Saturday, March 11, 2006
IN MEMORIUM - SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC
This was deliberate slow murder by withholding medical treatment. Not only had the Nato funded kangaroo "court" been totally unable to bring any evidence against him he had proven beyond any shadow of doubt that the real Nazi war criminals personally guilty of genocide were the NATO leaders including Bliar & every single one of the corrupt genocidal murdering child rapists who make up our cabinet.I also tried to post this on the BBC comments section of their report on this news but apparently there was a system error? I will try again since the BBC do not engage in censorship, or not as the case may be.
The actions of the BBC & the rest of our media in continuously, over 15 years, deliberately lying about such things as the real Srebrenica massacre of Serb civilians makes it impossible for any BBC programme to ever claim a higher level of truth or for any BBC employee, from the toilet cleaners down to the Director General, ever under any circumstances to claim to be anything other than a wholly corrupt murdering Nazi whore.
By comparison President Milosevic was "the only leader who consistently supported peace" & "a man to whom any form of racism is anathema" (to quote Lord Owen).
There is not a single leader of the Nato countries over the last 16 years, or the Pope or such opposition leaders as Nazi Ashdown or Menzies Campbell who do not deserve death a thousand times more.
I wish we lived in a world where the good guys won & the lying Nazi war criminals got justice & got it good & hard. Perhaps some day we will.
Friday, March 10, 2006
ON COUNCILLOR WALKER
On basic political philosophies we are not all that close. He is by instinct an environmentalist (he is part pf the volunteer group cleaning up the river Kelvin & has recently installed his own solar heating), whereas I am by instinct a hi-tech space going groupie. I put economic growth at top of my agenda & he merely accepts it is important. On the other hand he has possibly even less time for political correctness than me & being an accountant, understands that government can't just get away with political posturing, you have to get the numbers right.
We first met shortly before the Glasgow North candidate selection meeting. At that meeting I was impressed by the way he unwisely said that it would be wrong & possibly counterproductive to give the health service more money without fixing the managerial systems. This is true but, at least before that audience, was a bit like saying mother's apple pie could be improved. He wasn't selected. Subsequently the Bearsden constituency decided to shortlist their 7 candidates 6 people made the shortlist, he didn't.
On purely vote gathering abilities alone any serious party should value him. I am more impressed by his understanding of issues & his willingness to say what he believes (even when, as in things like cars, I largely disagree). He has been a regular letter writer in the Scotsman & Herald & has generally had a pretty high media profile. One of those things is his support for nuclear power though more because he recognises the real alternative to be blackouts than with the enthusiasm I have.
It had become quite clear that he is not one of the party's blue eyed boys, most of whom, in the interests of gender balance, are girls.
Nonetheless it came as a great surprise to me when he told me on Wednesday that he had quit the Lib Dems & is now an independent. I don't know what his future intent is but I think it would be a great loss to Scotland if he were to be driven out of politics. For the Lib Dems to let him go is an own goal of spectacular proportions. It also means that, together with my expulsion, Hillhead constituency party, numerically Glasgow's largest, has been rendered almost inactive
Thursday, March 09, 2006
"NUCLEAR IS THE EASY ANSWER"
The guests were:
Professor Steven Salter (inventor of the Salter Duck device for harnessing wave power & a renewables supporter).
Brian Wilson (former Labour minister & a man who, for years, stood out strongly for the need to replace our aging reactors back when Tony Bliar was calling nuclear an "unattractive option" - however he is a consultant for both the nuclear & renewables industry & it is only renewables he actually wants to expand.
Nicol Stephen, Lib Dem leader & absolutely opposed to nuclear on essentially ideological grounds.
Mike Farley who works for Babcocks, an engineering firm who make & fix both nuclear & renewable generators & wants more of both.
In the warm up session Prof Salter bemoaned the fact that banks were unwilling to fund his Duck, & government unwilling to fund to the extent he desired which was a taste of things to come. Professor Salter, while an eminent engineer has, in my opinion, allowed his enthusiasm for the neat engineering of his device to miss the fact that it is not & never will be generally economically viable. Bankers who do not engage in subsidy have not missed this fact. The government, with unlimited access to our wallets has no such restraints.
Sally Magnuson, the compere led off with some film & a piece with Quentin Somerville talking from a street in China. She said that the rising price of oil was due to the "rapacious demand" of all these Chinese which he clearly thought a little unfair.
During the debate Brian Wilson's position was actually very pro-renewable criticising opponents for making a grandstand commitment to 40% renewables & then being willing to oppose each individual windfarm. He asked Nicol & the audience in general if they had been around in the 1940s would they not have been up in arms to prevent the hydro systems which now form 87% of our existent renewable capacity. And answer came there none. Professor Salter, who clearly understands the problem, called for the "erratic" nature of renewables to be straightened out to using it to produce methane - a process which would work considerably better & cheaper using the off peak capacity of nuclear. He also waxed warmly on the supposed popularity of Danish windmills without mentioning that they have the world's most expensive electricity. Nicol produced the rather silly point that coal & gas only work at 40% thermal efficiency - this is inherent in the laws of thermodynamics - if Hollyrood thinks they can repeal that they can repeal the law of gravity as well & go flying - the correct measure of efficiency is that wind uses money less efficiently (ie costs more). In reply to green enthusiasm for Portugal having more windmills than us Mr Farley said that this is because the Portuguese government gives windmills more support (i.e. money) & if only our government did the same his company would build more.
Nicol explained that the Lib Dems were opposed to nuclear (Sally mentioned John Thurso) except John who has one in his constituency. The rest are united, I then shouted out that 1/3rd of the Lib Dems supported it (not audible on TV) & he accepted that "there are several people in the party who are for nuclear on scientific & technical grounds". He then went on to admit that "nuclear is the easy solution" & that if we went for it we would never want to go for windmills - again I interjected (again inaudible but he visibly heard it) that easy solutions were generally preferable. It has often been said that Greenery is essentially a modern religion & I think Nicol's remark demonstrates it in his case, & that it is very much a hairshirt, self flagellation type of religion. This is the ultimate reason for opposing nuclear - if it is allowed to work the whole Luddite case will be popularly rejected.
The questions from the audience were varied & quite interesting, there was even one from somebody who only wanted to go nuclear. One person said that Hunterston had been contaminated & I got my 5 seconds on air saying that the radiation level in Aberdeen was about 1/3rd higher than Hunterston & had been since before humans reached Britain.
The last 10 minutes were given over to energy saving with such breakthrough suggestions as forcing shops to switch off their lights at night. In fact no nation has ever reduced energy usage except with economic collapse or worse.
The whole problem with the BBC's notion of debate is how very limited the debatable options are. In choosing guests they decided that the allowed options were to run the gamut from unequivocally pro-renewable (Steven & Nicol) to increased renewable but keeping significant nuclear (Wilson & Farley). This is complete nonsense. To quote Professor Bernardo de La Paz "the greatest thing about a managed democracy is a responsible press, when the managers get to define what is responsible".
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
CASE FOR PURGING ME FOR BEING "ILLIBERAL" DROPPED, i AM NOW TO BE PURGED FOR OBJECTING TO BEING PURGED FOR BEING ILLIBERAL
The Executive Committee considered your response to the paper on which theAt this rate the Appeals Tribunal will be sitting sometime around July when my annual membership runs out. I have replied:
decision to proceed to implementing the required procedures to expel you
from membership of the Scottish Liberal Democrats was based.
However they were also extremely concerned that, despite the paper being
made available to you on a confidential basis and your agreeing to
maintain confidentiality, your response was sent to senior politicians of
other political parties thus breaching that confidentiality.
The Executive took the view that by doing this you had brought the party
into dispute. It is on this basis that I was instructed by the Executive
with no votes against and one abstention to conduct a secret postal ballot
of all Executive Committee members as to whether or not you should be
The outcome of the ballot will be known on 22nd April, the next Executive
Committee meeting, when the vote will be counted.
Your suspension from membership remains in force until that date.
I confirm receipt of your email. I would like to make 3 points.
1) It is not true that, as a condition of seeing the charges against me, I agreed to keep the charge document against me secret. You did make a request, but not prior to receipt, that I do so & I have not published that document. I did say in reply to this:
"I confirm that, while I would prefer to be open about this, I will adhere to your request that the executive's document about me remain confidential........ My response will naturally, in light of my insistence on clearing my name of the allegation of being "illiberal", be public."
Nobody raised any objection to this whatsoever.
Only my response has been published. It is untrue to suggest that I have published any confidential party document, indeed not doing so has inconvenienced my defence. Even when quoting from it I went to some lengths to ensure that this was from the section which was directly quoting my blog - clearly quoting the quotes of what I had said in my blog in my blog may be incest but is not breaching any right to confidentiality.
I did this as a matter of courtesy despite this request being clearly inconsistent with the principle of open justice being done & being seen to be done (something which I would consider a liberal principle).
2) I would like to point out that your initial letter to me of 12th Dec said:
"That was to suspend you from the rights & privileges of membership for a maximum of three months from receipt of this letter while the question of termination of your membership is under consideration."
A maximum of 3 months from that the meeting is 4th March, 3 months from your letter is 12th March. The Executive is in breach of its own rules & does not have the authority to decide that my suspension "remain in force" beyond that. This is not the apartheid regime of South Africa (who would intern people for 3 months & on their release immediately re-intern them for a further 3). As of 12th March I am again a paid up member entitled to the rights of membership.
3) The only remaining reason for my proposed expulsion is that I have openly objected to my proposed expulusion on unsustainable & untrue charges. The entire initial case against me is not being pursued. If this mess has brought the party into disrepute it is not I who have done it. For the Executive to say that stating their case is bringing the party into disrepute is itself an implicit confirmation that the Executive believe they have acted disreputably.
I did not seek this, I did not start it & I have a perfect right to defend myself from allegations which even their proposers now refuse to defend.
I therefore have the right to a formal finding that the claims that I am "illiberal", that I have written letters to the papers that are "inconsistent with party membership", that I have repeatedly announced my party membership in letters to the papers, that in objecting to the beheading of children I have shown any moral lapse, that in pointing out that Mr Ashdown perjured himself in the Milosevic "trial" & that part of his administration in Bosnia have breached the law to assist in child sex slavery, I have been acting outwith the interests of justice & generally that in supporting traditional liberal principles regarding economic growth, economically competitive power manufacturing & freedom from government regulation I have been in any way whatsoever "illiberal" are not supportable & are withdrawn. Perhaps an apology would be appropriate.
Since the vote against me was not secret it would also be appropriate to know who was present & who the abstainer was & I so request.
PS Since we have already established that Mr Fraser's claim that I had announced my party membership in letters to the papers represents his highest standard of honesty did he present the requested evidence that this was in any way true?
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
THE NUCLEAR DEBATE IN A BACK ROOM IN WEST KILBRIDE
The BBC made some play of their public opinion poll whose headline question - which would you prefer: renewables, gas nuclear or coal (they were chosen in that order) - is entirely meaningless if you discount practicality or cost. Had they also included "free electricity provided by perpetual motion machines" that would have been the correct choice since nobody could possibly object to free perpetual motion. I certainly wouldn't. A later question was on whther nuclear would be ok to prevent us being dependent on importing gas or coal, which is a somewhat more sensible question & got 54% for nuclear.
The audience was split close to evenly though with a body of "stakeholders" which means people who have no stake in the business (neither working there or owning shares), know little about it but are determined that the managers shouldn't be allowed to "get away with anything" to quote one.
I got the 2nd soundbite & said my normal bit about losing 55% of our capacity, wind producing 1.5% & thus being totally unable to replace it, at which point the windmill builder interrupted me & I am afraid I did not knock him back as robustly as I should have. Just about everybody got a soundbite. A man from "Real Labour" who kept shouting out informed us that Arthur Scargill was not pro-nuclear. A lady asked if anybody knew how much of Scotland's electricity goes south, which, somewhat to my surprise nobody, including myself, could answer. Another lady told us that since 1991 twenty people had died erecting & repairing windmills in the UK - I hadn't known that & asked her later - apparently her friend had read it in an evening class - I was surprised but not totally so since climbing 300ft towers in high winds to secure 60ft rotor blades is inherently risky - but it does indicate a certain media bias when "dangerous" nuclear has only had 3 fatal deaths worldwide since Chenobyl.
The final word was given to Mr Corrigan who fitted the fact that nuclear reactors (also coal ones) produce large amounts of hot water into a suggestion that the best place to put reactors would be where there are lots of houses to whom thay could pipe the water - preferably central London. This is actually a good point even though efficient use of nuclear is far less important than for coal & gas since it is so proportionately cheap.
On balance I am afraid the antis came out on points overall.
At the end I asked the nice young lady shepherding us how the BBC chooses guests since I had noticed that while there was one renewablist & 2 "we need both" there was nobody who, like me, favoured the French solution of 85% nuclear & 15% hydro (hydro is very good at providing reserve power). A guy I had been chatting to then agreed with me on this. In fact the BBC normally maintains balance by carefully choosing opposing viewpoints & being even more careful to select which particular opposing viewpoints.
The good news is that I will also be in the audience for the TV portion of the debate shown on Wednesday at 9.00. It is an Any Questions format & though I have put in a question the audience is about 200 people so don't hold your breath.