12th August 2022

An Italian Driving Lesson

An Italian Driving Lesson In journalism, it’s called the Silly Season. Usually, all the politicians have gone away for their lengthy summer break and we all get a breather from their silliness. But not this year with Mrs Green (the Mayor of Birmingham’s wife) slugging it our with Mr […]
5th August 2022

A Secretary of State for C**Ts

A Secretary of State for C**Ts There is a Secretary of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Yet the population of these entities is small 5.5 million; 3 million and 2 million. That’s about 10 million people The population of the North of England […]
29th July 2022

Choosing the next PM Irish-style

Choosing the next PM Irish-style Imagine a FTSE 100 company that has the misfortune to lose its CEO suddenly, whether by an accident, a shareholder revolt or running off with his, her or their secretary. No problems. There is always someone in place to fill the shoes immediately. […]
22nd July 2022

How to put sex into planning

How to put sex into planning We all use stereotypes to pigeon-hole people. Scientists (like me) have white coats (I don’t) as do psychiatrists. Doctors have stethoscopes even if they seldom use them. Accountants have pin-striped suits. And what of planners? It has an image […]
15th July 2022

The Manchester-Leeds ARC. Why not?

The Manchester-Leeds ARC. Why not? Now that Govey has been given the jolly old heave-ho (as they say at Eton), what will Clarky do that’s different. Although it made for a cumbersome title, I really like the ‘Levelling Up’ moniker. A sort of socialism for […]
8th July 2022

Winning the war of words

Winning the war of words ‘Never start a war that you can’t win’ is good common sense. In the world of planning we have had two contestants throw their hats in the ring with little chance of victory. In the red corner is Stuart Machin […]
1st July 2022

The curse of Oxford

The curse of Oxford Within 24 hours of getting off the boat and landing in London, I knew my parents had made some terrible mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, they were kind and loving and made huge sacrifices to get me educated but they sent […]
24th June 2022

Is Gove really on the level?

Is Gove really on the level? Everyone knows there are only three ways to solve the housing crisis: Reduce the population and sterilise everyone especially Mick Jagger; Build lots more houses…but Mr Gove has already said that the target of 300,000 homes a year is […]
17th June 2022

Why HtB (Help to Boris) is here to stay

Why HtB (Help to Boris) is here to stay When the CEO of a volume housebuilder wakes up in a cold sweat, there is only one recurring nightmare: the government has decided to abolish Help to Buy. But should they be worried? I don’t think […]
10th June 2022

Which comes first: homes or nature?

Which comes first: homes or nature? When I first heard of nutrient neutrality, I thought it was a new faddy diet. So I ignored it. Mistake. It’s a scheme by Natural England to help protect our waterways from nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphate, and […]