Archive for September, 2009

Tatchell on the “New Green Deal”

30/09/2009 4 comments

Peter Tatchell, writing in the Grauniad today questions the efficacy of certain capital projects and whether a return to New Deal style policies would be of any benefit. Here is my response:

Love the maths here! The author is attempting to confuse with the £160 Billion figure as this “saving” is over 25 years. This equates to 6.4 Billion a year. Not chickenfeed, but neither is it quite as impressive as he makes it sound. We wouldn’t get it all at once as he implies later on in the piece!

I actually agree with him on one of his choices for the chop (ID Cards) but dismay at his attitude to the defence of the realm. Indeed, Defence of the Realm is one of the few things that a Government should actually be doing!

Tatchell does make a good point when he says:

The deficit is a serious problem. It is not right wing scaremongering to say that it needs to be cut. If ministers carry on borrowing, spending and drifting deeper into debt, they could eventually bankrupt the government.

Despite the knee-jerk protests of some trade unionists and left-wingers, efficiency savings and waste-cutting are possible and can help bring down public spending. The idea that all government expenditure is cost effective is nonsense. Every big bureaucracy breeds waste, including government departments, local councils, schools and hospitals.

I believe that has been the Tory point of view for a number of years, nay decades! He does, however, deviate slightly when he says:

Central and local government ought to offer financial rewards to employees who devise money-saving ideas that also maintain service delivery.

It’s called their Salary!!! They should, as a matter of course, be looking for ways of being more efficient and of saving the Taxpayer money.

He then gets on to the “Green” issue and states:

Currently, about 60% to 70% of energy is lost in conventional oil, gas and coal-fired power stations.

Well, let’s have more Nuclear Power please! It doesn’t blight the landscape and endanger birds or have such a large carbon foot print as Wind Turbines for instance. Oh, and it works when the wind isn’t blowing,

He also shows a total lack of understanding about engineering:

If the government cancelled defence contracts such as Trident and the Eurofighter, some of the engineering skills that would have been used to construct these weapons could be transferred, as part of the Green New Deal, to the construction of wind, tidal, wave, geothermal and hydro schemes to boost Britain’s renewable energy output.

At what point is any of the classified, secret information used in the design and construction of planes, missiles and the like going to have any relevance to building a wind turbine? Or actually be allowed to be used? How many of these brilliant engineers going to actually be available, given that non-UK weapons manufacturers will be fighting to get the expertise? Does he really think that an engineer who designs ground to air misslies – actually a rocket scientist would be as fulfilled, or indeed have the specific knowledge, to work on geothermal power generation?

At least he uses the word “could” when he says

Some of these alternative energy methods are not yet effective enough.

But assumes that they could be made so. He doesn’t tackle the problem of the wind nor blowing all the time…. actually Global Warming would solve that!

Finally, Mr T borders on the incredulous when he says:

This alternative economic strategy is mostly nothing new. It is essentially FDR 2.0. The New Deal worked in the 1930s. The Green New Deal can work in the 21st century. Over to you Gordon, David and Nick.

The article over at Wikipedia has an impartial take on whether it worked or not. As to “Over to Gordon, David or Nick” well.. it ain’t going to be Gordon or Nick is it!


Categories: Politics

ZanNu Labour wants a return to the Workhouse for Teen Mums

30/09/2009 Comments off

19th Centrury Magdalen assylum for unwed mothersEd Balls seem to have dropped one today as he appeared to be advocating a return to Victorian Workhouses for 16 year olds. It was reported here following the measure being announced in Gordon Brown’s speech to conference.

Asked if mothers would be legally obliged to go into supervised care, Mr Balls said:

“Definitely, and rightly so because the state has got an obligation to make sure 16 year olds get the support they need”.

What is most disturbing is that they don’t seem to take any account of what would happen if the unfortunate mother was  married or receiving of the full support of her family. What are New Labour’s goons going to do? March in and take them away to be hidden in some institutionalised hell hole?

Categories: Politics

Lib-Dems beating Labour into third place

30/09/2009 3 comments

A story over at tells how deep Labour’s woes, and Gordon Brown’s in particular, actually are.

An Ipsos Mori poll has put Labour in third place for the first time since February 1982.

The poll, which was conducted last week during the Liberal Democrat conference, suggests that both the Tories and Labour have lost points to the party.

According to the poll results, which are based on those who say they are “certain” to vote at the next election, the Tories are on 36 per cent, the Lib Dems are on 25 per cent and Labour is on 24 per cent.

The same poll last month showed the Tories on 43 per cent, Labour on 26 per cent and the Lib Dems on just 17 per cent.

However, parties traditionally receive a boost in the polls during their party conference and it is believed that Labour will get a similar boost after their own conference this week.

However, there was less good news for the Liberal Democrats when voters were asked who would make the most capable prime minister, 41 per cent chose David Cameron, 24 per cent chose Gordon Brown and only 16 per cent chose Nick Clegg.

 Not sure that you can read in too much to this as Lib Dem conference was last week so they could expect a bounce but this poll in the middle of the Labour conference is a peach. It certainly won’t help Gordon on the Broonites’ mood!

Categories: Politics

The Mystery of the Obama Brown snubfest

30/09/2009 1 comment

Courtesy of times-onlineAn interesting question was raised by Colleen on another thread – for reasons of housekeeping I have transferred it all here:

Hello all!
Colleen from New York here.
Thought I might ask the feelings of the people of Great Britain as to how they feel about the anger of Sarkozy at Obama for not speaking of the second nuclear plant in Iran, while Obama was well aware of it at the summit. But yet Brown, slurping up to Obama, grinning away and pandering, with the hope of even getting a picture of himself with Obama at the summit. Why does he do this?
This was a betrayal to all and and a showing of the vast inexperience of Obama to even be on the world stage. It also was deceiving…am I wrong?

Categories: Politics

What to do about Baroness Scotland

25/09/2009 19 comments

portal-graphics-20_1157347aThis story seems to be running and running. Plenty had been said over at Liberal Conspiracy and we have had a bit of a start on Facebook as well with Alex Smith’s comment getting plenty of response. I have taken the liberty of reproducing the posts here as comments to this opener.

Categories: Politics

Cyclists – Spawn of Satan or misunderstood?

24/09/2009 6 comments

London CyclistIt never ceases to amaze me the death wish that some cyclists seem to have. They weave in and out of traffic cutting up cars and wobbling around in the blind spots of lorries and buses. They then wonder why so many are injured. They go up one way streets the wrong way and cannot seem to understand why pedestrians get so annoyed at being run over by the maniacs. Worst is when they plow through red lights at pedestrian crossings with no thought for the safety of pedestrians. Now, if they want to endanger their own lives, that’s fine with me just as long as they don’t do it anywhere near anyone else.

Now though, there is talk of making cars strictly liable for any incident involving a bicycle and a car irrespective of who was actually to blame. This is a bad move. The only result will be higher premiums for motorists. How about getting cyclists to bear some responsibility for their actions and cough up if they scratch a car or run over a young mum struggling with the shopping and two kids while trying to avoid being mown down by a maniac on a bike?

I was under the impression that household insurance policies had a “Personal Liability” section which covered this sort of thing but I may be wrong. If not, maybe it’s about time that cyclists had to carry some form of insurance? Maybe they could be required to take a test of their proficiency before they endanger the rest of us.

I remember taking just such a test before I was allowed to cycle on the road my myself when I was a child. A classic example occurred to me a couple of years ago. I was in my car in the right hand lane at the lights on a busy crossroads so I could co straight on. There was a “No right turn” sign clearly visible but this pair of numbskulls moved in front of me before the lights changed, wobbled out into he middle of the junction with no arm signals or indication of what they were trying to do and just stopped. This is what happens when they don't watch where they are goingThe looked a bit confused for a bit as they clearly weren’t about to be let through by the oncoming traffic so they just sat there with a load of cars and buses trailing back down the road. No idea of what they were doing, no consideration for anyone else. When I pointed out that there was no right turn they glared at me.

There are sensible cyclists who obey the rules of the road, indicate their intentions clearly and are courteous to other road users but the idiots give them all a bad name. I’m all for cycling being made more popular – there are health benefits for sure – as long as they behave in a civilised way.

Categories: Politics

Lovebombing – whatever next?

24/09/2009 Comments off
Categories: Humour, Politics