As I Please

Cornwall’s Devolution White Paper: how it works

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The London-based local government consultancy Newton’s Apple has convened another meeting of...

Woke up this morning feeling fine

By Graham Smith Despite the crowds and the traffic chaos, despite the rain, and despite the fact that I am half a century older than most of those packed...

With Branson’s rocket empire in ruins, Cornwall Council reaches for its emergency consultancy hotline

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The London-based local government consultancy Newton’s Apple has convened another meeting of...

Living by numbers: every Conservative MP in Cornwall must now take seriously the risk of defeat at the next general election

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith It’s barely an hour’s drive from Cornwall to Tiverton.  Scores of political...

The Liberal Democrats will probably beat the Conservatives in Tiverton & Honiton, but don’t worry, it’s only a by-election

By Graham Smith In a little over three weeks, I expect the Liberal Democrats to win the Tiverton and Honiton by-election.  The bookmakers agree, and you will currently struggle...

How to share prosperity and win elections – why not just give everyone in Cornwall a garden centre voucher?

By Graham Smith County Hall is trying to draw up a “shopping list” of priority projects on which to spend the £132 million Shared Prosperity Fund announced by the...

Saints Trail – it wasn’t the first two-wheeled “omnishambles” and it won’t be the last: Any inquiry needs to ask the right questions if the same mistakes are not to be repeated

By Graham Smith Any inquiry into the multi-million pound Saints Trail fiasco, which on Friday saw the scrapping of a key part of a 19 mile off-road cycle path,...

From Watergate 1972 to Downing Street 2022: it’s telling lies which is the really serious crime

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith In June 1972 five of the world’s least competent burglars broke into...

Daze of Hope? In Cornwall, a new “Jeremy Corbyn Party” would have more to do with pasties than politics, at least in the short-term

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith There is much excitement among Lefties today, thanks to those fermenting jars...

How to save the leisure centres: why Alf and Roy provide a blueprint for survival

By Graham Smith Wednesday’s exclusive about plans to close four of Cornwall’s leisure centres has understandably ruffled feathers far beyond County Hall.  Word reaches me that GLL, the private...

Situations Vacant: Red Queen needed to draft Covid Safety Bill before the next general election

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith It is far too soon to attempt a history of Covid-19 in...

You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps: Why Tony Blair is both right, and wrong, about Afghanistan

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Some people in Cornwall might now be wrestling with their consciences over...

The more things change the more they stay the same: will the real winners of the Cornwall Council election please stand up?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The honeymoon is over.  Three months after the local council elections, Cornwall’s...

Fightback: holding out for a hero in a world where truth is often stranger than fiction

This book review is free to read - just register as an "As I Please" subscriber with Cornwall Reports, log-in, and enjoy!  An annual subscription to Cornwall Reports is...

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser: there are lessons for Cornwall in Batley & Spen

By Graham Smith By this time tomorrow the news will be all about a Parliamentary by-election from somewhere oop t’North. It all seems very far away, and as there...

New coat pegs and no running in the corridor: a few points to watch for when life gets back to (nearly) normal at County Hall

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Cornwall councillors return to County Hall on Tuesday for their first formal...

Keeping things in proportion: why Churchill was right, and democracy really is the worst form of government – apart from all the others

By Graham Smith Last week’s “Super Thursday” set of elections has led to a predictable searching of souls over the definition of “fairness” and different voting systems. The Conservatives...

Our Friends In The North: A brief, recent, history of the Labour Party and why I now have more time for my cousins

By Graham Smith The next full meeting of Cornwall Council is scheduled for 10.30am on Tuesday 25th May.  Its primary item of business will be to elect a new...

Here is the news

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith As a young teenager, delivering newspapers very early in the morning, I...

Everyone’s a winner: there is no need to wait until 7th May to find out who triumphed the previous day

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Polling Day is 6th May.  There are two important facts to bear...

Elections 2021: The Battle for County Hall – what do you think of it so far?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith A survey of recent opinion polling has underlined the reasons for Conservative...

Lifting the veil: a brief guide to “purdah” and why we should be paying even closer attention to what goes on at County Hall during the next six weeks

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Tomorrow (Monday) sees the official start of the Cornwall Council election period...

Inside the G7: how to make a drama out of a crisis

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The London-based local government consultancy Newton’s Apple has convened another meeting of...

“Winning here” and other lies: get ready for a bulging sack of political waste paper

By Graham Smith A week tomorrow, on Monday 8th March, you can expect your waste paper recycling bag to start swelling with huge volumes of election leaflets.  “Winning here”...

Hot Gossip: nothing is proven, everything is possible

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith This article is nothing more than gossip, rumour and speculation.  I am...

Inside the G7: A letter from America

It is mid-March 2021.  With lockdown lifted, the London-based local government consultancy Newton’s Apple has convened another meeting of its top executives to consider how it can help Cornwall...

Inside the G7: so true, it has to be made up

By Graham Smith It is mid-March 2021.  With lockdown lifted, the London-based local government consultancy Newton’s Apple has convened a meeting of its top executives to consider how it...

I brief, you leak and she’s just been charged under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act

By Graham Smith Bond followed his boss into the office.  He hated this sort of thing.  Somebody, somewhere, always had to take the blame. The lives of Canadian premier...

As Cornwall falls off a Covid cliff, will 2021 be the year the Boris Bug triggers yet another coup within the Conservative party?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith A friend of mine posted on social media last night that she...

“Clarification is not to clarify things. It is to put one’s self in the clear” – why the Cormac-gate review must ask the right questions

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Cornwall Council’s concession that there are useful lessons to learn from its...

Out of the mouths of babes: why Cornwall’s Conservatives need to swallow hard, and admit they have got it badly wrong on free school meals

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Although 13,000 children in Cornwall are in need of free school meals...

Living by numbers: As the government wrangles over tougher Covid-19 restrictions, is it time to embrace logic and consistency?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The debate at the heart of government over where, when and how...

Covid-19 and Cornwall at the tipping point: will the lessons be learned?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith For entirely political reasons, central government has been keen to transfer responsibility...

Is there something fishy going on in Mevagissey? As the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy sinks below the UK’s horizon, Cornwall’s own fishermen show they have plenty of other ways to fall out with each other

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Whose fish are they anyway?  It’s a question which probably doesn’t bother...

Remember, remember, the 5th of November and how Cornwall Council ended up sleepwalking into “reasonable” constitutional chaos

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith It was a grey, showery morning in November and it seemed like...

Black lives matter everywhere, but who controls the past controls the future: Cornwall’s uncomfortable history with slavery

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The destruction of Bristol’s statue of slaver Edward Colston has underlined an...

Will the war against Covid-19 end the same way as most wars, with refugees evacuated by helicopter from embassy roofs even as the politicians declare victory?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith The bellicose rhetoric surrounding the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis has reminded me of...

Covid-19: A postcard from Midwich, village of the damned

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith It might be nearly 600 years since Niccolo Machiavelli first suggested that...

Ring A-Ring O’Roses, A Pocket Full of Posies, and other ways to Keep Calm And Carry On

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Legend has it that Billy Bottreaux was a bit superstitious.  But as...

Could you be our next Police and Crime Commissioner? There are only 97 campaigning days to go

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith As one door closes, so another one opens.  Who would like to...

Look North, in wonder, as Scotland edges closer to affordable local government by pioneering Britain’s first tourism tax

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith One of the safer forecasts for 2020 is that the debate over...

If you tolerate this, then your children will be next

Sydney, Australia, is today (Saturday) shrouded in toxic smoke as flames consume its north, south and west, just 80 miles from Australia's largest city.  So far nearly 7.5 million...

Cornwall is going to be Conservative for a very long time – we just have to get used to it

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith A total of 323,158 people in Cornwall voted in last week’s general...

Is the Newquay airport goose being fattened up for privatisation?

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Sometimes writing an article is a bit like staring at a box...

Getting into space is about maths and physics, not public relations: why Cornwall Council should say “no” to Richard Branson

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Any Cornwall Council cabinet members not yet determined to vote £12 million...

A lesson for Cornwall? Why Brecon & Radnor might not be the Brexit game-changer the bookies are forecasting

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith Politics is like the weather.  Things can change so fast it is...

After Peterborough: while politicians try to understand what happened, Labour should bring back its £3 supporters’ scheme and then ballot to determine Brexit policy

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE By Graham Smith A week is a long time in politics, said Harold Wilson, and...

Why Cornwall should brace for defeat next week

By Graham Smith CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE There can be few certainties about the outcome of next week’s European...

Why only Jeremy Corbyn can beat Nigel Farage, and why it’s all about the turnout – a partisan view

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE My first love was mathematics.  I was one of those rather precocious infants who knew...

Inside Kennally Care: details start to emerge of how charities and companies are now taking over Cornwall’s health service – with orders to cut spending

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE Historians will eventually decide if this was a revolution or a coup.  It was certainly...

As I Please: Glittering Prizes – The Cornwall Reports New Year Honours

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE Those responsible for dishing out the New Year Honours appear to have forgotten Cornwall Council. ...

A day in the life of the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator

23rd November 2018 CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE One of the telephones on my desk just won’t stop ringing.  It’s...

All the way from Arabia – a sci-fi vision of Cornwall’s future?

16th November 2018 CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE As a young teenager I was a huge fan of authors like...

Got an allotment? Get ready to once more Dig For Victory, as the new Agriculture Bill looks set to devastate Cornwall

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 14th September 2018 By Graham Smith It’s going to take a while to fully digest...

Slow Train Coming: why the Devonwall boundary changes are not entirely welcome news for the Tories

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 12th September 2018 By Graham Smith The long-running Devonwall saga took an important turn this...

Cornwall’s local government: no place for grown-ups

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 31st August 2018 Regular readers of this website will be well aware of the deep...

Cornwall and the idea of a tourism tax: a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 17th August 2018 I’m sure the dulcet Geordie tones of my old friend Kevin Lavery...

Jumpers for goalposts: Why we need a Cornwall United to get serious about public health, and why the council should start its own football club

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 10th August 2018 I don’t have many fond memories of my school days but one...

In a sleepy part of rural North Cornwall, another revolution is underway

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE The village where I live, St Mabyn, in rural North Cornwall, is an unlikely birthplace...

Tragedy, farce, repeat: why County Hall would be an ideal location for Midsummer Murders

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 27th July 2018 Watching Cornwall Council’s cabinet members torturing themselves on Tuesday over their decision...

Bucaneers and Pirate Ports: time for Cornwall’s LEP to re-think its strategy on Economic Zones

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 20th July 2018 I don’t really know Mark Duddridge, chairman of the Cornwall & Isles...

After the football – business as usual with Cornwall’s NHS, and why it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening in Parliament

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 13th July 2018 It was all going so well.  Still, I have now seen England...

The best possible birthday present for Cornwall’s NHS would be management from outside Cornwall

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 6th July 2018 I didn't know Kathy Byrne, but I have a strong affinity for...

Cornwall, Your Cornwall

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 29th June 2018 As I write, highly civilised human beings around the world are gathered...

A design for life

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 22nd June 2018 Last week’s announcement that the government had suddenly found a magic money...

Bread and circuses

15th June 2018 CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE Driving past Threemilestone the other day, where the Truro New Town is...

Is dementia to blame for Brexit? In Cornwall, it’s a serious question

8th June 2018 CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE George Orwell was right about most things, and never more so than...

Why badgers should take extra care on the A38, and why I miss the sight of a squashed hedgehog

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 1st June 2018 Driving back to Cornwall the other day, I noticed the aftermath of...

Cornwall, the Final Frontier, and how to make “devolution” more inspirational than a stale fart

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 25th May 2018 One of the things which attracted me to a career in journalism...

Struggling in the stormy seas of shrinking ratings, BBC local radio’s “Dementia FM” heads for its iceberg

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 18th May 2018 Once upon a time, long, long ago, the industry in which I...

Newquay spaceport: reach for the stars, but watch your wallet and beware of half-baked big ideas

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 11th May 2018 Cornwall’s rocket scientists are all a-Twitter with excitement, and some anxiety, as...