« April 2011 | Main | June 2011 »


May 31, 2011

All Animals Are Equal

Environmental tax threatens green energy research in UK | Environment | The Guardian

World-class research into future sources of green energy is under threat in Britain from an environmental tax designed to boost energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions, scientists claim.
Some facilities must find hundreds of thousands of pounds to settle green tax bills, putting jobs and research at risk.
The unexpected impact of the government's carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme is so severe that scientists and research funders have lobbied ministers for an exemption to reduce the bills

Oh, an exemption please. Because our use of fossil fuels is more important than your or your company's use. Just like our flying round the world is more important than your flying around and so shouldn't be criticised. In fact it probably is unfair we have to queue in traffic like you do so maybe we should have special traffic lanes for really important people like us......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Climate Truthers

Climate 'trutherism': the conspiracy theory that's no joke | Sahil Kapur | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

One group of these conspiracy theorists, however, has even succeeded in bringing its theory into the mainstream. These are the people who deny that human activity is contributing to climate change, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary – call them the "climate truthers", for lack of a better term.
Climate trutherism embodies the lynchpin of most conspiracy theories: the belief that a group of influential people is coordinating a wide-ranging cover-up to advance their interests by bamboozling the rest of us. Doubting human-caused climate change requires the same paranoid logic as, say, doubting that the 9/11 attacks caught Bush officials by surprise, or that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery. But rather than believing that we're being lied to by the Bush White House or Obama's mother and the state of Hawaii, you're required to believe that we're being lied to by nearly every scientist and scientific institution in the world.
mitigating global warming really does require government intervention in the energy industry, so it must be a leftwing, "big government" plot. What binds all these conspiracy theorists together is the belief that their ideological opponents are evil masterminds engaged in a cabal: healthy scepticism turned pathological.
There exists a somewhat tamer brand of climate trutherism, which takes a different tack: rather than attack or challenge the science head-on, its proponents merely assert that the science is unsettled. This is simply obfuscation, designed to exploit misconceptions.
To wit, the scientific consensus is so strong that you must either believe manmade climate change is real or you have to believe there's a massive conspiracy going on. There's hardly a third option.
...it takes courage to call out climate truthers, because some of them are very influential. But that's why it's more important.

Oh what a brave little soldier he is, being rude about everyone who doesn't toe the party line, it takes courage to to stand behind every Government and apparently every scientist and defend them.
Because if you have the slightest doubt about any aspect of the Climate Change scare or the prescribed response to it you are a "Climate Truther" and evil. Nuances don't come into it.

Grown ups might like Skeptic Strategy for Talking About Global Warming | Watts Up With That? though.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:53 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Green Turning Brown

Scotland wants German-style nuclear shutdown, says SNP - Scotsman.com News
The German coalition government's plans to phase out all of its nuclear power stations by 2022 mean the country is the biggest industrial power to give up on the controversial form of energy.
Nationalist MSPs at Holyrood seized on yesterday's announcement, with energy minister Fergus Ewing saying that the move "adds further weight" to the SNP's plans to generate all of Scotland's energy from renewables within ten years.

Support wind farms? It would be less controversial to argue for blackouts | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian So this is where the United Kingdom stands. We cannot keep burning fossil fuels without cooking the biosphere. We don't like nuclear power. We don't like onshore wind. We won't like the costs of the other technologies. We reject all the means by which electricity is generated. Yet no one is volunteering to stop using it.

So we will end up with smaller rejuvenated power stations burning fossil fuels, purely for "back up" purposes you understand, and brown outs.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 30, 2011

It's The Sun Wot Did It

Letters: Still spinning around the sun | From the Guardian | The Guardian Saturday 14 July 2007 Good scientists spend their time constantly re-evaluating ideas and theories against all the evidence. Because I am a solar physicist, it would make me very happy indeed were the sun to be the cause of current climate change, partly because it would make my studies more relevant and important but mainly because I understand that solar activity will almost certainly decline in years to come. This would mean that the greatest threat to mankind's continued prosperity and wellbeing, namely climate change, would also decline. Sadly for me, and for all of us, you cannot wish or spin away a scientific reality. Professor Mike Lockwood
Blow to green energy plans as wind speeds forecast to drop for 40 years - Scotsman.com News

Meteorologists now believe these becalmed weather systems are linked to levels of solar radiation. A particularly quiet spell between 1645 and 1715 - a period known as the Maunder Minimum - saw Britain suffer a mini ice age, yet also bouts of hot, dry summers.
Professor Michael Lockwood of Reading University said: "We reached a high point of solar activity in 1985. Since then, it has been declining. We are now halfway back to the levels seen during the Maunder Minimum. The probability is that decline will continue for the next 40 years."

It seems the Prof is a good scientist and has re-evaluated his ideas about the sun, though what his thoughts on the Global situation are I don't know.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 27, 2011

Friday Night is Music Night (Stoned Edition)


That's my work for the long weekend.


I remember at college having this gatefold album with its fold out map in the middle, plenty of rolling room!

Posted by The Englishman at 4:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Nurse, The Screens.

Letter: Scientists could use FoI law safeguards | Science | The Guardian

The president of the Royal Society calls for changes to freedom of information laws to prevent them being misused. However, existing safeguards address many of his concerns.....

Another academic is quoted as saying many FoI requests are made in order to find problems and errors – but that is a valid use of the act. It was the misguided attempt to deny ammunition to critics that led to the Climategate fiasco. The resulting independent review found there had been an "ethos of minimal compliance (and at times non-compliance) … with both the letter and the spirit" of the legislation, and that the campaign of requests to the UEA climatic research unit was partly the result of its own "unhelpful" response to earlier requests. It is not clear that much has changed.

Maurice Frankel
Director, Campaign for Freedom of Information

I think that is Sir Paul Nurse pwned...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Under Care

One in three Britons ‘scared of going out after dark’ | The Times

Britons tend to be better off, fatter and more content with life than their counterparts in other developed economies, but they are also more afraid of going out after dark, according to research.

Just as we are below average in health satisfaction in the OECD survey despite the NHS, so we seem to be worse off in the State provided public safety but ahead in the the private eating, drinking and having fun, and earning money, despite the restrictions the state puts on those activities. There is almost a pattern here.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What Price A Green And Pleasant Land?

Bravo for nimbyism. What else will keep us from turbines and pylons? | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

Such friends of the power industry as Jonathon Porritt and George Monbiot claim to find turbines and pylons beauteous objects that enhance the natural environment.
As long as there are people who see no beauty in nature, those who oppose them must do better than just cry "philistine". I see no objection to nimbyism, since if we do not love and protect our own spaces, no one else will. But such protection requires a common aesthetic, in which statements about beauty are not ridiculed by politicians and lobbyists. It requires specifying the delight in a view, a hill, a coast, a valley and pleading with others to see it too. Indeed it requires more than that. Since spoiling nature makes money for someone, monetary value must be ascribed to preserving it.

He is a brave man tilting at windmills in the Guardian, the commentators are out in force.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2011

Checking for errors an inconvenience - Bob Ward

Freedom of information laws are used to harass scientists, says Nobel laureate | Politics | The Guardian
Sir Paul Nurse says climate scientists are being targeted by campaigns of requests designed to slow down their research
Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics said the intention of many of those making freedom of information requests was to trawl through scientists' work with the intention of trying to find problems and errors. "It's also quite true that these people do not care about the fact that it is causing a serious inconvenience," he said.

How awful! The inconvenience of people checking climate scientists' work for errors. Don't they know there is an emergency? What are a few errors to saving the world?

Posted by The Englishman at 5:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Don't Get Old in NHS World

Doctors have to prescribe water as elderly go thirsty in hospitals | The Times

Older patients get “appalling” care in some hospitals, including being left so short of water that doctors resort to prescribing it on bedside notes to make sure patients receive enough liquid, the health regulator warns.
Inspections at 12 hospitals by the Care Quality Commission showed that three failed to meet basic standards of dignity and nutrition for patients, and three more raised concerns.
Dame Jo Williams, chief executive of the CQC, told The Times that the failure rates found at the first 12 hospitals surveyed were expected to be “fairly representative” of the NHS, with only half of hospitals meeting essential standards of dignity and nutrition for older people. About a quarter were likely to be breaking the law on standards of care, as set down in the Health and Social Care Act 2008, she added

Posted by The Englishman at 1:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2011

Organic Devastation

Uganda's farmers devastated by DDT - Scotsman.com News

When the American government, a generous and close friend to Uganda, began an organic farming programme to help rural economies here, Acope expanded, selling a wide variety of commodities at good rates. His one acre became seven. Acope fathered 11 children. Uganda was developing, and Acope was one of many who were riding high.
But the very next year came winds of change. Faced with unrelenting malaria, which threatened both lives and livelihoods, Uganda's government teamed up with the US to use chemical insecticide sprays - including DDT - to try to eliminate the disease. Acope's home district, Apac, which has some of the highest malaria rates in the world, was chosen for spraying in early 2008. ..when the DDT was sprayed, organic-farming companies say they lost the bulk of their supply immediately.
Now, following its devastating effects, Acope is helping to take his own government to court. ..

So this father of 11's devastation is the loss of the extra profit from producing organic mangoes over normal mangoes, and maybe having to still feed all his children as they haven't died of malaria....

Posted by The Englishman at 11:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Back to the 1970s

George Davis wasn't as innocent as all that | Andy McSmith | Independent Editor's choice Blogs
Presumably we will read more in one of the Sunday tabs about George Davis, the man who became the  most popular slogan ever to emerge from London’s gangland. The case dates from those "Life on Mars"€™ days when judges, juries, journalists and the public assumed that if a police officer said something on oath, it must be true...

Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Moulder, from Hertfordshire police, investigated the case after Davis’s trial in 1975. His report to the Home Office, in 1977, was so damning that for 34 years the Home Office refused to let anyone, including Davis’s lawyers, see it. One of the people who provided Moulder with ammunition was Inspector Brian Reynolds, who led the original investigation into the Essex payroll robbery, before the Robbery Squad moved in. He did not like their methods, but was hauled into Scotland Yard and warned by someone very high up not to do anything that might impede Davis’s conviction. The head of the Robbery Squad in those days was none other than the legendary Jack Slipper, ‘Slipper of the Yard’, the man who rounded up the Great Train Robbers. Frank Goodwin, a Case Review Manager at the Criminal Cases Review Commission also put together evidence that helped bring abotu yesterday’s ruling that Davis’s conviction was unsafe.
Davis did not help those who campaigned for him by getting arrested in 1977, a year after he had been released under a Royal Pardon, when the police caught him red handed during an attempted bank robbery.....

Posted by The Englishman at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My New Office

Stonehenge%20Inside%20the%20circle.jpg + size

Get some uPVC windows in and fix the roof, it won't be bad for blogging from.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 19, 2011

Finis

The%20End.jpg

It has been a busy seven days; I became a Grandfather, resigned from my job, turned fifty and have just been offered a new job that I hadn't applied for. It is only part time and for three months, I turned down the chance of full time as I still have other irons in the fire. But I think it will be really interesting and the workplace is wonderful and fascinating. And there is every chance the contract will be extended.
However I will be a small speck on the cogwheels of State, with Her Majesty and Her Ministers as my ultimate employers and being a loyal and humble servant it is probably only fitting I am no longer rude about their infinite wisdom.
This isn't a "I will never blog again" post because this blog and you, the readers, have given me so much fun and education over the last seven years that it would be hard to draw it to a close. It just marks that there may be changes and unexplained haituses.
I go to get the uniform measured on Monday, wish me well and I hope to see you soon.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:40 PM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

Boost Economy By Digging Holes

Green energy plans could capture 5,000 jobs for Scotland - Scotsman.com News

MORE than 5,000 green energy jobs could be created through the construction and operation of three Scottish carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in a £3 billion boost for the economy, according to research by Scottish Enterprise.

Why not double it to 10,000 jobs and bury even more fizzy gas. Or why not employ a million people to dig holes and a million more to fill them in? What a boost to the economy that would be!
The Magic Money Fairy would happily cough up more money I'm sure, because if the money is coming from anywhere else it would be depressing the economy there, where it could more usefully employed.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 18, 2011

1961 Was A Very Good Year

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 17, 2011

Huhne Must Go

David Cameron's green agenda hangs on Chris Huhne's fate – Telegraph Blogs

David Cameron will find it much harder to deliver his “greenest government ever” if Chris Huhne has to resign as energy and climate change secretary in the wake of allegations that he persuaded his then wife to take penalty points for as speeding offence. ...many environmentalists will be ... sending up even more fervent prayers that Chris Huhne manages ride out the sea of troubles now besetting him.

Real environmentalists will be hoping he and his foolish ideas are sunk and instead of spunking our money away chasing the climate change fairies some money is left over to implement real environmental improvements.

Posted by The Englishman at 3:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Other Hoon Troughing It

Westminster blog -FT.com

While all eyes are on one Huhne, his namesake Geoff -€“ give or take a bit of spelling - is finding new pastures in the corporate world. The former defence secretary, who was ensnared in a Dispatches sting (saying he would use his contacts to find employment in the private sector*) is off to work for AgustaWestland, the helicopter company. Here is the full story on ft.com.
Hoon was in charge of the MoD in 2005 when it awarded a £1bn contract to Westland to buy "œFuture Lynx"€ choppers, an agreement that saved thousands of British jobs.

And it seems created one very cushy one....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

“It Ain’t Necessarily So” - One To Download

Former Cabinet Secretary Questions Blind Faith In Climate Alarmism

London, 16 May - Lord Turnbull, the former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service (2002 – 2005), has called on MPs and ministers to consider more carefully the rising costs and economic risks of Britain’s unilateral climate policies.

In a dispassionate but devastating critique of current policies, Andrew Turnbull also criticises the blind faith in the propositions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) given that they do not bear the weight of certainty with which they are often expressed.

In his briefing paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Lord Turnbull outlines the many doubts and disagreements that exist about key IPCC assumptions....

Lord Turnbull’s briefing paper The Really Inconvenient Truth, Or “It Ain’t Necessarily So” can be downloaded here

Posted by The Englishman at 6:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Fox Loose In The Henhouse

Fox tells PM: stop wasting billions on overseas aid | The Times

Liam Fox has formally objected to government plans to spend billions more on overseas aid, according to a letter to David Cameron that was leaked to The Times.
he Government is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas aid by 2013, up from 0.59 per cent in 2009.
This represents an increase from £7.5 billion last year to £11.4 billion in time for the next election — a 34 per cent rise, when cuts to departments are averaging 19 per cent.
The letter represents a direct challenge to Mr Cameron’s drive to “decontaminate” the Tory brand. It will play well with the party’s backbenchers, weeks after Dr Fox hinted that he had not given up his ambitions to be Tory leader, praising Mr Cameron only as a good “coalition Prime Minister”. A Downing Street source said that they “watch Dr Fox closely”.

As well they might as he seems to be a bit more in touch with the voters than the rest of them.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Champagne Socialist in Chains

EU Referendum: Give us more!

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is one of "them". Whether he is guilty or not does not really matter. As a representative of "them", the ritual public humiliation and the suffering of DSK serves a greater purpose. It is a reminder of what we would like to do to them all – would do to them all – given a chance.

I'm enjoying the news today.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2011

Daily Mail Huhne Hunting - See You In Court, Minister

Huhne%20hunting.jpg

Tomorrow's Daily Mail front page - "See you in court, Minister...

Updated No link to story on Daily Mail Site..

Posted by The Englishman at 10:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Caroline Spelman: Hot weather hats cause irreversible damage

caroline spelman: hot weather has caused irreversible damage - Google Search

Hot%20Weather%20Hats.jpg

Yes - I've been scarred by a few wedding hat pins in my time....

Posted by The Englishman at 5:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sinking Islands

BBC News - Mining to blame for islands to sink beneath waves

Two small islands in South Asia's first marine biosphere reserve have sunk into the sea primarily as a result of coral reef mining, experts say.
Fishermen had indiscriminately and illegally mined invaluable coral reefs around the islets of Poomarichan and Villanguchalli for many decades, said S Balaji, chief conservator of forests and wildlife for that region of Tamil Nadu state.
Mr Balaji said rising sea level as a result of global warming was also a factor behind the islands' submergence.
But this was questioned by Simon Holgate from the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool, UK, who said observations showed that the sea level in the region had been rising slower than the global average.
"I think that global sea level rise had little impact on the disappearance of these islands and it must be due to other reasons, possibly the mining of coral reefs," Dr Holgate told BBC News.

Whoops - he strayed off the script in telling the truth territory. Good man.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$1m each for 440 eco busy bodies

Eco adviser ERM sold to Charterhouse Capital Partners | Business | The Guardian

Under the deal, which values Environmental Resources Management (ERM) at $950m (£585m), Charterhouse acquires 65% of the business. The remainder of the shares will be held by ERM's 440 partners.

So just south of an average of $1million shares left for each partner, where the cash goes I don't know but let's all raise a glass to those pure eco-warriors who tells us what is good for the planet out of the kindness of their wallets.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2011

Huhne - The Cover-up - Splash

Secret tape puts heat on Huhne | The Sunday Times

Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, tried to persuade a witness not to talk to the media about claims that he lied to police over a speeding offence.

A secret tape recording of the secretary of state reveals he repeatedly urged the witness not to discuss the allegations.

In the recording, which was passed to The Sunday Times, the minister said: “If I were you ... do not talk. I would have thought you would not want to talk.”

He warns that “the last thing” the witness wants is a “half-baked story” appearing in The Sunday Times prompting a police investigation.

During the conversation, Huhne repeatedly emphasises that the witness is the only person who can “stand the story up”.

“There is no way, there is no way, that there is any evidence for this story, unless you decide to give some legs to it by saying something. Okay?” he says.

The allegations relate to a speeding offence on March 12, 2003, when Huhne was an MEP. On the day in question, a car regularly driven by him was involved in a speeding offence coded SP30, which relates to exceeding a statutory speed limit on a public road, which can include a dual carriageway.

As the registered owner of the vehicle involved, Huhne was sent a document asking whether he was driving at the time.....

The Sunday Times has much more detail but is coy of revealing the "name" - so far they have the evidence of the attempted cover-up. Isn't that what always gets them.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 13, 2011

Friday Night is Music Night (Boogie Edition)

May I also recommend Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk which has been on repeat on my MP3 player this week.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

We Have Become A Grandfather

The first of a new generation of Englishmen, for it is a Grandson, was born last night.
All doing well.
I feel my new status means I need to go to have a little lie down.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Friends of Earth Say Lack of Global Warming Kills 25,400 Yearly In UK

Warmer UK homes 'would save thousands of lives' | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Thousands of lives could be saved every year if British homes were made warmer, a report suggests.
Around 5,500 more deaths occur in the coldest quarter of houses every year than would happen if those houses were warm.
In 2009-10, there were an estimated 25,400 excess winter deaths, of which 21.5% can be attributed to the coldest quarter of housing.
The report, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, said living in a cold home worsens conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
More than one in four adolescents living in a cold house are at risk of mental health problems

Of course if it is warm outside it is warm in the house.....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pieces Of Shit Cash in On Their Shit

Rapists win compensation for emptying chemical toilet - Scotsman.com News

MINISTERS were facing a new slopping out row yesterday after two convicted rapists were each awarded £500 damages for having to empty a chemical toilet.
The men claimed the sanitary arrangements in Peterhead diminished their human dignity.
They said they felt frustrated, worthless and degraded.

Worthless, check; degraded, excellent; and frustrated, that's what jail is for.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 11, 2011

Indian Bullshit

Organic farming – India's future perfect? | Nishika Patel | Global development | guardian.co.uk

Organic farming only took off in the country about seven years ago. Farmers are turning back to traditional farming methods for a number of reasons....farmers are suffering from the damaging effects of India's green revolution, which ushered in the rampant use of pesticides and fertilisers from the 1960s to ensure bumper yields and curb famine and food shortages. Over the decades, the chemicals have taken a toll on the land and yields are plunging.

Simply bollocks -

India%20Yields.jpg + Size

From http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=in&commodity=cotton&graph=yield
Explore other crops and figures there.


Umesh Vishwanath Chaudhari, 35, a farmer in the Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, switched to organic farming seven years ago after experiencing diminishing yields from his 8-hectare (20-acre) plot.
He plans to convert another 2 hectares to organic cotton and buy 10 cows to make his own manure, rather than buying it. "Using manure instead of pesticides and fertilisers has cut my costs by half, and I get a premium on these goods," he says. "I used to drive a scooter, but in the past few years I've been able to afford a bike and car – and even two tractors."

Two tractors, a car and a bike from the profits from twenty acres? You would be lucky to get that from a thousand acres in the UK. Guess where the consumer is getting the better deal.

Udday Dattatraya Patil, 43, an agriculture graduate, turned to organic farming after his crops were showing a deficiency in feed, leading to rising fertiliser costs. In addition, his banana crop was being wrecked by temperature fluctuations and climate change.
Although he is hailed as a progressive agriculturalist by his fellow villagers, he is the only organic farmer out 3,000 in Chahardi, in Jalgaon district.
Once the awareness increases, organic agriculturalists believe more farmers will join the movement...

Yep, that old progressive movement that the lumpen would willingly join if only they were more aware. All those fools who actually have to make a living from the land just not understanding what the is good for them.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Louise Gray - Prairie Dogs Attack Hawks

Hawks 'hunt down' handbag dogs in central London - Telegraph

By Louise Gray

Nick Robertson of Hawkforce, owns the Harris hawk that attacked a dachshund in Duke of York Square around 18 months ago.
He insisted the birds are not trying to kill the dogs, but are in fact attacking because they are afraid.
He said his hawk was jumping on the dog in fright and was so traumatised by the event that is has not been used for pest control since.
“The natural predator of these hawks is prairie dogs, which is why they don’t like them," he said. "They would not try to carry them off.”

Prairie dogs are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Prairie dogs are almost exclusively herbivorous and select grasses and grass-like plants over broad-leafed herbaceous plants, except for an occasional meal of insects such as cutworms, ground beetles, and short-horned grasshoppers

Apart from the giant ones which soar out of their burrows to savage Harris Hawks as they fly over.

Doesn't the lovely Louise have any journalistic scepticism?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Argumentum ad Verecundiam

The Latin word verecundia means modesty or shyness, and argumentum ad vercundiam means literally 'argument towards modesty', though the phrase is normally rendered in English as Argument from Authority

The expression was invented by John Locke, who explained the meaning of the term as follows: "When men are established in any kind of dignity, it is thought a breach of 'modesty' for others to derogate any way from it, and question the authority of men who are in possession of it."

Dignity and Modesty.....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eu Nations Sold Into Indenture

A Eurostate or bust – the big Brussels gamble | The Times (£)
Anatole Kaletsky
The bailouts don’t work but they do allow the EU to build up centralised power at the expense of nation states

Another year, another train crash between politics and economics in Europe. One year ago, at 1am on Monday, May 10, 2010, the leaders of the EU took what seemed their boldest step yet towards the creation of a full-scale European political federation, bolder even than the launch of the single currency in 1999. This was the creation of a €750 billion fund, guaranteed collectively by all European taxpayers, to protect EU nations from the choice facing Greece that night: to abandon the euro or to declare itself bankrupt by defaulting on its government debts.
A year later, it is clear that the Greek bailout failed. Europe has, therefore, decided to repeat it.
There are, however, four important new elements to this rerun of the European financial crisis. The first is that instead of Greece alone, three, perhaps four, countries now face bankruptcy or expulsion from the eurozone: Greece, Ireland, Portugal and possibly Spain. ..
Second, the total cost to taxpayers in Germany and other creditor countries of supporting Greece, Ireland and Portugal will be much higher than seemed likely last year..
Third, the political resistance to another round of bailouts will be even more intense than it was last year,...
Finally the good news, although not necessarily for Europe’s leaders and central bankers: the global economy is much stronger than it was a year ago and could probably withstand a write-down in government debts...
So why do Europe’s politicians and central bankers refuse even to think about debt restructuring ...
Europe’s central bankers have a vested interest in spreading terror about the very idea of restructuring. The ECB itself is now by far the biggest holder of Greek, Irish and Portuguese bonds and would suffer enormous losses if their value were reduced. ...
The political motivation for tightening the debt yoke on Greece, Ireland and Portugal is even clearer. By turning these countries into permanent debtors to the ECB and the various EU bailout funds, Brussels and Frankfurt are enormously increasing the power of centralised European institutions at the expense of nation states. While the unprecedented control of national tax, spending and social policies now exercised by the ECB and the Commission is presently confined to Greece and Ireland, the bailout exercise has set precedents and created institutional capabilities that can gradually be extended to the entire EU.
The inevitable progression from monetary union to fiscal federalism and ultimately to full-scale political union was predicted by both Eurosceptics and Eurofederalists in 1989 when the single currency was first suggested by Jacques Delors and again in 1999 when the euro was created. The journey from the single currency to full-scale political federalism is taking a somewhat different route from the one expected — but it is proceeding exactly on schedule.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What A Green Government Means

This energy bill is not so green | Caroline Lucas | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Cameron is gravely mistaken if he thinks that shrinking the state, weakening regulatory structures through insidious projects such as the "red tape challenge", scrapping targets (there are none in the green deal, for example) and reducing opportunities for public scrutiny can deliver the "greenest government ever".

So for a "green government" we need a growing state, stronger regulations, no challenges to red tape, more targets and more "public scrutiny", what ever that is.

Thought so.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hardened Criminal Video

Skateboarding dog owner fined £80 - Telegraph
The owner of a skateboarding dog has been fined £80 and threatened with legal action for not keeping his Lakeland terrier on a lead.
A council spokesman said Mr Fell has 14 days to pay up, otherwise he will be forced to appear before magistrates and could face a £1000 fine.
He said: "We know Bodhiâ s antics are an amusing sight and the dog and spectators appear to enjoy it.
"But when people start getting hurt and we receive complaints we have a legal duty to act."

Look he isn't wearing a helmet, gloves or knee pads, something must be done.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 10, 2011

If You Can Watch It, Do.

BBC iPlayer - Wootton Bassett: The Town That Remembers
The behind-the-scenes story of the town of Wootton Bassett.

Extraordinarily good documentary about how how the individuals and small groups of this town self-organised and created the moving and dignified repatriation ceremony. It is built around one day and one such repatriation, one young son's death and his family. It avoided any cheap sensationalism and I can't recommend it more.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

From behind its paywall The Times gets hissy about free speech being free

Tweet and Be Damned | The Times (£)

On Sunday, an anonymous user of Twitter, the social messaging network, posted a list of what were purported to be superinjunctions pertaining to various celebrities. It serves to highlight two parallel universes of information. In one, thanks to the huge, rambling chaos of the internet, speech is becoming ever more free. In the other, thanks to English judges, it is becoming less so.
The internet is an unstoppable democratising force, but its effect here has been to turn a small hypocrisy into an enormous one. There have always been small communities in which people trade gossip or truths that the law deems unsuitable for publication or broadcast. Twitter is not one of them. At the time of writing, 43,000 users follow these superinjunction tweets. This rivals the circulation of some popular magazines.
This is neither an academic nor a trivial matter. The Times opposes the growing use of superinjunctions and sheds no tears to see them publicly exposed as intellectually hollow. Yet to consider this primarily an issue of privacy versus press freedom would be to navel-gaze. It raises larger, more important issues about the extent to which the law should, or even can, extend to the internet.
The Wild West nature of the internet is not inherently bad. The supranational natures of Twitter and Facebook helped to facilitate the Arab Spring. In China, Google’s refusal to compromise its ethos caused the company to withdraw from the country. Yet it does not follow, from the internet’s beneficial effect in avoiding bad laws, that it should be exempt from good ones.
It cannot be the case that social networking platforms should have no responsibility whatsoever over that for which they are used.

They would say that, wouldn't they.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:26 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Discovering Lib-Dems Lying Bags Of Shit Not In Public Interest

PCC adjudication – Liberal Democrats - Telegraph

Mr Tim Farron MP, President of the Liberal Democrat Party, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that a series of articles in The Daily Telegraph on 21 December 2010, 22 December 2010 and 23 December 2010 contained information which had been obtained using subterfuge in breach of Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
The complaint was upheld.
The articles quoted a number of comments made by senior Liberal Democrat MPs in their constituency surgeries which had been secretly recorded by the newspaper’s journalists posing as constituents. The MPs featured included the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, in addition to Ed Davey, Steve Webb, Michael Moore, Norman Baker, Andrew Stunnell, David Heath and Paul Burstow.
The newspaper said that its investigation had proved that the Liberal Democrat members of the Government were not consistent in their private and public statements, which it rightly brought to the attention of its readers and the wider public.
The complainant said that it was the public statements and comments of ministers which were the basis of collective ministerial responsibility, regardless of what other views they might hold, and which formed the basis on which politicians were judged by the electorate.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SNP On The Booze

SNP: Minimum alcohol prices by next year - Scotsman.com News

A NEW minimum price for alcohol is likely to become law within a year, after the SNP vowed the measure would be the key priority of its second term in office.

The key priority? The single most important thing the SNP can do to improve the lives of the Scotch? There was I thinking instead of picking a fight with the EU over the right to set prices they might be interested in economic recovery and jobs. Or even energy policy....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 9, 2011

Beyond Parody

Climate change 'could disrupt wi-fi and hit power supply' - Telegraph
By Louise Gray
Climate change will disrupt wi-fi connections, cause regular power failures and lead railway lines to buckle unless Britain spends billions of pounds, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary has warned.
A cross-government report published today outlines how planning and design of new infrastructure needs to take into account the impact of climate change – especially as many projects will still be in place in 50 to 100 years time.
Theresa Villiers, the Rail Minister, promised to invest in adapting to climate change.

Thank goodness we aren't like those silly Victorians who thought they could build railways from the Cape to Cairo, in India or across the Nullarbor Plain. Fools.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Trough of Swill

Workers in the public sector are more than 40pc better off - Telegraph

When calculated on an hourly basis, the typical state employee earns up to 35 per cent more than his counterpart in the private sector, the report finds. But when the more generous pensions for state employees are taken into account, the advantage rises to 43 per cent.

Only a fool or a freeman works in the private sector now.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Greece Bust - What Next?

Greece bailout fails to halt debt woes | Business | The Guardian

Secret talks reveal Greece is unable to meet obligations under last year's €110bn eurozone rescue package. Greek finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, said: "We will either go out to markets or use the recent decision by the EU that allows the European fund to buy Greek bonds. The markets continue to disbelieve in our country."

The gangrene in the bleeding limbs of the eurozone has not been cured by injections, amputation is the only answer. And the sooner the better but there is a lack of courage to perform the inevitable.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gov Climate Change Committee Tells Huhne To Get Stuffed

'Go slow on offshore wind power and back nuclear' ministers told - Scotsman.com News

THE government should slow down plans to roll out thousands of offshore wind turbines in the UK's seas by 2020, its climate advisers indicated today.
The Committee on Climate Change said renewables had a significant role to play in cutting carbon from the UK economy, and could provide 30 per cent of electricity, heating and transport energy by 2030 - double the target set for 2020.
However, nuclear power would remain the most cost- effective way of providing low-carbon electricity well into the 2020s, the committee said, calling for around 14 nuclear plants to be built by the end of the next decade.
Such a move would go beyond existing plans to build 12 reactors on seven sites by 2025.
The "very aggressive pace" of government plans for the roll-out of offshore wind turbines - seen as less controversial than onshore turbines and the major focus of renewable development - should be "moderated" because of its expense up to 2020.

The grown ups are starting to take control, of course Scotland insists that SNP wind power will suffice for them and Chris Huhne (who?) will bluster with his declining powers that the same is true for us, but the smooth civil service machine of Government is starting to get a little annoyed with the children and spotting an opportunity will start telling a few home truths.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spring Sprung

graphic%20equaliser.jpg

Rhubarb from the garden cooked under sponge served with cream for pudding yesterday, the main was ham boiled in ginger beer, then baked off with a mustard and muscovado crust, served with new potatoes boiled with fresh mint, and a fresh parsley sauce. To start, it was nettle soup.

Lots of tastes of spring. Time to pity those unlucky enough not to be in England.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 6, 2011

Friday Night is Music Night (Loser Edition)

One for my long haired liberal friends, roll up a long one and weep into your tie-die cheesecloth.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Preacher Gore Old Testament Climate Facts

Former Vice President Al Gore compares climate change sceptics to birthers | Mail Online

Former Vice President Al Gore has compared climate sceptics to ‘birthers’ and claimed recent floods in Pakistan and Australia were curses predicted in the Bible.... warned about in Deuteronomy.
He quoted scientific data, public opinion polls and Biblical scripture on climate change - describing the phenomenon as a fundamentally moral issue
‘There is now a tendency in our country to struggle over what is a fact and what is not,’ he said.

My scripture knowledge is rusty so maybe he can point out the exact verse that refers to the Queensland floods. Maybe he is confused about the name Queensland and Leviticus 18:22.
I wonder what serial shagging divorcee Al Gore thinks about these moral laws from the Bible. Breaking which one caused the rain?


If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:22
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced. Mark 10:1-12
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.Leviticus 18:19
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir. Mark 12:18-27
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

Posted by The Englishman at 3:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dave's Morning

BBC News - LIVE: Vote 2011

Prof John Curtice said the Tories projected share of the national vote (35%) was "fairly remarkable" for a party that had been in office for a year and they should take a "degree of quiet satisfaction" from it. He said the usual protest vote had been directed instead towards the Lib Dems.

At 6:00 am the number of Tory councillors is up, remarkable. Labour of course up more, but not as much as expected and the Third Party heading for the endangered list.
Obviously the "savage and brutal cuts" aren't too worrying to the realistic majority in the country. And the tofu munching protesters are all sulking and moaning as how it is all so unfair nobody loves them.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scotland Votes For The Tooth Fairy

SNP romps to victory as Lib Dems collapse - Scotsman.com News
ALEX Salmond was last night on course for a second term as First Minister as voters across Scotland turned away in large numbers from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
"Scottish politicians have spent much of this year's election campaign avoiding the big issues. "In the last two years and over two elections, politicians have failed to allow public services to plan adequately, because of their wish not to commit to making cuts prior to an election.
"This has not served the UK and Scottish public well."

Economic output fell 3.5 per cent over the course of the last parliament, the academic added. "This is hardly a ringing endorsement of the ability of our politicians to produce an economy that is capable of supporting the wide range of public services which the Scottish people seem to want," Professor David Bell, of Stirling University, writes.

Mr Salmond has pledged to spare public sector workers from compulsory lay-offs, protect NHS funding and continue with universal benefits, such as free prescription charges.

Remind me again how the SNP can be so generous to the Scottish voters, whilst England's are experiencing some overdue financial discipline. And why Scottish output is declining and England's isn't?

Posted by The Englishman at 5:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Going To Scweam And Scweam - Offical Lib Dem Policy

Lib Dems to get tough after AV spat - Scotsman.com News

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes has indicated that the party will demand concessions on issues such as NHS reform and immigration in retaliation for the Conservative conduct of the campaign against electoral reform.
Paddy Ashdown said: "You cannot fund a deeply vicious campaign to destroy the personality of your partner, who has been unmoved in his brave support of the coalition, without there being consequences. When it comes to the bonhomie of the Downing Street rose garden, it's never again glad confident morn."

Aaah Diddums, did the nasty big man take your lolly-pop away? And you want a kissy make up consolation prize? There there.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If ifs and ands were pots and pans

Food prices driven up by global warming, study shows | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, Washington DC, said the findings indicate a turning point: "Agriculture as it exists today evolved over 11,000 years of reasonably stable climate, but that climate system is no more."
Computer models were used to show how much grain would have been harvested in the absence of warming. Overall, yields have been rising over the last decades and the models took this into account.
"The research provides evidence of big shifts in wheat and maize production," commented Prof Tim Wheeler at the Walker Institute for Climate System Research, Reading University, UK, who added it had involved "heroic" statistical analysis.

Heroic isn't the word I would use for this pile of tosh

Posted by The Englishman at 5:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 5, 2011

Diary Of A Teenager

Monday 8am-noon Alec Loorz
8am. Wake up. Alarm ringing. Hit snooze. Go back to sleep. Wake up 9 minutes later. Hit snooze. Fall asleep. Repeat cycle for an hour. Get up. Turn on iMac. Start music. The Decemberists. Stop song after 30 seconds. Go into kitchen. Find slice of sourdough. Put in toaster. Walk back to room. Continue song. Miss ding on toaster. Pick up Howard Zinn book for school. Sit on couch. Read. Underline with pencil. Remember toast. Run to toast. Toast is cold. Start timer again. Heat up water in the microwave. Put teabag in water. Wait. Toast is done. Get Nutella. Spread Nutella on bread. Eat Nutella, with bread. Get tea and sit back on couch. Continue reading. Wait for tea to cool. Drink tea. It's too cold. Continue reading. Play with kitten on lap. Kitten bites. Jake comes in. Jake subdues kitten. Jake gets 20 points for subduing kitten. Kitten comes back over. Kitten falls asleep on lap. Continue reading. Underline with pencil. Finish chapter. Mentally celebrate. Think "I never read." Pick up other book. Read. Kitten still asleep. Wish for iPhone to take picture. Finish 2 chapters. Kitten leaves. Realize my camera was there the whole time. Darn. Get up. Make more bread. Spread Nutella. Eat Nutella, with bread. Sit back down. Finish reading. Mentally celebrate. Get up. Pee. Go outside. It's hot. Peek into office. Phone call. Leave office. Get harmonica. Play harmonica. Play harmonica outside. Play harmonica on couch. Get violin from room. Play violin on couch. Regret quitting lessons. Go into room. Pick up guitar. Play chords. Wish for lessons. Put down guitar. Turn on iMac again. Turn on music. The Mountain Goats. Go on facebook. Nothing. Go on Youtube. Nothing. Go to site for Photoshop brushes. Download brushes. Open Photoshop. Load new brushes. Start to design. Mom walks in. Asks me to take out Fifi. Fifi is a chicken. Walk outside. Get Fifi. Bring Fifi under the big tree. Go back. Get nesting box. Get water. Put nesting box under tree. Put water under tree. Pick up Fifi. Fifi wants to go down. Put Fifi down. Sit down. Pet Fifi. Stand up. Go back inside. Look at clock. 12pm.

Thursday 8am-noon Alec Loorz
This morning I filed a lawsuit against the United States of America, for allowing money to be more powerful than the survival of my generation, and for making decisions that threaten our right to a safe and healthy planet
in an effort to force government intervention on climate change.
The courtroom ploy is backed by high-profile activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

An Alternative to AV

A tax-based alternative to the Alternative Vote - Telegraph Blogs

Why don'€™t we restrict votes to people who actually pay something into the system? No, I am not suggesting a return to property-based eligibility; although that system worked quite well when Parliament administered not just Britain but most of the world. Today, income would be a much better test, setting the bar as low as possible; perhaps including everyone who pays at least £100 of income tax each year.

No Representation Without Taxation; it has a ring to it. Personally I would allow anyone to vote but only count the votes of those who used their own fountain pen to make the cross. Fair enough I think.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Reasons To Vote No - Number 1

Utter%20Huhne.jpg

Get out there and vote, don't assume the Nos will win and that the grubby little vote stealers won't sneak in as they want to with their grubby little number fudging system.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Did anyone actually see Kate sign the Marriage Register?

Osama bin Laden dead: Blackout during raid on bin Laden compound - Telegraph
The head of the CIA admitted yesterday that there was no live video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound as further doubts emerged about the US version of events.

What's going on with the White House, they pretend they want to put to bed the Birther Conspiracy by releasing the Long Form Certificate. But they produce a bodged and hacked together scan which kindles the conspiracy fires.
A successful operation to eliminate the Bin Laden is then mired down in conflicting stories and refusal to produce evidence. Fog of war and all that but allowing inaccurate statements to flourish without immediate clarification is strange.
Either the White House is stupid and incompetent or something else is going on.
On the Birth Certificate I feel Hopey Changey may be baiting the Birthers to make all his opponents look like Truthers, but the Osama raid I can only put down to stupidity, but then I'm gullible.

(And no - only the family saw the legal signing, the two billion witnesses only saw the razzmatazz around it. But that doesn't matter. Royal weddings are designed to convince the populace as to the truth of the royal breeding. And a combination of openness and impeccable witnesses means that no one doubts the truth. Something the White House could learn from.)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fish Filleters Breakthrough

New turbine will produce affordable tidal energy - Scotsman.com News

A TEAM of engineers have developed a turbine which they claim will produce the world's first domestically affordable electricity from tidal energy within a year.

The CoRMaT is a small, free-floating capsule, tethered to a surface float, which uses a new contra-rotating rotor system to harness tidal energy. It can be used in water up to 500 metres deep and, because its closely spaced rotors move in opposite directions, it remains steady in the face of strong tidal flows.
David Pratt, co-founder of Nautricity, said: "We anticipate that within the next year we will be capable of producing electricity that is competitive with offshore wind generation.

So not competitive with real energy production systems just competitive with subsidy-sucking eagle-slicers......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 4, 2011

Dellers - This Is Really Important

Don't let the Watermelons kill the Shale Gas Revolution – Telegraph Blogs

This is the most important story of our time. It’s bigger than the Royal Wedding; it’s far, far more enduring than Osama Bin Laden; it will benefit our lives (and those of our grandchildren and great great great grandchildren) in almost unimaginably myriad ways.

Dellers splutter back into life - with a cracker.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PR Puff About Paid PR

Rio Ferdinand – red devil turned unlikely green guru | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Ferdinand's green awakening started when energy company E.ON signed him up to be an advocate for their Energy Fit programme.

And he gets them a long uncritical column in the Guardian - well worth the money.


Ferdinand makes it clear that he's not about to become a green fanatic. "I'm not going to change my whole lifestyle overnight," he says. "I'm starting an educational journey." Judging from his passing references to unleaded petrol and the ozone hole, it seems his last period of eco-education was the 1980s. He doesn't mention climate change until prompted, but he's in no doubt that the stakes are high. When asked what's at risk if we don't look after the environment, he answers emphatically: "Trees, animals, humans … everything. Everything's endangered."
Ferdinand currently has a Jaguar, though gone are the days when he thought of cars as glamorous. "These days I've got kids and it's just about getting them from A to B." Would he ever switch to an electric car? "Yeah, definitely."

Look don't ask awkward questions, what do you think you are, a journalist? Just get on with filling up the newspaper with greenie stuff.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wagnerian Windmills

Apocalyptic%20Windmills.jpg

High quality version available if you pay at:

Tinder-dry spring sets Britain ablaze | The Times

Posted by The Englishman at 7:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reasons To Vote No - Number 2

Utter%20Huhne.jpg

Huhne is making a complete idiot of himself and hopefully will flounce out of the cabinet over AV when everyone knows he should be sacked for incompetence but for his untouchable status within the nuttier bits of the Lib- Dems.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Play Of The Blog

Tony Awards 2011: British drama Jerusalem nominated six times - Telegraph

I haven't seen it yet but then I live here and know the characters.

Tom Mellors - Jerusalem: drugs and booze in our green and pleasant land - Community | Wiltshire Magazine

Jerusalem is set in our very own Wiltshire. It is about a modern-day Pied Piper, an anarchistic outcast who personifies every rebellion in English history, from peasants’ revolt of 1381 to the Diggers.
Jez Butterworth's script tackles some of the most pressing issues in rural England, and all through a group of characters who wouldn’t look out of place on Channel Four’s Shameless.
Through the characters'€™ carefree drug taking, underage drinking, and tales of all-night raves in the woods, Butterworth presents a group of reprobates who stand defiant in the face of our sanitised modern life.
They are not lowlifes however, nor are they stupid. They see through the "fun" prescribed by the local bureaucracy, and remember fondly the days when the village festival was enjoyable -€“ when paying a pound to kick a burly farmer between the legs was the main entertainment.
 The play laments the health & safety legislation which has come to dominate almost everything a community does. The cancelling of the annual cheese-rolling race in Gloucestershire this year is a recent indication of this trend.
 At the same time it satirises the takeover of traditional customs by clever marketing folk. It mocks the brewery for forcing a local pub landlord to dress up as a Morris dancer and dance through the streets.
Within the scenes of revelry there is a subtle reflection of what is under threat in rural England; not just fun and spontaneity, but also nature itself.
The destruction of countryside €“ through "€œdevelopment"€“ and the growing authority of the government which allows this destruction to take place are both subtly criticised.

Worthy themes - I wish it well.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Plod SWAT In Action

Pensioner arrested for feeding pigeons - Telegraph

Officers had telephoned the pair to inform them of the complaints and said they would visit to talk to them about it.
They were shocked, however, when a police car and a police van turned up and four officers knocked on the door then arrested them inside their home.
Mrs McIntosh said that after they were arrested, an officer demanded keys to their house, which was searched while they were put into the van and taken to Workington police station.
The McIntoshes were arrested on suspicion of a public nuisance offence, taken to Workington police station and locked up.
Police seized house keys, bank statements and cheque books.
The pair were placed on bail while the Crown Prosecution Service conducted an investigation and four lawyers were brought in to look at the case.
Last month, they were told there was no case to answer and the investigation was handed to Allerdale Council's environmental health team.
The council has also said it can take no action.

Lucky they weren't bundled up into a helicopter and dropped into the Arabian Sea.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 3, 2011

Reasons To Vote No - Number 3

Utter%20Huhne.jpg

It would not cure the real problem but (or should that be "so") Huhne is in favour of AV, the professional politicians stitch-up.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

NHS Epidemic of Plumbum Oscillans

NHS workers take average 11 days off sick every year - Scotsman.com News
This is almost double the 6.4 days taken off sick by the average worker in the UK according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
The most common reasons cited by health boards for sickness absence were anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health issues.
Margaret Watt, chairwoman of the Scotland Patients Association, said:"Our staff should not be off with stress and depression. We need to get more staff in so staff are not under as much pressure which means they have to take time off sick."
Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie, agreed that a reduction in the number of staff in the NHS in the last year meant significant pressure was piled on those left behind.
She said: "A Labour Scottish government would prioritise the protection of NHS jobs, with no compulsory redundancies for NHS staff, to ensure the delivery of the highest standards of patient care."

Jobs for life and less work to do, not the cure the Private Sector has found works for Plumbum Oscillans. I bet BUPA doesn't have the same problem.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Green Religion Problem

Let's face it: none of our environmental fixes break the planet-wrecking project | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

You think you're discussing technologies, and you quickly discover that you're discussing belief systems. The battle among environmentalists over how or whether our future energy is supplied is a cipher for something much bigger: who we are, who we want to be, how we want society to evolve.
Accommodation makes sense only if the economy is reaching a steady state. But the clearer the vision becomes, the further away it seems. A steady state economy will be politically possible only if we can be persuaded to stop grabbing. This in turn will be feasible only if we feel more secure. But the global race to the bottom and its destruction of pensions, welfare, public services and stable employment make people less secure, encouraging us to grasp as much for ourselves as we can.
An honest environmentalism needs to explain which products should continue to be manufactured and which should not, and what the energy sources for these manufactures should be...
All of us in the environment movement, in other words – whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse – are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess.

Maybe in your religion you are asking the wrong questions. Economic growth gives a cleaner safer planet with more happy campers. Carry on growing and the number of happy campers will decrease as people breed less and technology will fix the problem of clean energy at an economic price. Problem solved. But if you worship at the Church of Monbiot the problem isn't how do we get cleaner and happier it is how do we get fewer people and how do we get them to accept less. How do we collapse the system? And as he says:

"History shows us that wherever large-scale collapse has occurred, psychopaths take over."

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 2, 2011

Reasons To Vote No - Number 4

Utter%20Huhne.jpg

Spoil His Day

Posted by The Englishman at 7:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 1, 2011

Windmills Turn Off And Cash In

Wind farms paid £900,000 to switch off | The Sunday Times

Wind farm operators in Scotland were paid nearly £900,000 to keep their turbines idle for a night because the National Grid did not need the power.
The payments, up to 20 times the value of the power the wind farms would have produced, were offered by the National Grid because it urgently needed to reduce electricity entering the system.
It was oversupplied with power on a wet and blustery night last month when demand for electricity was low.
The National Grid confirmed it had made the payments. “On the night of April 5 and 6, the demand for power was low but the nuclear generation plants in Scotland were running as expected. There was also heavy rainfall, which meant hydro power plants were operating well, too,” a spokesman said.
Although the power could have been used in England, the transmission cables lacked the capacity to carry it south. The Scottish turbines were disconnected and the operators received six-figure sums to compensate for the loss of their subsidies and the income from the power they would have sold.
The disclosure of the subsidy payments has called into question the economic logic of the subsidies paid out to wind farms. It will pose awkward questions for Charles Hendry, the energy minister, because the cost of the payments ends up on customers’ bills.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Summers Were Better When I Was A Kid

BBC - Richard Black's Earth Watch

....The journal Biology Letters this week reports a novel yet kind of obvious way to tackle the data dearth; simply asking Himalayan villagers about their experiences.
To be fair, the phrase "simply asking" does the researchers a disservice, because what they emphasise throughout their paper is the need to gather local knowledge "rapidly and efficiently... using systematic tools".
Researchers went to 28 villages in total, and did 250 face-to-face interviews as well as a number of focus group exercises.
Their top line conclusions are that villagers are noticing signals suggestive of climate change.
....
Martin Parry, who co-chaired the working group on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the 2007 IPCC assessment.
Now a visiting professor at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research in London, he told me there definitely is a role for evidence gathered through word-of-mouth.


"We need to expand the information we can collect on the evidence of climate change occurring now, which the last IPCC report kicked off and the next one is no doubt going to grow greatly - because it's ground-truthing, it's not model-based future stuff.
"But also the gaps in the knowledge are so big, and filling them in by going out and asking people is going to be increasingly the way to go.
"It's about less formal ways of collecting data. It takes time to set up monitoring stations and get 10 years of data, but if we can get into peoples' memories... I guess the one concern is the drift that occurs in peoples' memories, and how do you account for that?"

The Himalayan work threw up questions as well as answers.
For example, in some villages about half of the people questioned reported that summer was now starting earlier than 10 years ago; which raises the question of why the other half did not.
.....
One of the recommendations coming out of recent inquiries into climate science (as pertaining to the IPCC and the University of East Anglia) is that researchers could and should make more use of specialist statisticians.
And perhaps the increasing use of orally-gathered evidence will require the systematic and rigorous involvement of social scientists in order to ensure best practice is followed.
But there surely is going to be more data of this kind used in climate circles in future.
It's cheap, is available in many regions with poor instrumental coverage, it can span large timeframes, and data can be gathered simultaneously on what communities are experiencing and how they're coping.
What's not to like, provided the cautions are heeded?

What's not to like? Replacing pesky data which "only" goes back to the early 1980s with dodgy memories, massaged by specialists to produce a consistent picture. What's not to like indeed.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Huhne Wisdom Of The Day

Huhne reassures Climate Change Act here to stay

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has reassured the public that the Climate Change Act is not going to be scrapped.
Included in the Act is the requirement to set five-year carbon budgets and the target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
According to the news provider, green groups were angry that the Act was even included in the 'crowd-sourcing' Red Tape Challenge, while issues of national security and taxation were not.

I'm not sure "reassure" is the right word, "horrify" might be better.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's The Sun Wot Did It

The Death Blow To Anthropogenic Global Warming - Irish Weather Online

Despite the limitations of Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) as an indicator of solar influence I think there are conclusions we can draw from the records we do have. Oddly, I have not seen them discussed properly anywhere else, especially not by AGW enthusiasts....

Interesting theory.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Laffer Gas

Shutdown threat over North Sea tax | The Sunday Times

The owner of British Gas is considering shutting down Britain’s biggest gas field because of George Osborne’s surprise tax raid on North Sea firms.
Centrica today stopped production at Morecambe Bay, a reservoir 25 miles west of Blackpool that provides 6% of Britain’s gas, for maintenance work. The company said it may not reopen the field following the chancellor’s 12% tax increase on North Sea profits.
Centrica said: “Following the [tax] increase in the budget, UK fields are subject to some of the highest levels of tax in the world — our South Morecambe field is now taxed at 81%. At these higher rates, Morecambe’s profitability can be marginal. Accordingly, we may choose to buy gas for our customers in the wholesale markets in preference to restarting the field.”

Golden geese and all that, eh George?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack