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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quote of the day

"Libertarians are so often portrayed as cruel and heartless, but nothing could be more wrong. We believe in people. We trust them. The statists of right and left do not. They see humans as fundamentally evil; to be controlled at all costs. We see evidence everywhere (despite the odious exceptions on whom they focus) of humanity's essential goodness."

Can I recommend this blogger to you?
http://lastditch.typepad.com/lastditch/




Been robbed or mugged recently? Don't call the Police until after April 5th

You really couldn't make this up. Inspector Gadget has blogged this-
"
In a conversation which I recorded on my mobile for a “rainy day”, and a “blanket” email which I have kept to show HMIC, we have been told that the proactive teams are to come back into Jack Straws warmth, and start clearing up any outstanding crime reports.
They must not, under any circumstances, get out on the street and find any more crime. Not until the next financial year anyway. All their accumulated leave (and there is lots of it being as we don’t pay overtime any more) is to be taken between now and April. It’s best to have them out-of-the-way, they just cant be trusted to stay indoors......

Please visit Inspector Gadget's blog for the rest of the article.



Never let them forget it

I'm an ordinary civilian member of society. A citizen if you like. I've lived a long time and can remember the days of Dixon of Dock Green. In those days we had a Police Force. These days we have a Police Service.
One of the strange inconsistencies is that when we had a Police Force, the Police never had to resort to using it. Now we have a Police service and increasingly they do.
I can remember when the local constable was local. He lived locally and knew everyone on his beat. He had the unwritten permission from my parents to dole out such punishment as he saw fit, in order to keep me from straying from minor to more serious transgressions.
These days any policepersons who live near me work somewhere else in the county. They work a shift pattern which means that their involvement in the community they police ends when they clock off. They have been increasingly politicised over the years and are now target driven.
I recommend Inspector Gadget's blogsite to anyone in doubt at the ludicrous targets they have to work to.
http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/


Lest we forget, the modern Police force was set up by Sir Robert Peel. He set out his "Peelian Principles" and they are set out below. I have highlighted point 9, because it has been all but forgotten in the chase to meet Home Office targets.

Principles of policing

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
  5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

By the rivers of Babylon

I've had this recurring dream for the last seven or eight years. I think it was triggered by Chancellor Brown's statement that presonal indebtedness was beginning to be a concern, yet we must all continue spending in order to maintain economic growth.

I kept waking up having dreamed that the media were announcing the takeover of UK Plc and that all moneys owed were to be repaid immediately.
What would happen if all the people who we owed money to demanded instant repayment?
At that time I was a Bible student and couldn't help notice parallels between Old Testament Israel and modern day UK.

The nations we defeated all those years ago have long memories. Their revenge will be served cold. It will be brutal.
This once fine nation is being looted of all its treasures. Once they have all gone, what will happen to the people?
As Boney M once sang
"By the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, yea we wept, when we remembered Zion."
A paraphrase of Psalm 137.


Double standards?

Two recent reports in the papers made me sit up and ask what is going on.
The first concerns Dr Andrew Wakefield, a long time critic of the MMR vaccination programme.

"Andrew Wakefield, who first linked the triple jab to autism and bowel problems, acted ‘dishonestly and irresponsibly’ when publicising his research, the General Medical Council ruled yesterday.
Its verdict at the end of the longest and most expensive hearing in its 148-year history was supposed to draw a line under the 12-year saga provoked by his study of 12 autistic children published in the Lancet.

Friday, January 29, 2010

GIGO

GIGO is an acronym, meaning "garbage in, garbage out". It was the first thing taught to me when I started using computers back in the middle of the last century.
It is the first law of computing. A computer is, after all, only an adding machine. if you input incorrect data, you get a wrong answer. As the meerkat says- simples.


The recent bad weather and the global warming fiasco has hammered the point home.
This is the BBC's description of the Met Office's new supercomputer
"The computer is about the size of two football pitches and can make about 750 trillion calculations a second - equivalent to 100,000 PCs."

Yes but- if you feed duff data in, you'll always get duff answers. Remember the first rule?

All these computer models are doubly or even triply flawed.
1. If you devise a computer model according to your specifications, the results will be in line with your model. So, if you believe that global warming is happening, you will devise a model to reflect your views/beliefs, and no matter what data you feed in, the answer will come out the way you programmed it.
2. If you filter the data to take out any anomalies before inputting it, the result will be flawed.
3. If you then publish your results (in the form of a weather forecast) and it's wrong, people will get upset.

And it doesn't matter how big your computer is. Garbage in, garbage out, remember?


Believe in God- instantly

 I saw this on Dizzy's site. Priceless!

HowManyOfMe dot com

Go to www.howmanyofme.com and find out who shares your name (in the USA). I checked and there are five David Clemo's in the US!
I think one's quite enough thank you.

The dam is cracking

Andrew Neil is at it again. A few weeks after he savaged the head of the Met Office for their lousy weather forecasting on his lunchtime TV show, he's blogging on the BBC website that the global warming dam is cracking.
You can read it here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2010/01/the_dam_is_cracking.html


Copenhagen was about money. The distribution of my money to so-called poor countries to combat so called global warming. It is and never was about saving the planet. The UK even has a "climate change" minister to massage the collective guilt of the population and to carry the bag of loot. The chief conspirators in the scam are the BBC, who have bought into it lock stock and barrel; the Met Office, who publish doom laden forecasts that cannot possibly be backed by science, and provide short term forecasts that cannot predict snow in winter, or sun in summer. The boss of the Met Office used to head up the third party in this conspiracy, namely the World Wildlife Fund. It was their report on the Amazon that the IPCC used and subsequentky had to retract, and the was the WWF report on the Himalayan glaciers that was found to be pure speculation. For more about the WWF and AGW read this
http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/25/the-wwf-and-the-epa-endangerment-finding/


A few brave voices are beginning to be heard above the roar of the mob. The science is not proved. I believe that the climate is changing. I believe that it is constantly changing. I don't believe for one second that cherry picking a few stats gathered over a quarter of a century can be used to predict what will happen to the climate a century from today. I don't believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming. A great many wiser, better educated and more qualified people agree with me.
So why are the governments of the world so obsessed with AGW?
They gotta have a bogeyman. Once it was the reds under the beds, then it was Alky Ada, now it's global warming.
Their weapons of control are fear and guilt. We supply their weapons. We fear and we feel guilty and they use those weapons to keep us under control.
If I don't feel guilty and I don't feel scared what power do they have over me?
Life or death?
I have leukaemia. My treatment means that my immunity to infection is shot to pieces. I'm not going to spend what remains of my life cowering in a bunker at some preceived threat, or shivering in an unheated house through choice.


In the meantime, let's be glad that some voices of sanity are beginning to be heard. Please check out Andrew Neil's blog
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2010/01/the_dam_is_cracking.html

Joe Dolce

One of my Facebook friends announced that she's now a friend of Joe Dolce, so I became one too. Ten or more years ago I was so sick of the Princess Diana funeral moneymaking rip-off, that I speculated what if.....
Not for me the conspiracy theories concerning her death. Oh no. What interested me was the conspiracy theory concerning her funeral.
Dying young isn't a bad career move. Look at what it's done for Michael Jackson. Or Elvis. Or Freddie Mercury. Or John Lennon. I mean, if Lennon was still alive, we wouldn't have to put up with bloody "Imagine" in every popular music poll, with Bohemian bloody Rhapsody at number 2.
No, dying young can help you sell an awful lot of records.
So, no sooner had Diana's body been brought back to England when they began sorting out her funeral. And it seemed that everyone knew that her favourite song was candle in the bloody wind, a song that dates from when she was a little girl.
Her favourite song was "Candle in the wind".
Really? I mean, they didn't just make that up did they?

What if.....?
What if her favourite song was Joe Dolce's classic "Shaddup ya face"? Can you imagine Joe with his mandolin in the Abbey, regaling the great and good with the immortal lines
"What's a matter you, hey?
Got no respect hey?
Whatta you thinka you do?
Why you look so sad?
It's not so bad
It's a nice place
Ah shaddup ya face!"

And yes you can play it at my funeral.





And here's Samuel L Jackson's version

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How politics works

Dizzy has an easy to understand chart to explain how politics works. You can find his original post here.
http://dizzythinks.net/2010/01/how-politics-works-and-why-people-hate.html



And here's the chart.

Monday, January 25, 2010

SETI and the digital revolution

Dr Frank Drake founded the SETI unit more than fifty years ago. (SETI= Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) They basically point radio telescopes at the sky in the hope of hearing something that sounds artificial (I almost said man made!) You may recall that Jody Foster made a film called Contact based on their work.

There's an article in the Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1245970/The-digital-revolution-making-Earth-harder-detect-inquisitive-aliens-worlds-leading-ET-hunter-says.html

And it reports that Dr Frank is concerned that the digital age is making it more difficult for aliens to hear us. Why? because the digital signals sound like noise. This is how the Mail reports it
"To a race of observing aliens, digital TV signals would look like noise, said Dr Drake


Correct me if I'm wrong but.....
We're looking for an alien civilisation. As advanced or more advanced than our own. And we're scanning the skies listening for analogue signals?


We've spent fifty years listening for for a message from space in a format that is now officially obsolete on Earth. From an equally or more advanced Civilisation?

Two halves of a pantomime horse




I hate Gordon Brown's government. I hate everything about it. When the Prime Minister's face is on TV I have to switch over. It's genuinely scary, specially when he smiles. Did he start his career at the Hammer House of Horror? I hate blinky Balls and his wife. I hate their hypocrisy and downright thieving ways. I hate the fact that there's not one member of the present government that's ever done a proper job. Robert Heinlein wrote that there are only three types of people-
Makers, Takers & Fakers.
Our soon to be ex-government consists of Takers & Fakers.

The other lot, the Tories, are almost as bad. They will get votes in because people fancy a change from being kicked by someone with a red rosette. They will now be kicked by someone sporting a blue one.
Callmedave and Boygeorge are trying to win by PR. By being nice. By airbrushed posters in lieu of solid policy. It's not enough.
The Tories and NuLiebor are two sides of a debased coin.
And Callmedave and Boygeorge are two halves of a pantomime horse.

Don't you just love those TV evangelists



Many of you will know that I worked as a Christian worship leader and singer/songwriter until about five years ago. For about ten years I played every kind of church, plus open air events, festivals, conferences and prisons up and down the country. I appeared on Christian TV with my wife Sue and we also made a number of appearances on BBC and Christian radio stations. I guess you can say that I met people from every part of the Christian faith spectrum. I worked with worship leaders and preachers from every denomination and I heard every version of the gospel (with perhaps the exception of the snake cult).
The end result of all this was burnout and spiritual confusion. I heard contradictory statements based on the same passage in the Bible. I was asked to sign up to beliefs that were frankly unbelieveable. I made many observations over the years. One was this- the more "spiritual" the church claimed to be, the less willing they were to get their hands dirty.
I also learned that knowledge is not the same as wisdom.
And I heard some absolute tosh preached in the name of God.

Which brings me on to Pat Robertson. If you have satellite TV you can probably tune in to his show "the 700 Club" which is broadcast on his TV channel TBN every day.

On the January 13, 2010 broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson blamed Haiti’s 1791
Slave rebellion for the Haitian Earthquake of January 12 2010, telling viewers:
"... something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it, they were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil, they said, we will serve you, if you get us free from the French, true story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free, and ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor." He went on to state:
"That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable."
Apart from the fact that the rebellion took place four years before Napoleon III was born, isn't this just utter rubbish?
At least he is being consistent.
On his November 10, 2005 broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson told citizens of Dover Pennsylvania that they had rejected God by voting out of office all seven members of the school board who support intelligent design.
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city", Robertson said on his broadcast.
"And don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because He might not be there."
In a written statement, Robertson later clarified his comments:
"God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in His eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them."

In 1999 Robertson said Scotland was "a dark land" overrun by homosexuals. This caused the Bank of Scotland to drop plans for a business operation with him. Many Scottish customers were unhappy that their bank should do business with him.

I found all this out on Wiki, so take your objections up with them please.
It just shows that radical Islamic preachers aren't the only ones stirring up controversy

iziggy & Some Wierd Sinners



My son Chris is away in Blackpool at a music industry convention drumming up business for his Iggy Pop tribute show.
Here's the short showreel they produced. As you can see and hear, they've put a lot of work into the project.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jesus and Mo




Can I recommend Jesus and Mo to you? Here's the link, or hit the title to this post.
http://www.jesusandmo.net/

Jesus and Mo share a house and drink at the local pub where various theological debates are aired. It's a very clever and funny way of bringing out the differences between Christianity and Islam, and where their views coincide. Here's today's post.

Free will



A facebook friend commented today
"How can God give us free-will AND the threat of Hell? Paradox!"

I replied
"God gives you free will- and then condemns you to hell if you use it...."

Those who know me will know that I used to dabble in theology until I realised that people believed what they want to believe. How else can one reconcile the added extras that the various Christian denominations insist on? Protestants are divided into those who believe that God chose who He is to save before they were born (predestination)and those who don't. Then there is the thorny issue of what happens when believers leave the church. Some will point to their Bibles and insist that it says "once saved, always saved", while others say that if a person leaves the church he has fallen away from the faith and is condemned to hell.
So you can see why I no longer preach or indulge in theology. People believe what they want to believe. How else can one explain the green movement?
It all comes down to choice. I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins. I choose to believe Him when he says that all who call on His name will be saved.
I choose not to believe anything any of the mainstream churches try to add to my simple belief. It's a matter of choice. My choice.

I found this quote on another website, regarding the difference between the "Common Sense" and "Pragmatism" schools of philosophy. Here's the link
http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/2010/01/common_sense_ve.html

"For choice is neither predetermined (for that is no choice) or random chance (for that is no choice either) - choice is what it is, neither predetermined or chance. Choice is choice." 19th Century philosopher Thomas Reid

Geert Wilders defence speech



Geert Wilders is on trial in Holland for defaming Islam. The Apostle Paul once wrote "Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?".
Islam is a dangerous religion. It is not a religion of peace, despite what they say. It is anti-women, anti-gay, anti-Jew and anti-Christian.
Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician who made a film that dared to speak these truths. he is now on trial.
I urge you to watch this film. He speaks in dutch, but there are subtitles.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dave on Youtube



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_c0y9A0g44

Why you should vote UKIP



Here's a youtube video of Euro MP Geoffrey Bloom expressing in 90 seconds what we all feel about the global warming scam. Please note the cheering at the end.

Callmedave is firmly in the pocket of the globalwarming scammers. So are Labour. If you want to see a change in the way our once magnificent country is run, then I see no alternative but to vote UKIP this year. Our MP Philip Hollobone is a good honest man, one of the very few. Douglas Carswell and John Redwood seem decent enough as well. I'm sick of spin. I'm sick of political parties being led and run as if they were PR and advertising agencies.
We can't go on like this.

Make you own David Cameron poster




This is brilliant. Make your own David Cameron Poster
http://www.andybarefoot.com/politics/cameron.php

The Daily Mash rocks!



From the Daily Mash
"Fears were growing today that chocolate buttons are inevitably going to end up tasting like shit.
People across the UK have begun hoarding their favourite sweets after Mr and Mrs Cadbury, the owners of Cadbury's Lovely Olde Chocolatey Shoppe, were bought out by Kraft, the US-based fabricated cheese and industrial bleaching conglomerate."
Read on
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/will-chocolate-buttons-taste-like-shit?-asks-britain-201001192389/

NSFW but funny

Why focussing on customer satisfaction won't work



Over in Ruralshire, Inspector Gadget today posted on the subject of complaints about the Police. His bosses demand a 75% success rate in resloving complaints. Here's why he can't achieve it.
http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/police-complaints-the-shocking-truth/
"As the Duty Inspector, I once took TWO complaints on one shift.

1. Someone in the High Street phoned to complain that a police vehicle on blues and two’s was driving too fast to an emergency call.

2. Later, the person who had called the police to that emergency, complained that patrols didn’t arrive fast enough.

Who was right? Both can’t be. Hence, 50% of all the people who complained that night were not satisfied with the police response to their complaint. My target is that 75% have to be satisfied, despite the numbers of complaints. Oh dear. I failed.

The paperwork for those two complaints ran into 15 pages and I had to note down their ethnicity! (why?)

Bonkers."

Islam not to blame?



Firstly I state that all discrimination is wrong. Positive discrimination in favour of a particular group or view is by definition negative to those who don't share their values or skin colour.
I also believe that organisations that exist to promote the views of a minority within say, the Police or the legal profession are by definition racist. The Black Police Association, which seeks to promote the interests of a minority above the majority is by definition racist.
Today the Telegraph is reporting that "Muslim police officers have rebelled openly against the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy, warning that it is an “affront to British values” which threatens to trigger ethnic unrest. "
Read the article here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/7039572/Muslim-police-say-Islam-not-to-blame-for-terror-attacks.html

Excuse me, but "British values?" The religion of islam makes a distinct point of calling all non-moslems "Kaffur". Kaffur have no legal rights under islamic law. They are less than human. It is the duty of all moslems to convert the world to Islam, using force if necessary. As Kuffar (that's you and me) are less than human, we don't count.

While it's true that not all Moslems are terrorists, it is true that all the terrorist outrages comitted in the last decade or so have been carried out by Moslems.

So, it makes sense to pay more attention to people of middle eastern origin than my aged mother, when looking for possible terrorists. Stopping and searching middle aged whites in order to balance the books is wrong.

Those moslem police officers who are rebelling are wrong on several counts. We used to have a Police Force. Now we have a police service. Maybe that's why they think that they can pick and choose which parts of their oath they wish to obey. If a soldier is given an order he obeys. Why is it different for Police Officers?
Their duty is to uphold the law. All of it.
Secondly, their organisation should be banned as it is racist (see above)
Lastly, the Police and military should be non-political. Statements on government policy should not be permitted.
And if you don't like it, there's the door.
If any member of the BNP reads this and thinks he'll get a sympathetic hearing, bog off racist scum.

Monday, January 18, 2010

UN Science report "was a guess"




Lies, dammned lies and government funded scientific studies.
Today the Mail reports that the UN report that predicted that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear within 25 years was based on hypothesis and guesswork.

Yet another reason to view any government sponsored reports with scepticism. There's an old saying "He who pays the piper calls the tune".
Here in the UK, the biggest advertiser on television is the government. The biggest campaigners are "fake charities", ie those bodies with charitable status, which receive most if not all their funding from the government, and whose sole activity is political lobbying. For a comprehensive list go to www.fakecharities.org

Anyway, here's the first few words from the Mail's article
"Claims by the world's leading climate scientists that most of the Himalayan glaciers will vanish within 25 years were last night exposed as nonsense.

The alarmist warning appeared two years ago in a highly influential report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

At the time the IPCC insisted that its report contained the latest and most detailed evidence yet of the risks of man-made climate change to the planet."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1243963/UN-science-report-stated-Himalayan-glaciers-melt-25-years-guess.html#ixzz0cvH4iIX3

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Met Office admit they botched snow forecast




Well surprise surprise! The Met Office has the most powerful weather forecasting supercomputer on the planet, which is so good it can predict the climate fifty years down the line, but was unable to forecast the snow last week. The super dooper agency, which costs squillions to run, failed to forecast the snow that trapped hundreds of motorists all night near Exeter, and failed to get the warnings out in time.
Apparently our dear leader Mr Broon has ordered an enquiry, which sounds all-action but is just hot air. How many enquiries has he ordered in the past couple of years? And how many have reported back? Precisely.

It seems to me that the biggest source of global warming and the biggest threat is from the hot air that emanates from Westminster.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mystery object buzzes planet Earth




The Daily Mail reports that a mystery object passed close by the earth today. Here's the link to the page
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242914/What-Earth-Mystery-object-whizzes-past-planet.html

There's speculation as to what is is/was. Could it be an alien craft? An asteroid? Space junk? I read a lot of Sci-fi over the years and I enjoy a good space yarn as much as the next guy, but i have misgivings about our race ever heading out to explore the Solar System and beyond. And I have doubts about whether anyone would want to come to this place, even on a tourist holiday.

The reasons why I doubt that man will explore the stars are manifold, but one is the fact that we can't design and build a car that'll travel more than a few thousand miles without breaking down or needing a service, so where off earth are we going to find an intergalactic service station to change the oil and clean the screen? We design our vehicles to be obsolete within a few years, or else fashions change so quickly that most of us drive cars that are so, well, last year.
Can you imagine turning up at the galactic core in the equivalent of a horse and cart? The wrong shape, the wrong style, wrong colour upholstery.....?

There are practical reasons to consider as well. We're travelling through space. It all looks the same. What do we do with our time? Play I spy? Hide & seek? Watch TV?

I've been virtually housebound for the last three or four months. I go stir crazy. Can you imagine what it'd be like to sit in a tin can (as Bowie so eloquently put it) for years on end, then arrive at Galactic Central to find that your outfits are so old fashioned and you pick up a ticket for stopping and looking at the sights in the middle of the rush hour?

Space travel? No thanks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another dash for gas



Remember the Miners Strike back in the 1980s? History has shown that it wasn't about saving jobs and keeping pits open, but a clash of ideologies, and a power struggle between Thatcher and Scargill. Scargill had to be stopped, but every now and then he spoke a word of truth (as all good liars do). He said that the UK was sitting on over 300 years worth of coal, enough to make the UK self sufficient. However, Thatcher wasnt having any of it. In order to destroy Scargill, she also destroyed the coal mining industry. Before it had a chance to recover, the green movement had gained a foothold, and we are now living with the consequences of substituting one looney ideology (communism) with another (the green movement)

I remember a crazy decision by Oxfordshire County Council to allow the coal used to generate electricity at Didcot Power Station to be brought in by road instead of by merry-go-round train. It increased traffic levels enormously, and did untold harm to the road system as they increased the weight of the lorries. And all to stop the unions from having any control over the power supply (by stopping the coal from getting to the power stations).

Another crazy ideology that helped destroy this country's self reliance was the selling off of the Electricity Industry. The consumer was supposed to have more choice in where he bought his electricity, but the undeniable reality is that the only savings on offer were in the accounts department, not in the generation or supply of power. I buy my electricity from Scottish Power, but the electricity doesn't come from Scotland. It comes from the Grid.

At the end of the 1980s we had a government monopoly on electricity and gas supplies. Being Nationalised, it meant that we all owned a share. We were offered shares in our own utility companies, and the industry was split up into smaller pieces in order to provide "competition". The bosses of the newly privatised companies morphed into the first of a new breed- fat cats. The boss of the Anglian Water Authority earned about £40k. Two years later, the same boss, this time of Anglian Water, earned ten times that. For what? Doing essentially the same job.

The power companies, by virtue of the subsidies given by the government, became very attractive and were soon changing hands. Within a few years they were in foreign hands. So much for self-reliance.

There was money to be made from electricity generation. European regulations decreed that the older nuclear power stations be closed down, and the green movement lobbied hard to prevent any more being built. The disaster at Chernobyl, which was caused by engineers deliberately overriding the safety systems in order to see what would happen, sealed the fate of the nuclear power industry.

Coal was anathema. So was nuclear. What would take their place?

The dash for gas saw lots of small gas powered generating plants built across the country- at a time when our gas fields were life expired, so they had to run on imported gas. There was a rumour that they could be adapted to burn chicken shit, but so far none has been adapted. They could be adapted to burn household rubbish, but the green movement has stopped that as well.

So we now find ourselves still sitting on 300 years of coal. The coal burning process has been cleaned up so that emissions are now comparable to burning gas, but the green movement's influence means that new coal-fired plants aren't being built. Indeed, they want to close down the existing coal fired plants. They haven't said how we are to make up the shortfall in generating capacity.

Last week the government announced plans to built thousands of windfarms in the North Sea. Denmark is touted as the "greenest" country in Europe, because of the vast numbers of wind powered generators. What they neglect to say is that for most of the time the Danes have to import electricity from their neighbours, because the windmills don't work if there's too little wind, or if there's too much. They also don't work if they're iced up.
Last week they cut the gas supply to many businesses in the UK, as there were difficulties with maintaining the supply, which now comes from Norway and Russia, neither of whom can be said to be our friends.
While this was happening, the government announced that more gas-fired power stations would be built in order to make up the shortfall in generation capacity.
We will then be totally at the mercy of the wind and potentially hostile foreign governments for our electricity.

And we are still sitting on 300 years of coal. Successive governments are preventing this resource from being exploited for entirely ideological reasons.
1. The hatred of union power.
2. The false promise of privatisation
3. The Green Movement.
4. The destruction of the working class, now replaced by a people totally reliant on government handouts, and unwilling to work for it.

The ultimate outcome of competition is that there is only one winner left standing. Breaking up a nationalised monopoly will ultimately result in a privatised monopoly or cartel, beyond our control.
It is also short sighted to have to rely on our foreign competitors for our gas and electricity. They will happily sell to us as long as we can pay, but what if the price is jacked up? Russia cut off supplies to the Ukraine last year. What if they use their gas monopoly as a political weapon?
What if the UK loses its AAA rating and is judged a bad risk? What if we can't afford to buy from abroad? What if the foreign companies withdraw from the UK and turn out the lights as they leave?

This is how empires die. destroyed from within in return for political favours.
Here's the article that inspired this.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cd32ec4e-fe40-11de-9340-00144feab49a.html

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entrepreneurs on strike


I'm reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" for the second time. It's a very powerful book and one I'd recommend to anyone, although some of her speeches go on a bit.


I've just looked at John Redwood MP's site and he's posted an article called "Entrepreneurs on strike"
Here's the first paragraph

" I met a successful entrepreneur the other day who told me he was on strike. He built up a good company, ran it for many years, and sold out. He is young enough, energetic and wise enough to be able to run another good business. He has no current intention of doing so. He finds the tax and regulatory background now too hostile. He asks, why should people like him bother when the government is so keen to pile ever more burdens on them? They accuse him of being rich. They don’t encourage him to work hard. They just see his past success as something to raid to pay for their mistakes."

Echoes of "Atlas  Shrugged" or what?
Here's the link

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2010/01/10/entrepreneurs-on-strike/


Twisted logic

One of my favourite films is Monty Python & the Holy Grail. This is the humour that I grew up with.
One consistent worry of mine over the last few years is this- many of the people who grew up loving the Python's to the extent of learning the sketches off by heart are now running the country.
Scary. This scene sums up the twisted logic of the mob mentality, and how it can be manipulated.




Now this is what we call snow

Some of us can remember the big freeze of 1963. This is a film made by The British Transport Film Unit. As you can see, a bit of snow didn't stop the trains from running back then.


What a great film!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The problem with wind power

Last week the government announced plans for off shore windfarms to solve our energy crisis. It soon became apparent that this country cannot make even one of the generators needed for this outlandish nonsense, so we will be paying our foreign competitors handsomely for this environmental eyesore and catastrophe in waiting.


Here's a short video that was doing the rounds about a year ago. It sums up everything that's wrong with wind power in a few short seconds. Please take the time to watch it.



Friday, January 08, 2010

Not such a silly question

John Redwood asked the Minister for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Miliband a question in Parliament. It was this; "Why is the Northern hemisphere winter so cold, and which climate model predicted this?”
Hit the link above to go to John's blogsite for more.
http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2010/01/08/not-such-a-silly-question/


It's not a bad question is it? Perfectly reasonable I'd say. It ought to deserve a reasoned answer.
However, the scaremongers were out in force today, calling him every kind of name, saying that the science is settled.
That's what they told Columbus. The earth is flat.
That's what they told Galileo. The earth is at the centre of the universe.


The current spin/lie is that weather is not climate. Just because all the recent winters have been colder than the one before doesn't mean that the earth is getting colder. As if.
Next time someone tries to spin that lie, reply in this way
Just because a couple of summers were warmer than previous years it doen't mean that the earth is getting warmer.
They try to say that climate is measured over a long period, say, 30 years or more.
OK. So the global warmers started screaming about 19 years ago. Isn't that a bit soon to start claiming that the current weather is in fact climate?


They can't have it both ways.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Daily Mail headline from 11 months ago

Just check the date on the link above. It's from the Daily Mail of Feb6th 2009. That's right. Eleven months ago. And what does it say?
"
Roads are becoming 'death traps' as supplies of grit run perilously low, motoring organisations warned last night.
The failure to provide enough salt to keep roads ice-free is turning some into 'no-go areas', they said.
The worsening situation follows five days of chaos caused by snow and freezing weather in which schools have closed, postal deliveries have stopped and rubbish has been left to pile up."

Fallen Angels by Niven, Pournelle & Flynn

I recommended "Fallen Angels" by Niven, Pournelle & Flynn a couple of weeks ago.
Whilst on Samizdata's excellent site today he also recommended it, and supplied a link so that you can read a chapter of it for yourself.
As I said before, you'd need to be a sci-fi fan to get all the nuances of the plot, but it's a great read all the same.
One of the authors, Larry Niven in another book came up with the concept that excess heat is a by-product of civilisation. The temperatures are always higher where large populations of humans live. It's called the "heat island effect".
Industrialisation brings heat in the form of chimneystacks and heat exchangers. I leave my computer on all the time and it keeps this part of the room nice and warm.


Here's an idea for the fans of Gaia; could the global cooling of the last ten years be the planet's response to the heat caused by our civilisation?


The global warming fanatics tell us that one can't say that AGW isn't happening because we've had a couple of cold winters. The opposite is as true, of course. They can't insist that the planet is warming just because we had a heatwave or two about ten years back.


We can't all be right. BUT we can all be wrong.

Met Office chief tries to defend their performance

Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics show tears into the chief of the Met Office and asks a lot of inconvenient questions like
"How can you get your forecasts so wrong?"
"How can you justify your performance related pay bonus"
"How can you justify being paid more than the Prime Minister?"
"If you can't get your short term forecasts right, why should anyone believe your forecasts for 2050?"


Click on the link above and watch him squirm

We have more to fear from the cold than the warm

Despite what the global cooling denialists are saying, we have much more to fear from the cold weather than we do the warm. There was a lot of fuss made about ten years ago when the French suffered about 3000 deaths due to the heatwave, but the cold kills far more, especially when you factor in the treacherous road conditions caused by laying down too little salt and grit stocks, and basing your winter salt needs on outlandish forecasts from the Met Office.

On Wattsupwiththat.com, they quote the following figures of deaths caused by winter cold, and it makes for sobering reading. Even the BBC has an article on it (Please hit the title link for more)
I keep saying, we have nothing to fear from global warming. We have plenty to fear from its adherents.
United States. 2001-2008
 




Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The iceman cometh

Over at Big Brother Watch, Alex Deane reports that he was speaking to someone who'd fallen on an icy pavement
"A man who recently slipped on some ice and hurt himself very badly told me tonight that when he asked why the pavement hadn't been gritted, the answer he received was that the council feared litigation if pavements were gritted and people nevertheless fell."

So there you have it. Your council won't grit the pavement in case they get sued. Their reasoning is this. If you grit the pavement you are assumed to have taken control of it. According to this twisted logic, if I clear the ice and snow from outside my house and some fool slips over on the cleared path, they can sue me. If the ice is not touched they can't.
How twisted is that?

Cazzy Jones has blogged it as well
http://cazzyjones.blogspot.com/2009/12/blog-post.html

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Burning books to stay warm

Over at Wattsupwiththat.com there's a report that pensioners in Swansea are buying old encyclopaedias and hardback books to burn in their fires. At 5 or 10p a volume, they're cheaper than a bag of coal.
Read this
"
Metro News, 5 January 2010
Excerpts:
Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.
Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite. Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.
A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’
A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5."

Unfortunately we don't have a fireplace so it's the gas central heating for us. The current freeze is having an effect on supplies, so I'm hearing that we'll have to import more gas, and pay more for it as well.

The wind farm at Burton Latimer hasn't turned a blade in days or even weeks, just to prove how unreliable wind power is. So the coal fired power stations are keeping the country's electricity supply going. And the greens want to shut them down.

We have nothing to fear from global warming, only from its adherents. It's the cold that will kill us.

Too many chiefs, not enough indians



I saw this article in the Mail the other day. It makes sobering reading

"The number of generals in the Army has swelled dramatically under Labour, leading to claims that too much money is being spent on top brass rather than frontline troops.

Britain now has 255 senior officers ranked Brigadier or higher, 27 more than in 1997.

That means there is now a general for every 415 men in the Army."

All those overpaid and overpromoted men and women sitting behind desks. Sack them all or give them a gun and some body armour and send the lot to Afghanistan.

And while we're at it, most of the Local Government CEOs earn more than the Prime Minister. That's a scandal. Fifteen or twenty years ago they were called Town Clerks and had more responsibility and cost us a lot less. Every Chief Executive that sits behind a desk stops the council employing ten labourers who could reduce the unemployment at a stroke, and keep the pavements clear of snow and ice.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Suddenly it's global warming



Back in 2003 the BBC reported how the once "wettest place on earth" was having to bring water in by road as there was a drought. The reason? Deforestation, plus an increase in population from 7,000 in 1960 to 15 times that today. Oh, and a cement plant was built nearby, which polluted the environment and which uses water in the production process.
So, three reasons why the rainfall has decreased. Deforestation, population increase and pollution. All reported on the BBC website (hit the link in the title bar)

Now fast forward to December 2009. The same journalist revisits the area and reports that the lack in rainfall is down to "global warming". here's the link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8378327.stm.
Talk about making the facts fit the latest scaremongering!

As I said repeatedly, the climate is changing. It always is. Cutting down the world's rainforest may have a lot to do with it. The undeniable fact that there are three times more people alive on this planet than there were when I was born might also have something to do with it. There is also a correlation between sunspot activity and the earth's temperature that scientists have proved beyond doubt.

I just get so pissed off when rich businessmen out to make a killing at our expense try and blame it all on our cars' exhausts.

thanks to http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/ for the tip

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The world of work



30 years ago I worked for an independent retailer that was gaining market share at an incredible rate. They did it by keeping costs under control, and boy do I mean under control.
For example, the manager had to use a payphone to call head office. He was given a small coin float to last a week. The Area Manager had the key.
When I joined they had about 80 stores and five years later they were listed on the Stock Exchange with over 200 stores. They did all this against a background of high inflation and a recession.
During that time they overtook Boots and Woolworths and became the country's number one toiletries retailer.
I once visited their head office and it was tiny. There were no spare desks. Even the Area Managers had to book office space in advance if they came into the head office. The reason was that the Company needed them out on the road, not behind a desk. There was no duplication of effort or admin. It was a tight ship.
I was a manager and very often the only male member of staff. This meant that I was also the warehouseman and security officer. Whatever needed doing, I did it.
We worked hard but were well paid. There was no pension plan or any perks. Not everyone liked it. In fact, I hated working there, but it was a job and I was grateful for it. The firm provided well paid work at a time when businesses were closing down all around.
I noticed today that the Times reports that public sector workers now earn up to 7% more than those in the private sector. And my experience is that they don’t have to work very hard for their money.
I’ve done hundreds of different jobs in my life. I’ve worked in almost every sphere of business. I’ve been in management and I’ve been a wage donkey. I’ve stood in line as the supervisor chose his workforce for the day and then been sent home without pay.
I’ve worked as a temp in a government department and seen first hand how inefficient they are.
I recognise that the problem is generational. It goes back to the very dawn of the Civil Service. The Civil Service has a hierarchy and a pecking order. Your position in the order depends on two things:
One: the size of the budget that you control. The bigger the budget, the more prestige you have.
Two: the number of staff under your control. The more staff you have, the more prestige.
Given these two facts, it’s not hard to see that no Civil Service chief will willingly allow his budget or workforce to be cut. The unions see to it that roles are clearly demarked, so any change in work practice is resisted. Add in generous sick pay and other perks like maternity leave and anyone can see that it’s a great job to have.
When I left school I worked in a bank. It was in the sixties, and one of the revolutionary ideas that they introduced while I worked there was paid sick leave if you had a day off with a cold for instance. I hated the job. I’ve hated a lot of jobs but this was awful. So I’d phone in sick if I couldn’t face going into work, and still get paid. I expect there are a lot like me in the public sector.
Public sector bosses factor in the number of man hours lost to sickness when setting staff levels, so most sectors are overstaffed to begin with.

What makes me most angry is that these people produce nothing. Robert Heinlein said the world is made up of three types of people- makers, takers and fakers. Ayn Rand said much the same thing. The Public Sector doesn’t create wealth, it only spends other people’s.
It’s becoming a luxury we can’t afford.

Nicki Gillis



I had a lot of fun touring with Nicki Gillis in 2009. We're doing it again in 2010, during June and July. Here's footage of the band performing the old Everley Brothers song "Price of Love" at a festival in the UK last summer.


here's another video taken at a different festival. This time it's our version of the Eurythmics "Thorn in my side"


We've still got a few spare dates, so if you're looking for a great band for your venue, give us a call.

Fallen Angels by Niven Pournelle & Flynn



Can I recommend a book by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Michael Flynn? It's called "Fallen Angels" and was published by Pan in 1991. I got my copy via Ebay. Here's the blurb from the back cover-

"2073... and Earth falls victim to the advance of a new Ice Age. As the ruling Green Party outlaw the technology that can save the planet, a spaceship crashes in the frozen wastes of the American mid west."

The authors wrote the book just as the global warming conspiracy was getting under way. They saw it for what it is, bad science used to advance a political agenda.
Almost twenty years on, and what they wrote about, and warned us about via a drugstore paperback novel is coming true. It's good story, but you have to be a Science Fiction buff to get all the sub plots.

George Orwell wrote "Animal Farm" and "1984" as a warning to us about the dangers of socialism. He could have stood on a soapbox and preached to us but I doubt if many would have listened. However, like Robert Heinlein, Ayn Rand, Aldous Huxley and others, he understood that he could get his ideas over if they were presented as a work of fiction.

My main concern about Orwell's work is this- far from being a warning to us, his words have been adopted by the left as a training manual.

It can't all be down to global warming.



Over at Wattsupwiththat.com I read that the Swiss mountain glaciers were melting at a faster rate in the 1940s than they are today.
"The most recent studies by researchers at ETH Zurich show that in the 1940s Swiss glaciers were melting at an even-faster pace than at present. This is despite the fact that the temperatures in the 20th century were lower than in this century. Researchers see the main reason for this as the lower level of aerosol pollution in the atmosphere."
By aerosol pollution they mean soot and other small particles in the atmosphere. These can be caused by volcanic eruptions among other things. They're not all down to man made global warming.
The earth's climate may be changing. The glaciers may indeed be melting. But it's just wrong to put it all down to man made global warming. We need honest study; study where the results are not controlled by a cheque book or vested interests. I have no axe to grind other than a genuine desire for the truth.

We have more to fear from the cold than from the warmth. It's possible that we could still be in the grip of the Little Ice Age, when the Thames would freeze over and fairs be held on the ice, were it not for the effects of the Industrial Revolution, where the atmosphere was heated by countless factory chimney stacks. But that could also have been a coincidence.
Apparently they can grow potatoes in some parts of Greenland again. But remember, when the Vikings discovered it over a thousand years ago, they named it because it was green with vegetation. That was during the Medieval Warm Period.
The climate changes. It always has. It's not all down to man. Perhaps the sun has something to do with it?

How the UK met Office got hijacked by the global warming conspiracy



At last the mainstream press are waking up to the global warming scam. Today Mail on Sunday carries an article about the Met Office, which has 1500 staff, a £170million GBP budget, and a supercomputer and how it consistently gets the forecasts wrong.
As I read the article it is revealed that the Met Office is led by a former head of the World Wildlife Fund who have bought into the whole global warming/climate change agenda. And it can be argued that the Met Office has become part of the conspiracy. They supplied the data for the Copenhagen fiasco last year.
So, instead of being impartial and reporting whqat is happening with the weather, the Met Office insists on reporting what it wants to happen- that is- tell lies.
Last spring we had a very warm Bank Holiday and Bournemouth beach was empty. Why? because the met office got the forecast wrong and people stayed at home.
Each year they say the summer will be hotter and drier, and each winter will be warmer and wetter, but the reality is the opposite. I no longer trust them.
The computer they use to forecast next week's weather is the same one that they use to forecast what will happen in 20, 30, 50 years time. Can we believe what they say?

The only serious rival to the Met Office, an amateur forecaster from Yorkshire, who used pine cones, seaweed and kept accurate records and used common sense died last month. For all the money and staff, the Met Office was no more accurate than he was.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Richard Thompson guitar genius



I've been a fan of Richard Thompson all my adult life. The first "proper" concert i went to back in 1967 featured fairport Convention as the opening act, and from then on I've been a fan. His guitar playing has the ability to send shivers down my back, and also to want to pack it playing altogether. He is the standard by which I measure my progress as a player, and 40 years on I'm as far away as I ever was.
Last year he toured the UK with his "1000 years of popular music" show, and I couldn't go for one reason or another. I may have been on tour myself, or more likely been broke, but I do have the dvd of the show, featuring Richard on guitar and vocals, aided and abetted by Judith Owen on vocals and keyboard, and Debra Dobkin on percussion and vocals.
I found this video on Youtube of a recent concert performance.

I was reminded of the song when I visited Wrinkled Weasel's blog site today. The original version of this song is by Julie London, and he was waxing lyrical about her. This version features Judith Owen on vocals, but it appears that the cameraman has a fixation with Richard Thompson, so we hear her and see him. The guitar arrangement is the original Barney Kessel one I believe.

More Ayn Rand



I'm reading "Atlas Shrugged" for the second time and enjoying it even more. Although the book is over 50 years old it really resonates with the times, and I thoroughly recommend it to you.
Without giving any of the story away, there's a sub plot regarding the government's passing into law the "Equalisation of Opportunity Bill", designed to prevent any one company or organisation gain an advantage in business, even when the other companies are inefficient or useless. Sound familiar?
Here are two small speeches given by the champions of the Bill. First of all we have a professor of philosophy Dr Pritchett:
"..I made it clear that i am in favour of it (the Bill), because I am in favour of a free economy. A free economy cannot exist without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete.Therefore, we must control men in order to force them to be free."

Then another character is asked his view of the Bill.
"Certainly I approve of it. Our culture has sunk into a bog of materialism. men have lost all spiritual values in their pursuit of material production and technological trickery. They're too comfortable. They will return to a nobler life if we teach them to bear privations. So we ought to place a limit upon their material greed."

Doublespeak. Orwell was not the only one to warn us about it. And yet we see it everywhere about us today. Moves to restrict our movement in order to protect our liberty. Vested interest groups wishing to dictate to the rest of us how we should live our lives and spend our money. Choices that are no choice- I mean have you ever flicked through the TV channels at any given time? Ten channels, all with home improvement shows. Choice? No choice- doublespeak.
Anti-discrimination laws that by their very nature are discriminatory. Doublespeak.

Euro Madness



The world is going mad. The BBC reports that Lithuania has had to shut down its only nuclear reactor as a condition of joining the EU.
The reactor is 20 years old and is the same as those at Chernobyl. The Chernobyl reactor only blew up because the technicians wanted to test how many safety circuits they could override before it went bang. Quite a lot, it turned out. The reactors are safe, but we're not so sure about the people that operate them.
Anyway, the Lithuanians looked at the vast riches on offer from the EU and complied.
It didn't matter that the reactor provided 80% of their electricity. It didn't matter that this is the middle of winter. And it didn't matter that the Lithuanians now have to get their power from the Russians, and will no doubt be held to ransom by them.

Eurocrats. Doncha just love em?

Hit the title bar for the link to the BBC site
Here's what they say on Fox news
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,581680,00.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fworld+%28Text+-+World%29

And the Melbourne Age
http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/lithuania-shuts-down-nuclear-reactor-20100101-ll6s.html

Finally, consider this: the green movement hates technology, but technology is the only way forward. We cannot clothe, feed, heat or shelter ourselves without it.
This island nation was once self sufficient in all those things. We are now at the mercy of any and everyone who wishes us harm. I accept that the climate may be changing, but I fear the cold much more than the warm.

And you should too. It'll be our nuclear power stations next. Then our coal powered stations. What then? They won't let us burn our rubbish. How will we keep warm as the winters turn colder?

Big Carbon



I watched the climate talks at Copenhagen with dismay and disgust. Disgust at the hypocrisy of it all, and dismay that the BBC and most of the world's media had swallowed the lie and were pushing man made global warming for all it was worth. I wondered why and then this blogsite explained why. It was all about money. It always is. You had the wierd spectacle of hyper rich individuals like Gore fly into town in their private jets and step into hired in limos (over 2000 from all over Europe, leaving the pilots to fly the jets empty to landing strips in Norway because there wasn't enough tarmac to park them all. You had delegation upon delegation of interested parties, plus tree huggers and other eco-loons all swamp the city that was chosen because it apparently is more green than the rest of Europe, which is a laugh. They might have more wind farms than anybody else, but they're hopelessly unreliable and won't produce any electricity when it's calm or too windy. Which is most of the time. So they have to import electricity from neighbouring countries. Which exposes more hypocrisy.
Anyway i urge you to click on the title of this post, which will take you to an interesting website that exposes the whole sorry charade.
If you don't want to do that, here's some of the text from EU Referendum-

"In 2004, it was less than $300 million. But in 2005, the trade really started to soar, ending the year with $10.8 billion-worth of transactions. A year later, in 2006, the "carbon" market had grown to $31 billion. In 2007, again it more than doubled its turnover, to $64 billion. Last year, it did it again, reaching a colossal $126 billion. By 2020, some estimates suggest the annual value will reach $2 trillion.

Not only does this represent a very significant business volume, its stunning growth rate makes carbon trading the hottest item in town, with banks, financial houses and independent brokers piling in to make a killing.

The larger part of the market actually comprises the EU's mandatory Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – and other very much smaller allowance schemes - accounting for 73 percent of trading volume in 2008. But the whole system is underpinned by what is known as "project-based transactions". These comprise, in the main, so-called "carbon credits" generated by the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

This mechanism was formally created in 1997 by the Kyoto climate treaty and started operating in a very small way in 1998 building to 78 million "credits" (or Certified Emission Reductions, CERs, as they are formally known) to 333 million this year with a projection of 1.7 billion by the end of 2012.

The "end of 2012" is, of course, the key milestone - when the Kyoto treaty lapses. And as the World Bank warned in 2008, then the gravy train could come to an abrupt halt. "Created by regulation," it observed, "the carbon market's biggest risk is caused, perversely, by the absence of market continuity beyond 2012 and this can only be provided by policymakers and regulators."

It was those policymakers and regulators who were gathered at Copenhagen for the last two weeks, their primary concern – as Booker points out in his column this week - to protect this new and very valuable business.

Thus does he say that Copenhagen was not about global warming but money. The cash that Hillary Clinton so dramatically plonked on the table, rising to $100 billion by 2020, which includes the £1.5 billion offered by Gordon Brown (money which of course he hasn't got) and which like a crazed gambler he last week upped to £6 billion (even more money he hasn't got), was merely a "sweetener" to persuade the developing countries to maintain the money-machine set in motion by Kyoto.

And that was the only really concrete achievement of Copenhagen, winning the agreement to the perpetuating of those Kyoto rules that have created this vast industry.


That much was acknowledged by John Prescott on Channel 4 News yesterday, who talked up the Copenhagen "accord" – as we must now call it – saying that we had achieved a "Kyoto II" – the essence of which is the carbon trading scheme.

Interestingly, this business has two main beneficiaries. On the one hand, there are all those Western "entrepreneurs" who have piled into what has become the fastest growing commodity market in the world. But, on the other are that small number of people in China and India who have learnt how to work this system to their huge advantage, and account for the majority of CDMs.

As can be seen from the UN's own statistics - see chart above – these two countries account for by far the majority of the registered schemes, taking a 70 percent share of the total. And, of the two, China is by far the bigger player, averaging 197,792,890 CERs as against 38,308,631 from India.

The level of China's involvement, as a major beneficiary of the scheme, makes a nonsense of the commentators at Copenhagen who were predicting that China might sabotage a deal. With so much money at stake, there was no way China was not going to fall into line, showing up the much-reported spat between Obama and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao for exactly what it was – pure theatre.

Thus does Booker conclude that the part played at Copenhagen by all the tree-huggers, abetted by the BBC and their media allies, was to keep hysteria over warming at fever pitch while the politicians haggled over the real prize, to keep the Kyoto system in place.

The only tree they were concerned with hugging was the money tree and all the vast political apparatus that now supports it, allowing governments to tax and regulate us into handing over ever more of our money, largely without realising it, every time we drive a car, fly in a plane, pay our electricity bill or carry out any of a vast range of activities that involve the emission of CO2. Compared with these sums, even the billions we all unwittingly spend on subsidies to the developers of useless wind turbines are chicken feed.

The tree-huggers have been well and truly "had" – but then so have we. It is us that are going to pay, through our electricity bills, our taxes and living expenses, in increasing amounts for this hidden bonanza which the negotiators so diligently protected last week.

Trading in what amounts to thin air, on the farcical premise that life-giving carbon dioxide is a "pollutant", they have perpetrated the biggest heist in the history of mankind, all to protect "Big Carbon”.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand



I first heard of this novel a couple of years ago. Quite how I've lived this long without coming across it is a mystery. I re-read some Robert Heinlein novels last year and even he namechecks the author Ayn Rand in his prose.
I picked up my first copy in a charity store a couple of years ago and literally read it to pieces. It's a big book. The paperback runs to over 1000 pages and it's small print, about 8pt. By the time I got to the last 100 pages they were hanging by a thread.I passed the book on to my friend Jamie who managed to keep it together long enough to finish it and he too was astounded by the book.
Recent world events have prompted me to re-read it, so just before Christmas I obtained a brand new copy via Ebay, and I'm now 200 pages in, and enjoying it even more than the first time I read it.
So, it's a big book. It's over fifty years old. So why should you read it?

Well, it's a good story, an epic with a strong cast of characters led by Dagny Taggart, the female Operations Director of Taggart Transcontinental Railways, as she struggles to keep the railway open while industries close down, businesses fail, banks go bankrupt and the government passes laws to make everyone equal.
Sounds familiar?
There's the eternal triangle between Dagny and two of the male lead characters. The writing is beautiful with great descriptive passages of prose as the story makes its way to a crescendo. As they say, I couldn't put it down.
Apparently someone has the film rights and there were plans to make a Hollywood blockbuster starring Angelina Jolie as Dagney Taggart. I sincerely hope that they fail. 12 one hour episodes is the minimum that would be needed to do the book justice. Having seen the mess that they made of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" where they entirely missed the point of the book, I shudder to think what they'd do with it. Anyone who read Harry Harrison's amazing book "Make room, make room" and then saw the film "Soylent Green" will know that heart sinking feeling when Hollywood takes a great and honest and believable story and then changes the ending to make it more sensational will know what I mean.

Anyway I urge and encourage you to get a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and discover it for yourself.

Catching up on my reading



This time last year I was ill in bed, suffering from trachyitis (croup, which meant that I coughed uncontrollably every time I tried to do anything. In the end, all I could manage was to sit upright in bed and keep still. So I caught up on my reading, starting with every Robert Heinlein short story he wrote, followed by all his juvenile novels up to and including "Starship Troopers" which had been rejected by his publisher was being too adult and was subsequently published in the mainstream to great acclaim. Please don't confuse the Hollywood film of the same name with this masterpiece. The film is just another shoot em up video arcade game, while the book deals with much weightier matters. It's in my top ten recommended books to read by the way. After about ten days I'd recovered enough to go back to work, but continued reading anyway.
After reading so much Heinlein (I think I read twenty nine books in as many days) it was time for something different. So I started on the short stories of Philip K Dick, another of my all time favourite writers. He wrote a lot of short stories and novellas, and it's not helped by the fact that many weren't published for years and years, and a lot were republished with different titles. I'm completing my collection of his work via Ebay, and I've been caught out more than once like that. Some of my older paperbacks are falling apart and won't stand another read, so I must get newer copies anyway.
Dick wrote mainstream novels as well as superlative speculative fiction, and it hurt him that he couldn't get any of his mainstream books published while he was alive. So my next course of reading involved re-reading his mainstream novels for the first time in twenty years, starting with "The man whose teeth were all exactly alike" and ending with "In Milton Lumky territory". Powerful stuff, and I can understand why mainstream publishers of the 1950s shied away. He was a man before his time.
Thanks for reading this far. I'm grateful for any comments you may choose to make.