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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Spiked by Spiked - Unpublished Letters

Not everything I comment on Spiked gets published. These are a number I did which didn't. I think yhey give a pretty good overview of several of my opinions.
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In response to an article of defending press freedom from Levinson

The more basic problem is that any defence of press freedom is simply arguing over the margins. Most news comes to people though TV, which ia a more immediate and thus effective medium.
Of the 5 terrestrial channels one C5 doesn't do news. Of the others 3 are state owned & ITV is heavily regulated. That means we live under at least 75% state media ownership (70% is the legal definition of monopoly).
Nor does the state media nowadays even pretend to the "balance" their charter requires. Over "catastrophic warming" the BBC recently funded an "independent" survet from a regular BBC emplyee who openly decided that they should be totally biased. Even coverage of parties is unambiguously censored against UKIP, the BNP a the Conservatives and for Labour, the "LibDems" and most of all the Greens. The BBC even boast of this. Any of them will defend censorship when it comes to the BNP but censorship, like pregancy, is not a matter of "only a little bit".
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It is a particular example of the co-opting of the "left" and "environmentalists", or at least those among them who want publicity and well paid quango jobs, by government bureuacracy.
The one thing bureacracies do is try to grow. Everybody wants a promotion and an underling or 2.
Mencken said "The practical purpose of politics is to keep the populace scared and eager to be led to safety by frightening them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them ima
So they love to co-opt an "opposition" who says we need more government regulation, inspectors, subsidy and taxes to stop bankers, al Quaeda, nuclear power, CO2, WMDs, global warming, global cooling, Eurasia, Eastasia or the new threat de jour, destroying us.
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Environmentalism, the quite is from the article
Mr Lyons is 50% correct in his assesment of the vast majority of "environmentalists" including our political masters.
"In fact, three key, closely related environmental ideas are at the heart of government at every level from local authorities to the European Union. First, a scepticism about the merits of economic growth. Second, the idea that any development must be ‘sustainable’ - which means that the planet must come before people and that the needs of ‘future generations’ must come before material improvements today. Thirdly, we should not allow the absence of evidence to prevent us taking action on possible environmental threats - the ‘precautionary principle’."
They are sceptical about, indeed they hate, growth for the reasons explained by Orwell in 1984 - they need to keep us poor to keep us obedient & thus we must, under no circumstances, experience the sort of 6% average growth the rest of the world does. Obviously that does not go down well with most people who are not keen on permanent recession, hence it gets sold as concern for the environment.
He is entirely wrong about the alleged concern for "sustainability". If you really don't want to run the world down you need new technology. Improved technology, by definition, means creating more wealth with less resources. Impoverishing this generation means impoverishing future ones too.
Thirdly he is half right about the precautionary principle otherwise known as "evidence, we don't need no stinkin' evidence". Were he wholly right the ecofascists would apply that "[priciple" to everything. He is half tight in that they apply it to the things they hate. Thry telling an ecofascist that the "orecautionary principle" rwquires the banning of their propaganda on the grounds that it might be damaging. On second thought Lyons is a little less than half right because there actually is a lot of evidence that ecofascism has killed millions of people whereas there is obviously non whatsoever agaionst GM foods or most of their other scare stories.
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Spiked resident American idiot - presumably there so that readers won't think they might support Republicans
"Sea levels are rising; that’s a fact. Storms, and droughts, have increased in severity and weirdness in recent years; that’s a fact, too, but one open to interpretation."
Well no they aren't facts.
The only sea level rise is the few millimetres a century that has been happening since the end of the last ice age. Storms droughts and "wierdness2 have not increased ar all. I would really love to see how Kramer measures "weirdness" scientifically and proves it is a "fact" that there is more.
The facts are that there has been no warming for 16 years; that the recent storm was considerably less destructive than the 1921 one in New York; that Al Gore's promise of 20 ft sea level rises, Hansens's of a 1 degree rise per decade, the British government's that children by now would never have seen snow, the IPCC's that The Himplayas will have melted in 20 years have all been proven wholly and completely untrue. Indeed tyhere is not a single alarmist catastrophe claim that has proven in any way truthfil.
Those are the facts.
Consequently, by definition, every single promoter of the fraud, and their are hundred of billions of £ poured into promoting the frad by govenments, whio refuses to acknowledge it is a lie is, by definition, a wholly and completely corrupt eco-fascist.
That is the fact Ms Kramer.
One might have thought that since Spiked claims to be interested in reporting news which is, well, spiked and the mainstream media devoted so much space to telling the lies on this subject, Spiked might have at least given aas much space to the facts as to her lies.
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On why politics is now about celebrity not politics
I don't think it is so much that the politicians have nothing to say - some of them, including Boris in his Telegraph blog, certainly do. It is that the broadcast news media in particular,80% state owned (C5 don't do news) actively refuse to let them say anything.
Formal debate has been a necessary condition for every democracy or indeed republic inn history. The BBC do not do formal debates on any subject. What theyu call "debate" ie the Qyestion Time format, is getting a number of approved politicians and comedians to say a few words on BBC chosen questions. That is the best we get.
Is there anybody who thinks seeing Ann Widdicombe dance is more interesting than seeing her in a formal debate, allowed to speak as she wished, on a subject on which she is informed and enthusiasitic, with somebody equally informed and enthusiastic on the or the side. In her case abortion would be an obvious subject.
I suggest it would be riveting, and I, unlike some, do not consider abortion a vital issue. I also suggest that none of us think there is the slightest possibilty the BBC would ever allow it.
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On a claim that nuclear is expensive
3/4 of the cost of nuclear is regulatory and most of the regulations are much more about politics than any objective cares about safety. By any sensible analysis 2 nuclear deaths in the last 20 years (in an earlier accident in Japan, not at Fukushima which killed nobody) nuclear is several orders of magnitude safer than the rest of our power.
If a free market were allowed to operate nuclear and shale gas would be chosen and power prices would be dropping fast, as they are in the USA where shale production is being allowed.
A recent report from Versos proved "green jobs" a cruel lie - for every job created in the subsidised market 3.7 real jobs disappear. This is unsurprising since if you use resources in a way needing subsidy you are automatically taking them from the real economy and using them wastefully.
One thing which the world could do to make power cheaper, more reliable & more available would be to develop an international grid. HVDC lines can move power across the world for about the same tranmsmission losses as we now get transferring it across Britain. You will find no expert who denies that the establishment of the National Grid in the 1930s made power cheaper and more reliable. An international grid would have the extra advantage that demand worldwide varies with daytime and daytime is not the same worldwide so baseload power, which cannot be used at 4AM in Britain could be used at 4PM in China and vice versa.
Of course this would require some useful activity at some of these international conferences our leaders are always jetting off to.
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Some pretentious BBC programme - there are hundreds

The programme was as boring, tendentious, gray and loaded as anything the BBC do. Loaded down with the usual Luddites, who have been continously proven wrong for 2 centuries, but with added dreary music.
Thje interesting thing about the review is the assumption that thiis is "leftism". The BBC is a deeply conservative state controlled broadcaster, propagandising for the ruling class. When exactly did getting it stuck to you by "The Man" become a "leftist ideal.
The "left" used to at least aim at being progressive. Who snuck in and changed all the road signs leaving the activists marching towards the Middle Ages? The BBC sponsored Luddite "left" has as much in common with traditional leftism as Lady Catherine de Burgh and is just as reactionary. Though they tend to lack the wit and charm Jane Austen gave her.
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on an article saying the problem isn't the deficit it is the lack of growth
In support of Phil's thesis may I point out that if Britain's economy had grown at 7% annually (the world average rate excluding the EU & USA)over the last 10 years GDP would have doubled and the current debt would not be 60% of GDP but 30%, the rate it started at. At China's 10% growth rate this trillion would now be about 22% of GDP.
The problem is indeed not that we are borrowing too much but that we are growing to slowly. The reason is pirely because we have a Luddite and parasitic political class who actively prevent wealth creation (try building a nuclear plant or even a modular home) & which, through regulation ensures everything costs more in regulatory costs than in actually doing it (Richard Rogers is on record as saying that of the £670 million the Dome cost only £46 million was the actual building cost & this is not unusual).
We could have an economy growing at least as fast as China's any time our political class sto stopping it.

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