Archive for November, 2010

Climatologist’s Jamboree

November 30, 2010
Once again the climatologists push out their publicity shots, to proclaim their right to a cushy lifestyle.
This time they’re off to Cancun, in Mexico. Obviously not afraid of a bit of hot Sun themselves, Although  the fact that its hotels have five-star menus might have compensated that inconvenience.
Although the organisers are a franchise of the U.N. (that organisation originally intended to prevent further Wars but now devoted to general do-gooding campaigns), the Secretariat for Climate Change (UNFCCC) is based in Bonn, with their main contributors being financed by the wealthy E.U.(led by the GCCA, set up by the European Commission, so Europe can build a Global Climate Change Alliance between the European and poor developing countries most vulnerable to climate change).
Although the Media consistently refer to these people as Scientists, implying that they are experts on the causes of climate change, their career paths seem to follow the same sort of routes as politicians and administrators of various persuasions.
Their previous chairman, Yvo De Boer, began his career with a technical degree in social work, from the Netherlands. He gave up his role to become join accountancy firm KPMG. Prior to joining the UNFCCC, he was Director for International Affairs of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of the Netherlands(Wikipaedia).
His Successor,  Christiana Figueres might more justly call herself a Scientist, as she has a degree from the L.S.E. in Anthropology. While not a Hard Science, involving the Maths that might be needed to examine the effect of the Earth’s erratic motion around The Sun, Solar Winds etc., she is obviously well acquainted with the arguments supporting further conferences. 
Many delegates will be genuine believers (rather than Scientists), as they will consist of leading farm, food, Fair Trade, climate justice, and anti-GE activists, but for many it seems to be just another bandwagon to jump onto.

wikileaks

November 30, 2010

A pity about The U.S. State department being embarassed but it’s nice that we get to hear some of the duplicity that goes on on.

 Basically our Leaders lie to us and each other and shouldn’t.

Their lies show a disdain for our opinions and an inability to negotiate honestly.

On a personal level, I hate people telling me that I’m looking feeling, doing well, instead of telling me the truth so that I can adapt, if I feel it necessary.

Prince Andrew, for instance, has been the subject of a sarcastic analysis of his behaviour. Personally I’d love to have access to such communique’s about myself. If I believed the opinions to be valid, I could, as I said, remedy them. By not seeing such comments one is condemned to believing that the writer is friendly and/or continuing to behave in a boorish manner.

I want Wikileaks to be protected. It is carrying out an extremely important Social and Democratic function.

At present they are being subjected to DOS (Denial of Service) attacks and I would like to know if I can help them. I’m not au fait with such matters but if access to my computer would help in diseminating the load, then I would gladly oblige.

The Rule of Law is only tolerated

November 28, 2010
An article in The Sunday Express states that it is unlikely that there will be any street parties to mark the wedding of Prince William and Kate.

The assumption is that people will ask for permission from their Council’s and that they would charge some ridiculous fee.

This is typical of the unrealistic view that Authorities have of their power.

The respect/fear of Authority is weakening every day. From Traveller’s flouting planning regulation’s to drunken youth’s demanding their rights.  From Illegal immigrants skipping order’s to attend Court, to criminals failing to pay fines.

Residents in leafy suburbs may still heed the voice of Authority but those from meaner streets know better.

If I set up a table in the middle of my street and hang out bunting, who will stop me? Unless a neighbour informs on me, who will know?

If whole neighbourhoods organise street parties, who will try to enforce the Council’s strictures?

Even if the Council could rope in enough willing enforcers to try to implement their diktat, how would the Courts cope with the Civil disorder that would ensue?

I would venture the opinion that Government is not so stupid as to allow Council’s to ban street parties, especially as David Cameron wants us all to be “happy”.

FIFA needs to clean house not brush dirt under the carpet.

November 28, 2010
It is worrying that David Cameron feels it is ok to let it be known that “he feels frustration” at The BBC’s screening of a program of FIFA’s dishonesty.

If we do get to host The World Cup, wouldn’t he feel pleased that the decision had been made honestly?

 Wouldn’t he feel pleased that our National Sport (it’s not Cricket, despite its vast media coverage) has an Honest governing body?

Is he really intending to try to hush up revelations of wrong-doing?

If his comments are intended to coerce the BBC, will he next mention Licence Fees or consider implementation of legislation? We have plenty of laws that could be used, in this way.

Let’s hope that he accepts that The BBC is correct in screening this program and calls on FIFA to respond in an honourable way by accepting a bid from a country that believes in acting on the square..

education quangoes

November 28, 2010
How brave of Ofsted to declare that too many schools are failing and that half the teachers are of poor quality.

Despite Ofsted being in charge of remedying this situation since its establishment in 1994, under a Conservative Government, and its leadership by Chris Woodhead, until his resignation under a New Labour Government, in 2000.

Chris Woodhead had entered his role alleging that there were “15,000 incompetent teachers” in schools and that he was “paid to challenge mediocrity, failure and complacency”.

At the same time as he resigned, The GTC was formed with the specific remit of speeding up the removal of incompetent teachers. This organisation now has 500,000 members on its register.

If half of them are incompetent, then we now have (250,000-15,000) than when Ofsted started.

Of course these figures are fatuous but how valid are Ofsted’s latest assertions?

 They’ve had  16 years to remedy matters, meaning that on their rolling 4-year inspection, they should have visited every school four times and the GTC has had time to cull every school, at least twice.

How brave of Ofsted to announce not only its own failure but that of the GTC as well. If David Cameron is really looking to axe a few Quangoes, perhaps he should glance at these two.

hollow skirting boards

November 25, 2010

I was thinking about the work being done on a friend’s kitchen, specifically about his needing to cut back the plaster to leave a gap behind the skirting board.

It occurred to me that I have numerous cables and wires running along the bottom of walls, for phone extensions, TV cable feeds, twinkly lights etc. ad nauseam.

My micro-tubing for the central heating is hidden inside PVC channeling. The combination of these thoughts suggest that there would be a market for a hollow skirting board that would permit these cables to be neatly tucked away out of site. If this were combined withpassageways, through walls/door jambs, hidden behind the skirting, then the ordinary householder could quickly and efficiently arrange the increasing IT cabling that we are all employing.

Even Computer facilities, where people aren’t happy with Wi-Fi, could be catered for.

I know that there are PVC channeling strips out there but they need to be re-designed to allow for the aesthetic appeal to the housewife and the need to accept wall paper trimming.

Council Cuts

November 24, 2010

This was a letter published in The Wigan Observer (23/11/10), in response to the dismissal , by The Leader of Wigan Council,of calls for the reining back of Councillor perks, by Independent Councillors.

Baron Smith is correct.
The budget cuts proposed by The Independent Group are “small change” and they are “playing politics”.
They do, however, make a telling political point. Baron Smith’s dismissal of them as “not practical” emphasises that point.
Whilst David Cameron is claiming that we are all in this together, Baron Smith is sending out the message that he feels that Wigan Council’s ruling party should be excluded from any belt tightening.
Why should they take a 10% cut in their allowances, when many are losing all their salaries?
Why shouldn’t they be allowed free parking in the Town Centre?
Why should they have to give up First -Class train Journeys? (where are they going to, anyway?)
Why shouldn’t they have free hot meals?
Why shouldn’t the Mayor have a second car mouldering in the garage?(or do Officers get to use it for jaunts?)
Why shouldn’t Baron Smith have his own glossy newsletter telling us how wonderful a job he is doing and why we should vote for him to continue in Office?
 
I am certain that these points are, in the view of voters, are indeed very practical.
At a time when front line services are facing cuts, they are not only practical, they are symbolic of how The Independent Group and their supporters view The Council’s ruling elite. 

The Baron’s response tells us that these cuts may hurt us but they will not be allowed to affect the comfort of himself, his acolytes or the Senior Officers of The Council.

workfarce

November 19, 2010
The proposal to replace doctor’s receptions by call centre staff is typical of the shallow thinking that has dominated both private and public management decisions for the past two decades.

The whole thrust of management decision-making has been to cut costs and maximise profits.

The mendacious mantra used is that of “efficiency”.

Far from improving efficiency such cost cutting has invariably led to inefficiency and totally counter-productive situations.

The prime example of this muddled philosophy is the cleaning of Hospital wards, where the ethic of Florence Nightingale and Joseph Lister has been replaced by that of the lowest tender.  Hospital wards, once a safe haven, for patients, now offer a gauntlet of MRSA and, reportedly, unsanitary conditions.

We have an incredibly high rate of unemployment, hidden by successive Governments tagging the unemployed as incapacitated/in receipt of benefits, or being in Education/Training. 

These strategies have now reached bursting point; hence horrendously high Student fees and the pretence of a war on receivers of welfare payments.

The continued sacking of staff, who serve a useful function, will not improve matters.

If the doctor’s receptionist is sacked, she joins the unemployment queue and the Government has to support her, let her starve, or manufacture a job (Workfare) for her to do.

The solution to high unemployment, after The Great Depression, was to create work and jobs, which in turn created feeder industries catering to those employed. This solution worked. It not only left legacies such as The Mersey Tunnel, here, or the Autobahn’s, in Germany, it created a new, strong economic structure in those countries that implemented it.

Instead of inept politicians taking the easy option of striking pencil lines through lists of public employees, they would do better to turn their attention to means of putting more people on the public payroll, performing useful functions, instead of being on the public payroll and allegedly sponging off The State.

Let’s have hospitals that are adequately staffed  with nurses and dedicated hospital cleaners.

Let’s have a Fire Service that may be over-manned most of the time, instead of one that is overstretched in an emergency.

Let’s have a Police Force that has enough Bobbies to respond to pleas for assistance from ordinary members of The Public.

Let’s have G.P’s, who know their patient list and can differentiate between the malingerer and the stoic.

Let’s have people working in the Nations Job Centres, who don’t have to suffer the daily sham of pretending that job-seekers aren’t really trying to find jobs, by providing them with genuine jobs to offer their clients.

Let’s have more people, who have cause to be motivated by pride in their role, rather than the threat of dismissal and the lure of a bonus.

Let’s have politicians, with sufficient imagination to create employment opportunities, instead of destroying them.

birdshot

November 19, 2010

A shotgun cartridge can contain a few hundred lead shot. Close up a pheasant would be blasted to an inedible pulp. The intention is that, even at a distance, even shot will hit the target, so as to effect a quick death.

I was thinking about this when watching a computer simulation of Kamikaze being shot at with Ack-Ack.

It seems odd, to me, that the lesson of shooting down birds wasn’t applied to shooting down planes.  Ack-ack fires a ” bullet” , yet no-one shoots fowl with a rifle. In fact the best use of the German Ack-Ack gun (the 88 mm) was shown by Rommel, to be better suited to shooting tanks.

 I suppose that an ack-ack equivalent of a shot gun might not have the range for high-flying planes but for kamikazes and bombers, such as Stuka’s, range would not be the key factor, actual contact would be.

Even swan shot hitting a plane head-on would be capable of serious damage, as it is the relative velocity, of the projectile and target, which is key in terms of the damage done.

my blog

November 18, 2010

I’ve no idea what some of the posts to my blog might actually be and I approve or delete on my whimsy but, then, it is my blog; so sucks, yah-boo!  to those who demand an explanation of why their money-making suggestions have been deleted.