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Small steps could take us far

It's funny sometimes how a phrase can stick in your mind. The one that keeps coming back to me is that effective economic regeneration is mostly about doing the right amount of effort in the right places. I heard it said at a seminar last week and I agree entirely. Yet I have to add that it's a truth that is often forgotten in Wales. Social deprivation continues to be a weight that bears down on too many of our communities. The pity is that a succession of big budget initiatives has done little to improve matters in the long term. We had a decade of the Welsh Development Agency enticing firms to relocate here. This was was effective in terms of job creation, although it came close to resembl

It was never about the price of coal

It's strange how some perspectives can change over time while others remain firmly fixed. The same can be said I supposed about what we now call the miners' struggle. Thirty years ago union leaders depicted the fight as a last-ditch defence of the working class. In Parliament, ministers spoke uncompromisingly from the dispatch box about a need to confront the enemy within. Whatever your perception or prejudices, then or now, the truth is that it was never about the price of coal. It had been coming for years. Everyone knew it. Everyone expected it. What should have by rights been a one-term Conservative government had not just survived but thrived, thanks to the Falklands factor. Margaret Th

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