Posts Tagged 'Guest Post'

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.

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Untouchable in Southall, never mind Delhi

Guest Post by Mike Cunningham

In penning this post, I have attempted to pinpoint yet another failure in this so-called Coalition Government’s ideas about true equality and their seeming all-too-readiness to pander to special interest groups, such as extremely well-funded Hindu Brahmin groups who have all the power, money and access to commerce, and wish to retain that power, money and access for themselves.

Equality Minister Helen Grant stated: “I made no secret … of my disappointment that it has been necessary for the Government to concede to making an order to include caste as an element of race in the Equality,” Grant wrote in a letter to the Alliance of Hindu Organizations dated May 9. She further stated:- We also have concerns that incorporating caste into domestic law – even in the context of anti-discrimination – may send out the wrong signal (my emphasis) that caste is somehow becoming a permanent feature of British society.”

———-

Some six years ago, I wrote a piece on the astounding number of ‘Untouchables’, or Dalits, to give them their Indian title, in the country which proudly advertises itself as ‘the largest Democracy in the world’. Largest, it may well be; but Democratic? No Way! Allow me to explain.

India is one of the world’s most heavily-populated countries, being second only to China in numbers, but apart from the well-known political and public figures, there is little awareness amongst the wider public in how India governs itself, both in terms of religion, politics and social structure. The main religion in India is Hinduism, and the social structure which has emerged from this belief structure is the “Caste” system, whereby a religion is allowed to dictate that people are only allowed to do certain jobs, marry certain women, and even are dictated how they are treated after their deaths. For the upper circles, who are known as ‘Brahmin’, the professions are religious priests, political and military leaders; land owners are from the ‘Kshatriya’ caste, the vast majority of laborers, artisans and technicians are ‘Shudra’; but the one “Caste” which is not well publicised or even acknowledged are the “Harijan”, otherwise known as the Dalits, or “Untouchables”. These people, sentenced by, and at birth, to be sewage workers, cleaners of filth and human refuse, number some twenty percent of the population, and in a country which prides itself upon it’s democratic roots and government, it is indeed a strange commentary that one-fifth of it’s population is barred from rising out of the sewers and into everyday life!

Although the actual discriminatory process against the ‘Dalits’ was outlawed by the first Independent Indian parliament, in practice this abuse of their ordinary rights as human beings has persisted, and in many areas grown stronger, as the ruling Hindu parties, whether in or out of power, all subscribe to the casual barring of some 220 million Indians from just about all state higher education, all technical education, most jobs which are not akin to the allegedly “unclean” tasks such as sewage workers or latrine cleaners. In many cafes or restaurants, separate glasses are kept for the Dalits, just in case a ‘higher caste’ person is defiled by contact with a “Dirty Dalit”. One Dalit who managed to attain a higher education was severely beaten by his classmates for daring to achieve a higher marks than they did. A practice for certain ‘higher-caste’ people in earlier times was to actually send servants down a road to ensure that they would not be contaminated by a Dalit’s gaze, never mind his presence.

One of the two most famous ‘Untouchables’ was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a mild-mannered but strong opponent of all discrimination, who was elected to the Constituent Assembly by the Bombay Legislature Congress Party. Dr Ambedkar joined Nehru’s Cabinet. He became the First Law Minister of Independent India and helped write India’s Constitution. His one regret was that he did not persuade Ghandi to support stronger anti-discrimination legislation, but his attempts were blocked by strong Hindu opposition. In his later years, he saw that opposition to the emancipation of his fellow ‘Dalits’ become further entrenched, despite the supposed end of discrimination.

The other political firebrand was one Kanshi Ram, who attempted to build his own political power base within the ‘Dalit’ community, and in fact managed to engineer the election of a Dalit woman, Mayawati, as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, but has since accepted before his death that no one “Untouchable” organization is capable of coming to terms with the aspirations of a quarter-billion people!

So the next tactic of hundreds of thousands of Dalits is to convert to Buddhism; the thinking being that if they are no longer ‘Dalit’ in practice, they cannot be discriminated against, and it would be seen as doubly illegal for any to discriminate against a separate religion. They seem to have struck a nerve, because Hindi political parties in several Indian states are preparing legislation which would prevent any Hindu departing from their religion and accepting another God. Rajahstan and Madyha Pradesh have already introduced civil laws which would prevent any Dalit from leaving Hinduism without registering first with the state government, and Gujarat, a hardline Hindu state, is considering introducing a law which states that Buddhism is a version of Hinduism, so desperate are the traditional Hindu people to keep in servitude millions of their fellow countrymen.

So here we stand, in the second most populous country on Earth, with the prospect of ‘affirmative action’ as one political solution proposed for all commerce in India, where any factory, office or workshop would have to employ a percentage of ‘Dalits’ in order to comply with the law, when it is almost universally accepted that ’Quotas’ never have, and never will, work. Why ‘affirmative action’? Because it’s a politician’s dream, to lay the burden for their stupidity and cupidity on someone else’s shoulders, because they couldn’t or wouldn’t grasp the thorny problem of stating, “No discrimination based on birth, color, belief or way of life is lawful, and thus shall not be allowed!” That is the solution, but it will be many years before the wider world sees an Indian “Untouchable” as a possible Prime Minister, if ever!

I write and recollect this post because, unknown to myself and probably 99% of the population of Great Britain, this disgusting philosophy is both resident and thriving in our cities and towns. According to an item broadcast at 01.30 minutes into the programme on today’s ‘Sunday’ on BBC Radio 4, the Coalition Government has purposely  delayed even publishing legislation covering ‘Caste Discrimination’ until after the next General Election. There are some one million Hindus resident in Great Britain, and in the past I have commented on the ’fact’ that they seem to have merged into our British society with minimum difficulty, with the sole exception of changing our burial laws to allow their open-air cremations in accord with their own custom and religion. It now has emerged that some 400,000 Indians living in these Islands are discriminated on a daily basis because of their BIRTH,  and hence because of the presumed ‘Caste’ and place in the rigid hierarchy of some weird religious writings, all of which, incidentally, were composed by, guess who? The Brahmins, otherwise known as the very top of the heap, and it is some ‘heap’, in daily Hindi life.

I listened to the weasel words of the Brahmin contributor to that Sunday Programme, and I could not help comparing my thoughts to those of the great Playwright and Author himself, when he wrote, “Firstly, lets kill all the lawyers’” Not, of course, because I wished that man evil, but because he spoke of the ‘great complexity’ of the problem; of the ‘great difficulty’ in removing this disgraceful, lunatic and truly hurtful religious discrimination from a large number of people who are suffering innumerable insults because of who their antecedents were some centuries ago!

Mike blogs at Fire, Pillage & Plague

“We are the State” but it needn’t be so…

Guest Post by Andy Baxter

The current system of public protection was updated (there has been a ‘Public Guardian’ to protect the vulnerable for a very long time) by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its provisions which tightened the legislation regarding mental incapacity (supposed more stringent tests to determine capacity and removing the ‘enduring’ power that was being abused in many cases to one of ‘lasting’ power that could be automatically revoked on demonstration of capacity) all this took effect in legislation 1st October 2007.

Being an IFA and reading of this sort of issue constantly in my trade press and having come across it many times in a long career it forms the foundation of financial planning where protection is concerned for my clients.

I am reminded of one particular case (from our trade press) where a farmer who suffered an accident and went into a coma where his wife approached the public guardian to seek the power to manage the affairs of the farm and her husband. The court sensing mega bucks refused this power to his wife!!! On the grounds she was not qualified to make these decisions despite having been involved in the management of the farm and their personal affairs for decades.

A court official was appointed and her husband lingered for over 7 months in a coma before eventually dying. The court official sold some of the farm’s land to meet the fees of the court and its agents! completely against the long term financial interests of the farmers wife and the family, this also created a tax burden that she then had to meet from his estate! The wife is on record as saying and I quote “it was a relief when he died for then I was able to take back control of our affairs once more under probate” her comments regarding the ‘service’ and ‘costs’ of the court are unprintable.

The situation described could have been avoided totally but for the expenditure of a few hundred pounds to create Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

These documents if completed correctly totally remove the States power to determine not only the financial decisions regarding someone who loses mental capacity on their money ‘financial and property’ affairs but also removes the State’s power to determine ‘health and welfare’ issues even and up to including decisions regarding ‘life sustaining treatment’.

With these documents properly completed and then registered with the ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ an attorney YOU trust appointed by yourself duly endowed with such legal powers to make decisions as if they were YOURSELF to protect financial, property, health and welfare issues can then give the proverbial two finger salute to any officials or agents of the State as they have the legal power to act as if they were yourself.

Want to know more about how one can protect yourself and your loved ones from an interfering State? And for a cost thousands of pounds below what a solicitor would charge and with no VAT either?  e-mail me (work) at andy[at]wmifa.co.uk (replace the [at] with @)

Guest Post: Learning to rely on Renewable energy

A guest post by Jeremy Fordham

For people living both in the United States and across Europe, green issues are becoming increasingly important. Some scoff at it as a fashionable movement, but most people recognize the need to transition away from a dependence on fossil fuels for transportation and generating electricity. Though scientists, researchers and even many students in the process of completing Ph.D. programs have been working for decades toward the development of renewable resources for generating power, it is a movement that still seems quite new to most citizens. In both Europe and the U.S. government entities are setting measurable goals for increasing their respective region’s reliance on green energy production. Studies conducted in both regions indicate strong support for such movements among the people. With such broad approval, it is no wonder that politicians are generally anxious to promote green energy concerns.

Separate studies conducted in the United States and Europe show strong support for developing and utilizing renewable resources. A study conducted in America by the Natural Marketing Institute in Pennsylvania demonstrates that 80 percent of respondents reported caring about the use of renewable energy resources. A separate study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that between 70 and 80 percent of those polled were in favor of the development and installation of wind farms. Such numbers make it easy to conclude that many citizens in a broad range of situations are interested in, and supportive of, the efforts being made to transition to the increased usage of renewable resources for generating electricity.

So why is it that renewable resources are so much in favor over those that are non-renewable? Renewable resources have the advantage of being easily replenished whereas those that are non-renewable can never be replenished. Energy derived from sources like wind, water and the sun are readily available in many regions of the world and can be effectively harnessed to produce electricity and other forms of power. However, people are more accustomed to relying on forms of non-renewable energy – those derived from coal, oil and natural gas, for instance. Despite all of the emphasis placed on green energy in recent decades, the U.S. and Europe still largely rely on such resources to get the power they require. The problem with this situation is that these sources are finite. An oil well may run dry after several years, leading engineers to search out a new deposit to be exploited. Some scientists argue that at some point, there will simply be no more of these non-renewable resources to call upon, making the necessity of learning to exploit renewable resources all the more pressing.

Public support for green energy is strong in both America and Europe, but it seems as though Europeans are moving ahead in realizing the shortcomings of the current technology used to harness renewable resources, such as the wind. As writer Kenneth P. Green points out in the article “On Green Energy: Renewable Energy Fails to Green the U.K. Economy,” the high tech windmills used to harness the power of the wind at many wind farms have a tendency to freeze in severe winter weather. More than that, they also must be shut down during high winds to avoid damaging the blades. Essentially, this results in less power going onto the electrical grid, just when homes and businesses need it most for heat and light. Though such occurrences appear to be widely reported in the European media, they seem to receive little attention in the U.S.

Perhaps this is because of the attitude of U.S. politicians. Sensing the popularity of the green movement, they are loath to acknowledge that there just might be drawbacks to the methods by which green energy is produced. Building a wind farm is very expensive and to then have the windmills there be unable to function on cold winter days when their output is most necessary makes the wind farm seem like a very expensive waste of money. Then again, lobbyists and members of environmental organizations may also be to blame. They are so anxious to push their agenda forward that perhaps they are not willing to examine their cause from all sides of the issue.

On both sides of the Atlantic, there is also debate about whether green energy actually creates jobs. A United Kingdom study suggests that 3.7 jobs are lost in that nation for every single job the industry creates. The numbers hardly look more promising in the United States, but some experts suggest that studies should not be looking to find a rise in manufacturing jobs as a result of the development of green energy production. Instead, they encourage focusing on other areas, such as design and maintenance of clean energy facilities, to find actual job creation.

It may be true that the transition to renewable energy resources just might create jobs someday, but the technology is still too new and not widely enough used to be counted on to transform a nation’s unemployment numbers. Plus, the technology is still flawed. Until engineers can solve the conundrum of windmills that freeze in winter, for instance, they will not be a reliable alternative to fossil fuels. It is positive that the citizens of both America and Europe support the development of green technology and it is also encouraging to see the politicians responding to this support by passing legislation meant to ease the transition. However it will not be until scientists and engineers develop new and better ways of putting renewable resources to work that it will become a viable alternative, one that can be counted on to provide the majority of the power needs of the world.

Guest Post: A vist to Broadland District Council

A guest post by Dave Ward

I paid a visit to BDC offices on 27th May to enquire about their efforts to find “Climate Champions”. This was the subject of an article in the EDP on the 2nd of May this year. Two members of the climate change dept (James Thorpe & Deborah Collis) came down to meet me, and a 3rd (“Community Engagement Coordinator” Rachel Leggett) arrived shortly after.

I was shown into a private meeting room, and I initially asked how the project was progressing. Rachel quickly took over the discussion – clearly she wields more influence than either of the other two (who both appeared to be juniors in their early 20’s).

She advised me that they had hosted representatives from 6 groups within BDC’s area. One was from Postwick, a small village which has just installed a wind turbine at their village hall, another from Rackheath where a very controversial “Eco Town” has been proposed. Apparently the main aim of the project is to encourage people to go out amongst their communities and try and persuade others into changing their lifestyles, and making them aware about “Climate Change”. She also said they were trying to organise “Cinema” sessions where the film “An Inconvenient Truth” would be shown.

Up to this point I hadn’t laid my cards on the table (so to speak), other than to point out that I had installed fluorescent lights in our house over 30 years ago, was a keen recycler, and hadn’t taken a holiday for some 15 years! I said that I had watched Al Gore’s film, and at the time was taken in by the content, but  I was now aware that it was the subject of a high court order requiring many inaccuracies to be pointed out if it was to be shown to children.

I think this was the beginning of my downfall, and sensed that my real reason for the visit was becoming apparent. I also quoted from the original press article which was intending to show people how they could save money through lower energy costs, and reduce their carbon footprint. I queried this on the grounds that energy costs are sky-rocketing due to the feed in tariffs offered to micro-generation schemes, which are financed by levies on all customers. Her rather stumbling reply was that they meant saving by using less energy!

I then tried to tackle the confusion regarding “Carbon” & “CO2” by describing the former as the dirty black soot produced by “environmentally friendly” diesel cars, and the latter as a trace atmospheric gas which is also plant food. More sheepish looks… I asked all of them what proportion of the air is made up of CO2, and to his credit, James correctly quoted 0.038%.

I had come armed with a few pages of quotes, and the “Million Dots” CO2 chart which Autonomous Mind had linked to earlier this year, but never got a chance to make use of them as by this point (barely a few minutes after arriving) Rachel clearly didn’t want the discussion to continue, and said it would be best if she referred me to their contact at the UEA, and asked for my details.

I wasn’t exactly thrown out, but as she was moving towards the door it was pretty obvious I was no longer welcome. Being relatively inexperienced at dealing with officialdom I didn’t press matters any further and left, somewhat chasened by the experience.

To my surprise within half an hour she had emailed, thanked me for the meeting, and attached a couple of PDF’s – one was details of the inaugural session at the UEA already passed, and the other a workbook intended for the “Champions” to use. This was full of fairly typical “warmist” Q & A’s clearly pushing the “science is settled” theme.

It will be interesting to see if I get contacted by the UEA, but for the time being it’s been a salutary lesson on the way local government works…

Lucky UK has a massive 40% of Big Wind!

A Guest post by Martin Brumby

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
(King Lear Act III)

I’m sure readers here will be aware that Big Wind’s advocates and defenders are weapons grade Porkie-Pie Men. Not even “Climate Scientists” can quite match them for sheer mendacity. A few days ago AM was kind enough to offer me a Guest Posting on Buff Huhne’s claim that we now produce 7% of our electricity from renewables.

Despite having to correct part of this (see comments), there’s nothing wrong with the conclusion that nothing like 7% of our electricity is renewable. More like 2 – 3%, and most of that is on warm, windy nights when we really don’t need it.

Today I thought I’d like to look at another common claim – the suggestion that the UK has 40% of Europe’s wind. I’m not sure that I can finger Buff Huhne or his egregious predecessor little Eddie Milipede with using this, although they may well have done. I’ve certainly heard it from one of the BBC’s Three Stooges. And a bit of searching on the internet throws up multiple instances of the claim:

40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.”

“Did you know 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK.?”

“Due to a combination of its latitude (at the boundary of the Ferrel and Polar Cells) and the lack of landmass in the prevailing south-westerly wind direction, the UK is fortunate to have much higher wind speeds than those in continental Europe. Indeed the BWEA has estimated that the UK has some 40% of the Europe’s total wind resource.” [Wot about Ireland? Isn’t that a landmass? M.B.]

“Wind energy has historically been converted into mechanical energy to pump water or grind grain but the principle application today is electricity generation. The UK receives 40% of Europe’s total wind energy but we currently generate only 0.5% of our electricity using wind.”

There’s load of these, all parroted but never with any citation or justification. But what’s this?

Downloading their dismal “Report” [Introduction:- Sir John Houghton, “Former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” et al, partners and funders including the UEA and Mystic MET – your tax pounds at work] we read:-

“Wind is a vast energy source with an enormous job creation potential. The UK holds 40% of the EU’s total wind resource, but only 4.2% of its total installed capacity (Lambert, 2008).”

Hmmm. “Lambert, 2008” Surely that must be a proper, ‘peer-reviewed’ paper?  Well, not really. It turns out to be a bit of black propaganda by Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London.  She says:

“Clearly the UK has huge potential for investment in wind energy, and is the windiest country in Europe, with 40% of the EU’s entire wind resources. The British Wind Energy Association estimates that the UK could be meeting 35% of its electricity needs from wind by 2020.34 With the UK accounting for only 4.2% of the EU’s total installed wind power capacity, it’s hard not to see this as a hugely wasted opportunity and as a damning failure of Government.”

So where does Ms. Lambert get this gem from, the BWEA? Hmmm. That’s like taking advice on patient care from Dr. Harold Shipman. The BWEA is now the Renewable Energy World. And Lambert’s quoted “paper” seems to be this which contains:-

“The UK has 40 percent of Europe’s entire wind resource and with these abundant resources we should be a world leader in renewable energy generation,” said the statement from BWEA. “Although the UK currently trails behind our European partners’ levels of renewable generation, the UK has doubled its wind energy capacity over the past 20 months. The equivalent of 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply remains held up in the planning system from onshore wind energy projects alone, which means the UK can meet its 2010 targets and set the stage to meet for more ambitious targets to 2020.”

No reference, no citation, no explanation, nothing. Obviously it is just a bold assertion. I give up. Who knows where this “40%” claim comes from? The leprechaun at the bottom of the garden?  And what does it actually mean?   I then turned to this.  This being Technical report No 6/2009 from the European Environment Agency. Your tax-pounds sent to Brussels at work.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust this outfit if they told me that Christmas day will fall on 25th December. And their “technical report” is replete with quotes from Greenpiss, clear evidence of data tortured until it confessed, computer models, the whole works.

First of all, what is meant by “Europe”? (click to enlarge)

That’s interesting. Turkey is in Europe. Iceland isn’t. Neither is Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine & Vatican City. How about Aland, Faroes, Gibraltar, Abkhazia, Transnistria and the rest? Who knows? Are the Azores & Canary Islands in with Portugal and Spain? Can’t be sure but probably not. Anyway, I haven’t found the raw data (or even the tortured data), but there are some charts… (click to enlarge)

Whilst there are some notes about some of the assumptions and ‘adjustments’ made, it all seems pretty unclear.  It isn’t ideal but it isn’t too difficult to scale off the charts, put the measurements into a spreadsheet, convert to TWh and see how much “Unrestricted technical potential” the EEA reckons there is.

They seem to think that this will amount to over 73,000 TWh in 2030, based on their idiosyncratic definitions of “Europe” and “technical potential”. And that the UK’s share of this “bonanza” will amount to around under 13% of this. Deleting Turkey, Switzerland and Norway (to make “Europe” equal to the “EU” reduces the total to 66,000 TWh and boosts our “share” to a stonking 14%. Even if we look only at “offshore” and restrict “Europe” to “the EU”, our share is only 21%.

So, forty percent? Absolutely no chance based on these charts.

Naturally, depending on your definition of “Europe”, the “UK”, and “Wind Energy” I guess you can prove anything you want to, especially if practical considerations (let alone commercial considerations) don’t matter. The fact that I haven’t found a sensible source for the 40% claim doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist somewhere. But this widely quoted Greenie claim looks like the usual dishonest hyperbole. And, in any case 40% of something that is eyewateringly expensive and almost completely useless is still not worth a fart.

Of Course Our Climate Is Changing

You may remember this popular post written by AM reader, Clive Francis, An Open Letter to the Chancellor.  Clive has contributed another excellent piece as a guest post for the blog titled ‘Of Course Our Climate Is Changing‘.

At just over 10 pages long it is too big to upload as a user friendly post, so it has been converted to a PDF and is now available to download.  But please do come back to this page to share your thoughts and comments. Many thanks Clive!

Download: Of_Course_Our_Climate_Is_Changing (PDF 201kb)


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