[Note (28 August 2012) This site is a little spoof perpetrated for a while by Richard D North at It is now archived as a matter of curiosity and record and even mea culpa.] I am Hugh Curtiss, a business, organisational and spiritual consultant. I love capitalists and politicians. After years behind the scenes, I am dabbling in wider debate. Do join me.


Latest posts

Recession-proofing: Where is my profit?

Posted by HC in 'Good Business' / Spirituality on 15 October 2008 | No comments ›

The good news is that I am more often being asked for spiritual guidance than for business guidance. After all, our hearts matter more than our wallets. Still, various bad things flow from this crunch, meltdown, recession – whatever. For a start, I shan’t make as much money. Besides, before the impending recession, people didn’t come to me because they were deeply, deeply fearful. Now they do. Read more ›

Relics, DNA, adoption and squeamishness

Posted by HC in Books / Ethics / Spirituality on 14 October 2008 | No comments ›

A memoir by novelist A M Homes, a documentary on coroner Shiya Ribowsky and the disinterment of anglo-Catholic Cardinal Newman have combined to make me ponder the business of our connection with the remains of the dead. What’s odd is that modern technology seems to make us more medieval than ever. Read more ›

Damien Hirst: From formaldehyde to golden hooves

Posted by HC in Art / Controversies / Ethics on 16 September 2008 | No comments ›

How delicious that Damien Hirst has cleaned up even as the media tell us that it’s all up for over-weaning capitalist thugs – his customers. What’s truly miraculous is that the art magnate and entrepreneur manages to come across as cheerfully demotic and populist as he rakes in the lucre. What we sense, of course, is that Hirst’s work is an essay in shock-value. He plays games with what offends us and the value we will place on things. Skulls and diamonds, and stuffed calves and gold leaf, are the ideal art objects for a period of capitalist hiatus. These bad times are perfect times for Hirst’s art and its value. Read more ›

Scams, recessions, crunches and bubbles

Posted by HC in 'Good Business' / 'In the news...' / Controversies / Ethics on 11 September 2008 | No comments ›

Evan Davis, BBC Radio 4′s new hip voice of reason, has been introducing slugs of writing about money crises for BBC Radio 4′s latest book – in this case, “books” – of the week. There is a mistake (a category error) lurking in his efforts. The show confuses different sorts of crisis in quite an important way. Read more ›

Lessons from “The Ouzo”

Posted by HC in Boats on 10 September 2008 | No comments ›

I am such a cowardly and careless yachtsman – and so prone to panic – that I am a little nervous about seeming to criticise the crew of The Ouzo, a small sailing yacht which vanished with all hands on a night passage off the Isle of Wight in August 2006. It was an intensely dramatic story. I have been revved-up by a very good piece in the FT Saturday magazine. It seems a tad timid. Read more ›

Ghosting: why the novel is so very good

Posted by HC in Books / People / UK politics on 27 August 2008 | No comments ›

Robert Harris seems to understand what it is to become the shadow of a person. The ghost-writer in The Ghost is wonderfully aware that he is of less significance than those he writes-up, even if they are phoneys, or stupid or second-rate. He’s not a negligible person, but he knows his secondary place in the order of things. Journalists should all know that, and seldom do. As he passes into the world of his subject, he knows that he’s there on sufferance and briefly. He doesn’t for more than a few seconds and occasionally even bother to fantasise that this is really his world. Read more ›

Seen The Ghost?

Posted by HC in Books / Controversies / Ethics / Spirituality / UK politics on 26 August 2008 | No comments ›

Robert Harris’ thriller The Ghost is a brilliant lark. It succeeds because you could enjoy it without knowing much about Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, Anji Hunter and all the other people who have been described as the reality on which Harris has spun a fictional web. But there are some quite big gaps in Harris’s satire. Read more ›

Dickensian enterprise

Posted by HC in Art / Books / People on 25 August 2008 | No comments ›

It’s striking how often any thing grim about social life in Victoria’s reign is called “dickensian”. That was the word Michael Holroyd used to describe the actor Henry Irving’s “drudgery” as a clerk in his early days. (This was in a doubtless fabulous work on the actor by Britain’s greatest literary biographer, just published.) Actually, what was more striking was Holroyd’s evidence of a rather joyful dickensian entrepreneurship. Read more ›

The great – upbeat – 1950s

Posted by HC in Books / People / Travel on 7 August 2008 | No comments ›

Norman Lewis has found a very decent if slightly verbose biographer in Julian Evans. I am particularly keen on Evans’ understanding of the cultural milieu in which Lewis operated. So often we hear of England as being socially ossified, at least until the 1960s. Actually, England has never been socially rigid and it was becoming ever less so in the first half of this century. So here is a quotation from the book which may help rehabilitate the rather vibrant post-war decade. Read more ›

Awful football, the new lingua franca

Posted by HC in 'In the news...' / Controversies / People on 4 August 2008 | 1 comment ›

I am completely immune to the charms of football. It is the game which most eagerly embraced cash and abandoned sportsmanship. It encourages narcissism and spitting. The only good thing you can say for it is that it may exorcise very slightly more tribalism than it encourages. So why does the intelligentsia queue up to endorse it? Read more ›

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