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Friday, January 21, 2005


In reply to Mark Ballard (Letters, 17 January), for a Green Party spokesman to accuse the Scottish Executive of being too active in pursuing growth is a bit like accusing our national football team of being too successful.

World average growth this year is expected to be 5 per cent; Scotland will be lucky to achieve 2 per cent. The reason for this is that governments in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels practise a dilute version of the anti-technology, nanny statist and anti-capitalist policies which, in a pure version, form the subtext to almost all Green Party policies.

Mr Ballard hits a better note in saying the pursuit of happiness is more important than wealth. But such, fairly imprecise, methods of measuring as exist show that the happiest nations (Ireland and Switzerland) are those where freedom and enterprise are acceptable, and the most unhappy are those where it is not (Zimbabwe and Haiti).


The original report is on here at & is well worth reading.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


This was in reply to a letter by Corin Redgrave attacking the Obituary of Susan Sondtag for not considering her going to "besieged" Sarajevo to put on a play & provide some photo-ops for the moslem nazi war, he was also a bit pissed that the article had dared to ask who paid for her trip. The Redgraves, of course, supported the "former" nazi Izetbegovic to.

Corin Redgrave objects to questions as to who provided the money to allow media personalities to provide publicity by visiting "besieged" (general Rose said that the "siege" was maintained by the moslems for publicity) Sarajevo on the grounds that the answer is "blindingly obvious". Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is the same people who hired PR firm Ruder & Finn to persuade Jewish organisations to support the nazi Tudjman of Croatia by covering up his "careless" statements about the Holocaust being both non-existent & justified. Certainly the story of how the public were conned into supporting pro-nazis publically committed to genocide (Tudjman, Izetbegovic & the KLA) in Yugoslavia is not widely reported.

He also says "every Sarajevan I ever met" supports Izetbegovic. Clearly he has never met any of the 200,000 Serb or Jewish residents or even the 50,000 Croats, who were ethnically cleansed by Izetbegovic with our help. The fact that the Redgraves supported Izetbegovic does not in any way alter the fact that he was a young auxiliary in Hitler's SS (& not one of the nicer units) who started the war publically in support of the genocide of all non-moslems, who wared even on moderate moslems & whose non-conscript troops were provided by al Quaeda through the friendly offices of the CIA.

The war in Bosnia was incited by EU recognition in a manner which was a deliberate breach of international law & a breach of our most solemn treaty promises. Our involvement was, by the standards of Nuremberg, a war crime & not something of which we should be proud.
Yours Faithfully
It is an interesting fact that while a majority of my letters on most subjects get published only a small minority on Yugoslavia do. I did put in a PS saying it would be OK to drop ruder & Finn's namr.

Jerry Pournelle did an obit to - he thought she was a stupid &ignorant racist for different reasons. Not wrong.


A letter of mine in the Independent today. Bookended by 2 others - the first opposed nuclear on the grounds that "people are not rational & perception is more important than reality" & so were on his side, the 3rd was sensible (which means it said the government should stop faffing about & build reactors). I look forward to seeing any Green take up cudgels.
Sir: Martin Parkinson (letter, 18 January) acknowledges that we need nuclear power if we are to avoid massive blackouts but says that, for reasons undisclosed, new reactors can only be a short-term solution. May I make the alternative case, accepted by the peoples of France, Russia, China, Japan and India among others?

We have sufficient known resources of uranium to keep current nuclear generation going for 4.5 billion years. Nuclear power has a safety record far surpassing that of any other major world industry. Since the 43 deaths at Chernobyl there have been four accidental deaths, all in Japan, in an industry that provides 20 per cent of the world's electricity. By comparison, with coal, we tolerate over 100,000 deaths from black lung and emphysema every year. High-level reactor waste amounts to only a cubic metre per reactor year. Because of the short half-life inherent in high radioactivity it is, in 50 years, normally down to the level of the ore it was mined from.

It is the only possible system which can permanently generate enough to give everybody in the world the amount of power, and therefore a substantial fraction of the standard of living, we currently enjoy. This would take 5,500 reactors, which if mass produced would be very much cheaper than the current bespoke system. World-wide waste over 50 years would be equivalent to a single cube 65 metres on a side.

If allowing all our fellow members of the human race a decent standard of living were considered desirable, and I so consider it, a permanent commitment to expanded nuclear power would be an absolute requirement.


Sunday, January 16, 2005


Waterstones have fired Joe Gordon, the organiser of their SF line in their Edinburgh shop, allegedly because he ran a blog which occasionally mentioned his job, though that was clearly only a very small part of what he blogged.

Here is the story in some detail by somebody who actually knows him, which I don't. It looks likely that Joe annoyed his new manager, probably by displaying some competence, & that the gentleman went trawling for some excuse to get rid of him - which may be an explanation but is not an excuse for Waterstone's totalitarian behaviour.

My anecdote (its a Yugoslavia one) is that a couple of years ago I emailed Waterstone's Central to point out that in their section of books on the Yugoslav wars they had not a single title which put anything other than the pro-western case. I suggested when one major Scots party had actually opposed the Kosovo bombing it would be not only politically right but commercially so, to allow at least one opposite view. I suggested To Kill a Nation available in the nearby Borders. I got back a very nice email assuring me that they were immediately going to correct this oversight.

They never did - Glasgow's Waterstones still pushes only the nazi view.

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