Posts Tagged 'Failure'

If UKIP was really serious about the EU…

This is another of those compare and contrast moments that so annoy UKIP supporters who read this blog, but which are covered here because UKIP ignoring such major issues annoys me so much.

The Times (£) is reporting that a proposed levy on financial transactions by the EU, which could wipe more than £3.6bn from the value of UK shares and bonds and is being challenged by the UK, looks set to be approved by the courts. This has huge implications for already low yielding pensions and investments for ordinary people.

You would think UKIP would be all over this, hammering away in the media, getting faces in front of cameras, churning out press releases, using their colourful website to demonstrate how the UK’s mythical ‘influence’ in the EU is just that, a myth, and lambasting this raid on finances that will disproportionately damage UK financial markets.

But in the media, nothing. On UKIP’s website, not a word.  Another golden opportunity to make a powerful case for turning our backs on the EU has been missed.

Just weeks from its biggest election test ever in the European Elections, the UKIP website’s very latest news is two days old and concerns UKIP’s party election broadcast – and UKIP being the only party to campaign for St George’s Day to be a public holiday.  There’s a priority for you.  Has everyone from the London ‘freak show‘ nicked off early and gone to the pub again?

Four days ago the party declared that the European parliamentary elections battle was now getting underway in earnest.  Yet presented with a huge EU related story, they are silent and the media instead hoovers up unchallenged comment from the pro-EU muppets and fiction retailers at Open Europe.

So what is UKIP doing?

Instead of fighting to get this country out of the EU, UKIP is down in the gutter fighting yet another wholly avoidable reputational battle because one of its candidates, a Zimbabwean no less, who starred in their election broadcast, was (yet again) not vetted properly and has been shown to hold some rather unpleasant views.

While it’s all very well for Farage to be angry and say this man ‘slipped through the net‘ there is something about the party he has moulded that sees it continually attracting oddballs and those with racist or intolerant views – and it is putting decent people off the party and the anti-EU cause.

The party is also fighting against mockery of its takeoff of British jobs for British workers in that poster campaign, as it transpires the actor posing as an unemployed British builder is actually an immigrant from Ireland.

These cock ups follow Lizzy the ordinary voter from Devon who will support UKIP, actually being Lizzy from London who is the party’s events manager and is now trying to stop explicit photos of herself engaged in sex acts being put into the public domain.

The only conclusion we can draw is that UKIP isn’t serious about getting us out of the EU.  It is only bothered about winning a different game, but even that is something it doesn’t prepare for and ends up losing.

Of course, the moans and aggressive retorts will flood the inbox and the odd comment will be left here in an attempt to criticise me for ‘undermining’ the ‘only game in town’.  But these are people who are ignoring the reality of how badly led and run the party is and how much damage it is doing to the anti-EU side.  UKIP speaks for barely one third of voters who say they want to leave the EU.  But it is seen as the anti-EU vehicle and these avoidable injuries are completely self inflicted.

UKIP’s long suffering decent supporters – there are many of them in the party trying to make it a viable, anti-EU entity – and those who want to see the UK freed from the EU, deserve better.

Farage the policy-free zone

Guest post by Richard North

Richard North of the EU Referendum blog, who has done so much to expose the EU’s involvement and responsibility for exacerbating the extent of the flooding in the Somerset Levels, shares his assessment of Nigel Farage’s failure to use recent media opportunities to shine even more light on the EU’s role – and those who are defending this political error:

There is a certain constancy to the “Nigel can do no wrong” brigade. Whatever he does, ex post facto, his little claque will leap to his defence, saying he’s done exactly the right thing.

There is no getting away from the premise here, though, that Farage has scored a massive own goal. The EU dimension of the floods has, on my blog, been the most popular post I have ever written, attracting a massive level of interest. Yet “our Nige” has chosen to play a derivative game, all but ignoring the EU dimension. The sight of an anti-EU party leader ignoring the EU sends its own message.

Further, the populist dimension of the Farage message also sends a message. While there can be no doubt that more money will help in this growing crisis, above all else for the longer term, there is a massive policy deficit. You can throw money at a problem but if the policy framework is not right, the spending will have little effect or even – as we are seeing – a perverse effect.

Thus, it is absolutely essential that the deficiencies in policy are identified and corrected, which provides a magnificent opportunity for a focused and sustained attack on the EU. Farage, however, has walked away from the open goal. UKIP, as always, is out to lunch.

Nigel’s defenders can now blather all they want. But once again, Farage has shown himself to be a policy-free zone, a lightweight who is good for the “man-in-pub” routine but not a serious politician.

Thanks for nothing, Farage and UKIP

In May this year, when UKIP had its ‘big’ electoral ‘breakthrough’ opinion polls asking people their views on the UK’s membership of the EU had 47% in favour of leaving, and 30% in favour of staying.

Despite Eurosceptic UKIP’s ‘surge’ the signs have been clear that the number in favour of staying in the EU would rise.  This is because of the concerted campaign that has been conducted by the Europhiles and their corporate sponsors to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about the impact on the UK of leaving the union.

This blog has not held back in accusing UKIP of failing the Eurosceptic side because it has utterly failed to use its prominent platform to even attempt to counter the flood of misinformation, lies, manipulated statistics being pumped out.  This isn’t a case of UKIP struggling to get attention for its rebuttals of the Europhile FUD, it has simply not devoted a single moment to rebutting the Europhile nonsense.  In return this blogger has been attacked by some UKIP supporters who refuse to accept any criticism of their party.  Time and again this blog has said that if there is no rebuttal by the prominent Eurosceptics to counter the lies, using evidence and facts, voters will start to believe the Europhile claims are true and increasingly – however reluctantly – opt to stick with the status quo.

This blog’s UKIP detractors and naysayers have rubbished this argument. Voters, they claim, do not want lots of detail in rebuttal of the Europhile lies.  UKIP’s simple ‘we want out’ message, they assert, is far more effective than explaining the truth.  No one is that interested, they say, in an argument that extolls the opportunities and benefits of the UK freeing itself of EU control.  This blog explained why these arguments are wrong, but to no avail.

So it is that a YouGov poll question, ‘If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?’ returned the following results:

Taken from PoliticalBetting.com

Richard has his own analysis of the findings over at EU Referendum.  He points out the trend that is emerging, this being the lowest margin of the year so far, dropping 17 points from the peak in 9-10 May when the “outers” stood at 47 percent and the “inners” took 30 percents. By August, the margin had dropped to 12 points and last month it stood at a mere five points.  While Richard points out the linkage between anti-EU sentiment and UKIP support is no longer clear-cut, for me the linkage between this decline in support for the ‘out’ campaign and UKIP’s silence in the face of Europhile FUD is clear.

It does not give me any pleasure.  There is no smug self satisfaction about this.  But it was so bloody obvious.  What it does is make me want to scream in frustration at those cult-like morons who blindly follow Farage regardless of any evident failings, both political and strategic, and adopt a tribal defence of UKIP even though it is clearly letting down the Eurosceptic side – even reducing the argument to things such as misdirections where they demand I compare how many Google returns there are for UKIP as opposed to The Harrogate Agenda, as if that refutes UKIP’s failure.

With only a small handful of blogs reaching out to their audience of readers in low five figures, getting the message across to voters is an almost impossible ask.  With UKIP having run  away from the fight, because Nigel Farage is frightened of the debate that needs to be had and won, it is clear that no political party is going to devote the kind of focus to this issue that a campaign requires.  A non-party political campaign is not now preferable, it has become essential.

For all its talk of a ‘surge’ in support, its boasts of thousands of new members added to its roll, and its predictions of a big result in the European elections in 2014, UKIP has done the sum total of nothing to push the positive reasons for leaving the EU and nothing to counter the flood of spin and deception that characterises the Europhile media blitz.  The Europhiles are in the ring throwing punches while UKIP is searching for the fastest car away from the venue.

My message tonight to Nigel Farage and his Praetorian Guard in UKIP, is short and sweet.  Thanks for nothing.

The self inflicted decline of UKIP

The blog post title on PoliticalBetting yesterday said it all…  ‘All the firms have UKIP in the same direction’.

Courtesy of PoliticalBetting.com

Courtesy of PoliticalBetting.com

One wonders if there is still time to get Farage out of the pub and talking to the issues.

The polling data is bad news not just for UKIP but also for the wider Eurosceptic community.  It suggest support for UKIP is drifting to the Conservatives, despite Cameron’s strongly pro-EU messaging, and the negative and dishonest picture he and the Tory outriders such as Roland Rudd, Open Europe and the CBI have painted about the future the UK could enjoy outside the EU.  In the absence of leadership the masses will turn to the loudest voice they hear.  Thanks to Farage’s warped priorities, the EUphiles are the only voices being heard.

This blog has been castigated by some in the Faragista cult for daring to criticise Farage and for saying that he represents the biggest threat to UKIP success because of his questionable past, his refusal to do detail and his fear of engaging in the important debate where the EUphile are using lies and misinformation to frighten people into thinking the Only Way is Brussels.  It is too soon to claim we have been vindicated, but it is certainly heading that way and we take no pleasure from it at all.

Despite a spurt in electoral support, Farage’s failure to challenge the fear, uncertainty and doubt spread by the Tory machine and its external allies, and his dumb mute act on the substantive issues about how the UK could leave the EU, enjoy political freedom and still prosper economically as part of the single market, is giving voters the impression that UKIP is all fur coat and no knickers.  People want to know how UKIP could get us out of the EU and Farage won’t commit to an answer and hammer it home time and again.  The lack of substance is being reflected in the opinion polls.

If Farage was doing his job instead of engaging in daft self promotional stunts, UKIP would not only be holding its new supporters, but adding to their number and strengthening the Eurosceptic cause.  This could be an opportunity lost for UKIP and the prospective ‘Out’ campaign.  Getting the support back after it has lost confidence will be harder than winning it the first time around.  Farage is possibly the best ally Cameron has.

Media bias and UKIP’s failure highlighted yet again


Another day and yet another example of how the the media distorts coverage of matters EU, while UKIP continues to act as if the cat has got its tongue by offering no Eurosceptic view on the subject in question.

Robert Watts, writing in the Telegraph, gives that pro-EU paper’s take on the burden British businesses experience as a result of EU regulations.  According to Watts, the details will be laid bare in a series of reports which will be published on Monday by the Foreign Secretary, Concrete Willy, beginning with a focus on how the EU affects UK taxation, health, overseas aid, foreign policy, animal welfare and food safety.

Watts goes on to tell readers that a further 26 reports will be published in coming months, ‘in a boost to the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservatives’.  Having made his reference to Eurosceptics, Watts runs off to get a Eurosceptic quote from… yes you guessed it, the Tory stooge EUphile ‘think tank’ Open Europe which, as the Telegraph intended, prattles on about the non-existent fantasy renegotiation where the UK can supposedly secure more flexible membership terms from the EU.

Where the main Eurosceptic force, UKIP, is supposed to be leading by rebutting the bullshit coming out of the Tory delusion department, instead we get the Europlastics of pro-EU Open Europe taking a break from acting as official minder to Andrea Leadsom (wherever she speaks about EU matters, Open Europe are at her side keeping her on message) in order to blaze a trail for the Tory line, being the only supposed Eurosceptic voice that readers hear – and in the absence of any challenge, those readers assume what they hear to be accurate and well informed.

The problem is not only that UKIP isn’t establishing itself ‘go to’ organisation for Eurosceptic commentary in the mainstream media, it is that UKIP isn’t even talking about this issue on its own website.  How can potential supporters take UKIP seriously when it is voluntarily absents itself from engaging on core issues concerning the negative aspects of EU membership, just as the subject gets serious media profile?

When it comes to boosting Nigel Farage’s personal profile, no column inches or photo opportunities are spared.  But when discussion turns to subjects that are supposed to be at the heart of the very reason for UKIP’s being, the party goes AWOL.  This isn’t a one off, this is part of a consistent pattern.  The only logical explanation is that Farage deliberately refuses to engage on these topics because he doesn’t understand them himself.  He determination to not do detail means he doesn’t have anything of value to add and he is scared of being bested in an argument as a result.

This is just the latest in a long line of examples of both the public and the UKIP membership being ill served, by the press and the UKIP leader respectively.  In such circumstances how can we Eurosceptics possibly hope to win any prospective EU in-out referendum?  The media is ‘in the tank’ for the EUphiles and the sole Eurosceptic political party is asleep at the wheel as its leader plays ‘look at me’.  The media is serving its own interests and Farage relies upon his cult to lash out at any criticism of his ineptitude.  With this seemingly unresolvable issue, we can be excused for asking ourselves why we bother.

Thoughts from outside the NHS bubble

From time to time the blogosphere has the ability to restore one’s faith in the capacity of social media to provide contributions of immense value.  One such contribution can be found on Cranmer’s website today, written by Rev’d Dr Peter Mullen.

It is a piece that speaks truth to sentimental delusion.

This blog rarely ventures onto the subject of the NHS.  My personal experience of the health service’s impacts on my family and friends is far more negative than positive and as Rev Mullen points out in his piece, the NHS has the same status in Britain as that of a cow among Hindu devotees.

The NHS cannot be criticised in any way without a legion of those devotees hurling bile filled invective at the person offering the criticism.  Never mind that among other failings, the poor and declining standard of care in the NHS resulted in the death of my mother, came within a whisker of ending the life of my wife moments after she gave birth to our precious son, and made the final days of her step-father’s life undignified and needlessly painful.

I have done battle with the Nursing Directors, Consultants and Managers, each of whom attempted to defend clear failings to the point of saying black was white, all because their primary concern was worry about a possible legal case for compensation, rather than a desire to correct the problems at source.  As I found, when all else fails and their argument has been comprehensively destroyed, the next things to be destroyed are the incriminating medical notes and ability to recall conversations held in front of witnesses.  All that could remain is blind faith in the NHS, which is why Rev’d Mullen’s description of the service as the National Health Church is so apt.

The NHS is not fit for purpose.  It is a bureaucratic behemoth, violently resistant to change, and imbued with and unwarranted self belief that is fuelled by those cheerleaders inside and outside it – many of whom have political motives for supporting what has been little more than a charnel house for tens of thousands of people in recent years, whose conditions would not and should not have resulted in death or long term suffering.

The people and businesses of this country are forking over £95.6 billion pounds of our money this year to fund the NHS in England – an organisation that has an unjustified sense of entitlement and expectation.  Entitlement to operate in its own interests rather than that of patients and expectation that people should not criticise it, because it comprises, as Rev’d Mullen so incisively observes, those who are described as ‘angels…wonderful…caring…tireless…salt of the earth’.

There are still NHS staff who don’t feel the job of providing care and comfort and affording dignity to patients is beneath them.  There are still doctors and consultants who recognise their job role is trying to heal patients by treating them for their ailments, rather than constructing departmental fiefdoms and playing politics.  There are even managers who add value to the NHS by trying to administer the hospital effectively so patients get the care they need and the taxpayer gets value for money.  But there are too few of each of them in the ‘modern NHS’.

There are better options for the use of our money to achieve the better medical outcomes.  But all the while the political class, media and National Health Church faithful continue to prop up this broken socialised construct, we will all be stuck with it or be forced to pay more of our money to go private in order to get the standards of care and treatment the NHS is supposed to provide but all too often fails to deliver – with far too many casualties paying the ultimate price in this pseudo-religious war.

If you are not talking about the issues, people will drift off elsewhere

The UKIP bubble seems to be deflating.  That’s the impression we can take from a snapshot of YouGov surveys of voting intentions taken over the month of June.

Having started off the month getting support of between 13-16% and remaining consistently ahead of the Lib Dems, UKIP has now dropped back to 10% in the latest poll and fallen back behind the Lib Dems, with the four polls prior to that all showing a steady decline in support to arrive at this point.

From Mike Smithson's  (Political Betting) Twitter

From Mike Smithson’s (Political Betting) Twitter

The declining level of support correlates with Nigel Farage’s disingenuous comments over his Isle of Man based trust fund, and the all too common absence of any substantive comment or agenda setting from UKIP on the major issues that are catching the attention of likely voters.

UKIP can still be expected to do well in next year’s European elections because attention will be focussed on EU matters for a couple of weeks.  But if the party’s broader appeal is already waning after a proportion of voters used May’s county council elections to show their disdain for the main three parties, it suggests UKIP’s hopes of a breakthrough are just a pipe dream.

Leadership, of the paucity of it, is the main driver here.  It is all well and good for Nigel Farage to engage in vanity exercises in the media that pump up his personal profile – even if they make him look like a fool – but it is doing nothing to educate people or advance UKIP’s vision for a UK outside of the EU.  We can learn a great deal about the mindset of the upper echelon of the party when more time and effort goes into attempting to shut down discussion and debate rather than raising awareness of issues and provoking a conversation among voters that gets them talking about UKIP’s goals.  It seems personal agendas take priority in UKIP and ultimately, voters will not stand for that.

While not a popular view among a good number of this blog’s readers, the assertion that Farage is not helping UKIP move ahead but is a limiting factor, seems to already be starting to be borne out by the failure to capitalise on the recent increase in popularity.  The numbers were soft and those people needed to be given a reason to stay with UKIP.  But in the absence of a voice, they are already drifting away to find someone who is speaking.

Farage shows no sign of adjusting his behaviour or approach and UKIP will suffer for it.  The reality is that showing blind loyalty to the captain of the ship may be a jolly decent thing to do, but it doesn’t make any difference to the outcome if the ship is holed below the water line and sinking.  Ultimately the journey for that vessel is over.

We could be in the grip of a decade of wet summers say scientists at Met Office climate summit…

… reports the Daily Wail in the latest big global warming, climate change, extreme weather story.

This is yet another thing that was never predicted by those wonderful, high certainty, government policy-influencing computer models.  No doubt this warrants another round of fat bonuses at the Met Office this year!

Sure Ken, leaving this lot would really damage the UK

Leaving the EU would damage the UK according to EUphile fanatic, Ken Clarke.  Apparently, leaving the EU would result in fewer jobs and higher prices.

Well, it might if the EU was the same as the single market, but the two are very different beasts.  Clarke is demonstrating hubris born of him being wedded to the advent of a single political entity based in Brussels, with member states assimilated into one body politic and in control of nothing of consequence.  To realise his dream, Clarke is making deliberately deceitful and misleading threats such as the one above concerning trade.

But when it comes to letting the EU determine for us what trade agreements we sign up to and what conditions we have imposed on us, all is not as rosy as Clarke would have us imagine it to be.

News filtering out from Canada reveals that the trade agreement currently being negotiated between Ottawa and Brussels – the biggest deal for Canada since its agreement with the US – is in trouble.  Canada’s Globe and Mail explains that:

Canadian trade negotiators are running up against bureaucratic infighting among European Union officials, who are backing away from earlier commitments in talks for a Canada-EU trade deal – increasing the chances Stephen Harper will return home empty-handed after a week-long trip to the region.

One of the Canadian negotiators has gone on to reveal that:

The EU side seems increasingly incapable of getting its act together to close a deal.  The various competing directorates within the EU are fighting each other, which is leading to erratic moves such as backing away from earlier commitments – actions that are on the verge of bad faith. The EU has to demonstrate it’s serious about cutting a deal.

While the EU exhibits bad faith with the Canadians, the UK is powerless to hammer out a deal independently with the Canadians because we are not at that Top Table, so beloved of David Cameron, and do not have the right to agree anything outside the EU’s common position.  This is British influence in the EU laid bare.

It is against this backdrop that, according to Cameron, Clarke and the rest of the pro-EU incompetents, the UK would be harmed by extracting itself from the EU’s political structures.  Yeah, it will be really painful leaving behind a grouping that can’t get its act together on anything other than how to afford itself ever more control over us.

The real reason for the Met Office ‘extreme weather’ meeting

And the hype continues…  This is all part of the ongoing effort to create FUD in support of the political climate change agenda that services a lavish money train.  The Daily Wail is happy to play its part spreading the propaganda.

Have you noticed how until fairly recently weather forecasts just predicted the weather that was expected (to the usual mediocre standard).  But now it is a more common sight to see the weather forecaster standing in front of a split screen with the map on the left and large ‘weather warning’ triangles on the right.  But the weather warnings are seldom extreme events, they are the same kind of conditions we have long been used to on a sporadic basis, but now instead as simply being accepted as the varying nature of our weather they are presented in a way that deliberately suggests the conditions are somehow extreme, out of the ordinary and cause for concern.

I can think back to a May in the late 1980s where I was on my way to the coast and we had snow in southern England.  I can think of numerous occasions where heavy rain resulted in serious floods that covered playing local fields and football pitches.  Even ditches became small rivers and we kids built makeshift rafts to sail along them and try to sink each other.  I can think of several rotten summers where school holidays were characterised by rain, lack of sun and cooler than usual conditions that made a day jumping in the local river and larking about on the riverbank in our swimming trunks less than balmy.  What we are seeing now is not exceptional at all, and I doubt previous generations going back centuries would find them exceptional either.

The issue here is not that the weather has suddenly got very bad, it is that the weather is failing to conform with the Met Office’s predictions for a global warming thermaggedon.

The real reason for this hyped up meeting it that, having had to quietly and reluctantly dial down the rhetoric on ‘global warming’ in the face of observed events, the Met Office is seeking to reinforce its push of the ‘climate change’ narrative, where even conditions that run contrary to the Met Office’s previous predictions (not warmer, not drier, and not less snowy after all)  just happen to have the same human induced carbon root cause requiring the same politically driven taxpayer funded ‘solutions’.  There is nothing new under the sun here, apart for the desperate and cobbled together justifications for ‘action’ being presented to us.

Anyone being taken in by these hyperbolemongers deserves to be taken for fools.  The Met Office remains a poorly performing laughing stock devoted to hype in service of their and the government’s vested financial interests.

Does being a Common Purpose graduate mean never resigning for incompetence?

In the news today is Joanna Simons, the lavishly renumerated Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council, whose social services department comprehensively failed to help the young girls who were being systematically raped and pimped out by so called British Pakistanis around the south of England.

Despite the catalogue of failings Oxfordshire Social Services, and even one of the abused girls detailing on radio last night how social services had threatened her family not to make waves when they failed to act to safeguard the girls from the abuse, Joanna Simons refuses to accept responsibility and resign.

Being such a familiar pattern, I wondered if there was another similarity between La Simons and a number of other local authority trough plunderers who it transpired were members of the insiduous organisation, Common Purpose.

Well what do you know!  You could knock me down with a feather.  My flabber is well and truly ghasted.

The pattern continues.  Where there is a fat snout in a publicly funded trough, coupled with a catalogue of failure and incompetence, there is a Common Purpose marxist refusing to be accountable and resign.  Clearly taxpayers should ask for their money back – the leadership development Simons has been through at their expense doesn’t seem to have developed any leadership qualities at all.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of a straightforward victory

Unless voters can be reassured that withdrawal from the EU will not cause economic harm, they could very well opt to remain in the European Union.

That simple yet powerful sentence, written by Richard, is almost certainly the reason why YouGov’s latest opinion poll – reported in the Wail – is showing that voters who were in favour of securing this country’s independence are starting to to get nervous and thinking instead that staying in the EU is the only way of preserving our economic interests through access to the single market.

Most people don’t know the ins and outs, but the pro-EU campaign’s claims that exit from the EU would harm this country’s economy sounds plausible enough to warrant a change of heart.  And the fact of the matter is these plausible claims – which deliberately spin only a slanted and easily rebutted version of the story – are not being countered by the supposed ‘leaders’ of the loose collection of EUsceptic organisations.

You could be forgiven for expecting the counter arguments and details of a strategy to protect this country’s economic interests after exit from the EU would be front and centre on the UKIP website, but they seem to prefer to focus on other things and asking people to sign petitions, while the voters drift away:

This is the direct consequence of the absolute refusal of certain EUsceptics to consider any means of exit from the EU other than the ‘magic wand’ option – repealing the European Communities Act, thereby precipitating an abrogation of the EU Treaties with no alternatives in place. Farage and Co continue to play their fiddle while Rome burns our cash and helps decide the laws British people have to abide by.

This is why, despite the UKIP brickbats that inevitably come in my direction when I make this argument, I say that faith in Nigel Farage is completely misplaced. He will destroy our efforts.  Unless people understand and recognise this, we are heading for defeat.

The absence of strategy and detail, that reassures voters and businessmen alike that leaving the EU doesn’t mean giving up involvement in the single market, is giving the EUphiles the opportunity to swing the argument in their favour.  With the exception of a small band of bloggers trying to make a noise from the cheap seats, they have the stage to themselves.  It defies belief.

So it is that despite people citing a multitude of essential reasons for the UK getting out of the EU, for many of them the thought of losing the ability to sell our goods and services and the subsequent impact of that on jobs and the economy, outweighs the absence of democracy, self determination and the huge sums of money we are compelled to send to Brussels.  Against this backdrop we have the celebrated and high profile EUsceptics absolutely nowhere in the debate and on the verge of consigning the UK to membership of this rancid union for generations to come.

It would be easy to say I feel despair about all this but it’s not despair, it’s frustration and anger.

Oh the irony

So on the day we discover that English schoolchildren have slipped down the international league tables in primary Maths (10th from 6th) and Science (15th from 7th) we have teaching unions, councils and schools going to court to challenge a change in grade boundaries from June’s English GCSE exams.

Is it any wonder our educational standards are falling when teachers focus more on ‘inconsistencies’ and ‘lack of even-handedness’ affecting the number of youngsters achieving a grade C, rather than getting the kids up to grade A standard?

For too long teachers have coasted along relying on grade inflation to make it look as if performance in the classroom has improved. But the evidence shows that against our international competitors we are losing ground. Now the teachers and councils are so desperate to maintain the illusion they will even go to court to force over-lenient grading of papers so more kids achieve the benchmark C.

They may be kidding themselves, but worse they are betraying the children, whose interests they profess to have at heart. They are also failing the country which will continue to see jobs and opportunities lost to other nations where teaching and subsequent exam results are of a much higher standard.

UKIP’s folly

A sub-editor, responsible for finishing off a Janet Daley piece in the Barclay Brothers’ Beano about UKIP’s non-breakthrough, perhaps unwittingly spotlights the problem at the heart of UKIP’s ‘strategy’.

This big problem in this country is the establishment.  UKIP’s problem is its aspiration to be part of that establishment, to become members of that club.  The only difference between the current establishment members and UKIP is the level of disorganisation exhibited by that party, its lack of political nous and Farage’s failure to understand or recognise how to extract this country from the EU in a manner that safeguards British interests.

In many respects UKIP already acts like part of the establishment.  The core goal it claims to be pursuing consistently gives way to internal party intrigues.  But most importantly the message it articulates is one of negativity.  UKIP, like all the other parties, enjoins voters to support it for negative reasons (‘send a message to the other parties’, ‘send a message to the EU’, ‘we are not like the others’).

Psychologically people find it more appealing and much easier to support a vision that is unswervingly positive, hopeful and rewarding.  And when people are sick to the back teeth of the establishment, its stupid games and its climbers, as evidenced by the collapse in voter turnout in elections, they are not going to be excited by a supposed alternative that wants to ‘gatecrash’ that establishment.

Farage reject this, but the outcomes speak for themselves.  Like climate change, forget the models and the theories and instead focus on the real-world observations.

There are many good people with the right intentions who are part of UKIP or support it.  But even they need to take stock of the reality and ask themselves how, with every condition in their favour in a place like Rotherham – a majority of people wanting UK sovereignty, massive media coverage, an outrageous abuse of power where their immigration policy was grotesquely misrepresented, a former MP who thieved taxpayer money for his own ends among others – the party only received 4,648 votes from a possible 64,000 in the constituency.

Until they do and they take a different approach from the Farage crawl to also-ran status, the objectives those good people want to achieve will not be realised.

 

Wind power – missing when needed, harmful where produced

It’s another chilly day across the UK with temperatures not getting above 8C/46F.  Being a weekend the demand for power from business is reduced, however the demand for power from residential customers who are at home rather than work, is higher.

So what is wind power contributing to our energy mix right now?

3.3% of our energy generation is currently being satisfied by the thousands of wind turbines installed at huge cost and made feasible by billions of pounds of direct taxpayer subsidy and feed in tariffs that increase our energy bills.

The inescapable fact is when the wind doesn’t blow, the turbines produce no energy.  We could have 500,000 turbines across the country, scarring our landscape and decimating our disposable income, and our energy needs will not be satisifed unless the wind blows.  That’s why we pay even more money for conventional power stations to ‘back up’ wind power, which only the utterly deluded could ever consider to be capable of providing our baseload energy generation.

Added to this we now have a report in the Barclay Brother Beano by Andrew Gilligan of the first full peer-reviewed scientific study of the problem of wind farm noise causing “clear and significant” damage to people’s sleep and mental health.

The more that people look in detail at the flaws of wind power, the more ridiculous government (both EU and national) policy looks.  We are at the point when people must robustly question just why the political class is pursuing this direction, in spite of the rapidly growing body of evidence showing how wasteful, ineffective and damaging wind turbines are.  Elsewhere in the Beano, their diamond in the rough – Christopher Booker – believes the consensus on wind power is cracking.  But much as I respect Booker that is not an assessment I share.

There has to be a reason why the wind agenda has advanced this far; and as the public interest is clearly not being served (spiralling cost and negative health impacts) one can only conclude the interest of the political class is being put first.  Regardless of the comments of John Hayes, they are not going to give that up while they retain the ability to spend our money as they see fit. As Gilligan says in his article about the effects of wind farm noise, the EU will shortly begin work on a new directive which may impose a binding target for further renewable energy, mostly wind, on the UK, to be met by 2030.  It is inconceivable this would see a reduction in wind turbine proliferation or the staggering amounts of our money doled out by governments to opportunist subsidy farmers.

Those who should be servants are again treating those who are supposed to be masters with contempt, while picking their pockets.  In a democracy this could be stamped upon by people power.  But as more people are at last realising we don’t live in a democracy.

Met Office forecasting produces another epic failure

Regular readers will remember the intense period of blogging activity during the 2010/11 winter about the Met Office’s weather forecast failures and our work in exposing their fraudulent attempt to conceal the reality of their seasonal forecasting activity.

After handing the information and evidence on a plate to the Daily Mail and the Daily Express who then ignored the story – and being told by three MPs they would investigate the evidence but true to form did not keep their promise – this blog has largely left the Met Office alone.  It seemed pointless devoting time and effort pulling back the curtains to show the Met Office in its true light because the establishment has a vested interest in protecting the Met Office due to its high profile role and profitable role in the climate change industry.

But perhaps there is still some value in drawing attention to the rank failures of the Met Office in the hope more people ask questions about why the department gets its weather forecasting so wrong so often, and ask why its executives are lavishly rewarded each year with substantial performance related bonuses and are protected from scrutiny and criticism despite demonstrably false statements.  So it is we offer our thanks to Paul Homewood – writing on Watts Up With That? – who draws global attention to the Met Office’s seasonal forecast for UK for the period including April.

It is another epic failure by the Met Office characterised by a forecast of drier and forecast of warmer weather being more likely (as always, in line with their global warming orthodoxy and warming bias of their computer models) in the UK during April.  No doubt the Met Office will issue its now standard retort that people do not understand ‘probability’ and excuse that these forecasts must be used in conjunction with 30-day, 15-day and 1-to-5-day forecasts.

The observed reality makes a mockery of the Met Office precipitation and temperature forecasts once again.  This month just gone was the wettest April since records began in 1910, and the coldest since 1989, at some 0.65C below than the 1971-2000 average.

As always, there will be no investigation.  The media will happily mock the contrast between the drought in force in southern and central England, but will steer well clear of serving the public interest by focusing on why these forecasts are so badly wrong.  Attention will be diverted by all parties to other subjects, particularly efforts to fight climate change.  The performance bonuses will continue to flow to the Met Office’s executives as surely as night follows day.

It’s always helpful to connect the dots.  The Chairman of the Met Office is Robert Napier.  Not only is he a Non-Executive Director of Anglian Water, which has a drought order in place, he is also the former Chief Executive of WWF-UK, the UK arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature.  That is the same WWF exposed as being engaged in systematic fraud in the developing world and which supplies the International Panel on Climate Change with material to prop up the climate change industry.

Reality of wind folly dawns on the National Trust

According to the Chairman of the National Trust, Sir Simon Jenkins, ‘not a week goes by’ without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten the more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust. He is quoted in the Barclay Brother Beano, saying:

Broadly speaking the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy.

Jenkins has correctly identified wind power as the least efficient form of power generation.  Despite having previously supported all forms of renewables, the National Trust’s official position now caveats this heavily. The official position now is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and ‘with regard to the full range of environmental considerations’. Jenkins said:

We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.

Only the stuffed suits inside the Westminster bubble and those in the wind industry who stand to make a fortune from installing turbines, whether the wind blows or not and whether the energy contribution to the grid is negligible or not, remain doggedly in favour of this unreliable form of renewable power.  But that is all that’s required to push ahead with spending many more billions of pounds of our money on this folly.

As if to underline the level of reality disconnect among the political class, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, has already stated his position when he claimed wind power will ensure energy security as fossil fuels run out, cut carbon emissions and provide jobs.  Very much a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Wind power cannot provide energy security. Wind fluctuates, therefore the power generated from it fluctuates. That is not reliable and therefore it cannot help us secure our energy needs. Until the dogmatic lunatics in orbit around the Cameron Presidency base policy on fact instead of the spin emanating from the rent seeking wind power companies, this subversion of common sense will continue.

Wind energy generation – Our money at work

It is currently -5C (23F) at Mind Towers according to the weather station at the local airfield, and falling at a rate of 1.6C per hour.  The wind supposed to be coming from SSE, but is currently showing as 0.0 knots.

Be it directly through our tax pounds, or by proxy via the charges loaded on to our energy bills as part of the Renewables Obligation, the hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds poured into wind turbine subsidy and feed-in tariffs is delivering next to nothing to the energy supply, because the wind is next to nothing – barely 4% of the official figure for installed wind generation capacity and providing 0.4% of current energy being generated in this country:

It cannot be repeated frequently enough that the government’s obsession with wind power is an obscenely expensive folly.

While Germany talks a good renewables game, it quietly does what is necessary to provide the energy needed by its people and its industry by investing heavily in new coal-fired power.  Just look at what Germany has been building while Cameron and Huhne have been tilting at windmills.  Conversely, our politicians are so blinded by the CO2 bogeyman they ignore 200 years’ worth of domestic coal reserves and put their faith in intermittent and unreliable natural phenomenon.

Germany’s government is putting Germany’s interests first.  Our government is advancing someone’s interest, but it is not that of the British people.  When will people sit up, take notice and declare ‘enough’?

Update: At 9.40pm it is now almost -8C (17F) and wind is now generating even less, a meagre 120MW of power, or 0.3% of the current energy generation.

Credibility of Rajendra Pachauri continues to retreat

In 2009, the Indian environment ministry was accused of ‘arrogance’ by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), after the release of a government report claiming that there is no evidence climate change has caused ‘abnormal’ shrinking of Himalayan glaciers.

Dr Vijay Kumar Raina, the geologist who authored the report, admitted that some: ‘Himalayan glaciers are retreating. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to suggest as some have said that they will disappear.’  The response of Pachauri, a railway engineer often described as a leading climate scientist, was this:

We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.

Pachauri went on to say that such statements were reminiscent of ‘climate change deniers and school boy science’, adding this money quote:

I cannot see what the minister’s motives are. We do need more extensive measurement of the Himalayan range but it is clear from satellite pictures what is happening.

He also went on record describing the Indian government report as ‘voodoo science’.  In light of this, one wonders how Pachy is feeling right now given the publication of scientific research using satellite data that shows there hasn’t been any melt of those glaciers at all in the last 10 years.  One also wonders, considering this new evidence, just what satellite pictures Pachauri and friends had been looking at.  He certainly seems to be the school boy after this.

It would appear that what is retreating at record speed is not the glaciers in the Himalayan range, but the last shreds of Rajendra Pachauri’s shattered credibility.  The excellent cartoonist, Josh, captures the moment in his own inimitable style over at Bishop Hill

Now let’s see if any of the British MPs who are jumping up and down about wind power subsidies have the gumption to challenge the government to distance itself from the IPCC and Rajendra Pachauri for being completely unreliable and discredited.

Turbine power has Gone With the Wind

In April 2011, the UK’s total installed wind power capacity was 5,204 MW.

As of 3.30pm this afternoon, with the temperature around the country varying between 2 degrees and 6 degrees celsius and most people at home using power to stay warm, those wind turbines were delivering less than 11% of their stated capacity, contributing a mere 1.3% of the UK’s energy supply.

Is there any more clear a demonstration of the folly of the government’s plans to spend billions of pounds adding more wind capacity, when it cannot come close to replacing the amount of energy generated by coal-fired and nuclear power plant that will be decommissioned?

What compounds this folly is that additional gas-fired power will have to be built just to act as back up for the wind power on days like this.  There is no economic sense to paying twice to install capacity, particularly given the extent of taxpayer subsidy being devoted to wind turbines to make them more ‘affordable’ – code for helping generators make money from them at our expense.

If this doesn’t convince those who favour wind of their nonsensical folly, what will?


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