No wonder the Americans are worried

Insurance Times’ Lobby series concluded with my look at what new legislation the European Commission was planning to throw at insurers. The answer, I found, is an awful lot, on everything from financial regulation to anti-discrimination. UK politicians may talk a good game but they have little to do the rules that really govern the way businesses work – and how much we pay in premiums. And our leaders will have even less influence if they’re hanging out with far-right fringe groups, rather than people like Merkel and Sarkozy.

Where’s my sausage?

I did a couple of days on Construction Manager in the run-up to press day, writing news stories and the funnies page. Highlights inlcuded asking the industry whether collaborating with China was really an option, getting to grips with new sustainability clauses in JCT contracts, and asking what kind of fry-up consists of only eggs, bacon, toast and ketchup?

Building Gulf supplement

I spent much of the summer writing and editing a 56-page supplement on construction in the Middle East for Building magazine, published in October. This involved spending a week in the sweltering July heat dashing around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar meeting industry types and touring new developments. Highlights included meeting the architect of the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, getting a tour of Balfour Beatty’s new worker camp and spending two and a half hours trying to find a building site in Abu Dhabi with three different maps… But the most striking thing was that the Gulf’s developers are not only building taller and taller towers, but vast cities from scratch.