Click to get your own widget

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Nuclear - Safest Power Source In Existence

    This is a decent article attempting to find ways to counter anti-nuclear hysteria. Including this on the LNT theory proving even governments promoting it don't believe in it except when they want:

"If one assumes a linear relationship between dose and cancer risk, it follows that total health impacts (cancers, deaths) scale directly with collective exposure, i.e., the integral of dose times the number of people exposed (in units of man-Rem). If government policy is ostensibly based on LNT today, you would think that said policy would treat all man-Rems the same. In a clear sign that policies and standards are not objective or science based, that is not true, by many orders of magnitude.

The fact of the matter is that, while LNT, along with a 10‑4 to 10-6 lifetime cancer risk criterion, will be applied to cleanup standards after any nuclear plant release, vastly larger sources of public collective exposure are simply ignored. These include all exposures from natural background (e.g., radon), air travel, and medical exposures to some extent. Exposures to naturally occurring radioactive materials from all other industries (such as coal plant emissions or old oil pipes off the California coast) are also generally ignored.

Radon is estimated to expose on the order of 100 million Americans to hundreds of millirem annually, resulting in an annual collective exposure on the order of 25 million man-Rem. According to the LNT, this results in on the order of ~10,000 annual deaths. Medical exposures are also a huge source of collective exposure (with CAT scans alone causing ~29,000 annual deaths, according to LNT), and the medical community is only starting to pay attention to the issue, with patients and many practitioners hardly thinking about it at all. Both of these sources of collective exposure are orders of magnitude larger than the collective exposure that would result from a worst-case nuclear accident, even if no cleanup efforts were made.

And yet, nothing is being done about them. Little to no money is being spent. People aren’t even being warned (not saying they should be). In all those areas (radon, medical), collective exposures could be reduced at a cost (in dollars per man-Rem avoided) that is many orders of magnitude lower than the amount we’re planning on spending cleaning up affected areas after a nuclear plant accident. If we really believed in the LNT, and really (and objectively) cared about reducing collective exposure, we would focus on those areas instead.

The LNT is not the problem. Its selective application is the problem."

   I commented:

I agree about LNT, indeed I suspect the opposite theory, hormesis, that low level radiation is beneficial is correct. I have done a collation of links of evidence against LNT I did intend to also include scientific evidence for it but there is literally none.

I have suggested a legal right (possibly constitutional amendment) to allow any regulation to be challenged in court on the grounds that it requires actions at least 4 times more onerous per life saved than other regs in comparable industries. This cost benefit analysis would certainly allow nuclear industries to overthrow most of its regulatory burden and it would be difficult for politicos to explain why they were against it.

But what we really need is a rottweiller charity willing to go all out at anti-nuclear campaign. To sue anybody good cases of lies about the industry. To advertise that newspapers that give coverage to false scare stories and don’t give at least as much coverage to the truth (ie almost all of them) are, by definition, corrupt, lying, fascist scum who cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything else.

And that governments that give money to promote “environmental” issues, they approve of, are engaged in totalitarian fraud if they don’t give an equal amount to technology promoters – just as much as a Democrat (or Republican) Governor who gave money to his own party would be criminally liable.

All of which unfortunately needs a bit of money to start it rolling.
      Meanwhile Colin McInnes has an article in the Herald
Nuclear power is largest generator of electrical energy in Scotland
Colin McInnes
While the focus of the UK nuclear sector is on the new-build programme,
recent results from EDF remind us that existing nuclear capacity is still a
major player in the UK energy scene.
Their nuclear fleet is now delivering more electrical energy than at any
time during the past eight years, resulting in a boost for operating
profits. And with a 10-year life-extension for Dungeness B due to be
finalised later this year, nuclear investments from the 1970s and 80s will
still be paying dividends for many years to come.
Nowhere is the contribution of the UK nuclear fleet more apparent than in
Scotland, with two reactors at Hunterson and Torness. Though a little-known
fact, through these two compact plants, nuclear is the largest generator of
electrical energy in Scotland by some margin, as it has been for many
years. Indeed, the output from the single nuclear plant at Torness alone (9
TWh) comfortably exceeds the combined output of every wind, wave and solar
generator in Scotland (8.3 TWh). This clearly illustrates the benefit of
energy-dense fuels used in compact and efficient thermal plants, which can
provide continuous output over a plant life of many decades.
While Scotland is pitched as the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy, it's
steadfastly nuclear-powered.
In contrast, the arbitrary government target of generating the equivalent
of 100% of Scotland's electrical energy consumption from diffuse and
intermittent renewable resources by 2020 is perplexing. While climate
change targets are mooted as one of the primary motivations, Scotland's
electrical energy generation is in fact already 100% low carbon, as
measured against the government's own metric.
In 2012, Scottish electrical energy consumption was 30.8 TWh, while
production from our two compact nuclear plants was 17.0 TWh, all wind, wave
and solar production was 8.3 TWh, hydro 4.8 TWh and other renewables 1.6 TWh.
Output from low carbon sources therefore exceeded domestic consumption, a
fact that is rarely noted, or indeed celebrated by government and
environmental NGOs. To do so would be to acknowledge the reality of the
immense contribution of nuclear energy to Scotland's electrical energy
production, and indeed its exports to the rest of the UK.
Colin McInnes is Professor of Engineering Science at the University of

  And The Register points out what Fukushima proves:


It's worth noting here that the Daiichi reactors and cooling pools were not particularly safe as nuclear powerplants go: they were a very old, long outmoded design. They were hit by earthquakes and tsunamis wildly beyond what they were rated to withstand, in the second worst nuclear power disaster that has ever happened anywhere.

And as a result ... absolutely nobody's health has been or will be measurably harmed. That's a pretty impressive safety performance.

We stand by our original headline: Fukushima was a triumph for nuclear power, not a disaster. If there's one lesson to learn from it, it's that nuclear power is very safe indeed. ®


Labels: , ,

Friday, February 28, 2014

More Promoting Moore's Law Type Trends

    This is a follow up to the Thechnium article on Moore's Law yesterday. I put the following comments on it:

How to stop the equivalent of Moore's Law? It has been done withy nuclear power. Up till about 1970 newbuilding of reactors (& to 1980 their completion) had been on a rising curve both as a proportion of power use and in total.

Then the ecofascists gained enough power to push through anti-nuclear scare stories, all of which were either wholly or largely false, and the industry was effectively halted. Since then the catastrophic global warming fraud has been used to increase the cost and reduce usage of electricity across the developed world, hence recent recession.

An entirely different example was the way the 16thC Japanese government rolled back the use of cannon by (1) requiring all cannon makers to be licenced then (2) requiring them to live in the capital then (3) issuing no new licences then (4) inducting all cannon makers into the aristocracy but at the same time saying they couldn't make cannon.

A common trait is that both banned products (reactors and cannon) are big objects that are difficult to hide while other technologies not banned (computing capacity, muskets in Japan & crossbows in medieval Europe) are smaller and portable when government inspectors turn up.

and in reply to a mention of Arthur C. Clarke in reference to progress not being as fast as the science fiction writers who promised flying cars and Moon settlements by now


Different case where Clarke underestimated (& all right-thinking people thought he was impossibly optimistic) - the space elevator in Fountains of Paradise is set in mid 2100s because of the assumption that there would be no material to make it of earlier. In fact we have buckytubes which, theoretically, could do it now.

You can see how my mind is revolving around the question of using economics/social engineering to speed up the process.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moore's Law and Other Trends Can Be Improved By Good Economics

   This is a fascinating article about trends in progress. Some, a surprising number of information related ones, are indeed growing at approx. Moore's Law rates, or faster. This is doubling time in months


     Others are "merely" growing at slower rates eg batteries, which has only doubled in 10 years - only 25% annual growth,
Battery Energy Density
Nonetheless we are clearly seeing growth in human progress far faster than ever in history.

It is also possible that those factors which are growing, comparatively, are still at the lower end of the S curve. If so the fact that we don't see anywhere that the rate of acceleration is slowing suggests that overall humanity is still on the lower end of technological progress.

    Even in the case of maximum speed where the graph appears to show a tailing off of the slope  
this is because the upward graph is logarithmic - if it were proportional the curve would be shown as accelerating - except the page would be 10,000 times higher.

     I urge you to read the entire article.

     Some excerpts:

in 1953 the Air Force...
Charted the curves and metacurves of speed. It told them something preposterous. They could not believe their eyes. The curve said they could have machines that attained orbital speed... within four years. And they could get their payload right out of Earth's immediate gravity well just a little later. They could have satellites almost at once, the curve insinuated, and if they wished -- if they wanted to spend the money, and do the research and the engineering -- they could go to the Moon quite soon after that.
It is important to remember that in 1953 none of the technology for these futuristic journeys existed. No one knew how to do go that fast and survive. Even the most optimistic die-hard visionaries did not expect a lunar landing any sooner than the proverbial "Year 2000." The only voice telling them they could do it was a curve on a piece of paper. But the curve was right. Just not politically correct. In 1957 the USSR launched Sputnik, right on schedule. Then US rockets zipped to the Moon 12 years later.........

Today when we stare at the plot of Moore's Law  we can spot several striking characteristics of its 50 year run. The first surprise is that this is a picture of acceleration. The straight line descending slope of the "curve"  indicates a ten fold increase in goodness for every tick on vertical log axis. Silicon computation is not simply getting better, but getting better faster. Relentless acceleration for five decades is rare in biology and unknown in the technium before this century.....

     Secondly, even a cursory glance reveals the astounding regularity of Moore's line. From the earliest points its progress has been eerily mechanical.  Without interruption for 50 years, chips improve exponentially at the same speed of acceleration, neither more nor less. It could not be more straight if it had been engineered by a technological tyrant. Yet, we are to believe that this strict nonwavering trajectory came about via the chaos of the global marketplace and uncoordinated ruthless scientific competition......

Is Moore's law inevitable, a direction pushed forward by the nature of matter and computation, and independent of the society it was born into, or is it an artifact of self-organized scientific and economic ambition?

Moore and Mead themselves believe the latter. Writing in 2005, on the 40th anniversary of his law, Moore says, "Moore's law is really about economics." ......

Finally, in a another reference, Mead adds : "Permission to believe that [the Law] will keep going," is what keeps the Law going. Moore agrees in a 1996 article: "More than anything, once something like this gets established, it becomes more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy......

Why don't we see Moore's Law type of growth in the performance of solar cells if this is simply a matter of believing in a self-fulfilling prophecy? Surely, such an acceleration would be ideal for investors and consumers. Why doesn't everybody simply clap for Tinkerbelle to live, to *really* believe, and then the hoped for self-made fairy will kick in, and solar cells will double in efficiency and halve in cost every two years?......

Consider another encapsulation of accelerating progress. For a decade or so biophysicist Rob Carlson has been tabulating progress in DNA sequencing and synthesis. Graphed similarly to Moore's Law (above), in cost performance per base pair, this technology too displays a steady drop when plotted on a log axis. I asked Carlson how much of this gain is due to Moore's Law. If  computers did not get better, faster, cheaper each year, would DNA sequencing and synthesis continue to accelerate? Carlson replied:
....  Moore's law must have had some effect through cheap hardware that enables desktop CAD, but that is fairly tangential. If Moore's Law stopped, I don't think it would have much effect......
 the trends were operative even when people disbelieved it." Ray Kurzweil dug into the archives to show that something like Moore's Law had it origins as far back as 1900, long before electronic computers existed, and of course long before the path could have been constructed by self-fulfillment. Kurzweil estimated the number of "calculations per second per $1,000" performed by turn-of-the-century analog machines, by mechanical calculators, and later by the first vacuum tube computers and extended the same calculation to modern semiconductor chips. He established that this ratio increased exponentially for the past 109 years.....

    [More competition]  mandated that henceforth their improvement would be 60% a year. This spurred an escalation of R&D investment, faster growth by the competitors, and more R&D by IBM so that by the late 1990s onward, the slope of growth increased to more than 100% per year. The slope of progress can be changed by pouring money down it. Mark Kryder says, "My  guess is that you could double the density growth rate with something less than the double the R&D dollars." The slope can also be changed by regulations. Larry Roberts offers this evidence for the effects of the US Telecommunications Act of 1993. "From before 1960 until de-regulation about 1993, the cost per terabit of communications [red line in the graph below; the blue is Moore's Law] dropped very slowly, halving every 79 months. Then, once fiber was in place, DWDM and free enterprise took the market price down fast, halving every 12 months." ......

Everyone of them is getting twice as better every year or two no matter the technology. What's up with that? Engineer Mark Kryder's explanation is that this "twice as better every two years" is an artifact of corporate structure where most of these inventions happen. It just takes 1-2 years of calendar time to conceive, design, prototype, test, manufacture and market a new improvement, and while a 5- or 10-fold increase is very difficult to achieve, almost any engineer can deliver a factor of two. Voila! Twice as better every two years. Engineers unleashed equals Moore's Law.....

Should we ever arrive on other inhabited worlds in our galaxy, we should expect some of them to have reached the stage of microelectronics in their own technium. .... Whenever it begins the steady acceleration of progress in solid-state computation should last for at least 25 doublings (what we've experienced so far), or a 33 million-fold increase in value. But while Moore's Law is inevitable in its progression, its slope is not.

The slant of increase in a particular world may indeed be a matter of macro-economics. Here Moore and Mead may be correct: the slope of the Law rests on economics. Whether computing power doubles every month or every decade will depend on many factors of that particular society: population size, volume of the economy, velocity of money, evolution of financial instruments. The constant speed of discovery might hinge in part on the total available pool of engineers, whether it is 10 thousand versus 10 million. A faster planetary velocity of money may permit a faster doubling period. All these economic factors combine to produce a fixed constant for that world at that phase. If Moore's Law turned out to be a universal fixture in the computational phase of civilization, this fixed constant might even be used as a classification marker. ....

Like the Air Force's 1953 graph of top-speed, the curve is one way the technium speaks to us. Carver Mead, who barnstormed the country waving plots of Moore's Law, believes we need to "listen to the technology." As one curve inevitably flattens out, its momentum is taken up by anther S-curve. If we inspect any enduring curve closely we can see how definitions and metrics shift over time to accommodate new substitute technologies.

     Which suggests that if we decide, as a society, to increase or reduce the rate of progress it can be done. We are not at the optimum rate of progress and probably not close to it. how do we improve it - this is not an exhaustive list (I will have to give thought to that) but - cut government regulations, stop making nuclear power or GM effectively illegal; have a culture that respects technological competence; and most of all, a massive X-Prize Foundation funding technological innovation with a substantial part of national wealth as I have previously suggested.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Constitutional Amendments 19 Banking Liability

     Limited liability companies are one of the social inventions that made entrepreneurialism possible. By limiting the liability of shareholders to their investment it became practical for large ventures that few individuals were able to afford possible. By comparison in partnerships every partner is liable for all the losses another partner makes. So long as those trading with them knows it is a limited liability company, which is why it is a legal requirement companies use the term "ltd" on correspondence, they know the risk they run.

     However banking is a different matter. Banks have to be big to be stable (though probably not "to big to fail"). However currently banks own your money as an asset & their debt to you is a liability so if they go bust you will, by definition get only so much in the £ back, or would if governments didn't bail them out. Worse than that, because it is limited liability, the managers can walk away or even, as the Fred Goodwin case showed, keep their pensions or assets which have been removed from the bank before it collapsed. This creates what is known as a moral hazard - that there is an incentive to take unjustified risks because the benefits of risks go to the managers, in the form of bonuses and promotions, but the costs are borne by society.

    So I think we should at least roll back the limitations on liability for those looking after people's money.

      Dan Hannan suggests this:

      reform would be the one backed by Steve Baker MP and the Cobden Centre, which is being introduced on Wednesday as a Ten Minute Rule Bill by the leader of Direct Democracy's Westminster wing, Douglas Carswell. Essentially, Douglas wants to amend the law so that depositors remain the owners of the money which they place in bank accounts. Currently, contrary to widespread belief, such assets are legally the property of the bank. Douglas's reform is to be recommended on several grounds: as a consumer protection measure; as a way of removing a peculiar legal exemption enjoyed by banks, but by no other businesses; as a prophylactic against the credit booms that precede recessions.
     The major, still current, example of a massive unlimited liability financial organisation is the Lloyds insurance organisation, which did indeed go bust some time ago and a number of Lloyds "names" (people who have guaranteed their assets for a share of the business profits) did indeed lose heavily, but the organisation survived.

      I'm agnostic as to how far we should go in increasing bank liability - having deposited money remain the property of the depositors so that in the event of failure they get it first/ making directors of banks financially liable for losses/ making shareholders (actually partners) liable up to a set value per share/ making them liable to an unlimited extent - but any of these steps would act as a greater or lesser discouragement of the moral hazard of casino banking and encouragement to fiscal conservatism by those responsible for people's deposits.

     In turn this would be negative feedback to the sort of boom and bust cycles we have recently seen.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

98% of Sceptics Believe In Climate Change - Naturally

      Mike Haseler is doing a statistical collation of the opinions of global warming sceptics.

      Interestingly while we are told 97% of "climate scientists" believe in "climate change" the percentage of sceptics believing in that is 98% - its just we accept it happens and always has but don't say it is catastrophic.

A sceptical consensus: the science is right but catastrophic global warming is not going to happen
The Scottish Climate & Energy Forum has been conducting a survey on the background and attitudes of participants to online climate discussions. The survey had a massive response which will take time and resource to process. However initial analysis already shows that the actual views and backgrounds of participants are in sharp contrast with some high-profile statements being made about the participants. Therefore I felt we should make these initial results known as soon as practical to avoid further damage, both to the reputation of those involved in the online debate, as well as those making the unfounded and presumably mistaken accusations of “denial”.
As such, I am releasing the following statement regarding the survey.

A sceptical consensus: the science is right but catastrophic global warming is not going to happen

A recent survey of those participating in on-line forums showed that most of the 5,000 respondents were experienced engineers, scientists and IT professionals most degree qualified and around a third with post graduate qualifications. The survey, carried out by the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum, asked respondents for their views on CO2 and the effect it might have on global temperatures. The results were surprising. 96% of respondents said that atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing with 79% attributing the increase to man-made sources. 81% agreed that global temperatures had increased over the 20th century and 81% also agreed that CO2 is a warming gas. But only 2% believed that increases in CO2 would cause catastrophic global warming.
So what's going on?

Above all, these highly qualified people - experts in their own spheres - look at the published data and trust their own analysis, so their views match the available data. They agree that the climate warmed over the 20th century (this has been measured), that CO2 levels are increasing (this too has been measured) and that CO2 is a warming gas (it helps trap heat in the atmosphere and the effects can be measured). Beyond this, the survey found that 98% of respondents believe that the climate varies naturally and that increasing CO2 levels won't cause catastrophic warming.

What next?

Overwhelmingly participants in this large scale survey support the science, however this is not how they have been portrayed in the media and this has led to deep and bitter divides between those who hold different viewpoints. This debate should be based on the evidence and that not only includes the scientific evidence on the climate, but also the evidence of the real participants involved in the debate. Given the huge number of responses and detail of questions a full assessment will take up to one year to complete. This is a huge commitment from an organisation that has no outside funding and is reliant on one full-time volunteer (Mike Haseler). We will therefore be approaching the Scottish and UK government with a view to obtaining funding to complete the analysis.


    By coincidence Mike also wrote a blog article on how online education is going to provide a far better and cheaper service than conventional universities. I forwarded this to Jerry Pournelle who thought it worth linking to on his remarkably good Chaos Manor site:

Online learning
A friend of mine discussing online learning replacing traditional universities. Pretty much what you have said but if you have a few minutes to kill…..

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 24, 2014

97.92% Of Your Electricity Bill Appears To Be Government Fraud

    This article costing nuclear power is now up on Brian Monteith's ThinkScotland online magazine.


     It is derived from stuff I have preciously written here. The costings are unrestrained by any desire for them to be "consensual" or "moderate" and I would like to see if any anti-nuclearists can come up with the requested serious criticism of them. ThinkScotland is a major Scottish political site and if they don't answer it, it is because they can't. In which case it will be possible to say the calculation of 98% of  our electricity bills being political parasitism is "undisputed" and can only be presumed correct.

     If they do debate it I will let you know and respond.


High electricity prices are all down to state interference

by Neil Craig
IS 98 PER CENT of every electricity bill state parasitism? If so the average household electricity bill of £1,500 could be about £40. A matter of some importance when – we are in recession and the correlation between energy use and economic strength is as close as anything in economics; while last year excess winter deaths rose to 34,000. A few caveats:

• Even if it is correct we would not get there for some years – nuclear reactors take time to build and the economic growth that such a price reduction could bring would certainly greatly increase demand, slowing the fall in prices. "It would take time" however, is not a reason for not starting now.

• It may well be that some international regulations (not just the EU this time) require a certain amount of unnecessary regulation.

On the other hand these figures have been available for some time and I have used them online a number of times against anti-nuclearists. Not once have I had a serious arithmetical objection to them.

• Arithmetic always works.

• Each individual bit works.

When something is being done, by definition it is possible to do it – for example it is simple fact that the new Hinkley Point reactor is nearly four times more expensive than the closely comparable one, also being built by European contractors, in China.

On the third hand it doesn't really matter right now whether we can cut electricity bills to 2% of what they are. A 90% cut would be almost as nice. Or 80%. Or even half price. Even a 25% cut would be valuable. In fact all parties but UKIP, despite Miliband's cynical and murderous promise to enforce a short term price freeze, are committed to raising fuel bills. All are aiming to raise average bills to £3,000 a year by 2020. The SNP policy is that even after independence, England will subsidise Scottish windmills, otherwise our greater number of windmills would push prices well above £3,000.
Even if these figures prove to be significantly wrong – and no evidence has been produced that they are – it is certain that electricity costs can be massively reduced from what our ruling parties want and that this will save lives and produce economic success. For further historical information see these: The True Cost of Electricity & How The "Debate" Is Being Dishonestly Restricted and the estimable Register.
 Graphic showing past and predicted domestic energy price rises. Credit/source: RWE npower
This graphic shows how the electricity price rises from 2007 is largely "policy and regulation costs" ie direct state parasitism. The other is "transport costs" ie the grid, which is basically to pay for extending the grid so that windmill electricity produced in the outer isles can be transported to London. This is a hidden "green" subsidy and an extensive one.

By comparison actually producing the stuff is barely up and by 2020 will be back down to 2007 costs. I presume this is the benefit of shale more than offsetting windmill parasitism. VAT appears not to be included.

The alleged corporate greed of the "big 6" 'monopolists' means supplier costs will go from 19% DOWN to 16%.

So clearly, even within the terms of the official "debate" the fault lies with political price raising. But the official debate ignores the political effect of preventing the cheapest power sources (nuclear, coal & shale) being used.

This is how the ruling class normally frame any "debate". The only thing discussed is a few percentage points made up of either profit or government levies, according to which villain. The graph above shows that the levies are rising fast and the profits, as a % of cost, falling.

Unmentioned is that Hinkley Point is costing four times as much (and taking seven years longer,
which pushes up interest payments) than comparable Chinese ones, and nuclear is considerably cheaper than average power.

Undebated is that 90% of electricity prices (perhaps more) is government regulatory parasitism - you will never know it from BBC "news".

Even the "big six" would much rather be damned for the largely false charge of price gouging than be shown to be running expensive obsolete equipment that could not compete with engineering costs of nuclear, thus they do not call the MPs the liars they certainly are. This is common among dominant companies with fixed assets.

Lets go for a best possible cost:

Nuclear is currently 40% of the average cost of our power basket.
China is building at 0.27 our costs.
Because China is building in three years and us in ten we have seven years foregone income while paying interest – assuming the normal 10% return that is 1.10^7 = 1.95
Assume China is not entirely without state parasitism – say 10% 
VAT and carbon levies 20%
How much could cost be reduced if it was allowed to mass produce reactors - three fold seems a conservative estimate.

60% X 0.27 X 1/1.95 X 90% X 1/1.20% X 1/3 = 0.0208 or 2.08% of current costs.
97.92% parasitism.

Way below current standing charges = "electricity too cheap to meter". Though this does not include transportation costs. However if the amount of power we use goes up anything like proportionately, handling costs will go down, not quite proportionately.

I'm not standing by that exact figure though I would hold to each part as being either firm or a reasonable estimate. Nor does it matter much. If we can say at least 90% of electricity costs are state parasitism and can, over a number of years, be removed it doesn't immediately matter if another 80% reduction is ultimately possible. But if some supporter of windmillery feels the figures can be factually disputed I am sure they will do so.

If nobody in Scotland's political class feels able to point to any error, after it has been aired here on ThinkScotland, it would be difficult to conclude these figures are in error. I am sure the editor would be willing to publish a serious critical article (unlike, for example, the BBC, which virtually never allows a balancing of opinions on such subjects).

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

100 Year Membership Ban Unlawful

A former Ukip Scotland chair suspended from the party for 100 years for speaking to the media has had the ban overturned in court.
Judge Taylor said the sanction imposed on Paul Henke was "unlawful" and said current party chair Steve Crowther had not acted proportionately.

The row began after six of the nine candidates shortlisted by Ukip Scotland for the European election resigned over infighting.

David Coburn was eventually declared the winner in the disputed poll.

The farce prompted 10 party members to make a formal complaint about a series of false statements they claim Coburn had made.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald at the time, Henke, a 63-year-old thriller writer, said: "I expect the complaint to be investigated properly. I believe Ukip to be an up-front party run by honourable people. We should have honourable people as candidates."

The statement prompted Crowther to email Henke, writing: "This is to inform you that I am today suspending your membership of the party for a period of 100 years ... As a signatory of the complaint against our Scottish candidate which has been passed to the Sunday Herald, and having given your opinion on that subject to the Sunday Herald last week, you have brought the party into disrepute, and appear to be engaged in deliberately sabotaging our election campaign in Scotland."

Henke pursued legal action and had his case heard at Central London County Court on Thursday.
After listening to legal arguments, the judge said Crowther had "showed no due regard to proportionality" and declared the ban "null and void".

    Unfortunately UKIP's central organisation will have to pay the substantial legal costs of all & punitive damages.

    I do not think it would be proper for me to say anything else here other than to point out that UKIP's constitution, which is very democratic, does not allow for expulsion without good reason (unlike the LibDems who, as I have experienced) do and that I hope any UKIP member across the country will see "100 year suspension" as having been an unwise attempt to get round our constitution.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

British Blogs.