Sunday, November 28, 2010
LETTERS TO THE HERALD UNPUBLISHED
I did this last in Dec 2009 so there is a backlog. I didn't realise how many letters I had done, with only 2 published. It has been suggested that I am being a bit arrogant (moi!) to think unpublished letters worth reading. However there are 3 possible reasons letters don't get published. They may be silly or badly written - on that you can decide. They may be on a subject the paper thinks its readers aren't interested in - however almost all of these are in reply to something on which they have already published. There were a few others omitted because they are largely duplicates of stuff here. Or they may be saying something the press don't wish you to read. If it is the latter I think it valuable, beyond any intrinsic worth in what I write, to show exactly what the MSM don't want us to know.
16th Nov House prices
It may be the case that "homeowners have been given a boost" by rising prices (Herald Tues), at least if they are planning on selling up & moving aboraid, or never ever under any circumstances moving to a larher home ir merely intent on dying with a paper fortune. For everybody else it is not.
It is a matter of fact that house prices have risen fourfold compared to the price index. This can only be explained by government regulatory parasitism being responsible. You do not serve the best interests of the people of Scotland by pretending that the fact that our prices are rising while England's aren't is a hood thing. Particularly when the rest of our economy is underperforming England's - presumably also because our government parasitism eats 60% of the economy.
10th Nov - waterboarding not as bad as dissecting people
Isn't it interesting that George Bush's admission that he authorised waterboarding of 3 terrorist leaders who were certainly involved in atrocities & whose iterrogation almost certainly saved many lives gets fron page & 1st item on the news coverage.
Compare & contrast with the fact that the British & other NATO governments have known & authorised our police (formerly our KLA allies) to engage in massacres such as the 210 innocent unarmed people murdered in the Dragodan Massacre outside our military HQ in Kosovo, the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 people from that province, the kidnap & sale of 10s of thousands of schoolchildren to western brothels & the dissection, while alive, of at least 1,300 Serbs to provide body parts for western hospitals (something which is still going on). These atrocities havem obviously, never had 1/1,000th as much media attention as these 3 waterboarding cases in the British media. If that is not deliberate censorship, comparable to anything Dr Goebbels authorised there must be some reason why the human rights of 3 terrorist leaders are thousands of times more important than those of hundreds of thousands of innocent Serbs. Perhaps the editor could enlighten us.
9th Nov - Trams
I would be interested to see some evidence to support Andrew W Heatlie's assertion (letter Tues) that single decker trams can carry more people, for the amount of road space they take up, than double decker buses. Could he also explain his claim that trams, which are larger & unable to change lanes can travel faster through traffic? In the following letter Jim McCreath explains that 1 tram can carry more than 1 double decker bus (though it takes up about as much road space as 2 buses) if more of them stand but this seems incompatible with the former's assertion that trams will be more comfortable.
It seems to me that there is ultimately nothing that trams can do, after spending £540 million & counting, apart from using politically correct electricity rather than diesel, that buses cannot do after spending nowt. Indeed because buses are not limited to one lane on one route they can provide a far more flexoble service.
It is also worth reporting that tram services worldwide get installed at a per km price that should have let Edinburgh finish the project for £100 million. Our public projects routinely cost around 13 times what they would cost elsewhere in the world & our mainstream media decline to report this fact let alone ask those in charge the difficult questions.
1st Nov - Astroturf "environmentalism"
I note you decided to highlight the that Friends of the Earth have issued a press release saying that they don't want any attempts to "gain political advantage" by anybody disputing the alleged necessity for Scotland to destroy 42% of our CO2 generating electricity by 2020. Along with the destruction of our nuclear capacity this means half of all electricity & thus the halving of Scotland's national wealth.
It is perhaps not unexpected that FoE would say this, indeed it would have been much more newsworthy had they said anything different. Whatever the arguments for this policy & I consider it clinically insane the Herald should clearly have reported that FoE is a state funded fakecharity rather than a fully genuine grasroots organisation. This practice is known in the advertising industry as "astroturfing" & I suggest that journalistic ethics require that when papers decide to give prominence to the opinions of astrotuf organisations they have an obligation to report that they are not independent. Though the term fakecharity is well known on the blogspgere for this very common phenomenon it is unfortunate that the printed & broadcast media totally refuse to discuss it.
28th Oct - Government funded propaganda
I believe that government funding of organisations, posing as independent, which exist to lobby for more taxes, government spending & regulation are an insidious but very real threat to our freedom.
Scottish Renewables recently produced an opinion poll purporting to prove significant public enthusiasm for ever more subsidy of the Scottish renewables industry. It would indeed have been newsworthy if such an organisation's poll had reached a different conclusion. Nominally Scottish Renewables is "The Forum for Scotland's Renewable Energy industry". It exists to lobby government for more subsidy & to advertise & propagandise, not least by placing stories & writing letters in newspapers, to persuade us taxpayers to support giving them yet more money. This "industry" makes its money overwhelmingly from government subsidy & could not last 5 minutes if it had to compete on a commercial level playing field. Indeed the Spanish "industry" is collapsing now that government money is being reduced.
While it is understandable on practical grounds, if not ethical ones, that Scotland's renewables "industry" should be willing to pour money into such a successful lobbying organisation it turns out that this is not the full story. While SR have declined to say exactly where the money comes from their membership list shows that they are supported by Aberdeenshire Council, Business Environment Partnership, the Carbon Trust, Dumfries & Galloway Council, the Energy Saving Trust & so on & on alphabetically through a long list of government organisations. Perhaps most disgracefully Scottish Enterprise, an organisation which receives £377 million annually to "help" Scottish entrepreneurs is funding an organisation whose raison d'etre is to increase energy prices & thus make our industries less competitive. It also has members among officially charitable bodies which receive at least their advertising budget from government (known across the blogsphere as "fakecharities", though the phenomenon goes unmentioned by the mainstream media.)
So it turns out that this organisation promoting itself as a grassroots group propagandising for more government expenditure & regulation is actually a government funded propaganda organisation promoting a false catastrophe scare to support more government expenditure & regulation. Funding of false grassroots organisations is known as "astroturfing" in the advertising business, where it is a long established tactic.
When you look across the "environmental" movement it is difficult to find any organisation which does not get money or support from government, quangos or "fakecharities" & cannot be called astroturf. The weird organisation, 10:10 which recently produced an obscene video, which went viral online, showing them murdering children for the crime of doubting catastrophic warming, not only got the personal support of Cameron & Huhne but is heavily funded by government through quangos & fakecharities. Even the BBC quango is notorious for giving far more coverage & infinitely more supportive coverage to the Green Party than to UKIP or the BNP though they get respectively 4 times & twice as many votes. This is clearly not merely propaganda but deliberate partisanship in UK party politics. The same applies to the "scientists" promoting catastrophic global warming - no "environmentalist" out of hundreds of thousands asked, have been able to name as many as 2, out of the majority of world scientists who don't work for government, who support this hypothesis, indeed when I asked Green leader Partick Harvie this on the radio he refused to answer on the grounds that "everybody knows" catastrophic warming is happening. It is perhaps uncharitable to point out that few if any leaders of the "environmental" movement work, or have worked for any length of time for anything other than government money & indeed usually in the more propagandistic rather than productive parts of government. Our own MSPs being no exception.
I submit that, were it not for government funding & propagandising by government organisations the dozens of global catastrophe stories promoted by the "environmental" movement over the last 40 years, all of which have been proven to almost entirely or completely entirely false, would not have garnered them even a fraction of the minuscule vote they actually receive.
What we are seeing is the proving of H.L. Mencken's words nearly a century ago "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." The entire "environmental" movement is & always has been a well financed front by government & those in power to maintain & increase that power, no matter how much economic harm it has done to the nation.
15th Oct - Karadzic & Sheriden "trials"
The judges in the British supported Radovan Karadzic "trial" have just decreed that any documents which suggest a prosecution witnesses evidence is false may not be introduced "even where there is no dispute about authenticity or even relevance."
Since this is a British government supported international "trial" officially representing an even higher standard of justice than that offered by mere national courts perhaps we will see Tommy Sheriden using it as a precedent.
If no evidence were allowed that might show anybody involved had ever lied it would seriously weaken the prosecution case. There is an old legal maxim that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
13th Oct - Why a command economy doesn't work
Tom Tracey's letter today explaining why we need more government spending to "help" the private sector grow the economy sgows exactly why we shouldn't. He proposes that this government money should be available to help industry invest in "emerging technologies" & then declares that the only such technologies he can think of are wind & sea turbines & greenery generally.
These are not emerging technologies they are well developed subsidy junkies. Wind turbines produce electricty, erratically, at over 10 times the cost of nuclear & there is no technological rerason to believe they, or even more speculative sea turbines, will ever do better. Cheap power & economic freedom are the necessary & sufficient conditions for fast growth.If any Scots politician were genuinely interested in a successful economy they would be supporting both, something which politicians could do simply by getting out of the way.
The fact is that when government choose "emerging technologies" they, being driven by political fashion, ignorant & unconcerned about profit, invariably get it wrong. Successful entrpreneurs invariably, while not always hitting the bulls eye, do a far better job.
It is to be regreted that the Scottish media, including the Herald,, while eagerly promoting anybody, ignorant of this basic economics tends not even to allow opposing letters pointing out the facual position. They thus bear a heavy share of the responsibility for the economic mess our parasitic political class have created.
11th Oct - Chinese can sink carriers
The Chinese recently surfaced an undetected submarine in the middle of a US carrier group thereby "accidentally" proving that carriers can be sunk almost at will. There are other weapons systems that make carriers obselete. If the real purpose of spending £5 billion on them is to save 4,000 jobs, as the statements of Scottish politicicans would indicate, we could save far more by accepting the cancellation & seeking a few huindred million extra regional aid as compensation.
28th Sept - More Socialism
Duncan MacFarlane (letter Tues) says that blaming the Labour government in power for crating our £150 billion annual deficit is "party politics dressed up as analysis" & then goes on the blame it on Margaret Thatcher. In making this analysis he is apparently unaware of the fact that Thatcher has been out of power for 20 years.
He then holds up the fact that the UK economy has "grown over the long term under both parties" as evidence of the quality of our political leadership. May I suggest that the quality of that leadership is indeed fully demonstrated by the fact that this long term growth has struggled to reach 2.5% annually in the UK & 1.5% in Scotland while China has managed 10%, Ireland 7% & the world average is 5%.
Of course I acknowledge that his standards of success may not be mine. He also asserts that it is possible for a nation's economy to survive with no private sector. While he may think North Korea an example to be replicated I cannot agree. The statistical evidence is clear & cannot be honestly disputed that there is a close correlation between economic freedom, including a low rate of state parasitism & economic growth. It is legitimate to say, as the Greens do, that economic growth is undesirable. It is not honest to say, as Labour, SNP, LibDems & Tories do, that a successful rate of growth can be achieved when most of the country's money is spent by government as happens here.
20th Sepr - smoking ban
Dr James Cant says "the links between passive smoking & childhood asthma are "well documented". This is not so. Smoking has been reducing for decades & passive smoking even moreso. At the same time childhood asthma has been rising precipitously. If the 2 are indeed linked it can only mean that the link is a negative one, like that between lung cancer & radioactive radon in homes. This is clearly not what he is suggesting & indeed the mainstream media will go to almost any lengths not to mention such fact, while enthusiastically promoting every semi-official scare stories.
28th June - Forth Crossing
I note the SNP government is to ask Westminster to pay the £2.3 billion cost of a new Forth crossing. One would hardly think the SNP was a party committed to independence from the UK. Perhaps they should be asking Brussels for this sub since this would be more ideologically compatible with their opposition to independence from the EU.
In any case there is no question that at £2.3 billion the project is grossly overpriced. The previous bridge cost, in inflation adjusted figures, £320 million & this is similar to bridge prices across the world. Better even than that is the fact that a tunnel could be cut for £40 million or that the bridge could be recabled, with far stronger materials than existed 50 years ago & thus double decked as was done with Lisbon's bridge some years ago for around £10 million.
Readers may be interested to know that these points have been put to all our MSPs & while I thank the 4 who bothered to answer the more important thing is that not a single MSP feels able to dispute that the facts show what a massive rip off is going on.
8th June - Comparing Israel with NATO's genuine atrocities
The real problem with the anti-Israelis is that they, at least the overwhelming majority, have not a word to say against actions at least thousands of times worse than anything Israel has done (ie mass murder genocide ethnic cleansing child sex slavery & the dissection of thousands of living people by NATO authorities in Kosovo still continuing). That these actions are far more evil is obvious & indeed if Israel were not so much more civilised they would etnmicly cleanse Gaza & the east bank tomorrow in exactly that manner we did in Krajina & Kosovo.
The other fact is that Israel, having been attacked by those committed to genocide & under an existential threat would have at least thousands of times more justification than our government had in bombing Yugoslavia.
It follows with mathematical rigour that every single person who condemns Israel with more vigour than the condemn our own government's genocide (if they do at all) must be motivated at least 99.9999% by racism & less than 0.0001% by human decency,
7th June - Forth Crossing
The SNP with the lukewarm enthusiasm of the rest of the Holyrood parties intend to charge us £2,300 million for a new Forth Bridge Contacting my MSPs only one of them, the LibDem was even willing to give a cursory explanation of why similar bridges across the world cost around one eighth of that. His explanation being that there may be some unspecified unique element in Scottish geology is hardly consistent with the fact that the last Forth Bridge cost £19 million which is £320 corrected for inflation.
Why anyway do we need a new bridge. The Norwegians have been cutting tunnels of similar capacity for decades at about £40 million, under 1,000th of the minimum the Scottish government say is the minimum price they can cut tunnels at. If that is not total incompetence it must be total dishonesty & I'm sure no MSP would admit to the latter.
We do not even need a new crossing. Over the years the towers have been considerably strengthened & the only thing possibly needing replacing are the support cables. Materials now exist, such as carbon tubes, which are many times stronger than those which existed when the bridge was built & these cables can be upgraded at a cost of £10 million. Indeed when Portugal's 24th of April bridge (cost £140 million in today's money & slightly longer than the Forth Bridge) was strengthened they took the opportunity to add an extra lane & 2 rail lines to it.
There iis no technical reason, or at least our entire political class have refused to say what it is if there is, why we could not have both a tunnel & an expansion of the current bridge for under £100 million. The Scottish people may have forgiven our numptocracy once for wasting £414 million on a Parliament building that went 10 times over budget. We will not let them away with it twice if they now spend £2,300 million quite unnecessarily on this project. Scotland's engineers are the best in the world, as their participation in bridge projects around the world attests. If our politicians are not quite the worst they are certainly pressing on Mugabe's heels.
27th May Peak Uranium
The 2 "problems" with nuclear Ken MacGregor (letter Thurs) claims exists are simply the same false Luddite propaganda the "environmental" lobby have been pushing for years.
Far from "running out" it has been calculated by Professor Bernard Cohen that there is enough uranium dissolved in sea water alone to keep the world running for 5 billion years. If that does not make it renewable then neither is solar since the Sun is calculated to explode about then.
The claim that there is no way to dispose of waste is obviously false. It is actually possible to place it in a hole in the ground. "Environmentalists" may claim not to know of it but digging holes in the ground is a technology humans mastered thousands of years ago. Reactor waste, precisely because it is highly radioactive, has a short half life & is down to safe levels in 50 years & less radioactive than the soil it was mined from in a couple of hundred. By then old newspapers, if buried in an airless & relatively dry hole would still exist & of course CO2 stored in CCS systems doesn't go away at all.
If the anti-progress activists are sincere in their opposition to nuclear they must be spending far more time protesting against the twin evils of old newspapers & CO2 storage.
24th May - MPs refuse to answer constituents on Forth price Holyrood is preparing a bill to build a new Forth crossing costing £2.3 billion(at least so we are told). The previous bridge, which was larger than this one, cost £19 million which, after inflation, is £320 million. This price is also comparable with other such projects around the world. So why the difference?
I emailed my constituency MSP, Patricia Ferguson & all of my regional MSPs, Bill Aitken, Robert Brown, Bob Doris, Patrick Harvie, Bill Kidd, Anne McLaughlin, & Sandra White asking them this question. I also asked why the official price for a tunnel was £4.3 billion when this is 1,000 times the price the Norwegian government have cut numerous similar road tunnels for. Not one of them chose to reply.
Considering that this amounts to £20 million per MSP, between £17.3 & £19.6 million & of which is above comparable costs elsewhere in the world I think every single MSP should be able & willing & able to explain the discrepancy before proceeding to take it from our pockets. We have a right to know who is pocketing so much of our money & why. I find the MSP's refusal to say absolutely disgraceful
& extremely suspicious.
18th May - Genocide Censored When NATO first took over Kosovo they appointed the NATO armed & organised KLA as our police. At least part of the reason for this was to get round the occupation agreement under which we promised to disarm the KLA, whom even our Foreign Secretary acknowledged (2 months before going to war to help them) had been proven to be engaged in racial genocide & to maintain law & order in a racially neutral way. Appointing the KLA as police did this, or at least as much of it as NATO intended. As a result our police were allowed free reign to engage in massacres (e.g. the widely unreported murder of at least 210 unarmed civilians beside Britain's main base in the suburb of Dragodan); the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 people of Serb, Gypsy, Jewish & indeed Christian Albanian extraction; the kidnapping of thousands of schoolchildren (mainly girls) to serve as sex slaves in western & occupation brothels; & the dissection of 1,300 civilians & their dissection, while still alive, to provide body organs for western hospitals.
The western media have, with almost total unanimity censored mention of these atrocities even to the extent of censoring any letters from the public mentioning them, as I can testify from personal experience. I would except only the Morning Star, in Britain & America, as having maintained some willingness to support press freedom on the issue of censoring racial genocide. I had assumed that at least some of the self justification editors had used for this is that, with the exception of the child sexual slavery, it was now finished & not worth stirring up. I was wrong.
It turns out that a UN Dossier HPQ 215/2002 confirms not only that the most senior ethnic Albanian separatist leaders have been and some are still involved in crime ranging from human traffic to organ extraction, illegal organ transplants, drug and slave trade…
One EULEX official said that there “exist photographs, witnesses and even evidence of blood”.
Intelligence reports also point that these senior ethnic Albanian officials, such as the former so-called Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, are capos of huge drug cartels. The UN documents also note that certain Kosovo clinics, especially in the city of Pristina, use enormous amounts of blood.
Note the use of the present tense. These "enormous quantities of blood" which can only be for keeping people alive as they are dissected, is being done right now & the NATO/EU/UN authorities (often the same bureaucrats under 3 hats) are aware of it & deliberately assisting by keeping silent.
Kosovo is a NATO/EU occupied colony. Nominally we have let the KLA drug lords, sex slavers & baby dissectors such as President "Snake" Thaci claim to be running an independent state but at all levels EU "mentors" do the actual governing protecting the "state" & allowing the nominal leaders to murder as they wish. Everybody knows this "independence is a legalistic fiction, though not even legal under international law.
In terms of actual murders the NATO actions against the Yugoslavs over the last 2 decades, which according to Lord Ashdown (a supporter of them) has caused the deaths of half a million people fall short, by 2 orders of magnitude, of the atrocities of Hitler. On the other hand numbers are not everything. By comparison with our government's dissection of living people the gas chambers at Auschwitz were a gentle & painless death. Hitler, even assuming his sanity, was engaged in what he believed to be a war of national survival (albeit one entirely of his own making). In such wars humane behaviour is always rare. By comparison NATO's wars against Yugoslavia have are like small boys torturing small animals to death. There was never any hint of threat from Yugoslavia it was simply that, even after the cold war, Russia was rather too powerful a nation to treat so - thus we killed Serbs as proxies.
Hitler certainly killed far more - 6 million Jews, 24 million Soviets, 2 million Yugoslavs & to ever increasing degrees it has become politically correct that we commemorate the Jews (since we were then pointing thousands of nuclear bombs at Soviet cities disapproving of the genocide of slavs has not been encouraged). Nonetheless when comparing the balance of evil & excuse it is clear that no NATO leader involved - not Blair or Clinton, Brown or Bush or Obama - can claim not to significantly exceed Adolf Hitler in evil in that balance.
In the same way that somebody who eats meat cannot claim moral superiority to the butcher so editors, broadcasters & indeed journalists who continue to censor the news to assist in the continued assembly line dissection of living people to steal their body organs cannot claim moral superiority to the staff of Auschwitz. Indeed it is doubtful if any of them can claim equality.
I hope that decent people will at least cease the censorship of these atrocities. Our leaders have got away with genocide & worse, for 2 decades. Let it not be 3.
12th May - Cost of Windmillery
Among the new ministers is Chris Huhne - Energy & Climate Change
The LibDems are absolutely & unequivocally opposed to permitting any new nuclear plants to be built. Indeed they even decided it would be wrong to extend the life of Hunterston past 2011 to keep the lights on.
Supporting nuclear has been officially described as "illiberal & incompatible with party membership" by the party Executive.
Each household already pays an average of £1243 annually for electricity when it can be supplied, via nuclear, for £300. Ofgen has said it will rise to £2,000. With the LDs in control of energy it must rise even further. We already have 25,000 people dying, unnecessarily every year from fuel povert - this cannot fail to rise. Beyond that 70% of electricity is non-domestic so that price rise will feed through to everything else we buy sell or produce making our economy even more uncompetitive than current prices already make it. Moreover windmills simply cannot provide any part of baseload, as admitted by their lobby organisation Scottish Renewables so we are going to have massive blackouts.
By selling out to the LDs on this & the claim that we are all experiencing "catastrophic global warming" the Conservatives have made it impossible for our economy to permanently get out of recession.
10th May - Corporation Tax
The Conservative manifesto specifically committed the party to the Calman Commission proposals. The LibDems were more touchy feely but generally the same. However that suggests that the formal deal they are working out is likely to support it. It is also likely that reality will force them to cut the relatively generous proportion of UK taxes that Scotland gets.
However there was 1 major omission from Calman - it rejected the SNP policy of allowing us to change the rate of Corporation Tax. The reason given for this is very interesting. It is that allowing Scotland to have lower CT would cause companies to "react to tax considerations rather than [other] commercial factors" and set up in Scotland. I personally believe that such tax competition would help us as much in competition with the rest of the world (including Ireland whose "economic miracle" was fuelled by low CT) as it would with England & thus improve net UK growth. Be that as it may Calman thereby admits their decision to refuse us this right was because it would help the Scottish economy.
All parties that believe in the free enterprise system should unit to insist that if there are to be cuts in the money we get & realistically the money isn't there, we must also get the power to decide to take a measure which would greatly improve our economy. In particular the SNP who went into the last Holyrood election promising to do their best to get the power to set corporation tax returned to us & have done very little to make good on it must leave no effort unmade in ensuring that any new government, of whatever persuasion, gives us this right.
19th May - Not enough volcanic ash to justify ban
It seems that the flying ban is to be ended on Tuesday. The alleged reason being because there has been a "dramatic decrease" according to the Minister, in the amount of ash in the air. The fact that BA & other airlines across Europe have demonstrated flying is perfectly safe; that it is now known US air flight standards would never have required a ban; & that the ban was based not on any evidence but on one "model" - presumably a model of similar credibility to one that predicted last year's barbecue summer, warm winter & catastrophic warming generally.
Clearly we must accept the claim that there has been a sudden, dramatic & unforeseen reduction in the eruption, even if it is not readily apparent, as representing the honesty we expect in politics. On the other hand it would be better for all of this if it were indeed simply the hysteria of "health & safety" bureaucrats (who have been proven to cause 1,000 times as many deaths as they claim to save) & that the flying ban was always pointless. After all it is likely that this eruption will go on for months, indeed the last one lasted 13 months & also initiated the eruption of the adjoining volcano Katla which put much more ash in the air. Thus if the Minister is lying it is virtually inevitable we will have many more instances when the ash reaches or indeed exceeds present levels & the ban has to be reimposed.
Fortunately, seeing the standard of honesty we normally get from politicians, government "experts" & Luddite "environmental" scaremongers the hope that they have been lying, yet again seems a reasonable one.
15th April - LibDem promises broken
I saw Clegg's election broadcast yesterday which involved him walking across countryside strewn with pieces of paper, alleged to be election promises that had been broken & saying that we shouldn't vote for old parties that have broken their previous promises.
These is the same LibDem leader who decided his party should cynically, without any excuse, break its absolute Manifesto promise to support a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Manifesto promises are the most binding that any party can make. They are the contract with the citizenry justifying their election. When a party breaks such a promise they can no longer claim our trust. Sometimes, when the cause is an economic downturn or something turning out to be legally or economically more difficult than expected, they may be forgiven if never again wholly trusted. However Clog's broken promise is not of that nature. It would have been easy to vote to let us have the democratic choice over Europe they promised, indeed easier than to break it. It follows automatically that there are now no circumstances whatsoever under which any promise made by him or his party, no matter how easy to implement, can ever, under any circumstances, be trusted.
The LibDems are not alone in this - Labour, the SNP & the Conservatives made the same promise. Labour cynically broke it to. The SNP had the power to have such a referendum in Scotland but again broke their promise. While the Conservatives did vote for a referendum Cameron subsequently broke his "cast iron" promise that, under him, we would still get this vote. However only the LibDem's Manifesto launch contained the words "promise" 7 times, "trust" 5 times & says we should not vote for parties whose promises we cannot trust.
I think we should take his advice. There are several smaller parties who are not proven wholly dishonest.
12th April - Compulsory voting
Compulsory voting would not be a step towards democracy not should those who don't vote be called apathetic. Compulsory voting is just another step in the direction t=of making everything either illega, taxed, sibidised or compulsory. That people refuse to vote is because everybody knows we have a corrupt electoral system that prevents alternatives being elected, that all 4 parties have made specific manifesto promises to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty & all 4, with total contempt for both the electorate & the truth, broke them. I am eager to vote for a party which has not lied to me, which seriously wants to get out of recession & into growth & for which my vote will count. I will probably have to make do with only the first two.
6th April - Scottish Chief Science Advisor
I recently attended a lecture by Scotland's Chief Science Advisor Professor Anne Glover, held by the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow. Before a rather well informed audience she told us that global warming will increase day length in Scotland. She also produced a graph showing human caused CO2 production had increased 25 fold since 1850 before admitting that since humans cause on 3% of CO2 the total rise was not 2,500% but 3%. Nonetheless, we were told, even a 3 C rise would melt Greenland though less adventurous scientists have said that it was 4 C warmer form 9,000 to 5,000 BC yet the Greenland ice sheet has been there for at least 650,000 years. I write this having given her the opportunity to correct any accidental misstatement & she has chosen not to. May I congratulate Holyrood in choosing to appoint an expert science advisor whose views so neatly compliment their own?
1st April - Scottish Renewables lies
Once again Ms Hogan, speaking for Scottish Renewables, claims that "renewables" produce 1/4 of Scotland's power, of which 8% is wind & presumably the rest is traditional hydro. ...In her previous letter she said that wind was not only not an impractical generation method needing conventional power sources to provide the baseload but that wind should provide the baseload because conventional power was insufficiently reliable. However a previous wind spokesman for Scottish Renewables, Jason Ormiston, is on record as saying wind can be no part of baseload (in a letter in another paper explaining why wind will not be to blame when the lights go out). Again I would not wish to suggest that either assertion represents anything other than the very highest standard of honesty that we can expect from the eco-lobby but would appreciate knowing how such opposite claims can both be true.
We are facing blackouts. Energy production is a matter in which the laws of physics & indeed arithmetic rule absolutely. When 25,000 pensioners die annually from the effects of hypothermia because of fuel poverty because our electricity prices are up to 4 times what France has I consider it wicked when those seeking subsidy for their "Green" projects do not tell the truth & grossly irresponsible when the media do not discriminate in their reporting between facts & spin.
17th April - exporting industry to please "environmentalists" Energy Minister Lord Hunt recently made a statement to Parliament about "carbon leakage," which is a euphemism for companies seeing ever tougher regulations & costs on CO2 emissions taking their machinery & going off to India where such rules don't apply. He said, in relation to a question from a North of England member that a 'limited number of sectors are likely to be at significant risk of carbon leakage." Since our actual manufacturing sector is indeed now "very limited" that does not reassure. The fact that what used to be the British steelworks at Teesside is being closed, providing its owners with £125 million worth of tax credits, while they build a new factory in India shows exactly what is happening.
However this is Scotland, not the North of England. Where Westminster passed a law calling for a major cut in CO2 by 2050 our Parliament, never knowingly underbid when it comes to taking politically correct postures, voted unanimously to cut our CO2 by 42% over the next 10 years. Presumably they expect after 2020 we will not have to worry about our remaining manufacturing industry flooding overseas because we won't have any.
5th March - Alison killed by "health & safety"
The pointless & unnecessary death of Alison Hume, pleading to be rescued from a hole in the ground that had opened up, because "Health & Safety" rules prevented rescue workers eager to go from saving her.
This is not the first such case. Children have drowned because H&S rules prevented police rescuing them. A woman bled to death because the police would not enter the house where she had been stabbed even though they had been told the assailant had gone.
Doubtless many of these incidents do not make the papers or the blame is not given. I live close to the Stockline Plastics factory that exploded a few years ago. After the explosion the authorities received mobile telephone calls from several trapped & injured people. I was in the crowd & saw what looked very like total inaction at the site because, apparently, it wasn't safe to dig people out. Several days later the last casualties were removed - the phones were dead & so were they. It is difficult to imagine a more lonely & terrifying death.
The entire "Health & Safety" industry causes far more suffering than any good it does & should be, at least 99%, abolished. 180 people were killed at work last year compared to 651 in 1974 when the H&S Executive were formed which looks like a significant improvement but even they admit at least half of them were in industries like mining & steel with which we have dispensed. On top of that improved medical care has cut the death rate compared to serious injury by 25% & presumably the same effect applies to other injuries. That brings any possible saving down to no more than the excess deaths such as Alison Hume's directly caused by this process but that is only a small part of it.
Economists say regulation costs a country 20 times what it costs government to provide the regulators, Thus the 200,000 assorted H&Srs cost us the productivity of 4 million workers or 18% of GNP. The BMJ calculate that every 1% of lost GNP means the deaths of 21 people annually per 100,000 in the population. You can see this effect in the difference in the number of people in poor & wealthy countries who die in earthquakes. Closer to home you can see it in the 25,000 pensioners who die prematurely each winter because of fuel poverty. Across the UK that 18% cut in national wealth means an extra 227,000 deaths annually. All preventable. Stalin once said that the death of one child is a tragedy but the death of a million is a statistic. Alison Hume's death was an unnecesary tragedy but so are all the others.
4th March - Karadzic "trial"
The prosecution in the Radovan Karadzic "trial" face difficulties about which our media have been reticent. Legally, because the Bosnian constitution provided for a presidency revolving among the 3 communities, Karadzic was the president when the war started. He is therefore effectively charged with resisting a coup by an ex-Nazi Moslem extremist publicly committed to the genocide of the various non-Moslem communities. That the Moslem leader Izetbegovic had stated & written "there can be neither peace nor coexistence with non-Moslems" does limit the Serb's options to self defence or non-existence. Why our media, following the BBC's lead, insisted on reporting the genocidal ex-Nazis as "moderate minded multi-culturalist democrats" is something on which we can speculate but it does not make it the case.
Even in an era where it is possible to call an ex-Prime Minister a war criminal over Iraq, our media still refuse to mention undisputed events like the genocide of 3,800 Serb civilians in villages around Srebrenica by our Moslem Nazi ally & the subsequent quite remarkable failure to find more than 1919 complete bodies, 477 of whom had shrapnel wounds proving they were combat casualties. All this in the area where we are officially told only of a "Srebrenica massacre" of 7,000-11,000 Moslem soldiers, out of a garrison claimed at the time to be 7,500, of whom 7.000 are known to have escaped & just days after a US official had told Izetbegovic that he needed a massacre of at least 5,000 to justify NATO bombing.
It should be remembered that the prosecution had difficulties with the Milosevic "trial" because in 4 1/2 years it proved impossible to produce any actual evidence against him, Fortunately for them he died of a heart attack, shortly after a blood test showed he had been poisoned by rifampicine, a sophisticated prescription drug against leprosy whose side effect is to destroy heart muscle.
The fact that the "court" is funded by NATO states may explain why none of the NATO leaders, who all, knowingly, engaged in illegal wars to assist ex-Nazis they knew to be publicly supportive of or already engaged in genocide, have not faced trial. Such trial is richly deserved& until such time as the real war criminals are brought to justice the rest of the world can never trust to the integrity, treaty promises & respect for international law of any NATO state.
5th Feb - put people before animals
Most of the world's surgeons learn their trade by being allowed to practice on pigs. Britain's are not allowed to do so. Fortunately the medical profession ensures that new surgeons spend years being supervised in theatre by an experienced surgeon who does the serious stuff. If this was not done the alternative would be horrible to contemplate. Nonetheless it means we consistently use twice as many surgeons as needed with consequent effects on waiting lists.
The British love of animals is legendary & it may be that most people really do want to protect pigs from this so that they may retire to the Home for Elderly Pigs, or wherever porkers usually go, without risk to life & limb. Nonetheless the politicians did take this decision without public discusion & I think, since we may all be inviolved in the consequences, we should be asked.
28th Jan - Attorney General says "legality" of Iraq war set by Kosovo war precedent
During the Attorney General's testimony to the Iraq Inquiry the word "precedent" was used 16 times, overwhelmingly in regard to the precedent established by bombing Yugoslavia. This was said to have been justified on the "new legal theory" that "a reasonable case could be made -- I'm sorry, there was a reasonable case" (to quote this eminent legal authority's testimony) it was lawful to bomb people.
The interesting thing is that, whatever we may suspect about the honesty of the case made for WMD's in Iraq we know for an absolute fact that the case for the Yugoslav war - that Milosevic was engaged in genocide - was not only untrue but a deliberate lie. We know this because 2 months before the war started the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Parliament that it was not Milosevic's forces who were engaged in genocide but the NATO armed KLA whom our bombing was intended to assist.
Like Iraq, Kosovo was a war undertaken without UN authority, indeed unlike Iraq we never even attempted to get authority, justified on something that turned out to be untrue, though unlike Iraq we know those involved were quite certain they were lying at the time.
Unlike Iraq it was a war conducted against a democratically elected regime which had engaged in no expansive wars, indeed which had already had much of its territory seized by regimes run by (ex-)Nazis with western guns.
The real precedent provided by Kosovo, as Goldsmith said, is that it is "simply it is enough to say there is a reasonable case" however dishonestly & you can get away with murder. Indeed mass murder.
There can now be no doubt that, whatever whitewash we see at the Iraq Inquiry, the case that Blair & his supporters are guilty of war crimes is undeniable. Indeed in Kosovo we saw the NATO armed KLA, reappointed as NATO police, engaging in genocide, ethnic cleansing of 350,000, the kidnap & sale to brothels of children & the dissection of hundreds of Serbs, while still alive, to steal their body organs. All carried out under NATO command authority. The NATO funded war crimes commission has charged many Serbs largely on the grounds that they were part of a "joint criminal conspiracy." It can hardly now be denied that Blair, his supporters & at least his entire party organisation, were part of a joint criminal conspiracy to commit war crimes & probably 2.
27th Jan - Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is well known as being the cause of rickets (brittle & bent bones) but this is merely the most extreme symptom. The vitamin D hormone system controls the expression of more than 200 genes and the proteins they produce. In addition to its well-known role in calcium metabolism, vitamin D activates genes that control cell growth and programmed cell death (apoptosis), express mediators that regulate the immune system, and release neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin) that influence one’s mental state.
Now a new BMA report says even rickets is returning because of our sedentary & indoor lifestyle.
"doctors reported this month that cases of the debilitating disease have once again become "disconcertingly common" in Britain.
"Kids tend to stay indoors more these days and play on their computers instead of enjoying the fresh air," said Simon Pearce, a professor at Newcastle University in northeast England and lead author of a new study on Vitamin D deficiency.
"This means their vitamin D levels are worse than in previous years," he said in a press release.
Half of all adults in Britain -- especially in the north -- have Vitamin D deficiency in winter and spring, with one-in-six having severe deficiency."
The reason for it being inherently more in the North is because we get less sunlight. Scotland, in particular, is as far north as Hudson's Bay, Petersburg & Siberia. Because of the Gulf Stream we can maintain a much better climate & thus higher population than any of them, however it still leaves us nationally with a deficiency in vitamin D. This is probably why Scotland has more multiple sclerosis than anywhere else in the world & we are top of the league in so many illnesses intensified by an overall immunological weakness.
This is the sort of thing a Scottish government, with presumed particular competence in Scottish problems could fix. For a relatively small cost & infinitely less interference than all the fuss about passive smoking, they could require extra Vitamin D to be added to certain staple foods sold here (milk & bread would be most likely). This would be likely to do more for Scotland's health than all the ministerial posturing in the world. Or alternately
"Fifty years ago, many children would have been given regular doses of cod liver oil, but this practice has all but died out," noted co-author Tim Cheetham, also a professor at Newcastle.
14th Jan - Oxford professor denounces warming "consensus" Oxford Professor of Physics Wade Allison has had the courage to state publicly that the alleged "scientific consensus" about low level radiation being harmful is wrong. He is right to do so. Since climategate media & political assertions of scientific consensii are, rightly, coming under increased examination. This one, by preventing the world having sufficient inexpensive, safe & reliable nuclear power has greatly & unnecessarily impoverished the entire human race for the last 30 years.
Not only is there absolutely no evidence to support the claim that low level radiation is harmful, there is a vast amount for the contrary theory, known as hormesis, that it is beneficial. There are many places in the world such as Kerala in India or Yellowstone Park in the USA where natural background radiation is far above the level the "official consensus" says is dangerous, without any measurable ill effects over many thousands of years. Studies of Radon in homes have been done repeatedly because they repeatedly find the "official" wrong answer - that high levels of Radon correlate with good health. There is other evidence but the most indisputable, because it is almost a classic experiment, albeit accidental, occurred in Taiwan. A block of 180 flats were built there in 1983 with steel contaminated by radioactive cobalt 60 which has a half life of 5.5 years. When this was discovered, 20 years & 10,000 inhabitants, later, the radiation was largely gone but the records of who had lived there & how much they must have been exposed to were easily calculable. According to the no lower threshold "consensus" there should have been a massive increase in cancers. In fact cancers were down to 3.6% of prevailing Taiwanese rates.
The alleged "consensus" has only been maintained by a blanket refusal to notice this & other conclusive proofs. I can say from personal experience that newspapers eager to push any sort of scare story from the global ice age to breast enhancements without any evidence, have overwhelmingly refused to report this clear & unambiguous proof. That may make a consensus but certainly not a scientific one.
31st Dec - Red Road Flats need not be demolished
I am glad to see that Historic Scotland quango is spending our money by inviting us into a discussion on whether the Red Road flats should be saved (Scots quango in bid to protect old concrete tower blocks). The Glasgow housing association quango has, on the other hand, been eager to use our money to knock them down. In fact the buildings are perfectly sound. Their only problem is that, because high flats went from being trendy, among planners, to being dreadful, among planners, overnight, they were used by our political leaders to house "problem" tenants. Meanwhile very similar flats, now known as luxury flats, are built by private builders in the Glasgow Harbour Project.
As the only person who stood at the last Holyrood election for allowing this £100 million plus structure to continue to provide housing I am really glad for this support. Bit late though.