Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Battsby: Farage-Oh

Posted: May 17, 2015 by tallbloke in Politics
Tags: ,

Guest post from Battsby

I have harboured a mistrust of the European Union and of politicians in general since long before 1975. I saw union power cripple industries; wildcat strikes, flying pickets, one-out/all-out and often on a whim. Two minutes-worth of tea break, efficiency drives, mechanisation and more; any excuse it seemed, back in the sixties and seventies and the all-powerful shop steward would snap his mighty fingers and the crack would be heard across the land. But in one thing the unions and I were agreed; there was something rotten about Project Europe.

Then after Wilson’s victory in 1974 on a promise to hold the first referendum in our history I saw the way in which the two sides, pro and con, handled the debate. Despite the overwhelming feeling in the country that we lost something of ourselves when Ted Heath signed us up, the big money of the ‘in’ campaign bombarded us with the slick propaganda of fear. We were already in, they said, and it’s fine. To leave before we gave it a chance would make us look ridiculous. As a declining world power our voice could only be heard as part of something bigger. If we weren’t inside the Common Market we would be outside all markets. It stank. And as a result of that stink the British pinched their noses and voted against their heart.

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Nigel_Farage_MEP-sLast Thursday, UKIP gained nearly four million votes at the UK general election. This was a little less than half what the 100+ year old Labour party achieved, and a little more than a third of what the victorious Conservative party achieved. UKIP also overtook the Liberal Democrats to firmly establish itself as the third force in UK politics, despite the infamous ‘first past the post’ voting system giving UKIP only one parliamentary seat to represent its nearly 4,000,000 voters.

The party leader, Nigel Farage, narrowly lost in the contest for the Thanet South constituency. Having previously said it wouldn’t be tenable to remain as leader if he wasn’t able to lead the parliamentary party from within the house of commons, he offered his resignation. However, it turned out that the UKIP parliamentary party consisted of a single MP, Douglas Carswell, and Doug stated that he didn’t want to stand in a leadership election, as he had his constituents and family to take care of.

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amber-ruddWho is Amber Rudd? I hear you ask. Wikipedia tells us about her (lack of) expertise in energy policy and climate science:

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in history, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist Executive Search and Human Resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[2]with clients in Financial services and in Business media.[3] She also recruited the extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Great. What  else?

Rudd has been an active campaigner whilst in Parliament, standing up for women’s issues. She is Vice Chair of the APPG on Female Genital Mutilation, which has been campaigning against FGM and calling for tougher penalties and confidence to begin prosecutions in the UK. She has championed the cause of sex equality as Chairman of the APPG for Sex Equality,[5] which recently published a report on women in work. Rudd Chaired a cross party inquiry into “Unplanned Pregnancies” which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools[6] She has called for a higher proportion of women in the Cabinet[7]

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roosevelt-quote It’s hard to be objective about the outcome of the elections, having been in the thick of the battle. This post is more about my personal experiences of the campaign and reflections on the aftermath. I joined UKIP because it is the only party with a sane energy policy, and as an engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science, I’m only too aware of the danger to our country’s economic and social well being of the insane energy policy pursued by successive Labour and Conservative governments. Although the main parties avoided the energy question during the election campaign, I believe it to be the most important issue underlying UK politics. (more…)

UK 2015 election aftermath

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

Tim writes, posting an article on politics on someone else’s blog, especially when they are running for office, is delicate.

What I know so far

  • Cameron continues as prime minister, has visited HRH Queen Elizabeth about forming a government
  • Ed Milliband has resigned as leader of the Labour party
  • Nick Clegg has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrat party
  • Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP
  • The Conservative majority is slender
  • Scottish SDP managed a bloodbath in Scotland taking all but three seats, a massive swing includes seats which were held by the Labour Party for over 80 years.
  • The Green Party are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP are reduced to one MP
  • UKIP received a large increase in their share of the vote, this not translating into seats, is one of the oddities of the UK, not unusual.
  • Welsh and Irish MPs continue. Sien Fien will continue to abstain from attending Westminster.
  • Tattersall lost in the Pudsey parliamentary election, coming in a distant third but nevertheless a good result for a first attempt and in the face of the two dominant UK parties. Breaking in is very hard.

The results for local mainly county based or city/town based elections will appear over the next few days. England does not have a regional parliament. These will bring a different slant on the result.

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Ed Davey is gone

Posted: May 8, 2015 by tchannon in Politics

<b>[edit] From comments, thank you for getting the result, expect Roger will be along later

marchesarosa says:

Pudsey General Election

Con hold with a 8.8% majority, 72% turnout

candidates………………..votes…………..%

Con Stuart Andrew……23,637……….46.4%
Lab Jamie Hanley…….19,136……….37.6%
UKIP Roger Tattersall..4,689…………..9.2%
Ryk Downes……………..1,926…………..3.8%
Claire Allen……………….1,539…………..3.0%

Well done, Roger! A good effort.</b>

[/edit]

Cabinet minster, Energy Secretary Ed Davey

Kingston & Surbiton

2015 Result: Con gain from Lib Dem

http://news.sky.com/election/constituency/342/kingston-and-surbiton

Move of -15%, a vote down, not a swing.

At the point of writing it looks as though the Conservative party will hold a slim majority. Mostly as expected.

If a devil goes, who will be next in the post?

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online-pollsThe polls open at 7am tomorrow for voters to cast their ballot in the 2015 general election. The insurgent UK Independence Party (UKIP) has turned this election into the most unpredictable contest in decades. Their standing in the polls is uncertain and methodologies are disputed, with ratings ranging from 10 to 18% among the trad pollsters, and as much as 53% in high volume online polls.

Clearly, UKIP supporters are very active online, the party’s Facebook page has more likes than all but the Conservatives, who spend big bucks to buy bucketloads of approval monthly. Leader Nigel Farage has 224,000 twitter followers. This online activity is partly due to the attacks on, and exclusion of UKIP from the mainstream media. Kippers have found their natural medium, where news and views can be formulated by anyone and exchanged in quickfire fashion. It’s what Douglas Carswell refers to as iDemocracy.

This has had a beneficial effect on UKIP, not solely in terms of visibility, but also in terms of shaping policy direction. Memes rapidly emerge, and good ideas are noted by the party’s leadership for inclusion into policy discussion. This makes the party internally meritocratic; ordinary party members can be heard by senior party officials.

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oldbrew:

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

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Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
Tags:

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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Here we have the real underlying economic agenda of the Labour/SNP/Green party. It is in denial of scientific facts and makes false claims about weather events in denial of past mismanagement of rivers by Eco-bureaucrats carrying out EU diktat.

ed-wants-you

Image Credit: Tory Aardvaark

Labour’s Green Plan
GLOBAL ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE
As the terrible impact of the floods in Britain showed last year, climate change is now an issue of national, as well as global security. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear that if the world is going to hold warming below the internationally agreed goal of two degrees, global emissions need to peak and then decline rapidly to reach net zero emissions by the second half of this century. The weaker the action now, the more rapid and costly the reductions will need to be later.

The general election means 2015 is a critical year for Britain. It is also a critical year for the world on climate change. Within months of Britain voting, the UN is holding a summit in Paris to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. Analysis of the plans submitted so far, however, reveals they are not ambitious enough to limit global temperature rises to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Based on the pledges made by governments, warming would only be limited to 2.9 to 3.1 degrees – well above the two degree threshold.

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Saudi Britannia?

Posted: April 15, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics
Tags: ,
Nodding donkey, or pump jack [credit: Wikipedia]

Nodding donkey, or pump jack [credit: Wikipedia]

Is this North Sea oil and gas – part 2, or will British politicians shy away from the wealth under our feet, citing nebulous climate theories that don’t work in the real world?

Huw Jenkins of Shale Energy Insider reports:
Following reports that the Jurassic Kimmeridge formation in England could contain more oil than Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar – the world’s largest oil reserve – the conversation about oil and gas drilling in England is heating up, once again.

Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation based in Dallas, Texas, known by the media as the ‘Frack Master’, thinks that the reports are a “game changer” for England and that shale exploration will still be viable in the UK, despite oil and gas prices.

“We knew about this potential long before it became news and now UKOG has proven what the geology showed.  This is actually an extension of the same formation that was being extracted in the North Sea. It just comes on land, and ironically is not far from Gatwick Airport,” Faulkner said.

“This is a game changer for England, and they will now have to shift their entire focus on how to approach oil and gas production.  There’s too much at stake now for them not to,” he added.

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A dying breed?

A dying breed?


How obvious does it have to be before supposed leaders notice the dire energy generation mess they’re creating with relentless subsidy of renewables and forced closure of some thermal power plants? Breitbart comments:

The future of Germany’s base load power supply is now in doubt as non-renewable energy sources cannot compete against subsidies, Reuters reports.

German energy industry association BDEW has stated that the planned new-build coal and gas fired power stations are potentially unprofitable and investors are nervous as a result. They will compete not only against the subsidies regime that benefits the renewables sector but also harsh restrictions on carbon emissions.

The construction of up to 39 planned stations may now be in doubt, meaning Germany will face supply bottlenecks soon especially as its nuclear power will be completely phased out by 2022. BDEW estimates a loss of 16.7 gigawatts in base load supply by this date.

This adds to problems previously reported by Breitbart with renewable power sources causing instability in the German grid.

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oldbrew:

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Good question. Politics and science is a bad mix.

Originally posted on Real Science:

According to the EPA, US heatwaves are much less common and severe than they used to be.

ScreenHunter_8323 Apr. 04 15.47

High and Low Temperatures | Climate Change | US EPA

According to NOAA, violent tornadoes have declined in the US

tornadotrend

tornadotrend.jpg (872×528)

According to NCDC, droughts have become less frequent and less severe in the US.

ScreenHunter_8325 Apr. 04 15.55

Climate at a Glance: Time Series | National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)

According to Rutgers University, autumn and winter snow extent is increasing in the US

ScreenHunter_8326 Apr. 04 15.57ScreenHunter_8327 Apr. 04 15.57

Rutgers University Climate Lab :: Global Snow Lab

All of these things have happened as CO2 has increased.

co2_data_mlo

What is it that Barack Obama is hoping to stop by making “electricity prices skyrocket?”

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I’ve just launched an election crowdfunding campaign to help boost our chances of getting an engineer who understands energy issues and priorities, (me), into parliament.

crowdfunder

I know I’ve had the hat out already here, but I’m hoping those who missed the last appeal might consider helping out. This is the most important UK election for many decades, and much is at stake.

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WELL, here we go then – the Prime Minister has been to see the Queen and the election starting gun has been fired.

Nigel Farage

“If you want to scrap the green levies that flow from the Climate Change Act 2008 and push up your gas and electricity bills then don’t expect the Tories, Labour or the Lib Dems to offer you that choice. But we will.”

By NIGEL FARAGE

PUBLISHED in the Daily Express: 00:01, Tue, Mar 31, 2015

It has been a long time coming and believe it or not I have tried to keep a relatively low profile in the pre-campaign skirmishes because I am saving all my best lines for the campaign proper.

Now I know you are a freethinking bunch and will make your own minds up about who to vote for as all the key arguments are put and policies are unveiled.

But I can tell you this – Ukip will make sure that many of the causes this great newspaper and its readers have pursued with such vigour are presented as choices on the ballot paper for the first time in many years.

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Austria To Challenge Hinkley Point Deal

Posted: March 31, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics
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oldbrew:

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Could be a good test case showing who gets to decide what in national energy policy.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/03/austria-reinforces-position-on-hinkley-point.html

Austria are still fighting the Hinkley Point nuclear deal, as an “unworthy subsidy”.

PEI report:

The Austrian government has reiterated its determination to take the European Commission to court once the approved decision on Hinkley Point nuclear power plant is officially entered into law.

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Shouting match?

Shouting match?


Is the political element of the climate change debate taking over from the science factors? That seems to be the implication of the opinion piece reported on here.

An excellent new meme has entered the climate change debate thanks to David Harsanyi, writing in The Federalist. In his article he articulates why wide acceptance of catastrophic climate change is failing to manifest: because it comes along with an enormous amount of left wing baggage. He summarises it as ‘leftist malware’.

For those not familiar, ‘malware’ is a term used to describe software that is often harmful or intrusive and usually installs itself on your computer without your consent or knowledge. I can’t think of a better metaphor that captures the essential noxiousness of the climate change movement so neatly.

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Davey-windFrom the Telegraph:

A plan to build a series of wind farms across a huge swathe of unspoilt countryside has been given the green light but the decision is being kept secret.

The proposed turbines and almost 30 miles of pylons to connect them to the National Grid are so unpopular that Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary and a Liberal Democrat MP, has refused to commit to a planning decision ahead of the general election.

According to sources, three giant wind farms, spread across an area of Mid Wales stretching from Machynlleth to Welshpool, have been agreed but will need rubber-stamping by the incoming secretary of state.

A planning inspector has recommended permission be given for the farms. They each consist of between 17 and 65 turbines up to 450ft tall – equivalent to the height of the London Eye. In all, almost 200 could be built in the coming years.

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Gold in them there windmills
The Telegraph
Christopher Booker
21 February 2015

The BBC didn’t tell us all the facts in its excitement about a vast new offshore wind farm, writes Christopher Booker

offshore-wind-farm-clouds-wake effectThe BBC naturally got very excited by the news that Ed Davey, our Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has given the go-ahead to the largest offshore wind farm in the world – 400 monster turbines covering 436 square miles of the North Sea.

What the BBC didn’t mention was that this £8 billion project, producing on average 840 megawatts of electricity, will earn for its mainly Norwegian and German owners some £900 million a year in subsidies, paid by all of us through our electricity bills.

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Bye-bye Longannet? [image credit: BBC]

Bye-bye Longannet? [image credit: BBC]


Does the UK Business Secretary know something the rest of us don’t? Despite fears of the UK as a whole being unable to meet peak electricity demand in some circumstances, he appears confident there’s capacity to spare if Scotland’s windmill culture (not his words) can’t do the business.

The UK government’s Business Secretary Vince Cable has said there is no threat to the security of Scotland’s electricity supply, reports the BBC.

His comments came after BBC Scotland’s disclosure that the huge coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife was facing a renewed threat to its future.

Mr Cable said energy could be imported from England.
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