Thursday, 30 October 2008

High Speed Rail and Heathrow: Rat scented.

Plans to build a new network of 200mph railways is one of the least bad things the government can do, all things being equal. However, the plan involves the following:
A high-speed rail hub, with 12 platforms, could be built north of the M4 near Heathrow. A shuttle would carry passengers from the terminals to the hub, which could be linked by a 15-mile tunnel to High Speed One, the Eurostar route from St Pancras.
Now, having connections are good thing, but this mechanism - a shuttle to the hub - is just another example of why Heathrow should be shut down and a new airport in the Thames Estuary built.

It is a lash-up. 

There seems to be some kind of mental block in Heathrow, some twisting of the space-time continuum that prevents public transport from being easily accessible from the terminal buildings. The LAST thing I want to do when I get off a plane is to load all my luggage and my tired body onto a train only to have to unload and then re-load at some hub.

If there is a need for this hub - and I think a hub per se is a good idea - then let the hub be an integral part of the airport, just as the rail system is at, say, Hong Kong, where you can SEE your train when you come out of customs into the meeting area, right across the vast, uncluttered, glass-roofed cathedral hall that is Chep Lap Kok. 

Now, in the case of an airport that will handle 4 or 5 times the traffic of Hong Kong, we need something different, but the very challenge of how to connect 5 terminal buildings to a rail hub connecting London and the West, Wales, Midlands, North, Scotland AND the Continent has potential for architectural beauty and majesty beyond anything seen before.

Heathrow has, for me, a destiny. It should be turned into housing. It has rail and road connections already. It is on the "right" side of London - upwind, just as the Thames Airport is on the right side of London - downwind; London being upwind of its pollution.

What we have here, for something that will be in place for 50+ years, is an intention to nail Heathrow into place. Ministers are fast-tracking it. I bet they are. Next election they will be worthless to BAA and other vested interests, so to earn their envelopes (brown) they need to get busy.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Nicholas on Coffeehouse Nails The Fabian Treason.

Here. @October 28th, 2008 11:42am.

The Right, or perhaps more importantly the non-Left, must realise that they are an endangered species, soon to become a persecuted minority. The old establishment used to be the Right, the Left subverted it, infiltrated it and toppled it in the course of a 50 years "quiet" revolution, the final bayonet in the guts being the brilliant deployment of the Political Correctness weapon. Now the Left is the establishment and the Right must come to terms with that fact and face the reality that the rapidly undermined democratic "system" is not going to change the status quo. The state broadcaster believes and promotes the idea that any Labour government, even a stinkingly bad one, is better than the Tories. The rest of the establishment follow this line and even the last few remaining bastions of the Right surrender to walk the walk and talk the talk in the interest of perceived peer pressure. The scrutiny is all one way. The Left have harnessed the mob.

Only when the full horror of a totalitarian leftist state in Britain emerges over the next decade or two will any opposition find strength and, aided by the inevitable cancer which will destroy the state from within, deploy the appropriate methods against it. This must run its course, unfortunately, and until that time we will have to endure the bullying dogma of the Left in all its many forms, including so-called comedy entertainment.

Unlike JR above, who sounds a little too much like a BBC blog-monitoring agent provocateur, I find Brand and Ross about as appealing as pond slime.

Absolutely spot on, old chap. One thing to note: the Left are and will be far more totalitarian, absolute and vicious than the Right ever could. Envy is more extreme than dismissal.

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Pound Falls

As we are seeing, the Pound is taking a battering. Down from $2.00, it has crashed through the $1.60 mark. 20% to you and me. In a month. Against the US DOLLAR, mind, not the Swiss Franc.

Brown has been printing money. The Pound has become devalued. The BoE is not chartered to manage the value of currency directly, so it has only interest rates which it is under pressure to reduce, let alone raise. Of course, the Libertarian Party saw the threat to the currency some time ago. It has a manifesto commitment to reform monetary policy and at the centre is the drive to maintain the value of the currency.

I suspect now will be a time that Brown, the traitor, will consider joining the Euro. The EU will be delighted in private, but in public will huff and puff about it, then only agree after harsh penalties have been imposed (e.g. the Treasury loses any vestiges of fiscal sovereignty). Brown will agree as long as he has a sinecure at the IMF or ECB sewn up for himself. Darling will be on a promise, to keep him quiet.

Something, though, makes me think that this may not happen. Brown, for all is "son of the manse" artifice, has an ego the size of Greenland. He thinks he is the architect of the recovery, the Captain in the teeth of the storm. If it still looks like he will lose the next election, I would not put it past him to lay the foundations for the UK to be bounced into such a deal. Super Dave Cameron has not shown himself to be interested enough in Sovereignty, so I do not trust him. The LibDems are, as always, beyond the pale*.

* I wish those in the Lib Dem Party who call themselves "Libertarian" will face up to the fact and get out of that rancid organisation.

Cheaper Biofuel

Biofuels have had a bad rap recently over  the concerns over food prices, and rightly so.

However, not all biofuels are created equal. The "easy" biofuels such as those from sugarcane sugar*, seed oils or corn starches impact food prices because they use the portion of the crop that would otherwise be used in food production. No surprise, because food is our fuel, so it is pretty obvious that this aspect would be the easiest or only part of a plant to be usable as fuel for machines.

However, this ignores the woody matter: leaves, stalks, bark. Wood is made of lignin, which, to many peoples' surprise, is in fact a very stable, complex polymer of glucose. Yep, it is, under all that, sugar. Because it is a very stable polymer, our digestive tract cannot extract meaningful energy from it. Bacteria can. Anyone on a high fibre diet will know that bacteria can convert woody material, the fibre, into methane gas...

Mankind has harnessed bacteria to break down lignin, but it has needed high temperatures and has not been highly efficient. 

However, the guys at Cobalt Biofuels appear to have devised a process to reduce the cost (and by that it means energy and waste) of biofuel production using the woody waste matter. Not only have they reduced the cost, but they have produced Butanol, which has a higher energy density, is more compatible with existing infrastructure and is far easier to handle than the more common biofuel output, ethanol. Ethanol is a bit scary, actually, as it is a colourless, odourless and transparent liquid. It looks, smells and, who knows, tastes like water - drink it and you will be unlikely to live long enough to discuss the merits of its complex lingering finish.

In all of this there remains, for me, a nagging doubt. If the process is developed, biomass may be removed from the cycle, even if it is usually burnt on site. To  me that suggests a change in the cultivation process, an impact. Such changes need to be understood and all the implications thought through - e.g. the need for more fertilisers etc. If biomass is removed entirely and not used elsewhere (this I doubt!) then biomass waste for biofuel production should have little impact. Alas, a cheaper process could mean more land turned over to switchgrass or other biomass crops, thus reducing potential food yields.

One good thing about biofuels is it has shown how Government meddling can create problems that would never have occurred. Governments have been subsidising biofuel crop production and up till now this has meant diverting food production into fuel production. We have seen how this can destabilise food prices, as it is an unnatural distortion. 

If biofuels are to make any sense, it would be produced from land otherwise not used for food production, not used for anything in particular, in fact. Biofuels can also be used first in places where their cleaner, less carcinogenic products of combustion may be at a premium, e.g. in domestic generators, food delivery vehicles and taxis**. In such cases I would wish it to just power a backup generator in a series hybrid, but then who expects common sense from ricebowlers who wish to keep their job at Toyota or GM designing cam lift profiles, eh?

* the distinction is important here.
** why we permit cities to be polluted by diesel vehicles is a mystery to me given all the other wibble going around. Taxis can easily be electric or plug-in series hybrid and B100 biodiesel produces hardly any particulates (soot), no sulphur and a far better balance of the other gasses.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


Keynes famously said "When the facts change, I change my mind".

Alas, he was wrong from the outset, so as that fact did not change, neither did he change is mind.

He also said "In the long run we are all dead", which might give us a hint at why he was happy to mortgage the future.

Keynes is so utterly wrong, yet now at the very point when we should reject his dysfunctional, bankrupt ideology the more, Gordon Brown and Darling are embracing him.

Today's borrowing is taxation...with interest. Borrowing today reduces the spending power of every pound in every pocket, so it is an insidious, indirect and unavoidable taxation upon us all. It is taxation for the future, too, as that debt plus interest needs to be repaid. As WSC said, taxing your way to prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.

The only possible reason I can see for all this is that the Government wishes to conduct a scorched earth policy so that the next Tory government will be a short one. Ladder-kickers, the lot of 'em.

If you want to stimulate the economy, make it run faster, reduce the friction. Reduce government spending. 

It is an absurd notion to think that by taking money away from individuals, handing it to a bunch of the Government's pet friends, mainly in the construction industry, to then spend and employ people, that somehow those people employed and suppliers supplied will magically create demand across all the economy. How about just not doing anything so that everyone keeps their money and can spend it directly in the first place? How about REDUCING taxation so people feel more confident, can pay off their loans and then resume spending? Oh no, that alternative does not require the State to be involved. Its mates cannot get largesse. It is then not the arbiter, the director of resources. It will not be able to delude itself that it knows best.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Protestant Work Ethic being exploited by Gordon Brown

This is a cross post to posts , followups and discussions elsewhere happening at the LPUK members blog, which came about because in Patrick's view (the original poster at LPUK) that Gordon Brown, the Marxist, remember, is trying to hijack the Protestant Work Ethic for his own Authoritarian ends. Frankly when I see the word "fairness", it just means "forced redistribution decided by a Statist Elite". It sits alongside "deprivation", "social justice" and "progressive" as poisonous newspeak. 

I intend to work for the rest of my life. I intend to not have to work as soon as possible. Does that make any sense to anyone outside of a suicide cult? I work so I can get money that will enable me to provide for my family and to have a choice. If I have to work so hard just to eat and pay someone per week for a roof, rags over the windows and a bucket in the corner, my choices and freedoms are limited. 

I see Socialism as the path towards the rags-and-bucket scenario, with the State taking everything in return for some shoddy roof over my head because full-on LVT has taxed my property from under me. If I am a "good boy" or kiss the Statist butt, then they might give me a slightly less leaky roof, private use of a cold water tap and permission to cook food and take a dump in private. 

Rule of Law and specifically property rights will enable me to amass wealth for me and my kids. Slowly but surely, for Rule of Law will prevent the Feudalists (Socialism is just a form of Nationalised Feudalism) from having first dibbs at my stuff or arbitrarily being able to seize my stuff should I not conform or be deemed non conformist for the convenience of their covetousness. I might start with my own bucket. I might get a bow and arrow or fishing rod. I might get an axe to enable me to cut more wood than I need so I can sell it to another. Rule of Law will allow my sons and daughters to keep what I have collected without the Feudal Lord having a piece when I die (IHT). 

The only Party that appears to understand Rule of Law is the Libertarian Party

I think the Protestant Work Ethic is a good thing, but it is a PERSONAL thing. Anyone should be free to judge another on this, mind, but the State has no business in imposing the Tyranny of the Majority, especially if it cooks up a majority to suit its own ends. "society" cannot have an opinion. Individuals alone can have an opinion. Same for freedoms and rights. Only individuals can gain justice. Social Justice implies social rights. Social rights are a pox on civilisation, a Dictator's tool. 

Gordon Brown needs some people to work until they drop dead while another group is kept on the teat. The Matrix had people kept in a dream world and fed to provide electrical energy. The Gordonian Matrix is almost the same except he relies on Electoral Energy, votes, to keep his ghoulish machine functioning. HG Wells had a supine, beautiful, but idle Eloi fed upon by the hard working technocratic, violent but ugly Morlocks. A Gordonian, Socialist future will have the brutal and violent idle feeding upon the hard-working and civilised. 

Take the blue pill, the red pill or even the yellow pill, the dream-nightmare will continue, only the parasites will change as you push forward on the lever and watch the years spin by. Stop taking it from anyone. Statism is just nationalised Feudalism. When will people realise?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Italy and the Euro

Talk grows about the Euro membership. Not just from various "Childcatchers" wanting to entice Fatty Brown into the cage, but also from others hinting that Italy's place may be under question.

It is unlikely that Italy will jump - it cannot afford to and the likelihood would be that the Lira, the Millelira, more like, will be worthless and the Euro would operate as a de facto second currency...not that I have anything against multiple currencies, mind. In fact the fate of the Italians shows that having multiple currencies around would help to ensure Governments keep their printing presses silent unless they need to replace worn out notes or keep pace with economic expansion to prevent deflationary pressures at bay.

It is unlikely that Italy will be kicked out, either. The preening peacocks of the EU would not want to have that happen. Italy, for all its faults, is no small ravioli in economic terms. One of the largest economies in the world, in fact, and not without good reason.

Nope, my guess is that Italy will be subjected to a humiliation. It's Treasury will be disenfranchised and forced to hand over the keys to the cookie jar. No more bond issues without ECB say so, for example. It will remove one of the last aspects of Sovereignty, that of monetary policy, even under the Euro. If it happens, Italy will become truly a province of the Empire. The irony in this happening to Italy of all countries, given the EU and its DNA, is immense.

Such an event will be a warning to all the other Treasuries in the Empire Union. I suspect that behind the scenes the ECB and their cronies will clamp shackles around the ankles of all the Finance Ministers and tug the chain to make sure they know who is boss. Italy will be in a Cangue for all to see, pour encourager les autres, but the de facto situation will be the same for all members. Loss of fiscal sovereignty, as if they had much to start with.

I hope this happens soon and before Gordon Brown gets any more ideas about joining this rancid clique that is the Eurozone, but even then I doubt it will bother the Marxist one jot. For if The Great Protector brings the UK into the Euro, he, personally, will not suffer. No, quite the reverse. He will get a very nice role, even head of the ECB, for his pains. He will be safe, secure and comfy right into retirement and beyond.

Icelandic Banks and Terror

The use of what people call "Terror Legislation" in seizing the assets of an Icelandic Bank (which was not actually in danger, IIRC) is inaccurate. This legislation in truth just used "Terrorism" as a cover for other, wide-ranging and draconian powers. 

The same is happening in the "42 days" debacle. One wonders if the willingness to let the 42 days dimension drop due to the Lords rejecting the bill was planned. This way, all the focus is on the headline proposal and when it is defeated, people think that Liberty has won the day and we can now all rest easy in our beds.

In fact, we can now all rest easy in our beds. Until around 3am.

Monday, 13 October 2008

...and another thing

The banking Nationalisation has a sinister and rather scary factor.

Recently the housing crisis has prompted the suggestion to push for borrowing by State, Council and Housing Association (last is less of an issue) to buy or build more housing. I fear that those two items will be conjoined...

Gordon Brown: Smiling, yet the MSM lets him.

We have widespread Nationalisation of the banking industry.

This will result in interference in the companies concerned. If it does not, the Government would be nagged by vested interests until it did interfere. There are already calls, from envy-politicians who foam against bonuses to the Environazis who want the banks to "invest", i.e. subsidise, some pet "green technology" du jour.

State interference will reduce the attractiveness of the UK as a banking centre. The only consolation is that many other centres are also in the do-do and lining up behind the Socialist muck-spreader, so we might not get an immediate loss of status in the short term to our existing peer group (FFT, NY, TKY). However, places like Dubai are itching to expand and take over. Do not expect them to stop for Ramadan when they see an opportunity to eat our lunch. They will bag it for later, and good luck to them.

Having said that, if the Government is to create more debt for Taxpayers over this, it seems the least bad option to get shares in exchange for that debt. Let us hope the share prices outperform the coupon on that debt so we, the Taxpayer, can see a return for the risk.

What is so infuriating is that Gordon Brown is acting like some kind of saviour. Just imagine if someone had broken all your windows, kicked in your door, allowed the roof to go to rack and ruin - letting in water and causing all manner of damage and cost - smahed your drains, mains and automobiles. And shot your dog. Imagine that person arriving with a sheet of tarpaulin and a roll of gaffer tape while wearing a big grin and expecting to be welcomed like some romantic hero. His is what has happened in regard to Gordon Brown. The problem is the MSM and many pundits have fallen for it. Gordon has got his Falklands, but he did not deserve it.

Where is the contrition? Where is the acceptance of responsibility here? There is none. It is absolutely shocking yet the MSM, instead of nailing him to the mast or keel-hauling him are almost fluffing him off off-camera. I hear Polly is keen again.

"Son of the Manse" my painted arse. How can he ever trot out that sanctimonious, faux piety and prudence again when he has so blatantly chosen to intentionally ignore his dirty fingernails in the woes we face. He, a Marxist, must be loving it. The Great Protector. The State to the rescue. The big City Boys now beholden to Le Teat Majeure.