Saturday, July 03, 2010
IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,Rudyard Kipling
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
"We invaded you last night - we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."
And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:
"We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"
when windpower wasn't just a money laundering scheme
Western Society has, for 60 years & strongly for 50, been paying large amounts of money & enormous amounts of foregone technological potential to the eco-fascist movement. The surface part of this movement is a tiny number of aggressively Luddite political activists. The main body is empire building government bureaucrats who have pasted over the civil service's prime dictum, according to Sir Humphrey Appleby who knew, that "many things should be done but nothing should ever be done for the first time" with an "environmental" brush retitling it the "precautionary principle" but altering it only by extending it to every aspect of life.
How many of the tiny minority of activists would be active if they had not been government funded may be doubted. Neither of Scotland's 2 Green MSPs seem to have been paid for a day's work in their lives by anybody but government bureaucrats spending the public's gold. Possibly some Green party member may be able to name a prominent Green to whom this does not apply - we shall see if this challenge is answered. In any case Green activists openly admit that they support growing government bureaucracy simply because it does economic damage. On the other side the openly corrupt support of state institutions for what they know to be the "Green's" corrupt scare stories is equally undeniable.
The problem with Danegeld is, as Kipling pointed out, that once it is paid & the recipients rewarded they have every incentive to demand more & we certainly see this with the eco-fascist movement. The cost to the British people is, as has been proven in 2 separate calculation methods here & here, to be at least equal to the entire existing national wealth. It is likely to be much more - had we had 10% average UK growth over the last 40 years we would now each be individually over 16 times better off than we are.
Yesterday I pointed out how the Scottish government had genuflected towards the the eco-fascist anti-growth agenda by pretending that the need for a new Forth crossing was because the current one is in a state of collapse rather than because it would assist economic growth. Doing this has then made it politically necessary to choose the option of building a new bridge which is about 100 times more expensive than the more effective option of recabling & double decking the existing bridge. In turn what must be a mixture between parasitic eco-fascist regulatory parasitism & old fashioned corruption (how the split goes is as yet unproven) has increased that price 8 fold. This is simply 1 out of the enormous number of government activities yet it, alone, means every single one of us paying £440 Danegeld to these fascist parasites for this one project. Dividing the amount of national wealth lost & stolen by the eco-fascists annually by the 286,000 voters, which is the maximum they can get even with enormous support from the state media, comes to at least £5 million per elector. I suspect the vast majority of "Green" voters have no idea, because the state media censor it, that they are supporting theft on this scale, the destruction of Western civilisation & the genocide of most of the human race & indeed would be horrified to know it. The very small number of leaders are different.
In one way that is just money & doesn't compare with the fact that the eco-fascist movement has already killed more people than Hitler & Stalin combined. However the damage they have done to human progress generally (we could easily have ended all world poverty, have large settled communities across the solar system & be building the first starships by now had we not been paying the majority of the developed world's wealth as Danegeld to these eco-fascist. Instead they want to reduce the world's population to 2 billion, which would require the genocide of 70% of the entire human race. By any objective terms they have been much more destructive to civilisation that Hitler & his Nazi barbarians.
I don't think any of this can be factually denied by anybody associated with the eco-Nazi movement but, as with finding prominent members who don't live off our Danegeld. I'm sure we will be told if any can.
Friday, July 02, 2010
I have received this reply, at the behest of an SNP minister, which I am fisking. I have highlighted things I think important & put my comments in italics:
Dear Mr Craig
Thank you for your email of 24 June 2010 to the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Jim Mather MSP regarding the Forth Replacement Crossing.
As this is a matter delegated to Transport Scotland, your email has been passed to me for a reply.
The outrun cost of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project is estimated to be between £1.72 billion and £2.34 billion. The estimated cost of the main crossing itself is estimated to be just 26% of the total project cost (£543 million) or 37% of the total once allowances for risk and optimism bias are included (£748 million). The financial memorandum for the Forth Crossing Bill can be found on page 41 of the Explanatory notes to the Bill (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/33-ForthCrossing/b33s3-introd-en.pdf). p43 of the pdf
The Forth Replacement Crossing Project includes the new crossing and improvements to the road network to support the crossing. Around 4km of connecting roads will be built to tie the new crossing into the main trunk road network. To the south of the bridge, a new dual carriageway will link the crossing to the A90 and M9 making use of the recently completed M9 spur.
To the north, a new dual carriageway will connect the bridge to the A90/M90, incorporating junction enhancements at Admiralty and Ferrytoll and road widening between those junctions.
The estimated cost for the bridge is compared with a number of similar bridges in The Forth Replacement Crossing Analysis of Costs produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) and can be found on the Scottish Parliament Bill Committees web pages: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/forthXbill/Documents4.htm. I'll write on these in detail in future but even taking the cost at £ 748 million, as the comparison does, the new Forth bridge is far more expensive
A tunnel was considered during 2006/2007 when Transport Scotland undertook the Forth Replacement Crossing Study (FRCS) (http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/projects/forth-replacement-crossing/information-centre/frc-study) again I will write on that site in future but the simple version is that, again, international comparisons average only a small fraction of construction only prices given here to ascertain the most suitable form of crossing to replace the Forth Road Bridge (FRB). This was in response to the Forth Estuary Transport Authority’s (FETA’s) reports that the cables of the existing bridge are deteriorating and the subsequent uncertainty over the future of this vital connection in the country’s transport network.
The FRCS concluded that a cable-stayed bridge upstream of the FRB was the best performing option against the Study criteria. The factors considered were cost; cost risk; impact on the environment; operating restrictions; operating risk and time to construct. tunnels generally take less time than bridges to complete, a further advantage is that since a 2 way tunnel will be cut 1 tunnel at a time the first leg can be used to carry peak hour traffic, reversing direction about noon, quickly thus greatly increasing the total capacity of the system The life design of both bridge and tunnel was estimated to be 120 years this effectively means it will last as long as maintenance is carried out. Telford's bridges are still standing as indeed is the Eiffel Tower which was originally intended to be pulled down after a few years and the maintenance costs were also determined to be broadly similar.
The Study concluded that the tunnel would be more complex to construct with more risks, and consequently, more costly. bolleaux In addition, tunnels are restricted in the goods that may be transported through them, such as whisky and oil. Operating restrictions would, therefore, need to be implemented. this looks like an excuse - the number of tankers carrying whisky is very limited & & would not justify the billions involved. The bridge also has operational restrictions when it is windy & they aren't limited to tankers. I would be interested to know if any haulier at all gas contacted FETA demanding a bridge on the grounds that a tunnel would seriously affect their profits
With regard to replacing the cables on the Forth Road Bridge, in February 2008 FETA reported that it would be possible to replace or augment the cables should this be necessary. They concluded that this replacement work would not be feasible, in practical terms, unless a replacement crossing were provided prior to the work taking place. I very seriously doubt the truth of this - Lisbon's 25th April bridge does not appear to have been closed when it underwent not merely a recabling but also double decking. It might be necessary to limit the work to late at night or weekends, which might double the cost to £ 20 million(!) but with the bill we are being offered that is nothing
In July 2008 a second cable inspection found that the cables had continued to deteriorate and had now lost 10% of their original strength. However, this rate of deterioration was less than had been expected. that nails it - "less than expected" deterioration for a bridge which, if similar to the present proposal, was expected to last 120 years, is not the alleged unexpected catastrophe we are being told about The rate of decay suggests that HGV restrictions may need to be imposed at some time between 2017 and 2021.
Aside from the cabling issues, a number of ongoing and significant maintenance issues remain. For the bridge to continue to carry the existing levels of traffic it would require replacement of main joints, deck resurfacing, extensive refurbishment to the deck stringer beam half-joints between each section of the decks, strengthening of the deck truss and upgrades to the parapets. all simple maintenance - none comparable to the strengthening of the towers whci has previously been done
The Forth Road Bridge cannot on its own provide the capacity and level of service required for the future. The imperative for a replacement crossing remains in light of the vital importance of a Forth crossing to the Scottish transport network and economy. the real reason for expansion is the expectation of a growing economy & increased traffic. That is indeed the proper reason for doing so, however the politicians, who have already voted to destroy half our economy over the next 9 years in the eco-fascist cause haven't the guts to say this so instead they push the the disgraceful (& unpatriotic) lie that the Scottish engineers who built the bridge did do so so incompetently that, unlike every comparable bridge in the world, it is about to fall down. (an MSP once told me that my proposal not to demolish the Red Road flats was equally impractical because the builders had been so incompetent & I don't believe him either). The consequence of lying about the reason seriously limits the "politically acceptable" options to the most expensive & then allows eco-fascist bureaucratic parasitism to push up cost far more - this will be tomorrow's sermon With a replacement crossing in place which will carry the main burden of traffic, the Forth Road Bridge will retain sufficient strength to act as a dedicated public transport corridor.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Policy and Communications Officer
Forth Replacement Crossing Team
Thank you for your letter Andrew, which I have put on my blog with comments. While cost is given as a reason for not building a tunnel you do not repeat the £4673 million figure & are relying also on the difficulty of transporting oil & whisky.
Is it specifically claimed that recabling cannot take place without closing the bridge? If so that would be an argument for a tunnel since, as the Norwegians have shown, it could be cut quickly allowing earlier recabling. Has any haulier written to gthe scottish government saying that restrictions on their cargos would so seriously affect their profits that it should be a majgor consideration in this multi billion £ project?
If only a minority of the money is going to be spent on the bridge itself & the other main factor being new roads that seems to be an argument for recabling the bridge since roads to it already exist. It does seem to be a high cost for roads.
I take it that our government does not dispute that the Lisbon recabling cost £10 million & that similar Norwegian tunneling projects have indeed cost around £40 million?
Since the entry & exit points of a tunnel are not nearly as limited as with a bridge I would assume it could be fitted more easily & cheaply into the present road system - indeed is there any reason why the endpoints should not be beside the access roads to the current bridge if road costs are really such an overwhelming
You, or anybody else who understands the government case, are welcome to comment on my blog.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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.The highlighted bit was edited out which is a shame but understandable. It also went out to other Scottish & UK newspapers but appears not to have been used so far.
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.
Ref - letter to MSPs & 3 + 1 previous replies http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2010/06/forth-crossing-23-billion-is-8-1000.html
Online comments have been strongly in agreement. One from Gary says
the SNP had to employ the lie-bore trick of jobs for the boys by over pricing and gaining as much cash as possible.
The bridge will be put out to tender - as is the law - but that won't stop the rise in government jobs to oversee the bridge.
which certainly fits the facts but if so shows our entire political establishment to be corrupt to such an obscene extent that the cost of fraud is 618% of real costs. Perhaps some MSP will write in reply detailing exactly why the costs are not fraudulent but on previous experience I suspect not. It would be nice if some part of the Scottish mainstream media were to be sufficiently investigative as to try to get to the bottom of this can of worms. Lisbon's 25th of April Bridge showing double decking
Sunday, June 27, 2010
A recent report from the Norwegian Coastal Administration recommended building the 1,700-metre (5,577 feet) tunnel and concluded that it would be cost effective.I must admit a little scepticism about it being such good value for money But hope they build it just for swank. It would be one of the engineering wonders of the modern world. Fit it out with floodlights & a sound system & play In the Hall of the Mountain King or Wagner through it & people would be taking their holidays in Norway just to go - I mean what has Disney World got that compares?
The tunnel, estimated to cost around $310 million and take five years to build, would cut through a peninsula, saving ships the risky journey around the coastline.
The idea to build a shipping passage was first put forward long ago. Some say the first sketch was made in 1870, others say plans started around 1920 with the idea of building a canal through the peninsula.
But in the 1980s, the concept gained momentum and the government got involvement.
"What's new is that we have managed to calculate the costs of waiting," coastal director Kirsti Slotsvik told Reuters. She said the tunnel could also prevent loss of life.
The cross sectional area of this is 1000 square meters. By comparison a dual carriage way tunnel at 5m high & 10m wide would be 1/20th of the size, though that underplays the difficulties since the wider a tunnel arch the more stress.
The £210 million price tag on this puts the Scottish government's officially claimed price for a conventional road tunnel under the Forth of £4673 million in perspective. Since their cost estimate "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)" you may believe that the entire government & its "peer reviewing" is honest or not according to taste.
I regret that there is no place in Scotland or elsewhere I can justify such a ship tunnel, though open to suggestions. It requires a very short land portage between 2 lots of water which is on a heavily used sea route & where the land bridge is sufficiently high that a canal would not be a cheaper alternative. As I have mentioned before such a place is called in Gaelic a Tarbert. The closest I can see would be the Tarbet between Loch Fyne & Loch Lomond which, since Lomond isn't a sea loch would also require a lock. On the other hand if cutting like this is economically feasible I can imagine structures up to & including underground cities being even more feasible (being built without the bottom 12 meters under water helps). This tunnel has a total volume of 1.7 million cubic metres (the Empire State Building being 1 million & costing $24,718,000 at the time which is about $375 million now).