Posts Tagged 'Incompetence'



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.

Memo to Nigel Farage: This is why detail matters

When one doesn’t do detail, a bit like a certain Nigel Farage, one is liable to get things wrong.  When one gets things wrong, it is difficult for people to have confidence in what one has to say – particularly when it comes to presenting details of how a particular aim, say, leaving the EU, can be achieved.

While it might not matter much to some people that Farage wrongly stated Sinn Féin’s policy on European Union membership, his high profile means that such errors are not merely a personal embarrassment for him, but are damaging to the credibility of the rest of us who want the UK to leave the EU.

As this blog has argued before, to indignation from some of his supporters, Farage’s ‘cheeky chappie, bloke you would be happy to have a pint with’ persona will only get UKIP so far in electoral terms.  Many undecided and non-voters are more sophisticated than many people give them credit for and will form any voting intentions based on the competence, character and credibility of a candidate or party leader.  If Farage won’t do detail and get his facts right, he won’t just earn the scorn of his rivals, he will be rejected by potential supporters who would have grounds to doubt his claims and question his suitability for office.

UKIP and the true Eurosceptic movement deserve better.

Mastiff – Our glorious media and their powerful reputation for accuracy

Perhaps it’s time Lord Justice Leveson was prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act for his infamous claim about the media having a powerful reputation for accuracy.  Consider this example above from The Week.  In the highlighted paragraph there are no less than four factual errors.  In one bloody paragraph!

For the record, which the media seems incapable of keeping straight, the Mastiff was deployed in Iraq in late 2006 after it had been ordered that summer.  However its subsequent ‘trickle’ introduction in Afghanistan (as fast it became available off the line) came after the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, came under pressure to improve the safety quality of equipment used by our forces there – which was before Gordon Brown even became Prime Minister.  The Mastiff was actually in the Afghan theatre by early 2007.  The Snatch Land Rover does not have a soft top, it is a lightly armoured vehicle.  And how could the Mastiff be called upon to replace the Viking when it had been ordered before the Viking was even deployed.  In fact the Viking was actually replaced by the Warthog.

Surely this article must be a contender for the most errors in a single paragraph in a professional media outlet.

But the media inaccuracy continues apace as Richard demonstrates on EU Referendum today.  The news that a 27 tonne Mastiff has been destroyed by a huge IED, killing three Fusiliers and injuring several more, has had various outlets reporting its weight variously as 15 tonnes in the Daily Mail, 17 tonnes in the Daily Express, 24 tonnes on Radio 4’s PM and 25 tonnes on BBC One news.

The public is being fed a diet of inaccurate, badly researched tosh that will form part of the historical record.  Generations in the future will look back at the articles and listen to the clips believing they are an accurate record of our history, and get misinformation and downright erroneous material.  This is not a trivial matter.  It is a gross distortion and it is a de facto airbrushing of our time.

‘Make me the prime minister and I will get you the job’

So said Ed Miliband, to a disgruntled unemployed man in Lancashire whose frustration at the effects of Labour’s open-door immigration led him to say of politicians, ‘You’re all full of shit.’

Miliband told the man that employers undercutting wages – rather than immigration – was the cause of the problem.

This is the Ed Miliband whose supporters never tire of telling us he has a Masters degree in Economics from the LSE.  Yet with that answer he demonstrates that he fails to grasp the most basic impact on price of an increase in supply, in this case a dramatic increase in the supply of unskilled and semi skilled labour.

Businesses exist to make money for their owners in return for the supply of goods or services, and the greatest challenge for most businesses is controlling their costs.

However, the fetish of politicians and bureaucrats for creating ever more regulation, combined with the financial impacts of government policy at EU and national level, the costs associated with running a business have been continually increasing.  So when an opportunity to reduce labour costs – typically one of the biggest expenditures in small and medium businesses – presents itself, why wouldn’t a business hire the migrant worker who is prepared to work for a lower rate?

Miliband supported the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who increased the supply of cheap labour.  Miliband supported the scandalous borrowing splurge that has resulted in more pressure on tax revenues to service the spirralling debt.  Miliband supported and also directly implemented policies that have increased the costs of running a business.

Yet despite all this, Miliband has the temerity to blame employers for that unemployed Lancastrian being out of work and brazenly promises that if he is made Prime Minister he will get that poor man a job – presumably by further increasing the size of the unproductive public sector, thus further adding to pressure to increase the tax revenues taken from the wealth creating private sector.

That Lancastrian man was then schmoozed and flattered by a deceitful, delusional hypocrite to the point he exchanged a handshake with him.  That man was right the first time.  Miliband and his ilk are full of shit.

The Benefits of Smart Appliances

If you were worried this would be some geeky piece extolling the virtues of ‘smart’ fridge freezers, ovens, washing machines etc, then you can relax.  The benefits of smart appliances are not designed for consumers, instead they are designed for the convenience of the political class and corporate interests.  Richard puts it into context on EU Referendum.

Having long peddled the lie that renewable energy is the answer to this country’s energy needs, under a new order where the establishment has declared war on hydrocarbons as part of its deranged obsession with fighting climate change, the reality can no longer be contained.

The future of this advanced industrialised nation is not one of continuing progress – save for the corrupted definition of the word which means the diametric opposite – rather it is being structured to bring about the end of energy supplied on demand at the flick of a switch.  Under the new order control over how power is used is to be shifted to the corporations with power being rationed when the dangerously inadequate energy generating solution, pursued and implemented by the politicians, cannot deliver sufficient electricity to meet our needs.

America’s leaders are taking advantage of its shale gas to power its economy and drive down prices. China’s leaders are building a coal fired power station a week to power its economy and support its growth.  Germany’s leaders (inspite of EU strategy) is turning away from nuclear and building a raft of new coal fired power stations to power its economy and ensure adequate supply for the needs of its population.  Even Japan is starting a new dash for coal as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear power and still ensure affordable and adequate energy supply for its people and meet the needs of its people.

And the the UK?  Well, our political class, convinced within its self reverential bubble of its virtue and righteousness, is shutting down coal fired power stations despite there being no replacement for the lost generating capacity, is pursuing an approach that constrains exploration and exploitation of shale gas, is driving up prices through rising charges for carbon, and has a ludicrous strategy of building of inefficient and intermittant wind turbines at huge cost that cannot come close to meeting our energy needs or servicing industry.  To make this work they have a master plan.  Rationing power and controlling what energy private citizens can use in their homes by rolling out smart applicances and dressing these up as being of benefit – and charging us billions of pounds to make it happen.

Welcome to your progressive future.

The media’s powerful reputation for accuracy… again

Another one for Lord Justice Leveson.

This time it is Reuters demonstrating that oh-so powerful reputation for accuracy that so impresses Hacked Off’s favourite judge, hizzoner Leveson LJ.  The corporate news provider states on their video report on wealth safe havens, by hack Tara Joseph, that gold has slumped to its lowest price in 30 years!  (I would embed the video if anyone can tell me how to do it on WordPress).

Let’s see if Reuters are right, shall we?  We won’t even go back 30 years, we’ll go back just 10.

The sad thing is, people still trust the mainstream media.

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.

Pesky questions the media don’t want to answer

h/t The Boiling Frog

But when such a straightforward question does get asked, it is posed out of context and the answer given by the political elite is accepted unmolested by any form of challenge.  Someone’s interests are being served here, and it isn’t that of the general public.  When Cameron declared ‘we are all in this together’ he must have meant the political class and the media.

Untouchable Met Office accused of sloppy, slipshod science

As we keep saying about the Met Office’s reliance on computer modelling, ‘rubbish in’ derives ‘rubbish out’.

As this piece shows, it’s not just a matter of whether the Met Office models for the stratosphere are right or wrong; it is the absence of peer review and appalling management of their data, coupled with an inability to explain or reproduce the methodology that was used to arrive at their results.

How can any government or organisation have trust or confidence in the findings and forecasts of an entity that has such a slapdash approach to scientific method?

Never mind. The UK government has the Met Office’s back. Most of the media will turn a blind eye to play down public awareness. MPs will stay quiet on the subject in the House of Commons. Public money will continue being poured into Met Office wheezes and climate alarmism campaigns; and the tidy bonuses will continue to flow to its executives.

The science is not important. The money train must be kept running.

We’re all in this together – on scandalous wind power deals

As David Cameron announced the austerity measures that would be taken in the UK by the coagulation government, he was very fond of repeatedly telling voters ‘we’re all in this together‘.

It may not have been true when it came to the financial hardship many have experienced due to this so called austerity.  But it certainly was true – and remains true – when it comes to describing the political class working against the interest of the poor bloody energy consumer by agreeing insane deals for wind power.  It has resulted in a glaring example of the damage that is caused when lazy consensus politics is coupled with idiots, who have no experience of the real world, seeking to demonstrate their virtue:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yes, that’s right.

… a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers,

No questioning, no challenge, no scrutiny.  Just a huge commitment made with other people’s money so the politicians can indulge their deluded wet dreams of being seen as ‘green’ and taking action to ‘fight climate change’.  This is a party political scandal.  Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – oh yes, they’re all in it together, ripping off the taxpayer and exhibiting a degree of incompetence that is enough to make this blogger reconsider his position on euthanisia.

Following the MPs damning report into the wind farm contracts, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now said it will “re-examine some of the terms” of the lucrative deals.

Too little, too late.

Under the terms of the contracts the companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation linked income for 20 years regardless of how much the infrastructure is used.

The estimated returns of 10-11 per cent on the initial licences “look extremely generous given the limited risks”, the MPs said.

And where were the MPs when all this was being set up?  Asleep at the wheel, or drifting around Westminster with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral, doing what the whips told them?

Millions of votes swing between these parties at general elections as voters seek to punish unpopular governments.  Perhaps the message will soon get through to voters that voting for any of this consensus of careerist power-seekers results in an identical outcome and real change will only come about if voting for none of them removes their legitimacy.  Otherwise the faces might change and the colour of the rosettes may differ, but everything else stays the same to the detriment of this country and its long suffering people.

We don’t need change, we need a grassroots revolt to end this elected dictatorship.  The power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and if the people develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.  It’s in our hands to take back power.

David Cameron’s Impotent Number 10

Over at the paywalled Sunday Times there is a story that anyone who has worked within representative politics will recognise, as subscribers are told that David Cameron often learns of his policies from reading the papers and listening to the radio:

‘David Cameron’s former policy chief has revealed his “horror” at the powerlessness of Downing Street to control government decisions, admitting the prime minister often finds out about policies from the radio or newspapers — and in many cases opposes them.

‘Steve Hilton, who remains one of Cameron’s close confidants, said: “Very often you’ll wake up in the morning and hear on the radio or the news or see something in the newspapers about something the government is doing. And you think, well, hang on a second — it’s not just that we didn’t know it was happening, but we don’t even agree with it!  The government can be doing things … and we don’t agree with it? How can that be?”

‘He described how No 10 is frequently left out of the loop as important policy changes are pushed through by ‘paper-shuffling’ mandarins.”‘

This is what happens when civil servants in government departments and the various tiers of local authorities take their orders and direction not from elected politicians in Westminster or City and Town Halls, but from the various organs of our supreme government in Brussels, the EU.

This is the state of ‘democracy’ in 21st Century Britain.  The likes of Cameron cannot have complaint about this state of affairs, it is what they support and want to maintain.  So any bleating from them should be treated with the contempt it deserves.  But the British people do have cause for complaint.

What is being done by the civil service, following the instructions of a foreign entity that is answerable to one one, has not been elected and cannot be removed by this country’s voters, operating outside of democratic accountability can justly be described as a coup d’etat – albeit one the idiot politicians have facilitated by signing over huge swathes of power without understanding what that entails and without asking the permission of the people they are supposed to serve.  The Irish get it.

This is why the UK needs to become independent again by leaving the EU.

Useful idiots Big business mandarins like Richard Branson couldn’t care less about democratic legitimacy and accountability matters such as these, and certainly don’t want ordinary people to understand the consequences of EU membership for this country.  They prefer to retail scare stories about a departure from the EU threatening our economy and jobs, while deliberately ignoring the fact being part of the single market does not require this country to outsource political control by being a member of the EU.

It is not xenophobic or acting like a Little Englander to want the UK to leave the EU, rather it is an expression of the desire for democracy – people power – that the political class cannot stand and is trying to erode.  We are Better Off Out of the EU.

Open Europe displays its europhile Closed Mind

Returning home this evening I intended to draw attention to a piece in the Barclay Brother Beano.  However Richard has done it justice already, so rather than spend time recreating the story with slightly less panache, here is how Richard sets the scene on EU Referendum…

Unable to fight his corner even on his own blog, after the assertions he made on Norway were challenged, Mats Persson of Open Europe has scuttled off to his Telegraph clog, repeating his propaganda in the hope of reaching a more gullible audience.

However, while desperate to support the Cameron line that Norway, within the EFTA/EEA matrix has “no say” over the framing of EU rules, Persson has been forced to concede that Norway does indeed have some input on the framing of laws. All he will grudgingly allow, though, is that “Oslo has exceptionally limited ability to influence them”.

There’s more where that came from, once again exposing Persson’s shallow and ill-informed assertions for the misleading rubbish they are.

The comments section under the post in the Beano are a joy to behold as they almost universally rip little Mats’ argument to shreds.  Christmas may have come and gone but one Persson is still working as Cameron’s EuroElf.  However the goodies coming out of the sack are shoddy imitations and already broken before they have been opened.

Richard Corbett and his trivial 5% figure

During the media’s scratch at the surface of the EU’s budget discussions former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, who was rejected by voters in 2009 yet nonetheless continues to suck at the teats of the taxpayers in Brussels, has been keen to push the narrative that the EU’s bureaucracy and administration ‘is only 5% of the total budget’.

This is a deliberate line being taken by a fanatical EUphile career bureaucrat to avoid stating the embarrassingly huge monetary cash amount the EU spends on itself.  It’s so much less painful to hear ‘it’s only 5%’ rather than hear the actual figure.  So for the sake of transparency let’s assume Corbett’s 5% figure is accurate and put the monetary value on it that he avoids stating at any cost.

The EU’s Financial Framework 2007-2013 set the global level of commitment appropriations, namely the budget, at €864.3 billion.  That equates roughly to £700 billion over the period. The 5% Richard Corbett is so fond of referring to was therefore a bill of around £35 billion over the last period that was picked up by taxpayers across the EU.

If we consider Herman Van Rompuy’s proposed budget for the next period of €973 billion (around £787.3 billion) Corbett’s beloved 5% becomes £39.4 billion.  Not such a trivial figure when put into proper context, is it Rich? It makes all those £120 bottles of wine possible.

As for our useless establishment fawning media, when will a single journalist listening dumbly to Corbett trotting out this 5% figure do their job, put him on the spot, and ask him to tell viewers and listeners the actual monetary amount?

Democracy and politics, Stoke-on-Trent style

If one wants yet another small but significant piece of evidence demonstrating that we don’t live in a democracy and the political process is an utter failure, look no further than a story from early last week from Stoke-on-Trent.

For it is there, as The Sentinel reports, that council officers are running out of control and operating in defiance of the law.

More than £118,000 has been spent on a survey to review how much repair work is needed on the city’s council houses – but tenants and councillors are not allowed to see the results.

Not just tenants, but their supposed representatives who were elected (albeit by a small minority of voters) to make decisions and direct governance in the city.  The refusal was of a Freedom of Information request for which there is no legal basis at the local authority for rejection.  Taxpayers’ money has been taken (from national and local level) and spent to garner information, but no one can see the results collected by the authority’s Officers.  Well actually, as the story goes on to qualify, councillors can see the information but only after Officers have ‘briefed’ them – presumably to tell them what they must not say in public.  But ‘information control officers’ say releasing the results would cause:

… an increase in customer enquiries relating to when improvements will be carried out.

Prior to publishing the stock condition survey it will be necessary to properly brief frontline staff, elected members and other stakeholders.

Information control?  How apt a description.  Heaven forbid that the public, the majority of whom pay their taxes to fund essentials such as housing repairs to council stock, should deign to ask about the findings or draw upon the very services that they are entitled to receive.  There can be no more clear example of the inversion of the positions of servant and master.

Since then, to compound the sense of incompetence that seems to permeate the city’s halls of ‘power’, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has gone on to write off £7.5m of unpaid council tax in addition to £8.1m already wiped off the books.  Out of control and above the law, councils are gouging the wallets and purses of taxpayers with the usual raft of charges and fees in addition to the annual charge – to fund non essential boondoggles rather than essential services only – which is undoubtedly fuelling resentment at the ever rising level of council tax and avoidance of its payment.

There is a perfect storm brewing caused by the failure of politics and absence of democracy.  An alternative, positive vision is required and thankfully a group of people are developing one known as the Harrogate Agenda,  but some residents are failing to grasp this and rather than demanding the council limit its scope and activities to essential services, instead are calling for it do more to chase down non-payers, and even call in bailiffs with their often illegal and intimidating tactics, to recover unpaid council tax.

Perhaps those who thought Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s ‘corporate logo’ was meaningless were being somewhat unfair.  The image, with its ever decreasing circles sinking lower and lower while fading away, seems somehow rather prescient.  Perhaps it was designed that way intentionally as a metaphor for the continuing erosion of illusory people power and democratic control.

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.

Burwood School assaults – Ofsted shows its inspections are worthless

In January this blog focused attention on the background to the serious assault on two teachers at Burwood School in Orpington, and the media’s failure to report the story in a fuller context.

The Daily Mail later looked deeper into the story and obtained an interview with the father of one of the seriously injured teachers, Diane Whithead.  In that interview, Ms Whitehead’s father shared the previously unreported news that she had suffered another assault at the school in 2009 that resulted in two broken ribs.  Although I carried out a detailed search for news of this incident, there were no reports about it in the archives of the local or national press.  Not only did was this incident hushed up, but it took place in in the very year that Ofsted took Burwood School out of special measures, having been placed in them after the 2007 inspection.

Clearly Ofsted had questions to answer about this – and as the media has lost interest in the story and moved on to its usual diet of celebrity fayre and tittle tattle, I duly submitted a Freedom of Information request asking the following:

  • Did the assault in 2009 take place before or after the Ofsted inspection?
  • If the assault preceded the inspection, were Ofsted told about it?
  • If Ofsted were told, was it taken into account when lifting the school out of special measures?
  • If the assault followed the inspection, were Ofsted told about it?
  • If Ofsted were told, did they consider another inspection?
  • Were the Ofsted inspectors conducting the 2011 inspection aware of the 2009 assault?
  • If they were aware, why did the school get a satisfactory rating despite safety concerns of several parents and carers and evidence of issues around behaviour management?
  • If they were not aware, why did the inspectors not investigate the parental concerns more vigorously?

Although the reply came in February, I’ve delayed returning to this story as I tried another avenue to get more information.  However, now seems as good a time as any to revisit the story and publish Ofsted’s reply following a written answer to a question about violent crime in schools in Parliament that was published yesterday in which no mention was made of Ofsted and its role in assessing safety and behaviour in schools:

Ofsted’s reply which amounts to ‘nothing to do with us, guv’.  It is staggering that documents are destroyed after only six months so there is no way of looking back at evidence collected during previous inspections.  How on earth is an inspector supposed to accurately assess a school’s change performance from its previous inspection when all that is available is what amounts to a brief summary report?  This only reinforces the belief that Ofsted inspections are largely cosmetic and ultimately worthless.

There is no point having Ofsted assess and share information about safety and behaviour in schools if it is incapable of being held to account for its reports when events show them to be flawed or hopelessly out of kilter with the day to day reality in our schools.

There was a hoo last year when Ofsted’s budget for 2014/15 was announced as £143 million.  This is down from £198 million in 2010/11 and £266 million in 2004/05.  For all the use Ofsted is and lack of value it provides, it would seem reasonable to argue that even £143m is far too high a price for taxpayers to pay.  It may have the motto ‘raising standards, improving lives’ but it clearly failed spectacularly when it came to Burwood School, with serious consequences.  Ofsted simply isn’t fit for purpose.

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.

Taking the wind out of their sails

It’s another cold one in the UK today, with temperatures barely getting above 5 degrees celsius (41F) on mainland Britain.  And as Richard North points out on EU Referendum, coal fired power is providing most of our energy.

But the real story here is that at 11.30am, wind power was providing just 51 megawatts of energy.  That means wind is contributing a derisory 0.1% of the UK’s current energy.  Since Richard posted his piece, it has got even worse as you can see below:

At a measley generation of just 45MW wind power is contributing virtually nothing to the grid.  This is what we get for £400m per annum on top of the money that has been lifted from our pockets to facilitate the installation of the turbines.

While the wind generation companies are getting rich soaking up huge amounts of our money and the politicians are busy supping the kool aid,  the turbines are failing to make energy exactly when we need it.  But this is no surprise to those of us who have long argued against the – there is no other word for it – insanity of increasing our reliance on wind as part of the energy mix, at gigantic cost.  It is the politics of delusion.

It seems to have only recently dawned on some MPs that this fetish for wind energy is not only fundamentally flawed by incredibly damaging.  But as Richard points out elsewhere, even this recently acquired awareness is tempered by a startling lack of knowledge:

But, if these 101 Dalmatians MPs are so concerned about consumers having to pay subsidies, why are they only talking about in-shore turbines, when off-shore windmills get twice the amount, and are set to take the greater proportion of the subsidy pot?

Lavishly paid, well expensed, and deeply immersed in the trappings of imagined power, even when they grandstand to give the impression of heading in a worthy direction they still manage to demonstrate their ignorance of the situation they and their predecessors have dragged us into.


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