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Saturday, December 22, 2012

UKIP - Ashcroft's Report For The Tories Gets It Wrong In All The Complacent Ways

  Lord Ashcroft did an investigation for the Tories of the UKIP threat and got almost everything beautifully wrong.  It is linked below along with extracts.

   His conclusion is that anybody deciding to vote for UKIP is a natural malcontent without whom the Tories are stronger. A mere protest voter unwilling to make the real hard policy choices which, allegedly, is the mark of serious politicians like Cameron and his party!

   In fact his research shows almost the opposite and since the Tories have made it available it should indeed be studied by UKIP (who I assume also have focus group results they are not making public)

   He finds the fact that, for most possible UKIP voters, leaving the EU is not the primary, let alone only, policy motivation to be a source of weakness for us.

  In fact it is the exact opposite. If we were still a one issue group our support, however broad, would not be deep and we could be stymied by some change of circumstances or indeed by the fact that when it comes to elections people rarely vote on just 1 issue. The Conservative "radical" option of offering a referendum, for example, could work if that is all the party supporters want (assuming anybody believed another "cast iron promise" from them).

    But in fact UKIP supporters put the EU "fifth most important issue behind getting the economy growing, controlling immigration, reducing welfare dependency and cutting the deficit". I hope I am giving away no pepsological secrets when I say I, as an activist, can go with almost exactly that order too. I suspect most people in the country would too. Despite Cameron trying to make gay marriage the major issue of the day.

     In which case the lesson for UKIP is that we have got it about right and only need to put more public emphasis on the range of our policies. We don't want to be seen as a 1 issue party and we aren't being. We  have a wide range of sensible policies across the board and those who know that like that.

    However even beyond the policy issues UKIP is getting respected for out integrity and that "UKIP says things that need to be said but other parties aren't prepared to say" and that we, alone represent the wishes of ordinary voters (Labour as much as Tory) and are the only party that wants to see ordinary people better their lives and serious about welfare reform (more important to Labour boters, rather than activists, than Tory). This should not be a surprise looking at the paucity of what passes for intellectual debate among the traditional parties.

    Ashcroft's total incomprehension that it is important that parties try to keep the voter's trust over the long term rather than just thinking the lie du jour will work is shown by this line:

 "The Tories said once before that Britain was becoming a foreign land; we told those who agreed that if they came with us we would give them back their country. As we found, there is no future in that kind of approach".

    No they didn't find it they just decided keeping the promise was too much like working for a living.  This is also displayed in the, I presume, unconscious irony of the paper's title "They're thinking what we're thinking" echoing a previous Tory election slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking" to which the electorate replied "we don't believe you really are thinking what you claim" - something which the cynical accession of Cameron proved correct.   

    At the end of the paper are tables of question results which clearly show that the main reasons people give for voting UKIP or not. The positives are that 78% of the entire country agrees with us on immigration; 76% that we are more sensible and less addicted to "oprendy" political correctness than the others; 72% that we should quit the EU; & UKIP’s "vision of what Britain should be like is closer to mine than that of the bigger parties". That is 72% of all representative adults in Britain yet a large majority of them prefer UKIP's bision to that of the party they currently vote for.

   The reasons for not voting UKIP are that we will split the vote (34% nationally, 27% locally) and that we concentrate too much on the EU (20%). Those first 2 are obviously going to fall as UKIP's vote rises. Currently we are about half the Tory vote but if we get another 7% matching the Tories they will turn into the vote splitters. Indeed looking at the Rotherham result in the North of England that may well already be the case. And for the Scottish and Welsh elections, conducted under PR, the vote splitting argument fails.

    Where UKIP still have a problem is that the Labour vote is holding up better than the Tory & Lib Dem ones. 51% of new UKIP supporters come from the Tories  21% from the LibDems & 22% from Labour (p17) This may be because so many of the leaders of UKIP were Tories and are happier trying to persuade them or that  Labour voters simply have more tribal loyalty, or a bit of both, but if Labour are not to take power by default as the main party that has not collapsed as far as the others we have to cut into their base.

    One point for those Tories who think that if UKIP would simply go away all our vote would go to them - "Only half of current UKIP considerers (51% )say they would seriously consider voting Conservative at the next general election." Half is not enough to win an election.

   If our vote holds up and all the signs are that it will the only way the Tories could get back into power would be through some deal with UKIP which endorsed almost all the popular policies we have (rather than the allegedly serious issues like gay marriage Cameron is obsessed with) and ensired we would have a sufficient control of power that we, who are much more trusted by everybody, would be able to ensure they do it (ie that UKIP would have to have enough winnablte seats that there wouldn't be an overall Tory majority).

    Well OK there is one other way the Tories might just make it - do a rerun of the AV referendum and get AV in before the next election. Since it isn't true PR they could hope that UKIP would get very few first places and that almost all our 2nd preferences would go to them. ;-) Funny thing about politics is that sometimes when you are trying to work out how to best stab the people in the back in your own interests, you find you have stabbed your own back.
Some quotes from Lord Ashcroft's report for the Tories on UKIP

UKIP, for those who are attracted to it, may be the party that wants to leave the EU or toughen immigration but its primary attraction is that it will“ say things that need to be said but others are scared to say”. Analysis of our poll found the biggest predictor of whether a voter will consider UKIP is that they agree the party is “on the side of people like me”. Agreement that UKIP shares their values and has its heart in the right place are also more important than policy issues in determining whether someone is drawn to the party. The idea that UKIP “seem to want to take Britain back to a time when things were done more sensibly”, and that“ the bigger parties seem more interested in trendy nonsense than listening to ordinary people” both elicited stronger agreement among UKIP considerers than the party’s policy that Britain should leave the EU. p5

UKIP is the only party (at least this side of the Greens) by which nobody can feel let down. p6

even if they were to win more seats than any other party – need not mean electoral doom for the Tories the following year. p6

UKIP considerers who are concerned about immigration – which is to say, most of them – do not believe the government is keeping its promise to tackle the issue. p7

The Tories said once before that Britain was becoming a foreign land; we told those who agreed that if they came with us we would give them back their country. As we found, there is no future in that kind of approach p7

Only just over a quarter of UKIP considerers put resolving Britain’s future relations with the EU among the top three issues facing Britain; only 7% say it is the most important issue. For them, it ranks behind economic growth, welfare, immigration and the deficit. p9

12% of those who voted Conservative say they would vote UKIP in an election tomorrow, as do 1% of those who voted Labour and 7 of those who voted Liberal Democrat .50% of those who would consider voting UKIP voted Conservative at the 2010 general election .22% voted Labour, 21% voted Liberal Democrat.

The risk of helping elect an MP or government from the bigger party they liked least was the biggest potential off-­‐putting factor for UKIP considerers. p9

However, the impression that UKIP says things that need to be said but other parties aren't prepared to say is relatively less important for. Labour voters than it is for Tories. For Labour voters, the idea that UKIP wants to help ordinary people get on in life is also a driver, as is the impression that they are the best party on the issue of welfare reform. p11

Only half of current UKIP considerers (51%) say they would seriously consider voting Conservative at the next general election. p17

Complaints included austerity measures such as tax and benefit changes which had hit the wrong people (which often included themselves), failure to tackle immigration properly, and various other perceived broken promises (“they were going to cut energy bills and the cost of living”), sometimes including an in/out referendum on EU membership that a few believed David Cameron had promised before the election to hold. p17

Among UKIP considerers, this (EU) was the fifth most important issue behind getting the economy growing, controlling immigration, reducing welfare dependency and cutting the deficit. p21
70% of potential UKIP voters who voted Conservative in 2010 agreed that “the party I used to vote for has lost touch with its traditional supporters like me”. This compared to 65% of those who voted Lib Dem and 52%of those who voted Labour. The biggest reservation potential UKIP supporters have about voting for the party is that by doing so they would be helping to put their least preferred party in power, whether as their local MP or in government nationally. Around half say these would be important factors in their eventual voting decision.... quite evenly divided on the statements "even if a few UKIP MPs were elected, they would

not be able to achieve anything”, and “they only seem to be interested in Europe, and don’t have policies in other important areas”

though these would be important considerations if they thought them to be true. p22

In focus groups UKIP considerers usually described the party’s attraction in terms of standing up for Britain, commonsense, and resisting the culture of political correctness and human rights that they felt was invading too much of British life. p22

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Friday, December 21, 2012

How Much Government Money Goes On Helping the Poor?

  This assessment of where government spending goes comes from Mark Wadsworth:

Nominally private sector businesses (whether for goods and services supplied or as subsidies) - 40%

Welfare claimants and OAPs - Three-quarters of that is old age pensions of course, working age welfare is surprisingly small amounts.- 30-35% (Note that pensions, insofar as the costs are properly calculated and paid by national insurance, aren't welfare but simply conmtractual payments)

Public sector workers and pensioners - total salary and pension costs of six million public sector employees - a bit less than 30% (but no less than 25%).

"Nominally private sector businesses (whether for goods and services supplied or as subsidies)"
What kind of things are we looking at here?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, it is a very, very long list.
Bank bail outs and guarantees, arts council and film subsidies, windmill subsidies, green subsidies, agricultural land subsidies and housing benefit, PFI and PP overspend, export guarantees, most of DFID spending, overspend on weapons (what MoD get up to is incompetent to the point of being criminal, troops are dying and they don't care), IT projects (NHS Spine), all the Work Programme and A4E type stuff, carbon permits-auctions, spending money on removing harmless white asbestos, tax breaks/subsidies for pensions companies, HomeBuy schemes, Funding for Lending scheme.
Most of these items are in the £1 billion to £10 billion per annum range, none of them in isolation would bankrupt us, but if you have thirty or forty biggies, then it all adds up.

  I think it also includes NHS trusts since they are nominally independent and probably a number of other things I would approve of, at least in principle.

  However it is obvious that very little of the money government takes to provide for the poor actually ends up there. The vast majority goes to "THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO PAY GOVERNMENT WORKERS AND THEIR ALLIES"

    We don't have a deficit of about 20% of all government spending because of welfare. The claims of various politicians that we can't cut the deficit because this will hurt "the most vulnerable in society" are simply untrue. We have a deficit because we have so many parasites, who then frokm time to time use real welfare cases as mopral human shields.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

28 Gate Roundup and Unpublished Letter

  Principia Scientific has an interesting blog on  28 gate. Some excerpts:

Evidence for a conspiracy began as early as June 2007 when the BBC Trust published it’s report From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel  in which it declared the get together was to have been:

“a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts"

During the recent tribunal the director of BBC News, Helen Boaden, took the stand to declare that the 2006 secret panel was comprised of “scientists with contrasting views.” But as the list proves, all present were solidly in the alarmist camp.   ...Incongruously, also in attendance was Trevor Evans, a  member of the US embassy serving as ECON/EST Officer   ...With a body so loaded with one-sided opinions the only meaningful discussion among these “Specialists” would have been how best the BBC could “sell” it’s message on global warming. Critics could be forgiven for inferring that the few scientists there were only to advise how far the panel could go before any such “message” went deep into the realms of climate propaganda and meeting the bounds of any legal challenge under the BBC Charter.

    I think the final paragraph is a reasonable assessment. Such a body simply could not deliver any sort of expertise on whether catastrophic warming is valid (so many of them being "aid" workers weren't even fit to put the alarmist viewpoint. But they were admirably equipped to say how a propaganda campaign can be run.

    I have done a bit of checking for Trevor Evans online. Assuming the people of that name who are a Berlin Professor and the boss of the American Rifle Association are different Trevors the only reference I can find is that he was Charge d'Affaires to Slovenia in 2000. That is a sort of junior ambassador to a country to small to have a full ambassadot, so quite a high ranking but low visibility post. This was just after the bombing of Yugoslavia so a post in Slovenia would be a sensitive one where one would certaibnly be reqiored to "lie abroad for his country". Indeed a thought strikes. During the coup against Milosevic there was said to be a COA psy-ops operation said to be based in Zagreb Specifically, these were the psyops used to bring down Milosevic.  Was Evans part of that? Certainly it would explain how one could be so relatively high ranking and yet invisible. ECON/EST means Economic- Education, Science and Technology Officer but that seems a meaningless catch all cover,

   The statement by Helen Boaden, now reinstated after the Savile scandal clearly cannot possibly be described as truthful and this, when testified to in court, makes it seem indisputable that she is personally guilty of perjury. It may well be that other BBC employees have also been so.

   Since the British state spent well over a million investigating and prosecuting Tommy Sheriden for perjury, in a case far more complicated and less clear cut, I will be forwarding this to the Attorney General.

   Unless the entire British judicial system is not only wholly corrupt bit willing to be shown indisputably to be wholly corrupt they will put at least a significant amount of effort into prosecuting this and other BBC possible BBC perjurers.

   Also interesting is the number of hits Google generates for 28 gate 456 million today and for Google News 57,800 today (not including, at least at the top, a large number of articles I know of. If the subject was Stonehenge we might expect a 9,000 to one ratio against recent news but since 28 gate is a term invented just over a month ago for a news story the obvious conclusion must be that Goolge News is being censored.

Unpublished (call it a hunch) letter
      New developments in the BBC's 28 gate scandal, where the BBC were caught having lied for many years to claim they had the support of 28 "leading scientists" giving the "best scientific advice" - namely that catastrophic global warming was certain and despite their legal duty of "balance" should censor any dissent on the subject. In fact the "scientists" were, with 2 exceptions, not scientists and were all warming activists.

      Unfortunately this news still gets little coverage except online, perhaps because, unlike Savile, it does not involve celebrities or sex or perhaps because it is at least 1,000 times more important.

        The new finding is that in their legal actions to prevent the names of the "scientists" coming out, for which the BBC probably paid over half a million of our £s, BBC News boss Helen Boaden (now reinstated after suspension during the Savile inquiry) told the court that the symposium consisted of "scientists with contrasting views". Neither part of that was true. As Tommy Sheriden learned, lying to a court is a criminal offence known as perjury for which you can and should be sent to jail.

        If Britain is a country in which the Rule of Law applies the authorities, who put over £1 million into prosecuting Sheriden must do the same with Boaden and any other BBC employees whos spoke similarly. That Sheriden was a left wing politician and Boaden is a pillar of the state broadcasting monopoly who has lied and propagandised to promote a catastrophic warming story which, while false, served the interests of government by terrorising the people is irrelevnt. The law must apply to equally to everybody.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

British space inventions crying out for investment

Latest ThinkScotland article. Please put comments there: 
British space inventions crying out for investment

   This news has appeared in various places. Here is the Reuters version.

        Reaction Engines Ltd believes its Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on Earth to no more than four hours away.

That ambition was given a boost on Wednesday (28th Nov) by ESA, which has acted as an independent auditor on the Sabre test program.

"ESA are satisfied that the tests demonstrate the technology required for the Sabre engine development," the agency's head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told a news conference.

"One of the major obstacles to a re-usable vehicle has been removed," he said. "The gateway is now open to move beyond the jet age."

The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper. What the company has right now is a remarkable heat exchanger that is able to cool air sucked into the engine at high speed from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in one hundredth of a second.

This core piece of technology solves one of the constraints that limit jet engines to a top speed of about 2.5 times the speed of sound, which Reaction Engines believes it could double.

The challenge for the engineers was to find a way to cool the air quickly without frost forming on the heat exchanger, which would clog it up and stop it working.

Using a nest of fine pipes that resemble a large wire coil, the engineers have managed to get round this fatal problem that would normally follow from such rapid cooling of the moisture in atmospheric air.

They are tight-lipped on exactly how they managed to do it....

   Reaction Engines is Alan Bond who developed the Horizontal Take-off and Landing (HOTOL) shuttle design some years ago which, though it got no real government support, is widely accepted could have done what NASA's shuttle promised and indeed SpaceX is now achieving. So this is a very serious option.

   The European Space Agency (ESA) testing does not mean ESA are going to pay for it, despite the British government recently deciding to give a one off grant of £1.2 billion mainly for the manned space programme.

   That is probably a good thing because ESA are a bureaucratic mess who, on half the budget of NASA, have never managed to do anything innovative in manned space development. What their contribution here, of auditing the Sabre rocket tests, amounts to is giving a governmental seal of approval.

       Chief executive Tim Hayter believes the company could have an operational engine ready for sale within 10 years if it can raise the development funding....

   The firm has so far received 90 percent of its funding from private sources, mainly rich individuals including chairman Nigel McNair Scott, the former mining industry executive who also chairs property developer Helical Bar.

Chief executive Tim Hayter told Reuters he would welcome government investment in the company, mainly because of the credibility that would add to the project.

But the focus will be on raising the majority of the 250 million pounds it needs now from a mix of institutional investors, high net worth individuals and possibly potential partners in the aerospace industry.

  I don't believe anybody investing their own money is going to feel that ESA bureaucrats are better judges of what makes a good investment for them than they are. What he means by "adding credibility" is that in our nominally free market society the major risk to large investments is that government isn't on your side.

    You can have highly feasible venture capable of making vast profits but if you fear the government will ban it (most GM, nuclear), declare a several year moratorium so that you stand round with your hands in your pockets as America develops it  (shale gas), deny planning permission (Trump's golf course), bring in regulations to force you to sell at under cost and thus bankrupt the industry (nuclear under the previous government), openly prevent you competing with the government owned competition (Murdoch's bid to buy all of Sky and expand it), have nobody willing to say they will support you as the regulators work you over (why Virgin are going to launch from Sweden rather than Lossiemouth) or just don't like you (nuclear again), why bother? Why not take your investment to Singapore like the team that created Dolly the Sheep.

    An example of how much public support from government adds "credibility" even without money is the way Thatcher's ministers lobbied financial institutions for the billions needed to build the Channel tunnel. In the end they lost much of their money but we have the tunnel. If their successors had put that much effort into promoting the space industry we would have had HOTOL and be well on the way with the Sabre engine. If they had done as much lobbying and also put up a little money to show they meant it how much further forward would we be now?

    So what they mean by adding credibility is that saying ESA have approved it means government approves it. Probably.

    This, if it works according to spec, which I think it will, is indeed a major breakthrough which will make fast commercial flight to Australia and far more important, to orbit (we already know how to get to Australia) a practical proposition. The comparison with the jet engine is apt.

    But it won't just be delivered tomorrow by Santa. Developing such things takes effort, engineering genius and money. Frank Whittle submitted his first jet engine patent in 1930 so 10 years to an operational engine is not pessimistic.

    Meanwhile SpaceX are operational now. Private firms intending to go to the Moon and the asteroids are working now. Singapore and Abu Dhabi are building spaceports now.
     The world space industry is growing at 10% a year. Britain's (worth £9bn a year) is growing the same. Our government's ambition (£10 million a year support so that we will have a £30 billion industry by 2030) implies our industry's growth rate will sink to under 7% annually. Still ahead of almost every other industry but not comparable to what could be done if there were serious support and growth. After all Britain's scientists and engineers are, as I previously wrote, better than those of any similar or larger country.

   The Reaction Engines device looks to be an enormous technological breakthrough, in 10 years. It should certainly be supported here before it or something similar gets supported elsewhere. But we live in an era of unparalleled technological breakthroughs.

     I would also mention the Bristol Space suborbital Ascender, which is essentially a reworking of the 1960s British rocketplane SR53 and which could have given us a suborbital craft years ago had there been a mere £50 million of investment money available. Though there has been £300 million a year for ESA plus a one off £1.2bn there is nothing for the Ascender, which in turn is designed to be bootstrapped into a major orbital capacity.

    We are going to have a major human commercial presence in space well within 10 years. SpaceX guarantees that. This new device is "merely" one of many which will make flying to orbit ultimately as easy as flying to Australia (the energy requirement of pushing through 12,000 miles of atmosphere is no less than for achieving orbit.) Since Earth orbit is "halfway to anywhere in the solar system" in energy terms and space can provide us with literally unlimited amounts of energy, metals and other resources that "merely" is orders of magnitude more important than the settlement of Australia.

     I have previously argued here that by far the best way of national support would be by taking the money we already spend on ESA and put it into a fund for technology X-Prizes. This  policy has been adopted by UKIP but not by those in government, though strangely enough nobody, either last time I wrote of it, or in the government departments involved disputes that prizes are far more, perhaps 100 times more, effective than the grants they prefer.

   The Sabre engine is a magnificent technological opportunity, but opportunity is not result. Britain's technological ability is literally second to none but our political class has, over at least decades, shown itself Luddite in the extreme and dropped the ball with a long list of technological achievements, developed by other countries - spending the money on bureaucracy and politically connected schemes (windmills being the extreme example). Prizes, rather than grants to bureaucracy, ensures the money goes only to achievers and would be a sign to venture capitalists that investment in technology is desired and will be rewarded.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

28Gate Letters Unpublished By Dead tree Press, 1 Published by Spiked and AT Last The Express Breaks Ranks

   2 letters previously each sent out to 55 papers and another today, not published by any of them brings us to 555. Censorship rules in our media.

   An equivocal counter example is this letter of mine that Spiked did publish in response to an article on Levenson and how a free press is desirable. It directly criticises Spiked for having spiked any coverage of 28gate. Quite strange that they publish the rebuke for censoring the news but still haven't covered the news itself.

   Possibly they are indeed under pressure to censor and this is their way of acknowledging it.

The question of how free the press is to tell us the facts (assuming it would like to be) can be determined by comparing the coverage given to the Savile scandal in which the BBC clearly committed sins of omission and the coverage of the far greater 28gate scandal where the entire BBC organisation knowingly and deliberately lied, for at least six years in an open attempt to promote totalitarian controls over us all.
With a relatively few honorable exceptions most of the press had censored, spiked or ignored any mention of a fraud to keep most people in Britain ignorant.
Neil Craig, UK

  However the big news is that the Express has today broken ranks and admitedly in a downplayed way, reported 28gate as a news item.
Lord Lawson’s Global Warming ­Policy Foundation yesterday claimed that its coverage has been marked by “bias, ignorance and ­credulity” and has failed to measure up to professional standards.
The letter.
In an open letter to Lord Hall, GWPF trustees Lord Lawson, Labour’s Lord Donoughue and Liberal Democrat ­Baroness Nicholson highlighted “28gate” – a BBC seminar that shaped its coverage of climate change.

It was held in 2006 between 28 senior BBC staff and 28 outsiders whom the BBC Trust later described as “some of the best scientific experts”.
After the meeting the BBC said the weight of evidence meant it could no longer justify giving the same space to climate sceptics as climate change advocates.
But the GWPF claims that only two of the outsiders were scientists.
The rest, it says, were mainly environmentalists or “non-scientists with a vested interest in promoting renewable energy”.

The three peers wrote: “So the BBC stands convicted not only of culpable imbalance but also of rank dishonesty.”

  Downplaying by saying "the GWPF claims that only two of the outsiders were scientists. The rest, it says, were mainly environmentalists or “non-scientists with a vested interest in promoting renewable energy”. The lack of scientists isn't a "claim" but an observable fact and it wasn't just "the rest"  that were activists with vested interests in alarmism (ie being paid by the state to promote it) - so too were the 2 scientists.

    The BBC is quoted on 28gate "“The BBC’s climate change coverage is balanced and impartial" which, sincecv it is a considered reply matured over more than onme month o9f censorship,  must be4 considered to be the very highest standard of honesty to which anyubody stil working at the BBC, under any circumstances, ever aspires.

    As well as being a complete, total and deliberate lie which could never be told except by an organisation and individuals who were obscvene, wholly corrupt, parasitic Fascist filth withouit remoteely as much decency as the guards at Auschwitz.

   People whom, by definition, no honest or non-Fascist "environmentalist" can fail to publicly denounce vas the obscene filth they are.

   2 points of interest.

   With the exception of one paid hactivist ALL the online comments are not merely supportive of sceptics but agree that the BBC is a merely a propaganda organisation and we should not be forced to fund it.

   The picture used to illustrate it is a variant on the one used in my ThinkScotland article. Either this is an improbable coincidence or the sub-editor, at least, had read the earlier article.
My unpublished letters:


A leaked draft of the IPCC's latest report AR5 admits that the global warming we experienced between 1979 & 1996 can be explained by a mixture of solar radiance and the effect on cloud formation of changes in solar radiation. It may well have had nothing to do with CO2, which is in any case a desirable gas since it improves crop growth.
There has, of course, been no warming since 1996.
Meanwhile the BBC are still censoring any mention of them being caught lying about the "28 leading scientists" almost all of whom were activists with no connection to science, whom they used to justify their blatant breaking of their legal duty of "balance" in promoting the "catastrophic warming" fraud & their censorship of dissidents. This censorship of dissent has meant that UKIP, according to the polls Britain's 3rd party, has received 1/40th as much coverage per vote as the Greens which is clearly incompatible with true democracy.
Perhaps we will see the BBC apologise for their propagandising soon. At least before they start promoting the next false eco-scare. Over the last 60 years we have had literally hundreds of eco-doom scare stories, promoted by them, which has seen trilliions of £s spent by state functionaries. Not one of them has proven to be true.
When our MPs are considering Levenson perhaps they will remember that the free press, for all its faults, has proven considerably more trustworthy than the state owned broadcaster.
Neil Craig (14th Dec)

ref - IPCC leak
Bishop Hill on the breaking news
The list of the 28 "leading scientists"
100 leading UK scientists listing


By any standard by far the most serious scandal to have hit the BBC is 28gate. Having, for 6 years claimed that the BBC's blatant breaking of their legal charter duty of "balance" to censor any dissidents doubting we are experiencing "catastroophic global warming" it turned out rather than the 28 "leading scientists" only 2 could actually be called scientists - it was merely a group of general government funded activists - some not even "environmental" state funded activists. The BBC had clearly and deliberately lied (almost all depts of the BBC were involved).
It is now literally impossible for any informed and honest observer to deny that the BBC is a wholly corrupt totalitarian propaganda organisation, rather than a news one, willing to lie and censor continuously and deliberately for years in the state cause, because that is precisely what they have done. A consequence of this is that UKIP, the only party not to endorse spending trillions of £s fighting this fake scare, get 1/40th as much BBC coverage, per vote, as the Greens.
While this has gone viral online it is almost entirely absent from the press and of course wholly censored by the BBC. Clearly desperate efforts are being made to ensure most of people remain ignorant. Since this is such a major story and has gone viral online it is difficult to believe that competent print journalists and editors are unaware of it and yet it has gone largely unreported as a news story and even readers letters on the subject are almost all censored. We can only speculate why.
Neil Craig (17th Dec)

Perhaps you might like to say if there is any reason, in the drafting of this or previous letters why it is not published or alternately if there is any dispute that this is at least 1,000 times as important and newsworthy as Savile or alternately whether this is deliberate censorship in the totalitarian cause worthy of Mr Goebbels or Orwell's Ministry of Truth (based on the BBC where he worked) or alternately whether there is any other credible reason for suppressing coverage.   and a letter sent out today which can't yet be said to have been cinsored by the entire press but lets just say I have faith in the proven standard of integrity of the scum.   Sir,

My congratulations to the Express for reporting the news of the BBC's 28gate scandal which broke a month ago on the net. Particularly since it has been mysteriously & with an almost Soviet absoluteness, absent from the news sections of the rest of the press and even from letters sections which are nominally the reader's choice.
The complacency of the BBC in continuing simply to claim, after 28gate that their coverage of alleged catastrophic global warming is "balanced and impartial" is incredible. Not only have they "long ago given up any pretence of impartiality," to quote Paxman some time ago, but the proof that their claimed justification of bias - a symposium of the "28 leading scientists" - was also a lie since only 2 were scientists & they and all the others were government funded activists.
Such a public statement, written after they have had over a month to consider their position, must be treated as the most studied and highest standard of honesty to which the BBC aspire. It is also a lie. It is now impossible for any person with any integrity to continue to work for an organisation which has not only deliberately lied and censored for many years to promote a public scare they knew to be, at least largely, a lie but has lied and lied again to protect the original lie. It seems likely that Mr Savile, who was not involved in this scandal, was more honourable then the BBC average. Certainly this scandal is 1,000 times more important.
Legally the BBC are required to be "balanced." Since they are not they have clearly vitiated their own charter. Their bias on alleged catastrophic warming in turn ensured their reporting of party politics was immensely slanted. For example UKIP have received only 1/40th as much coverage per vote received, almost all critical, from the state broadcaster that the Greens get (almost all supportive). On many many other subjects, including illegal wars, their coverage involves slanting &/or censorship. This is clearly incompatible with true democracy.
If they have broken their charter they have no legal right to take our licence money. Moreover, under the European Convention on Human Rights it is illegal to force people to pay for propaganda they do not want.
The BBC must either be so reformed and freed from state money as to be unrecognisable or wound up.
Neil Craig (Sec, UKIP Glasgow Branch)

You may wish to delete the first paragraph & have may permission to do so.

You may also wish to continue censoring the entire news - thereby proving "inncmpatible with true democracy".

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

   This is from a remarkably fine article in the WSJ based on the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder  (HT Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor). I am reprinting his 5 rules of what is required for successful social organisations. Note that each one shows free markets being more able to survive unexpected (black swan) problems (or take advantage of unexpected opportunities than government. Multiplying all 5 together must make a colossal advantage:

Rule 1: Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.

...natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times. Stifling natural fluctuations masks real problems, causing the explosions to be both delayed and more intense when they do take place. As with the flammable material accumulating on the forest floor in the absence of forest fires, problems hide in the absence of stressors, and the resulting cumulative harm can take on tragic proportions.

And yet our economic policy makers have often aimed for maximum stability, even for eradicating the business cycle. "No more boom and bust," as voiced by the U.K. Labor leader Gordon Brown....

Promoting antifragility doesn't mean that government institutions should avoid intervention altogether...: The state should be there for emergency-room surgery, not nanny-style maintenance and overmedication of the patient—and it should get better at the former.

In social policy, when we provide a safety net, it should be designed to help people take more entrepreneurial risks, not to turn them into dependents.

Rule 2: Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes, not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.

..... Without the high failure rate in the restaurant business, you would be eating Soviet-style cafeteria food for your next meal.

....These businesses have properties similar to evolution in the natural world, with a well-functioning mechanism to benefit from evolutionary pressures, one error at a time.

By contrast, every bank failure weakens the financial system, which in its current form is irremediably fragile: Errors end up becoming large and threatening. A reformed financial system would eliminate this domino effect, allowing no systemic risk from individual failures. A good starting point would be reducing the amount of debt and leverage in the economy and turning to equity financing. ....A firm with equity financing can survive drops in income, however. Consider the abrupt deflation of the technology bubble during 2000. Because technology firms were relying on equity rather than debt, their failures didn't ripple out into the wider economy. Indeed, their failures helped to strengthen the technology sector.
Rule 3: Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.

...Projects of $100 million seem rational, but they tend to have much higher percentage overruns than projects of, say, $10 million. Great size in itself, when it exceeds a certain threshold, produces fragility and can eradicate all the gains from economies of scale. To see how large things can be fragile, consider the difference between an elephant and a mouse: The former breaks a leg at the slightest fall, while the latter is unharmed by a drop several multiples of its height. This explains why we have so many more mice than elephants.

... Compare the success of the bottom-up mechanism of canton-based decision making in Switzerland to the failures of authoritarian regimes in Soviet Russia and Baathist Iraq and Syria.
Rule 4: Trial and error beats academic knowledge.

Things that are antifragile love randomness and uncertainty, which also means—crucially—that they can learn from errors. Tinkering by trial and error has traditionally played a larger role than directed science in Western invention and innovation. Indeed, advances in theoretical science have most often emerged from technological development, which is closely tied to entrepreneurship...

But I don't mean just any version of trial and error. There is a crucial requirement to achieve antifragility: The potential cost of errors needs to remain small; the potential gain should be large.
Perhaps because of the success of the Manhattan Project and the space program, we greatly overestimate the influence and importance of researchers and academics in technological advancement. These people write books and papers; tinkerers and engineers don't, and are thus less visible. Consider Britain, whose historic rise during the Industrial Revolution came from tinkerers who gave us innovations like iron making, the steam engine and textile manufacturing. The great names of the golden years of English science were hobbyists, not academics: Charles Darwin, Henry Cavendish, William Parsons, the Rev. Thomas Bayes. Britain saw its decline when it switched to the model of bureaucracy-driven science. I have expressed strong doubt that NASA is an example of an efficient large programme, it just had an awful lot of money. In an alternate world where there had been no Apollo programme we might be firther ahead now. In one where the money put into NASA had gone into X-Prizes U don't think anybody disputes we would now have settled most of the solar system and be preparing for interstellar travel by now.

Rule 5: Decision makers must have skin in the game.

At no time in the history of humankind have more positions of power been assigned to people who don't take personal risks. ... This has an excellent precedent in the practices of the ancients. The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed.

Because our current system is so complex, it lacks elementary clarity: No regulator will know more about the hidden risks of an enterprise than the engineer who can hide exposures to rare events and be unharmed by their consequences. This rule would have saved us from the banking crisis, when bankers who loaded their balance sheets with exposures to small probability events collected bonuses during the quiet years and then transferred the harm to the taxpayer, keeping their own compensation. Nobody is held less responsible for their actions than modern political leaders. Force Brown & Blair to sleep under the british economy and they would have been more careful

In these five rules, I have sketched out only a few of the more obvious policy conclusions that we might draw from a proper appreciation of antifragility. But the significance of antifragility runs deeper. It is not just a useful heuristic for socioeconomic matters but a crucial property of life in general. Things that are antifragile only grow and improve under adversity. This dynamic can be seen not just in economic life but in the evolution of all things, from cuisine, urbanization and legal systems to our own existence as a species on this planet.

Modernity has been obsessed with comfort and cosmetic stability, but by making ourselves too comfortable and eliminating all volatility from our lives, we do to our bodies and souls what Mr. Greenspan did to the U.S. economy: We make them fragile. We must instead learn to gain from disorder.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Big Engineering 51 Modern Airships

  This is lifted from Al Fin.

The Aeros rigid body airship uses a novel buoyancy management system to provide the ability to carry up to 66 tons of freight or passengers, with a range of 3,000 nautical miles, and the ability to land and take off vertically from any flat surface. Cruising speed is 110 knots, with better fuel economy than other aircraft with heavy lift capability.
....working with the US FAA on legal-technical-regulatory aspects of the craft before building a full-sized version.

.....With the Aeroscraft, there is a gas envelope above a freight chamber which reduces the buoyancy until the craft is 50 feet above the ground. Then you land it as you would a helicopter.

“The concept of the operation is absolutely new. When it comes in for a landing, say 100 feet or 50 feet and it touches the ground, at this moment you become heavier than air,’’ he says.

Using helium rather than hydrogen this will be much safer than a helicpoter or even traditional plane. It would take real talent to crash it at any speed.
This should mean that flight restrictions over built up areas would be far less onerous. I say "should" because government regulations normally ratchet only 1 way & such regulations are becoming the number one cost of doing business in many, possibly most, technolo9gical fields. The mention above of the FAA regulatory discussion supports the point that much, if not most of the failure to develop this form of flight is regulatory.

  Craft like this will not replace long range aircraft because they are slower and because they have a large surface area which increases flying costs at high speed. However they could, even without the landing capacity of the Aeros be extrmely useful for pleasure trips or for carrying large loads, particularly large single unit loads.

  "delivering 66 tons and three full trucks, in some scenarios, it can be more cost effective than trucks"

   So it could be used to deliver entire prefabricated houses. Such airships were also postulated by Marshall Savage as a way of transporting the high protein seafood grown on an Aquarius floating island across Africa. A little thought will produce many more such uses, particularly where one would not be dependent on government infrastructure either because it doesn't exist - Africa - or because you can thus minimise government red tape - Euurope, USA.

  As examples the Sahara, where there is a shortage of roads, would be easy to cross at 110knots. Equally where the problem is a mixture of ground and water - either swamp land or somewhere like the West Highlands where islands and Kintyre and the lack of harbours get in the way of ocean travel and ocean and the sea lochs which reach deep into the land, get in the way of land travel and mountains get in the way of everything would become for more accessible.

  And for fans here is a link to the history of US Naval airships Macon and Akron.

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