It would appear that the graduates from the "Academy of the Patently Obvious" have been at it again.
A statement to the effect that the River Tyne is a barrier might come as a surprise to many in the North-East - a startling piece of deduction.
Of course the River Tyne is a barrier and it was found to be so by a bunch of marauding ruffians from southern Europe almost 2,000 years ago.
They, however, managed to build bridges across it, and succeeding generations have used what was once seen as a barrier as the basis for developing the economy of the region.
There are other cities who face the same type of barrier - Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester - and all have used it to create, and in some cases maintain, success.
The Tyne, and more particularly the crossing of it, can undoubtedly create problems in the movement of people and goods as speedily as may be necessary in this modern age.
However, the existence of the Tyne, not necessarily in its history, but what it can offer in the future, is what we should be developing.
Great work has been done on both the north and south banks, and more can be done to ensure the river becomes a hub of our community again.
The Quayside is without a doubt becoming one of the most attractive examples of its kind in Europe.
And what has been done in Newcastle and in Gateshead should be extended down the river to the North Sea.
In this way then we can perhaps start to attract more visitors to our region, creating the jobs and the wealth to meet our aspirations.
This is not something that can be achieved without a great deal of investment, but something which can create a real opportunity to replace some of those past industries that we often speak far too fondly of. The Tyne, therefore, is a challenge and an opportunity. It has a globally recognised name, it has its music, it has its dance, and if we are really serious about building on what has already been started, then the river can contribute as much to our future prosperity as it has to our history.
As ever a time for real action, not words, strategies, consultation or prevarication. How about trying delivery, which is the real test of success.
Bill Midgley is past president of the British Chambers of Commerce.