Repurposing the DVLA

Why would we need the massive DVLA in an independent Wales?

An independent Wales would need all sorts of government data to be processed, not just driving licences, but including for example registration of births, death and marriages; passport and visa applications; customs and excise duties; value-added tax; corporation tax; etc. All of these activities are currently managed at different data centres across the UK, but in the future we would need to do this ourselves. The obvious solution would be to redesignate the DVLA as the central data processing centre for all Welsh government activity. The IT infrastructure is already in place as are the highly trained staff. Read More

The Rise and Fall of the WELSH Steel Industry

“Welsh strategic success” is a phrase you don’t hear very often, but in 1947 a group of independent Welsh steelmakers recognised that their small and fragmented industry could not compete internationally and so combined their resources to create the Steel Company of Wales. They developed a plan to create a huge modern integrated steelworks at Margam, Port Talbot, complete with its own port to enable imports of iron ore, and linked by rail to a series of tinplate works at Trostre, Llanelli (which opened in 1951) and Felindre, Swansea (opening in 1956). Read More

Gasonomics – The Economics of the Welsh Gas Industry

Milford Haven Port traffic on 31st January 2019. Credit:

Every published report on the Welsh economy says that we are a basket case and that we receive far more in ‘handouts’ from the UK government than we contribute. But it is clear from the a study of the Welsh gas industry that even when we have a flourishing local business, the true benefit to the Welsh economy is hidden. Read More

Welsh Oil Discovery

The Douglas oil complex, 15 miles off the North Wales coast. Image by Ian Mantel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

I had always believed that the Liverpool Bay oil and gas fields themselves were in English waters – and only processed in Wales. But when I overlaid the ‘Welsh Zone’ boundaries onto an oil and gas map of Liverpool Bay, I was surprised to find that the Douglas Field is clearly within Welsh waters. The Douglas platform (in Wales) receives gas from Hamilton and Lennox fields (in England) as well as oil and gas from Douglas field itself so not all of the gas processed at Point of Ayr is Welsh sourced. But one thing is clear: Its Our Oil !! Read More

Paraffin Heaters and Seaweed Gin

Wales has always had an affinity with the Basque Country. The status of the Basque Country and its ancient language ‘Euskara’ within Spain is very similar to that of Wales and Cymraeg within the UK. While the languages are not even remotely connected, recent DNA research suggests that the Basques, Irish & Welsh are closely related – and we even share the same colours for our flags. Read More