Saturday, January 20, 2007
WENDY ALEXANDER & NICOLA STURGEON DEBATE INDEPENDENCE
The vote went for independence which should fighten the other parties since this was an audience middle class respectability. I don't actually believe that 2/3rds of the audience actually want independence so much as wanting to give the Labour establishment a kicking.
I can't say I found either inspiring but Wendy was able to give facts & figures where Nicola wasn't. On the other hand she did make a point of saying that reasons for preserving the union were to combat global poverty (something Gordo is into & she is his acolyte) & climate change - bot hof which seemed irrelevant to the question.
I found it extremely interesting that a large amount of the debate focused on getting the power to cut corporation tax. Nicola, who is generally more on the SNP's socialist left was pushing this as a reason for separation but Wendy was also firmly for more fiscal powers though she didn't make the specific leap to cutting CT, which she obviously can't under present Labour policy. Wendy did prick Nicola's balloon quite effectively when, after the latter had done her - we will cut CT & we will become as rich as our small neighbours Ireland, Norway & Iceland by using the policies open to them - by pointing out that Ireland's policies of low CT & economic free marketism are very different to Norway's high tax welfarism - which one will you choose & what spending cuts will you make to match CT cuts. The answer was that the Laffer curve (though she didn't use & possibly didn't know the term) whereby lowering tax cuts lead to more business & therefore the same or more net tax is, in the medium term true but indicates a lack of clear thought on immediate choices. I saw no sign that Nicola understands that Ireland's growth depended not just on cutting tax but on cutting regulations, particularly building regulations. Wendy on the other hand clearly does understand this & doesn't want it - like the Lib Dems she considers this policy, however successful "too right wing" to accept. It does seem to be true that you can afford a lot of welfare without damaging business growth so long as it is (A) run competently & (B) we as individuals are willing to pay it rather than shunting the expense off on business. Singapore, Sweden & perhaps Norway are examples of the latter.
Strangely enough Wendy made little use of the perfectly valid point that losing the "Union dividend" provided by the Barnett formula will lose us something between £11 & £2 billion (depending on whose figures you believe, how much of the oil we get & what its future price is).
If this is anything to go by the main theme of the election may be indepence but the underpinning subtext wil be bettering the Executive's abysmal economic performance by cutting CT. Here's hoping.
In the Q&A section I asked about our forthcoming loss of 50% of Scotland's electricity, saying independence would be meaningless if we can't power the economy. Despite some audience approval, possibly correctly because it wasn't really on topic, they weren't asked to answer. Both are anyway clearly against nuclear but I would have liked to see them defend the position.
UPDATE Scotland on Sunday report
The two contenders, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP and Wendy Alexander for Labour, both made passionate and eloquent speeches. This was a memorable encounter, with the Nationalists winning the day on an audience vote.
Friday, January 19, 2007
GUARDIAN SUPPORTS RACIST CENSORSHIP AGAIN
Well guess what.
Over the last few days I have been posting on the Guardian's site. Under the name 9percentgrowth I have posted on the EU (\I think it is economicly damaging), Mao's legacy (I thought it was economicly damaging while the paper was sucking up to him), & Holocaustdenial (I oppose censorship & mentioned Tudjman as an "acceptable" denier).
So today I have found that I am FORBIDDEN to post on this allegedly liberal but actually corrupt lying, racist & pro-Nazi rag. Since none of theseswere more than merely opposed to the Guardian editorial view it is obvious where their "limits on free speech" lie. I suspect that, had my contribution today been published it would have resulted in no serious dispute as to the facts & my immediate banishment. You may judge for yourselves.
There is no question that western motives in Yugoslavia had nothing whatsoever to do with humanitariansim. 2 months before going to war Foreign Secretary Robinn Cook told Parliament that the majority of killings in Kosovo were of Serb civilians murdered by our KLA friends. Bearing in mind that most of the population was Albanian & most of the weapons in the hand of the Yugoslav army this means that it was our KLA allies & not Milosevic's forces, who were engaged in quite deliberate genocide AND THAT THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT & MPs KNRW THEY WERE GOING TO WAR TO ASSIST NOT PREVENT GENOCIDE.
The fact that easily the largest mass grave at Dragodan in Kosovo held 210 bodies murdered by the KLA in the British sector AFTER we took over proves our government's participation in genocide. It is shameful that virtually our entire media, including the Guardian & BBC have censored reporting of this & other facts prejudicial to our genocidal hirelings.
My only compliant about Neil's article is that, by omitting the wars in Croatia & Bosnia he keeps the death toll lower than Iraq. Paddy Ashdown is on record as saying that 500,000 died in all these wars. 250,000 of the "missing" are Serbs from Croatia presumably murdered by Tudjman the Holocaust denying openly genocidal Croatian Nazi leader. This was only possible because of EU & NATO assistance culminating in US officers commanding, Germany supplying guns & NATO providing air support for the Krajina Holocaust. Once again our media's censorship of Tudjman's acts, publicly expressed views & Nazi antecedents is shameful.
Even more blatant was the propaganda used to make Izetbegovic into a "moderate multi-cultural Moslem" when in fact he was a former SS auxiliary, associate of bin Laden, publicly committed to the genocide of all mom-malign communities. This again culminated in the deliberate media censorship of all mention of the primary genocide at Srebrenica (testified to by General Marillon the ranking NATO general at the time, among many others). It is indisputable that the Moslem commander in Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, was responsible for the genocide of a minimum of 3,800 Serb civilians in surrounding villages, overwhelmingly old people, women & children & showed journalists his home videos of him beheading children. He was allowed to continue doing this after the Dutch troops had moved in & officially "disamed" him. By comparison the evidence that the "official" massacre ever happened is dubious, relying heavily on the assumption that the bodies, including hundreds of children's bodies, found near those villages are actually Moslem soldiers. It is undeniable that our media are aware of this & equally undeniable that they have not reported it.
When in the next few weeks we see journalists, politicians & the "great & good" expressing their horror at silly remarks made on Big brother we should reflect that their personal remarks & actions have centipedes not to a little ill feeling but to the racial genocide of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.
Neil Clark's blog is http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/ He is an anti-war neo conservative who has been published in the Morning Star. I like it.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
GUESTS at a Â£300-a-head climate change conference turned up in a stream of gasguzzling sports cars and 4x4s.At the same time the Scotsman reports reports how our beloved leaders are using our rather more beloved tax monry to pay to show Mr Gore's film to every schoolkid in Scotland. If his film were anything other rhan a totally unbiased assessment of the risks of catastrophicgloball warming then this would be an outrageous abuse of these children to force political propaganda on them. Fortunately we are assured this is not so & according to Ross Finnie
Former US vice president Al Gore was the main speaker at yesterday's event in the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.
While the meeting was to address global warming, business leaders turned up in a range of flash motors including Bentleys, Jeeps and Porsches.
One onlooker said: "This was for a conference on how to save the planet.
It would appear the irony was lost on them."
He dismissed any suggestion that the film was political propaganda, saying there was firm evidence of climate change and that anyone disputing it "has got to be on planet Mars".
(On a previous occasion in reply to a letter of mine in the Herald Scottish Renewables rep compared my views to believing in a super-villain conspiracy in favour of windmills - a clear reference to the fact that I run a science fiction book & comic shop - if only though my former membership of the party it is likely Mr Finnie knows the same so his Mars reference may include me)
So, assuming Finnie & co are not lying, when Gore says in the film that there is a complete consensus on warming he must be telling the truth. He isn'tGore was wrong in 1992 when he wrote that 98 percent of scientists agreed with him on global warming. Witness the survey cited above.There is also the matter of the Oregon Petition of 17,000 scientists who say CO2 increase is likely to be, on balance, beneficial. If Gore, Finnie & co are telling the truth these people have become unpersons.
Now he is wrong when he argues in his movie that there is a complete consensus on global warming today. As proof Gore cites a 2004 study that looked at 928 climate abstracts and found none that refuted global-warming dogma. That says more about the researcher than the scientific community.
There are a number of well-known scientists who don't believe that global warming is human-induced, or who believe that if it is, it is not catastrophic. Hurricane expert William Gray of Colorado State University believes the Earth will start to cool within 10 years. Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center, told the Washington Post that global warming is "a hoax." Climate scientist Robert Lindzen of MIT believes that clouds and water vapor will counteract greenhouse-gas emissions.
The connection between this sort of propaganda & the sort the Nazis produced can be seen by the fact that Gore, as Clinton's vice president, went along with him entirely on all the various openly racist & indeed Nazi lies about the Bosnian Moslem leader an openly genocidal (ex-)Nazi being the democratic multi-culturalist victim of the Serbs whose genocide he & Clinton & Gore were participating in.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
300 YEARS OF UNION & THE FUTURE
As Benjamin Disraeli said "Wherever in the world I go I find a Scotchman & wherever I find a Scotchman he is at the top of the poll" - considerable praise from such a source.
It may be that during the 20thC the union did not serve us so well, though would Hitler have been beaten had we been the sort of almost disarmed neutral the SNP look to being? Certainly the end of the Empire removed much of the common purpose between us. Equally the increasing power of government & the fact that Westminster is literally at the other end of the country, combined with a growth in dependency culture has done great damage increasing alienation & deadening our spirit.
THE FUTURE: Something had to be done. So far devolution has been more of an unsuccessful trial than a glorious advance. Nonetheless I believe that, partly because we have a PR electoral system which gives more space to multiple parties & thus multiple ideas we have the possibility of achieving a lot. I am not certain that the union will survive but I hope so. Either way a resurgence of either Scotland, or the entire country will learn from & depend on the example of Ireland & to a much lesser extent other countries making similar economic progress. As part of a union we can look forward to a more influential role than they could.
My preference would be a reformed Federation of Great Britain. I believe that federation is most often the best form of government. Our American cousins will understand this because it is an example of what is called separation of powers - if power is not concentrated in one politburo it is more difficult to abuse & much more difficult to exercise censorship, or political correctness as it is now called. This also requires that both levels of government have more ability to prevent each other passing silly laws rather than, like the EU, providing another layer of bureaucrats whose main power is to stop things. Hopefully the nationalistic differences will provide enough centripetal pressure to keep the federal power under control, as it seems to an increasing degree not to be doing in the US. Currently it seems that consideration in England is much more towards England being a single state in this union, which I think would be unfortunate since it clearly unbalanced the union & also because one benefit of federation is that each region can try its own policies & it will become more obvious which work, something more difficult with fewer & more disproportionate units. However England's constitutional arrangements must please England & we should properly have no vote in it. Even if one English parliament emerges, with a PR system & not merely the English MPs sitting together 3 days a week which many Tories clearly think will benefit them, it should be possible to ensure a constitutional way that regions of England if they so desire can become separate parts of the union.
In very much less than 300 years we could have a Federal Great Britain made up of Scotland, North England, Midlands, South England, London, Devon & Cornwall, East Anglia, Wales, Ireland, Channel isles, Isle of Man, Orkney & Shetland, Western Isles, L4 I, L4 II, L4 III, L4 IV, Vega, Luna City, Triton etc. Now wouldn't that be cool?
Monday, January 15, 2007
To say that windmills work 90% of the time, as Kerr MacGregor of Scottish Solar does (January 13), is true but misleading. The amount of power produced varies roughly with the cube of windspeed up to the optimum of about 24mph. Thus a 6mph wind does indeed produce electricity, but only about 1/64th of capacity, which will not keep many lights on. This is why windmills overall produce about 27% of their rated power performance. Whenever you see another politician saying that such and such new wind farm will produce power for 50,000 people, it won't. Even with "planned downtime" - which, being planned, can be set for when demand is low - conventional generators are vastly more reliable.The letter is unedited. There is also a 2nd letter from a G I Crawford making similar points in one paragraph. No mention this time of party affiliation.
Storing power is less feasible than suggested. The only serious method is the pump storage system we use at Cruachan which loses 25% of the power put into it due to inherent inefficiencies and is, in any case, comparable in expense to a new conventional generator. If onshore wind is already twice as expensive as coal generation and four times as much as nuclear, the additional expense of building more pump storage facilities can be imagined. As Denmark and Germany have found, the inherent instability of the system means that it is very difficult to get windpower above 10% of the grid.
All our political leaders know this and know that if we do not now start building the replacements for the 50% of our power produced by Hunterston, Torness and the high-emission coal plants due to close in the next decade and a half, we are going to have blackouts on a massive scale. Windmills are an expensive token to give the appearance of action. Despite the hysteria, nuclear is the safest and cheapest method of generating electricity, as well as being effectively CO2-free. If more of them do not find the guts to say so, we are going to have many more hypothermia deaths.
Separately there is a letter from Robert Brown SLD MSP )whose affiliation is mentioned) on how the LIB DEM policy of federalism is more sensible than either separation or the status quo advocated by SNP & Labour respectively. A trifle wordy though I do like the use of the term "skulking in their tents" to describe the SNP's refusal to join the Convention that prepared devolution. They have clearly decided against defending themselves from my previous letter about my expulsion.