Archive for May, 2015

@afneil @andyburnhammp @UKIP It’s time we saw a list of EU pro’s and con’s

May 31, 2015

After listening to Kenneth Clarke, on the Daily Sunday Politics, it was obvious that the ” debate” on a Brexit, will be mainly sneer and counter sneer.

One of my pet peeve’s about EU membership is that it destroyed our fishing fleet.

Before we joined the Common Market, as it then was, we had huge busy fishing ports, providing most of the working man’s protein from the vast shoals of fish in our waters.

Within a decade of joining the Common Market, we had to push for fishing quota’s, to stop the French and Spanish fleet’s destroying our fish stocks. We only achieved them after great resistance and even now they aren’t enforced by those countries, where they are openly selling undersized fish.

If we left the EU and gave our Navy fishery vessels the right to board these EU raiders, our fishing stocks would eventually return to sustainable levels.

What was Clarkes inane slant on this? “the fish don’t Know that they are British” (really?)….. “we’d still need to have quota’s” (yes, pro tem, but we’d be able to enforce them)……. The British fishing fleet wants to fish other waters (yes! but not EU waters, which are almost fished out, which is why they’re ravaging ours)

Do we really need to be in The EU?

Let’s have the Pro’s and con’s of membership, not just the vague threats to jobs and specious arguments about lost trade.

There’s no doubt that immigration is not of itself a problem. The problem lies in the lack of housing and associated infrastructure such as fresh water, sewage, roads etc., which has failed to be put in place.

This needs management, something, which is outside of our control, whilst in the EU.

There is little mention, these days, of the EU’s protectionist policies, which have seen butter mountains, milk lakes etc. We’ve had subsidy scams involving olive trees claimed by multiple farms, fake sheep in Irish fields, fields of rape, thinly sown at their centre.

We’ve had VAT scams were criminals have shuttled butter consignments between countries claiming spurious VAT rebates.

There is no reason to suppose that these activities have ceased.

We’ve had a double insulation scam whereby the French were able to sell their cheap plastic hairdryers etc, under-cutting the safer metal cased ones that were made domestically.

What trade would be lost?

Would the French really stop buying our lamb? would they really cut off our access to their plonk?

What new trade would be opened up, or re-newed?

When we joined The Common Market, we were buying sugar from Our Commonwealth countries, in The Caribbean. Because it was too cheap for EU beet sugar growers to compete, a tax was imposed on it. Jamaica’s economy nearly collapsed, but if we leave the EU such taxes (trade tariff’s) would no longer restrict our trade with the Rest of the World.

Marshal the arguments and publish them before the flim-flam men, such as Clarke chivvy the young and naive into voting our country into being a European backwater on its fringe Economically and Politically, as well as Geographically.

@RT_com The Black propaganda begins

May 31, 2015

I don’t know, where this originated but it’s still apposite:

Vladimir Putin, wanting to get on the good side of voters, goes to visit a school in Moscow to have a chat with the kids. He talks to them about how Russia is a powerful nation and how he wants the best for the people.
At the end of the talk, there is a section for questions, Little Sasha puts her hand up and says:
“I have two questions”
“Why did Russia take Crimea?
And Why are we sending troops to the Ukraine?”
Putin says “Good questions” But just as he is about to answer, the bell goes, and the kids go to Lunch.
When they come back, they sit back down and there is room for some more questions, another girl, Misha, puts her hand up and says:
“I have Four questions”
“My Questions are –
Why did the Russians invade Crimea?
Why are we sending troops to the Ukraine?
Why did the bell go 20 minutes early?
And Where is Sasha?”

@UKLabour @LabourEoin @andyburnhammp extend the idea of one member, one vote

May 31, 2015

I like Miliband’s idea of one member, one vote.

It doesn’t matter if the Unions encourage, or enable member’s to enrol and vote, because it shuts up the Tory Press claims of Unions being the party paymaster’s.

There are many like Derek Hatton, who would return to the fold, as Socialists, whilst having to accept that they are one voice amongst many.

But why not extend it?

If Labour can elect a leader by individual votes then why not allow individual votes on all policies?
Congress can still propose and debate policies.

It can even vote on policy, but let that vote be merely a recommendation to the electorate.

Once the votes are in and counted, then let that be the policy to be pursued.

The party should then invite candidates for leadership, knowing that the leader is bound by those policies for the oncoming year.

This system would tie the hands of the leader, but that is not a genuine problem for candidates, who wish to serve………. only for those, who wish to be served.

It would also allow the party to respond to changes in circumstances, whereby the leader could, on an annual basis, argue for any necessary change, without pundits denouncing them as doing u-turns.

The yearly vote could be tied into the payment of subscription/donations, giving a reflection of how well congress recommendations are being received.

Such a strong demonstration of active Democracy could also draw in the Broadsheet readers, who haver between Tory and Labour, after being spurned by the Lib Dems.

It’d be so nice to get back to a Democracy, instead of elected and corruptible dictatorship.

 

Raindrops keep falling on my head. That’s a lot of wasted energy.

May 24, 2015

We, in the North don’t have a lot of Solar energy but we do have a lot of rain.

We are so used to sheltering from the rain that we have ignored it as a source of energy.

One way we could use it is by exploiting its impact.

A raindrop falling on a piezo-electric crystal will produce an electrical impulse.

Admittedly the energy from one small raindrop will not be significant but we’re talking of multitudes of them falling on our rooves.

If the numbers work out, then the solar panels placed, on rooves with a Southern aspect, can be paired with rain panels placed on the Northern side.

60+% of energy from the Sun is reflected back into Space, 30+% is held in The atmosphere (wind and rain) and eventually re-radiated back into Space.

We use about 1% and that is mainly from Fossil fuels.

Energy from zephyrs

May 24, 2015

An item on Facebook mentioned a technique involving vertical, pipelike structures to harvest energy from vortices formed by wind blowing past them.

This reminded me of a SF story I read, back in the ‘sixties.

In that story the explorers found a planet with fields of aeolian harps
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolian_harp).

They puzzled over the purpose, until they realised that they were connected to piezo-electric crystals and were harvesting wind energy to power a long-gone civilisation.

It occurs to me that, with modern technology, it should be possible to make a sort of artificial skin with hairlike structures, converting even the slightest breeze into electricity.

It might even be possible to overlay solar cells with such a material, so that the same site could harvest both energy sources.

Hitler’s supergun could be a better way to colonise Space

May 24, 2015

A program about Barnes Wallis made mention of how Nazi Germany tried to build a supergun to bombard London.

It only needed to be aimed in one direction, so it could be built in a large underground structure, reducing construction problems.

High velocities were to be achieved by a series of synchronised blasts along the length of the barrel.

It occurs to me that a modern version would be useful fo delivering payloads into Space.

At present, structures, such as the Space Station are built on the ground and taken up as part of the rocket structure.

It’s time that construction took place in Space, and/or on The Moon.
Using the principle of Meccano, or Lego, bricks, tiles, rods, tubes etc. could be put into a Warehouse orbit; available for use and transport by a Space version of fork-lift trucks.

Food, fuel etc. could also be warehoused, maybe at different orbital levels.

The gun itself could be a rail gun, whereby the necessary acceleration is achieved by pulsed inductive fields.

The cost would be minimal, in that energy would only be needed to put the payloads into orbit and the containers would become part of the payload, not needing any return to Earth.

@TheGreenParty Use wind power to re-cycle pure non-ferrous metals.

May 19, 2015

I was looking at some shop shelving and thinking that it was probably made of mixed, non -ferrous metals, like most cheap, metal products, and it occurred to me that the only way to get the pure metals back was by electro-chemical metal deposition.
This would be prohibitively expensive using electricity from fossil fuels but a wonderful way of exploiting wind power.

Suppose we had pure metal reclamation based on remote moors?

Electricity from wind turbines could be fed direct to electolytic cells.

Raw materials could be dropped directly into baths of acid (possibly aqua regia), equipped with carbon electrodes.

Setting at low voltage and stepping up to next voltage (related to each elemental metal), until current dropped.

Replacing electrodes at each stage. Pure metals (including Gold) could be recovered at each stage; at minimal cost: Certainly less than that of obtaining them from ore.
It would make wind power more relevant as alternative energy.

Political notions of Left and Right are lazy thinking and don’t reflect voter views.

May 17, 2015

So the reason Cameron crept in, contrary to the polls, is because of “The shy Tory”. Rubbish!
This is just another “view halloo” for the political chatterati, who have to be able to sound knowledgeable, without having any real insight into the lives of common people.
Cameron got in because of our FPTP system. It wasn’t the issues, so much as the constituency boundaries.

The biggest problem, for these overpaid pundits, is that they were taught that some issues were Left Wing and some were Right Wing. They can’t cope with the concept that individual voters will favour five from column A and six from column B.Like accountants they think that such a voter is slightly right, or left of centre.
So Labour moves towards the Right wing package and Tory moves to the Left wing package, and both claim the centre ground; then tear their hair that they aren’t winning landslide support from the dozy plebiscite, who are both Left of centre and Right of centre; simultaneously.

This is where Farage has been able to pick up support from both Labour and Tory, whilst SNP has been able to gain support from those Scots ex-Labour voters, who’d prefer to stay British.

The problem of uncontrolled immigration (and concomitant issues) isn’t Left or Right, it’s domestic issue, just as opposing Hitler was.
To my way of thinking, reclaiming The Falklands wasn’t Right Wing, whilst Desert Storm was.

Policing, capital punishment, prison conditions and sentencing aren’t Right wing issues, they’re just another set of domestic issues.
Many issues are seen as Left Wing, or Right wing by the political classes but are viewed , by voters, as perhaps for, or against the Nation’s interest. Or viewed as Fair, or Unjust. Christian, or Fascist..

Farage has recognised that the true centre ground is populism and has claimed it.
After the EU referedum, win, or lose, UKIP could become a major force, if it completely sloughs off this Left versus Right mentality and embraces populism (a.k.a, Democracy).
Whilst Labour could find itself without any support, if it listens to the insidious Mandelson and lurches back towards Blairite, “centrist” policies.

 

Full speed ahead with total privatisation, thanks to @Ed_Milliband.

May 17, 2015

Back a bit, when JFK had thrown a tantrum about Russia beating the USA into Space, we had all sorts of mad educationalists given free rein to re-invent Education.

It became a political football.

All sorts of stupidities were forced down the the throats of trainee teachers:

Learning times tables by rote was thrown out, in favour of understanding by counting on your fingers. ITA was brought in with a new alphabet, which only the pupils and especially trained teachers could use. Kids were told to sight read and the concept of phonics almost disappeared.
Worst was the concept of equality, which said it was wrong to label people as failures.

Everybody was to be treated as having equal ability.

The butterballs, like myself, only knew we weren’t superheroes because teacher’s told us so!

The idea of all born equal was taken up by some people, on the Left, who pushed this concept of equality into illogical extremes.
Kids were made to race but all were winners; ignoring the fact the kids knew otherwise. We were told to stop rating kids in terms of positions in class, as if they didn’t know, who was clever, or thick, unless teacher said.

A farce, and rightly ridiculed by the Tories.

But now the Tory education minister, following the lead of Blair, is exploiting the same inanity: this time  by standing the argument on its head.
She is going to privatise schools (turn them into academies) on the excuse that they are “coasting”.

I.e if you are not excelling, then you are failures.

Academies come under a different assessment body (themselves), so State schools, directly overseen by Ofsted, will always have most of their schools “coasting”, being Mediocre, bog standard etc.

By continually grading non-excellent schools as “coasting”, State schools will eventually be completely privatised, until there is just the best one and the worst one.

 

tax loopholes can be avoided by the Treasury not having interns from Goldmann-Sachs.

May 4, 2015

Sent to D.Express (1/5/15)

 

Original:

 

I agree with Stephen Pollard’s berating of Patricia Hodge’s and her apparent hypocrisy, whilst regretting that she has been found to be guilty of such.

I have applauded and even enjoyed her dogged pursuit of those, who have exploited our badly constructed tax laws. Those who evade paying their dues to the governance of our Nation.

I have welcomed her pursuit of those, who, in a sense, are responsible for the dismantling of our armed forces and the politicising of our Police Force.

The latter, being accurately described in Frederick Forsyth’s column.
My problem is that it seems to be a case of set a thief to catch a thief, whereby, there does not seem to be any other politician willing, or competent enough to take on this role.

If we debar Patricia Hodge from future participation in such enquiries, who will replace her.

I, personally have doubts, based on viewing such committee’s, that anyone can be found, who isn’t either equally tainted, or totally incompetent.
The obvious solution is to employ people in The Treasury, who can construct tax laws, which avoid deliberately creating such loopholes but that would seem to be a pipe dream.

 

As published:

A very taxing question for red-faced Margaret Hodge

I AGREE with Stephen Pol1ard’s criticism of Margaret Hodge and her apparent hypocrisy, whilst regretting that she has been found to be guilty of such (“Margaret Hodge’s blatant hypocrisy just beggars belief”, May 1).

I have applauded and even enjoyed her dogged pursuit of those who have exploited our badly constructed tax laws.

My problem is there does not seem to be another politician willing, or talented enough, to take on this role. If We debar Margaret Hodge from future participation in such enquiries,who will replace her?

The obvious solution is to employ people in the Treasury who can construct tax laws which avoid deliberately creating such loopholes. But that would seem to be a pipe dream.