Cornwall's economy: to infinity and beyondGreetings, earthlings...

Cornwall’s economy: to infinity and beyond

The Cornish economy remains overly reliant on agriculture, tourism and food production.  That could soon change, with plans to put it at the centre of the world’s next space race, as Merrion MD Dougal Paver discovered. It’s come a long way, has RAF St Mawgan, although progress is relative in England’s sleepy south west.  Or rather, its poorest county. Cornwall’s […]

Gather up your bailing twine - it's time for the National Ploughing ChampionshipsLeft a bit...

Gather up your bailing twine – it’s time for the National Ploughing Championships

It’s the largest exporter per head of population in the world and one of the ten most innovative nations on earth, but what was the most read story on its business pages this morning?  Why, the National Ploughing Championships.  Ireland, dear reader, is still a rural country at heart. One of the advantages for a townie like me of heading for […]

George Osborne"Hills get in the way of the 4G signal, you say? Hmm..."

4G or not 4G: that is the question

It would be to overstate the significance of this blog somewhat  *coughs*  to suggest that George Osborne’s article in yesterday’s Telegraph was a direct rebuttal of my own piece about how ‘the digital deficit’ was a factor in rural economies’ relative underperformance.  Always good to see that more than a few minds are debating the issue, however. Now, before you read […]

Countryside businessEvery little helps, but the rural deficit is widening inexorably in today's digital age.

Digital age exacerbates the rural deficit

Since the rise of sophisticated urban planning and politics in the Roman age man has sensed an immutable truth: cities provide the best conditions for progress and opportunity.  And the coming of the digital age has magnified that issue dramatically. Now, more than ever, cities are the engines of economic and social progress.  Their ability to attract talent and develop […]

I used to be apathetic, then I couldn’t be ar….

I used to be apathetic, then I couldn’t be ar….

There’s a cracking quote from the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1919 which sums up the rebellious, contrary and sometimes frustrating nature of the Liverpool psyche: “Liverpool is an anarchic place where spontaneity and the flamboyant gesture are preferred to the disciplines of tactical thinking and planned interventions. It is an organiser’s graveyard.” If ever an insight summed up […]

Skibbereen digital hubSkibbereen in County Cork: an unlikely test bed for the digital economy

Digital hubs not just for the urban realm

Digital connectivity has become something of a watchword for urban planners, for reasons that need no rehearsing here. The absence of a mega pipe to everyone’s door is such a source of competitive disadvantage that central governments and local authorities the world over are finding the money to fund the necessary infrastructure.  And where they can’t, the private sector is […]