Archive for July, 2013



Labour’s selfish priorities laid bare for all to see

Far better to have a two-tier United Kingdom that includes a second class country than a two-tier Parliamentary chamber that includes second class MPs.

That’s Labour’s thrust in its opposition to the notion of MPs from English constituencies possibly being able to block legislation that only affects England, which would have been progressed through the Commons because of the party whipped votes of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs.  The Independent has gratefully palmed the proffered crumbs from the establishment table and is running with the story.

Labour says the coalition idea that only English MPs could have the final say in approving or rejecting legislation on matters that only affect England, is ‘hare-brained’.  They are right, but for the wrong reason.

It isn’t hare-brained because it marginalises and creates a lower tier of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs, who would not be able to impose laws on England that won’t apply in their own countries.  Boo hoo.  It is hare-brained because it continues to deny the English people – uniquely among western ‘democratic’ countries – their own national Parliament and the same level of self determination as that enjoyed by the other UK countries.

This Tory-Limp Dum plan tells the English they must remain second class citizens within the United Kingdom. It says the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish people will continue to have more control over affairs in their countries – in competences such as education, the NHS, transport or environment – than the English have in England.  It says the other parts of the Union can have power that is denied to the English.

These are not the reasons Labour are opposed to the ‘hare-brained’ idea, their only concern is that their party whips would lose a substantial number of votes in the lobby on English only matters, because 67 of their MPs are from north of the border or west of Offa’s Dyke.  It is self serving party maintenance of the worst order.

Why anyone in England would vote for such a rancid collection of bile-infused troughers remains a mystery.  Hopefully this will help some of those voters see Labour for the mendacious and bitter collective of grubbing  entitlement that it is.

England must have its own Parliament. That is the only acceptable solution to the West Lothian Question.

In a democracy decision making power should be delegated to the lowest possible level, as close to the people as can be achieved.  An English Parliament has a place in such a structure.  We just need real democracy in this country in which such a Parliament could function according to the will of the people…

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Delusions of the Living Dead, aka Europlastic Tories

A Victor Kiam moment here at AM Towers.  This blog post over at EU Referendum hit the nail on the head so accurately and articulated my own thoughts so precisely, I have ripped it off almost entirely, with only a few minor personalisations.

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Normally, I ignore Conservative Home. That part of the blogosphere remains the hunting ground for tribal warriors, and I have neither time nor patience for its party-before-principle guest and the attendant petty-mindedness.

Others, with tougher constitutions, still frequent the site, and I have thus had my attention drawn to this from Andrea Leadsom (above), who is still pushing her mantra of “meaningful reform” of the EU. And there is also this from George Freeman, also of the Fresh Start Group.

Actually, having read the pieces, I wonder why I bother – why anyone bothers. Neither are saying anything new, nor anything interesting – there is nothing at all that informs or inspires. We are not getting argument – simply leaden propaganda, repeated again and again, presumably to reinforce the belief systems of the faithful – for no one else will believe it.

Richard North’s answer to this was given in June 2004, repeated many times, but particularly in January of this year. These are Richard’s “barking cats” pieces, to which – in conceptual terms – neither he nor I can add very little. Leadsom and her ilk – including her Open Europe minders, say we must “reform”. I, and many others, say that “meaningful” reform is not possible and will never happen.

And those are the positions – fixed, unchanging. There is no debate, nor any possibility of debate. Disagree, and make the mistake of disagreeing too forcefully or too often, as you get “disappeared”. The other side do not want to know, any more than we want to hear the repetitions of their flawed, evidence-free and indeed ridiculous arguments.

From that, though, does not emerge a counsel of despair – simply a recognition that head-butting gets you nowhere. It seems to Richard – and I wholly agree – that a better strategy is to introduce new facts and ideas, which by-pass the blockage. Leadsom might want to bleat about “over-regulation” and “negotiating over tedious directives”, at EU level. We simply point out that the regulation is at dealt with at a global level and that is where the UK needs to be engaging.

On wind turbines, we can rehearse the arguments for and against until the cows come home and the macerated birds fall from the sky. But sell the idea that, if you buy wind, you get diesel, and pay an additional £1 billion extra for the privilege, and the argument looks very different. Similarly, take the claims of our influence inside the EU, and tell people we can’t even argue for our mackerel quotas and again the terrain looks very different.

But talking about the reality and sharing it with others who are not as well informed is why the opposition wants to control the flow of information. It does so mainly by ignoring new facts – by not discussing them, not debating them, not even recognising them. When, for instance, have you ever heard about Codex on Conservative Home?  Where have they added value or anything worthwhile to the sum of their readers’ knowledge?

Thus, we do not speak to the close-minded. It is a waste of time. The likes of Leadsom will go to her grave still arguing for “meaningful reform” of the EU, long after we have left the EU and it has crashed and burned. We can’t deal with that. This is the dialogue of the living dead.  The stake through their heart or axe through their head will be when reality – that thing they desperately ignore as they play party political games for a party political audience – bites hard.

UKIP, party of the people?

In 2011 the Public Prosecutor of Bielefeld in Germany asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Elmar Brok MEP.  The authorities in Bielefeld wanted to bring a criminal action against Brok for failure to report to the tax authorities a €5,000 (£4,300) fee paid to him for giving a speech by HypoVereinsbank Group, a large Munich-based bank owned by Italy’s Unicredit.

The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament refused point blank, instead deciding that politicians such as the left wing EU fanatic Brok must have immunity from prosecution for crimes such as tax evasion.  It’s one of the many perks the ‘elite’ treats itself to – considering themselves to be above the law, the rules only applying to the little people.

So it was with interest that in recent days another immunity case concerning a sitting MEP has come to the fore.  It so happens that the Chief Prosecutor of Lyon in France opened a case, also in 2011, and asked the European Parliament to waive immunity from prosecution for Marine Le Pen MEP.  The authorities in Lyon want to bring a criminal action against Le Pen for comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

The committee on legal affairs at the European Parliament has agreed with the request, recommending that the right wing Le Pen be stripped of immunity forthwith.  The perk, it seems, only extends to the favoured sons of the EU who travel the world at our expense – including Downing Street – preaching the EU gospel and challenging any opponents to the vision of a a single political entity for the whole of Europe.

But there is another interesting angle to this story concerning our very own UKIP.  It transpires that UKIP voted in favour of Le Pen keeping immunity from prosecution.  This was gleefully seized upon by Labour MEPs, one of whom – the fragrant Arlene McCarthy MEP – took to the Public Service Europe website to ‘expose’ UKIP’s hypocrisy.

Regardless of McCarthy’s opportunism there is a real issue here for UKIP.  How can UKIP declare in all good conscience that is opposes the mainstream political stitch up here and across the EU, yet vote in favour of keeping a group of citizens above the law and out of the reach of prosecutors when accused of criminality?

It is not only hypocrisy, as charged by McCarthy, it is outrageous and plain wrong.  For those who think UKIP represents a challenge to the political class, this should act as a wake up call that under Nigel Farage the party simply aspires to break into the political class for its own ends.  If UKIP doesn’t believe in equality under the law then it cannot claim to be working in the interests of ordinary people.

STOR scandal: Putting the scale of the theft from us into context

Following on from our previous post about the emerging STOR scandal, it would be helpful for people to understand just some of what this means in monetary terms.  To what extent are energy consumers and taxpayers being ripped off to make expensive diesel powered electricity generation worthwhile for ‘investors’ and big businesses to provide to the grid?

So lets put it into context, in the words of an energy company:

National Grid (2011b) sets out reserve tender outcomes and RWE npower has estimated that the price paid when stand-by generation capacity is called for by the short-term operating reserve market mechanism was £180-280/MWh in 2010. There is also a payment of around £7-10/MWh.

This is worth around £30,000-45,000/MW per annum to an owner of stand-by generation (RWE npower, personal communication).

That is roughly eight times the industrial tariff for power. As demand for operating reserve increases, shown in Figure 8, the price will rise and the incentive to participate will grow stronger.

Indeed, by 2015, National Grid (2011b) estimates that the utilisation payment will have risen to £544/MWh, and by 2020 the figure is £685/MWh, all in real terms in 2010/11 money. That is an increase of 96 per cent in ten years providing a strong incentive for new owners of generation to participate. Across the whole market, the total payments for being available and for generating could reach £945 million per annum by 2020, up from £205 million in 2010. That is an increase of 350 per cent in ten years.

There are profitable opportunities to be seized and they are open to existing generation assets which have already been paid for and sometimes even depreciated.

While the firms benefit, society does too. The mechanism allows the market to find the cheapest way to maintain an uninterrupted power supply whichever scenario the UK finds itself in. It will be to the benefit of all consumers if stand-by generation is put to its best possible use.

Source: nPower

It is interesting to note that over on the Bishop Hill blog, Andrew Montford points to a conclusion that no fossil fuels are subsidised in the UK, in rebuttal to the imbecilic climate alarmist mouthpiece, Bob Ward.  However, STOR clearly shows there is subsidy being made available for diesel powered electricity generation at peak times – albeit to back up virtually useless wind power.

STOR scandal: The establishment conspiracy to fleece energy customers by design

A story broken by Christopher Booker in the Telegraph and Richard North on EU Referendum on Saturday evening heralds one of the biggest consumer rip off scandals in UK history.

This concerns the existence of a vast network of standby diesel generators, which make up what is known as a Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR), that can be called upon by the National Grid in the event of a shortfall in electricity should electricity generating capacity go offline.

The theory is simple.  When there isn’t enough power being generated to meet demand, this network of diesel generators can be brought online within minutes to provide gigawatts of electricity to keep the lights on.  Booker and North detail the system and how it has been hidden in plain sight for years – which explains the confident performance of energy minister, Michael Fallon in his interview with Andrew Neil last week when he said the lights would stay on, even as power stations close without replacement and wind turbines fail to deliver power reliably when it is needed.

STOR brings into sharp focus three major issues that are unlikely to be pored over by the media. First and most immediate of these for energy customers is the cost of running this system that will be passed on to them.  As Booker explains in his piece:

These new power sources are far from cheap; the current wholesale cost of electricity is around £50 a megawatt hour (MWh). Thanks to the subsidies levied through our electricity bills, we are already paying nearly £100 per MWh to the owners of onshore wind farms and £150 for those offshore. But, as the National Grid reveals, the tender prices submitted by those signed up to the STOR scheme can be as high as £400 per MWh, eight times the market rate. The average payment in 2011 was £225 per MWh, plus a fee of £22,000 for every megawatt of their capacity (for these fees in 2010-11 alone we stumped up £75 million).

This is another subsidy gravy train run in the interests of corporations at the expense of hard pressed customers, and businesses whose costs are driven up accordingly and are passed on in the price of most goods and services.  The evidence of this is detailed by Richard in his piece when he explains:

Under normal circumstances using this back-up capacity is not an economically competitive form of generation; it is generally only called upon in emergencies when price rises can cover the costs of generation. But as we lose power stations from the system, there will be no option but to use it as replacement capacity and, in particular, as back-up when the wind is not blowing.

So lucrative is this option that it is being regarded as a major investment opportunity, “anticipated to experience significant growth due to increased reliance on reserve sources of power to meet fluctuations in electricity.

Investors are told that the “significant upward trend in the requirement for reserve services” is due to “decreased power supply following from the decommissioning of ageing nuclear power plants” and “increased volatility of power supply caused by increased reliance on renewables (due to the high proportion of wind power, renewables are not a consistent source of power) “.

The second is yet another example of fear being as a tool to condition people into accepting a grotesquely expensive ‘solution’ that shouldn’t be required in the first place.

Make no mistake the emergence of the STOR story, and its revelation of the gigawatts of failover capacity that are available to the system, shows us that the current focus on the energy gap being played out in the media with suitable dramatic effect, is a contrived narrative designed to worry people about power cuts and blackouts so that when they are asked to stump up significantly more money to keep the lights on via diesel generators, they will grit their teeth and pay up – the metaphor that sums this up being ‘they’ve taken my arm and cut off my leg, but thank God it means I’ve been able to stay alive’.

The third of the two issues is how this theft has been engineered by the establishment by its utterly illogical and nonsensical policies on energy.  Whereas common sense would dictate this country’s government to have an energy strategy to meet the needs and demand of powered infrastructure, businesses and residential customers using the most reliable forms of power generation, the strategy has been designed around the unworkable goal of relying on unreliable and intermittent wind energy to meet our baseload energy supply, coupled with ‘demand management’ – namely the forced reduction in energy demand through increased cost.

Businesses and households are being priced out of using tomorrow the same amount of energy they already find difficult to afford today; and this scenario is being compounded by purposely built-in scarcity through the policy of closing down generating capacity without reliable replacement, so the gap between total reliable energy supply and peak energy demand has narrowed to a dangerously small percentage.  Instead of replacing conventional power in need of decommission with nuclear power to provide our baseload energy, and topping that up with coal and gas which, already spinning below capacity but not wasting what is being generated, can quickly be called upon to meet additional demand when it peaks, we are getting subsidy chomping wind turbines that provide only a fraction of their potential and rely on intermittent weather conditions.

At the end of this trail of state driven larceny is a special interest collective of subsidy farmers, corporates and big money investors who reap a huge return in profits at our expense for our substandard and flawed-by-design energy infrastructure.  An infrastructure that is forced on us by a deranged sustainability agenda that is sponsored and nourished by those special interests who hoover up our money, and the anti-progress environmentalists who are determined to de-industrialise the world and enforce untold misery on billions of people.

As you can see, this is not just a story about carbon emitting diesel generators being used to keep our lights on.  It runs far deeper and is far more disturbing than that.  The question that needs answering is will the media step up and educate people about this, or will it look away to continue sucking up to those influential and ‘powerful’ people of ‘prestige’ who are calling the shots to enrich themselves by robbing us blind?

Thanks for that, ‘Dave’

The loss-making editorial department of the BBC, otherwise known as the Guardian, has spent some money sending Nicholas Watt to Kazakhstan to cover David Cameron’s trip there.

Clearly the visit the trip is essential for British interests, which is why Cameron had plenty of time to chillax and massage his ego by holding a question and answer session with some of Astana’s youth.

Addressing the most pressing issues of the day, Cameron was asked which character from the Harry Potter series of books and films he would like to be.  His reply was very helpful for putting some genuine issues into context:

My daughter is nine years old, she’s just started to read all the Harry Potter books so I’m sort of rediscovering them all over again.

I can think of all sorts of characters you don’t want to be and I suppose in the end you know if you’ve got any sense you want to be Harry Potter. That must be the correct answer.

I suspect people in Britain might want to paint me in a different role but I’ll let them do that, I won’t make the work easier for them.

According to Watt of the Graun, this was a clever reference to ‘he who must not be named’, the evil protagonist character who Harry must overcome, known as Lord Valdemort.

It was kind of ‘Call me Dave’ to allow we serfs to paint him in a different role, as it is not as difficult as he may think.  However, far from being the powerful and cunning Valdemort, Cameron more readily fits to a tee the role of another Potter character, Lucius Malfoy, father of Harry’s arch-rival at Hogwarts school, Draco Malfoy.

After all, Malfoy Snr has delusions of grandeur coming from his wealth and breeding.  He has married into another well-connected family.  He likes to strut about throwing his weight around and trying to intimidate others.  He has the finer things in life and looks down on others as somehow inferior.  But he is shown in the Potter series to be a weak quisling who meekly takes his orders from Valdemort without question, is unable to do anything without express permission or instruction, aspires to a seat at the top table but has no influence whatsoever in the decisions Valdermort makes, and ultimately runs away like a coward when the going gets tough and his boss looks set for defeat.

This neatly mirrors the relationship between the EU and the UK and the relationship between the Barroso/Van Rompuy/Schulz axis and Cameron himself.  For David Cameron to imagine the reality is anything other than that is a greater fantasy than the Harry Potter series itself.  For that perfect and illustrative analogy about this country and its leader’s position in the EU we offer Cast Iron Dave our thanks.


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