What Do We Aim To Do?
To Inform, to Provoke, to Entertain
When asked why I started publishing Only Connect in February 2021, I quoted something my brother had said the year before:
“Why can’t one have a reasoned discussion any more? Even with friends and family with whom you happen to disagree on something?”
We publish articles on events and issues by people with a range of political views, in different parts of the world, with varied experience. We want the writing to inform and entertain so that readers are encouraged to respond. They can either add comments or even submit articles themselves. We hope to provoke reasoned discussion, away from the opinion-heavy, fact-light abuse that seems to be the norm, especially on social media. One definition of the verb “to reason”, given in The Concise Oxford Dictionary, is: “to form or try to reach conclusions by connected thought.” Hence the title of this magazine: Only Connect.
Well, our team of writers is indeed wide-ranging. Readers say they enjoy what they read. In the first 14 months we have published over one hundred articles. They have informed and entertained but we hope to encourage yet more debate. That is still the aim.
- Richard Pooley, Editor
Who Are You?
Our readership reflects where our writers live. We currently have nearly three hundred subscribers, clustered in the UK, France, Jordan, the UAE and east Africa. When our articles have been posted on social media the number of readers has been as high as three thousand. If you like a particular article and can post it on social media, please do so. We want more readers.
From what you and our Analytics tell us, you have the time and inclination to read articles of as much as 2000 words - a “long read” in the era of Twitter. This might indicate that many of you are over fifty and perhaps retired. Good: you have lots of experience and knowledge to share with other readers. Let’s hear from you. Either subscribe* and add a comment at the bottom of an article (subscription is free) or, if you wish to give a contrasting point of view, submit an article for publication to email@example.com.
*Subscribing allows you to “Like” and to post comments. We shall also send you an email as each issue comes out. You will not be troubled by any other correspondence.
The Writing Team
Who Are We?
We’re an eclectic group of writers. See the profiles below. The dictionary defines “eclectic”, adjective and noun, as “(Ancient philosopher) selecting from each school of thought such doctrines as pleased him; (person, doctrine) borrowing freely from various sources; not exclusive in opinion, taste, etc...”.
British. Divides time between UK and France. Retired management trainer and international businessman, manager of Conan Doyle Estate, gardener, birder, grandfather, Francophile, Nihonophile, editor of Only Connect.
Dr Jehad Al-Omari
British Jordanian. Spent most of his formative years living and working in the UK as a management consultant and trainer, during which time he authored a book introducing Arab Culture to Western readers. Resettled in Jordan in 2004 and since then has been heavily engaged in the Information Technology market in the Middle East, focussing on Iraq. In his spare time, besides mentoring young Jordanian entrepreneurs, his main hobby is writing on social media, on which he has a reasonable following, and reading.
British. Former lawyer; one-time language teacher and magazine journalist, still interested in language (ours and others); involved parent to now grown-up children; keen gardener and cook, author of 'Top Level Cookery for Two' (now out of print). Interests include reading and skiing.
British, living in Kenya. Scientist, botanist, ecologist and rationalist. Proud to have mixed-race family of various nationalities. Anti-nationalist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist, pro-science, pro-Dawkins/ Krauss/ Sagan/ Hitchens/ SJ Gould/ de Grasse Tyson/ Lovelock. Pro EU, pro-Jew (but rather anti-Israel). Deeply alarmed by the Anthropocene extinction, and global heating which he doesn't believe can be stopped without geochemical engineering.
British. Started as theatre director; now actor and film-maker. In between was consultant for 20 years on communication in international business, co-authoring The New International Manager. Also designed and ran courses on Creativity, Self-Management, Team Building and Change Management. Fluent in French, German and Spanish.
British. Early years in East Africa, international career with large corporates, followed by 15 years as a roving international senior interim manager. Lives mostly in UK but has a house in New Zealand to escape the English winter. French graduate but a not uncritical Francophile, with a keen interest in politics and international affairs, as well as food, wine, rugby & travel.
British. Looked forward to a warm billet when he joined an old-fashioned merchant bank in the City of London; then came Big Bang and the heat was really on. Since then he has travelled mainly in Europe and the USA, read widely, pondered deeply, and writes, he hopes, incisively.
British, lover of languages. Spring: thumbing around the Med and Middle East, as life-guard, exotic dancer, deck-hand, army cleaner, spy, painter of mermaids on Aegean fishing boats, teacher in Teheran. Met partner Vincent. Summer: Kensington: English for Business gigs, designing grammar visuals, rebuilding Kentish cottage. Bore last-minute daughter. Autumn: Scottish seaside: acting, singing, painting sets, loving daughter.
German, lives in Germany after 14 years in Japan. Officially retired but still active in the fields of marketing and intercultural educational management.
Scottish-born, Fife/Yorkshire-raised son of coal miner. Inter alia bank clerk, gardener, secondary school teacher, casino croupier, UK diplomat. Then 5 years helping British Telecom develop their international business before moving to France to work for multinational companies in the development and financing of projects in telecoms, power generation and transport, and the management of global IT projects. Post-retirement in France has worked with various start-ups.
British, not yet retired. Long period at university attempting to reach the acme of academia: knowing everything about nothing. Learnt all the real stuff from development projects in agriculture and plant health in the global south. Lots of teaching and writing, including a book on edible mushrooms and consumption of 34 species en route –none mind-altering. Plays jazzy stuff and knows lots of chords - this is mind-altering. Wide interests stimulated by working in and getting to know people in unusual places.
Young Jordanian woman of Circassian heritage now living in Germany. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and a master's degree in Linguistics. Her interests are languages, cinema, literature, social issues, and humanitarian issues. She is also very involved in women's issues.
Born in Buenos Aires, educated in England, now living in France he has been involved in economic consultancy (Latin America & Portugal), hospital project management (West Africa & Iraq), trade show & exhibition management (Mexico), consultancy on doing business in Latin America (UK), business communications skills training (Europe and Latin America), and selling real estate (Switzerland and France).