September 28, 2012
The Castle Doctrine 2
Chris Grayling is expected to propose giving householders a stronger defence in law when using firearms to see off burglars. The new Justice Secretary has asked officials to examine ways of toughening up existing legislation that allows people to use “reasonable force” but which makes no mention of using weapons.
The announcement is expected to form a key part of Mr Grayling’s address to the Conservative Party conference next month, his first big speech since his promotion to the Cabinet was cheered by the Tory Right.
The most senior judge in England and Wales gave his backing yesterday to householders who react in fury and fear when they face burglars in their homes. In an impassioned defence of the home as a person’s “haven and refuge” Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, said: “If your home is burgled and you’re in there, you have the right to get rid of the burglar.”
Halcyon Days For Scottish Wind Power
THE amount of electricity produced from “green” energy sources in Scotland fell by almost half for a period earlier this year – because it was not wet or windy enough.
The figures prompted opposition concerns that Scotland could be left in the dark if the “wind isn’t blowing”
The Scottish Government put the falls down to low rainfall, which help power hydro plants, in April and May, while “lower wind speeds” led to a fall in wind power.
Experts have warned bills could rise by hundreds of pounds to meet the cost of green energy, which is more expensive than coal and nuclear power.
But renewables do not produce carbon dioxide gas that is contributing to global warming, and with fossil fuels like coal and oil increasingly scarce, renewables are seen as the way to secure future energy supply.
Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “These statistics show once again that Scotland leads the world in renewable energy generation and that our industry goes from strength to strength. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment in our economy.”
September 26, 2012
The Castle Doctrine
A judge has defended the rights of people to protect their homes, telling two burglars shot during a break-in: “That is the chance you take.”
Of course I would never dream of loading up the Benelli 12g Auto to deliver the good news to any scrote who broke down my door.
Hayek To The Rescue
Harriman House Press Release - 25th September 2012
Dr Eamonn Butler provides an accessible exploration of the life and work of Friedrich Hayek in his remarkable new guide
Friedrich Hayek was one of the leading economists of the 20th century and the leading contemporary critic of Keynes. He did pioneering work on monetary theory and trade cycles, but achieved international fame through his 1944 critique of totalitarian socialism, The Road to Serfdom.
Setting him in context as well as incorporating criticism since his death 20 years ago, this book explores several major areas of Hayek’s thought and argument:
• why society is not something that can be rebuilt any way we want, but is the result of long-term cultural evolution, and what that means for political reform, morality and individual choice
• the kind of laws that true freedom relies upon, and how freedom and its benefits are threatened by political confusions
• how the market process really works: from maximising gains for everyone who participates, to competition as a discovery process
• where boom and bust cycles come from and how privatising currencies could be the startling solution
• how we actually interpret our world, and what this means for social sciences and politics
• why socialism was a mistake, capitalism isn't wasteful, and what economic organisation has to do with political destiny
• the impossibility of social justice but the genuine hope offered by true economic freedom
• what the real foundations of a free society look like.
Author Eamonn Butler says:
“It is now plain that only one group of people understands the cause and cure of the crisis we are now in – those that follow the Nobel economist F A Hayek. In the 1930s, he showed how a fake boom built on easy money and cheap credit would inevitably turn into a painful bust. And that the only cure is to take the pain of the downturn, and let the economy right itself. A 'hair of the dog' policy of even more money-printing and even lower interest rates just prolongs the agony. It explains our present situation perfectly.
I knew F A Hayek, whom everyone regarded as hugely intelligent and deeply humane. He was no soulless adherent to laissez-faire. His warnings about the dangers of state centralism came from the heart, and from his experience of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism. He understood how even the good intentions of activist politicians can lead us down a 'road to serfdom', while the actions of free people build into a thriving, creative, 'spontaneous order' or society – a social order that can solve its own problems far better than any political authority.”
About the author
Dr Eamonn Butler is director of the Adam Smith Institute, a London-based think tank dealing in market economic policy. He has an MA in Economics and Psychology, and also a PhD in Philosophy, from the University of St Andrews. Eamonn’s most recent books include The Best Book on the Market (Capstone, 2008), Milton Friedman (Harriman House, 2011), Adam Smith: A Primer (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007) and Rotten State of Britain (Gibson Square, 2009). Dr Butler writes regularly on economics for leading newspapers. In 2012 he received an Honorary D.Litt from Heriot-Watt University.
September 24, 2012
The Elsie MacKay Fund
After an agreeable luncheon yesterday as I sat by the fire I idly opened a copy of Whitakers from 1947 and came across this page.
So what did they do brave Elsie's money?
Mr. loan Evans asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the proceeds of the fund announced in the House in July 1928 and known as the Elsie MacKay Fund are to be surrendered for the reduction of the national debt; and if he will announce what action he proposes to take.
Mr. Denzil Davies: Almost 50 years have elapsed since the establishment of this fund, under a trust deed dated 13th December 1928. The latest possible date of application of the fund, therefore, would have been 13th December 1978. The managing trustees have decided that the date for the securities to be transferred to the names of the commissioners for the reduction of the national debt shall in fact be Monday 4th December. The market value of the gilt-edged securities held in the fund at the close of business
Department of Education and Science and Department of Employment jointly: for education and training of trade unionists £2,042,000
Ministry of Overseas Development: for training of overseas trade unionists as part of the Aid Programme £110,478
Treasury: for communicating the Governments' industrial strategy £50,000
Pissed it away.
September 21, 2012
Charlie Richardson - The Video Biography
Close, very close.
Devil's Kitchen Fucks Off
Another one bites the dust, quite understandably. We will miss him but sincerely hope we continue to meet up and catch up.
All the best mate.
September 19, 2012
The greed for profit is ruining agriculture – and the world – but the trend for local shops and farmers' markets offers real hope
...report after report – the kind governments and big organisations choose to override – tells us that the best way to ensure that everyone is well fed, sustainably and securely, is through farms that are mixed, complex and low-input (quasi-organic). These must be labour-intensive (or there can be no complexity), so there is no advantage in them being large scale.....
Oh just fuck off. Small scale farming is dirty dangerous work producing unsafe expensive food in environmentally damaging ways on more land per unit of production than "factory farming".
I'm a small farmer, I know.
Ever since neolithic man got himself organised enough to allow Ugg The Clever One to not have to chase deer all day so he could make pots and chart the sunrises the progress of civilisation has been a story of getting people off the farm to do something better.
Welcome To Scotland
DONALD Trump has been ordered by advertising watchdogs to tone down his crusade against wind farms around Scotland’s coastline after being accused of placing a “highly misleading” advert in a regional newspaper as part of his multi-million-pound campaign.
Earlier this year, the tycoon was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after he took out a full-page newspaper advert with a picture of 11 rusting and redundant wind turbines, under the headline “Welcome to Scotland!”
The advert proclaimed: “Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities – just think about it!”
The advert carried a footnote stating “photo not taken in Scotland” and it later emerged that the turbines featured in the advert had been photographed at a redundant wind-farm site at Kamaoa in Hawaii.
Damned Yankee - next he will be insulting shortbread and men in skirts, how very dare he!
September 18, 2012
El Salvador Wet Dreams
The forest of towering, dead mangrove trees stretches along the beach as far as the eye can see. As the crashing waves rise and fall, short stumps emerge and vanish beneath the Pacific Ocean. Climate change has come early to the Bajo Lempa region of western El Salvador.
A tiny rise in the sea level has, according to local people, seen about 1,000ft of the mangroves on which they depend vanish beneath the ocean since 2005. ...
The horror, look at those flooded mangroves the Indy picture shows... Of course any actual data or link to any data about what the sea level has been doing in El Salvador is absent. That would make the story actually interesting.
But hey lucky old Simeon Tegel, "Travel for this story was funded with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting" and as Simeon says: "I climb, mountaineer and surf and there is nothing I love more than getting into the backcountry, whether it is the Amazon rainforest, the high Andes or catching a wave at a remote Pacific beach."
Let's hope he caught some waves at least to make his paid for trip worthwhile.
September 15, 2012
The Deserving Rich
Ed Miliband today declares that Labour will be on the side of capitalists who want to get rich, provided they work hard for their money.
David Miliband makes £14,000 from two-hour speech - Today's News - News - JournalLive
SOUTH Shields MP David Miliband is under the spotlight after earning more than £116-a-minute for making one speech.
The former Foreign Secretary received £14,000 for a two-hour speech to a law firm at Claridge's Hotel in London on June 14 - £116.66 a minute.
The payment is outlined in Mr Miliband’s declaration on the latest register of MPs’ financial interests. He collected £441,821.60 in outside earnings since June last year on top of his £65,738 annual salary as an MP.
Leaving aside the interesting conversation the Brothers may have, Ed is just recycling the old Marxist value equals labour, or as another bunch of socialists said work ennobles you.
Of course nobody ever got rich by working hard, it needs a sprinkle of luck as well.
September 11, 2012
Greenpeace - Criminals Against Humanity
Moore: 'Greenpeace and its allies have successfully blocked the introduction of golden rice for over a decade' -- WHO says 'between 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year due to vitamin A deficiency, half of whom die within a year of becoming blind'
Read on and remember why people like Norman Borlaug are my heroes, not air-headed Greens
And the forecast is...
Climate change may increase the number of heat-related deaths in the UK by 540 per cent, health experts predict.
By 2080 almost 11,000 people could die every year as a result of heatwaves, up from 2,000 at present, as extreme weather becomes more common, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Rising temperatures could also mean that British people contract exotic illnesses at home as mosquitos carrying tropical diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, migrate to the UK.
People with hay fever will have a protracted period of suffering each year as the warmer climate could mean the pollen season starts earlier and finishes later....
So in the next 70 odd years there will be no improvements in medicine, pest prevention and air conditioning? Just like there hasn't been since 1940..
September 8, 2012
Open Access To Research Results
The government has announced £10m in funding for UK academics to publish their research in journals that allow free public access to the material online without a subscription.
Calls for "open access publishing" have been steadily growing in academic circles, with Dutch commercial publishers Elsevier being boycotted by thousands of academics in protest at perceived profiteering through journal access costs.
The government is adopting a funding model proposed by Finch called "gold" open access, where instead of university libraries subscribing to journals researchers pay commercial publishers or learned societies to publish their research, but access to their results is immediate and unrestricted.
September 6, 2012
The Castle Doctrine
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had made the decision not to take action against Andy and Tracey Ferrie after a senior official visited their home in Welby, Leicestershire.
In a statement released by the CPS, Judith Walker, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East Midlands, said: "Looking at the evidence, it is clear to me that Mr and Mrs Ferrie did what they believed was necessary to protect themselves, and their home, from intruders."
Ms Walker said: "Earlier this afternoon, the head of the East Midlands Complex Casework Unit, Lawrence English, visited the scene of the incident to see for himself whether the accounts given by Mr and Mrs Ferrie were consistent with other evidence of what happened.
"As Crown Prosecutors we look at all cases on their merit and according to the evidence in the individual case. I am satisfied that this is a case where householders, faced with intruders in frightening circumstances, acted in reasonable self-defence.
"The law is clear that anyone who acts in good faith, using reasonable force, doing what they honestly feel is necessary to protect themselves, their families or their property, will not be prosecuted for such action.
Not quite sure why it needed a visit from the head of Complex Casework to work it out, seemed pretty simple to me, but good news anyway.
Snow Record in Scotland
ON A SEVEN-metre stretch of thin snow, high up on the coldest part of the Cairngorms, skier Helen Rennie has broken a long-standing record by clocking up 35 consecutive months of skiing in Scotland.
Ms Rennie, 58, has not only trekked hundreds of miles in an attempt to find suitable patches of snow on which to ski, she successfully battled cancer to achieve her goal....
Scottish Ski & Winter Activity Report // The General Situation for CairnGorm Thursday 30th August 2012
Snow was reported falling at the Ptarmigan Restaurant at 3600ft on CairnGorm Mountain this morning, with a slight dusting lying on Ben Macdui. The temperature was remained below freezing at lunchtime with -0.2ｰc reported by the Summit AWS at 1pm, though rising above freezing in the afternoon the max stayed below 2ｰc.
In the previous 67 years up to and including August 2009 Dr Adam Watson noted that lying snow had been recorded in the Cairngorms on 8 years. Lying August snow has now occurred in the Cairngorms for the third consecutive year with snow falling and lying on Ben Macdui on the 28th of August in both 2010 and 2011, plus of course 30th August this year. Simply remarkable and last year 4 days of lying snow in August was the most recorded in the past 69 years.
Looks like she has a god chance of continuing to add on the months to her record.
September 4, 2012
Hubris ( /ËhjuËbrÉªs/), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
The adjectival form of hubris is "hubristic".
Atë, ancient Greek for "ruin, folly, delusion," is the action performed by the hero or heroine, usually because of his or her hubris, or great pride, that leads to his or her death or downfall.
GOVERNMENT CANNOT RELY ON STERN REVIEW TO JUSTIFY COSTLY CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES, SAYS NEW REPORT
London, 4 September: As the cost of government measures to combat climate change hit households and businesses, a new study published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation casts grave doubts on the validity of the “Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change” which the government relies on to justify its policies.
The substantial study, by Peter Lilley MP, is the most thorough analysis of the Stern Review so far undertaken. It takes the IPCC’s view of the science of global warming as given, but points out that Stern’s economic conclusions contradict the views of most of the world’s leading environmental economists and even the economic conclusions of the IPCC itself. The study also catalogues a series of errors and distortions in the Stern Review “any one of which would have caused it to fail peer review”.
Because Stern’s conclusions endorsed policies adopted by both government and opposition and its highly tendentious assumptions were not explicit, it was initially accepted without public scrutiny.
The new study shows the Stern Review to depend critically on “selective choice of facts, unusual economic assumptions and a propagandist narrative — which would never have passed peer review”.
Describing it as “policy based evidence”, Peter Lilley argues that the government can no longer rely on it to justify expenditure of many billions of pounds and calls for a return return instead to “evidence-based policies”.
Stern’s central conclusion that “If we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year now and forever” whereas “the costs of action — reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — can be limited to around 1% of GDP each year” is found to be entirely fallacious.
Lilley’s study demonstrates that the benefits of curbing emissions now and henceforth will not be five times the cost of action, as Stern claims. “It is achieved by verbal virtuosity combined with statistical sophistry. In fact, even on Stern’s figures, the cumulative costs of reducing greenhouse gases will exceed the benefits until beyond 2100″, Lilley points out.
“If we continue to follow Stern’s advice, the principal losers, apart from British taxpayers and businesses, would be developing countries who cannot raise living standards without massively increasing their use of fossil fuels and will therefore be responsible for most of the growth of carbon emissions,” Lilley argues.
Lilley asks: “why should this comparatively poor generation make the sacrifices Stern demands to improve living standards of people in 2200 who, if we take no action to prevent global warming - - even on the worst scenario depicted by Stern – will be 7 times better off than us?
Lilley calls on the government to cease basing its climate change policy on the flawed Stern Review and commission a new independent cost benefit study of alternative strategies.
September 2, 2012
Working Class Green
Cranie will learn tomorrow if his pledge to dismantle the party’s reputation as a “white, middle-class party” has won support among activists.
“What I would hope to do is broaden our appeal from our middle-class base. As leader I would be the person that speaks for the party and hopefully persuades members through moral argument,” he said. “I am a working-class Scot who can show that there is more to the party.”
Cranie’s left-wing credentials were shaped early on. He grew up in Bo’ness but when his father lost his job – because of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies, he claims – the family moved to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Cranie was 11 and found the move to the Home Counties difficult. “My father worked in computer maintenance and he had to move jobs several times but then there simply wasn’t a job any more,” he said.
After graduating he sold Walkers crisps then became a bank financial adviser. It was a poor career fit and he soon gave it up to study social work. He now lectures in social care at West Lancashire College.
So he is a a Home Counties graduate College lecturer and that makes him "working class" to the Green Party. I wonder what class they think their gardeners are?