Saturday, July 29, 2006
Available on pdf here.
This is all entirely good liberal Adam Smith stuff & shows a degree of thoughtfulness of the real problems sadly lacking from most of those who say the answer is just more western aid.
In reply to this & to a few comments which pretty much implied that Tory spokesmen shouldn't be trying to do stuff in Africa when there are still things wrong here so I commented
I see nothing wrong with a Tory making remarks about how to make Africa more successful. Improving Africa this way (as opposed to just spending money) doesn't hurt Cornwall - economic growth is NOT a zero sum game.I think this is a feasible idea which is worth somebody pursuing. It is also something which can only be done by somebody with financial credibility & no personal axe to grind. Thus it would be impossible for the African leaders on their own to set up a continental scale currency & have it accepted as believable. This is exactly the sort of thing that international aid donoring states can usefully do.
I would also suggest that we should encourage the growth of a single currency, backed by us but run on non-inflationary rules. Some years ago John Major proposed that all EU countries should allow each other's currencies to flow freely (in the optimistic hope that the Â£ would see off all the foreigners). We are in a position to insist that an AfroThaler be allowed to circulate freely. Since so many African countries have triple digit inflation I think the competition would be slight. This would, in turn, allow ordinary Africans to accumulate savings - thus making real capitalism possible.
PS The Thaler was a historic European coin made originally from silver from the Joachimsthaler (Joe's valley) mine. When the US wanted a currency with a credible name they used the anglicisation of this ie dollar (naming of currency is always conservative because everybody wants to advertise its respectability). Thus naming it the AfroThaler would adopt a respected name, please Americans & Europeans while still reminding the former that they didn't invent everything.
BULLET TRAIN FROM GLASGOW TO EDINBURGH
As somebody who is generally enthusiastic about high tech I might be expected to favour it but I strongly don't.
The reason is simple. It makes no economic sense & for something that is justified as being good for the economy this is a serious fault.
The cost of this is generally agreed to be around £3 billion, which amounts to over £1,000 per citizen of Glasgow & Edinburgh. I have been unable to find figures for the passenger numbers for this line but the whole of Scotland amounts to 65.3 million journeys a year. Assuming that 10% of all of the journeys by the 20% of our population from Glasgow & Edinburgh are on this line we get 1.3 million journeys. Assuming interest rates of 10% on the £3,000 this amounts to a cost of £230 per ticket, excluding running costs.
By comparison the total bus journeys in Scotland are 436 million. I know that bus journeys are generally shorter (& much cheaper) but the comparison with rail is obvious. Equally obvious is that buses only provide a small part of road travel. Thus the effect of a rail link in producing one economic zone will be far less than that of expanding the motorway & linking it directly to the Edinburgh bypass.
The reason why this is even being considered is because:
(A) a number of politicians have been to China & ridden in on their shiny new Maglev & decided that they deserve a similar monument to their own politburo. The Chinese line doesn't make economic sense either.
(B) trains are politically correct & green unlike buses & cars which use up so much of the world's resources (in reality buses use less CO2 & cars about the same per passenger mile because trains weigh an awful lot & travel mainly empty but we are not talking about real but merely metaphorical environmentalism).
(C) you aren't going to find your political representative on a bus. Train is about as low as they go.
The real way to make the rail network useful is to fully automate it. That is something I discussed previously in terms of the Glasgow Underground & will discuss again in regard to Glasgow-Edinburgh & beyond in future.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
MING CAMPBELL, CLARE SHORT, BBC ETC ACCUSE THEMSELVES OF WAR CRIMES
Ming Campbell was Nazi Ashdown's shadow Foreign Secretary when he supported the overwhelmingly civilian bombing of Israel because Yugoslavia dared to resist the genocidal terrorists run by NATO.
Clare Short attacked Israel for bombing Lebanon as criminal.
Clare Short was a minister in the government that bombed Yugoslavia, knowingly & deliberately for the purpose of assisting in genocide. Indeed she attacked other Labour MPs who dared to express doubts about bombing civilians by accusing them of not being good "socialists".
Kofi Annan has called the attack on Lebaon a criminal act.
Kofi Annan, widely accepted as corrupt & who got the job as UN boss because he supported the US's Islamic Nazi terrorist friends in Bosnia, described NATO's unprovked aggression against Yugoslavia by saying that there were times when the use of force was legitimate in the pursuit of peace.
Nicol Stephen (Scottish Lib Dem leader for those who haven't heard of him) said that Israel's attack on a power supply in Gaza was a "war crime".
Nicol Stephen entirely supported his party & the UK government in making an undeniably aggressive war, for the purpose of genocide, in which one of the very least of his leader's crimes was the bombing of Yugoslav power stations. They used US designed bombs containing graphite dust designed to make transformers continuously short out & be unrepairable.
Throught out Pro-KLA war the BBC reported both sides of the question. The question being whether (A) the Serbs were evil & should be bombed to death or (B) the Serbs were dreadful & should be killed by ground forces (the correct answer - that ground forces would lose if they tried attacking from Albania over 5,000 ft mountains, was never allowed to enter the debate).
The BBC, alongside Amnesty, prominently reports Israel as liable for war crimes in a war which is undeniably far less aggressive than that of NATO. Amnesty has also supported lying propaganda by the genocidal KLA
George Galloway condemned the British government when it bombed civilians as part of a criminal war.
George Galloway condemns Israel for its war on Lebanon.
I have, what I suspect as being the unique distinction of having one reader here announce that he was tearing up his subscription because he disapproved of my respect for the integrity of Mr Galloway (I disagree with most of what he says but accept his general integrity) & another doing the same because I had said the media were suppressing information suggesting an accusation of murder against Israel was unfounded. Life is tough for us middle of the road moderates.
It is quite obvious that, purely in their own words, all of these except George have condemned themselves as having assisted in a criminal war & deliberate involvement in mass murder during that war & probably of genocide thereafter. It is also undeniable that all of them are blaming Jews for actions they have been guilty of in support of openly genocidal Nazi organisations.
If Jews had been engaged in an illegal war I would condemn them, genocide far moreso & I would expect every decent person to do so. These creatures are guilty of illegal war & genocide in cooperation with Nazis & any decent person must condemn them equally.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY PROJECT
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