blog posts 10 (20/6/2017)

June 20, 2017

Letters to Daily Mirror with any printed versions

19/6/17
You report that no action can be taken against anyone, who might be destroying evidence, relating to the Grenfell Tower fire, until a court of inquiry has been set up.
I find this hard to believe.
It would be reasonable to believe that anyone destroying anything, which might be required as evidence, was deliberately trying to pervert the course of justice and guilty of a criminal action.
Regardless of this presumption of guilt, it should be possible for Police to be issued with warrants to seize potential evidence, whether, or not, an inquiry is called.

16/6/17
Do we really have to wait for an inquiry into the London Tower Block Fire?
There can’t be anyone, who has followed events, who doesn’t “know” that the cladding (banned in the USA and Germany after a similar disaster in Melbourne) was responsible for so many deaths.
We will be told that it is important to wait for an official verdict to avoid panic.
Yet, those in similar tower blocks will still be panicking.
How long will they have to wait, while another inquiry is set up and a report printed ?
Meanwhile; officials, politicians and contractors will take their time concocting a plausible, low cost solution to what they may see as merely an administrative problem.

14/6/17
Obviously the Media will focus on the immediate aspects of the terrible fire block disaster.
We’ll be told of the sequence of events, those who’ve lost their lives, the members of the emergency services and the Public, who have come to the aid of survivors.
But perhaps the Media could go further than just reporting such tragedies and task politicians on the long term effects for those who survived.
Locals have already made offers of accommodation but for how long?
We know there is a shortage of housing but it is clear that we need spare capacity for those who lose their homes in such events. Not just temporary housing but permanent homes, where families can close the door and try to quickly gather up the reins of their lives again.

 

12/6/17
How can we have tariff-free access to the European Market(Corbyn), whilst not being forced to stay in the Single Market (McDonnell).
These are the same thing, as far as I can tell.
What distinction are they seeing?
Labour needs to remember that the majority voted to leave EU control.
Popular support for Labour could evaporate overnight, if Jeremy Corbyn is made to look less straightforward than his present, very popular image.

Printed version
#How can we have tariff-free access to the European market, Mr
Corbyn, without freedom of movement?
Labour needs to remember that the majority voted to leave EU control.
Support for Labour could evaporate overnight if Jeremy Corbyn is made
to look less straightforward than his present, popular image.
12/6/17
I strongly doubt that Boris Johnson is correct in believing that the Public don’t want another GE.
I’m sure there are many, beside myself, who want this reverse Robin Hood party evicted, as soon as possible, and replaced by a People’s party.
Even if Theresa May’s Tory Government doesn’t immediately collapse, it will face large scale public demands as parents take their children back to school in the Autumn and see what this party for the privileged thinks of them.

9/6/17
he pundits are already squabbling over the meaning of the GE vote.
Whilst there is no doubt that Theresa May wanted it to be about Brexit, it’s quite wrong for the likes of Gina Miller to claim that the results prove that was the only issue voted on.
Brexit was important but the most vociferous people on Social Media were those with cause to oppose the Tory austerity issues i.e. the destruction of the NHS, the decimation of our police forces, food banks, tuition fees, disability allowances, the bedroom tax, the dementia tax etc.
These are still desperate issues for large portions of the country and Parliament needs to be confronted on all of them,continuously.
Only one aspect puzzles me; who’s voting Conservative and why?

Loved this from @Quora website

June 20, 2017

From the Quora website
Q. Is it a crime to burn the Union Flag in the UK? How would British people generally feel about such act of desecration done in front of them?

A. Tim Woodhead
Tim Woodhead, lance corporal at British Army Reserve (1987-present)

I stood in a line of soldiers with riot shields while Iraqis burned a Union Flag in front of us. Our overwhelming views were:

  • Someone tell them,  “We are not Americans. It really doesn’t upset us. You bought the flag, feel free to burn it!”.
  • It was a windy day, the Iraqis were wearing traditional Arab robes, and they had just poured petrol everywhere . We were worried they were going to set fire to themselves.
  • Should we pretend to be upset as it is a bit rude for someone to go through all that trouble to burn a flag and not get any reaction?

So we looked angry and banged our shields with our batons, which seemed to please the flag burner. The demo ended, they got back on the coaches, we got out of our riot gear and went back to doing whatever we did normally.

Meanwhile, several years ago in Bosnia, a Royal Marine in a drunken prank burned our regimental flag. Colonel had to beg regiment not murder anyone and said Marine was sent back to the UK in disgrace and Marines made an apology. Veterans are still more upset about that than anything the locals did to them.

Scientists and Epidemiologists use statistics but that doesn’t mean Epidemiologists are Scientists

June 11, 2017

“Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”

10 left-handers and 10 right-handers play “heads or tails”.
Left-handers win 60% of games.
Players say Left-handers have been lucky.
Scientists say there is no proven link.
Statisticians say there is a 0.2 correlation between being left-handed and the ability to foresee the toss of a coin.
Epidemiologists will publish paper claiming that evidence indicates that Left-handers may have degree of prescience.
Newspapers will report the paper with the headline “Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”.
On the basis of the report the Epidemiologists are appointed by Minister of Education to design courses to promote Left-handedness amongst school-children.

Various blogs 9 (3/6/2017)

June 3, 2017

9/5

The fatcat boss of British Gas is a blowhard.
The National Grid controls the distribution of Gas.

All his company, British Gas, does is sign up customers to give them their money.
It’s like Ticketmaster; it just handles the Admin, adding handling fees.
Anyone could set up a similar business

E.g. Nottingham council’s https://robinhoodenergy.co.uk, which is non-profit.
If Labour wants to control fuel prices, it could confer preferred status on them.

I.e. transfer all Government purchases to Nottingham’s Company with direct access to a relevant Minister.
After leaving the EU, Labour could even subsidise that company.

10/5

So the Tory MP’s won’t be prosecuted and the Tories will get away with breaking electoral rules!

Not because they were innocent of doing so but because it couldn’t be proven that they intended to make fraudulent expenses claims.
That just leaves incompetence by their electoral team and/or ignorance of Electoral Law.
You’d think, though, that the people who run the country and who made the Electoral Law, would be aware that its intention is to prevent politicians buying elections, as they tried to do.
Whatever the truth, they were in charge of the country for 2 years and could become the next Government.
Inspiring thought.

20/5

The Tories have just escaped prosecution for electoral fraud, by claiming that they hadn’t realised that their use of battle-buses was against electoral rules. Now I read that they have a new understanding of them, claiming, according to your report, that they can’t release key NHS figures, which are now due.

Presumably they are so bad, they could affect how people vote.
I wonder if they have correctly interpreted electoral rules this time, though.

Has anyone checked?

20/5

The Mayor of London is quite right to berate First Group over the driver falling asleep on a tram.

This is especially so after the November crash of a tram run by this private company.

Maybe taking the trams into public ownership won’t solve the problem but this case could justify a prodder to ensure the driver stays awake, or help in the event of an accident, or other difficulty.

The prodders would serve a similar function to Guards on trains.

20/5

Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Of course the answer is he was privatised.
Watch a postman at work Today. No more jauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time; they’re scurrying from house to house at a pace described by 1940’s Time and Motion Management as a “brisk pace”.
A similar effect of privatisation is apparent with refuse collection. Previously bins were collected from and returned to a homeowners premises (by Law).
Now the bin is collected from and returned to a place within 5 yards of the refuse collector’s route.
It’s Time and Motion.
It’s about profits and costs, not about efficiency, or service.

Published version

#|n her column, Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice when it comes to the delivery of our online orders (May 20)? Of course the answer is, he was privatised.

Watch postmen at work today — no morejauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time, they’re scurrying from house to house in a rush.

Similarly, with refuse and recycling collections, once upon a time bins were collected from and returned to the house — now they are left out on the street. It’s all about costs and profit — not about efficiency or providing a service.

24/5

One of the biggest concerns, seen on Twitter, in the aftermath of the Manchester bomb, was by people needing News of Loved ones.

The G.M.Police did eventually put out a phone number on twitter but in these cases even a few minutes, of uncertainty, is an eternity.
There must be procedures for co-ordinating the rescue services, it wouldn’t take too much effort to set up a prepared website, to which The Media and Public can turn.

Any advice phone numbers could be added, as they are set up., and there could be a page where parents could post a named picture of their child etc.

This could be consulted by police and medical staff, who need to be able to quickly identify the injured.

A related call-out , on Twitter, was for blood group “O” donors and another for food packs.

The Army has, presumably, field medical supplies, including artificial blood and ration packs, yet there was no mention of such items being deployed.

What does Cobra do?

26/5

As a civilised country, our Government bombs terrorists, who are hiding behind innocent foreigners in foreign countries and it feels totally justified in its actions.
The same politicians express shock and horror at anyone voicing the barbaric notion of executing those same terrorists here at home.
Indeed, the killers of Drummer Rigby will be accommodated, fed and watered, at public expense, for the rest of their days.
This is a deep-boned, racist hypocrisy.

We are at war with ISIS and whilst most of the fighting is taking place in the Middle East, they have their agents embedded in our homeland.
During WWII, when we were fighting in the same deserts, German agents and fifth columnists, caught here, were tried and executed, before they could do us harm.
With ISIS agents, we wait.
We wait and watch.
We watch them preaching sedition, passing out propaganda, stirring up hatred against others. Others, who may have fled here to escape their persecution.
We wring our hands and wait for them to kill.
We wait until they kill, because we are civilised and must obey the rule of Law.
Time to challenge this racism and change Our Laws, so that we apply the same moral code here and abroad.

27/5

The thing that worries me about the latest opinion poll figures is not that so many voters appear to still support the Tories but that, if these figures were turned into seats, Lib Dems would again hold the balance of power.
The even more worrying aspect would be if Labour were to form a coalition with them.

The best outcome would be if Labour continued to gain ground and Jeremy Corbyn became P.M., in time to save the NHS.
The least, worst outcom, for me, would be a Tory minority Government forced to think about every word they utter and every piece of legislation that they try to push through the House.
It would be the exact nightmare that Theresa May has tried to avoid by calling this GE.

27/5

After the court victory of the candy stripe house, it’s disappointing to read of the Hycinth Buckets giving Holly Willoughby grief, just for flying the Union Jack on her own house

2/6

The East Lancs Road (A580) connects the two newly created mayoralties of Liverpool and Manchester.
Midway, the old mining sites, near Haydock Racecourse, are being redeveloped as transport depots and such.
Eventually this road and others will have to be widened but, in the meantime, why not create a new adminstration centre in the area, providing hospital, police, fire and emergency Service facilities for both cities and capable of coping with the populations of the two cities and of Wigan, Leigh, Warrington and Bolton. The distances involved are comparable to those covered by the Greater London Rail Network.

Such a scheme could be implemented now, in time for the anticipated population increase of the next century.

2/6

When May suffers her night of the long Knives, who will fill her kitten shoes?

All of the Tory Cabinet are damaged goods and only a potential suicide would want to pick up the whip and try to unite them.

List them and see if you can pick out a capable leader.

Labour may be divided and pull in different directions but they have a leader, who will go where the Party wants to go.

@TheGreenParty recycling dry cell batteries

May 12, 2017

Most people buy dry cell batteries for a specific device and then chuck them when they begin to fail.

I’d like to suggest a little experimentation, using a multimeter.

These devices are quite cheap nowadays and my digital version was about £6.

The graph shows how the voltage of these batteries drops with use.  Basically the central carbon electrode gets blocked off by gases and effectively insulated.

If this problem didn’t exist then the batteries would work at maximum voltage until all the Zinc casing was eaten away but it doesn’t. This is why they’re recyclable.

This graph shows a typical voltage characteristic for a battery, although most can be 1.6 volts when new and some can last longer than the average. In my opinion the cost of the better ones is usually too high and it’s more efficient to buy two average ones.

What I noticed was that my wifi mouse ate up batteries but the batteries still registered about 1.45 Volts on my multimeter. Placed in my wifi headphones they began to give problems whilst reading about 1.35 Volts. Transferred to my wife’s “candles” they worked well until about 1.2 Volts, when only the red LED was giving light. These would still work the remote controls for some considerable time until the Volts dropped to about 1.1 volts.

These figures aren’t rigorously proven but merely serve to give an idea of how to minimise cost and waste.

It’s worth checking out your own needs, if you’re as penny-pinching as me.

@TheGreenParty time to stop persecuting us for Global Warming and help us survive it

May 10, 2017

It’s now an established political truth that the World is getting hotter and it is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
This is also persistently proclaimed, by climatologists, as a Scientifically proven truth.
So far, the consequences have all been political I.e. conferences, debates and treaties.
Industry has complied by switching from burning fossil fuels to building wind turbines and solar panels. All very laudable but to what purpose?
The population of the planet is increasing geometrically and so is the amount of Carbon dioxide that we are producing, just by breathing.
Assuming we can keep feeding everyone and there are no natural disasters, global warming will continue regardless.
Is it not time that the politicians and climatologists turned their efforts to gaining some benefit from all the money spent on these conferences and accords?
Instead of writing further learned treatises showing incontrovertible proof that Polar bears will become extinct, the ice caps will melt, sea levels rise and many major cities drowned.
Instead of this, perhaps the experts could turn their attention to coping with their doom-saying.
Perhaps, moving new building to higher ground, instead of constructing expensive stop-gaps like the Thames barrier. The alternative may lie in learning to live in our own sewage like Venice.
Perhaps investigating how agriculture should adapt to new crops and fisheries to new food species.
Perhaps we should stop crying over the polar bear. We won’t save it by signing bits of paper.
If we must conserve the polar bear, it’ll have to be in zoo’s and cryonic chambers.
Climatologists have made the sale: Instead of badgering us into feeling guilty they should begin to earn their research grants and show us ways to adapt to what they can’t truly prevent

VARIOUS BLOGS 8 (3/5/17)

May 3, 2017

letters to Daily Mirror. only one printed.
7/2/17
I find it hard to believe that Tiverton Town Council lost two full years of Council Documents.
The first thing that should be taught on computer security course is the grandfather, father storage system for files.
Even a basic Windows domestic PC platform will recommend a monthly backup of your files.
Computer memory is extremely cheap and fast nowadays; it should be a routine to save working files and archive others.
To lose two years worth can only be construed as mismanagement, or an administrative convenience.

10/2/17
What is the point of asking anyone on BBC’s Question Time, how they’d feel, if an elderly relative had had to wait 8 hours on a trolley in A&E?
This is root cause of the disaffection between voters and politicians.
We know that their elderly relatives would be snug and secure in a hospital bed, whilst most of ours were waiting for an ambulance.
The same applies with many of the public services, which the majority rely on, such as education, social care, pensions, public transport and so on.
Small wonder that panellists rarely answer questions directly, when they can not speak from a common experience

10/2/17
Why has the BBC started asking “when” we should be charged to see a GP?
The question should be what is the point of a GP, if you are going to charge to see them?
It’s the GP who does the initial diagnosis and then re-directs to a specialist, as needed.
It’s the GP, who judges, whether you should be allowed prescription medication.
It shouldn’t an overworked random intern in A&E.
In a civilised Society it shouldn’t be a return of Blackadder’s “wise woman”, or ancient folk remedies for the masses and a privatised NHS for our “betters”

22/2/17 (printed)
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population.

Printed version:

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

24/2/17
Remind me why our Gas and Electricity were privatised.
To turn us into a shareholder nation? But if working people had enough spare cash to keep shares, Wonga and Visa would be out of business.
They were going to build new power stations etc., which is why some are still running decades after they were supposed to be closed down. It’s why the Government has agreed to pay an extortionate price for the French and Chinese to build a new nuclear power station.
Prices would come down through greater efficiency.
It’s all a nonsense, really. Instead of one overpaid CEO (like British Gas boss, Iain Conn), we have a dozen, each with a duplication of Accounts, Computer, Admin, PR, Sales and Advertising departments.
We have a whole industry badgering us to Switch suppliers, wasting a few more hours of our lives. Who pays for them?
I remember the bad old days, when the Nationalised Industries weren’t pre-occupied with maximising shareholder profits but with keeping the Nation supplied and minimising customer
complaints, delivered through badgered MP’s and Ministers. I even remember complaining about having to wait in for the gasman to bother to show up. Still some things never change.

25/2/17
Why are some Labour MP’s joining the Tory chorus of attacking Jeremy Corbyn?
It can’t just be the loss of Copeland, where the Labour vote has been dropping by thousands ever since the initial success of Blair’s Gov’t in ousting the “Sleaze” ridden Tory Gov’t.
Blair was encouraged to quit in favour of Brown, because of his unpopularity.
Brown lost the following election mainly because of his beggaring the Nation to bail out the banker’s but partly because of his “bigot” attack on a Labour supporter.
I think the latter carried more impact for the ordinary voter.
Miliband lost the next election and gave fuel to UKIP by further deriding Labour supporters and denying them the right to a referendum on the EU and by not challenging the Tory claim that Labour were not responsible with money.
Two elections lost but Corbyn has yet to lose an election.
Nevertheless, he has been subjected to so much abuse by MP’s of his own party, that Labour voters at the far Left and far Centrist have been given cause to withhold their vote.
Whether, or not, Corbyn is replaced, Labour looks set to lose the next election, unless the whole of the Parliamentary Labour Party starts singing from the same song sheet and a tune that all sections of the Labour vote can endorse.
Judging by recent comments, still being made by some MP’s, this will never happen.
No doubt there will be plenty of suggestions as to who can replace Jeremy Corbyn but they will all be tainted by either Blairite or Corbynista attacks and will lose votes from one of those sections of voters.
I fear we are about to lose our NHS and enter a period of far Right control, which will take us back to the 1930’s

26/2/17
Reading the article on the Sunday Mirror Poll, it says nearly two-thirds of Labour voters are satisfied with Corbyn staying as leader.
We need to grow on that and find out why the remaining voters aren’t happy.
It also says that over 5 in 6 think Labour has the right policies.
Presumably the remainder have some concern over particular issues.
We obviously need to consider what these may be, bearing in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time.
Perhaps further polls are needed but ones which seek to find what aspects of Tory policy concern their voters.
I can’t believe that all of their voters are happy with their policies on the NHS, prisons, police, HS2, trains and schools.

1/3/17
I was told that in order to sell their cars in the EU, Nissan had to agree to incorporate poorer but more expensive French components such as the nylon reeled electronic window winder (5 million imported parts per day).
If Nissan remains in the UK and has surcharges imposed by the Single Market, then Nissan would presumably be able to manufacture their own, better quality, components here.
They would be producing a superior product, more cheaply.
It would be worth the Government’s while to try to keep Nissan here, if they cared about the Economy and UK jobs.

3/3/17
Although I can’t endorse The Lords interference in the brexit process, their amendment has pointed up the lack of support for Theresa May’s intent to use the future of EU residents as a negotiation tactic.
This total lack of support must surely have lost her any hoped for leverage in her negotiations.
Her EU opponents will be confident that she can’t play this “chip”
Consequently she might as well go for the humane option of assuring all law-abiding EU citizens resident here that they will be allowed to stay, if a reciprocal arrangement is agreed
I would think that those, who do consider themselves as British, would formalise that status and apply for citizenship to avoid future problems.

5/3/17
I understand the logic of the Law against “stealing by finding” but I have strong sympathy for the woman prosecuted for pocketing a stray £20 note.
I have known a case where someone found a £20 note being blown along a beach.
Someone, who found one folded up on the floor of a packed New Year’s Eve pub.
Whom do you tell?
To whom would you pass it?
Legally, you take it to the police, you get a chitty and in 6 month’s time, if no-one has reported it lost, you are invited to claim it.
Would you be able to take it into a cop shop and explain what you were doing?
Would you be able to tell anyone that you had done this?
What if it was a 10p coin?
If you lost a £20 note would you report it to the Police, hoping to recover it?
There’s legality and morality and there’s a fear of ridicule.

13/3/17
I like the idea of futsal mentioned in the piece on Daniel Sturridge.
It made me wonder if its use of a smaller ball explained the dominance of South Americans.
The smaller size of the ball must mean a greater concentration on the ball, rather than the opponent.

13/3/17
Paul Maguire’s assessment, of Scotland’s income, suggests that an independent Scotland would need to go asking for financial support.
However, the example offered by brexit is that a political partition is like a divorce and it’s therefore likely that Sturgeon would probably be coming to Westminster seeking a financial settlement with alimony

13/3/17
Seeing all those Tory grandee’s, who’d held Cabinet posts during the Tory Sleaze years, sitting in the House of Lords, for the Brexit debate, made it clear that the second Chamber needed an overhaul.
My problem is that the House of Commons isn’t really that much better, with its own drones and money grabbing opportunists.
Do we need a second chamber, if it’s only going to be a copy of the first?
Either it will rubber stamp every bill, or worse, block every bill, regardless of its content.
If we do have a second talking shop, then it has to be elected and it has to be devoid of party political alliance.
Nobody, who has ever subscribed to, or donated to a political party should be eligible to hold office.
This would probably exclude most of the older generation and create a Junior house, more representative of the Nation, from which politicians, who’d proved their worth, might be promoted to the House of Commons.

23/3/17
When will terrorists realise that their actions achieve nothing positive.
Hitler was reported to have acknowledged that the terror bombing of places like Bath and Coventry did nothing towards winning the war.
The IRA bomb campaign did not achieve a United Ireland.
Daesh murders will not bring about a Caliphate.
Ordinary citizens can not affect any such changes.
Their deaths and maimings, whilst being condemned by national leaders, will not affect the actions of Governments, any more than accidents such as floods or train crashes.
The terrorists will not achieve fame, or admiration, or gratitude, from anyone, least of all those whom they believe they represent.
Individually, they will be unmourned and forgotten by any but their own families.
So, why try?

24/3/17
This is allegedly the most heavily observe country in The World, with innumerable CCTV camera’s spying on us.
The number of Police monitoring them is limited by the persistent repeated cuts to funding of all public services.
On the other hand, we have many isolated, often elderly, citizens with time on their hands.
It would seem that this army of potential watchers could be useful in some way.
For instance: in the case of low priority terrorist suspects, watchers could be assigned to simply take screen shots of visitors/contacts, with time stamps.
A police officer could take a daily dip into the relevant files (perhaps with several watchers having contributed).
Instead of having to observe suspects on a 24 hour basis, one officer could scan a hundred sites and then call up recorded video of particularly interesting clips.

29/3/17
I was concerned by your graphic showing “little or low clinical value medicines”
Those mentioned on the TV News were the low cost, possibly cosmetic and others, which most wouldn’t bother their GP over.
Top of the list for savings is a medication for an underactive thyroid.
This is a significant medication.
I remember watching my Mum shambling down the street, pop-eyed, swollen-necked and looking twice her age.
After diagnosis and treatment, she swiftly returned to a younger active working woman.
This medication can’t be cheap for the individual if it costs £31 million, for the whole NHS.
It certainly can’t be described as unnecessary
Such a policy is worthy of the USA’s “couldn’t care less” attitude to the health of their poor and shows the direction that the Tories and privatised Health Care is headed

9/4/17
John Prescot usually presents a sound point of view on most issues but his comparison of the Iraq war with the Falklands shows a disconnect with how most voters viewed both.
The Falklands War was about an invasion of British Territory and an attack on Brits.
The Falklands might be separated from us by a couple of thousand miles of ocean but that’s an irrelevance. To most of us, it could just as easily been the Outer Hebrides, which it resembles.
Maggie’s success, in protecting “us”, gave her an otherwise undeserved success in the following General Election.
Iraq was seen as a murderous intervention in another nation’s affairs, at the bidding of the US President. The suspicion that it was about oil wealth didn’t help.
In the context of Gibraltar, Howard’s main fault, apart from being Gung-Ho, was in thinking that Spain might do any more than wave a red flag at us.

11/4/17
George Osborne, editor of the Evening Standard, formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer, presumably okayed the sale of some more Lloyds’ shares at £40 million less than we paid for them.
We’re told that some were bought by Black Rock, who coincidentally hired him for his expert advice and contacts.

Now it’s reported that the “entirely independent” head of the NHS is to ask the Treasury if he can borrow £10 Billion from Hedge Funds, presumably at a generous rate of interest.
If the Treasury agrees, will it be the hedge fund that Mrs May’s Hubby works for?

I’d be surprised, if not, but it’s no surprise that voters have contempt for politicians, who create the relevant laws and promulgate practices, which enable them to legitimately raid the National coffers, whilst protesting that their dealings are perfectly legal and above board.

Mr. Cameron’s involvement in tax havens, his father-in-law’s wind farm subsidy, The Lords attendance fees, MP’s OTT expense claims, Jeremy Hunt’s £12million windfall, all the other perfectly legitimate tax-payer funded activities, such as privatising rail, education and NHS contracts can all be explained away and protests brushed off, as lacking merit.

But the stench of corruption lingers outside Westminster, where they are so accustomed to the smell that they no longer notice it.

Reports on A&E queues, on people dying because of ambulance delays, on shabby, privatised care homes, on homeless people escaping reality by using Spice, on schools asking parents for funds, on tent cities forming and all the other reports on the by-products of this corruption are becoming very noticeable to voters

19/4/17
Why do sites like Ticketmaster have to be so scammy?
I had to book two ticket to Queen for my wife and daughter @ £69 each but by the time I had jumped through all the hoops and accepted all the add-ons, the final price was about £87 each.
They know that customers of such events will accept the add-ons, so why not be up front and just charge a flat £90.
They know it will be paid and instead of irritating fans, they could hand out free souvenirs to earn bouquets, instead of brickbats.

The final £50 voucher for Hotels.com is just snide.

25/4/17
I was pleased with the verdict in the candy-striped house case; more so with the the decision by the judge that the Council had misused their powers under the Town and country planning Act 1990.

My understanding was that this sort of legislation was originally brought in to stop the creation of slums and shanty towns, ensuring that all housing was safe and fit to live in.

Legislation then let it creep to protecting “Our great houses”
It has, since, been extended to the protection of the character of “charming villages” and “industrial heritage” sites and now to any ordinary house with neighbours, who have friends on the Council.

A cottage in Kennford, Devon was apparently the wrong shade of pink, another in Inverclyde was the wrong shade of cream. In both cases, Councils used their muscle to intimidate the owners.

I’ve no doubt there have been numerous other similar cases of bullying.

The candy stripe house was an extreme example of not “fitting in” but its owner was just awkward enough to fight the bureaucracy, which no longer works to serve the public but sees itself as having manorial rights.

Unfortunately, the move towards mayoralties will probably negate this ruling as each local fiefdom begins to create its own Laws to suit the whim of whomsoever has been ceded power.

30/4/17
John Prescott is right on many issues but is wrong on GE1997
Labour didn’t win that election, so much as the Tories were thrown out of office by a disgusted electorate.
Yes, Labour did a lot of good but it also did a lot that was disliked by the voters (mainly via Blunkett) and this showed in the vote share in successive GE’s.
It wasn’t just Iraq that allowed the Tories back in. It was a generation who’d forgotten what happened under the Tories.
Those people need to be made to look at what they’ve done this time in terms of food banks, homelessness, prisons, police, fire services, post office, banks, NHS and other aspects of Austerity.

#brexit @leave.eu I filched this from the fuller-money newsletter. Shows what the money men think of the EU

May 3, 2017
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.

Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.

It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.

Yet the rebel victory instantly and inexplicably metamorphosed into surrender, and with it died the final hopes of the European Left. Premier Alexis Tsipras stunned his own people and the world by announcing that there would be no rupture with the Troika after all, and furthermore that he would join hands with the conservative cadres of Greece’s ancien regime.

The extraordinary developments are recounted by Yanis Varoufakis in his deeply unsettling account, ‘Adults In The Room, My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment’, published in extracts in the Telegraph. What the former finance minister reveals is that leaders of the Syriza government were seriously worried about dark forces in the shadows. They were frightened.

Vested interests with huge sums at stake – within Greece, and implicitly across the eurozone – were prepared to defend the existing financial order by any means necessary. The prime minister feared a military coup.

His warnings to Mr Varoufakis in soul-searching talks that night certainly raise eyebrows, all vividly narrated in a subchapter entitled ‘the overthrowing of a people’.

The final days of the referendum were surreal. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Alexis Tsipras had called the snap-vote expecting to lose. Most of the Syriza leaders did not campaign. What they wanted was an “emergency exit”, calculating that a respectable defeat would give them a way out after boxing themselves into a corner.

But humiliated and long-suffering Greeks instead seized on the chance to express their defiance, rising to a “gigantic celebration of freedom from fear” in the final intoxicating rally at Syntagma Square.

And:

As the scale of the victory became clear on election day Mr Varoufakis penned a triumphant piece. “In 1967, foreign powers, in cahoots with local stooges, used tanks to overthrow Greek democracy. In 2015 foreign powers tried to do the same by using the banks. But they came up against an insanely brave people who refused to submit to fear.”

He then went to join the victory party at the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion, only to discover that the betrayal of the vote was already under way. “As I walked in, Maximos felt as cold as a morgue, as joyful as a cemetery. The ministers and functionaries I encountered looked numb, uncomfortable in my presence, as if they had just suffered a major electoral defeat,” he said.

Only he and his wife Danae were wearing jeans, once de rigueur in Syriza circles. “Sitting there, I began noticing things about the people around me that had previously escaped me. The men resembled accountants. The women were dressed as if for a state gala,” he said. They were like the pigs on two legs, drinking with men, glimpsed through the window in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Mr Varoufakis told the prime minister that it was his duty to honour the referendum, that he should seize on the thundering expression of popular will to escalate Greece’s war of resistance, and to present the ECB and Berlin with a stark choice. It was wasted breath. The decision to accept what he calls “unconditional surrender” had already been taken, and a new finance minister willing to go along with this volte face had already been picked.

David Fuller’s view

The EU has been a costly mistake since the launch of the single currency in 1999, without a Federal State to deal with the inevitable inequities between individual states (formerly independent countries) which would arise.  EU bureaucrats knew that they did not have the votes for a Federal Union.  Nevertheless, they undermined democracies in the region and also their economic prosperity by launching the Euro in an environment which several centuries of previous history showed was bound to fail.

Subsequently, unofficially centralised governance within the EU resembles a left-wing mafia rather than a healthy democracy.  That is what Prime Minister Theresa May faces, despite her best efforts to sincerely promote an agreement in the mutual interests of both a departing UK and also the EU. Fortunately, she now realises this, as do a sufficient proportion of the UK electorate to give her a significant majority.  That may not influence the EU but it will help the UK to first deal with turbulence following a hasty exit from the EU before fulfilling its potential in the global economy.

@physorg_com This is my Janet and John idea of dark matter. Please point out errors

March 23, 2017

Maybe Dark Matter doesn’t form atoms.

 The big bang theory says from nothing we got matter and anti-matter but there’s no evidence of large quantities of anti-matter, in the Universe today

OK, so all the anti-matter met matter and was annihilated leaving a bit of this real matter which we see as stars etc.

I don’t like the idea and it takes  some weird maths., which I can’t follow, to support it.

My Maths just isn’t good enough to get it, so I can’t contradict it, nor can I accept it.

Much later Cosmologists decided that they needed dark matter because?

From http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blogs-the-copernican/article5309773.ece

I’ve copied out these:

 Phenomenon #1

When the universe was created in a Big Bang, matter was released into it and sound waves propagated through it as ripples. The early universe was very, very hot, and electrons hadn’t yet condensed and become bound with the matter. They freely scattered radiation, whose intensity was also affected by the sound waves around it.

 About 380,000 years after the Bang, the universe cooled and electrons became bound to matter. After this event, some radiation pervading throughout the universe was left behind like residue, observable to this day. When scientists used their knowledge of these events and their properties to work backwards to the time of the Bang, they found that the amount of matter that should’ve carried all that sound didn’t match up with what we could account for today.

 They attributed the rest to what they called dark matter.

 Phenomenon #2

 Another way this mass deficiency manifests is in the observation of gravitational lensing. When light from a distant object passes near a massive object, such as a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies, their gravitational pull bends the light around them. When this bent beam reaches an observer on Earth, the image it carries will appear larger because it will have undergone angular magnification. If these clusters didn’t contain dark matter, physicists would observer much weaker lensing than they actually do.

 Phenomenon #3

 That’s not all. The stars in a galaxy rotate around the galactic centre, where most of its mass is located. According to theory, the velocity of the stars in a galaxy should drop off the farther they get from the centre. However, observations have revealed that, instead of dropping off, the velocity is actually almost constant even as one gets farther from the centre. This leaves the outermost stars rotating about the galactic centre at velocities that should ‘fling’ them away from the galaxy. Evidently that isn’t the case. So, something is also pulling the outermost stars inward, holding them together and keeping them from flying outward and away. The incredible prowess of this inward force astrophysicists think could be due to the gravitational force of dark matter.

There’s no mention of dark matter in my simple version of the Big bang theory but why is it needed? Anti-matter would answer those three phenomena.

It doesn’t need to have mutually annihilated with matter, which it repels according to the inverse square law.

The only anti-matter, of which we are aware, exists as individual particles,  which we detect from high speed impacts with ordinary matter particles (high speed to overcome the repulsion).

We only detect them from the gamma photons created by their annihilation.

We see matter because it forms atoms, where electrons moving between different excitation levels absorb and emit visible light.

Suppose anti-matter doesn’t form atoms. (why should it?)

It would be dark matter. Individual particles would want to clump but wouldn’t have a mechanism to coalesce into stable forms.

Such clumps would be dispersed on the approach of condensed matter.(Like waving your hand through a swarm of midges.)

The idea seems coherent to me. I don’t know why dark matter theorists require 5x more matter than dark matter but maybe they assume it would be as clumpy as real matter, whereas, if it’s easily dispersed by matter, then it would more likely appear, as stable clumps, in the voids in Space.

The only way that we might get evidence might be by firing a Maser into such a void and hoping to see a few gamma photons.

 What about dark energy?

Well apparently that’s needed, because the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.

How?

It isn’t matter pushing itself apart but Space expanding, as though matter is simply flotsam

Now it gets iffy, for me.

What is Space and how does energy come into it?

Energy is just work done by forces acting on matter, so are we to understand that Space is providing

the force, doing the work, creating the energy. Before we can posit Dark energy providing the acceleration of this expansion, I need to get my head around how and why Space is providing this energy. What is Space?

What I’ve read seems to contradict the concept of matter riding like flotsam on a sea of expanding Space.

The concept that appears to be used in the Janet and John versions, which I’ve read, is one of matter pushing itself apart and taking Space with it.

Then again,  matter doesn’t push.  At least it doesn’t push matter but it does push anti-matter and anti-matter pushes back at it.

  1. so my version of dark matter provides a push but as the Universe expands and this lot moves apart, the push decreases (inverse square law, again), so the expansion should be decelerating. Somehow the force should be increasing to give an accelerating expansion and this is where my brain gets tied in a knot, because the next bit sounds like sophistry, to me.

The accelerating expansion is being seen at the edge of the observable Universe, which is really what the Universe was like eons back in time, nearer to the Big Bang, when there would have been more matter and anti-matter, which had not yet been annihilated. The force would have been bigger so the rate of expansion would have been greater.

Does my head in but that seems sort of logical. As more chance annihilations take place, the rate of expansion of my immediate Universe will decrease, meaning that the edge of the Universe, will, by comparison, appear to be accelerating.

I know that the experts are much better Mathematicians than me, so where am I going wrong?

Big campaign on mobile phones won’t last. There’s more cuts on the way.

March 7, 2017

Letter ( a bit ranty) to the Daily Mirror, editted.

27/1/2017
Raising the fines for motorists using a mobile phone won’t work.
Many consider it essential to their employment and that being caught is an acceptable risk.
The only way to change their behaviour is to increase the frequency of being caught.
This means more cops (LOL), some new technology, or access to phone records.
The last would have to be coupled with CCTV along Motorways etc.
The real problem is that it would be another intrusion into privacy and would probably be handled by someone like G4S.
Personally I can’t see it being stopped, especially as pressure on prisons is likely to make killing someone, whilst driving and phoning, is likely to incur a smaller fine.

#The only way to change the behaviour of mobile users is to increase the possibility of being caught. This means more police, new technology and access to mobile phone records.
Personally, I can’t see it being stopped.