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Saturday, July 14, 2012

ThinkScotland Revamp -

  Brian Monteith, who used to be the Scottish Conservatives source of ideas until they decided they could do without such inconveniences, has done a revamp of his ThinkScotland online magazine.

New Articles coming up 
David Torrance on the SNP being victims of their own success

Hugh Andrew on the spectre of nationalist dirgism

O'Rourke on the need to elevate John Buchan

Alex Massie says history suggests Alex Salmond might emulate Napoleon

Liz Smith on how to revive school sports

Bill Jamieson questions who can deliver economic self-confidence

Mike Nevin on establishing a new international gold standard

Brian Monteith on the need for more banking competition

Neil Craig on why exploring space needs prizes

Tom Miers suggests ways Unionists can wrong-foot the separatists

Struan Stevenson on learning from how the US saved its fishing fleet

Prof David Purdie introduces his Dean's Diaries from St Andrew's College

ThinkCalm introduces our weekly Keep Calm poster from Keep-Calm-o-matic

Jackie Anderson on the joys of living in sunny France (remember the sun?),

Any Hume explains why he is reprising his Mr Eugenics column.
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  My article is the same one I did a few days ago on UKIP's policy of turning our European Space Agency money into a British X-Prize fund, which, despite it being already published here, & despite it not being a specifically Scottish programme, he thought should be highlighted.
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Also a number of other Space links:

Reform of the Outer Space Act 1986: Consultation, The UK Space Agency has issued a consultation seeking views of stakeholders on proposed changes to the Outer Space Act 1986.
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"Space is one of the UK's key high-tech growth industries," Dacid Willetts, Science minister said. "I fully expect this growth trajectory to continue"
  An interesting admission. The government acknowledges that, even their present policy of putting no more than £10 million into an industry they nonetheless expect to be worth £40,000 million a year will get there. I don't think they can now deny (& none of them have denied) that UKIP's policy of putting in £275 million in X-Prizes, would significantly, probably massively, improve that growth.
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Under new Revenue and Customs rules ushered in as part of Team GB’s winning bid, “corporate partners” like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa have a temporary exemption from corporation tax as “non-resident” companies.


Although the multinationals have offices in the UK, their separate Olympic operations avoid paying tax from March 30 to November 8.


The new rules also mean foreign employees working for the firms do not have to pay income tax in the UK.


Campaigning group Ethical Consumer, which carried out the report, estimates the Government will lose out on £600million.

   I have previously written on how the Scotland Act gives us the power to  introduce tax exemptions like this. If London is using this power to encourage investors in the Olympics there can now be no argument from them if we did something similar. The Scottish space industry cannot be over £1 bn a year. The section of it which is actually at the sharp end of technological development not more than £200 bn. Even cutting CT and income tax would not remove more than about half the tax take. Thus, with tax accounting for about 40% of GDP it would not cost the Exchequer more than about £40 million.

Or £400 million across the UK.

But the long term advantages would be enormously greater. Indeed even on the national prestige issue, which is the main reason for hosting the Olympics, being a leader in space development is orders of magnitude more prestigious. Yet this tax money is only a tiny proportion of the Olympics cost (indeed I suspect it is not even included in the "official" costing).
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New Scientist on how Virgin is linking up with Planetary Resources, who are intending to mine asteroids. An interesting thing about this is how confident the PR guy is with how there is more than one serious supplier in this business. A general rule is that when you think something can be done one way you may run into serious roadblocks but when it can be done several ways it has got beyond the level of being experimental and approaching commonplace.

 "A "nine - days' wonder" is taken as a matter of course on the tenth day" Heinlein.

How long before Ed Milipede is saying he always believed in space industry?

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