Archive for September, 2011

The message from French and German citizens seems to be that they, unlike their leaders, are not in love with the European Dream, nor with the financial mire that it has sucked them into.

September 28, 2011
I wonder if David Cameron is taking note of what’s happening to his two main protagonists in Europe, or is he trying to convince himself that all is well?
Merkel’s coalition party is losing seats one after the other and Sarkozy’s right wing party has lost control of the French Senate, with his Presidency looking to be lost, next year.
The message from French and German citizens seems to be that they, unlike their leaders, are not in love with the European Dream, nor with the financial mire that it has sucked them into.
Mr.Cameron might re-think his position now, before his support, against the wish of the majority of the British Public (this assumption being based on his reluctance to allow a referendum), proves as disastrous for British right wing politicians, as seems about to be the case for the Right Wing politicians in the rest of Europe.
Better that he appears to have deserted his allies than see his entry into the History books as the man who destroyed The British Economy by persisting with this folly.
I assume that, as a Conservative, he reveres Churchill and should, therefore take the lessons of Dunkirk and Dieppe as his guide.

Yellow lines are a waste of money, outside of City Centres.

September 28, 2011
Is there really any point to painting yellow lines on the roads?
Unless there is a chance of incurring a penalty, a significant number of motorists seem oblivious to their presence.
If a road has no yellow lines, some less intelligent, or less considerate, motorists feel entitled to cause a major hazard by parking on blind bends, near junctions and similar places, as listed in “The Highway Code”.
Where there are yellow lines, but little chance of being ticketted, many simply put their hazard warning lights on, blithely ignoring the queues temporarily forming, while they avoid having to walk 50 yards or more.
Outside of the major city centres, there seems to be too little profit to warrant hiring traffic wardens and almost everywhere there seems to be too small a police presence for police to have their time wasted on issues, which don’t count towards the Chief Constable’s targetted statistics.
Why not just go back to prosecuting motorists, who create a hazard through their bad parking.
The Country could save millions on yellow paint.
Let’s go a step further and save on green paint; we could stop the nonsense of bicycle lanes that begin and end, without rhyme or reason.
No one takes notice of them, including cyclists.
In some cases they rise onto pavements, endangering pedestrians, and in other cases they suddenly merge with Bus Lanes, endangering the cyclists.
The Chancellor wants Departments to cut their budgets. I suggest that the Secretary of State for Transport might look at these issues and many of the measures, introduced by John Prescott, for substantial savings.
 

If there was a General Election Tomorrow, Ed Miliband would become P.M.

September 28, 2011

If there was a General Election Tomorrow, Ed Miliband would become P.M.

Despite what politico’s say about his conference speech, he has said enogh to convince a lot of core voters that he is not New Labour.

It doesn’t matter if he holds true to his unspoken promise.

David Cameron became Prime Minister because og Nick Clegg’s support and voter’s abreaction to Brown and Blair.

Lib Dem’s support will fade away, especially as they will have to campaign as a subset of the Conservatives.

Lost Labour voters will come out to vote against Cameron, his disdain for the electorate’s wishes and the old Tories that are emerging from the woodwork to feed on the public purse.

The only problem for Ed Miliband is his avoidance of talking about Europe.

 Any “we must stay in Europe” statement,  will send many voters to UKIP but they are still seen as also-rans and probably won’t affect the outcome by much.

digging our way out of recession needs job creation not taxes.

September 25, 2011

It seems public conversation has turned to escaping from the recession by the need to create wealth rather than just to print more money. I.e. the political class seem to be re-inventing the solutions adopted as a means of escaping the Great depression of the 1920’s.
Here in Britain we had schemes such as building the Mersey Tunnel; a labour intensive scheme that employed large numbers of unemployed and created a long-term benefit to the local economy. Such schemes give people self-respect, skills and money to buy things, which can, in turn, create further employment.

 
In Germany, the building of the autobahn’s using intensive paid manual labour and the promotion of the Volkswagen were used as part of their emergence from the depression
 
We need similar schemes in this country, Today.
 
Obviously, nowadays, road-building and tunneling are large machinery tasks and there would be no point channeling public money into such schemes, which would only benefit the multi-nationals that gained the contracts.
 
Our politicians would need to come up with some scheme that our present day, unskilled work force could achieve that would benefit the Nation and help repay the necessary expenditure.
 
My personal favourite would be to provide exercise bikes fitted with electrical generators. Instead of sitting still, going nowhere, in order to lose weight, I could also be reducing my electricity bill. A double benefit to myself and to the nation.
 
Possibly an efficiency of scale could be achieved with a sort of bicycle operated power station, with variable gearing to maintain a 50 Hertz mains A.C.
The individual’s energy production would be measurable and saleable. The need for matching supply with demand would be more easily managed than it is with wind power, by a variable hourly rate, with workers, only working when this rate met their needs.
The last could actually be a bonus selling point in that the lowest energy demands are in the Summer, when people would rather be on the beach.
 
At present Green policy is to persecute car owners, whereas their gripe actually lies with the petrol engine and its production of Carbon-Dioxide.
So why not push for a “people’s electric car”.
There are proto-type electric engines about, which, because of the recession, are starved of capital: Ironic, in view of our Chancellor believing that Capitalists will save us and risk their capital to kick start the economy.
 
If our Government were to back the manufacture of these engines, with a fixed standard chassis, to which designer bodies could be attached, then we would save on imported materials, cut back on fossil fuels and possibly create an export market.
As with cut-out paper dolls that can be fitted with a girl’s own design dresses, the car bodies could be the basis of a cottage industry producing plastic/papier mache/fibre glass own design models, possibly using re-cycled / recyclable materials.
I realise that pedal power would not contribute much to the National Grid and that the rich would still want their Beamers and their Mercedes but these offerings are not meant to be a route to big profits.
They are meant to be way of beginning to dig our way out of a financial mess. Analogous to the spoon used by The Count of Monte Cristo, rather than the fallacious spade of high taxation.
It would be nice if those paid the big salaries could come up with something better than this and certainly better than their present philosophy of “sit tight, cross your fingers and hope it all goes away”

we need prefabs not the executive homes that will come from the new planning regulations

September 20, 2011

On the face of it, reducing planning restrictions would be an improvement.

They have departed too far from the original intention of preventing shanty towns and unsafe housing and they have allowed petty officials to use the full force of the Law to make home-owners paint/appoint their property, according to the tastes of the local megalomaniacs.

Unfortunately the latest example in the papers is of Mrs. Thatcher’s favourite , Barrats Homes, wanting to build on National Trust land. The argument put forward is that we need more housing. But that would be low cost housing and Barrats do executive housing, which indicates the duplicitous nature of this law.

It does not appear to be about lack of housing but about Conservatives fastening on the public teat again.

If the Government is concerned about housing all their “illegal” immigrants then why not use the solution that was “fit for heroes” ,returning from WWII, and their bombed out families.

The prefabs were well furnished, erected in very short order on brownfield sites.

The Excalibur estate in Catford, South-East London was one of the last post-war estates to be demolished, having lasted until January this year and then only demolished against the wishes of the majority of residents.

One other point to bear in mind. Greenfield sites rarely have much in the way of local employment.

This would be desirable for someone wishing to buy onto an expensive, upmarket  housing estate but not really the first choice for someone simply requiring a warm nest, to raise their young, and some form of employment to pay for it.

two more bullets for the anthropogenic Global Warming alarmists

September 20, 2011

Two pieces of  research that the Al Gore pseudo-scientists (a.k.a. climatologists) will want to suppress.

First concerns polar volcanoes:  (lifted straight from Browning Newsletter on Climate: Shifting into Autumn)

Alaska’s Mt. Redoubt and Russia’s Sarychev Peak in 2009, and, during this year, Iceland’s Grímsvötn and Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle have all erupted.

Another volcano, Mt. Sheveluch on Russia’s Kamchatka Pennisula, may have joined these ranks. The volcano is currently erupting 8.6 km (5.3 miles) high. This is high enough that it is forcing airlines to reroute their circumpolar flights, particularly those to Japan and Northern China. It has been erupting all month and, off and on, all year. The mountain is remote and hard to observe so some of the eruptions may have been high enough to enter the stratosphere. At a minimum, the debris is drifting down wind and raining out over North America.

If eruptions are big enough for their columns to enter the stratosphere, the debris can linger for years. This has multiple effects on the weather including:

o The ash and chemicals block out incoming sunlight, cooling the air.

o Water collects around the aerosols (solid and liquid particles) forming clouds, which also block incoming sunlight.

o When the clouds finally precipitate out, the rains and snows are unusually heavy.

o The cooler air changes air pressure which changes wind patterns.

In the case of volcanoes near the Arctic and Antarctic, this means the changed air pressure weakens the circumpolar winds. These are winds that circle around the poles, trapping most of the frigid air over the Arctic or Antarctic. If the winds are weak, these frozen air masses can escape. We saw this last winter when the Arctic air masses escaped south and buried 48 of the 50 states in snow, brought European Christmas travel to a standstill and inundated Asia.

We are currently seeing this in the Southern Hemisphere. The Chilean government declared an official “catastrophe” after heavy snows that the nation’s Interior minister called a “white earthquake.” The nation’s capital had rare snow and southern regions have as much as 9 feet (2.7 meters). South Africa, which usually receives a dusting about once or twice a year, has been hit with storms that have dumped up to 60 cm (2 feet) in some areas. New Zealand was hit by a freak winter storm with heavy snow and bitterly cold weather two weeks ago, snowing on Wellington for the first time in decades.

This is a warning for the Northern Hemisphere. In summertime, the polar air masses are trapped north. Europe, Asia and North America have been more affected by balmy tropics. As fall evolves, the polar air masses will spread south, bringing a cold wet harvest season, particularly for Europe, China and the US. This will be followed by a frozen winter.

The second from http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/08/26/lawrence-solomon-science-now-settled/

63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

Basically both of these items point up that clouds have a significantly greater effect on Global climate than Greenhouse gases, whether they are produced by ungulates, termites or us nasty fossil fuel burners.

In both cases rain droplets form on dust particles from volcanoes , or ions caused by cosmic rays.

These rain droplets form clouds, which act as a blanket preventing sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface.

Obviously the clouds also keep us warm at night, which is why cloudy Winter nights are less frosty but the reflection of the Sun’s heat is more significant than the loss of the Earth’s radiated heat.

Despite arguments to the contrary, it supports the observation that the absence of contrails, after 9/11 left the air above America warmer (http://www.celsias.com/article/9-11-contrail-climate-effects-questioned/).

 

Omgish judges on “Britain’s got Talent” etc.

September 20, 2011

LOL  is now in the dictionary. I recommend OMGish as a new word to describe the judges on “Britain’s got Talent”

Every act on “Britain’s got Talent” makes the judges distort their faces into grotesque looks of incredulity, surprise, astonishment, amazement. In othe words, some form of OMG.

Other TV shows rely on the hosts pulling similar faces e.g. Davina McCall on whichever show she does.

new takeover code is no protection for fire sale Britain

September 19, 2011

The new company takeover code has come into effect with the intention of moderating predatory takeovers with the example of the American company Kraft taking over Cadbury’s and almost immediately closing the Cadbury’s factory, with a huge loss of employment for British workers.
One aspect that hasn’t been covered, is the use of leverage to finance the takeover of viable companies, using the company’s assets as the collateral, as happened not just in this case but in the case of L.F.C., where R.B.S. basically financed a couple of spivs to, who wanted try and asset strip the club, as they had done on previous occasions.
It’s a greater pity that this hasn’t been the basis of legislation but then this continues to be fire-sale Britain, where everything is up for sale to any foreign companies that want to turn a quick profit or buy a share in the milch-cow that is the British public.

On a similar theme:
It’s a pity that there is no legislation to protect products, which are not only popular British brand names but are suited to our tastes.
American and Continental chocolate does not have the creamy texture of Cadbury’s and I fear that Kraft being more of a chemical manufacturer (tasted American cheese?) will debase this product to prolong its shelf life and by making use of cheaper base materials.
Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce, for instance, was bought out by a French Company and ever since, according to my taste buds, it has been watered down and given a taste of tomato. I can not imagine The French allowing one of their World renowned brands being similarly treated.

Wigan Traffic engineer prefers cheap and nasty

September 17, 2011

This is my contribution to a wigantoday.net forum discussing speed humps.

Wigan love destroying car suspensions. I came over the new hump outside Bryn Gates Primary School (outside school hours) at 30mph, before they’d put any paint on it.

 It was like hitting a brick wall.

Even now, I find it a bumper at 5mph. It’s far too high and severe but it won’t be improved.
Far better that thousands of motorists pay out for new suspensions than Wigan spends a few quid on a lollipop man, or even a Pelican crossing.
Cheap and nasty is Wigan Borough Style (except for council officer accomodation).
Wigan spent £500,000 on taxis etc last year. You’d think the taxi companies would be having a word, considering the damage they must suffer, at the speeds that they go.

Lifetime Golden Ticket to Wigan Council’s en-suite facilities.

September 16, 2011

 

Sent to Wigan Evening Post

 

I’ve just received notification of changes to my direct debit payments of Council Tax.

 

It was accompanied by a puff about the “healthy living zone Wigan life Centre” being opened on August 27th and 28th 2011. (more than a fortnight back).
 
The exciting news was that the first 500 to apply before August 29th would receive a free lifetime membership. …………………..So that’s Lord Smith, Members of his Cabinet and all Senior Council Officers and sundry relatives sorted then.
 
I’d be very surprised if ordinary members of the public have more than a few token, golden tickets.
Basically it’s been my impression all along that the new centre has always been intended to be part of a private centre for selected Council personnel and that the General public would be dissuaded from trying to enter.
The £50 joining fee would seem to be something that would dissuade most punters.
The reverse of the leaflet offers swimming lessons for children at £18.28 per month.
These charges might not seem much to some but they contrast strongly with the notion of a Labour Council and the ethos of free facilities for the General Public.
I have no proof of who has qualified for the free membership and I already have one FOI request in at the moment. I just thought that you could query this membership and see if there was a possible story..