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Stretching things out a bit longer

It must be very confusing, not to mention frustrating, for people who voted to leave the EU. One person I know is furious at events in Westminster. She makes no bones about the fact that she voted out in order to curb immigration so that her daughter, who lives in Lincolnshire, can get a job as a nurse. It turns out that there is currently a 38% unfilled vacancy rate for nursing in that part of the UK. Things have worsened since EU recruitment dropped. Interestingly, she seemed unimpressed when I mentioned this. “Leave means leave”, she told me repeating the catch-all mantra that obscures the possibility that in some respects Brexit could be akin to shooting yourself in the foot in order to

City anniversary should be about the future

Swansea celebrates its 50th anniversary as a city this year. The royal announcement in July 1969 came just days before the newly invested Prince of Wales was due to visit the town at the mouth of the Tawe. Although hardly a hotbed of nationalism, there were enough folk bemused by the archaic goings-on that seemed to underline Wales’ subjugated status. As such, speculation grew that the heir to the throne would be confronted by noisy protests and possibly worse. Accordingly, the establishment, who enjoyed greater anonymity in those days, demonstrated some neat footwork in releasing the news of impending city status – and thus the visit passed with smiles and cheering all round. This parti

Are we headed for Brexit in name only?

I once came across an article about ‘unimpeded logic’. I won’t go into particulars but it involves a linear kind of thinking that states all horses have four legs; this table has four legs, therefore this table is a horse. Another example might be: “We must do something. This irrational action is something; so let’s do it”. It’s rather worrying how such a desperately flawed outlook seems to thrive both within and outside the Palace of Westminster when it comes to Brexit. I know its unwise to second guess matters in these surreal times. Nonetheless, it looks like the factional stalemate is headed for the political long grass. Just like everyone else, I’m left pondering what happens next and w

Surveys suit someone’s purpose

It’s heartening when someone takes the time to get in touch about something I’ve written - even when they take me to task. This time, it was the comment in last week’s column that ‘research-based’ surveys you see published in the media are almost certainly connected to a commercial, political or social agenda. I’ve responded privately; pointing out that the practice isn’t necessarily a negative one but that it’s advisable to make a distinction between independent research and the commissioned variety. As it happens, some helpful examples helpfully surfaced this week. You may have seen claims published yesterday that systems which provide access to cash in the UK are "falling apart". The stat

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