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Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Gordon Brown is getting an apparently well orchestrated going over for his original stealth tax mugging of £5 billion annually from pensioners. I do not approve of that since it is changing the terms of a contract after it has been signed which is just unethical.

On the other hand there is a very good case that what he did was right for the country.

First lets be clear that this money is very small beer compared to the amount lost in the bubble's burst. About 10%. maybe a little more.

Secondly the big problem with pensions is that people are inconveniently living longer. This should not be a surprise - life expectancy has been going up 1 year for every 4 for a century. I very much doubt if this is going to stop indeed I have written on the approaching conquest of aging before. When that happens the entire pensions industry is bankrupt, or the laws will have to be rewritten to change the contracts retroactively (see above for the ethics of that).

Thirdly a point from John Redwood's blog
The so called pension holidays were mandatory, because the funds were super solvent and tax rules did not permit putting more money into a fund which had a surplus.Longerr lives have been taken care of by higher contributions since the deficits emerged
So at the time he didn't take anyusablee money out of the pensioner's funds.

Fourthly it is accepted that the money he took from there was used to cut corporation tax. Now I may be riding my hobbyhorse again but it seems clear that CT, by taking money from not only wealth creators but disproportionately from the most successful is the most economicaly damaging of all taxes. The Irish example seems to support this.

If so taking money, which was doing comparatively little & putting it into the place where it could do most to produce economic success was a vary good thing for the country. This seems to be an example of somebody who has been a good ruler inpreferencee to being a good man (literaryallusionn to 1066 and all that).

Theoretically Gordon can be blamed for not taking the money to cut CT from some more ethical but more easily annoyed source, like cutting nurses pay (we are talking only about financialprobityy here rather than the normal use of the word ethic in connection to nurses). More credibly he can be criticised for not putting the rules back when the bubble burst - but returning money after it is committed is obviously difficult, in fact I would say getting that through cabinet would have been impossible, particularly in the middle of a bursting economic bubble.

I have previously been trying to read Brown's future from various entrails he has left during his tenure under Blair & have generally been pleased, though I recognise the difficulty of this art. If I am right in my interpretation here this also suggests that brown has better appreciation than I had thought of the value of corporation tax cuts, which is very good news.


Politically there is virtually zero chance that this would be accepted but in financial & engineering terms this is how Scotland should replace the 50% of our electricity we are shortly going to lose.

1) Get our nuclear stations, possibly excluding Dounraey which is basically an experimental facility, formed as a separate company. This is similar to the way that Scotland's Railtrack, which was also renationalised in same dubious way, was separately put under our authority.

2) Get Westminster to allow immediate type approval of French, US & Canadian reactor designs. While Westminster Labour are committed to more nuclear they are also currently supporting the Atomic Energy Authority's desire to spend 5 years deciding the foreign reactors work (they obviously do & have for years) & that Hunterston & Torness are suitable places to put reactors (they obviously are & have done for years). Hunterston is going to close in 4 years & it takes 4 years to actually build a reactor so if we don't want blackouts we can't afford spending an extra 5 years moving paper around. Since Labour are desperate that the lights not go out I think they would go for this.

3) There are many billions in a fund already put aside for decommissioning reactors. The inexpensive way to decommission is to lock up the reactor for 50 years until the radioactivity is down to safe levels (all the stuff bout reactor waste being dangerous for millions of years is propaganda - highly radioactive waste is highly radioactive purely because it has a short half life). We undertake to move back the boundary fences at Hunterston & Torness & decommission the current reactors by locking them up, not letting in the public, & leaving them till they are safe - for this we get paid at least several hundred million £s.

4) We set Scottish Nuclear up as a public company which builds as many new reactors as there is demand for at Hunterston & Torness. Since 1MW reactors have been bought off the shelf for $1 billion ((£550 million) this company could afford to do so with the fund money & only a little extra by borrowing & by selling 10% of the shares publicly, though it might be better actually invest a token amount ourselves.

5) Government leaves the company management to the 10% shareholders, who understand such things & merely accepts the profits.

Scotland would thereby get as much electricity as we can use, at a substantially lowered price & would have a national, dividend paying, asset worth many many billions of £s for virtually nothing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Scotland on Sunday published a letter criticising "Lord" Robertson for his attack on Alex Salmond for allegedly ignoring the Kosovo refugees, when he opposed attacking Yugoslavia.

I said that in fact the refugee flight didn't start until after NATO started bombing & that that that it was the fault of the NATO bombing & KLA terrorism campaigns was proven by the fact that a larger proportion of the Serbian than Albanian population left during the war. A fact which even western governmental organisations accept.

That if his lordship were not wholly hypocritical he would be criticising the Blair government minister, including himself, for ignoring the 350,000 refugees they created in Kosovo & also the genocide & child sex slavery they have allowed. That honest Labour supporters should therefore dissociate themselves from his criticism.

That, by the standards we applied at Nuremburg, Robertson & his fellow minister are guilty of war crimes & can reasonably be suspected of being accessories ti genocide & child sex slavery.

I did not mention & would like to make it quite clear that my allegation that Lord Robertson is involved in child sex slavery is entirely based on his support of a KLA he must know to doing precisely that along with genocide. I have absolutely now knowledge of the accuracy, or otheriwise, of claims that the genocidal Nazi child rapist is also involved in activities within Britain.

Not entirely to my surprise my comment was deleted, but interestingly enough not on Sunday when it was put up, but on Monday night. Did somebody outwith the SoS see this & throw a fit since clearly SoS thought my comment purely factualy supportable before then, as indeed it is. In all 3 out of 4 comments have been removed, though the others were removed before I read them! The remaining one accuses him merely of being "an incompetent hanger-on".

If Robertson can't take it he shouldn't try to hand it out.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


This morning on Andrew Marr's programme, set in Scotland for the upcoming election, he interviewed Malcolm Rifkind & David Steel on Scottish devolution. Rifkind, a Tory with probably more brains & less charm than Gordon Brown criticised the idea of us going for Fiscal Autonomy on the grounds that full fiscal autonomy would mean us giving up several billion £s more than we currently raise. This is pretty much my feeling & I think the term Fiscal Autonomy is so popular because it is being used in 2 different ways - by free marketeers to mean the ability to raise, or more importantly lower, various taxes, primarily corporation tax, to kick start our economy & by separatists as a code word for independence - you can't get any more fiscally autonomous than being a separate country. Rifkind correctly said that full FA would mean massive tax rises.

David Steel, former Lib Dem leader replied with the inanity that we could just lower corporation tax!

OK so this doesn't exactly address Rifkind's point of where the money comes from but on a purely personal basis it hit home. Let us remember my expulsion from the LibDems. I was expelled for supporting nuclear power & CALLING FOR US TO ACHIEVE IRISH STYLE GROWTH BY CUTTING CORPORATION TAX. This crime was unanimously judged by the Scottish Party executive to be "illiberal & irreconcilable with membership of the party" & "too right wing" to even be discussed.

It seems like barely a year since then - in fact it is barely a year. Clearly if that was the case then Mr Steel, by going on TV to say this, rather than blogging or putting a letter in the papers, has transgressed to a far greater extent. The position of Robert Brown MSP & other members of the executive would not seem to be morally tenable if they do not choose to immediately write to Mr Steel to advise him of his proposed expulsion. I await their action, or indeed a statement of the party's reasons for inaction, with interest.

Despite the date he really did say this. Perhaps he, or Dr Barrie who wrote the party's letter to me, or somebody else may wish to apolgise & admit my prior use of this idea in the party. Had they, rather than the SNP been willing to adopt it who knows how they would stand in the polls now?

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