Monday, 7 July 2014

I'm Offski.... Taters!

Well, the time has come to stop blogging.

I've been thinking about it and really, there isn't much to say any more: politics has gone past parody into the realms of the unbelievable. The wheels keep turning, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The welfare state swells with an ever growing swath of victims, such that one day there will be a cry to eradicate them and no one will shed a tear. Parasites come in many forms and history says they are denormalised so they can be cleansed, socially, ethnically, religiously, racially. Social cleansing is now acceptable, how long before the others? And as we know, mission creep means the first victims won't be the only ones. History tells us that the dehumanisation of humans is always the prelude to vast horrors. Its what us humans do, time and time again. We lose our humanity and regress to the animal ape hidden under the human mask. As a society we lost our humanity decades ago. Just Google the Liverpool pathway and really, really understand what it means to be subjected to it. Its been policy for years.

I've seen the dark clouds forming, political conniving, corruption, the death of actual democracy, the battle for control of any form of independent media and now a convenient crisis has shown itself to be a vehicle for suppression of political independence. Its only taken 15 years. The witch hunt begins.

I have my escape plan ready, you'd better have yours. When the shit hits the fan and you can no longer do and think freely it'll be too late for you.

This will be my last post and the site will be left to itself. I'm sure in the near future this site and especially these last comments will be labelled seditious and illegal.

Adios and farewell.

Before I go, just ask yourself these questions:

Just who keeps pushing the "right to die" agenda? Where is the money coming from to fund the high cost legal cases and why to we keep having case after case when the first "No" should have been enough? What happens when the judges become weary and say "Okay, go on then"; what happens after that first crucial step over the precipice?

Why is the media starting to portray the vulnerable and impoverished as some prime time inhuman joke?

Why is the independence of the media under such constant attack? Why have people gone to jail for what is in essence poor judgement? Why have some been jailed and some let off scott free?

Why has the Saville case been wrung out and spun to such a huge extent? Why has the hysteria been kept artificially high? Has the frenzy been whipped up so artificially high its now so big a story that people will overlook bias now that sexual impropriety has arrived at the door of politics? How long before someone entering politics has to be approved by someone other than the public?

I see between the pages, I see behind the screen, I see behind the curtain, What we're not supposed to see.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Blind Panic on all side over "Trojan Horse" Schools.

It was interesting to hear the radio debates on all sides of the so called trojan horse scandal schools.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about it.

What seems to be clear is there have been moves at the schools to target staff members and make them uncomfortable enough to leave. Whether that's down to them being useless or something more sinister, its hard to say.

Forget for a moment that non-Muslim pupils seem to have been badly catered for at the school, which on its own should indicate poor management and be a reason for major changes.

The fact that someone with recognised extremist views was allowed to talk at one school does set alarm bells ringing. Now the school's supporters can shout until they are blue in the face that the speaker didn't speak on an extremist topic, but the mere fact that he was allowed to speak at the school at all shows there is systemic failure to grasp what that says about the schools and the regime there. There would be a huge outcry if a far right extremist Neo-Nazi was able to address pupils at a school, so now the shoe is on the other foot what's the difference?

There were a number of interviews with "moderate" muslims saying that extremist viewpoints wouldn't be tolerated and that it was a travesty that the schools should be investigated in this way... yadd yadda, the same old apologists saying there's nothing to see, move along.. But they have only themselves to blame. If "moderate" muslims don't like the interference, then they should police their own religion. If they don't, then by association we must all assume that they agree with extremist views. Otherwise the statements saying they don't hold with such views are just hollow.

I'm glad that the schools will be put under special measures. Hopefully they can be turned around and cleansed of any radicalism.

In the long term, moderate muslims in the UK need to start walking the walk as well as talking the talk. They need to claim back their religion from the ideological zealots and prove by deeds and not words that they do not hold to extremist views. I don't care if an Imam from Pakistan has a very good reputation. If he's asked to speak on any subject in the UK, it should be a viewpoint compatible with UK society. He should not be preaching extremist, mysogenistic and hateful viewpoints.

And before anyone pulls the free speech card, lets look at how everyone else has had to curtail their own free speech. Decades ago it was ok to be racist, to use the "N" word and others. Its no longer acceptable and rightly so. We've done our part in making the country more tolerant.

Muslims in the UK should start to make similar changes in their attitude and their religion too to reinforce the moderate message.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Interesting Moment during This Week's Question Time.

There was a fleeting moment during this weeks BBC "Question Time". If you didn't understand the Labour party's disconnect with the voting public, you'd have missed it. But it is important to analyse it.

On the panel there was Labour MP Margaret Curran.

During the debate, there was an Afro-Carribean guy, who made some salient points. As an obvious immigrant, he stated he'd voted UKIP because of the problems caused by mass immigration. He hit the nail on the head by shooting David Willetts down, correctly saying the government could only affect immigration from outside the UK.

However, Margaret Curran butted in, changing the subject, first praising a lady who was obviously a Labour supporter who had spoken previously, and then going on to push the meme that UKIP is racist. Then she went on to divert the conversation away from immigration and started to go on about housing. As if Labour could control that.

Because she couldn't attack the guy that had spoken because an immigrant voting for UKIP (and willing to vote UKIP again) doesn't actually compute in the Labour psyche, she had to divert the debate and quickly.

This is a prime example of where Labour and it's dogmatic thinking and processes are so far removed from everyday life and normal, rational ways of thinking.

Here was an immigrant, voting for a party that wants to control immigration. Why? Well, I can bet part of it is because if we have an uncontrolled influx of immigrants pretty soon ALL immigrants will become persona non grata. He's looking out for his own safety. He most also have practical experience of what its like at the bottom of the job food chain, where there are thousands of applicants for each job. Swelling those numbers just means there are hundreds more applying for those same jobs. Labour's promise of full employment is a bit pie-in-the-sky, unless they're able and willing to employ everyone in Europe. Because that's what an open door immigration policy indirectly implies.

Immigration has to be the purview of the government. How can a government plan housing, jobs, infrastructure, the NHS, schools and all the other things if it can't control how many people use those services?

It could build enough houses to lower house prices and rents and reduce waiting times for social housing. But if a million or more new people arrive in the country, then that's a million more people that need housing, have kids that go to school, that take up jobs, etc. The governmental planning goes out of the window.

I've always said that if the EU wants open borders regarding immigration, then countries such as ourselves where those immigrants end up, should be compensated financially by the EU for each and every immigrant that arrives. They should be paying grants to the government for schools, hospitals, public transport, housing and everything else. The cost should be shared across the other members of the EU and it should not be borne by our government alone.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

UKIP Voting: More than a Protest.

Its pretty clear that the UKIP landslide in recent elections proves that the main three parties are completely disconnected from the wishes of the voting public.

Its been interesting to listen to the various party leader's responses.

First is the Prime Minister, David Cameron. His response is summarised as "We've promised an referendum on Europe and if you're all good and vote for me, you'll eventually get it as long as we have enough time to bombard you with enough pro-Europe propaganda that we sway you all into voting to stay in Europe. I'd wager he's secretly hoping that promising a referendum years in the future will harness the current zeitgeist.
All it may do is start a feeding frenzy in the Conservative party where it starts to devour itself, just like it did when it dethroned Maggie Thatcher and installed John Major.

David Ed Millband's response totally ignored the sentiment of everyone in the country and kept stating it was a protest vote and in a staggering display of arrogance assumed it would all be alright during the general election and all the voters that deserted them last week will come back to the fold. Never have I seen such a level of complacency and such a patronising tone. Its clear that no-one in the Labour NEC actually understands what is going on in the country and why people are voting the way they are voting.

Nick Clegg didn't have to say anything: he looked a broken man. Their losses in the local and European elections can only be described as catastrophic. Plainly and simply he looked as though every Liberal MEP that had lost their seat had phoned him and personally held him responsible for it. And then every local constituency chair must have had a go. He has the look of a man who has seen the future of the Liberals, and its without him at the helm. He's the leader of what is supposed to be the third biggest party in the country. He had the balls to take on Farage and lost spectacularly. He's the archetypal career politician and people hate and despise him for it. David Cameron comes across with the same coefficient of smarm, but whereas Conservative voters will vote for any old dog labelled Conservative, liberal voters aren't so loyal. Most Liberal voters are relatively new to it and can happily swap votes and not feel guilty.

Nick Farage meanwhile, has the look of a Cheshire cat. It will be interesting to see if this UKIP bubble will continue to expand into putting MPs in Parliament. Given the current huge upswell of support for UKIP, its conceivable there will be some form of UKIP representation in Westminster soon. What Nick Farage does once the doors open to UK parliamentary seats is anyone's guess. Will he stay in the European Parliament, or will he aim for Westminster?

One of the key facets of the responses of the main parties is they plainly don't understand what has happened. They see the UKIP vote as inconsequential. But they do this at their peril. From talking with people, there is a firm feeling of resonance, that UKIP says the things that people are feeling and experiencing in the country. It may be that UKIP are a one-trick pony, but that's a spectacularly important trick for the majority of UK people.

The voting has been interesting. In the South UKIP has gained at the expense of Liberals and Conservatives. In the North, UKIP have gained at the expense of Liberals and Labour. People have been disgruntled enough to vote against the main party in their area and voted UKIP. Its a hugely significant event.

Between now and the general election will be very interesting. With UKIP stealing votes from all the major parties its had the effect of diminishing the gap between Labour and the Conservatives.If the same pattern of voting occurs in the general election things will be very popcorn-worthy.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

UKIP: Smelling a Rat?

Nigel Farage seems to be leading a rather charmed life recently. He's shrugged off various gaffes, rumours of affairs and now the fact he employs his German wife as a secretary.

He did OK in the debate with Nick Clegg, but failed to nail home the point that the EU as an institution is expensive, unnecessary, devisive, dangerous and empire-building.

So why is he so feigned by the media?

I'm beginning to get the sense that UKIP and Farage in particular are a false-flag operation. They are a flagpole for true Eurosceptics to nail their mast to, with it pre-planned that they will fail epically to once and for all nail the Eurosceptic coffin lid shut.

I mean, not once have Farage or UKIP given any clear plan as to how they would extricate us from Europe. It all seems a bit vague, unplanned and I guess deliberately so, so that Farage or anyone in UKIP can't be pinned down to give a coherent answer.

Okay, I concede that they could possibly field a large proportion of UK MEPs after the next Euro-election, but then what? Instead of Farage making witty remarks and taking the piss out of Van Rumpoy on his own, are we going to get a dozen wise-cracking MEPs? Well that was probably fine while it was Farage on his own: expectations are low because what can he do against all those other big bad MEPs voting in all those big bad Euro-laws?

But with a larger number of UKIP MEPs, the expectation of the UK public will be that UKIP will deliver something. But what will that something be? Once we've paid UKIP with our votes, what do we get back in return? What's the plan Nige??

Given that there are 20-odd other countries represented in the EU Parliament, how will UKIP garner the correct amount of support for its anti-EU policies. There is currently a groundswell of anti-EU sentiment across Europe, with nationalist parties getting increasing support in their representative countries. But will UKIP work with these parties? Can they work alongside nationalist parties without being tarred xenophobic, racist or Nazi-like?

I would really, really like to know more detail, before I put my X in the box labelled UKIP.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Testing the Water...

It seems the Ukrainian situation refuses to die down, with more Eastern states falling prey to armed groups taking control of government buildings.

It may well be that Russia is looking to mop up all of the Ukrainian states East of the Dneiper river. In fact I said this my to friends when Russian irregular forces started to do the same thing in Crimea.

The thing is, Crimea isn't directly linked to Russia: there is no land bridge. There is a long thin road down a peninnsula that almost gets to Crimea, but there is no bridge over the water. Therefore to cement the annexation of Crimea, Russia needs more Ukrainian land and everything East of the Dneiper is fair game as far as Russia is concerned. Why settle for a disembodied state when you can have much, much more?

However, there is a disconcerting element to this: what if Putin didn't stop at the Dneiper? What happens if he decides to annexe the whole of Ukraine? What possibly could our response be? We wouldn't go to war with Russia, as Ukraine isn't part of NATO. The U.N. wouldn't sanction any "Peacekeeping" action, because it will be vetoed by... Russia.

So there is a great risk of Ukraine being subsumed by Russia, with the West unable politically to have an answer. Mind you Europe must share a large slice of the blame if that happens: if you poke a Pitbull, don't be surprised if it turns and attacks the Poodle sat next to you. Europe provoked Russia all right, with not just talk of economic co-operation, but full integration and membership (economic and political) of the E.U. and (most provocatively) NATO.

Okay, I'm pretty certain that we wouldn't go to war with Russia over the Ukraine. But what if he didn't stop at Ukraine? What if he took back the old USSR states?

Would we go to war?

What about Poland, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia?

Would we go to war?

At what point would Russia provoke retaliation? Its clear to me that the actions in Ukraine are a sounding board for further action. Testing the water.... looking for weakness.

And weakness there is aplenty. Forget the political weakness in Europe, its a given that the political amateurs in the E.U. will be outflanked and outpaced by Putin. That's what you get when a committee of unelected, self-centred bureaucrats get in a position to run anything. They are not leaders, they are directionless yes-men, serving the political elite.

Weigh up the question: Would we go to War? Or lets re-word it: Could we go to War?

Its been a few decades now since the Iron Curtain fell and "freedom" flooded into Eastern Europe. Since then successive Governments have degraded our armed forces, to the point that we now can't wage war on our own against a band of goat-herders, let alone the might of Mother Russia.

We have a fleet of six, yes that's six modern destroyers. We have one tiny not-quite-an-aircraft carrier, with no aircraft to fly off its decks. We have a fleet of submarines that just about hold together, plagued with problems in peacetime, its unknown how they would stand up to the pressure of wartime operations.

Our Air Force operates aircraft designed by committees from the 70s and 80s. None of them offer any benefits of ultra-modern technology. Not one of them offers the technological advantage of the Spitfire did in today's world.

The army is equipped with Challenger 2 tanks, who are equipped with ammunition that is almost at its use-by date. After that, there is no-one making the ammunition any more. The tank can be equipped with updated smoothbore canons, but that's not a reality yet.

So, could we stop Putin if he decided not to stop at the Ukrainian border?

And ask yourself, how quickly would we have to resort to nuclear weapons compared to two or three decades ago, thanks to our degraded conventional forces? How dangerous is it to rely on the last resort?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Maria Miller HAD to Quit.

She had to quit, because she's a classic example of the gulf between those in Westminster and those outside.

Those of us outside know the seriousness with which stiffing our employer for tens of thousands of pounds in expenses will be taken. We know that most likely the Police will be involved and we also know the judge prosecuting the case will not let us walk free by paying back only 5 grand and  a 30 second apology.

We know we will be hung out to dry, as there are NO CIRCUMSTANCES where misappropriating  that amount of money will be in the slightest way tolerated. It doesn't matter whether its £45K or £85k (news reports quote both figures and anywhere in between). We know we're going down if caught.

So for the public, the employers of those MPs to see the workers collectively band together and say that she only had to pay back 5 grand and issue a wishy-washy, sort-of apology, its really a monumental slap in the face. MPs don't understand that at all, thanks to the in-bred, elitist, self-centred attitude of those within the walls of Westminster.

Untill MPs understand that there is one rule for us all, that they are not a "special case", that even inside the walls of Westminster they are still the public, until they understand the concepts of parity in law and probity in their actions, then the press will continue to expose them and the public will continue to be anti-political.

I only wish the public would realise this will not end until they vote to end the party political system. I wish they would vote for their local independent candidate in any forthcoming elections. Party politics have hijacked the Westminster machine and made it work for "them", rather than us.

It. Needs. To. End. Soon!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Thoughts on the Nick Clegg Vs Nigel Farage Debate this evening.

I was interested this evening to see Nick Clegg basically badmouthing the EU, in an attempt to prop up the status quo.

He lied about the amount of  EU legislation implemented in the UK, using the weasel-wordy qualification "Primary" Legislation in order to reduce the amount of EU-derived legislation to 7 percent. I'm afraid Farage failed sucessfully to pull him up on that specific qualification as the mark of a career politician.

The same goes for Nick Clegg's insistence that to want to exit the EU is an old-fashioned stance. The EU was derived as a concept in the 1930's, before he U.N, before the G20, before all of the modern trade bodies came into being.

The EU isn't the be all and end all on trade agreements.

All Nigel Farage had to do to show how out of date the EU is, is hold up a mobile phone. Why does it work seamlessly in every country you visit? Why does its charger work in multiple countries? Who ratifies the standard for the USB connector that you connect to your PC with?

The ultimate global authority on standards is the United Nations. Their standards are then adopted and implemented by regional bodies (The EU) which are then implemented and adopted locally by member states.

This is why when you buy a device with a USB port in the USA, it works with a device bought in China, or the EU. Its why when you buy a phone in Europe, it works in the USA or China or India. There is no "European" USB, or "American" USB, or cellular telephone standards.

If mains electricity had been invented and adopted within the current regulatory framework we'd have global standards for voltage and the type of socket you use.

The EU as a concept is out of date, 1930s philosophy born out of the 1914-18 conflict, that was strengthened during the second world war that something had to be done to unify Europe, when the question was already being answered.

Ditching the EU removes a swathe of expensive, unnecessary legislature that in the modern age does a job that is already being done. The global trade links forged by the major trading nations of the G20 and promulgated by the global legislature and regulatory framework set by the United Nations does the job already. It is a modernist, cost-effective, policy.

Once the curtain has been pulled back of the Wizard-of-Oz-esque flim-flam that is the European Project, it will collapse. No-one in UK politics wants this, because the EU is a convenient scapegoat for all our ills. Politicians can take credit for good policies themselves, while blaming the EU for bad ones, or using it to deflect criticism.

Lets abolish it and let our politicians stand on their own two feet and be responsible for their own actions.


This is the positive message that Nigel Farage needs to start promoting to push past the image that he is "old guard" and wanting to return to an England of Empire, Closed borders and as Nick Clegg put it "a return to the Gold Standard".
In fact Nick Clegg looks like the one wanting to hold onto the past, and promote the status quo.

For more on this look up the ITU, the IEC, the ISO, most if not all of whom seem to be located in Switzerland.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Dark Times Ahead.

Not sure why, but I get the feeling that the world is going to get really interesting soon. Something is afoot and I'm not sure what part all the pieces play.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Terrorists in Ukraine

Its funny: all the supposed "Russian" soldiers that have annexed the Crimea are wearing full battle dress but no insignia. Therefore they belong to no recognised regiment which means they can be deemed armed insurgents or terrorists.

Its about time Ukraine treated them as such.

Russia says they are "self-defence" forces. Well the Ukraine forces are the only legitimate forces that can defend Ukrainian soil.

Lets see how the armed insurgents respond to a tank or two coming at them.

Play 'em at their own game I say. If the "soldiers" are Russian, let the Russians declare it and make their intent clear. If they're nothing to do with Russia then the Ukrainian forces should deal with the, Russia can't have it both ways.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Tanks on Wednesday?

So the new polititical reality dawned in Ukraine at the exact same time the Russian leadership were distracted, enjoying a Vodka or two wrapping up the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Now the chill wind is blowing from the East in that Russia is seeing more and more of it's buffer zone turn Westwards. Not to mention a huge swathe of endless flat land. Perfect for the tank battles of WW2 and prime for agricultural development today.

There is a limit to how far we can push and Putin isn't the sort of person you piss off. He won't be taking this lying down. Ukraine is an important strategic ally for Russian, as is Georgia. The EU may find it harder to flip the Ukraine than the less important countries like the Baltic and Balkan states.

So, Sunday Ukraine turns Westward, today we get Russian posturing and in the background military mobilisation. Tuesday forces move up to the border and Wednesday the Pro-Russian provinces in Eastern Ukraine open the border to Russian "peace-keepers".

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Ukraine: Like a Moth to a Flame.

I pity the people of Ukraine: They currently have a choice. But instead of doing their own thing, being independent, they're running headlong towards an autocratic regime, the only difference is which point of the compass they prefer.

Maybe after decades of being part of the USSR its wired into their psyche.

But if they join Russia, they're hostage to a regime that they haven't elected.

If they join the EU, its exactly the same.

The only differences is which particular faction of politicians get rich.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Flood Fiasco Shines Spotlight on Political Failings.

Well it seems that more and more people are sharing my viewpoint that the Environment Agency's agenda of protecting wildlife at the expense of buildings and people needs to change.

Still no spotlight on the amount of influence that EU directives have had on the way the Environment Agency work, but then no-one in the media has the balls to pull up the curtain and look behind the facade of Westminster politics.

Chris Smith is most certainly doomed and won't be in his job much longer. However I'm not sure his inevitable very public sacking will change anything other than the name of the man at the top. It's up to the people at the riverside to keep an eye on any work being done or not being done and to hold those at the top to account. If things don't change, don't vote the same MP back into Parliament, vote an independent in on a flood-busting agenda. If the flood-stricken areas all started to do exactly that, maybe the staus quo at the Environment Agency will change. Vote for the same old same old and blame yourselves if nothing is done. Simple as that.

As I predicted many management platitudes have been thrown at the flooding problem, starting with the pretty ubiquitous "lessons will be learned" although David Cameron went up a notch with  the management-speak nuclear option of "Money no Object".

Politically the dial has been turned up to 11 in an effort to placate the plebs with a photo-op of Prince or two mucking in with the military. Very Blitz spirited.

Yes finally the military have started to be deployed in moderate numbers, probably about a week or two too late. I hasten to point out they weren't deployed until the Thames Valley started flooding, but you just know that things didn't look politically precarious until the affluent Thames-side residents of Oxon, Berks and Bucks started to get their feet wet at which point things had to be ramped up to that level 11.

Here on the coast things have been wild but luckily where I am there is no huge river to swell and flood. We're cut off from the mainland by a large system of hills, which no river can get through. Here we just have to contend with the sea trying to move the beach inland and flying salt spray settling on the cars up to a mile inland and rusting them to buggery.

Friday, 7 February 2014

More Flood Misery Exposes Enviroment Agency Agenda

Thanks to amounts of rain you only see every 50 years or so, we have massive floods in the South and South-West.

Cue much gnashing and wailing as to why this not particularly unique weather event has caused so much devastation.

The people on the Somerset levels expressed an opinion that the lack of dredging in their respective rivers was the cause and they may be right. But I mean, they sound surprised and angry. But they shouldn't be, as the Environment Agency's agenda is hinted at in their title. They serve the Environment, not the people.

They would rather save voles than save houses. A look at their website shows a great deal of emphasis on The environment, climate change, recreation and if you look at the business side, a lot on licences (revenue generation) and pollution control. But next to nothing on the day-to-day work that the Agency does to maintain the water courses under their care. Priorities eh?

There's a great emphasis on management, in preference to action. In management speak that to me says "we take a suck it and see attitude to flooding. If we can get away with spending as little money as possible and getting green points by saying we're saving voles then we will do. But if we get caught out we'll throw a lot of management platitudes at the problem and hope that the government is embarrassed enough to give us a bigger executive pay award next year".

For instance its a lot less controversial to say we're not dredging to preserve wildlife habitat  than saying "we can't dredge because our executive wage bill has soaked up all the funds", its a lot easier to say save the vole than to say the MD needs a new Jag and a top up on his pension pot.

In the meantime those of us that pay for the Environment Agency; the taxpayer, has to suffer with flooded homes and by default bigger insurance bills.

Another point on the floods is that if they were in any other country, the government would be pledging billions in aid. Notice how hard its been to drag the millions that the government has half-heartedly pledged to flood victims. Just how much of that I wonder will go to the vole-saving Environment agency and how much will end up in expanding executive pension pots?

There's a very obvious lack of detail when it comes to where the money is coming from and where exactly its being spent.

The depressing thing is that I doubt that any more than just a fraction of the money will trickle down to compensate the poor flooded home owner or go to protecting them from future flooding, if any of it at all.

Its all very sad, as we used to be a nation proud of our ability to do public works.

Finally, in years gone by the military would have been mobilised before now to shore up the manpower needed to protect life and property, all documented in a black and white newsreel with a plummy voiceover. I just wonder why troops haven't been mobilised this time. Is the Army so overstretched it can't supply the troops to help out?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Who the Fuck is Michael Fallon?

Its been announced today that Michael Fallon is now the Minister for Portsmouth.

Obviously living in the area and working in Portsmouth (not at the dockyard I might add) as well as having links to the yachting fraternity I'm a bit concerned at his appointment.

He seem s to be put into "difficult" political situations in order to calm stormy waters and keep a lid on unpalatable political policies. His previous appointment being at that hot potato, Royal Mail.

So what can we expect from him? Well, I'm pretty sure a bit of political stalling first of all, while the Scots vote on independence.  Once they have made a decision, then the future of Portsmouth will be set.

If the Scots vote to go independent, then Navy shipbuilding will come back to Portsmouth as the only facility able to produce large ships. I expect the politicians to put on a good show, but nothing will happen until the vote. If they did move to close Portsmouth down prematurely, we will have no warship building capability in what's left of the UK and future builds will have to go out to tender across the EU as per EU regulations. I expect no-one in government wants the embarrassment of getting get ships built outside the UK.

Of course while the stalling goes on, ship workers will move away and get jobs elsewhere. The money promised to Portsmouth may go towards creating non-jobs to hold people here or help with the increased benefits bill in order to temporarily hold people in the area.

If the Scots vote to stay in the UK, then Portsmouth is doomed. Strategically important Naval military jobs will be traded for jobs in the retail or hospitality sector.

Michael Fallon is especially well placed for the second option with his links to the city. I'm sure he will be able to guide developers to chose the best pickings for waterfront housing and retail developments. That's where Portsmouth harbour is bound: yet another set of apartment complexes for the privileged few around marinas housing their plastic gin palaces.

Of course all this development threatens the existing status quo for the skint sailor. Harbour fees and changes in policy will push out the small sailor from areas where currently he is welcome.

Its happened in countless cities where such "regeneration" has occurred. Time and time again blue collar jobs have been swept away and replaced by low-paid, low-skill jobs and the areas that supported the blue-collar leisure industry are swept away and fanciefied leaving higher prices in order to cover the cost of the fanciefying, only affordable by the middle-class.

And so the "have" and the "have not" gap increases.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A "Scandal" That Links Between Climate Change and Floods Isn't Researched?

I don't think so.

This BBC report asserts that Professor Myles Allen from Oxford University says that more should be done to pay him to generate bunkum computer programs which he admits can't assess all the variables, to link climate change to flooding.

Basically, yes, he wants us to pay him money to link flooding to climate change. The admission is there and he'll work damn hard to prove there is a link because he's already pre-empted the results of any research he may undertake.

To me, its a scandal that any money will go to into researching computer models that bear no resemblance to reality and will just reinforce a meme, rather than actually being put directly into improving flood defences where we can be sure that every pound spent will be preventing flooding..

The real reason that so many people are affected by floods that in the past would have hardly been reported by the news, is the building of new housing on flood plains, the lack of maintenance of waterways and the abandonment of common sense by any and all levels of Government.  Well, that and the way news has developed since it became a 24 hour service to dramatise and over hype any phenomenon and portray people as hapless victims, just to try and keep people riveted to their seats for yet another 15 minute segment.

If you look at old properties built in areas likely to flood in the past, you'll see half a dozen steps going up to the front door and an understanding that the living accommodation has to be raised to reduce the risk. I've seen houses built many decades ago near a local harbour that are on stilts to avoid being flooded. Both examples involved common-sense approaches to dealing with living at the waterside. You don't build typical developers shoeboxes at ground level and then moan and bitch that you're flooded. Blame the developers, blame the council for agreeing the plans, but don't blame climate change.

Don't get me started on how every time there's a little flood there are pictures of flooded mobile homes... They're deliberately sited on picturesque river banks which are lovely when the river is low, but ripe for flooding every now and then. If you want to put one of the things at the side of a river, put it on a bloody raft of polystyrene so it floats. To stop it floating away put some piles in and lash it to them. If you want to keep living in the thing, make sure the sewage pipe hinges so it stays connected as the thing rises on the flood. Use flexible fresh water pipes so they to can extend with the rising waters.

As an aside, how much money has the government publicly pledged to help the victims of recent UK floods? How many Millions do you think they would publicly pledge if the flooding was in some foreign country where they can go for a photo-opportunity patting some wide-eyed, fly-covered foreign child on the head once the dysentery and Typhoid have died down?