Archive for September, 2010

Solar power wasted.

September 29, 2010

A reader in The Daily Express wrote that Solar panels on houses were a better way forward than Wind turbines and queried why the Government didn’t act on this.

My impression from articles printed in this paper and elsewhere is that the sudden surge of interest in this form of alternative energy was precisely because the Government had taken action by providing grants via firms that fit them (http://www.energygrants.co.uk/solar_power/solar-pv-feed-in-tariffs.html?gclid=CJ-Tge20rKQCFd_-2Aod9CHPbg ).

Although this is a positive move, solar power is not a better solution than wind power for us. Energy demands are greatest in Winter, when we have little Sun but lots of windy weather. This is clearly only a supplementary energy source.

Extend this thought and we see that wind wave, tidal and all alternative energy sources are a constant source for the World, as a whole.

What’s really needed is a means of transferring energy around the Globe. Solar power stations in the Sahara would help cool The Sahara, making it more habitable, whilst providing power that could be shipped North or South, depending on which hemisphere is in Winter. The energy losses from an international Hyper-Grid of power cables would be negligible compared to the unutilised solar power in such area’s of The World.

Footnote. I wrote this on Microsoft Word. It tried to pull me up for using an apostrophe in area’s. I prefer the apostrophe. It says that this is the plural of the word area and not some new word areas, which would be pronounced something like “‘arry ass.” It also ignored the fact that I hadn’t capitalised The World, although this is a proper name (we only have one “The World”)

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Cancer causes

September 29, 2010

A reader in The Daily Express wrote that a third of people in this country died of cancer and then tied that to food additives and blamed The Government for not taking action.

I’m all for attacking the Government but a third of people, worldwide, die of cancer, because a third of people, worldwide, are genetically pre-disposed to dying of Cancer.

Whilst food additives may be the cause of cancer in a specific case, anything that damages cells, without killing them, could be a trigger. It could be chemicals in cigarette smoke, it can be virus attacks, it can be constant exposure to irritants such as oil, it can be the Radio-therapy used to kill cancers.

According to this website, the UK actually has a lower rate of death from cancers than most countries. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_dea_fro_can-health-death-from-cancer

This could be that we spend more on treating cancer but, as we are allegedly nation of fatties, it could be that more of us die from cardio-vascular problems (kills nearly half of us), before a cancer can get us. Whatever the case, it seems two-thirds of us will die from either of these two causes, no matter what we do, or where we live.

This pie-chart, from Havant Council, shows a pattern that is typical around the World.

 http://www.havant.gov.uk/havant-2357#1548

wage comparison

September 28, 2010

My “Fullermoney “ news letter pointed out that it takes employees a global average of 37 minutes to earn enough to pay for a Big Mac, 22 minutes for a kilo of rice and 25 minutes for a kilo of bread.

Then it, interestingly, said that the time taken to earn enough for an average wage-earner in Zurich and New York to buy an iPod nano from an Apple store was nine hours. Whilst workers in Mumbai, needed to work 20 nine-hour days (roughly the equivalent of one month’s salary)

Taking the UK price as £129 (although much cheaper at non-Apple ), then that’s just over 20 hours at UK minimum wage, or just over half a week (before deductions) for those lucky enough to work full time.

Joyce Redfearn , the Chief Executive Officer of Wigan Council is paid £200 k per year (http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1315926_council_chiefs_pay_one_of_highest_in_the_region ), which, assuming a rate of 40 hrs/week, for 46 weeks per year, comes out at about one ipod an hour.

Although in her case it might be more to germane to rate her salary to just over 221 Community Charges.  This assumes that all 139,000 residences quoted here (http://www.wigan.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/47B45A06-8A51-4E0E-BF1F-B2A6AC104DA6/0/CouncilTaxbookletcurrentversionforweb.pdf )  actually pay their share of the  £128,700,000 quoted, which gives an average charge of  £926 ( marginally more than the band A charge) .

It’s difficult to get any information about how much Joyce and her friends actually cost, because you’d have to know what expenses they are claiming and what perks are available before you can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act. However, if you don’t know in what way they may have categorised other little additional sums, then you don’t know what to ask for.

I had to go to the Tory linked Taxpayer’s Alliance (http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/CSU2-richlist.pdf )  to extract the information that in 2007, ten executive officers had basic salaries totalling £1.13 million. Without adding all the extra payments, I can’t get a true idea of their cost but I can assume that their basic pay has risen roughly in line with Joyce’s (these people probably use ratchetting techniques to justify salary increases). This would put the total basic cost of these ten (or present counterparts) at about £1.54 million. Or the cost of almost 1700 residences

Red Ed

September 27, 2010

I welcome Labour’s choice of Ed Milliband as Labour’s leader. Labour swung too far towards the right of the political scene and this will help to redress the balance.

However I doubt that Ed Milliband deserves the epithet “Red”, despite the support of The Unions.

(I would have once suggested that he was possibly Pink, except this hue has been appropriated by Gays and “The race for life ” campaign. How about Purple Ed, indicating a touch of Conservatism).

We haven’t heard his intentions towards Europe, Privatisation of all State assets, including schools and the N.H.S., or National Identity Cards and the still growing National database. These are all Tony Blair and New Labour themes that were embraced by his brother.

non stability sed stagnation

September 25, 2010
Published version:
The Daily Express is essentially a Tory paper, so it doesn’t really support proprtional representation, which would act against achieving a strong (can do what it likes) Government.
SHOULD THE VOTING SYSTEM BE CHANGED?
I OFTEN agree with
Frederick Forsyth’s views
but must take issue with him on the subject of changing the voting system to embrace
proportional representation (“Lib Dems mustn’t get their way on PR”, September 24).
While I have to concede his
comments about PR giving
extremist groups an access to power, I do not agree that this is sufficient reason to reject it.
We are not a country where there is a lot of strong and extreme
emotionalism. Anyway, in a true democracy, everyone is entitled to representation.
 
Original version
 
I often agree with Mr. Forsyth on what he says, despite his rabid Conservatism, but must take issue with him on P.R.
Whilst I have to concede to his comments about P.R. giving extremist groups an access to power, I do not agree that this is sufficient reason to reject it. We are not a country, such as Israel, where there is a lot of strong and extreme emotionalism, because of the situation that they find themselves in.
Nick Griffin and the BNP might get representatives into Parliament but I do not believe that they would represent a noticeable force.
Anyway, in a true Democracy, even bigots are entitled to representation, as was the case with Ian Paisley and the extreme section of The Unionists.
I take further issue with his sentiment about our having 300 years of stability. During my adult life, every change of Government has been brought about by public disgust at the sleaze exhibited by the Party in power. What he sees as stability is really stagnation and the diminishment of Democracy. This why Political groups such as the Sweden Democrat Party always use that word. It indicates an aspiration of the people who vote for them rather than the cynical abuse of the word by Soviet Bloc countries, which possibly still dominate his world view.
 

Roma repatriation

September 25, 2010
The attempt by European leaders to emulate The United States of America seems to be failing.
In the U.S., the policing, across state lines, is carried out by the FBI.
This organisation has strict boundaries and is answerable to a strong President, directly elected by all the people of all the States.
Europe has imposed a puppet president by decree of State Heads (Governors?) and a cross border police authority, which seems answerable to no-one.
We have the ridiculous scenario of Sarkozy, possibly one of the prime movers of Eurocratisation, attempting to ship his “freedom of movement” Roma back whence they came, knowing full well that they’ll be back.
The U.S. doesn’t seem to have this problem. This may be because they not only have adequate prison provision but there are some States e.g. Alabama, by all accounts, where you would not want to break any laws, however minor.
In fact, judging by TV programs, from the States, they actually compete with each other for the right to imprison criminals.
Perhaps Eurocrats should spend some of the billions, extorted from us, on building prisons, in the native lands, of those actually found guilty of crimes.
The cost of building and maintaining such prisons would not be excessive and would help their domestic economies.
Finally, if we must have a Federal Europe, modelled on the U.S., perhaps it might be wise to build the infrastructure first, or at least allow it to evolve, as it did in the States.
 

back-engineering

September 25, 2010

If you photocopy a book then that’s an infringement of copyright. If you copy short phrases then that is not (same for recordings of songs and video). If you re-write the books and re-draw the diagrams, then that is your own intellectual property and your own copyright. This last is important from Society’s point of view not just because textbooks do this but because how do you decide where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet becomes West Side Story, or any of the other countless variations in-between. Software is of the same nature and Society needs to resist the Corporate greed and the imposition of EULA’s designed to stop the more enterprising from back-engineering or extracting useful “phrases”.

degraded grades

September 22, 2010

Patrick O’Flynn lays the devaluation of exam grades at the doorstep of New Labour (Note: not a synonym for Socialism), claiming that it was their pursuit of equality that led to certificates for everyone.

This is untrue.

The first steps towards this situation came under Maggie Thatcher and her adoption of Monetarist philosophies, when as a prelude to privatisation of all State assets, she had Kenneth Baker introduce The National Curriculum.

It was later, under John Major that the target of 85% of all pupils to achieve the equivalent of 5GCSE passes was first mooted. This was at a time when 20% of pupils were classified as E.S.N.

tax banks

September 22, 2010

Vince Cable, new bogeyman of the right wingers wants to tax banks. The big problem, apparently, is that Banks might increase their reluctance to lend to small businesses.

Why is this a problem?

 We, through The State, effectively own several banks.

Just issue an instruction to Our banks to increase this aspect of their loans.

Such loans must be safer than the mortgage loans, paid out in the UK (at 5 x unverified salary), or more particularly, paid out to U.S “Trailer Trash” (aka Sub-prime loans), which got us into this mess.

This may seem simplistic to bankers and politicians but I’d appreciate an explanation of how it could be deemed so.

Wage packet dipping

September 22, 2010

I think it’s a great idea for the Government to dip into our wage packets and take our taxes, at source.

Of course it will mean a lot of wage clerk’s being made redundant and large Companies will have to re-organise their workforces and their computer systems but it will be a boost for small businesses, who can cut their costs considerably.

The Government already takes about 30% of our wages in Income Tax and N.I.Stamp, why not have the Government also take out BBC licence fees and Community Charge payments (say 10%) and perhaps direct debit payments for privatised monopolies such as Gas, Elec and Water (another 20%, say).  Mervyn King wants to see greater personal investment in National Savings (10%) and of course we aren’t paying enough into pension schemes (10%?). Other TV and Phone Services , which are effectively monopolies, anyway (another 10%) . That would still leave 10% to fritter away on food, clothing, transport and leisure activities, unless they have a graduate loan to repay.

The only problem might be that banks won’t be interested in handling personal current accounts  for the pittances that are left in most peoples pay packets.

The problem for Government is that they have increased the number of hands dipping into our wage packets (mainly by privatisation) and they have created so many new taxes, such as the graduate tax, in an effort to disguise their own prolifigacy, that they are in danger of milking the cow dry just as they actually need more money to pay off the bankers’ debts.

We could all cut back on TV, phone, food and leisure but Politicians need to seriously look at what they can cut back on.

Do Politicians need a nuclear strikeforce any more than I need to be able to drive my car?