History will not be kind to Theresa May

OK, I’m slightly late writing this, but my excuse is that I think it’s a good idea to let a bit of dust settle before commenting on something as significant as a prime ministerial resignation. History will not be kind to Theresa May. In many respects her premiership is likely to become a case study for political science students, and not in a good way. The images that come to mind for me are a succession of lectern appearances where she addressed difficult issues and did it poorly. It was as if leadership was something she had once looked up in a book and applied the bits she could remember off-hand. Her stint in the Home Office gave her the reputation of someone who knew her own mind (or ma

Wrong election, wrong reasons, wrong time

European elections in the UK are normally greeted by widespread public apathy. Things seem different on this occasion, for fairly obvious reasons. I don’t think I’m ruining anyone’s illusions in saying that very few punters take an informed interest in who represents us at the European parliament. It usually breaks down into nothing more scientific than choosing your favourite colour. Of course you also get to register a protest vote or else chuck a milkshake at someone. What also makes this whole unexpected process a bit unreal is that we seem to have entered an era of pop-up designer-politics whereby you get specially manufactured groups created just for the occasion. The newly-minted Brex

Nothing new about developing the waterfront

I’ve been following the social media ‘uproar’ over Swansea council plans to look at third-party development of seafront sites. Given the headlines involved, it’s understandable how people might think the local authority is squandering the city’s birthright. Of course it’s a matter of opinion as to whether you think waterfront development is desirable – or commercially viable - but it’s hardly a new idea. Go online, and you’ll find something called the “Swansea Bay Strategy Action Plan”. This was jointly commissioned by the council and Welsh government back in 2008. Consultants were tasked with looking at development opportunities along the 8.5 kilometres of waterfront of Swansea Bay stretchi

Local democracy ain’t what it used to be.

It’s a unique vanity on the part of political leaders that they believe squinting at election results a certain way can somehow turn bad news into something better. Attempts by the tory hierarchy to describe last week’s devastating council losses in England as “better than expected” sounded on a par with saying a corpse is not as dead as it looks. Around 1300 ex-Conservative councillors would probably agree. What salvaged some respite for Mrs May is that a good number of the affected councils ‘retire by thirds’ - meaning that only 1 in 3 seats ever come up for grabs at one time. Things could have been a lot worse otherwise. Council elections have come to be traditionally regarded as an o

When going digital means watching your language

I’d no sooner settled into my seat at the thinly attended weekly briefing when a random conversation between two interns gradually reached me from the other end of the table. The semi-conscious part of my brain registered that a fundamental mystery in need of unravelling on their part was the origin of the ‘e’ in ‘email’. No, I’m not making this up. I resisted any comment. Besides, my immediate priority was getting my tablet screen to rotate correctly. After that would be an attempt to coax a cappuccino out the new machine without incurring a steam burn. Unfortunately my route towards the brooding black & chrome coffee monster took me past the interns. Both turned to me, clearly in expecta

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