Posts Tagged 'Conspiracy'

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?

Hilarious if they were not so dangerous

The good Dr North at EU Referendum draws our attention today to two related pieces in that newsprint spattered bastion of Marxism known as The Guardian.

It seems a left wing, self appointed band of self professed worthies has announced that they are launching a campaign to hold to account Britain’s ‘feral’ elite for the series of crises which have scarred the country.

Expenses, bonuses and hacking crises share the same origins, says this campaign group, which proposes to create a 1,000-strong “public jury” that would be selected at random and ensure that power is taken away from “remote interest groups” which currently treat the public with contempt.  As North explains:

This is the view the likes of Greg Dyke, Caroline Lucas and Lord Smith of Clifton, who think we need a “people’s jury” to apply a “public interest first” test more generally to British political and corporate life. Overworked as a cliché or not, you really could not make this one up.

And he’s right.  The ‘feral elite’ they describe is comprised of figures from the establishment.  Yet without any sense of self awareness or the evident rich irony, the campaign group itself is made up of 56 academics, writers, trade unionists and politicians from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party – in other words, left wing figures from the establishment.

A look at the list of signatories to their open letter in the Graun betrays the motivation and the objective of this little enterprise.  This is not about holding the ‘feral elite’ to account, it is about undermining their rivals in the establishment in order to secure more influence for themselves and their liberal-left worldview.  If you don’t believe that, just look at their stated priority areas for attention in the background article about the campaign:

• Media ownership and the public interest

• The role of the financial sector in the crash

• MP selections and accountability

• Policing and public interest

• How to apply a ‘public interest first’ test more generally to British political and corporate life

Quelle surprise seeing media ownership, code for ‘nail Murdoch and any opposition to the BBC and Guardian’ right up there at number one.  You can almost see the conversation where these people were asking themselves what could they do to capitalise on the current anti News Corp sentiment and solidify the dominance of the BBC on the airwaves.  This campaign is their vehicle to control the levers of power without having to share the cockpit any longer.

As if there are not enough clues as to the real aims of this campaign – oxygen of publicity by the Guardian… main figurehead the former BBC Director General Greg Dyke… supported by Media Standards Trust (deputy chair, Julia Middleton, the CEO of Common Purpose) board members Helena Kennedy QC, BBC hack Robert Peston and Amelia Fawcett who is also chair of Guardian Media Group…  – the activity is being facilitated by Compass.  Note their slogan.  The one thing absent from the campaign is any form of ideological balance.  That should tell us all we need to know.

This is nothing more than a raid.  It is an attempt to get support from unwitting people, who would reject the leftist dogma out of hand if presented to them openly, who feel concern at what they see around them.  But people who will fail to realise the state of affairs this campaign claims it wants to tackle has largely been shaped by its very signatories since 1997 because it suited their interersts in their establishment positions.

The campaign is nothing more an attempt to use people as pawns in the power games of the elite.  As North rightly concludes in his blog post:

The trouble is, you will never get the “feral elite” offer anything that amounts to the transfer of real power. If we want power, we are going to have to take it. The time is not yet, but what we are seeing here is the elites falling out. The time must be near.

That time cannot come too soon.

Osama Bin Laden – questions

The Osama Bin Laden story is raising a number of questions the answers to which will be very interesting.  One wonders if there is a special department at the White House that specialises in making decisions that encourage conspiracy theories, because that is what will spawn from this story.

Although fully aware that any unanswered questions or discrepancies in the official story will be seized upon as evidence that the public is not being told the truth, some of what we are being told doesn’t seem to quite add up. In saying that it seems there is little doubt Osama Bin Laden is dead.  Only future recorded messages from Bin Laden that refer to incidents or events taking place after today could dispel that.

Questions:

1. The assault on the compound commenced at around 6:30pm UK time (5:30pm GMT) according to the BBC. 14 hours and 15 minutes later AP in Washington had announced that Bin Laden’s body had been buried at sea.  Is it feasible that in such a short time frame Bin Laden’s body was moved 230 miles from northern Pakistan to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and allegedly Kabul, medically examined, identified using DNA evidence, photographed and viewed by independent witnesses, then flown from there a minimum of 700 miles to the sea to be disposed of?

Update: The timelines are even tighter than initially reported.  The assault on the compound actually commenced at around 9.00pm UK time.  So that means the AP report from Washington at 8:45am today announcing that Bin Laden’s body had been buried at sea was filed less than 11 hours and 45 minutes hours after the assault began.  We have confirmation of the time of the assault on Twitter from a resident, Sohaib Athar, who reported the helicopters and explosions as they happened, as shown in the image below (UK time on the clock and hours elapsed on the Tweet)…

2. What type of DNA test was used that could sequence the DNA strands and provide a positive identification of Bin Laden within a maximum of 9 hours?

Update: It is now being reported by Sky News that DNA has been taken, but the results are not due for a couple of days.  So contrary to initial reports the body has only been identified by photographs, not DNA.  Despite this it has been flown out to sea and disposed of.

Update II: Here we go again, 19 hours after the assault AP is reporting US officials as saying DNA tests prove the man killed was Bin Laden. Now I’m not a DNA expert but even urgent DNA tests seem to take at least 2-3 days, so how this has been achieved so quickly is quite remarkable.

3. If the Americans were, as they claim, handling Bin Laden’s body according to Islamic rites, why have they moved the body from land where it could be buried and instead disposed of it at sea?

4. A 4 bedroom house with 4 bathrooms, 2 lounge rooms, a study room, a nice lawn, a drawing room and a dining room situated very close to the Bin Laden compound in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, sells for around 13m Pakistan rupees, or about £92,000 (below).

We hear the compound was a £1m complex constructed 5-10 years ago, had no telephone or internet connection and never put rubbish out for collection. It was eight times bigger than any other residential building in the area with walls three times higher than any other residential property nearby, and situated just a couple of hundred yards away from the Pakistan Military Academy, in a heavily militarised security zone. Are we to believe the Pakistanis had no idea or no interest in who was living there?

No doubt more questions will arise and they will be added to this post…

Secretive State serving its own interests

The Observer has a sickening story today about the actions of social workers and police in Kent who placed a 14-year-old girl into ‘foster care’ with a convicted paedophile, David Mason.

Having failed to complete the private fostering assessment and carry out statutory checks on the man’s background required by law – or even checking proof of his identity – the girl’s request to be allowed to stay with him was granted.  Mason, who had changed his name to David Matthews, went on to sexually abuse two boys and four girls aged five to 13, including the girl’s three younger siblings.

Then after leaving Mason’s home, Kent County Council’s social services department let her be fostered, aged 15, by her 21-year-old boyfriend, who claimed to have autistic spectrum disorder and who they knew was having sex with her.  The story, includes the admission that when the family had been moved into the area where the abuse took place, their case was not assessed due to staff shortages and high number of child protection referrals

But beyond this horrifying catalogue of failure, where presumably dozens of other high profile cases from which ‘lessons will be learned’ have not resulted in anything being learne at all, the story presents an even more shocking dimension to the case:

The “tragic story” of the council’s “deplorable breach of duty” has emerged from a high court judgment delivered behind closed doors last month, which has just been made public. The extraordinary case would have stayed secret had not the judge, Mr Justice Baker, decided in view of the “alarming matters” that emerged during the hearing to allow the “unusually extensive and troubling” wider issues it raises to be publicised.

Here we see the media with its prominent pulpit failing to go to the next level.  The anger, indignation and proposed solutions are left for non establishment figures such as humble bloggers to express.

In 21st century Britain, supposedly bristling with rules to ensure transparency and accountability, the Courts were content to cover up this litany of incompetence to hide the disgraceful failings of our so called public servants.  If it was not for this one Judge, an exception to a miserable rule choosing in determining that these failures should be publicised, the public would have no idea just how badly a group of vulnerable people have been treated.

What has been uncovered is not merely a story of sexual abuse, but another example of the lengths to which the authorities will go to hide their gross misconduct and just how far the system will go to shield them from scrutiny of their actions.  This is the system protecting itself rather than the people who pay for it to serve us.  That is more outrageous than anything else in this story.

To heap insult upon insult, we are once again served up the standard rhetoric from the public body (in this instance, Kent County Council) that has displayed negligence worthy of criminal prosecution, designed as usual to fob us off while business continues as usual:

What happened in this case is deeply regrettable and the council offers its sincerest apologies to the family. In recent months we have been absolutely focused on recognising our shortcomings and weaknesses and a plan to make sure substantial improvements are made to the services we provide to children in Kent is already being actioned.

These supposedly sincere apologies and empty promises to make improvements to reach the very minimum level of performance we should be able to expect are an insult.  They change nothing.

Things will only change when the refuge of secrecy in such cases is removed and those responsible for the welfare of vulnerable children who fail to do their job are properly held to account.  If it takes the threat of criminal prosecution to focus the attention of public servants on the proper discharge of their duties to vulernable people in their care, then our largely useless MPs should put it on the Statute Book.  Cases like this are all too frequent and MPs have the ability to put a stop to them.

We don’t need self serving apologies being trotted out that are designed to make those who have failed feel better and feel they have been excused, we need action taken to stop more failures.  We can but guess at how many similar cases have been covered up over the years and remain hidden from public view. It has to stop.

Light needs to be shone into the dark corners where the establishment lets its colleagues skulk and conceal instances of their rank incompetence.  We need to make the establishment serve our interests rather than its own. We need to end the establishment’s self serving secrecy.

Rats in a sack

In an analysis of the Met Office and BBC’s role in the winter forecast fiasco, John O’Sullivan offers an interesting take on possible events behind the scenes:

A report by a top BBC environment journalist, Roger Harrabin, implied that the UK’s Coalition government might have blocked the so-called ‘secret cold winter’ forecast.  But is there more to this story than meets the eye and have dark forces in high places conspired to frame the veteran journalist?

The risk here is that heading off at a tangent into possible conspiracies and character assassination most foul diverts necessary focus from the taxpayer funded Met Office’s failure to issue a public forecast for the coldest early winter for more than 100 years.

For the millions of our tax pounds that are lavished on the Met Office we are entitled to something much better.  The fact is the Met Office claimed it warned of the extreme weather but the evidence now obtained shows it did not. Further it shows the quality and detail of the forecast is little better than what could be produced by examining chicken entrails.


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