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Archive for the category “energy”

BP Get it in Perspective

Cameron has jumped on the Obama band wagon and critises BP over the oil leak off the US coast. That’s easy to do and yet another Prime Minister sucks up to the US instead of sticking up for Britain.

Let’s put it in some sort of perspective. Yes, it is a monumental environmental disaster, that is undeniable. Did BP want it to happen, of course they didn’t. Did they act promptly with more than one measure to cap off the leak? Certainly, it was amazing how quickly they manufactured the ‘cone’ and now this other device to trap a good part of the oil. At the same time they are drilling two new bores to take away the pressure to enable the fractured pipe to be sealed off and all at several miles below sea level. They are funding and organising a massive installation of booms to prevent as much as possible of the oil from washing ashore and that which gets through is being collected. Given the speed of events and the unique situation they should be applauded.

I’m certainly no supporter of greedy multi nationals but credit must surely be given when it’s due. As long as the world cries out for more oil when supplies are diminishing then oil extraction will become more risky and dangerous. We must reduce our dependency or live with consequences.

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Manifesto You Wont See (Mine)

DEFENCE: We believe that threatening the annihilation of millions of fellow humans is wrong so we are getting rid of all nuclear weapons. This will make us less of a threat and so reduce our risk of attack. We will also save billions of Pounds.

We will have a review of the past few hundred years to see just why we have rampaged around the globe engaging in acts of aggression and stop doing it. Our military services will have only defensive weapons and therefore we will finally pose no threat to any other nation thereby further reducing our risks to near zero.

HOUSING: No further second homes will be allowed and existing ones will pay treble Council Tax until there are no more homeless or sub standard housing. All private property will become State owned on the demise of the current owners. (This will reduce house prices enormously and make them affordable places to live in and not investments for profit)

ENERGY: Rail, Electricity supply, Gas and Water will be re-nationalised.

WAGES & BENEFITS: All State benefits (except unemployment) will be cancelled and in their place the national minimum wage will be raised to a level fit to live on, along with pensions. There will be no unemployment benefit on leaving education until at least two years of employment have been completed. Benefit will be earnt by community service to prevent drifting into benefit dependency. No one will be allowed to earn more than ten times the minimum wage and bonuses will be outlawed. A fair days pay for a fair days work will be the norm.

TRANSPORT: Cities and urban areas with good public transport will be subject to an extra vehicle tax similar to the London congestion charge. Money raised will offset fuel reductions to those in rural areas where personal transport is essential.

DEMOCRACY: A good idea which will be adopted starting with an elected Head of State rather than an unelected monarchy. The second chamber shall also only have elected members. A fair voting system will be adopted where no vote is a wasted vote.

All connections between religion and the State shall be severed and all tax advantages currently applied to churches, mosques etc will end.

CRIME: All drugs will be de-criminalised and available on prescription thereby cutting up to 70% of crime. This will have the added benefit of slashing the prison population which doesn’t work anyway and saving huge sums of money.

The creation of a more fair and equal society would of itself reduce the incidence of crime. The current method of sentencing is ineffective, there being no point in a fixed time inside, therefore custodial terms will be opened ended. That is to say when it is considered the offender is ready to take his/her proper productive place back in society then they are released with adequate support and not before.

EDUCATION: Management costs will be no more than 1% of the budget and teachers will revert to running the schools and colleges. Choice of school will be abolished and all schools will be of an approved standard in all areas. University fees will be abolished but a small lifetime increase in income tax will enable graduates the satisfaction of repaying society for the privilege.

Private education establishments will be abolished by ever increasing taxation.

HEALTH: Management costs as for education. Medical staff taking more responsibility for running hospitals and clinics etc. A State pharmaceutical research facility will be set up and tight controls put on those in the private sector. Drugs which are highly expensive and merely prolong life by months will not be available.

Private health care will be abolished by progressively rising taxes.

LAND: All land will be nationalised without compensation and a rent paid for all private property upon it.

Now Very Disturbing BBC

I recently wrote about the BBC not reporting the 24hr blockade of Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and today they are not reporting on a blockade of Sizewell nuclear power station in protest at the government’s flawed report approving more nuclear power stations.

This is very disturbing indeed as the BBC is (was?) one of the very few sources of infomation that could be trusted. I and I suspect others, will be demanding an explanation from the BBC and I’ll post any response when received.

If you have any doubts about nuclear power then I urge you to watch this documentary The Battle for Chenobyl. If you think it couldn’t happen here then just remember the radiation leak from Windscale, now called Sellafield, that wafted over Liverpool and Manchester without a warning to the population, or Three Mile Island in the USA.

Update:  I made an official complaint to the BBC and below is their bland response, make of it what you will.

I understand that you were disappointed that we did not cover the anti-nuclear protests at Sizewell and Aldermaston on our news.
The choice and placement of news items is always a very tricky decision for news editors as with such a wide and varied audience it is difficult to select items that will be of interest to all listeners. We appreciate that viewers want as many items as possible, but there are occasions where a particular story may require a greater share of the running time.
I can assure you that there is no collusion, Sizewell experiences regular anti-nuclear power protests, as do most of the nuclear power stations across Britain. However, there was coverage of the blockade at Aldermaston:
I do appreciate your feelings and I can assure you that your comments have been fully registered on our audience log. As you are aware, this is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme executives within the BBC.
It’s very helpful to us to hear the opinions of our audience, whether positive or negative and I’m glad you’ve been in touch with your opinion.

A Nation of Sheep

The energy Regulator Ofgem has called on the suppliers to reduce their charges to customers following recent lower costs. Unsurprisingly they have refused. All of them are using similar arguments about uncertainty and ‘other costs’ in an attempt to justify making an average extra profit this year from each customer of £60 per year, compared with the last three years. It sounds very much to me like an energy cartel.

This is what happens when government privatises what is a natural public resource. The companies obviously work together (if proven it would be illegal) to keep profits for shareholders up and customers become a poor second and with competition a myth. The old Water Boards were also sold off, water for Christ’s sake, the essential for life, sold off for profit. British Rail which wasn’t a bad service at all, sold off for profit. If BR had the same public funds put into it as the private companies receive now from the State, it would be better and more importantly perhaps, cheaper to use.

The gullible people just sat back and let it all happen, some tempted by the carrot of cheap share offers that soon ended up in the hands of the big investors. Still they sit on their hands while chunks of our health and education are handed over for profit.

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