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Monday, December 30, 2013

Daily Mail Xmas Eve Letter On X-Prizes

    I saw this letter, which went out to all and sundry in the Scottish & UK media, in the Scottish Daily Mail on Eve, after I thought it had been rejected:

 The Chinese automated Moon Lander has been generally described as 40 years late.

  Well it is 40 years after Apollo perhaps but NASA couldn't do it now and it seems likely that it will be of more scientific use than the Apollo landings because the lander has ground penetrating radar and it will work for several months.
       It can't return rocks to Earth but that's promised for future voyages.

     Remarkably China's space budget just £320 million (or £800 million if you're guided by Euroconsult) By comparison Britain's space budget is £330 million, almost all simply handed over to ESA, whose total budget in turn is about half of the $20 billion NASA spends.

     This makes China's space efforts remarkably small and remarkably successful or NASA & ESA remarkably useless which is probably more likely. 
      China's budget is just 60p per person per year. Clearly the Chinese are not so much racing for space as engaged in a gentle stroll while the west slides slowly backwards.

       This reinforces UKIP's belief that if instead Britain's space budget were pledged as a prize in a space travel competition such as the X-Prize Foundation, we could soon become a world leader in commercial space development.
     And if we also added the £500 million NERC (a minor quango  most people have never heard of) spends, largely spent on advertising the warming scare, we'd be a racing certainty
Neil Craig
UKIP Glasgow
    Editing was mostly to simplify language ("per year" rather than "annually" and removed nothing important. Since it doesn't change anything except to marginally improve it I have kept the Mail's wording. It is clear that they looked at & edited this seriously and I appreciate this, particularly when other papers decided not to. In particular the reference to UKIP, normally a killer for the rest of the press, was not excised. Indeed both the last 2 paragraphs could have been removed without making the letter unintelligible - I wrote it that way because I would rather have had the bowdlerised version out than none. Thus the Mail have exceeded my expectations whereas the rest fell below them.
   I am pleased with this letter. It hits 4 of my hobbyhorses - space, X-Prizes, UKIP and state funding of the warming scare as well as countering the xenophobia our media normally display against whichever countries we are currently being taught to hate.  
Link to the remarkable budget figures  US$500 million (official); US$1.3 billion (Euroconsult).

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I have not often bought the Daily Mail, but when I did and read some of the content, it was not the rabid knuckle scraping extremism that so many of it's competitors ( and particularly the BBC ) portray it. If you watch some of the past comedy shows such as "Have I got news for You" on Dave it is alarming how often blatant mud slinging is undertaken, supposedly for comedian reasons, but with a darker agenda that if you throw enough, often enough, some will stick, even though there is little or no evidence for the slurs.
Thats my opinion too. I regard the Mail as the closest thing we have to a traditional newspaper, defining "news" as something somebody doesn't want us to know. It,pretty much alone, goes out looking for stories rather than just rewriting press releases from politicians/quangos/government sock puppets plus the odd court report or Reuters international story.

Your point about comedy is reinforced by the 28 Gate fraud - almost every department, including comedy, was represented in that "symposium" on propagandising warming.

I remember some beeboids discussing comedy and coming to the conclusion that the BBC must be actively looking for a popular "right wing" comic & not finding any. Oh if only Jim Davidson were able to draw the sort of crowds Jo Brand can ;-)
An excellent letter. Our governing class is altogether too careless with the people's pennies. NASA - even gold-plated NASA - reckons it can get a man to Mars and back for less money than it will cost to shave 20 minutes of the train time from London to Birmingham with HS2. A roarin' Hogmanay to you and yours. - Christopher

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