Please stay awhile…for here you’ll discover a repository of archived published and unpublished work in print, audio and film. For more recent articles on democratic reform refer to my Blog

The site is intentionally minimalist for ease of navigation. Use the Categories to select from VoiceOvers (the spoken word); Film (a potpourri of acting roles); and The Written Word.

Thank you for coming round. You will notice (hopefully) that I have discretely scattered a few poor boxes around the site for those generous benefactors who may wish to show their appreciation by way of a small donation to the arts.

From ECU to Toke (Originally published 1999)

The formation of Europe’s Monetary Union, coupled with continuing advances in secure global connectivity, is pathing the way towards a common global electronic unit of currency.  Before the new millennium, the first nation outside of the original eleven European Union nations that adopted the European Currency Unit (ECU) at the beginning of the year will switch from the dollar to the ECU.  That nation is Cuba, and its reason for switching is economically sound.  Cuba is dependent on trade with Europe, and dealing in a common currency with its trading partners will reduce punishing currency exchange commissions.  Cuba has indicated they may draw in other communist countries specifically China, Vietnam, and North Korea, and doubtless will promote the idea throughout Central and South America. Whether the ECU eventually challenges the mighty dollar for world supremacy is irrelevant.  What is important is that the advantages of monetary union – the desire to rationalise currencies to support trade – reach far beyond the ‘Eurozone’.  On the other side of the world New Zealand and Australia are considering their own monetary union. Further rationalising of world currencies will inevitably follow, leading eventually to a common monetary unit.  Improvements to SET (Secure Electronic Transactions), including news of a 256bit version of DES (Data Encryption Standard) continue to strengthen the integrity of encrypted transmissions, making secure global connectivity a reality.  We are steadily moving towards a common electronic monetary unit.
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End of the Smart Card (originally published 2002)

It was inevitable, even from a luddites perspective. Recent history has been guiding us with rapid transitions from mainframe to PC, desktop to notebook, and landline to wireless technology, and we have been taunted with shorter and shorter product life cycles. Breaking news today becomes obsolete technology tomorrow. Yet with all these indicators fore warning of rapid change towards integrated, wireless solutions, we still load up each day with an extraordinary variety of bulky communication and IT equipment, and a wallet of plastic cards. This is about to change, as a result of recent developments in Singapore and the UK.
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Why Banks Are Becoming An Endangered Species

You may not know it’s happening, but we are witnessing the slow disappearance of the High Street bank, and with it the sound of rattling coins and rustling notes. In their place, in the evolution of financial processing, will be licensed Software Houses and the efficient, secure and invisible hum of electronic currency.

It is the most significant event since the Phoenicians switched from barter to gold a millennium ago, or the Italian money merchants of Lombardy opened the first bank (banco) in London’s Lombard Street in the seventeenth century. The transitions from barter to gold, and gold to bank notes, are equivalent to what we are now about to witness in the transition from notes to electronic currency. It surpasses the existing technologies of CHIPS, CHAPS and RTGS systems, themselves harbingers of today’s Internet savvy environment. It involves the total replacement of physical or hard currency with a new, virtual unit of exchange. The closest we will get to touching it is when it’s loaded onto our SmartCards, and the closest banks will get to processing it will be through newly formed alliances with technology partners.
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The Global Decline of Banks

Up until now customers have been enslaved to a traditional banking system that has changed little over time. Improvements made have done little more than automate clerical functions. In a regulated market, with a captive customer base, banks have maintained a conservative approach to change. Branch Clearing, and Inter Bank Settlement for example, have functionally remained the same. That is all about to change at a time when customers are beginning to complain over rising fees and charges, declining levels of service, inefficiency, and often an almost Luddite attitude by banks to threshold technology. For the customer it’s been a question of grin and bear it – there has been no escape – until now. The marketplace is now changing so rapidly that banks world wide have been unable to respond. In a deregulated environment they are being challenged by a plethora of new products and services, that offer more efficient, cheaper solutions to their customers financial needs. The need for legacy Clearing & Settlement systems is the latest service to be challenged. This new dawning of opportunity for customers, this Internet driven revolution, has started to challenge the domination of banks and will result in fundamental changes to the structure of the banking system.
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