Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Million Angry People

I posted earlier today about the lack of rebellion. It seems that I may be wrong. First read this litany of what is wrong with this country’s government. Then read, if you haven’t already, about the surrender of our sovereignty noting in particular the last two paragraphs. Follow the ‘lawful and legal’ link to an article titled ‘Living by the Rule of Law’. Finally read Richard North’s call for a Million Angry People. Now will you do something?

I Must be Wrong

A series of links led me to this blog. Alarmed by what Ian Parker-Joseph had written I pasted part of the BIS quote into Google and arrived at the Top Stories section of the BIS website. Writ there for all to see, it says “The key to the new measures … will be the principle of copying out the text of European directives directly into UK law.” Is that not admitting that we do not run our own country anymore? Are we really paying 650 MPs a minimum of £65,738 per year just to cut-and-paste?
Maybe I am wrong in thinking that we are a sovereign state, which by definition is a state which administers its own government, and is not dependent upon, or subject to, another power. Perhaps the majority of this country is happy with being ruled by Brussels because that is the only reason I can imagine for the complete lack of criticism, lack of protest and lack of rebellion.

Friday, 10 December 2010


On the drive in to work this morning I had two occasions to think about words. The first was when I heard that there had been a bad accident at the roundabout near Bracknell Sports Centre. Unfortunate for somebody as that was, I recalled that the offices opposite were occupied by a company called cadence. I have always liked the word cadence, I am tempted to say that the word has it's own rhythm but I shall refrain.
Later, a cyber-security expert was asked how a business could defend itself against denial-of-service attacks to which the expert replied that there were a number of ways that a business could ameliorate the threat. Ameliorate, isn't that a lovely word?
On the other hand  there are words I dislike. The words I dislike most are seersucker, gingham and especially bap.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Absolutely Crackers

Do you recall parliament debating The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010? No, neither do I. I can tell you that these regulations stem from this countries requirement to implement (or transposition to use the government's terminology) the European Directive on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles, 2007/23/EC (see discussion paper here).

Following the consultation exercise this was then discussed by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, JCSI, as can be seen in the annex (search for 1554) to the report of the meeting dated 21 July 2010 here. The annex lists the regulations under the title 'Instruments subject to annulment' which sounds a bit odd since the legislation doesn't exist. However, the way that Statutory Instruments are handled are explained in a word document snappily titled "Statutory Instrument Practice. A manual for those concerned with the preparation of statutory instruments and the parliamentary procedures relating to them" (follow link from here). On page 65 it explains how the negative procedure works. As far as I can tell it is this negative procedure that the JCSI are applying to the proposed pyrotechnic regulations. As you will have understood if you have ploughed through the 'use of negative procedure' explanation, the instrument is laid before the house and if either house resolves within 40 days that the 'address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the instrument be annulled, no further proceedings may be taken under the instrument after the date of the resolution, and Her Majesty may by Order in Council revoke it'. In other words if nobody does anything in forty days then it becomes law.

Thus there never was any debate about these regulations and they are now law. Amongst these regulations are the fact that Christmas crackers are category 1 fireworks. In regulation 15(2) it states that the 'minimum age limit for supply of category 1 fireworks is 16 years'. So now your shopkeeper will have to check the age of the people to whom it sells Christmas crackers. All because the following 12 people didn't think it would be a problem:

Lord Campbell of Alloway (Conservative)
Lord Clinton-Davis (Labour)
Baroness Eccles (Conservative)
Earl of Mar and Kellie (Liberal Democrat)
Lord Rees Mogg (Crossbench)
Baroness Stern (Crossbench)
Mr George Mudie MP (Labour, Leeds East) (Chairman)
Mr Robert Buckland MP (Conservative, South Swindon)
Michael Ellis MP (Conservative, Northampton North)
John Hemming MP (Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley)
Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger MP (Conservative, Bridgwater and West Somerset)
Toby Perkins MP (Labour, Chesterfield)

Is that how democracy is meant to work?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Wind Farms

Wind farms are stupid. When we need power, the wind doesn't blow. This week is a pretty good example of this phenomenon.
Take a look at this article from the Independent in September, it states that "The 100-turbine Thanet wind farm ... brings the UK's total power from onshore and offshore wind to more than 5GW". I have no reason to dispute this figure but I would contend that it is misleading. Looking at the table below one learns that currently wind farms are producing 141 MW (the table comes from here) which, if the 5GW value is to be believed, is a paltry 2.82% of their maximum ability.

Did I mention that the temperature is low at the moment? That means that we need electricity to help keep us warm. This graph is a good illustration of the amount of electricity we need, as you can see we currently need between 42 GW and 60 GW.

The wind farms are managing to furnish, at best, 0.3% of that requirement.

Pathetic and a waste of our money.