Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I want to highlight this from Brian Montieth's article in the Scotsman on Monday. The first half dissects the 4 main parties for lying about what will be affordable, ignoring the fact that free markets work and that we need electricity to keep the lights on then says:
"I thought the absurdity of the SNP's tuition fees policy ... could not be beaten, but Alex Salmond trumped it with his plans for 100 per cent renewable power generation that is worthy of a science fiction creativity award...
Instead I am left looking at UKIP as the only party that proposes with sincerity smaller government with fewer regulations and lower taxes as the way for Scotland to rediscover economic prosperity that can provide enviable public services. This is because it has the audacity and nerve to say that so much for what passes as government in Scotland is predetermined not in London but in Brussels and that for us to change the way we do things in Edinburgh would be far easier if we were not governed by EU institutions and their unfiltered decrees.
The SNP, when it looks to Norway in energy and Iceland in fishing policies, knows this is the truth but will not say it, for it now looks to Ireland as the economic model of choice, notwithstanding its self-induced problems.
Were the SNP to commit to full independence, not just from the union with England but with the union with Brussels, it would have a far more potent and honest offering that could attract a wider following than those that just want a change from Labour. Enough studies have been done to show Britain could be better off outside the EU to suggest the same could be so for Scotland.
Unfortunately for UKIP, its name is a significant disadvantage in Scotland from the get-go and its policy of using Scottish Westminster MPs to work part-time in Holyrood suggests it has its own problems with realism.
You cannot hold a government to account if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Still, the coming convalescence of the Scottish Conservatives will require a realignment of the centre right in Scotland, possibly by the birth of a new party or the merger of a number.
Either way, if UKIP can overtake the Liberal Democrats in Wales, as current polls show, then its ambition to supplant the Scottish Tories might not be wishful thinking.
Watch that space."
Brian is certainly right that there is an evolutionary niche for a party committed to the proposition that Economic Freedom + Cheap Energy = High Growth - remedy to a lagging economy is low cost energy and economic freedom. Capitalism's creative destruction will do the rest: look at the German Economic Miracle after World War II for a picture of what hard work and freedom can do. At least there is if it can force itself onto the media (which mainly means the BBC). SNP seats are largely in areas which, elsewhere, would be expected to be SNP seats. Presumably most Conservatives want a free market party though they don't get it. Since most Conservatives eveywhere want an EU referendum I assume they would like one here too. What the Scottish Conservatives don't have and UKIP even more seriously lack is a distictively patriotic Scottish identity. Since it is obvious that the SNP actively intend to produce blackouts and destroy our economy for purely Luddite ideological reasons their claim to any hold on patriotism may soon vanish. I can see that where Brian is pointing there is a real, if long odds, possibility of saving the country.
I sent the Scotsman this letter yesterday but they haven't printed it.
Brian Monteith's article (Monday) confirming that only UKIP, in Scotland, understands the laws of economics, that make free markets more successful than command ones and indeed the laws of physics, is absolutely right. His minor criticisms of UKIP are reasoned and constructive. My only disagreement is when he describes the SNP policy (pursued with less rigour by the Lab/Con/Dems) as "science fiction". As someone who makes their living selling both science fiction and fantasy I can say that the former is distinguishable by being compatible with science as it is known at the time of publication - new "discoveries" are proper so long as they do not, with some double talk, breach what is known. Thus interstellar drives and intelligent computers are allowed (so long as the author is suitably imprecise about how they work) as are orbital retirement homes and mining thousands of tons of gold from one asteroid. In that spirit the SNP policy of building enough windmills over the next nine years to provide, on average, 80% of our electricity, so long as they made clear that this involved a crash programme taking as much from the budget as formerly went to the NHS, could be counted as science fiction.However they did print this from what appears to be most of Scotland's Professors of Engineering saying the same about the insanity of political parties that intend to put the lights out.
However that would only be average production. To provide that power, unvaryingly, without back up, from a source as variable as the wind is beyond physics to be classed with flying dragons in Earth gravity (breaking the square cube law), the walking dead (breaching entropy) and Alice shrinking to enter a rabbit hole (law of conservation of mass) as pure fantasy.
NO developed economy can function without a reliable and economic supply of electricity but with present UK policies we have been warned that within a few years there will be a risk of power failures while increases in prices to consumers will rise by more than 50 per cent by 2025.
Under their "achievable" target Scotland will be allegedly by 2020 producing twice the electricity we need with just over half of it coming from renewables. So just under half of twice the electricity we need will still be coming from conventional nuclear and hydrocarbon power stations.
Why? Because we need that to provide for the days when the wind doesn't blow!