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Saturday, May 29, 2010


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? 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.

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 100 times the price the Norwegian government have cut numerous similar road tunnels for. Of them all only Brown replied. I have published it below with my fisking, returned to him. My responses in bold.

While the reply basically depends on lies, assertions that there must be other factors, unspecified, that make Scottish geology many times more expensive than the rest of the world's & than Scottish geology was when we built the previous road bridge, plus assertions that our politicians (who have been proven corrupt, lying, murdering, genocidal, child raping, thieving, organlegging criminals) approve it so we should just trust the apparently clinically insane scum HE STILL DESERVES CREDIT FOR BEING THE ONLY MSP WILLING TO REPLY TO A CONSTITUENT about taking £500 from every single one of us. The fact that 86% of our politicians are so corrupt & contemptuous of the people they are taking money from is disgusting. I did send a letter mentioning this failure to even reply by MSPs but the Scottish media, typically, have decided not to report it. The fact that the MSM are working as lookout men during politicians' multi-billion pound heists explains a lot.

I have since found that the Forth bridge proposal is the 3rd most expensive in the world after Japan's (nearly twice the width, nearly twice the length & proof against hurricanes & earthquakes & the Oresund bridge & tunnel complex mentioned, wider & 5 times longer)


Thanks for your note on this. I share your scepticism on the costs (although the comparison with the original bridge had not occurred to me).

I attach a note of some research our researcher did on this which you may find of interest. The source material is largely the SPICE briefing which is mentioned.

best wishes,


Indeed - here is my previous research on the cost of the previous bridge which converts with inflation to £314.96 million. I do not think that the claim that Scotland has an unspecifiedly uniquely expensive geology holds much water in any case but since the geology of the Forth in 2010 cannot be greatly different from that in 1960 it is clearly false.

Mr Craig’s point of view is not an uncommon one.


The Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) has received a lot of criticism from various quarters regarding its cost in comparison to other projects of an apparently-similar scale (if not larger/more complex).

Such criticism has prompted SPICe’s Financial Scrutiny Unit to produce the below briefing analysing the costs of the FRC:

Although the second half of the briefing is dedicated to the construction inflation associated with the project, the first half deals with the structure itself, and its summary provides a comparison between a number of different projects across the world. I’ve included an extract from the summary below:

‘The final measure, illustrated in Figure 10, takes into account this provision by measuring the weighted cost of each square km of bridge and approach viaduct is (thus factoring in their width, not just the number of lanes). Once this is factored in, the cost of the FRC is largely on par with other similar bridges such as the Rion-Antirion, Mersey Gateway and Second Severn bridges. The Øresund bridge is the most expensive (but this also has a railway not factored into this cost analysis) and the Viaduct de Milau and Stonecutters bridges, which both have towers only constructed on land, are much cheaper.

This graph appears fraudulent. The Oresund bridge, shown here as the most expensive per km cost 30.1 billion krone. just under £3 billion. This is for a 4 lane plus 3 rail track complex of 8km in total. See That is clearly at least an order of magnitude cheaper per lane/km than the proposed Forth crossing.

Oresund bridge & tunnel entrance - over 3 times the length & nearly 3 times the width proposed

Thus, the analysis indicates that while the FRC is the most expensive amongst comparators on the basis of cost per km of operational lane, this does not take into account the fact that the FRC has two hard shoulders designed to be able to operate as full running lanes if needed. Once this is taken into account the cost of the FRC becomes on par with other similar bridges.’

No it doesn't - even with that fiddle it would still be many times more expensive.

From this analysis, it would appear that, although the bridge seems more expensive than its ‘peers’ at the outset, once various aspects are taken into account – not least the two hard shoulders included in the design - the FRC’s costs appear relatively average.

Similarly, it is also worth noting that, due to their unique environments, no two bridges are the same and thus it is difficult to make direct comparisons of price. When asked about this very issue at Stage 1, Martin Cullen, a chartered civil engineer, a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, stated that different bridges are built to accommodate different environments and different challenges, which would imply different – and arguably incomparable – costs.

Which is why the comparison with the previous bridge is so decisive. To quote myself
"Reminds me of a scene in I Claudius where Claudius, having been told Rome needs a new harbour & given estimates looks up the records for a similar scene in Octavian's time & finds that his civil servants have given him a vastly inflated figure."

108. The Convener asked Martin Cullen—

“Is it reasonable for people to make comparisons based on lifting, for want of a better word, a bridge or tunnel that serves an entirely different project and moving it into this location?”

109. Mr Cullen responded—

“In short, it is not possible to lift one bridge or tunnel design and put it into another location, because the geology of every site is different. Even the bridge at Kincardine that was built recently is entirely different from the Forth bridge because it suits that site. The geology there is entirely different.”24

“It is not possible to take a bridge from one site and move it to an entirely different one. The same applies to a tunnel. There are examples of where tunnel boring machines can be used to bore through and the rock is self-supporting—it will stand there by itself. However, the Channel tunnel, for example, goes through a variety of different rocks, but it has to have a supportive structure. In such examples, as the engineers go along, they cut and provide a supporting structure. Progress is limited by how far they can go. They watch what is happening to the rock, how much water is coming in and so on. Geology is complex. No matter how much excavating you do and how many samples you take, it is very difficult to predict precisely what you will find.”25


With regard to the tunnel aspect, a Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) process – The Forth Replacement Crossing Study – was undertaken concerning the crossing between August 2006 and June 2007, and although several tunnel options were considered, a bridge was apparently chosen, according to the Forth Crossing Committee’s stage 1 report, ‘as the best option as it was considered cheaper than tunnel alternatives, easier to implement, had a shorter construction time and fewer risks associated with the ground conditions.’

While Mr Craig could dispute the price of the tunnels mooted (and thus their being more expensive than the bridge alternative), it does seem as if the various tunnel options went through the appropriate STAG review process - a process which was also peer reviewed - and so it would be surprising if any costs had been deliberately inflated or were artificially high. (To lend further credence to this view, from a cursory glance of the Stage 1 report, it seems that no criticisms were made of the STAG process by the Forth Replacement Crossing Committee).

It might or might not be surprising, I don't know since I can only guess how our government is run, but it is certainly the truth. The Norwegian tunnelling costs have already been published by me here "this makes tunnelling costs from £3.2 million per kilometre to £10 million. Even with multilane dual carriageway & motorways we are talking about a pretty fair saving". This the total cost for a comparable tunnel would be likely to be well under £45 million i.e. well under 100th of the cost we have been quoted.

The value of "peer review" has, as can be seen in the climate fraud by which Scotland's politicians have determined to halve the size of our national wealth, only as good as the degree to which the "peers" are independent of the people they are meant to be judging rather than in cahoots with them. I would be interested to know who the "peers" are, how they are appointed & if any of them have any relationship with the government.

Although Mr Craig could be correct in saying that these tunnels are more expensive than similar tunnels in Norway, given the STAG processes involved it seems likely that any such cost disparities would be genuine, and a result of the unique circumstances of the project/area (such as the topography of the Forth, which was estimated to have the potential to increase tunnel costs dramatically).

The writer may not know that back when we still mined coal in the area the mines on the north & south of the Forth had a connection. If anything this would suggest local circumstances would reduce prices rather than increasing them 100 fold.

I would also refer him to the Glendoe power scheme where the entire project was completed for about £120 million indicating that the tunnels, cut by a German company, were of a similar order of cost to the Norwegian ones.

Furthermore, it is probably also worth mentioning that even if a dramatically cheaper tunnel option was available, it may still not have been selected for other reasons. For example, while taking evidence on the Bill at Stage 1, Martin Cullen, as mentioned above, stated that ‘Geologically, the area is extremely unpredictable’ – an aspect which would have adversely affected the practicalities of a tunnel. Similarly, other groups opposed the tunnel on haulage and transport grounds, as the transport of some hazardous materials may be forbidden in a tunnel, but not on a bridge.

Again I mention the previous coal mine tunnel. If it is being said that the reason for rejecting a £40 million tunnel is because of alleged opposition from hauliers of toxic substances such intimations of opposition should be published as should the subsequent cost benefit analysis which allegedly showed that spending an extra £2,260 billion to prevent such lorries having to go the long way round was justified.

Such comments serve to highlight the fact that tunnels were not just seen to be – legitimately – costlier, but also, potentially, riskier (an aspect which probably contributed to a bridge ultimately being selected).

Therefore, to summarise:

Comparative bridge cost – Although appearing deceptively expensive when compared to other bridges at first, when certain design aspects of the Forth Replacement Crossing are taken into account (such as the two hard shoulders), the cost of the bridge becomes much more typical/acceptable. Furthermore, given the unique aspects and environment of every bridge, it has been noted that it is very difficult – and perhaps inaccurate - to make direct comparisons between various crossings in different locations.

Tunnel alternative and legitimacy – Primarily, the option of a tunnel was considered ultimately more expensive than a bridge (it was also deemed more difficult to implement, riskier and would take longer to construct). Secondly, the costs associated with the tunnel proposals were STAG reviewed and thus are likely to be legitimate. Thirdly, if these costs are indeed more expensive than other international examples, such as Norway – which is entirely possible – this is probably a result of genuine disparities and unique location factors (such as topography). Finally, even if a dramatically cheaper tunnel option – reflective of other international examples – was available, it still may not have been preferred to a bridge for other reasons (geological activity, haulage restrictions, etc).

May I ask for your assurance Mr Brown that, under no circumstances, will you support or fail to make your objections known, to any proposal that would, on the actual evidence available defraud the Scottish electorate of £2 billion plus. Evidence would include publicly available statements from the various groups which had produced the Norwegian tunnels, the glendoe tunnels, the Oresund Bridge/tunnel & other comparable projects saying they had been invited to tender & refused for particular stated technological reasons.

Assertions that STAG or other parts of the Scottish government have approved it & so simply for that reason "it seems likely that any such cost disparities would be genuine" are not actual evidence.

Robert Brown subsequently replied that he did not intend to continue the discussion & that despite his "scepticism" of the costings he would not be willing to speak or vote against the proposal because he is not the official LibDem spokesman on the project.

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Friday, May 28, 2010


Nato's more civilised predecessors

Three parallel international investigations, by war crimes investigators from Serbia, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, have failed to uncover any evidence that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trafficked the organs of captives, according to sources close to each investigation.

Dozens of predominantly Serb captives were allegedly taken to a "yellow house" near Burrel in central Albania from June 1999 to May 2000, where their organs were systematically removed and sold, according to accounts presented by Carla del Ponte, former war crimes prosecutor at The Hague Tribunal in her 2008 autobiography.

But the failure to find either the original sources, or any new evidence since 2004, may mean that the story was unfounded.

The Council of Europe report, due to be published next month by investigator Dick Marty, is expected to focus rather on political demands to the governments involved, rather than to uncover new facts.

"The fact is that there is no evidence whatsoever in this case," said Matti Raatikainen, head of the war crimes unit of Eulex, the European Law and Justice Mission in Kosovo... All the reports and media attention to this issue have not been helpful to us. In fact they have not been helpful to anyone."

...the real work of finding the remains of 1,861 people still missing from the war and its aftermath...

Three of his seven sources referred to the possibility of organ-trafficking, and identified the house near Burrel...

A chemical spray, used in a downstairs room, found widespread traces of blood, of uncertain provenance, on the floor. Family members offered contradictory explanations.

Medical equipment appropriate for surgical interventions was found on the rubbish dump.

Some investigators wanted to pursue the case. Others felt the evidence, even then, was too thin.

Most serious of all, Montgomery's original sources had disappeared. One was dead, killed in a supposedly unrelated case. The others could not be found.

Even the Serbian authorities, who have propagated the tale of the yellow house most consistently ... "none of the efforts to investigate have received meaningful co-operation on the side of the government of Albania".

"In order to get rid of this issue," he urged Albania, "make available a proposal for an independent investigation and offer genuine co-operation."

The end of the "fairy-tale" of organ-trafficking, as one Eulex prosecutor calls it, would still leave war crimes investigators with plenty to do.

This month, a mass grave was found near the southern Serbian town of Raska. Three lorry-loads of bodies - around 250 in total - believed to be Albanians killed by Serb forces in Kosovo, were reburied there in early June 1999.

The red soil encasing the bodies, according to eye-witnesses, suggests the bodies were originally buried in the Drenica valley in Kosovo, and moved to Serbia to destroy the evidence.

Prosecutors say they believe the Serbian military were responsible. Excavations at the same site two years ago failed to find the grave, which is now believed to lie beneath a car park and office building.

Revenge killings

Some 228 were the bodies of Serbs who went missing after 10 June 1999, the end of the war, at a time of revenge killings by Kosovan Albanians

highlights mine
Well that's pretty conclusive. Not one but 3 completely separate investigations have concluded the story "may" be unfounded (despite a casual reading suggesting it is unfounded the BBC are covering themselves buy not actually promising that). And what thorough investigatorial reporting from them to get all 3 separate still officially secret conclusions from the 3 separate investigations. And what an extraordinary coincidence that 3 such investigations should all be concluding at the same time.

Or not as the case may be.

Carla del Ponte surreptitiously made mention of this organlegging in her biography in April 2008 & it passed unnoticed except on the blogsphere. In due course the EU appointed an "investigator" who, months 15 later, had "not yet started official investigations" & has now with no visible activity, concluded them. If the "other 2 investigations" are truly independent the BBC has had to go on 3 investigations of their own to find this/these still officially secret conclusions & has been astonishingly successful 3 times.

Alternately the 3 separate investigations are a charade. They were never separate, except for some Serb activity, hampered by the fact NATO bought & paid for their political leaders, there has been no investigation. The BBC have had briefing on "all 3" from 1 source, which itself proves complicity.

There is only 1 possible reason why the NATO powers would wish to claim 1 largely inactive "investigation" as 3 & that is because they themselves are specifically complicit in the genocide & organlegging.

The BBC will know this & therefore know perfectly well that the story they are producing is not "news" but a propaganda front for their masters whom they know to be involved in this & that by doing so they undeniably prove themselves accomplices in genocide & organlegging.

Other points of clear dishonesty - the statement that there is "simply no evidence whatsoever" could not under any circumstances have been said by anybody remotely honest (in this case the head of the EULEX "investigation". The article admits that medical equipment had been found as had the presence of blood "of uncertain provenance". That phrase is either meaningless or indicates the necessary testing has not been done to prove it is human blood - either is incompatible with the "investigation" being remotely honest. Witness statements are still evidence even if they have been murdered &/or "Disappeared" (using the term as a verb in the South American sense). It is conceivable somebody could argue that there is insufficient evidence to convict (though it is far more than the evidence used by the NATO court to convict many Serbs) but it is specifically impossible to honestly say "none whatsoever".

The use of the term "revenge killings". In the same way Hitler referred to exterminating Jews as revenge for starting WW2. The BBC do no refer to 9/11 as a revenge killing. To do so would have been far more accurate than their current lie since bin Laden did have so legitimate beef with the US government if not with the civilians murdered. By comparison the use of the term here is simply a typical lie by the BBC to support racial genocide.

I have written this to the BBC & various employees. I will, of course, allow it or any of them who either wish to dissociate themselves from their employer's Nazism or to defend against the charge to do so here.

I write with respect to your recent online report about the alleged 3 "investigations" into organlegging by NATO police.

Can you confirm whether
1) BBC surreptitiously obtained the forthcoming results of all 3 allegedly totally independent "investigations" in 3 wholly unrelated pieces of investigative journalism in breach of the law each comparable to Messrs Woodward & Bernsteins or

2) Whether it/they were given to you by one or more linked person, or indeed some governmental briefing & proving they were not therefore 3 separate investigations but one.

I suspect, from the lack of multiple by-lines & mass coverage of the story it has to be the latter. However if it is then this is proof positive that it is not 3 wholly separate investigations but one cover up. In such circumstances the BBC would certainly have enough experience to realise this & that you are being asked/instructed to promote what you know to be a pack of racist lies for the purpose of supporting racial genocide & crimes so obscene even the Nazis didn't match them. The only reason why our & other NATO governments would promote this cover up of genocide is because they hired, trained & organised the KLA & appointed them as our "police" for this & similar purposes. Which leaves the BBC in what decent people would consider a morally untenable position.

You are being instructed to propagandise & lie in the Nazi cause to promote racial genocide (which you must know is continuing) & thereby make every BBC employee involved in news or management personally an accessory to racial genocide & organlegging. As even Hitler did not attempt the latter this would make it impossible for any such BBC employee to claim even moral equality with the people who ran Hitler's gas chambers.

There is no dispute that the BBC has for over a decade, deliberately censored any reporting of genocide, such as the Dragodan Massacre, indeed, despite initially lying about the BBC's willingness to censor massacres & genocide your representative, Damian Whyte felt it wiser to change his mind & not reply when presented with the irrefutable evidence that the BBC censors continuously & deliberately to promote racial genocide.

Lying continuously & deliberately to promote not only genocide but the dissection of the victims while still alive, a practice which is continuing, is a further step so far beyond inhumanity that even the BBC may hesitate to take it.

If so I look forward to your full reporting of these murders & their manner with at least as much enthusiasm as you reported every allegation against Jews in Gaza, along with the evidence that the "investigations" have been aimed, by our & other NATO governments, not at uncovering the truth but at protecting the guilty, including the leaders of our & other NATO governments.

Anything less would be inconsistent, not only with your public service remit, but with anybody in responsibility in the BBC being able to claim any slightest trace of integrity or humanity.

I must also ask you whether you can, on any factual basis, deny that the decision of the BBC not to give far more coverage to the more than 1800 innocent civilians killed by NATO's police, an action more newsworthy because our government is involved than to the 80-1400 in the "Gaza war" is inconstant with any suggestion that the BBC is other than racially anti-Semitic as well as racially anti-Slavic (2 prejudices also shared by Mr Hitler).

I trust you that I have at all times gone out of my way to give the BBC the benefit of any reasonable doubt which may exist. I regret that your actions have allowed so very little room for any doubts.

Neil Craig

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Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yesterday I proposed charging for the creation of Enterprise Zones to raise £10 billion. Today I say what should be done with it.

X-Prize trophy

A Scots Technology Prize foundation. Oh I have done variants of this before, many times before indeed it is one of my oldest proposals even predating this site. On the other hand the only argument ever put against prizes is that they cut down on politician's powers of patronage.

So we set up an Scottish Technology Prize Foundation with this £10 billion plus getting all the money from the Scots share of the national lottery, (another retread funding idea) a bit over £100 million a year. If the fund is well managed like the Norwegian Petroleum Fund it should increase value by close to £1 billion a year. That certainly puts it in a very strong position. An added strength is that it should be open only to Scottish organisations*. The definition of "Scottish" would be for the lawyers so long as at least 50% of the money was spent here & business taxes were paid here. If Burt Rutan were to relocate his Virgin Galactic team to Scotland to be eligible for the prize I for one would be extraordinarily happy to see such a person do so & the spin off, both economic & cultural, from having many of the world's cutting edge technologists here cannot be underestimated. Even so it seems unlikely that all the leading space developments of the 21st century will be achieved purely by Scots, native & immigrant. That in turn means that only a small fraction of the first place prizes will be paid out. This is why I have labeled it a technology prize not merely a space prize.

With £10 billion ($15 billion) in reserve & an extra billion a year we could just about fund all Jerry Pournelle's proposed prizes
1. The sum of $2 billion to be paid for construction of 3 operational spacecraft which have achieved low earth orbit, returned to earth, and flown to orbit again three times in a period of three weeks.
2. The sum of $5 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a space station which has been continuously in orbit with at least 5 Americans aboard for a period of not less than three years and one day...
3. The sum of $12 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a Lunar base in which no fewer than 31 Americans have continuously resided for a period of not less than four years and one day.
4. The sum of $10 billion to be paid for construction and maintenance of a solar power satellite system which delivers at least 800 megawatts of electric power to a receiving station or stations in the United States for a period of at least two years and one day.
which would take $29 billion (£20 bn) if you assume it will take a dozen years before they are all achieved by Scots. If however the prizes are only for making the 1st such, with perhaps 1/3rd to 1/2 for the first team of Scots, in their own spacecraft, setting up a lunar base then there is no possibility all these prizes will be called. This leaves lots of room for a very full range of prizes in all technology fields, such as John McCain's proposed improved battery prize or an aging research one like the M-Prize. Indeed if there ate many & the average size of prize is under $1 bn the laws of statistics will come into play & make it a statistical impossibility that more than a small minority would be won. Thus with an expected total available of about £20 bn prizes, to Scots alone, of £200 bn could offered. And if that isn't the best way to make Scotland the world's leader in technology, the way it was a century ago when 80% of the iron hulled ships in the world had been built here then economic motivations are not what economists, of all schools of thought, think they are.


I would also propose an international reciprocity agreement whereby any other country or state which was willing to put in the same amount of money, proportionately to its GNP & take a mortgage to proportionately match the original outlay could be equally entitled to the prizes. Perhaps there should be a slight loading for substates because it is easier to relocate with the USA, or other, than across national boundaries (but then Scotland might lose under that rule too). The Foundation's HQ should remain here - there has to be some minor perk from starting it. I suspect Singapore, Abu Dabi & New Mexico would queue up to join & in time it would become a worldwide phenomenon.

But Would it work In the Real World

In an ideal world no because the initial funding relies on state parasitism being so overwhelming that would be investors would be willing to pay over £10 bn just so that in 0.16% of Scotland they would be relatively free to invest. In an ideal world our government would not be so destructive. Fortunately/unfortunately there is no sign whatsoever of our politicians changing their ways.

Perhaps my estimate of the demand for such enterprise zones is wrong but that is hardly an argument against. At worst we might either raise £2-3 billion or might have to offer twice the area. For a scheme that would give us the solar system & an end to aging, with us on the leading edge, that does not seem an onerous price.

The reason I think it won't work is because our politicians won't let it. They are already committed to destroying half our economy over the next 10 years. They are wholly opposed to the Scots Enlightenment commitment to progress. If such a scheme ever got off the ground they would strangle the Foundation plan at birth & steal the money for their supporting parasites or turn it into a quango of eco-fascists who would just use it for even more windmill subsidies.

Maybe I am wrong on that - I will let you know if any party shows a willingness to do this.

If not practical here then where?

Almost any small developed country or US state with a serious scientific base could do it. Scotland has perhaps, per capita, the world's best scientific base. The other requirement is the ability to raise this much revenue in exchange for cutting back some parasitic government control. Planning permission for land use is an obvious one & one that fits us well because we have so much unused land which the state prevents us using. Ronduck has mentioned a similar problem/opportunity in Arizona where the federal government own much of the land. However there are other sorts of parasitism - the state could instead sell licences for casinos, or national lotteries, or cannabis, or GM foods or .... well add your own national bete noire.

Almost any small developed country. Big countries (Westminster politicians note) even easier

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


How does Scotland raise £10 billion?

Simples. Offer the first 50 customers the chance to own their own Special Economic Zone of 1 square mile (or they can get more but the total remains the same). If somebody makes an offer the government have 3 weeks to accept or reject. Within that area building planning regulations are lifted as are whatever else the EU will allow. Probably unfair dismissal laws & environmental laws where the pollution wasn't measurable outside the zone. The developer also has the right to compulsory purchase any property at the fair valuation price prior to zone establishment + 50%.

For this they pay (£52,000 per plot = £312,000 per acre =) £200 million per square mile (though it need not be square). 50 of them raises £10 billion. Out of 30,414 sq miles, 50 will not be missed.

Would there be purchasers? I very much think so. Donald Trump has gone through over 4 years of wanting to invest £1 billion in building a golf course of 800 acres & still hasn't got permission. Would he be willing to pay that? I think so. Indeed opponents have claimed that he is really building a housing project & the golf course is just for show - I think that is a considerable exaggeration but if it were true he would jump at the chance of buying 2 square miles (1280 acres) & making a lot more money. £52,000 per plot is not a lot & there would be many developers seeking to build holiday homes as well as manufacturing centres. Outside the zone the intrusion would be minimal. Far less so than the windfarms we see "beautifying" Scotland's countryside so no "environmentalist" who supports them could oppose such zones. At least not honestly.

The effect on the Scottish economy & tax base would be considerable. A general rule of thumb is that £1 of investment pays £0.125 tax so taking each unit as bringing in £1 billion of investment (if the developer is putting up £200 million it is reasonable to assume they are going to make the best use of it) the government will pick up about another £6 billion annually & the general growth in the economy would be about twice that.

Of course all this assumes the entire country won't start being run on free market lines as I have previously suggested otherwise we wouldn't need special free market zones. Unfortunately there is no sign of that.

And what do we do with £10 billion? Well that's for tomorrow.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


When warming alarmists engage in real discussion with sceptics they invariably lose, which is presumably why most of them refuse to (fortunately for them they have unlimited access to the allegedly impartial state controlled BBC & other media). This happened a few years ago in the New York debate & more recently in St Andrew's University in Scotland. Now it has happened in the Oxford Union. From the SPPI homepage & also via WattsUpWithThat, Bishop Hill & presumably many others on the blogsphere:

"Army of Light and Truth 135, Forces of Darkness 110

For what is believed to be the first time ever in England, an audience of university undergraduates has decisively rejected the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis. The only previous defeat for climate extremism among an undergraduate audience was at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, in the spring of 2009, when the climate extremists were defeated by three votes.

Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Serious observers are interpreting this shock result as a sign that students are now impatiently rejecting the relentless extremist propaganda taught under the guise of compulsory environmental-studies classes in British schools, confirming opinion-poll findings that the voters are no longer frightened by “global warming” scare stories, if they ever were.

When the Union’s president, Laura Winwood, announced the result in the Victorian-Gothich Gladstone Room, three peers cheered with the undergraduates, and one peer drowned his sorrows in beer.

Lord Lawson of Blaby, Margaret Thatcher’s former finance minister, opened the case for the proposition by saying that the economic proposals put forward by the UN’s climate panel and its supporters did not add up. It would be better to wait and see whether the scientists had gotten it right. It was not sensible to make expensive spending commitments, particularly at a time of great economic hardship, when the effectiveness of the spending was gravely in doubt and when it might do more harm than good.

At one point, Lord Lawson was interrupted by a US student, who demanded to know what was his connection with the Science and Public Policy Institute, and what were the Institute’s sources of funding. Lord Lawson was cheered when he said he neither knew nor cared who funded the Institute.

Ms. Zara McGlone, Secretary of the Oxford Union, opposed the motion, saying that greenhouse gases had an effect [they do, but it is very small]; that the precautionary principle required immediate action, just in case and regardless of expense [but one must also bear in mind the cost of the precautions themselves, which can and often do easily exceed the cost of inaction]; that Bangladesh was sinking beneath the waves [a recent study by Prof. Niklas Moerner shows that sea level in Bangladesh has actually fallen]; that the majority of scientists believed “global warming” was a problem [she offered no evidence for this]; and that “irreversible natural destruction” would occur if we did nothing [but she did not offer any evidence].

Mr. James Delingpole, a blogger for the leading British conservative national newspaper The Daily Telegraph, seconded the proposition, saying that – politically speaking – the climate extremists had long since lost the argument. The general public simply did not buy the scare stories any more. The endless tales of Biblical disasters peddled by the alarmist faction were an unwelcome and now fortunately failed recrudescence of dull, gray Puritanism. Instead of hand-wringing and bed-wetting, we should celebrate the considerable achievements of the human race and start having fun.

Lord Whitty, a Labor peer from the trades union movement and, until recently, Labor’s Environment Minister in the Upper House, said that the world’s oil supplies were rapidly running out [in fact, record new finds have been made in the past five years]; that we needed to change our definition of economic growth to take into account the value lost when we damaged the environment [it is artificial accounting of this kind that has left Britain as bankrupt as Greece after 13 years of Labor government]; that green jobs created by governments would help to end unemployment [but Milton Friedman won his Nobel Prize for economics by demonstrating that every artificial job created at taxpayers’ expense destroys two real jobs in the wealth-producing private sector]; that humans were the cause of most of the past century’s warming [there is no evidence for that: the case is built on speculation by programmers of computer models]; that temperature today was at its highest in at least 40 million years [in fact, it was higher than today by at least 12.5 F° for most of the past 550 million years]; and that 95% of scientists believed our influence on the climate was catastrophic [no one has asked them].

Lord Monckton repeatedly interrupted Lord Whitty to ask him to give a reference in the scientific literature for his suggestion that 95% of scientists believed our influence on the climate was catastrophic. Lord Whitty was unable to provide the source for his figure, but said that everyone knew it was true. Under further pressure from Lord Monckton, Lord Whitty conceded that the figure should perhaps be 92%. Lord Monckton asked: “And your reference is?” Lord Whitty was unable to reply. Hon. Members began to join in, jeering “Your reference? Your reference?” Lord Whitty sat down looking baffled.

Lord Leach of Fairford, whom Margaret Thatcher appointed a Life Peer for his educational work, spoke third for the proposition. He said that we no longer knew whether or not there had been much “global warming” over the 20th century, because the Climategate emails had exposed the terrestrial temperature records as defective. In any event, he said, throwing good money after bad on various alternative-energy boondoggles was unlikely to prove profitable in the long term and would ultimately do harm.

Mr. Rajesh Makwana, executive director of “Share The World’s Resources”, speaking third for the opposition, said that climate change was manmade [but he did not produce any evidence for that assertion]; that CO2 emissions were growing at 3% a year [but it is concentrations, not emissions, that may in theory affect climate, and concentrations are rising at a harmless 0.5% a year]; that the UN’s climate panel had forecast a 7 F° “global warming” for the 21st century [it’s gotten off to a bad start, with a cooling of 0.2 F° so far]; and that the consequences of “global warming” would be dire [yet, in the audience, sat Mr. Klaus-Martin Schulte, whose landmark paper of 2008 had established that not one of 539 scientific papers on “global climate change” provided any evidence whatsoever that “global warming” would be catastrophic].

Lord Monckton, a former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the UK, concluded the case for the proposition. He drew immediate laughter and cheers when he described himself as “Christopher Walter, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, scholar, philanthropist, wit, man about town, and former chairman of the Wines and Spirits Committee of this honourable Society”. At that point his cummerbund came undone. He held it up to the audience and said, “If I asked this House how long this cummerbund is, you might telephone around all the manufacturers and ask them how many cummerbunds they made, and how long each type of cummerbund was, and put the data into a computer model run by a zitty teenager eating too many doughnuts, and the computer would make an expensive guess. Or you could take a tape-measure and” – glaring at the opposition across the despatch-box – “measure it!” [cheers].

Lord Monckton said that real-world measurements, as opposed to models, showed that the warming effect of CO2 was a tiny fraction of the estimates peddled by the UN’s climate panel. He said that he would take his lead from Lord Lawson, however, in concentrating on the economics rather than the science. He glared at the opposition again and demanded whether, since they had declared themselves to be so worried about “global warming”, they would care to tell him – to two places of decimals and one standard deviation – the UN’s central estimate of the “global warming” that might result from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The opposition were unable to reply. Lord Monckton told them the answer was 3.26 plus or minus 0.69 Kelvin or Celsius degrees. An Hon. Member interrupted: “And your reference is?” Lord Monckton replied: “IPCC, 2007, chapter 10, box 10.2.” [cheers]. He concluded that shutting down the entire global economy for a whole year, with all the death, destruction, disaster, disease and distress that that would cause, would forestall just 4.7 ln(390/388) = 0.024 Kelvin or Celsius degrees of “global warming”, so that total economic shutdown for 41 years would prevent just 1 K of warming. Adaptation as and if necessary would be orders of magnitude cheaper and more cost-effective.

Mr. Mike Mason, founder and managing director of “Climate Care”, concluded for the opposition. He said that the proposition were peculiar people, and that Lord Monckton was more peculiar than most, in that he was not a real Lord. Lord Monckton, on a point of order, told Mr. Mason that the proposition had avoided personalities and that if Mr. Mason were unable to argue other than ad hominem he should “get out”. [cheers] Mr. Mason then said that we had to prepare for climate risks [yes, in both directions, towards cooler as well as warmer]; and that there was a “scientific consensus” [but he offered no evidence for the existence of any such consensus, still less for the notion that science is done by consensus].

The President thanked the speakers and expressed the Society’s gratitude to the Science and Public Policy Institute for sponsoring the debate. Hon. Members filed out of the Debating Chamber, built to resemble the interior of the House of Commons, and passed either side of the brass division-pole at the main door – Ayes to the right 135, Noes to the left 110. Motion carried."

James Delingpole, as a participant, also reports this in the Telegraph & gave as background detail
Both at Heartland and Oxford we were followed by a film crew who are making a documentary about the war between Warmists and Sceptics. The director, who was a very keen Green when he started the documentary, admitted he’d altered his position quite markedly since talking to both sides. What struck him about deniers/sceptics/realists – or whatever you want to call them – was their courtesy and their thoroughness. What struck him about the warmists was their eye-popping rage.

As somebody who has regularly referred to them as wholly corrupt, thieving, lying, murdering eco-fascist parasites I agree that it is important that the debate be conducted without undue rudeness & certainly without making an allegation which is not factually proven about anybody.

As might be expected this has been kept off the MSM with, once again, Stalinist unity as a Google News search shows (2, one being Delingpole & another a blog)

Britain may not be as respectful of its elite universities as it was when this body voted for the Peace Pledge in 1933, which, by comparison, did get massive coverage both at the time & subsequently, but it is still a massive defeat for alarmism.

It would certainly have had massive media coverage had it gone the other way. Instead yesterday the media concentrated heavily on the BMA striking off Andrew Wakefield for very technical points not actually related to his research. I accept John Brignal's opinion that the MMR scare story is unjustified but it is certainly no more wrong than the global warming, passive smoking, mobile phone, salt, LNT, AIDS & other stories for which there is no more factual evidence & considerably more of direct fraud. Wakefield's problem is simply that while all other stories are "hobgoblins" which assist government in dictating to us the MMR one has been an inconvenience to the bureaucracy. The BMA is, provably a wholly corrupt organisation who is willing to promote any lie the government want. No evidence has been produced that Wakefield has not been thousands of times more honest that any of the lying parasites who struck him off.

I wish this debate had been televised. Formal debates are entertaining & have a degree of suspense & reality that "reality TV" never matches. I think society would be much improved if such formal debates, not the carefully controlled soundbites of stage managed political "debates" or the bear baiting of journalistic interviews were regularly broadcast on subjects of real interest.

Perhaps I am overly cynical in thinking that that is why they are not.

UPDATE - Ni8gel Lawson's speech

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Monday, May 24, 2010

"The Last Days of the Sweet Land of Liberty"?

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed House Joint Resolution 2 (HJ0002), claiming “sovereignty on behalf of the State of Wyoming and for its citizens under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government or reserved to the people by the Constitution of the United States.”
Wyoming joins 10 other states that have passed similar resolutions since last year; Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Tennessee passed theirs in 2009, and Utah, Alabama, and South Carolina have joined Wyoming in passing resolutions this year.

This is not calling for complete independence but it if the central government won't role back power it is a first step on a road that could only lead to separation or forceful repression.

The United States Constitution was certainly drafted for the purpose of giving the central government minimum power. There are arguments both ways but I tend to think federation is the form of government that best secures liberty & stability. If central government is not strong enough to coerce the sub-units then it cannot establish dictatorship generally & if there is free movement & trade between the subunits local governments which fail to match something approaching the average level of competence will not survive the competition. Switzerland & the USA are the outstanding examples. I would like to see Britain as such a federation. It is perhaps unfortunate that the British Empire did not develop some sort of central government & instead broke into completely separate countries.

It used to be said that the American Civil War had finally determined where national sovereignty lay. However in supporting the dissolution of Yugoslavia Clinton & the US government reversed that. If for Yugoslavia, which was recognised as a sovereign state without any explicit right of the sub-states to secede (the USSR's constitution had such a right) the western countries & specifically the USA could assert that the substates did have a right to secede they are have now debared themselves from making the opposite claim over the USA. Of course realities 7 legalities are not the same thing & the rules we applied on Yugoslavia were done to justify a mugging. On the other hand legality & reality are not entirely separate - when Stalin wrote the right of secession into the USSR's constitution he did it to "prove" what a free & liberal union it was. I am certain he never expected that rule to be used but because of it, when circumstances changed, it was.

I don't think it certain or even probable that the USA will break up but if it is to exist as a free society it will either dissolve or central government will be rolled back as required by the Constitution.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people.
Anybody who has read Heinlein's Friday, showed the break up of the USA into several unattractive madhouses. Yet reading it, 1 of my 2 favourites of his for its sheer complexity & the accuracy of its prediction, it is clear that it broke for good economic reasons & that a centralised state would have been madder yet.

Certainly if all the states which have already expressed a desire for the 10th Amendment to apply as written were to want out it is highly unlikely the USA could continue to function.
But would liberty function better? I think it would be more secured than by the present centralised state -we may well see.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010


Paul has sent a list of presumably the strongest evidence for the LNT theory that low level radiation is harmful rather than beneficial. So lets see

Here's a little more reading for you.

Huge numbers of deaths in the Ukraine due to Chernobyl.
Interview with John Gofman sacked for uncovering dangers of low level radiation.

Well its the Guardian, a wholly corrupt government funded propaganda mouthpiece willing to lie to promote genocide & worse but perhaps we should not fully discount it for those reasons. The article written in 2006 says "In a series of reports about to be published, they will suggest that at least 30,000 people are expected to die of cancers linked directly to severe radiation exposure in 1986" but presumably Paul has not found any subsequent reports that it actually did happen. Predictions are not thenselves evidence. The failure of predictions is however evidence that those making them "The new estimates have been collated by researchers commissioned by European parliamentary groups, Greenpeace International and medical foundations in Britain, Germany, Ukraine, Scandinavia and elsewhere" are unreliable.

More about the dangers of low level radiation than any sane person could wish to read.

This is the entry page to 15 linked articles. Life is too long & if there is actual evidence somewhere here Paul will doubtless say. However following the most promising "Nuclear radiation & its Biological Effects" leads to another 15 links. Following the best looking one of these on "Permissible levels of Exposure" which simply says that LNT is an "internationally accepted" "value judgement" without suggesting any evidence whatsoever. This, to such people makes it a "fact that there is no safe level of exposure to ionising radiation" but this is not how anybody with ant respect for science produces facts.

Here's a refutation of the arguments that low level radiation is good for you:

Which states in the intro "there exists no credible evidence for a reduction in radiogenic risk" & then spends the following pages rubbish the epidemiological & microbiological evidence, which if the author & anybody supporting his is irredeemably corrupt, does not exist. The rubbishing consists largely of saying the hormesis evidence is disputed. Saying that evidence is wrong because somebody, for unknown reasons, disputes it would be unduly eleveated by calling it a worthless circular argument.

This review looks at the association between childhood leukaemia and proximity to nuclear power stations.

A study looking at background radiation in Britain and childhood cancer found that when confounding factors were corrected for, there is a clear association. This study suggests that most childhood cancer is due to background radiation.
Says "KiKK study in Germany reported a 1.6-fold increase in solid cancers and a 2.2-fold increase in leukemias among children living within 5 km of all German nuclear power stations". It is the nature of random statistics that they be random rather than always totally evenly spread. If you toss a coin 100 times it is likely that at some point you will get 6 heads &/or 6 tails in a row. If you just select those 6 you will have a far stronger "evidence" the coin is weighted than any 1.6 increase. "As a general rule of thumb" says the editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell, "we are looking for a relative risk of 3 or more" before even accepting a paper for publication" (unless what you are doing is politically funded). The leukemia claim is even worse since childhood leukemia is very often found in clusters indicating a virus being spread. If the study had found a similar correlation at 2km, 4km, 10 km, in regions directly downwind, among children of workers, among workers or any other of literally hundreds of other classifications it would have been in their interest to say so so I assume they didn't. If so this is another wholly unscientific nonexistent "hobgoblin".

Nuclear reactor closes, children get healthier.

This tries to make bricks without straw. "Greatest potential risk of adverse health effects from radioactive releases live in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento counties", "Sacramento metropolitan area lies to the northwest, and technically not downwind of the reactor" but is included anyway. Even so the worst we see is that child deaths are down from 6.1 per 1,000 when the local reactor was running to 5.8 while the US average was down from 7.5 to 7.4. So not only below the national average & both following a downward trend but 1 or 2 extra random deaths would have changed this from a faster than average fall to a slower than average. As "evidence" this is mathematically meaningless - all it is evidence of is the lengths these people will go to try to find something where there is nothing. It compares badly even to the above German "study".

Explanation of why low level radiation may appear to improve health.
"More than 15 years after the event, the health outcome of the Chernobyl catastrophe has been extremely difficult to evaluate. How is this possible?" Well that all the scares are false would be one way. This "study" then focusses on an apparent increase in childhood Leukemia in Scotland & Wales fiollowing Chernobyl 1,500 miles away. This is not evidence unless more direct causes can be eliminated - the most obvious being doctors being told to check for such things more intensely. As evidence this increase could motre easily be taken as "proof" that the adoption of the EU flag in May that year, was the cause. Since Wales is part of the RU the effect was more direct. All this proves is that eurosceptics are infinititely more concerned about real & clear evidence that the pseudo-scientists supporting the LNT scare story. But then they aren't paod by government.

Who do you believe, the nuclear industry, WHO and the UN, or the coal and petrochemical industries? These seem to be the parties who might benefit or not from nuclear power plants.

By "nuclear industry" you actually mean industry of government nuclearvregulatorsd. This is an argument from authority & has yhus no intellectual validity whatsoever. The LNTists are reduced to saying that what they say is right because, although they can produce no actual evidence they are saying it. Worse the authorities chosen are all branches of government which, as we know, exists largely to produce false scare stories to allow it to pose, expensively, as rescuing us from & thus worthy of our money.

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