December 2006 Edit

  • 13 Simple solutions have a tendency to miss the point. So just as I find the actions of West Ham’s board less than reassuring, so I wonder about the Tories’ latest pronouncements about families and poverty.
  • 6 My quest for the holy grail of zero-carbon journalism knows no bounds. It even extended to using the services of Northern Rail twice in three days last week.

November 2006 Edit

  • 29 Counting sheep, I’ve found, rarely works on those occasions when you lie awake worrying about the state of the world.
  • 22 For reasons I find hard to fathom, I found myself meandering through a department store at the weekend, and I was gobsmacked by the way you can hardly sell anything without a celebrity’s recommendation..
  • 1 The legacy of mining has frequently been benefit dependency, heroin addiction, and negative equity. It has taken concerted efforts by regeneration agencies to begin to restore hope.

October 2006 Edit

  • 25 Three years ago a friend of mine moved from Swansea to Sheffield to work for the Finnish steel company, Outokumpu. Within a few months his main responsibility was to make people redundant.
  • 18 Hang around regeneration conferences and you’re bound to hear a bit of refreshing honesty, unguarded remarks that offer insight into what’s really going on.
  • 11 David Blunkett’s description of the welfare state as a safety net into which people fall and remain conjures up images of the state as the hand that rocks a hammock for the indolent.
  • 4 Working with other people can be frustrating. Just ask David Cameron what he really says about his party colleagues when he’s loading his dishwasher.

September 2006 Edit

  • 27 Last week Ruth Kelly gave us devolution to the doorstep. What my doorstep will do with its new powers is a question I’ve yet to get to grips with.
  • 13 Another day, another investigation into some aspect of the regeneration game. This time it’s the turn of the Commission for Racial Equality to look at physical regeneration at its best and at its worst.

August 2006 Edit

  • 30 It’s the year 2020 and drinkers and smokers are about to be classed as an oppressed minority.
  • 16 Last week I spent an enjoyable hour talking about a shopping centre in Wigan. Seriously.
  • 2 Devotees of silent comedy will know self-congratulation is a dangerous thing. No sooner do heroes like Fatty Arbuckle or Laurel and Hardy beam with pride at their achievements than they come a cropper, usually with a hefty dollop of personal humiliation.

July 2006 Edit

  • 26 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is often diagnosed in young children with behavioural problems. If left untreated, it can cause difficulties in adolescence and into adulthood.
  • 19 If you’ve seen the Young Foundation commentary on what’s wrong with the world we’ve created, you’ll know income poverty is just one of our crippling social ills.
  • 12 There‘s something rich about the idea of money being long-term unemployed. Made redundant by its owners then sitting, idle, for 15 years or more, an asset only for the financial institutions that hold it.
  • 5 One of the lesser-known innovations in government this year has been environment secretary David Miliband’s personal blog, in which he muses on everything from climate change to longhorned cattle.

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