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Why Brexit is tougher than you think

A regularly expressed sentiment down the local whenever the subject of Brexit comes up is “they should get on with it”. The finer details relating to "they” and “it” are usually a little vague, but what do you expect? It’s no different at the sharp end., from what I can gather. For all the ministerial talk of real progress, the hard truth is that disentanglement has proved to be much more complex and costly than the noisy guy in the Question Time studio audience might be willing to accept. He rightly points out with that authority synonymous with anti-EU sentiment there was no supplementary question on the referendum ballot as to whether Brexit should be hard, soft or extra crispy. But you d

Winter of discontent in Cardiff Bay

Last month, an expert panel concluded that the Welsh Assembly needs an extra 20 to 30 members to cope with its growing workload. Ironically, that recommendation comes at a time when rifts within the political groups are regular headline news. The UKIP contingent, hardly a cohesive force to begin with, looks to be copying the national model of self-destruction. Disaffection over Neil Hamilton’s leadership has prompted successive departures through the ‘independent’ exit while a potential replacement is barred from joining up altogether. Meanwhile, Labour are caught up in their own barely contained turmoil. Official attempts to maintain a ‘business as usual’ façade are undermined by bursts of

Say hello to the future and goodbye to privacy

Someone clever once wrote that the true test for maintaining privacy is not about the public interest involved but the potential for gossip. In that context, making sure traps stay shut is a particularly tough call, especially in politics. What gets said in private meetings seldom stays private for long. Whether it’s sensitive Brexit dealings or uncomplimentary stuff spoken in the White House in relation to developing nations, word always gets out if someone is sufficiently motivated. So-called 'friends' seem to have no qualms in sharing your private racist text messages either - especially if you also happen to be in a relationship with a political figure. Not even the lofty media are i

A tough start to the year

January is traditionally a tough time for families, both financially and emotionally. There’s no sign so far that 2018 version will be any different. Latest figures suggests more people than ever paid for Christmas on credit, with a consequent mounting debt problem affecting millions. This trend is suggested as one reason behind a drop in new car sales - although another factor is probably that anti-greenhouse gas measures have put the diesel market into reverse gear. Conversely, home-buying usually takes on a new impetus following the Christmas break. It’s interesting to see Swansea apparently get listed as one of the UK’s property hotspots with a reported 7.7% increase in house prices. C

Another bumpy year ahead in politics

I’m not a big fan of non-fiction books but an exception among this year’s Christmas reading has been ‘Betting the House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election’ by Tim Ross and Tom McTague. What makes the book highly readable is the first-hand insights from senior figures in the combatant camps who, it transpires, had no more idea of what was happening on the ground than the rest of us. I’m not sure such revelations are encouraging but they confirm something I’ve suspected for a while. The authors highlight how Jeremy Corbyn stamped his experience as a lifelong campaigner onto events thus confounding his detractors with a unexpectedly presidential performance. Not only did he abandon conventi

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