Friday, April 13, 2007
The reason Ryanair don't do the Highlands & Islands airports is because of relatively high landing charges. We subsidise these airports by 2/3rds of their cost but, having the same security rules as Heathrow, but far fewer passengers makes up about 1/3rd of running costs. Some years ago I spoke in support of a motion at the SLD conference calling for either an increase in the subsidy (cost about £8 million) or reduction in security rules to make landing charges zero which would have had an enormously beneficial effect on the local economy.
Despite the motion passing Transport Minister Nicol Stephen chose to introduce a far more expensive & bureaucratic system of limited ticket subsidies for locals.
Quite a high tax ratio if the product costs £6 & the tax £124. Still it provides more money for train subsidies.
China's economy is growing at 10%, Scotland's at 1.5%. If we don't do something in a generation we will be, per capita, poorer than China. Nobody seriously disputes that we can do 9% if we try it is merely that our politicians are more interested in windmillery & invading places than allowing us to become wealthy.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
My party blog is here.
Wish me luck.
Here are 26 THINGS THE 9% GROWTH PARTY SUPPORT & OUR OPPONENTS ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSE
1) Stop blackouts. Act before we lose 50% of our electricity. 16th in 2011 when Hunterston closes, 1/6th in 2015 when new EU controls come in, 1/6th in 2023 when Torness closes.
2) 9% growth using the methods that gave Ireland 7% on average & 10.5% in a good year.
3) Reform planning regulations. In 1907 a house & car cost the same - the difference is that planning regulators restrict housebuilding.
4) Stop subsidising windmills. Save £1 billion.
5) The smoking ban is an illiberal restriction on individual freedom. End it.
6) End fuel poverty. France produces 80% nuclear at 1.3p a unit. We can do the same.
7) A needs based transport policy. The previous Executive were committed to spending 70% of their transport budget on public transport (code for railways) though it makes up only 3% of traffic.
8) Tunnels project. Norway built 740km of tunnels at£7 million per km. We should do the same making it a short drive from Glasgow to Dunnoon, Rothesay, Kintyre, Jura, Isaly & Mull etc.
9) Fully automate Glasgow's subway allowing it to run at lower costs, greater capacity & 24/7.
10) Fully automate the Glasgow-Edinburgh train with the same effect.
11) Ultimate aim of a fully automated Scots rail transport system.
12) 2% cut in civil servants annually.
13) 2% government efficiency savings. Almost any private business trys to incresae efficiency at least that much & their is more scope in Holyrood.
14) Don't spend £610 million digging a tunnel under Edinburgh Airport. Make sure other government projects at least come close to making economic sense.
15) 3p cut in Scots income tax after funding of business tax cuts to provide growth.
16) No new politically correct vindictive bans. The smoking ban was NOT in manifestos at the last election.
17) A Holyrood committee to find & abolish counterproductive laws & regulations.
18) A schools vouchers system.
19) Allow schools to impose discipline.
20) Make a DVD of Scotland's history & post it to Scots, or those with Scots names, over the world. Include links encouraging Scottish tourism.
21) Establish a £20 million X-Prize to encourage space satelite industry to locate in scotland.
22) Establish an X-Prize foundation funded from the Scots contribution to the lottery to encourage high technology in Scotland.
23) Widen & improve the M8.
24) If Gore's silly film must be shown to Scots schoolchildren let them see the alternate view, AS THE LAW SPECIFICLY REQUIRES.
25) 54% of all money spent in Scotland is government money. Cut this.
26) Instead of knocking down Glasgow's high rise flats they should be given, free of charge, to those occupants who don't prefer to be rehoused.
Update Party member Ken is mirroring the site here.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Roma & IQ http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/faisal_al_yafai/2007/03/our_children_too_1.html
Iain Dale on Gore & warming http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/03/al-gore-to-address-shadow-cabinet.htmlhttp://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-stance-on-climate-change-why-i.htmlhttp://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/03/chris-huhne-mary-whitehouse-of-climate.html
Dividing Iraq & Yugoslavia http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2032585,00.html
Monbiot on Global warming Swindle http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2032575,00.html
Srebrenica lie http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=398822007
Glasgow subway http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=398942007
Instead of Patents http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/joseph_stiglitz/2007/03/prizes_not_patents.html
Taking the train to Uist http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=421242007
Bjorn Lomborg http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/bjrn_lomborg/2007/03/global_warmings_dirty_secret.html
Iain Dale on Warming Swindle http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/03/great-global-warming-inconvenient-truth.html
Humanity V Greenery http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=431192007
species extinction http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jeffrey_sachs/2007/03/absentminded_killers.html
Celebrating the EU http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/michael_moore/2007/03/europe_the_next_50_years.html
Scottish economy http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=484452007
Valon again http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=492492007
Kosovo (very good final letter from BBMP on the legality)http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ian_traynor/2007/03/ian_traynor_the_standoff_thoug.html
Organic food http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_melchett/2007/03/is_organic_food_really_healthi.html
Inheritance tax http://business.scotsman.com/banking.cfm?id=502712007
CO2 as a "pollutant" http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=511142007
Global warming causes street crime http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=548292007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Further inquiries with Inspector McKnacker have confirmed a concerted dirty tricks campaign against "Cash for Peerages" MP Angus MacNeil.
Three forces have been investigating a sustained operation to smear the Scot Nat who has caused consternation at the heart of the Labour government. While the Special Branch in London has been looking into the possible bugging of an SNP office at Westminster, Glasgow CID are investigating a much witnessed following operation against MacNeil and Northern Constabulary have been concerned about suspicious calls to his home on the Western Isles.
All of this comes on the same day as the Labour supporting Sunday Mail newspaper has splashed a two year old "Kiss and Cuddle" story about MacNeil.
Would this be an attempt to undermine the MP who exposed the "Cash for Peerages" morass or does it have anything to do with the latest opinion poll in Scotland which puts the SNP 12 points ahead of Labour?