Posts Tagged 'Money Train'

If Cyprus was a one-off, special case then why…

… does the UK Banking Act (2009) contain the same provisions to confiscate the wealth of depositors in banks, in the way the EU, ECB and IMF ‘Troika’ did, if UK banks get into trouble?

The screenshot below is from a joint paper published in December last year by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (US) and the Bank of England called ‘Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions‘.  It can be found on the Bank of England website.  This section is on page ii.

Click to enlarge

It couldn’t happen anywhere else, the Eurocrats keep saying.  So why are the provisions necessary?

The reality that too many people do not understand is that putting your money in a bank makes you a creditor.  You are lending money to the bank so the bank can use that money to lend it out at a profit to others.  You get some of the profit back as interest. If the bank gets into trouble like Laiki Bank in Cyprus, you are just one of many creditors who stands to lose your money.

Cyprus did not have to restrict its confiscation of people’s deposits to those over €100,000.  The ‘insurance’ policy is worthless if the money is taken as a tax or as part of a restructuring plan.  The promises that underpin fiat currency and the treatment of your money by the state and the bankers are as worthless as the paper promisory notes people are queuing for hours in Cyprus to obtain.

The best option is to put some of your wealth out of the reach of the government, the banks and their crooked financial system.  I’ve removed a proportion of my savings and bought physical gold, and physical silver which is stored in a private, independently audited vault in Switzerland.  If you want to preserve some of your wealth I refer you to sign up and buy gold and silver securely by clicking on the BullionVault banner below:

I am publishing a short e-book on Amazon in the next few weeks for people who are interested in investing in gold and silver.  If you are interested in buying a copy from me directly in PDF format just email me at

UKIP if you want to, the lady is for turning

It speaks volumes of the UK Independence Party’s internal political warfare – when its people should be focussing all their attention on fighting for this country to leave the EU – that another one of its highest profile MEPs and senior party members, Marta Andreasen, has defected to the EUphile Conservatives.  It’s another own goal for Nigel Farage, coming just before the Eastleigh by-election.

Quite how Marta Andreasen thinks she will further the cause of this nation’s independence from the EU from within a political party whose senior members are overwhelmingly wedded to continued EU membership, is a mystery.  But then, one wonders if this was ever really her goal and in any case this is a result of what happens when UKIP’s leader puts more stock in pulling attention seeking  stunts like recruiting and installing a high profile former EU Commission whistleblower to the party’s candidates list , over and above long standing members who genuinely believe in getting the UK out of the EU, rather than leaving the grassroots to shape the party and its direction.  To lose one MEP and senior party member is careless, but to lose two…

The Daily Wail, in its story on this, explains:

Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for those wanting to bring about real change in Europe.

If they were being strictly accurate that would read: ‘Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009 and faced imminent deselection from UKIP’s candidate’s list, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for her to maintain her financially lucrative position as a MEP in the European Parliament and tap into yet more hundreds of thousands of taxpayer pounds and euros.’

The Andreason affair is a problem for which Farage is solely responsible. Yet again his judgement and lack of strategic nous has been exposed in humiliating fashion. It was Farage who parachuted Andreason onto a candidates list that gave her the best possible chance of joining the EU gravy train – by breaking UKIP’s own rules on candidate selection – in the hope her profile developed from her battle with Neil Kinnock’s commission would rub off on UKIP (lots of parallels with the autocratic Cameron you will notice).

Although Andreason managed to secure a Brussels seat and spend her time supping from the never diminishing trough, it is Farage’s autocratic control of UKIP and his allegedly misogynist tendencies that she has found to be not to her taste.  She has spoken out about them in a way that has caused maximum embarrassment for UKIP.

Now combine that issue with her worries that the Brussels trough she so savours may soon be denied to her, as she suspected that Farage was planning to repeat his mistakes of taking high profile individuals and combining them with his fetish for the cult of (often minor) celebrity to ‘install’ Neil Hamilton, and possibly his wife Christine, to a winnable candidate’s list so they end up sucking the public teat in the European Parliament.  The resulting blow back made it clear Farage’s masterstroke was soon going to become yet another UKIP-harming piece of shortsighted stupidity.

That brings us to today and the sight of yet another unprincipled UKIP rent seeker jumping ship and boarding another vessel, ironically heading in the opposite direction to EU withdrawal, in the hope of securing the patronage of the control freak Cameron and his penchant for top down dictatorial rule.

As usual the losers in all this are the poor bloody grassroots eurosceptics, who again see internal party intrigues, rent seeking, arrogance and the fallout of autocratic foolishness escalate into cause-harming events such as these.  It is the worst possible advert for the campaign to enable the UK to escape from the EU.  Well done Farage. Well done.  Richard’s thinking on the matter appears to be rather similar to mine, as he explains:

Standing back from that, one can only regret that the eurosceptic cause is served so badly by all these shenanigans. We have enough difficulties and hurdles without our own side adding to them.

Exactly right.

Shock! Climate change laws survive ‘red tape cull’

Imagine our shock!

The Barclay Brother Beano reports that 53 environmental regulations relating to pollution, contamination and waste are being scrapped to save money, however the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey has said that the Climate Change Act is an ‘example of essential legislation’ and all its supporting regulations must remain unchanged.

Of course it must!

After all, it is a money making machine for corporations at the expense of consumers and taxpayers who are forced part with cash unnecessarily by the State  – and it is used as justification by the political and bureaucratic elite for the globalisation of government and erosion of that inconvenient and troublesome process known as democracy.  Nothing can be allowed to derail the agenda.  If every environmental law and regulation bar one was scrapped the lone survivor would be the Climate Change Act.

If this latest piece of evidence doesn’t prove the fact the political class and corporations couldn’t care less about the environment and that the climate change bandwagon is just a means to their ulterior ends, nothing will.  Climate change alarmism has nothing to do with the environment and it has nothing to do with science.  It’s about money and control.  End of.

And despite this smash and grab raid on our pockets, our democracy and our individual freedoms, the vast majority of the population continue to drift through life in a sleepwalk, leaving the politicians and corporations to empower and enrich themselves.  By doing nothing we will deserve what we get.

Climate alarmism money train attracts rent seeking sockpuppet

There is an amusing tale on the Watts Up With That? blog, also covered by Bishop Hill, concerning an ‘organisation’ calling itself The Arctic Institute.

The story is about an individual called Malte Humpert (readers of Viz magazine may immediately be thinking ‘crazy name, crazy guy’) who is the founder of this august body, but has been posting comments on WUWT using at least three different names – none of which are his own. The story is explained on WUWT, providing essential background for the follow up information that Anthony Watts has added with this comment.

While this tale provides readers with some entertainment and again reinforces the shameless unethical behaviour of those like Malte Humpert who are promoting climate alarmism, neither Anthony nor the Bishop nail the real story here, which would add more value to the taxpaying public.

The institute was set up last year and its website has an About Us page which outlines its objectives and key drivers. You will notice my emphasis in red which has particular relevance following some recent posts here on AM:

Malte Humpert contacted WordPress to demand that this post be removed or the content quoted here be removed, along with the screenshot of his page. Presumably Google will also be asked to remove their screenshot and the content Humpert wants removed from view here, because that is where I obtained it when it was removed from his site.

Yes, there it is again! The catch-all justification for imposing an anti democratic, internationalist system of centralised government on the world… sustainability – coupled with a nice dollop of alarmist scaremongering. When the day dawns that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change alarmism (CAGW) is confounded by Mother Nature, Humpert and his ilk will simply focus on some other sustainable development issue. But that is not the story here.

The story is how and why a vehicle such as The Arctic Institute can be created by someone like Malte Humpert. Set aside for a moment the fact Humpert claims to have been its Executive Director since November 2010, despite the Institute’s About Us page stating it was founded in 2011. His biography and work experience demonstrate absolutely no qualification for being the director of an institute focusing on scholarly research.

Image removed by request of WordPress after a demand by the very shy rent-seeker Malte Humpert. Google however continues to provide a screenshot of the page without threats of being closed down.

What his biography does show, however, is someone with a passion for political science and a self professed head for commercial ventures. Humpert would appear to be another member of the legion of politicised rent seekers jumping aboard the taxpayer funded money train to enrich themselves at our expense. The money train is creating opportunities for people like Malte Humpert.

Clearly being a teaching assistant wasn’t satisfying enough for our Malte, so he hit upon a way to make money from his apartment without producing anything tangible for the economy. Five months spent as a Climate and Energy Policy intern seem to be his only exposure to the ’cause’; but as the director of an institute created to spread the alarmist gospel he can be assured of attracting funding and being accorded ‘prestige’ by those whose interests he will serve.

This is the nature of so much of the CAGW community. It is amazing how powerful the incentive is to jump on a bandwagon when there are billions of dollars, euros and pounds of our money out there just waiting to be hoovered up by chancers like Humpert – and you don’t even need to have any form of scientific background or experience, as Rajendra Pachauri of the International Panel on Climate Change demonstrates. This is being facilitated by the politicians and despite claims we live in a democracy we have no way of stopping this scandalous waste. That is the real story here.

Having has his head put in the spotlight by Anthony Watts, it will be interesting to see what sources of funding find their way to The Arctic Institute. No doubt, with their commitment to transparency and openness, people like Dr Peter Gleick, Andy Revkin, Leo Hickman, Suzanne Goldenberg etc. will demand to know the sources of Humpert’s future funding. If not, they will surely be content with any ‘leak’ of documentation obtained via impersonation and deceit. It’s the way of things among the true believers.

Note to WordPress – do not mark this post ‘private’ again. You do not have any justification to censor this.

The latest band of wind turbine rebels

In Cleveland, North East England, a group of residents from Marske, New Marske and Saltburn have joined forces to oppose the installation of eight wind turbines across several local sites, according to a story covered in the Evening Gazette.

This story stands out from many others because underlines the dash for cash that keeps the uneconomic wind industry on life support.  Firstly it tells readers the agent acting on behalf of the developer, Empirica Investments Ltd, is working for the West Midland Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund – a body committed to making a lot of money for members.  Secondly it also carries a nail-on-head quote from a local councillor, Dr Tristan Learoyd, that defines this money train for what it is:

Local people are united in their opposition to the proposal. I am a lifelong environmentalist, but these projects aren’t about climate change. They’re about a few people making fast cash from government grants.

The Gazette story, which has attracted a handful of comments that are universally hostile to the collection of turbine planning applications, also mentions that a leaflet circulated in the area by EDF Energy has left residents questioning the need for the eight turbines given that a previously approved 29-turbine offshore Redcar wind farm was pitched as catering for all Marske and Saltburn energy needs.

The money train is used as a hook in the marketing material published by Empirica Investments.  It is of course a staggering coincidence that at the exact time this story makes  headlines in the area, Empirica are in the process of redeveloping their website.  But Google’s graphic cache of the pages of Empirica’s website, pre redevelopment, enables us to see how they lure landowners into having turbines sited on their land, so both they and the parasitical Empirica can make money from our taxes and energy bills.

For those who cannot make out the text it reads:

Offering to the landowner

The attraction of the Empirica Investments offering is for the landowner to receive income from their land at no cost to them.

As Empirica receive the tariff from the Government backed Feed in Tariffs, the income is underwritten by Government policy and is not subject to the volatility of the wholesale energy markets.

The landowner will share in the total income received from the electricity generated from the wind turbine in exchange for leasing their land, without the risks attached with developing the project.

Typically we are seeking sites for the installation of a single turbine, however in certain circumstances we can look at multiple installations and possibly the installation of a different size or model of turbine.

We adopt a bespoke approach to any deal with landowners, however our standard terms offered for suitable site criteria are based upon the following […]

These are government facilitated parasites, hoovering up money from our pockets via our taxes and energy bills for the installation of an unreliable technology that we have shown contributes a negligible percentage of our energy when the energy is needed most.  But the target of our ire must be the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels and Westminster who have imposed this corporatist scam on us.  It is legalised theft, a forced redistribution of wealth from those who often can least afford it, to those who already have significant resources.

Associated Thought Control

When it comes to spinning the party line on the Climategate issue, the Associated Press can be relied upon by the warmists to shoehorn an entirely misleading assertion into its story.  Perhaps they should be called Associated Thought Control?

Both the Washington Post and CBC of Canada publish an identical report, spat out from AP about the Met Police and Norfolk Constabulary raid on Tallbloke and seizure of his computer equipment.

There is so much wrong about this police action that any journalist worth their highly remunerated salt could fill column feet with analysis of the legal basis for the raid, how they obtained a warrant to confiscate equipment of someone they admit is not suspected of any wrongdoing, and what on earth the police think they are going to achieve by it.

But we are talking about AP here, so of course the story has to reiterate the completely unproven allegation that the emails were stolen.  And of course AP goes out of its way to to tell the audience the scientists did nothing wrong, using a one line paragraph deliberately designed to stand out and hammer home what they want people to accept as fact despite the inquiries not looking for any evidence of wrongdoing.  Paragraphs such as that below are nothing less than naked propaganda:

Several inquiries have since refuted the charges.

Despite the massed ranks of government departments, NGOs, environmental activist groups, corporate giants and sycophantic media all lining up to parrot the warmist creed, people are still refusing to accept the narrative/  As bloggers continue to publish scientific findings that the likes of Mann, Jones, Trenberth and Briffa strive furiously to keep out of the public arena, the public becomes increasingly sceptical of the official line.

The result is the agents of the state being deployed against those bloggers who continue to share inconvenient information.

When it comes to keeping the taxpayer funded money train on the rails it seems the warmists are getting increasingly desperate.  The bloggers have got them on the run and now the warmists are trying scare tactics.

Civil Ceremonies – the latest Council cash cow

Regular readers will be familiar with this blog’s occasional focus on local authorities that take advantage of their largely unscrutinised position to fleece residents with unjustifiable charges and fees, on top of Council Tax.

One such reader, Alan Douglas, got in touch to share his story of how councils have seized upon Civil Ceremonies as the latest method of prising money from our pockets.

As Alan explains, by law each Registration District has to offer Civil Ceremonies at a cost of around £43.50. Councils fulfill this obligation, but in such a grudging manner no one in their right mind would accept the package on offer.  For example, Kent offers these £43.50 ceremonies two days a week, at about 10.00 and 10.30am, and the ceremony is held literally in an ordinary office.  Hardly the kind of memory a couple would want for their venue for such an important moment in their lives.

When Alan personally enquired about a Civil Ceremony at Royal Tunbridge Wells, he was told it could be performed at the council’s suite Monday to Thursday – but at a cost of £505, with weekend ceremonies being charged at up to £675.  The Council Officer dealing with Alan’s enquiry said that these ceremonies were the cheapest they did.  There was no mention of the £43.50 ‘waste transfer station’ version that has to be provided by law.  Another enquiry, this time to Crowborough in Sussex, saw a Civil Ceremony provided – for £75.00 – still with no mention of the basic version that has to be offered.

Alan did some more digging, phoning a number of local authorities to enquire about Civil Ceremonies in their boroughs.  It won’t come as a raging shock to learn that while all councils are meeting the letter of the law with the basic ceremony, many focus all their attention on flogging their up-market alternatives without giving the full facts to those making enquiries.

Most of the basic ceremonies are performed in dedicated rooms of various sizes and standard of decor.  But the investigation shows many local authorities are now “decommissioning” their rooms, only to redecorate and renamed them in order to charge higher fees.  Not only that, many councils are actively putting couples off from choosing a basic Civil Ceremony by providing so few “basic” slots that they don’t even come close to covering the demand.  In their impatience to join a long waiting list, couples are being kettled into paying much higher fees in order to solemnise their relationship.  Going back to Kent, there is only one office providing basic ceremonies for the whole county and it is providing only four ceremony slots per week.

In surprisingly candid admissions, two authorities contacted by Alan confirmed they would not tell an enquirer about the basic charge wedding, preferring to push their much more profitable alternatives.

This all leads to a simple question.  Do these councils exist to serve the local community, or does the local community exist to serve the interests of the council?  Draw your own conclusions.

     With thanks to Alan Douglas.

H.R. 2594

(With thanks to Alfred for his tip on the Tips/Stories page)

A seemingly innocuous title maybe, but one that conceals a course of action that could signal the start of a trade war between the EU and the United States, at a time when Brussels is firefighting sovereign debt crises and staring down the barrel of the Euro disintegrating.

In the US House of Representatives, House Resolution 2594 was introduced in July this year.  It read:

To prohibit operators of civil aircraft of the United States from participating in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme, and for other purposes.

In other words, the US Government is making it illegal for American airline operators to pay the EU’s tax on aircraft carbon emissions.  The full details of the Bill are shown below:

In a rare show of bi-partisan cooperation, the Republicans and Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Bill unanimously.  It now goes before the Senate and if it passes there all that stands between it being rejected or becoming law is the signature of President Obama.  Among the key paragraphs of the Bill are these two notable assertions used as justification for the US position:

(3) The European Union’s extraterritorial action is inconsistent with long-established international law and practice, including the Chicago Convention of 1944 and the Air Transport Agreement between the United States and the European Union and its member states, and directly infringes on the sovereignty of the United States.

(6) There is no assurance that ETS revenues will be used for aviation environmental purposes by the European Union member states that will collect them.

It is not just the US lining up against the EU on this matter.  In the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) no less than 26 countries are opposed to the EU’s arbitrary measure.

After years of acting with impunity against the interests of the citizens of the member states, the EU now finds itself facing proper concerted opposition to its behaviour.  This could become part of a snowball effect as Brussels comes under attack from multiple directions on multiple issues and add to a sense of crisis across the political class within the bloc.  We are now living in what the Chinese call ‘interesting times’.

Energy policy chickens coming home to roost

The negative effects of the dash for gas, to pick up the slack for poorly performing renewables, didn’t take long to kick in did they?  The failure of successive governments to develop new nuclear generation is writ large.  The people paying the price are the likes of you and I.  Meanwhile the renewables speculators get rich at our expense with their lavish subsidies, even though the output will have a marginal impact on energy supply in this country.

On 7th December last year, this blog mused on the great energy delusion, observing that:

After all, renewables are supposed to become our baseload power source if you believe the idiots in Westminster who are bought in to the power generation revolution. It’s easy to say that gas fired power stations will pick up the slack, but the dash for gas is forcing the price upwards as demand from China to western Europe is on the increase. While we are able to get gas from Norway we will increasingly be relying on gas from Russia and the middle east to meet the energy gap created by unreliable and over rated renewables.

Today we have British Gas announcing it is hiking its gas prices by an average of 18% in August. Why? Although these comments were carried on BBC radio the BBC web report leaves out some key details, so we defer to the Evening Standard for the full explanation:

British Gas said wholesale prices had increased by 30 per cent since last winter because of “increased gas consumption in Asia and the impact on supply of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa”.

Managing director Phil Bentley said: “We know there is never a good time to raise prices, but we are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate.”

But what of our wind turbine adoring Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Lhuhne?  As always, he is off in the land of make believe where he is seeking to distance himself from the consequences of the policy he supports:

I refuse to stand by and watch this happen.

The UK electricity market has to change so we escape the cycle of fossil fuel addiction.

Alternatives, like renewables and nuclear power, must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix.

Only radical reform now will give us the best chance in the long run of keeping the lights on at a price that doesn’t wreck our economy over and over again.

What we are experiencing is what has been caused by the approach he supports.  He shares the blame.  As a Eurofanatic he actively supports EU actions that are driving up our energy costs, yet is putting all the blame on the energy companies.  Lhuhne as a renewablesfanatic supports the exorbitant cost of renewables subsidies, and the forcing of the energy companies to purchase all power produced by the turbines regardless of their cost.  He has long been rigidly opposed to state subsidy for nuclear power and continues to be.  But reality is starting to bite and now he is calling for more nuclear which is reliable, despite putting our money into renewables that are not.

So where is this radical reform he speaks of?  It’s nice to see Lhuhne talking about the best chance of ‘keeping the lights on’.  According to his own party leader, Nick Clegg, there was no evidence that there’s going to be a terrible energy gap and that the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.  Chris doesn’t seem to agree with Nick any more.  But the problem is the climate change lunacy, the obsession with unreliable and intermittant wind power, the regulations and obligations imposed on us by the political class  is wrecking our economy already and plunging millions of people needlessly into fuel poverty.

Huhne’s attempts to point the finger at the energy companies, who are forced to deliver on government policy, must not be allowed to wash.  The buck stops with him and his ideologue pals who have accelerated our descent into chaos and exacerbated the problems he claims to be refusing to stand by and watch happen.

Huhne does not have the solution.  He is a major part of the bloody problem.

Met Office’s pathetic self justification and lack of attention to detail

This morning the ‘Met Office News Blog‘ published a post of self congratulation titled ‘A year in the life of the Met Office’ in a tame attempt to justify the ‘news’ (something already examined and trailed by this blog in early May) that its staff will benefit from £1.5m worth of bonus payments.

We learn from the Met Office’s blog post that their Annual Report and Accounts for this year have now been published and are available to view on their website.  However as of 12.30pm today all attempts to locate the said information have thus far failed. Accuracy is clearly not something synonymous with the Met Office so this is no great surprise. Nor is attention to detail given the latest news page was apparently last updated on 4 May 2011 even though it holds news releases as recent as 24 June.

We are also told via the blog though that commercial revenues are up £2.9m on last year to £32.2m for FY 2010/11. Interestingly we are also told that for the second year running, the Met Office has exceeded all of its Business Performance Measures, including its weather forecasting targets and business profitability.

One can only assume that the number of commercial customers who have contracts with the Met Office is not a factor in those business performance measures.  For this blog learned a month ago through a FOI request that the number of customers purchasing services from the Met Office fell from 1257 last year to 1178 in the year being reported in the accounts.  In fact, since 2008-9 the Met Office commercial customer base has shrunk by 17.3%.

While the Met Office is at pains to tell us their range of products and services has increased along with their forecasting quality (dubious doesn’t come close to describing that claim) the fact is the trend in confidence in the department is downward.  If their forecasting quality had improved why is it senior Met Office personnel have spent time in the media excusing their performance and saying they need yet more public money to increase their supercomputing capability?

And while the Met Office claims to have ‘accurately forecast 12 of the 13 big weather patterns that blasted the UK last winter and 80% of people surveyed said they were aware of the warnings we put out and 95% of those found the warnings useful‘ it is difficult to have confidence in such assertions when the Met Office’s claim that the public did not want seasonal forecasts was based on a sample of just 16 people – and its claim that it no longer does seasonal forecasts was shown by Met Office Board meeting minutes to be a lie.

When considering this last year in the life of the Met Office perhaps people will do well to take into account the reality rather than the spin emanating from Exeter, designed to head off questions about bonus payments – subsidised by the hard pressed and poorly served taxpayer – that are wholly unjustified.

Met Office losing commercial customers

Earlier this month a report in the Sunday Express (published online late on 7th May) about the forecast for the Royal Wedding made a couple of interesting observations that prompted a blog post here on AM.

Firstly there was confirmation that the Met Office will pay performance-related bonuses this year which will push the total paid to its 1,800 staff in the last six years to almost £15million. Apparently these bonuses are based on profitability and when the Met Office meets its targets on forecasting accuracy.

Secondly there was a reminder that the majority of the Met Office’s £190million annual income comes from public funds by means of contracts to provide services to government departments and that critics say it is time to force it to compete in the open market against other forecasters.

It was these factoids that made me curious about the reality of the Met Office’s forecasting performance.  Do its executives really deserve the bonuses they are going to receive?

While the Met Office might like to aggressively counter stories like that in the Sunday Express, as it did on 9th May by claiming its forecast the day before the Royal Wedding was more accurate than the newspaper claimed, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Or in weather forecasting terms, seeing how many private customers are sufficiently satisfied with Met Office forecasts to continue buying services from them commercially.  So this blog submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Met Office asking them:

Please will you supply me with full details of:

1. The number of non-Governmental (private) customers purchasing
forecasting services from the Met Office in the years 2008, 2009
and 2010 respectively

2. The total revenue received from non-Governmental (private)
contracts for forecasting services provided by the Met Office in
the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively

Please note I am not requesting details of the individual customers
or specifics of their contract terms.

It was a clear enough request.  However, the Met Office’s reply seemed to be trying to conceal something:

The number of commercial customers purchasing services from the Met Office over the three year period would show us whether the customer base is stable, rising or falling.  The number of commercial customers is a fair reflection of customer confidence in Met Office forecasts.  But the Met Office clearly did not want to deal in specifics.

So a follow up was sent asking that they provide me with the exact number of commercial customers in each of the three years specified as per my request.  Their reply arrived today:

While revenues (for the years where figures are available) have remained fairly constant, we can now see that since 2008-9 the Met Office commercial customer base has shrunk by 17.3%.

We can now see why the figures were not provided in response to the original request.  And this is happening against a backdrop of independent forecasters adding customers to their books.

Customers generally don’t leave specialist service providers that deliver good performance, so it is reasonable to assume that faith in Met Office forecasting is declining due to accuracy failings.  If performance is on the wane the question that must be answered is how can the Met Office’s executives continue to award themselves bonuses year on year?

Without the cushions and comfort blankets provided by guaranteed government contracts funded with our tax pounds one wonders how the Met Office would fare operating exclusively in the private sector.

Can’t they just try to get the weather forecast right?

And so the propaganda continues:

The Met Office has teamed up with Rapanui, an eco-fashion company.

The Met Office eco clothing collection is made from organic cotton in an ethical, wind powered factory and features a range of weather related designs inspired by the imagery, science and history of the Met Office.

Mart Drake-Knight co-founder of Rapanui said:
“The Met Office is the international authority on climate change research, as well as being our national weather service that provides weather forecasts that we can trust and rely on.”

Perhaps Mr Drake-Knight should be more mindful of the Trade Descriptions Act when spouting assertions like that in PR puff pieces for the Met Office.  There was once a time when a meteorological office would focus on, you know, just getting the weather forecast right.  But just doing the weather is not so important when thar’s gold to be had in that there climate change activism…

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