Sunday, February 01, 2009

Nixon reincarnated.

I'm just watching the Prime Minister being interviewed from Davos on the Politics Show. The likeness is uncanny. Its exactly like watching Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon. Nothing at all to do with Nixonian wrongdoing of course. No reason to think Gordon Brown is anything but an honest man. But the long rambling answers, completely divorced from the questions that Jon Sopel is asking! According to the Prime Minister, everyone else has been making mistakes except him. Some newspaper reports had led us to believe that he was going to admit some culpability for the failures in the regulatory system which allowed the banks to succumb to irresponsible madness - but No. Since it told us that Britain is the worst placed economy to cope with the financial crisis, even the International Monetary Fund is no longer worth listening to. When the film credits rolled at the Shrewsbury multi-screen last week, the cinema goers were feeling sorry for Nixon. Having watched our Prime Minister today, I feel sure that it will not be long until the British people begin to feel sorry for him as well.


Welsh guy in DC metroland said...

Glyn, sorry if you get this more than once, gremlins in the system.

Glyn: events in Davos as juicy as they might or might not be are somewhat moot In re Low GVA Welsh Economy.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan is a great (abstract) thinker. He's a very clever (abstract) politician. Meanwhile, as Rome (Welsh economy) burns Wales needs, irrespective of party affiliation, everyone on board to get the Welsh economy on a high-GVA track, and not beached, as it is, on a low-GVA siding or in some less-than-glossy train shack/shed.

I understand from Valleys Mam blog that there is an upcoming politician (Huw Lewis) in Welsh Labour that is more in tune with action/solutions to putting the Welsh economy on the high-GVA fast track. I hope that is true and I hope he spends some time with me after the BioWales 2009 conference.

There, imho, several solutions, but the current Welsh Assembly Government's response to 'listening' to business concerns' is an upcoming whopping above inflation increase in Welsh business rates.

On a brighter note, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans wrote a very compelling and pragmatic article in the Western Mail based on his trip to MIT in Boston. Professor Jones-Evans put forward some compelling solutions. I strongly recommend every one concerned with the state of the Welsh economy to read it.

Bill Quango MP said...

Would you buy a used financial regulator from this man?

Glyn Davies said...

Welsh Guy - I'm not sure that Huw Lewis is your man, but he might be. I've given him high marks for having a go. And if you're in it, you might win it. Now Dylan Jones Evans is a different matter. Now he would make a Minister of Enterprise that would make a difference.

Bill - I wouldn't even take one away for free - and there must be a few hanging about.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> I have just looked at some stats for patent output from Swansea University. This university is an excellent university as evidenced by a recent review that found, inter alia, Swansea University produces world-class research. Swansea University has an IBM supercomputer.

Using a foreign university in a former third world state (Singapore) as a control, and adding the combined US registered patent output of both Swansea and Cardiff universities, the Singapore university has over fives times as many US registered patents than Cardiff and Swansea universities combined. Yet Cardiff and Swansea universities have 7,840 and 2,470 postgraduate students respectively (using postgraduate numbers as reported on Wikipedia) making for a total of around 10,310 postgraduate students who typically do the grunt work in research. The Singapore university has 7,173 postgraduate students, around 3,000 fewer than Cardiff and Swansea combined.

So why the huge difference in US registered patent numbers? Both Cardiff and Swansea universities are producing world-class research, yet their combined US registered (i.e., issued) patent output is nothing short of pathetic.

Now take MIT, which according to Wikipedia has 10,220 postgraduate students, about 90 fewer postgraduate students than Cardiff and Swansea universities combined. MIT has around 3,000 US registered patents and according to Professor Dylan Jones-Evans article “MIT students, alumni and faculty have founded more than 5,000 companies, and approximately 150 new MIT-related companies are founded each year. These companies now account for employment of over 1.1 million people and annual sales of more than £200bn.”

Can you imagine Glyn the positive impact on the Welsh economy if Cardiff and Swansea got organized like MIT?

I have said for some time now, that Wales is of a size where Welsh intellectual property, if properly harnessed (i.e., commercialized) would turn the Welsh economy from a low GVA into a high GVA economy.

Prof. Dylan Jones-Evans highlighted one choke point: the lack of venture capital to commercialize Welsh IP – I have already suggested a solution to this issue, it’s in a letter that I sent to the Western Mail, if they don’t publish it perhaps you will let me publish it here.

PS My interest in Huw Lewis comes from Valleys Mam’s blog – Valleys Mam flagged Huw Lewis as an up and coming politician in the Labour Party. At the end of the Welsh day, party affiliation is irrelevant, Wales is facing a serious crisis, and Huw Lewis has signaled his interest in using high-technology to boost jobs and the economy. I hope Huw Lewis agrees to meet with me after the BioWales 2009 conference. The BioWales event is of great importance to Wales – it is where Welsh biotechnology companies mix via a biotech brokerage event and exhibition. It’s about business, ‘making it happen’. Hence, I will be there, God Willing.