Thursday, 10 May 2012

This Evening's Question Time Programme.

I'm currently watching BBC's Question Time programme. The abiding theme is do we have austerity or growth and how do we achieve either?

The real issue is the problem is much greater than those essential questions. The big question is one of control: who, once the course is plotted or the plan made, has the power to enact those plans and steer that course?

The answer is, in the UK, no-one has the power to do much of anything about the problems that are killing our country. You'd think our sovereign government in Parliament would have the power to solve the issues. But the problem is they don't: so much power has been given away to supra-national organisations that Parliament has all the power of a Town Council.

In order to control unemployment, we need to have control of immigration, in order to limit the influx of people from outside the country. That way we can have some idea of how large the population will be and plan accordingly. Those plans fall apart when we have uncontrolled immigration adding a huge influx of people  into the job market.

But of course we don't have control of immigration, the EU does. We can't stop immigration from other EU countries, so its impossible to prepare and plan for the future.

You'd think our sovereign government would have control over fiscal measures, but no, the EU is increasingly making grabs for power in this area too. During the worst economic period of the last century, the EU Commission actually demanded increased contributions from member states. No state can contest these increased demands and so we have to pay up despite being on our uppers.

Now we have the spectre of increased fiscal control from the EU, with the EU Commission moving towards having the power to control the budgets of member states.

There are other areas of competence that have been surrendered to outside control, making it virtually impossible to control what happens within our borders.

Without our hands on the levers to control huge swathes of our country's legislation means we are truely out of control.

Recovery is virtually impossible until we can control our own destiny. Relying on others (i.e. the Eurozone) to drag themselves up as well is not a proactive strategy. You don't win a 3-legged race by tying yourself to a corpse.

There is an air of self-delusion about all of this.

The EU political elite is deluding itself that it is benefiting the EU member states with its governance.

The UK political elite is deluding itself that it is still in power and can do anything about our current problems.

We are deluding ourselves that we can trust the other two groups to sort it all out for us.

Its about time we started making our own decisions to benefit ourselves, our children and our country.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A U-Turn on a U-Turn: The Full Circuitous Cycle of MOD waste

The Government has U-Turned on a previous U-Turn decision to pull out of buying the STOVL Version of the F-35 JSF, with millions of taxpayer's pounds being thrown away for no gain.

They had previously decided to drop the STOVL version and go for the Cat- & Trap equipped version, alongside modifying the new QE Class carriers to carry Catapults and arrestor gear.

I've blogged about the operational difficulties of having two dissimilar-equipped carriers, but this decision is wrong, mainly because it rules out the maximum interoperability with other navies. Sure, the F-35 can work off our carriers and any Navy equipped with VSTOL or STOVL aircraft can also work off our carriers, but more capable catapult aircraft such as the F-18 will be unable to.

Being locked into the VSTOL/STOVL operational concept means that all our naval air assets have to comform to the platform type. Including, as I've said before the Airborne Early Warning assets on board the carriers. Cue that massively over-complex and expensive to buy and maintain V-22 based AEW platform (love the program name for the radar/sensor package of TOSS) currently being mooted. We could go for a Merlin-based AEW platform, but the flaws with the airframes of boih these aircraft are well known.

The other fly in the AEW ointment is the limited operational envelope of rotary aircraft, especially the lack of cabin pressurisation and limited ceiling. An AEW asset really needs altitude to see further over the horizon and see threats further away.

It seems that we're taking the worst of all options and hobbling our future Naval Air assets for decades to come, when cheaper and more capable platforms could be had instead.

All that needed to happen was for our government to have a bit of gumption, some foresight and the tenacity to stick with a plan that would have delivered the possibility to operate world-class naval air assets.

Instead I assume the RAF, feeling "well jel" got the rug pulled from under them.

So much for our defence departments working together for the security of the nation. Instead we get departmental back-biting and infighting, attempting to preserve old rivalries.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Crazy Idea that Dinosaurs Produced Global Warming

You know people are clutching at straws to push the warmist meme when something like this appears in the news.

Some guys associated with a University (note the lack of any academic qualification noted in the article) decided so see how much methane dinosaurs (giant lizards) produced by scaling up the output from cows (big mammals). Actually I'm being a bit harsh: the guy is called Dr Wilkinson, but there's no mention of what his doctorate is in. Spurious claims at a guess.

I'd like to unscientifically point out that there are significant differences between the two, like for instance they're completely different species, with different metabolic rates and digestive tracts. So really you can't compare the two pound for pound.

Again we have some unscientific conjecture given a patina of science, by associating it with an academic body and some bloke with an unspecified doctorate trying desperately to prove that a "greenhouse" gas is the cause of global warming.

At least this time they're blaming it on methane and not CO2 I suppose.