Published Articles

Since February 2004 he has written a weekly column in the business section of the Welsh edition of the Daily Post every Wednesday, by whose kind permission articles are published on this website. Editorial changes may mean that the published writings differ slightly from these original submissions.

Over the hills and far away. When I find that being old is no worse than I’d feared I shall live in a country that’s kinder I shall wear baggy shorts and I’ll grow a white beard And, just sometimes, go out on a blinder.
The Beauty Spot. A story.
Let’s listen to the Chief Constable. I see the Chief Constable is in trouble yet again, this time for saying that ecstasy is safer than aspirin.
Revolution. Revolutions come so swiftly upon us that we are taken by surprise.
It’s the new way to shop. You’re never made more aware of the generation gap than when you go shopping for computer products.
Buying a shop. I heard of someone recently who has just bought an established business, a dress shop of which she herself is a good customer. She is full of enthusiasm and is obviously looking forward to an exciting and lucrative challenge.
Gordon Brown. It looks as if the new Prime Minister may be taking office at the very moment when business is encountering a rough patch, following a fifth rise in interest rates.
The Joys of I. T. I am not a natural computer buff, I have to admit. Most of the jargon is a foreign language to me, and I’m well aware that my proficiency with a PC is akin to driving a car with the headlights full on, washing the windscreen every time I use the indicators, and never actually getting out of first gear.
Computers – love ‘em or hate ‘em? Whether we like it or not, computers have changed our lives forever. Whatever side of the business fence you’re on, you can’t avoid them.
Rural businesses. The post offices in our villages and small towns are almost all that all left to us of the old rural community life.
Red Tape. How long can the businesses of this country survive under the mountain of red tape that is squeezing every bit of enterprise out of us?
Frustration. Anyone trying to run a business today has to face an impenetrable wall of fiendish devices skilfully designed to frustrate whatever you’re attempting to do. Young people accept it because they’ve never known anything different, and take it in their stride.
Interviews. There was a time when the process of retail recruitment was relatively simple. You stuck a notice in the shop window saying “Strong boy wanted” or placed a press ad stating “ Vacancy for sales assistant. Should be intelligent, polite, eager to learn and of good appearance.’
Tesco. Tesco are a bit like some of their confectionary products – naughty, but nice.  Both as a small businessman and as a consumer though, they worry me quite a lot.
Marrakech. There’s more than one way to kill a cat (no offence, feline lovers everywhere.) This thought came to me when on holiday this month in Morocco, incidentally not a very good place to be a cat in, and a culture shock if ever there was one.
The NHS. When the phone rings at 2.00 a.m., it’s never good news.  This time it was the hospital to say that my brave but ailing 95-year-old mother had been taken in to a surgical ward and could we come in at once.
“Going anywhere nice for your holidays?” At this time of the year, this genial enquiry crops up almost as often as the weather as a topic of conversation, whether you’re sitting under the drier or chatting in the street.
Big Brother is coming. I am of course referring to Orwell’s ‘1984’, and not to that programme where you’re invited to bond with the sort of ghastly people you’d run into a burning building to avoid.
Hotels. Business people are fond of saying, ‘You get what you pay for.’ 
No Fly Zone. Cut-price airlines have revolutionised the travel business.  The world has shrunk to your laptop, with prices to match.
France. This time last week we were swooping down the long straight roads of France in the sunshine.
Living longer. It’s official. We’re all living longer. Sixty-five is the new forty, and all that stuff.
Signs. It’s occurred to me lately how dependent we are on signs. In our increasingly controlled environment, we’ve become accustomed to look meekly for signs to tell us what to do, in case we inadvertently blunder into uncharted waters and invoke the wrath of the authorities.
Smoking. The Thought Police are at it again, censoring and controlling us. Now it’s the turn of smokers to be demonised and persecuted.
Policing. Crime is big business, and it’s tough on small businesses too.
Debt. One thing is certain about this government. They can be relied on to tackle any problem with a complete lack of common sense.
Signs. You’ve only got to look at our motorways to realise how dependent business is on our road transport system.
Food Town. One of the saving graces of living in the twenty first century is the astonishing growth of top quality cuisine. Suddenly there’s hardly a town in the UK without a selection of quite brilliant restaurants.
Business greed. Exactly when did business stop being just business, and become plain greed?
Christmas. Well, it’s all over at last.
Goodbye to Christmas. What a Christmas gift for political correctors!
Hospitals. You never know what’s round the corner, do you?
Looking back. My last article in Drapers.
Speeding. At last, some good news. The penny has finally dropped with the powers-that-be that ubiquitous speed cameras all over our roads are a menace to the innocent motorist, and in any case don’t actually cut down on accidents.
Bird flu. Great news for the Government, who just love interfering with our lives. Sixty poultry farmers in Asia have died from Avian Flu (will it be known as Flyw Eifion.
Grumpiness. If I wake up in the morning full of the joys of autumn, there’s a sure way to ruin the day. I just turn on the television in the bedroom, and watch ‘Breakfast’ or its ITV equivalent.
Dieting. The diet industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world. Like everything else in our complicated and unfathomable universe, it’s a subject full of contradictions.
Cars. You know the feeling. Sooner or later the time comes when you have to change the car. Some people enjoy it. Personally, as a complete ignoramus about all things mechanical, I don’t.
Perverseness. It is quite extraordinary how perverse human nature can be. Just consider for a moment the state of our nation today.
Telephones. Do you remember when the telephone was a large black plastic thing that stood in the corner of the living room?
Tesco. Tesco’s grand mission to conquer the world – or at least this country – continues apace.
Narcotics. The Chief Constable has said he wants to legalise all drugs. His deputy advocates doubling or trebling the price of alcohol to reduce crime. This is controversial stuff, but I welcome it.
Computers. In my lifetime no change has been so sudden and so far-reaching as the computer and I T revolution.
Alternative health. Last month the nit-picking pen pushers of Brussels dealt another blow to a small but invaluable section of the business community.
Multi-cultural Britain. Britain today is a multi-cultural society. As a matter of fact we were never asked if we wanted this, but in today’s world of instant communication, fluid borders and a sea change in the old order of things, it was bound to happen anyway.
Parking costs. It isn’t difficult for a small business to feel under siege from all quarters. Clothing retailing has its own special set of challenges.
Airport stress. I set out on a hot July day, looking forward to collecting my sister from Manchester Airport. Almost instantly twenty first century stress cuts in. Must be my age.
Speeders. Once again more people, not less, were killed in North Wales than in the year before. This is in the region with the fiercest anti-speeding control enforcement in Britain. So what do police do?
Targets. When you look bemusedly at how the whole structure of our society has stood itself on its head in the last couple of decades, and try and put your finger on what on earth has gone wrong, one of the answers is – targets.
Litter. When I read about the new crackdown on litter louts, I was astonished and delighted. What? The Blair government doing something I approved of? Whatever next?
Democracy in action. On the eve of the General Election – is this the best system?
A Day in Pays de Galles.  Why convert a house in Provence when you can build your own idyll in North Wales?
The Royal Wedding. Who would have dreamt a few years ago that a Royal Wedding – and not just any Royal Wedding, but that of the future King of England – would create so little public interest?
Conservatories. The pains and pleasures of adding a ‘connie’ to your house.
Town Managers. Let’s not begrudge the town manager his modest remuneration as he may be the key to our society’s survival.
North Wales Business Club. A remarkable institution in our own back yard.

Advertising. How to write a selling ad.
A free country? Some worrying trends.
East Berlin. A bleak trade trip.
Hospitals. They’re a very different animal from the days of matron.
Gent’s outfitters. An institution now almost extinct.
New Year resolutions. Let’s make ’em and then break ’em.
Forecasting. Are forecasters ever right? But let’s try.
Things ain’t what they used to be. What we are seeing is a massive social shift.
Christmas. How to survive it.
“The Politicians”. The labour cabinet is a farce. Have they a hidden agenda?
Hotels. One man’s survey of some UK hotels and how to survive them.
The Policeman. A one man show by Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom.
Retailing as a career. The demands of running a small business.
High streets. Why do they all look the same?
IKEA. The horrors of (in)convenience shopping.
Regulation, regulation, regulation. The present government brings in ten new laws a week.
Computers. A new type of stress for oldies.
The new rules. An oldy’s guide to survival in today’s changing world.
Wales. Why it’s such a nice place to live.
Germany. A delightful trade visit.
Divorce. The miseries of divorce and the unfairness of the law.
Kids today……… Have we forgotten we were here first?
Summer holidays. Let’s try our own country for a change.
Property prices. Are we due for another property crash like 1988-9?
Charity shops. A mixed blessing.
The Common Market. Why did we ever join this appalling leviathan of bureaucratic corruption?
A bewildering new world. Political correctness, different customs, language and values.
Television. The irritation factor in our living rooms.
The greed of financial companies. The era of the trustworthy, friendly bank manager is long gone.
Political correctness. An opportunity for improvement of society gone horribly wrong.
Market towns. An ancient institution under threat from our present rulers?
Brave new world. It’s hard to realise how much things have changed in just a few years.
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