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Rejecting the scoundrel's last refuge

I'm just back from a short break abroad and so only have a sketchy picture of what’s been going on here. Even so, I did manage to see some headline news that Brexit talks were well underway and that the UK had already seen it’s initial overtures leaving EU officials unimpressed. Perhaps I’m missing something but I don’t get how you can actually negotiate a deal anyway when the country, it’s politicians and the business sector all remain at odds over what resembles a good one. Clearly however you’re not supposed to question the validity of this process. Indeed, government minister Andrea Leadsom urged the BBC to provide more ‘patriotic’ accounts of events in Brussels. I don't want to overreac

Swansea’s hidden success story

It’s twenty years since the earth diggers first appeared at what we now call Swansea’s SA1 Waterfront. At the time, it was viewed as little more than a token attempt at emulating the kind of docklands makeovers seen in London, Liverpool and even Cardiff. Yet, as we’ve seen football, people underestimate the city’s reputation for doing things its own way. The project dated back to before devolution but it was the Welsh Assembly and the Welsh Development Agency that finalised the deal whereby the port’s owners handed over a sizeable chunk of dormant quayside. Then came the Techniums. Although it’s now fashionable to dismiss this business incubator model, it’s worth noting their initial economi

How June was nearly the end of May

It was the election that needn’t have happened with an outcome that very few predicted. That said, it was newsworthy as hell throughout. Wise heads among the political commentariat chuckled when isolated polls raised the prospect of a hung parliament. The laughter was short-lived. For me, it was bookies’ odds of 3/1 on a possible stalemate that provided an early inkling. I even wrote a speculative column piece on the likely impact – despite knowing I’d never get it past the editor two days before the election. The received wisdom now is that Mrs May unwisely made the election all about her. What wasn’t anticipated was how a wooden performance and evasiveness in the face of media scrutiny

City development needs a kick start

It may sound like a statement of the blindingly obvious but headlines seldom tell the whole story. That’s true of the report that goes before Swansea planners today and which spells out the scale of city centre regeneration plans. As I’ve written several times in this column, no-one should underestimate the challenge involved in transforming 20-something acres of prime city waterfront – or the ambition it requires. It would be easy to attempt to manage expectations but if anything sets this scheme apart from its predecessors, it is the upfront realism that has dominated the process thus far. Every sector, every industry, every business knows the impact of changing customer needs and expectat

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