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Friday, November 01, 2013

EU Debate - Smart things I should have said

      You know how your witty comeback always occurs next day after the discussion is over?

      Well here are a few from our EU debate:

  One of the 2 Johns, in reply to a statement that 75% of British laws now come from the EU said a House of commons one said it was 15%. Lord Monckton gave chapter and verse of why it was 75% or perhaps more. At the time I knew nothing of the 15% figure but here it is in a Channel 4 "factcheck" whose bias against UKIP is palpable:

"A much-misreported House of Commons library study into the amount of our legislation that comes from Europe said it was “possible to justify any measure between 15 per cent and 50 per cent or thereabouts” depending on how you looked at EU regulations”

    So not, as claimed an assertion of 15% but merely an assertion that this is the very lowest it is possible for even our pro-EU Parliament to claim possible.
    One of the 2 Johns said that there are no EU tariffs on food. I was just too gobsmacked to say he was a total liar, which would probably have been unparliamentary anyway.

   When 2 questions were raised the first was about whether democracy could survive with modern technology. I answered only the 2nd question. John P replied about the benefits of representative democracy over pure democracy, Athenian style, giving as an example the Athenian assembly voting to kill everybody in Syracuse and next day changing its mind and sending out another, faster, ship to carry the reprieve. It wasn't actually Syracuse.

   With hindsight I would say that modern technology makes pure democracy practical; that UKIP's commitment to referendums is a start in that direction; that the FPTP electoral system does not give us representative democracy since it is deliberately maintained to ensure Parliament is not representative but skewed towards the parties in power. I could also have quoted Churchill "democracy is the worst system of government, apart from all the others" and Machiavelli on how the people may sometimes be fickle and ungrateful but that a "a Prince" almost always is; and that in the case he gave the people showed mercy whereas Alexander had, in several cases, exterminated a city for resisting him.

    You don't get perfection entrusting yourself to a dictator, you may get grandeur instead. In the EU you don't get grandeur either you just get incompetent bureaucracy. Technology and the internet have given us ways to learn what government doesn't want us to know and to choose for ourselves things those in power would rather we obediently accepted.


     The former Tory MEP answered a point I made about our immigration policy by launching a spiel about unlimited immigration being a good thing. At the time I let it stand because I thought he had made an ass of himself. Perhaps I should have responded that what he was saying, while he was perfectly entitled to believe it, was not his party's policy. UKIP's policy is a 50,000 a year limit. At the last election Mr Cameron made a specific promise to cut immigration to "10s not hundreds of thousands" by the end of this Parliament. Since 50k is midway between 10s and hundreds there is barely a cigarette paper between U&KIP and official Tory policy. The only real difference is that when Cameron made the promise he knew it could not be kept so long as, as EU members, we cannot stop EU immigration.

       It is not a policy difference it just that everybody knows the Tory policy promise is a lie whereas everybody, even our opponents, know UKIP believe in our policies.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The True Cost of Electricity & How The "Debate" Is Being Dishonestly Restricted

From the estimable Register

Graphic showing past and predicted domestic energy price rises. Credit/source: RWE npower

   Shows how the electricity price rises from 2007 is largely "policy and regulation costs" ie direct state parasitism. The other is "transport costs" ie the grid, which is basically to pay for extending the grid so that windmill electricity produced in the outer isles can be transported to London. This is a hidden "green" subsidy and an extensive one.

   By comparison actually producing the stuff is barely up and by 2020 will be back down to 2007 costs. I presume this is the benefit of shale more than offsetting windmill parasitism. VAT appears not to be included.

   The alleged corporate greed of the "big 6" monopolists means supplier costs will go from 19% DOWN to 16%.

    So clearly, even within the terms of the official "debate" the fault lies with political price raising.

    But the official debate ignores the political effect of preventing the cheapest power sources (nuclear, coal & shale) being used.
    This is how the ruling class normally frame any "debate". The only thing discussed is a few percentage points made up of either profit or government levies according to villain. The graph above shows that the levies are rising fast and the profits, as a % of cost, falling.

    Unmentioned is that Hinkley Point is costing 4 times a much (and taking 7 years longer which pushes up interest payments) than comparable Chinese ones, and nuclear is considerably cheaper than average power.

   Undebated is that 90% of electricity prices (perhaps more) are government regulatory parasitism - you will never know it from BBC "news".
   Even the "big six" would much rather be damned for the largely false charge of price gouging than be shown to be running expensive obsolete equipment that could not compete with engineering cost nuclear, thus they do not call the MPs the liars they certainly are. This is common among dominant companies with fixed assets.
    Lets go for a best possible cost:
Nuclear is currently 40% of the average cost of our power basket.
China is building at 0.27 our costs.
Because China is building in 3 years and us in 10 we have 7 years foregone income while paying interest - assuming the normal 10% return that is 1.10^7 = 1.95
Assume China is not entirely without state parasitism - say 10% 
VAT 20%
How much could cost be reduced if it was allowed to mass produce reactors - 3 fold seems a conservative estimate.
60% X 0.27 X 1/1.95 X 90% X 1/1.20% X 1/3 = 0.0208 or 2.08% of current costs.
 97.92% parasitism.
   Way below current standing charges = "electricity to cheap to meter". Though this does not include transportation costs. However if the amount of power we use goes up anything like proportionately, handling costs will go down, not quite proportionately.
   I'm not standing by that exact figure though I would hold to each part as being either firm or a reasonable estimate. Nor does it matter much. If we can say at least 90% if electricity costs are state parasitism and can, over a number of years, be removed it doesn't immediately matter if another 80% reduction is ultimately possible.
   But if some supporter of windmillery feels the figures can be factually disputed I am sue they will do so ;-)

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Sunday, October 27, 2013


... A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples.
Lord Rees, Astronomer Royal says it is better to read good science fiction than bad science.

Lord Rees does expect to see soon however, is the exploration of moons and asteroids by a flotilla of miniaturised robots as well as huge solar energy collectors assembled under zero-gravity. As for humanity, our future lies in a "post-human" stage of evolution: "Post-humans will evolve from our species not via natural selection but by design. They could be silicon-based, or they could be organic creatures who had won the battle with death, or perfected the techniques of hibernation."
Tim Worstall on the Adam Smith Institute site links to the evidence from Next Big Future that Chinese reactors are 1/4 the price of equivalent UK ones - actually accountants would make it considerably less if they factor in our 10 years before earning anything compared t6o China's - actually it seems likely considerably less than that of the Chinese were building Chinese reactors - actually considerably less than that if they were being mass produced.
Dan Hannan on how free markets are better at providing equality than state "socialism"

Dellers says
"the Greens (and that includes small "g" greens too) are not our friends. I'm not saying they are intrinsically bad people; I know that in many cases that they are motivated by the highest of ideals. The problem is that the consequences of their noble lies and their warped ideology invariably involve economic recession, higher prices, constrained freedom, thwarted aspirations and widespread human suffering. I don't call those results good. I'd say they're downright evil."

I put on a comment saying that it is impossible that the leaders are not aware  that they are lying and that thus they are personally evil,
Here is Wikipedia's list of driverless trains. The list includes both trains without any driver and the greater number where the "driver" (or can be called conducter") only presses a button to open and close doors - something which could obviously be done remotely or automatically so the only purpose of having a driver is to employ drivers.

Glasgow subway is listed as such.
Built from 5cm cubes and launched into orbit for the price of a family car, a Glaswegian entrepreneur has built what may be the world's cheapest satellite, launched from revamped Russian missiles
Alex Salmond wasted £20,000 of public money trying to stop the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office from revealing that he'd not taken legal advice on a post-independence Scotland's eligibility for European Union membership.
The world's first human trials of synthetic blood will take place in Scotland, it has been reported.

Researchers from the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh have been granted a licence to make blood from stem cells which can be tested on humans, The Scotsman has reported.
The licence from the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will allow scientists at SCRM to attempt to manufacture blood on an industrial scale which will help to tackle shortages and stop the transfer of infections from blood donors, according to the paper.
From the Bruges Group

Only recently the European Commission has appointed the Czech PR Agency "Via Perfecta" to be in charge of the EU information and communication strategy in the Czech Republic (and funded it). However, this agency is led by a wife of one prominent and most pro-european politician in the CR. This implies possible misuse of the EU funds for self-promotion of certain politicians or political opinions that are familiar to the EU bureaucracy."

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