Saturday, December 01, 2012
Saving Scotland's Shipyards - while feeding the world
THIS WEEK THE NEWS broke that one of two Clydeside shipyards is threatened with closure. STV reported, "There are fears over the future of the BAE shipyards in Glasgow after the firm's UK chief executive hinted one of its manufacturing sites could close.
BAE operates three major manufacturing sites in the UK, at Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow and in Portsmouth. The group employs about 3500 staff across its Glasgow shipyards and nearly 5000 at Portsmouth, although less than half are directly involved in shipbuilding.
An industry insider commented, "We will be making decisions this year, so we have a number of weeks in which to do that," and said, "There’s clearly a workload gap and even then it’s not clear if there’s enough work to sustain the three yards."
Labour's Jim Murphy MP, the shadow defence secretary, said: "We know for a fact independence would close the Scottish shipyards. The rest of UK would become a foreign country to Scotland and the UK Royal Navy has not built a warship in a foreign land in living memory."
Murphy is clearly right - from which it follows that if BAE has to take a decision to close before the 2014 independence referendum, unless it is absolutely sure Scotland will vote against, it will have no option but to close in Glasgow.
The only option I can see would be to provide the yards with some other project that would put off the day of decision for two years. That isn't an entirely libertarian attitude but I would go for it if there were a useful project the government (either Holyrood or UK) could underwrite. Something suitable for a high-tech yard used to one-off projects, but which has not been considered before. Not military, since they have already been bled enough over the aircraft carriers (and in any case, military projects are inherently very expensive and thus a bad way of doing job creation, or extension for two year programmes).
Obviously I have a thought. One I have dealt with before.
Build one Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC - pictured at top) as described in Marshall Savage's book The Millenium Project.
You don't need the entire floating island concept described in that book. Just one or two retired ships (of which there are thousands selling for scrap - how about HMS Ark Royal or an old ocean liner?) and a floating algae and/or fish farm. The OTEC draws up water from 3,000ft where, even at the equator, water temperature is always at 4 degrees and the power is generated from the heat differential with surface water. The bonus – and it is a massive one – is that nutrients in the sea sink to the bottom so that the bottom water is very fertile, needing only sunlight to grow algae - which can double in a few hours. Most of the world's fish come from the relatively few places where currents or temperature cause natural upwellings of bottom water so the potential is obviously massive.
The full island proposed in the book would have seven OTECs and house 100,000 people. It would cost about £1 billion but this proposal should be under £200 million (by comparison the aircraft carriers currently being built are going to come in beyond £5,000 million.)
The sensible place to do it is within 5 degrees of the equator, the Doldrums, where because of the lack of coriolus forces which drive wind, there is no inconvenient weather and the heat differential is at its maximum.
Due north, within the 200 mile territorial limit of Ascension Island, which is British territory, would be geographically and politically ideal. There is a ridge of underground mountains, of which Ascension Island itself is obviously the highest, which rise close to 3,000ft to which a floating island could be anchored.
What is needed is a government charter authorising the building, occupation, ownership and regulatory status of this. Give it the regulatory status of the islands, of the non-floating type, that are still British - Bahamas, Caymans, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
I suspect that once it had been built and shown to have a permanent electricity supply, unlimited fresh water (another spin off of OTECs) a valuable industry and endless sunshine there would be investment money and more to expand it.
I'm not even sure our government would have to put up any finance, or even financial guarantees, once investors know it has government approval and the consequent protection under international law. Though the argument I started off with is that it would be worth such money just to keeps the option of these jobs open till the referendum.
What would be the effect on the referendum campaign?
Well if the jobs are retained until the referendum is held it would obviously provide encouragement to vote to keep the union - particularly if the money and therefore all the rights over future investment was put up from Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood ere churlish about making any contribution. (Even if they aren't it would be an example of teamwork.)
If the jobs are gone before the referendum it will equally obviously produce resentment and encourage a vote for separation - even if the SNP had played a part in preventing it by refusing to contribute.
In the long term it would provide us with a massive new industry and the world with a massive new source of high protein food or even of oil. It should be noted that lack of protien is endemic across subsaharan Africa. This lack, in childhood, seriously and permanently stunts growth handicapping the next generation across the continent.
Note that BAE has said it only has "a number of weeks" to decide so if this is to be, or at least done in time to save jobs, it must be deided quickly. Churchill used to write on his memorandum "action this day" and David Cameron told the CBI last week that fighting the economic recession is like fighting the Second World War. It would be shameful if a year from now or political classes had to admit the jobs had gone because they were now unable to take action within weeks.
Friday, November 30, 2012
By-Election - Things Will Never be the Same
Sarah Champion (Labour) 9,866 (46.25%, +1.62%) 16,741
Jane Collins (UKIP) 4,648 (21.79%, +15.87%) 2,220
Marlene Guest (BNP) 1,804 (8.46%, -1.96%) 3,906
Yvonne Ridley (Respect) 1,778 (8.34%)
Simon Wilson (Conservative) 1,157 (5.42%, -11.32%) 6,279
David Wildgoose (English Democrat) 703 (3.30%)
Simon Copley (Independent) 582 (2.73%, -3.58%)
Michael Beckett (Liberal Democrat) 451 (2.11%, -13.87%) 5,994
Ralph Dyson (TUSC) 261 (1.22%)
Paul Dickson (Independent) 51 (0.24%)
Clint Bristow (Independent) 29 (0.14%)
Labour majority 5,218 (24.46%)
7.13% swing Labour to UKIP
Turnout: 21,330 (33.63%, -25.37%)
The highlighted numbers are the results at the last election.There is some distortion because turnout is way down as it always is at by-elections.
Ukip have more than doubled our vote; Labour & BNP have halved; the Conservatives down to 1/5th, behind the BNP & Respect & the LudDims have lost 12/13th of their vote and sunk to 8th place.
That is an unheard of result.For silliness I tried putting that proportionate loss into the Electoral Calculus site (they don't do \UKIP and are clearly a little put out by reality) and the result is Labour get 18 seats and neither Cons nor Pseudo-Liberals get any.
That is not going to happen but we are certainly in uncharted electoral territory.
It can reasonably be argued that the UKIP result was skewed by the child siezure case.
But it can equally be argued that UKIP is, according to all trends, on a rising tide and we can expect to do better in future.
It is certainly proof that the British people are sick to the back teeth of our corrupt parasitic ruling class. I have said that I think there is at least an even chance that the child seizure was a deliberate ploy by Labour activists to frighten people to "Vote labour or we'll take your children".
That sounds, and is, incredible but we know (A) that this has been done before when thev EDL lady's child was stolen and (B) that it is less insane than government paid warming hacktivists thinking that showing a video of them killing children who think for themselves would persuade people. They undeniably did think that.
If the political class is that diviorced from reality & so cosseted, we must expect more such lunacy from an increasingly hysterical political class. Remember that though the child murdering video went viral online proving it was a real news story it remained and remains to this day, entirely censored by the state owned and regulated broadcasters and most of the allegedly free, but undeniably censoring for totalitarian ends, media.
The other results are eclipsed by Rotherham but in any other circumstances would have been earth shattering:
Andy McDonald (Labour) 10,201 (60.48%, +14.60%)
Richard Elvin (UKIP) 1,990 (11.80%, +8.10%)
George Selmer (Liberal Democrat) 1,672 (9.91%, -10.00%)
Ben Houchen (Conservative) 1,063 (6.30%, -12.48%)
Imdad Hussain (Peace) 1,060 (6.28%)
Peter Foreman (BNP) 328 (1.94%, -3.90%)
John Malcolm (TUSC) 277 (1.64%)
Mark Heslehurst (Independent) 275 (1.63%)
Labour majority: 8,211 (48.68%)
3.25% swing UKIP to Lab
Turnout: 16,866 (25.91%, -25.44%)
UKIP again second - the Tories 4th in another safe Labour seat. Croydon North
Steve Reed (Labour) 15,898 (64.71%, +8.69%)
Andy Stranack (Conservative) 4,137 (16.84%, -7.28%)
Winston McKenzie (UKIP) 1,400 (5.70%, +3.97%)
Marisha Ray (Liberal Democrat) 860 (3.50%, -10.48%)
Shasha Islam Khan (Green) 855 (3.48%, +1.51%)
Lee Jasper (Respect) 707 (2.88%, +2.35%)
Stephen Hammond (Christian Peoples Alliance) 192 (0.78%)
Richard Edmonds (National Front) 161 (0.66%)
Ben Stevenson (Communist) 119 (0.48%, +0.17%)
John Cartwright (Loony) 110 (0.45%)
Simon Lane (9/11 Was an Inside Job) 66 (0.27%)
Robin Smith (Young People's) 63 (0.26%)
Labour majority: 11,761 (47.87%)
7.99% swing Conservative to Labour
Turnout: 24,568 (26.4%, -34.25%)
This time the govwerning party managed to hold 2nd place - a good result for the Tories by the standards. Note, however that lots of other minor parties took serious votes between them. - though the BBC supported and government paid Greens could only find a candidate for 1 of the seats. The old parties have lost all credibility but UKIP, while the clear leader among alternatives, have not yet sealed the deal with the voters. ####################### There were 2 straws in the wind on Question Time last night. Having, yet again refused to have a representative of what seems now unarguably Britain's 3rd party, the BBC arranged a question on "whether UKIP supporters should be allowed to adopt" & Dimbloeby twice broke in to suggest that UKIP, who were refused any right of reply, were racist. This is the only claim the totalitarian fascists have, and with no factual support, but expect more smears. On the other hand a couple in the audience said that they had been refused a chance to adopt because the husband was also an American citizen. The social worker specifically told them, this after it had all been set up and the girls prepared. She had told them that if he were only to give up his citizenship of the the supposed capitalist heartland they could look after the girls. That is obscene, corrupt, bullying, fascist and child abuse typical of the most disgusting section of our political establishment. It is something up with which the British people will not permanently put.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
"Stay loyal to Labour/Pseudo Liberals or we'll steal your children"
Bullies given power to and monmey to bully - the results are inevitable.
On aniother site a commenter suggested that the Rotherham social workers may have done this deliberately tom browbeat Rotherham's Labour voters.
"Stay loyal to Labour or we'll steal your children"
At first sight that seems so ludicrous that nobody could think that would work.
Then I remembered the 10:10 government/O2 funded video of alarmists killing children who dared to express doubts about catastrophic warming (fortunately special effects) which they released as a propaganda video, obviously honestly believing that that would be persuasive - for ecofascists. (Another piece of news that went viral online and was wholly censored by our Ministry of Truth)
If our politial paraiste class is that divorced from reality, and parts of it at least have proven to be, then "Stay loyal to Labour or we'll steal your children" must seem like a credible argument.
One notable thing about this is that thjopugh both Cameron and Milibald distanced themselves from these "caring" fascists, the LibDems didn't.
If there is any political philosophy that should abhor child stealing (one would think they all would) it is liberalism - a philosophy that puts individaul liberty ahead of government dictatorship as it most basic value (or at least its founders did).
Yet the Pseudo-Liberals in Britain stayed silent at least at the leadership level. I decided to check the LibDem blogs site and found only 1 blog across the whole party discussing it.
This was Stephen Glenn's who was broadly, if not entirely openly supportive, at least sympatheric about the scum who did it and deeply unsympathetic of the victims, who implicitly deserved it for being UKIP supporters.
I put a post asking what about liberal principles and he icensored it.
Which is an answer of sorts.
When compared to the BNP I don't thjink anybody honest can now deny the Pseudo"LibDems" are not only far more fascist and indeed Nazi (look at their enthusiatic support of genocide and worse in Kosovo) but also anybody in the party who claims the right to use the word is, by definition, not just a fascist but a wholly corrupt fascist to boot.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
No Wonder we Are in Recession
The country has a stronger record in fighting climate change than all original EU-15 countries over the past two decades – but ranks behind more recent EU members such as Bulgaria, Estonia and Lithuania.
Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse will urge world leaders to commit to “meaningful proposals” to tackle climate change as he attends the UN Conference of the Parties in Doha with heads of state and ministers from 200 countries.
Emissions in Scotland fell by 22.8 per cent in the two decades from 1990 to 2010, the largest fall among the EU-15, according to the European Environment Agency greenhouse gas data viewer. The average fall across the newer EU states was just 14.3 per cent.
This, if course, is reported entirely as if it were good news.
Global grain production is expected to reach a record high of 2.4 billion tons in 2012, an increase of 1 percent from 2011 levels
Best estimates suggest that the increased CO2, the only indisputable thing that has happened, has increased plant growth by 25%.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
John Carney to be New Bank Of England Head - Deserved Triumph for Osborne
On the other hand here is a little dialogue that took place on John Redwood's, following an article he did saying how the job description was clearly set up to get another insider inn charge and correctly detailing all the cock-ups the insiders had managed:
Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:01 am
Technically the resume means they could headhunt somebody from Singapore’s central bank. Looking at that country’s success in finance as in other things, they should but I assume they won’t.
Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm
The magazine Global Finance rated the six best central bankers in 2012, (based on inflation control, economic growth goals, currency stability and interest rate management) as:
Glenn Stevens, Australia
Mark Carney, Canada
Stanley Fischer, Israel
Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Malaysia
Amando Tetangco Jr., Philippines
Fai-Nan Perng, Taiwan
They were all given ‘A’ ratings. No European was given better than ‘B’. Mervyn King received a ‘B-’.
Stevens and Carney have been considered according to press reports. But why would they resign and go to the BoE? Their predecessors or deputies however could be credible candidates. Indeed Ian Macfarlane of Australia who did a brilliant job for 10 years (7 ‘A’ grades!) would be ideal. Moreover, no historical baggage in Whitehall or Threadneedle Street.
Posted October 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm
Glenn Stevens’ term of office ends in September 2013, just three months after Sir Mervyn’s. and he is about the right age, so he might be persuaded.
Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:38 am
Fine suggestions. Too often our elite choose only to compare ourselves with other EU countries.But who can argue that an Australian isn’t compatible with our system? Such a person fits John’s requirement of being able to work with politicians but, unlike Mervyn King is clearly in a position to stand up to political demands.
It would undoubtedly also enhance the £s credibility in international markets.
Credit lies with GJ Wyatt (?) for getting it almost spot on not to me.
Credit also to Geoge Osborne.
It is a very tough job to be the blame taker/Chancellor during a recession. Worse when you want to do things that the PM/Cabinet won't let you and because of the collective responsibility rule, you have to take responsibility for. Osborne has always said the right things and usually done the wrong ones, but that may be because Cameron controls the latter. Certainly it was him who came out and said we should not be increasing windmill subsidy "any faster than the EU average" which looked like a call for anything up to infinitely slower,
I believe I would be comfortable with Osborne remaining as Chancellor or even being promoted to PM after the Tory party push Cameron under a bus.
John Redwood attracts a pretty good class of reader though I say it myself.
Monday, November 26, 2012
28Gate - Brian Monteith Blasts the BBC in the Scotsman
A BBC climate-change decision interfered with democracy and reveals institutional bias, writes Brian Monteith
IMAGINE for a moment that it was discovered, by chance, that six years ago the BBC had a high-level meeting of its executives and a group of “the best constitutional experts” to determine the policy of the BBC in reporting the ongoing debate about Scotland’s future governance Imagine that body said – unanimously – that maintaining the United Kingdom with Scotland as a member is the only model that should shape its editorial approach.
Even more unbelievable (surely) would be if the group consisted of only those who supported Scotland remaining in the union. It would (surely) be incomprehensible that the BBC would behave in such a way.
If such a meeting came to light, there would be justifiable outrage across the political spectrum. Nationalists would rightly feel that the BBC had taken a partisan political stance that would prejudice its campaigns and challenge its raison d’être, contrary to the BBC’s own charter and in conflict with the public concept that Britain enjoys an open, pluralistic and free press.
Unionist politicians would (apart from those that might know of the political fix) be shocked and embarrassed, rightly fearing that the BBC’s loading of the dice would have a highly negative effect on the public mood and that the SNP would benefit from repositioning electoral sympathy – even to the point of voters deciding they had had enough of perfidious Albion and its debate-rigging BBC.
It would also be the case that many BBC journalists, the majority of whom would be unaware of the management’s meeting, would voice their incredulity that broadcasting executives had not so much moved the goalposts as dismantled them at one end so the goals could only be scored by one team.
The BBC’s reputation for fairness and a high degree of objectivity in reporting news, especially political news, would be trashed – not just in Britain but around the world.
The idea that the BBC could behave in such a way would send the corporation into meltdown the like of which we have not yet seen. And that’s despite recent scandals involving Jimmy Savile’s sexual practices while in its employ and the failure to confront and deal with them, or to report on them when he died and then to run a report that led to an innocent man being accused of paedophilia.
The reason such damage would occur is twofold: firstly the BBC has probably the highest professional reputation of any broadcaster in the world, and secondly the BBC is funded by a legally enforced tax, meaning that everyone pays for it whether they like or agree with its output or not.
If you think my imagination has run riot to the point of being absurd then consider if the BBC had held such a high-level meeting to determine an editorial position on Britain’s membership of the European Union or the causes and cures of the economic recession. Both are controversial issues that will define Britain’s and Scotland’s future and would cause the same sense of outrage were the BBC to take a partisan view.
We all understand that any newspaper we are free to buy or not can take an editorial position. But the BBC is a public broadcaster and it cannot; it has to reflect the genuine political debate. That is what is expected of the BBC and why it has built such a strong reputation.
How then should we react to the news that has just recently emerged that, back in 2006, the BBC did have such a high-level meeting, not to discuss the growth of nationalist sentiment but to agree a position on climate change?
The meeting was held on 26 January 2006 and the BBC claimed it consisted of the 28 “best scientific experts” to decide the BBC policy on climate-change reporting. The meeting agreed unanimously to support the theory of man-made climate change despite there being a considerable body of reputable scientists that continued to challenge the theory.
Following this meeting, the blogger Tony Newbery sought to determine just who the 28 “best scientific experts” were, only to find that the BBC would not reveal them and went so far as to fight his freedom of information requests in court. He persevered, but only now has the list of names come to light. Not because the BBC decided to become more open – but by chance because blogger Maurizio Morabito found that the International Broadcasting Trust (that helped put the meeting together) posted the list on its website.
The participants included arguably only three or four genuine scientists (all supporting anthropogenic climate change theory), the rest being political activists, journalists and commentators who not only supported the man-made cause of climate change but often had a vested interest in it being propagated.
Greenpeace had two people attend, including its head of campaigns, and other well-known climate-change supporters were Stop Climate Chaos, Npower Renewables, E3G, Tearfund, Television for the Environment – and to try and ensure God was onside, the Church of England was represented too.
Included in the BBC participants were the heads of many TV or radio shows we are all familiar with (as well as, strangely, the head of BBC comedy!).
More noticeable are the names of Peter Rippon, Steve Mitchell, Helen Boaden and George Entwistle – all of whom have, recently, resigned or stepped aside from their roles in BBC news and current affairs over the Savile and McAlpine scandals. Entwistle, of course, went on to become director-general. His replacement, Tony Hall, had left the BBC for the Royal Opera House in 2001.
Naturally this story has not broken on the BBC – but in many ways it is more worrying than the Savile scandal.
Dealing with an individual who scarred individuals’ lives is a huge concern to us all – but interfering with democracy and open debate reveals an institutional bias that can change all of our lives.
Will Tony Hall deal with this – and is the same process happening over the EU, the recession and independence? These questions must be answered.
It is notable that all the online commets are supportive with the exception of one ignorant government funded hacktivist who assures us that 99.9% of scientists are alarmist. Were less than 99.9% of MSPs & eco-hackitivists wholly corrupt they would obviously have had to dissociate themselves from such an obvious lie.
It will be interesting tio see if the BBC contiue to refuse to comment on this. That have previously quickly replied to articles or even letters critical of them. I have written a letter which may, or may not, appear tomorrow.
This seems a good place to preen about tweets from Dellors & Bishop Hill following my previous article.
The following is a tweet today (16 Nov) by James Delingpole
James Delingpole @JamesDelingpole
wow I like this Neil Craig. He makes me look tame.
Follow up tweet
@JamesDelingpole Met him at the UKIP debate in Glasgow. Terribly mild mannered in person! Just like you.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Spiked by Spiked - Unpublished Letters
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.