her. First para':
POLITICAL-MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP Any student of public sector leadership who does not recognise and endeavour to unwrap the confusions and tensions that arise from the overlap of political and managerial spheres of action, and their shared relationship to the professional core of government, is pointing their torch in the wrong place. They are focusing, separately, on managerial or political leadership but not on their combined dynamic. Politicians and managers have described their working relationship as a bridge, an exchange, a source of tension, a blend of political and administrative contributions, a trading space divided by a line that should not be crossed, but, now and then, is. For over twenty years I have been studying relationships between elected politicians and managers by filming them talking to each other. In this chapter I will use extracts from a small sample of these conversations to explain how politicians and managers jointly create government - a perennial puzzle of increasing consequence for local government.
This afternoon I phoned two people in Corfu to say we were coming. I got a text from George saying they were seeking the right cypress wood for the sitting room floor. There was ten minutes rain today according to one friend and there might be more on Wednesday - otherwise another heat wave is expected. Fires on the mainland have produced power cuts on the island which does not generate its own electricity. Kostas will leave our hire car at the airport tomorrow night. I've checked trains to Gatwick for our BA flight in the late afternoon. How I regret flying. I have only a feeble excuse and I can't think of it right now. I've got work the day after returning and most of October, then Chinese managers are coming in November and I've been invited to Australia for three weeks in the Spring to run some workshops on political-management leadership and give a conference talk. The attempt to substitute that journey with a video conference ran up against complex bureaucratic obstacles which only be eased by the oil of political will. Amy and Liz fly up to Inverness tomorrow to give Mum company as she continues the struggle to sell her house and free herself of the bridging loan that allowed her to move into Brin Croft. I speak to her almost daily. Bay visited last week. She has a new and delightful carer. It sounds as if British troops are getting ready to leave Basrah and the Tories are talking of making it dearer to travel.

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Simon Baddeley