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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 17/09/2011 : 11:12
Chris Huhne is reported to have a decision from the CPS about a prosecution over his avoiding a driving ban in October, so I'd rush if you want him to reply whilst possibly still a minister


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 18/09/2011 : 05:20
I shall be sorry if food waste collection is discontinued, particularly if it is on the grounds of cost. I have never understood why a public good should have to make a profit. This applies to much of our social infrastructure. Should education and the law make a profit? These people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. This drives priorities and is the reason why public services are so badly administered and funded.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/09/2011 : 05:30
I heard a marvellous example of Spin V. Adversity on the midday news yesterday. Chris Huhne was asked to comment about the condition of the LibDems and their effectiveness in the ConDem coalition.  It was just like being transported back to the worst days of Blairite spin. He kept talking, reeling off a carefully prepared defence despite the efforts of the interviewer to get him to actually address the question. The Gospel according to Huhne is that all is going well and people will realise that the LibDems are an effective party. I have to admit that I turned it off in mid flow, couldn't stand it.  Do politcians like him really think this is effective? Have they learned nothing? To my mind all interviews like this demonstrate is detachment from reality.

Meanwhile, the IMF and the EU central banks have issued an ultimatum to Greece. Before they complete payment of the first tranche of loans (not the ones needed by October to further bolster the economy) they want to see an immediate reduction of 100.000 government jobs, pensions cut and TV stations closed down, all starting today.  I don't think this is possible and this may be the crunch point that decides whether the 'controlled default' starts.  If it does, the next stage will be consideration of whether Greece gets expelled or not. Incredibly the stumbling block to wider agreement can be traced back to opposition by small parties holding the balance of power in obscure EU member's parliaments. If nothing else, this demonstartes the basic problem, the lack of central control in the EU caused by the Euro being introduced before there was a political system to govern it. Not good news and it will affect the UK whatever the ConDem government says.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 19/09/2011 : 10:51


quote:
Stanley wrote:
I shall be sorry if food waste collection is discontinued, particularly if it is on the grounds of cost. I have never understood why a public good should have to make a profit. This applies to much of our social infrastructure. Should education and the law make a profit? These people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. This drives priorities and is the reason why public services are so badly administered and funded.

October 31st

I think you mix many issues in your point Stanley.

With regard to the digestor, the LCC one has been placed some distance away, and I believe the collection was set up before it was given a certificate as there were issues with it actually reaching the necessary temperature to ensure full sterilisation of the material coming out. It was initially going in to landfill.

Not sure about the capacity of the plant either as "facts" seem to be a little scarce, but the cost of transporting the material to the plant all has to added to the carbon equation.

It is probably an enterprise best suited to small scale, so one per town, although I believe they can be as small as one per farm and still be viable.

As to the rest of the rubbish collection, LCC pays for storage of cardboard and paper as there is a very small market for the products. Cans, and bottles is a bit better but not much.

Probably a better approach would be to re-introduce the deposit scheme on glass bottles, which could then allow the prescribing of plastic. It would allow the developement of a more standard market with a future for expansion, plus less reliance on fossil fuels.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 19/09/2011 : 14:07
Conference season:

Vince the Cable likens policy to children up chimneys, seemingly forgetting his history as it was a Tory who passed the act against the practice.

& the New Statesman is getting in early, calling for Wierd Ed to sack Balls:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/dan-hodges/2011/09/labour-economic-balls-shadow


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 19/09/2011 : 20:41
I recently came across the following article that was originally published about a year or so ago. I thought it made interesting reading and gave much food for thought in the poitical sphere.  :-

 

p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

All of you out there across the globe who have fought so hard to tackle the hideous enemy of our planet, namely carbon emissions, you know ........that bogus god you worship of "Climate Change" or "GlobalWarming" ..........well, I feel it is necessary to inform you of some bad news. It really does pain me to have to bring you this disappointing information.


Are you sitting down?


Okay, here's the bombshell. The current volcanic eruption going on in Indonesia (Gunung Merapi) since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just 1 week, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet - all of you.

The volcano in Iceland recently took just 4 days to achieve similar results.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress - it's that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesise into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.

I know, I know.... (group hug)...it's very disheartening to realise that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish you kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of Bali, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your $1 light bulbs with $10 light bulbs ...well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just a few days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes - FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time - EVERY DAY.

Oh, I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the tmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire 40 MILLION YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year - think about it.

Of course I shouldn't spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment
and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognised 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keeps happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change..
I'm so sorry. And I do wish I had a silver lining to this vocanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three ears. And it happens every year.
Just remember that your government just tried to impose a wopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus "human-caused" climate change scenario.

Hey, isn't it interesting how they don't mention "Global Warming" any more, but just "Climate Change" - you know why? It's because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bullshit artists got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that now that you will have an Emissions TradingScheme - that whopping new tax imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely SFA, except make you poorer. It won't stop any volcanoes from erupting, that's for sure!


 
 


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/09/2011 : 04:47
Catty, so there is nothing to worry about and all is well. Why do the words 'sand' and 'ostrich' spring to mind?

Meanwhile, in the real world, the rating agencies have evidently decided that Greece is a done deal, the 'controlled default' is inevitable. Their sights are now trained on Italy,  Standard and Poor's have downgraded their debt rating again. This raises the cost of their borrowing to stay afloat and worsens the chance of them avoiding the same problems as Greece. The problem with Italy is that the scale of the problem is far beyond Greece and at the moment  there is no obvious capacity in the EU or elswhere to finance any recovery. There was an interesting comment from an expert on sovereign debt on R4 this morning, he said that it was easy to speculate on the possibility of the failure of the Euro but so far nobody has addressed the problem of how this could be done or what the effects would be. If it happened it would be a global problem and potentially the trigger for far greater problems. We are living in interesting times.

Vince Cable gave the strongest assessment yet about the UK position and compared it to war. He is right, the dangers are far greater than Ossie admits.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 20/09/2011 : 21:32


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Catty, so there is nothing to worry about and all is well. Why do the words 'sand' and 'ostrich' spring to mind?



p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

I imagine it has something to do with the Emperor and his new clothes..... or even the loin cloths worn by the illuminate. 
 


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2011 : 07:00
Aday after Vice sounded his warning the chief economist of the IMF downgrades the forecast for 2012 UK growth from 2.5% to 1.5% and gave a coded warning that this was not the end of the bad news. In effect, what he is saying is that lack of progress in the EU in tackling the Mediterranean countries is at the moment an unknown factor and can't be properly assessed. In other words, if there isn't a speedy resolution this forecast becomes redundant, we enter a far more serious phase in the decline of the global economy and this will further affect all of us.

It becomes obvious that the Treasury, while denying any possibilty of 'Plan B' is frantically scratching round for good nes stories about bringing spending on infrastructure projects forward. Problem is no new money and small scale. This is too little too late, the damage has been triggered and is ongoing. The effects of the cuts are only just striking home. It's an old cliche but the economy is like an oil tanker, very diificult to change course once it is in motion and the severity and targets of the cuts to address the deficit are far more powerful than any cosmetic changes. I argued years ago that instead of throwing the money at the banks at least half should have been injected into the economy at the basic level to allow the benefits of the multiplier effect on activity. Too late to do anything about this now, the damage has been done. There is only one way that the government can release money from current expenditure in order to make significant public investment. Some form of emergency action needs to be taken to cut through the legal tangle of contract law so that current expenditure on projects at present locked by contract can be stopped immediately. Make up your own list.

Is there any chance of the ConDem government taking this sort of emergency action? Not a hope, it would be the biggest U-Turn in history. Lie back and think of England, the damage and the pain is inevitable. Sorry kids, but that's how it looks to me.

An interesting little factoid from PE. Page 29, "0.3% reduction in economic growth forecast by financial sector as a resulkt of banking reforms. 50.5% is the proportion of the UK deficit caused by subsidies to banks following 2008".  Says it all really.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2011 : 11:15
Is that 50.5% a reduction in taxation receipts?

The money lent to the banks was funded from government treasury bonds, so actually went straight onto the debt figures.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2011 : 11:19
Or Warren Buffet's famous sound bite of "you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out."

Here's the wiki on Fractional Reserve banking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking

quote:
catgate wrote:


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Catty, so there is nothing to worry about and all is well. Why do the words 'sand' and 'ostrich' spring to mind?



p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

I imagine it has something to do with the Emperor and his new clothes..... or even the loin cloths worn by the illuminate. 
 



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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 21/09/2011 : 11:21
I see Chris Huhne seems to be taking some flak today, even from Dame Shirley

Very hard to have a competitive energy policy when his department is forcing ever greater "green" taxes upon business to promote further off shoring of manufacturing.

Someone has even noticed that he is going to the Labour Conference next week.



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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 22/09/2011 : 00:23
I bet that every time he sees a Speed Camera , he's not thinking  .."Oooo look ,what a lovely Lib/Dem sort of colour "... eh .

He's getting a bit cocky lately  ....... Mmmm...We'll see !


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/09/2011 : 04:52
I watched Clegg's speech to the LibDem conference. Not a speech for the nation but a justification for the party activists for the unpopular concessions they have made. The overiding theme was that if they had not bolstered the Tory minority things would have been much worse. Some thruth in this if you accept that Cameron could have formed a government but that's a big if.

What seems to be obvious is that both Tories and LibDems are looking at the worsening  economic predictions and projecting them down the line to the next general election. Bad strategy, they should be concentrating on what needs to be done now not their electoral prospects. Actually, this is the best way to improve their chances, the electorate is crying out for positive action on growth. The longer they dither, the worse the problem will get. We need 'New Economics Version II' as soon as possible.

Treasury and BofE are leaning towards more quantitive easing. US Fed is looking at another version of the same thing. They should all read FDR's Inauguration speech again!

I see that PFI is coming under increased scrutiny. The down the line costs are eye-watering particularly the indexing to inflation. Here's an area where the government ought to call a halt, pass draconian legislation to alter the contracts and kill the goose that is laying the golden egg for the speculators. It would be seen as a terrible thing by the financial sector opening the gate to revision in other areas. This is a gate that needs breaking down, why should we be hamstrung by badly drawn contracts. At least one, the contract for the two aircraft carriers appears to have a political bias and has produced a nonsense. Everyone accpts this but says it is a 'contractual matter. Another thing that needs doing is to abolish the excuse for secrecy of 'commercial confidentiality'. The right of the taxpayer to know the contractual details is a higher priority than a contractor's profits. Again, this would be regarded with horror by the financiers but would mean greater transparency.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/09/2011 : 06:26
Since I wrote the above PFI is in the news again this morning with a report that 60 hospitals are facing financial problems solely because of the high cost of PFI. Also announced was the ending of the NHS IT programme, the most expensive half hour Blair and Co ever spent on the sofa in 10 Downing Street. You'll hear the figures today, they are horrendous! This news doesn't include the other aborted IT 'initiatives'. The total amount of money wasted and the consequences illustrate the folly of knee-jerk commitment to expensive contracts with software companies.  Daughter Janet, who knows about these things, told me years ago that huge mistakes were being made. Where were the real experts, the people with the ability to properly advise? Were contracts taken on based on the possible income rather than the likelihood of success? Who has taken the hit, the taxpayer or those responsible? Gross incompetence is the only explanation.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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