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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Minister for Reducing the Size of Government

Parties who aim at government promise that their spending commitments/tax cut can be funded out of "efficiency savings". We voters, having heard it before & knowing that words are much easier than actions tend to be sceptical. Moreover there is the risk that if we did believe them we would suspect they could only do it by making swingeing cuts in visible areas - as indeed opponents always claim.

In this regard I note this from John Redwood's wikipedia entry:

in 1995 he returned £100,000,000 of Wales' block grant to the UK treasury unspent following efficiency savings and cost-cutting measures

Wales is roughly 1/20th of Britain so that figure is equivalent to £2 billion for the UK then. I assume that for every £ returned to Westminster several £s were spent in Wales more sensibly (I'm guessing total savings at about 5 times greater). The budget has nearly doubled since 1997 (though inflation has only been 31%). This produces a minimum figure of £20 billion across the UK today.

The maximum credible would be £200 billion which is the extent spending has increased in real terms under this government.

The current Conservative opposition is suffering from a lack of credibility. It would be worthwhile to make a shadow ministry specifically for identifying savings & putting Redwood in charge of it. There could be no serious opposition claims that he could not produce such savings since he has a specific record of having done so in Wales equivalent to about £20 billion without swinging cuts in the number of nurses. His history clearly gives the Conservatives a unique opportunity to be credible in promising to run government more efficiently.

In my previous party I suggested that a (Scottish) Parliamentary Committee formed simply to identify possible expenditure cuts would work. I believe that politicians genuinely do wish to improve people's lives. It is human nature to think of things to do, rather than deciding the best thing you can do is nothing. This almost automatically costs money. By giving them a specific duty to identify savings their minds would be concentrated in what I consider a more useful direction. Irrespective of who takes the job of Minister for Reducing the Size of Government I think it would be a valuable one.

Friday, November 21, 2008


The current government solution to the Crash is, in my opinion, making it worse. It is trying to solve a structural problem essentially by printing money & kiting cheques. The structural problem is that government regulation & taxes are actively making the economy less competitive. If somebody has the money to invest why should they choose to invest it here rather than in India, China or Singapore. Actually there are some pretty good reasons mainly that we have better science, better infrastructure & a better history of financial probity but then we have a government that forces the team that produced Dolly the sheep to relocate to Singapore.

Government has been about 43% of the economy. £100 billion put into the economy by government would be about 7% of GNP. Add in a 2% recession & the non-state section drops from 57% to 48%. Not all government action is non-productive but quite a bit (eg the Health & Safety Executive) has a negative cost in that they drive up the prices of the productive bit so on balance we can consider it non-productive. How much the productive economy is restrained is difficult to measure in total but I have previously estimated that the H&S powers take up the equivalent of 4 million jobs, that housebuilding costs 4 times what it should & that electricity prices are up to 4 times what they could be.

Clearly therefore, while the current government action will drastically squeeze the productive economy. There is enormous potential to release it.

Here are 16 proposals:

1 - Cut the size of government spending - I would go for a no new hires rule & price freeze in the government, probably excluding new doctors & a few other proven front line requirements - this should be about a 5% real reduction year on year. Also completely prune particular departments described later. 5% of the budget is £30 billion so including both actions over a couple of years that is probably about £100 billion. Mark Wadsworth comes up with a similar figure from different directions. This doesn't itself increase the economy, indeed cutting the non-productive £100 billion would cut the economy by £100 billion (ie 7%) but gives us money which can be used with a real multiplier effect & long term growth benefits.

2 - Cut corporation tax to Irish levels - cost about £30 billion & this is the main bit of what got Ireland's growth up from 2% to 7%.

3 - Lets go overboard & cut business rates too - about £20 billion at half the effect.

4 - Gut the Health & Safety Exec - if it saves the work of 4 million workers that is 14% of the economy.

5 - Allow the free market to build as many nuclear plants as the market needs, starting tomorrow. There are arguments for & against the government paying for & owning it but lets keep it simple & at zero cost.

6 - Improve transport - better roads, particularly motorway junctions, allowing airports to expand & the road tunnels project. Cost a few billion. Improving transport infrastructure is one of the things where government expenditure actually works.

7 - Adult job training. Hire retiring plumbers, electricians etc etc to do evening classes in some of the schools empty in the evenings. Adult, particularly male, technical education is the part of education which shows real worthwhile payoff in productivity.

8 - Automate the rail system & introduce lightweight vehicles based on road vehicle technology. My guess is this would be about £10 billion annually but once it is done rail costs go way down & capacity way up.

9 - Quit the EU. The Bruges Group have said the EU costs us £55 billion in direct costs. The EU's Enterprise Commissioner says the regulations alone cost £405 billion - ie £67 billion to us.

10 - Allow almost unrestricted housebuilding & encourage modular methods. This should let them cost about 1/4 the present price. Housebuilding is pretty much the biggest industry in any country & that would give us an enormous boost.

11 - End most of the sort of "environmental" regulations which have stopped Trump investing his £1 billion here for 3 years. This alone has cost the Exchequer £360 billion (£12% a year).

12 - This has already been done, albeit accidentally & need not be extended - Letting the £ drop is a major stimulus to the productive sector though exports. It worked in Major's time too - also accidentally.

13 - An X-Prize foundation & a free market regime on Ascension Island as a British Space base. So long as the Foundation is guaranteed an increasing amount of money at approx 5% above the rate of growth & able to offer prizes based on what the fund will be in future it can offer multiples of the current cost & in turn the gain to the economy will be multiples of that figure. Of course if nobody wins such prizes it has zero cost - that being the worst case scenario. I would suggest £1 billion a year as starting payment which would certainly put us at the top of the space & high technology trees attracting many times that level of investment & even more importantly, many of the world's best brains.

14 - I see that though we have saved £155 billion plus we have only spent about £70 billion. Put the rest into cutting taxes (28p off income tax or equivalent!). I would also support raising alcohol taxes since it discourages something socially damaging whereas most tax discourages productive stuff. It wouldn't take many years of excise duty rising faster than a Chinese style growth rate to pay for all the size of government here.

- These are a bit of a flyer not to be done till we know the economy is recovering:

15 - Build some floating islands, probably around Ascension island, probably about £1 billion each.

16 - Make a purchase guarantee for a factory to mass produce turnkey operation nuclear reactors in Britain, for use here & around the world. If it can be done with a new design & much smaller & hence less economic reactors it can be done for normal 1 gw ones. Invite the best designer, probably Ariva or Westinghouse (which used to be British owned but the government forced British nuclear to sell it off). We guarantee that if they can make a production line turning out one, turnkey operation reactor, a day we will purchase the first 2 years supply at cost if they can't sell them abroad. Assuming £350 million (70% of the current minimum price) a shot that puts us on line for a £255 billion liability & I am working on the assumption that, since there is currently a backlog they would actually sell. That is a bet but a reasonable one & if it works we would lead ourselves & the rest of the world to unequalled prosperity & end up with the sort of role in building the world's electrical power that the US has exercised for decades in world aircraft production.

- I think it would be conservative to say that most of the above individually, excluding #1, would increase growth by more than 2%. It would be optimistic to assume they would all work cumulatively but but even so that would be pretty good.

Alternately doing only a small amount of this would still make us one of the most successful economies in the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The only good thing about the release of the BNP membership list is that the party accepts that it was done by disgruntled activists rather than state or media action.

Last night on C4 Nick Griffin was interviewed by a presenter who suggested that it would be proper to fire teachers for membership because their job was politically sensitive & that it would be impossible for a BNP member to remain impartial.

Then he said that the BNP wasn't a "decent" party. Presumably being a TV journalist is not as politically sensitive as being a teacher then? I have yet to see any journalist interviewing a Labour Minister accuse their party of being indecent or even of being guilty of war crimes, massacres, genocide, child sex slavery & dissecting living people to steal their body parts which is less subjective & much less deniable than simply not being decent.

Either that or being biased in favour of particular parties & censoring any reporting of their atrocities is not merely compatible with TV journalism (& other journalism) but an essential component.

The wide array of jobs held by BNP supporters – exposed in a leaked internal document – brought demands last night for a ban on BNP membership in public sector professions.

The disclosure of the membership list, containing 12,000 names, phone numbers and addresses, prompted an investigation into the activities of a Merseyside police officer and a presenter's departure from a talk radio station. Several people named on the list denied ever having been members of the far-right organisation and called police after receiving death threats....

The list contained the names of 15 teachers, four nurses, 16 members of the armed forces, civil servants, a police officer and even a member of the Royal household.

Merseyside Police said it was investigating PC Steve Bettley for "an alleged association with the party"....

Membership of the BNP is forbidden under the contract that police and prison officers sign but supporters are allowed to take other public sector posts if they do not discuss their views.

Doctors, nurses and teachers are permitted to join the party provided that their views do not interfere with their professional conduct. But under new legislation, trade unions could win the right to expel members of the BNP if their opinions are judged to be incompatible with those of the union.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women teachers, said: "Those who declare their affiliation to the BNP should not be allowed to work in the teaching profession or in public services."

Limiting of political freedom only a little bit is like being only a little bit pregnant.

Today, TalkSport radio said it would 'no longer use' DJ Lucas, a Sony Award winner who once worked for Radio One, who had covered late-night shifts for the station.

Bastards. I hope he sues, I hope TalkSport, which has presented itself as paler version of American Talk Radio never again claims to provide an independent voice & I hope people who bought products advertised there write to the advertisers & say they won't do so in future (this being the only thing that frightens the media (well not the BBC obviously).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


NAWAPA the "North American Water and Power Alliance" first proposed in the 1960s, when big engineering projects were technically far more difficult. That it has been languishing for 40 years says much about modern politics & the failure of ambition.

The North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) is a project for diverting to the western U.S. and northwestern Mexico water from rivers in Alaska and Canada which now flow into the Arctic Ocean. In addition to providing irrigation water to arid parts of North America NAWAPA would also generate considerable amounts of power and provide some subsidiary benefits such as stabilizing the level of the Great Lakes. The project was formulated by the Los Angeles engineering firm of Ralph M. Parsons Company and got some attention in Congress, particularly from Senator Frank Moss of Utah, but is not politically feasible.

In terms of engineering the project is feasible. A series of dams on the headwaters of the Yukon, Copper, Kootenay, Fraser, Peace, and Columbia Rivers can divert their flows into reservoirs. Included among these is the 500 mile long Rocky Mountain Trench, a natural formation which has 16 times the capacity of Lake Mead on the Colorado River. From the Rocky Mountain Trench the water would flow into Montana and central Idaho. The dams would generate electrical power but not all of it would be marketable. Some of the power would be required to pump the water over some mountains in Idaho to a canal where it would flow south along the border area of Utah and Nevada. Here the water flow would be divided into two branches. One would go southwest to Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico. The other would go east to Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. This is the main element of the project. A subsidiary part would take water from the Peace River by canal to the Great Lakes and thereby link the prairie provinces of Canada with the St. Lawrence Seaway. Other subsidiary elements could link the system to the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver, British Columbia and link Lake Manitoba to the Hudson Bay.

As envisioned by the R. M. Parsons Co. the system would deliver 120 million acre-feet of water annually; 78 million to the U.S., 22 million to Canada, and 20 million to Mexico. According to Parsons this would enable Mexico to triple her irrigated acreage, irrigate an additional 40 million acres in the U.S. and 7 million in Canada. NAWAPA would generate 70 million kilowatts of power; 38 million for the U.S., 30 million for Canada and 2 million for Mexico. Parsons estimates that all this would cost $100 billion in 1964 dollars. In 1989 dollars that would be about $339 billion. The question is whether the project is economically justified.

Note - I have updated prices here from 1964 to 2008 $s according the consumer price index

Parsons estimates that about 85 percent of the water would be sold to agriculture at $26 per acre-foot and the other 15 percent to municipal and industrial users at $100 per acre-foot. That would result in annual benefits of $4.5 billion. The annual gross revenue from electrical power was estimated to be $16.3 billion dollars. Energy prices since 1964 have increased faster than general inflation.

The project is so immense that its construction might be spread over a thirty year period. Here is a reasonable estimate of the costs of the project by five year intervals.

Yr Water Revenue Power Revenue Other Revenue
-- (billion $) (billion $) (billion $)
1 -- 0.0 -------0.0 -------- 0.0
2 -- 7.5 -------36.7 ------- 0.0
3 -- 19.2 ----- 93.5 ------- 14.2
4-10 19.2 ----- 93.5 ------- 28.2

I have made no allowance that actual costs of engineering should have gone down compared to overall prices. Tunnelling costs have certainly gone down substantially because of modern high pressure machines. Considering that Norway has recently built over 750 km of road tunnels at between £3.5 milliion & £10.5 million I suspect a modern redesign would be even more extensive & less inhibited by the Rockies & tunnels obviously lose less from evaporation.

Looking at the map it would bring water to about half the US & makes the Boulder Dam during the Depression look small. The benefits for Mexico and Canada would be of a similar spectacular order. Canada would enjoy 58 million acre-feet of water and 38,000 additional megawatts of hydroelectric power, and the same kind of irrigation, transport, and clean water benefits accruing to the United States. In particular, the Northwest Passage route would be a vital aid in realizing the vast, untapped development potential of that largely wilderness nation.

“Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together”
Jonathan Swift

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they
broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science.
If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't
consensus. Period.
--Michael Crichton

Best-selling author Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 after a courageous and private battle against

A review of & link to video of the New York debate on global warming in which Mr Crichton took part & in which the audience & even moreso the radio audience accepted that global warming was simply a false scare.

His book State of Fear which not only takes the whole warming scam apart but, even more importantly (chapter titled Santa Monica Oct 13 9:33) how the media use scare stories to keep us obedient.

Articles by him from his own.
Speeches from his site.


From the Sun, one of whose reporters spent time in "care" & has been reporting on this far better than our more approved media & picked up by it being mentioned on a comment on David Lindsay's blog:

THE father of tragic Baby P KIDNAPPED him in a desperate bid to protect the tot from his evil mum and boyfriend.
He refused to hand back the pale and bruised boy after a weekend visit because he feared for his safety.

But his ex-wife called in the police, who then ordered him to return screaming Baby P to the vile pair.

And now he has to live with the terrible knowledge that they TORTURED him to death.


“Baby P’s mum was a total slapper. She was really crude. I went to her house once and could see only filth and junk lying around. There was no carpet. It was dirty and smelly.

“But you could never criticise her in front of her husband. It was like he was the father figure and she was the spoiled little girl.

Which is probably a pretty accurate description.
I don't think there can be any real doubt that, at least in this instance, our "caring professions" society & its automatic assumption that children should always be held in the custody of the mother, directly caused P's torture & murder.

It is theoretically possible that, on balance, in some other cases, social workers overall do more good than harm & indeed it would be quite surprising if, in every field they were involved in they didn't. However, just as in real life, the default position should be that they have to prove their overall worth. The entire social work regime across the country should, now & in future, be subject to a fair cost benefit analysis & those who are useless, or worse, be removed.

Peter Hitchens has also written

Let us be plain. If one tenth part of the events that took place in Baby P’s mother’s house had happened in a middle-class home, the child would have been snatched away in minutes by haughty social workers.

In fact, if a middle-class Baby P had fallen off a swing and banged his head in a genuine accident, the selectively vigilant social-work squads would have been demanding his removal from the home.

That 2nd paragraph may be an exaggeration, but not by much.


On Radio Scotland's phone in today Gary's main question was about whether we should spend £30 billion on a high speed train network. This was hung on a Heathrow councillor who says the government should pay for this rather than letting the allegedly 2 million people round about here more aircraft - she did not propose that the 2 million have any special role in paying for it.

About 2/3rds of the way through Gary said that there was a shortage of people phoning in saying we shouldn't spend this money so I did.

I mentioned that rail already gets 70% of the transport budget with 3% of travel & that not one of those who had said they would like the government to pay for their train use had said what extra taxes they personally were willing to pay. Gary asked me what transport I would like to spend more on considering that we can't build more roads. I said we can build more roads.

In this particular case I agree with the implicit BBC assumption that government should be spending money on something since transport infrastructure is one of the very few state expenditures which seem to provide more economic benefit than they cost. It is obvious that if the BBC do a programme asking people to ring in to say that they want government to give them more money then they will get more people saying yes. Equally if they ever did a programme asking people if they want less taxes, though they never do that, they would get an even larger majority saying yes. All parties seem to be currently engaged in an auction of promises to do both.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Since Mann's Hockey Stick warming model was proven to be fraudulent the global warming alarmists have relied on James Hansen & the alleged figures of warming his NASA/GISS organisation produces as their big totem of scientific integrity. Well it appears he is nearly as much of a fraud as his boss Al Gore.

On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

...So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

That unfortunately is not the worst of it. The worst is that having been caught with fake figures they immediately engaged in another "accidental" fraud to try to keep them: compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

That actually makes it a 3rd example of the highest standard of honesty to which he aspires/a lie since McIntyre did disprove the whole warming thesis a couple of years ago by showing that his claim the 1998 was was the warmest year on record had also been achieved by faking figures, 1933 was.

I'll also ignore his claim to Congress 20 years ago 20 years ago that temperatures would be 1 degree up by now since he obviously couldn't have known for certain at the time that they would be unchanged.

On the other hand I won't ignore the BBC's claim in their fascist "Climate Wars" propaganda programme that Hansen had been correct since they certainly knew that this was not so.

If BBC or indeed any other organisation on the alarmist side wishes to even appear to be, in some way, honest then they will, quite certainly, immediately be reporting this with all the enthusiasm that they have reported all these "Global warming is reported to be worse than previously suggested" stories. My personal bet is that the BBC, ITN & almost all the press will, once again, confirm that they are wholly corrupt fascist liars. In turn this means that absolutely nobody on the warming side who is in any way honest will fail to publicly dissociate themselves from all of them - however since virtually nobody on that side possesses the slightest trace of honesty it follows there will be no significant denouncements.

The refusal to report these lies is much more important than the lies themselves. Like fish in water the warming alarmists can only survive such repeated disproofs of their lies when they swim in a sea of media liars.


I previously promised to come back to ex-MP Maria Fyfe's question during Professor McInnes lecture on how to get scientifica literacy among our political leaders & here are some suggestions:


1 - Scientist/engineer only party constituency selection shortlists. Women only shortlists in constituencies selecting new candidates have been very successful in increasing the number of women in Parliament & I would argue that getting people who understand how the modern world runs is of even greater importance. Personally I would prefer, instead of shortlists which are very controlling, having a loading of say 20% of the selection committee vote to anybody qualified (I would also be happy to see a negative 10% loading for lawyers of whom we have more than enough). The Chinese leadership consists disproportionately of engineers as ours does of lawyers & I do not think they are suffering as a result.

2 - Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Alex Salmond etc to say they actively want to recruit scientists & engineers to responsible positions in their parties. A little encouragement goes a long way.

3 - Change the civil service. Since the Northcote-Trevelyan report of 1854 Britain's civil service has been devoted to what is called the "cult of the generalist" which in fact means that those selected for promotion to its leadership, while very bright, must have studied classics at Oxbridge, & on no account have expertise in science, engineering or even accountancy. This is generally seen as being the triumph of the literary side of the British middle classes over those in "trade" &, I suspect not coincidentally, coincides with the start of the decline of the British Empire. This has been recognised for some time:

There was a concern (illustrated in C. P. Snow’s Strangers and Brothers series of novels) that technical and scientific expertise was mushrooming, to a point at which the “good all-rounder” culture of the administrative civil servant with a classics or other arts degree could no longer properly engage with it: as late as 1963, for example, the Treasury had just 19 trained economists....

Lord Fulton’s committee reported in 1968 . He found that administrators were not professional enough, and in particular lacked management skills; that the position of technical and scientific experts needed to be rationalised and enhanced; and that the service was indeed too remote. His 158 recommendations included the introduction of a unified grading system for all categories of staff, a Civil Service College and a central policy planning unit. He also said that control of the service should be taken from the Treasury, and given to a new Department, and that the “fast stream” recruitment process for accessing the upper echelons should be made more flexible, to encourage candidates from less privileged backgrounds.

.... whether through lack of political will, or through passive resistance by a mandarinate which the report had suggested were “amateurs”, Fulton failed.

Changing both recruitment & promotion to bring those with scientific, engineering & accountancy skills to the top would take at least a generation to work through but history suggests the effect would last far longer & we are rather overdue a reform.

4 - Life Peers. We were originally promised a mass of "people's peers" to be appointed to the Lords but in fact they all turned out to be drawn from the same old "great & good" they always had been. I propose instead they should be appointed on the same basis as the Nobels (the real ones not the "peace" one). This would give overdue public credit to science; put some world class brains, independent of party hackery, into the revising chamber of our legislature; & end the who scratched who's back system we have now.

5 - Take the appointment of government science advisers out of political hands. The government's Chief science Advisor is a political appointment & thus goes to a global warming alarmist. It is effectively a vehicle for government to give advice to science rather than the reverse as it should be. At the very least appointments should be made, as Church of England Bishops are, by a relevant committee (drawn from the Royal Society) who send 2 names to the PM for him to choose between (actually for him to recommend the Queen to choose which is why constitutional monarchy has its points).


6 - Appoint science journalists from people who know science rather than who know only journalism. It is perhaps understandable that editors tend to select some eager young journalist & tell him to go & get something printable, since editors themselves are journalists, but it does mean that silliness drives out sense. A sort of Gresham's Law of journalism, except there was no good reporting to be driven out in the first place. I note Roger Harrabin, the BBC's "environmental expert" did his degree in English before becoming a journalist.

7 - Stop using all those dreadful "research reports" produced by asking 50 people to fill in questionnaires on sex or smoking or obesity & then announcing that this proves we are all having more/less sex, food or cigarettes & that in 100 years will all be 25 tons.

8 - Publish an equally prominent correction when proven to have been publishing rubbish (this should apply on other subjects too).

9 - Lets have Tommorrow's World back to at least give us an optimistic outlook.


10 Publicly lobby for the above.

11 - As above but moreso. Professional respect in any field is earned by making an unholy nuisance of yourself when wronged. The Royal Society (I disapprove of their addiction to the warming scam but this will pass & their historical record is second to none) should write to every newspaper that publishes lies or scientific illiteracy & point out the correct facts, complaining to the Press council if the letter doesn't get published. They should be willing to publicly point out when a senior politician says something scientifically illiterate like Michael Meacher saying nuclear is more expensive than windmills. Respect has to be fought for to be earned or retained.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


The unacknowledged link between these child killing incidents & the amount of crime is the break up of the traditional family. I rather hate to say this because I would like hippyism to work & even think that something derived from it will some day. However it has been statistically demonstrated many times that inmates of prison, the illiterate, homeless, alcoholics & almost every other indication of human failure come proportionately many 10s of times more often from those without a father or brought up in social “care”. The same applies with cases like this obscenity, or those much less blatant, which don’t get reported. The killing is virtually never done by the father but by the mother’s new boyfriend or even the mother herself.

Children need a father, boys in particular need one more than they need the mother.

Because it is politically incorrect to say this & because the empire building of social work departments requires ever more children to “care” for the actions of social workers have been, on balance, hugely destructive to society & the individual they “help”. This is how you get a £100 million budget as anybody who understands Public Choice Theory knows.

At all stages they support custody going to the mother & have often been actively involved in trying to persuade the mother to break up the family.

There is of course, far more work for them if the child is stuck with a useless mother, or in a “care home”.

One obvious answer is to encourage adoption & we can see that far from doing so social work departments actively prevent adoption because it weaken their power. It is otherwise impossible to explain how they could refuse to remove baby P while at the same time they are denying couples the right to adopt or even foster because they smoke, though there is no real evidence that passive smoking is any sort of problem at all let alone a serious one.

If, as soon as it was known the baby was being harmed, presumably 59 visits ago, the mother & boyfriend had been arrested for something relatively minor like GBH & the child removed to the care of either his father or adopted he would be happy & alive & even the mother & boyfriend would have a better future. But Harringay’s social work empire wouldn’t get its £100 million.

Liberals are often denounced for caring about criminals & saying that “society is to blame”. But society is to blame - it is just those most to blame are those who most involved in the “caring professions.” The correlationn between crime, particularly violent & senseless crime & lack of a male role model is undeniable & alone explains the rise in such crime despite thr fact that there are fewer teenage men, the ones who commit almost all such crime, around. There are minor things we could do such as encouraging male teachers & making it easier for men to be scoumasters & football coaches (rather than the precise opposite as qwe do now) but, because of its nature, the solution to this will take more than a generation which is all the more reason to start.

Also on John Redwood's blog

UPDATE - BBC radio today said that Panorama tonight will report that the police strongly asked that the baby be taken into care but the SS dept refused. This confirms my conclusion in the 2nd last paragraph.


At the recent RPSoG lecture which was on the value to cities of getting the Olympics {relatively little in the way of numbers so difficult to say how the costs & benefits balance out which may be deliberate} we were told in passing that:

"We couldn't build the Birds Nest Stadium here because the Health & Safety Executive wouldn't let us."

A few days later Graham Garden of The Goodies {a comedy series full of zany antics, the heroes riding around on a trandem & the memorably terrifying appearance of Kitten Kong} said on the radio that they couldn't produce it nowadays because 'The Health & Safety Executive wouldn't let us."

Which in turn reminded me that when I visited the pump storage plant at Cruachan some years ago (on the road to Oban - tours provided to the public & well worth it) we were told that they couldn't have built it again at a reasonable price because of the Health & Safety Executive.

Having previously objected that building projects in Britain, such as the Forth Bridge, are now 14 times more expensive than they used to be in real terms I think a lot of the blame can be laid on the H&S people. As a general rule of thumb regulatory costs cost 20 times more to those being regulated (2nd last item). Does anybody doubt that if we got rid of all 200,000 H&S workers, possibly increasing required insurance payments a little to provide an incentive for what is actually necessary, that we would not be in recession?

In reality the greatest correlation with health, life expectancy & accident survival in any society is not with the number of regulators it has but with its level of wealth.

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