Showing posts from August, 2009

Where's there's a will, there's a way

Posted on This is My Truth on 28 August Thirty years ago Copenhagen had the same levels of cycling at Cardiff - around 1 / 2%. Now over a third of commuting journeys there are made by bike. For a generation the Danish capital has prioritised investment and planning to make cycling around the area the easiest and most convineint way to get about. Here's what it looks like.

Barter anyone?

Posted on This is My Truth on August 24th It's hard to know, isn't it? Are these the rantings of a fringe group, or prescient warnings? Is our current slump one of capitalism's regular crises or the harbinger of a collapse in our economy and society caused by over consumption? There is a compelling logic to the analysis of Peak Oil . Finite resources will inevitably run out and an economic system based on the assumption that this will not happen is clearly flawed. No mainstream politician will face up to this, because people do not want to hear it. So how should we respond? Inevitably many will seek a technological solution which enables us to carry on living as we are - irrespective of the harmful environmental consequences. Others see the trend as an opportunity for positive change. Both seek to impose their worldview under the cloak of responding to a crisis. Sadly I am as deskilled as the rest of my generation. I can't hunt, cook, garden or come to mention it

Would you vote for Tesco?

Posted on This is My Truth on 11 August Am I a hypocrite? I shop in Tesco. I'd rather not. I get my meat from the local butcher and veg from an organic box scheme. But a chunk of my salary goes towards Tesco's £1 Billion annual turnover. There are several large supermarkets in my town. The arrival of the last one finally put pay to the local fishmonger. I lamented, but often buy fish from the supermarket. The nearest fishmonger is seven miles away in central Cardiff. Though supermarkets promise choice, the impact they have is to reduce choice. Opponents of a new supermarket in Machyneth know this. Local celebrity protestor George Mombiot writes about it in this morning's Guardian: In 1998, the government commissioned a study of the impact of big stores on market towns. It found that when a large supermarket is built on the edge of the centre, other food shops lose between 13 and 50% of their trade. The result is “the closure of some town centre food retailers; increases in

Making news

Posted on This is My Truth on 5th August 2009 What is news? And who decides? The thought arises after BBC Wales decided to lead with this story across their outlets today three weeks late. The recommendation of a WAG advisory panel to review the future of press bus passes for pensioners was first published on 15th July. In a deft piece of news management Ieuan Wyn Jones eventually released the report at the same time as the National Transport Plan. It was much anticipated and was only published after a lengthy tussle with the Assembly's Finance Committee to make the advice public. But WAG snuck it out at the same time as the announcment that the proposed new M4 around Newport was being ditched. It was a good day to bury bad news. And predictably enough the contentious report was duly buried. Journalists went for the bigger story and did not pick up on the series of other stories in the report - for example the recommendations that the rail franchise with Arriva be re-negotia