Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scottish Devolution

Well today is the day they will decide. My heart hopes yes but, sadly, my head thinks the no's will take it by a small margin.

If the no's "win" it will be a tragic opportunity missed inevitably leaving a huge legacy of disappointment and disaffection in it's wake with unpredictable and probably unfortunate consequences. We don't now have long to wait.

Whatever the outcome there has been a huge boost for Scottish politics with 97% registering to vote and over 80% turnout expected. This is very positive given the apathetic attitude to politics in England. It has also exposed the raw self interest and panic of English politicians, the amoral, the ineffective and the irrelevant, who have put on a sickening display of Scottish sycophancy. Further we have had lost souls like Brown wheeled out, presumably in the belief that even he can't screw up the fact he is both Scottish and proved to be a strong supporter of the establishment whilst in office. His unconvincing contribution was greeted with unquestioning ovation by the press. Darling was sacrificed in the melee, which is a shame as he is one of the very few decent politicians we have and did his best to save us from the financiers.

Such is the establishment panic with the impending loss of their land ownership, supposedly solid labour support, natural resources and business activity that there was not time to construct the normal sleight of hand in their propaganda. The partial establishment has been exposed as never before with not a single newspaper in support and an avalanche of horrific scenarios rolled out in the "trapdoor" to oblivion mode. Even if the vote is no then history tells us that they will renege on many of the "promises" and normal service will shortly resume. This is the Scots only chance to break free and give the establishment the kick up the arse it so deserves. I hope they pull it off.

Along the way there have been a few interesting articles written. Irvine Welsh, unappealing human that he is, summed up my view pretty well here

The Guardian's George Monbiot was his normal incisive self with this view of the coverage.

Monday, 30 June 2014

David Cameron says he can still 'do business' with Juncker

Black is white, straw clutching dim-wit plays the survival card.

Having thoroughly re-invigorated racism and bigotry the grey puppet now risks our economic survival to sate his rabid controllers. If he succeeds there will not be a lot left to argue over.

The usual full circle has been completed in record time and it is actually the Tories who will "Turn out the light" 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Political hypocrisy plumbs new depths

Anyone over the age of 20 should recall when we supported Iraq against Iran with a huge human cost. Shortly afterwards we attacked Iraq resulting in further colossal loss of life and the destruction of their society. With the arrival of Isis we, once again, plan misguided intervention in Iraq and despicably, cosied back up to Iran, who had and do continue meanwhile with medieval social suppression.

Clearly there is no hypocrisy too blatant to deter the political leaders of America and their UK lapdog from pursuing any policy, totally devoid of any morality, in their relentless pursuit of cheap oil to maintain their profligate ways and themselves in power.

We should feel fortunate that we have characters of such vacuous chameleon competence as Hague and Cameron to implement these policies on our behalf. This is not a political point as Blair and Brown were as bad or worse and there is no significant alternative on the horizon.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The cost of incompetence

On 13th Aug 2013 I pointed out in "Fooling the People" that to inflate the economy by subsidising house prices was a short term illusion and continuing precisely the problem the Tories had been saying was the cause of our financial collapse. It was of course populist and followed a sustained period of so called quantitive easing, more commonly known as printing money, to shroud the decadence of our banking system.

Up to a month or so ago they were still maintaining that interest rates would stay very low into the foreseeable future despite the massive unsupported cash they had injected.

Surprise surprise we are now told that interest rates will rise earlier and faster than previously thought in order to counter the above trends. Trends caused by whom?? Ask yourself who benefits and who pays when this happens and if this further shifts the pain of repayment onto the poor?

No ones interested because they are disempowered, instant vacuous populism rules. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

The inevitable rise of UKIP

So, we have finally made it to the vote and the airwaves are and will be filled with tedious political hot air for the foreseeable future. This, despite the fact that the outcome was entirely predictable by the average citizen, but not, apparently, by their lack of effective action, for the disconnected political classes. Even more worrying is that it was achieved without having a policy on any major issue other that immigration (or migration as it is now called for propaganda reasons ) and leaving the EU, including health, education, the economy and taxation. The outcome is certainly notable for that alone.

It is also notable in that it has convinced 25% of the voters to support a fascist, racist party despite that fact that their parents or grandparents suffered the immense human and material cost of the WW2 to resist precisely that.

Most people are decent, law abiding and industrious, wishing only to care for their family and enjoy as much security and prosperity as possible. They are not generally political and are only driven to extremes by being themselves subject to extremes such as unemployment, poverty or lack of opportunity or even hope.

Clearly there is a great deal of anger and frustration in the electorate and it is a protest vote, but it is also hugely misinformed and uninformed. Given the already pitiful state of our manufacturing economy and the fact that Europe accounts for 50% of our exports, leaving would be economic suicide. This is, of course, insignificant, if you do not have an economic policy.

One reason this has not been a problem is that the vacuous but populist policies are directed at a number of social groups who are particularly susceptible to UKIP propaganda. One is so called "poor whites", who have seen their living standards fall as de-industrialisation removes the source of their income and are easily persuaded that their problems are the result of the demon immigrant. Another is disgruntled Tories and Little Englanders who are inherently racist and anti EU and unconnected with economic reality, whilst yearning for the golden history of the Empire. I suspect the armed forces are also a hot bed of support having been called upon to enforce disastrous government policies with inadequate resources and the constant threat of cuts. The much sought after "white van man" is also often inherently racist facing insecurity and poor income. Tragically there is also an element of the past immigrant population which fears for it's future as well as it's aspirations and therefore resists further immigration. To their credit some of these have baled out as the true nature of UKIP has become increasingly apparent.

The other snag is honesty i.e reality. We have allowed the rabid press to control the information agenda and peddle lies, indeed we accept that this as the norm. Consequently the typical UKIP supporter believes that EU immigrants mop up the benefits budget whereas the reality is about 3%, with most of the rest going to support the ageing UK population.

Hard economic times, such as the current recession generate the need for scapegoats, and, with much help from the press, immigrants and other vulnerable minorities are usually the target.

There is a clear parallel with pre war Germany which is rarely highlighted.

So what is the position of our clearly inadequate political system which has allowed or indeed caused this to happen.

Firstly the government.

We can discount the Lib Dems as the walking dead, having betrayed the electorate, and whose demise as a political force is now one step nearer than yesterday.

The Tories have done nothing more than behaved as Tories, favouring the rich establishment at the expense of everyone else. They are not over endowed with deep thinkers so nothing radical has emerged to change the natural course of events. Bankers have continued to enjoy unjustified bonuses, financial services continue to manipulate the system for their own advantage and the industrial base continues to slide into foreign ownership or oblivion, unsupported by their own national government. This contrasts starkly with the situation in nearer Europe where standards of living continue to outstrip the UK.

The recent boost to housing was a repetition of the old errors of more borrowing and stimulus without any underlying increase in wealth generation as a short term fix to get them through the next election and damn any future consequences.

Given that a significant proportion of their MP's actually agree with the UKIP principles they will of course find accommodation in due course but are today stoutly denying this.

The real problems lie with Labour.

Blair/Brown carry a huge responsibility for the present position having maintained political correctness, which is one of the significant reasons for increasing racism, failed even to maintain existing immigration systems and controls and were pathetically inept at industrial and managerial control, which resulted in reduced wealth. To be fair they encouraged some welcome infrastructure, such as new hospitals, but at a huge future cost owing to the methods of finance. Their abject failure to spend efficiently allowed the then opposition to brand them as profligate which they failed to defend effectively (as it was true). They lacked the courage to take meaningful decisions and treated the electorate with a mixture of spin and contempt. All of this laid the foundations for the rise of UKIP.

In opposition they have failed to register with the electorate, which is inevitable given their apparent absence of strident policy initiatives and usually appear as Tory Lite, bleating about some detail or consequence from the back foot. They remain wedded to the control of the press and by retaining poor performers such as Ed Balls with an indelible legacy to the Brown errors they have failed to break out of their bunker into the public consciousness.

Ed Milliband is clever and well intentioned but lacks experience of the real world and is surrounded by an emasculated union structure, which is itself a consequence of de-industrialisation.

To succeed they need to be hugely more radical with policies that address the real problems with realistic solutions. This will not happen whilst they cower at the press and nibble at the edges of policy.
I am sorry to say there is little sign this will happen and the consequences for society are potentially disastrous. I hope I am wrong.

Meanwhile the Greens have ploughed on, shackled buy the electoral system, but also by some embarrassing performance debacles in their one, unrepresentative, power base of Brighton.

So UKIP's rise is more to do with lack of opposition and past errors than positive policies. The only solution lies with the so called Left, although the term is now redundant. The consequences of failure are immense so should be the motivation to succeed. As with UKIP the situation is fertile for the rise of a new party which may be the only practical way forwards. We shall see.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Chop Saw Enclosure

I got fed up with the mess from my slide mitre saw so decided to make an enclosure from which the dust could be extracted. It is certainly not a design icon but it does the job. I tried to make the minimum open space at the front to concentrate the air flow backwards whilst leaving enough room to use the controls. In short it works.

My first effort had the top too low and dust escaped upwards so I modified it with a roof extension which has now done the trick. It catches almost all the dust apart from a small quantity which bounces back from the fence.

There is an inlet for the 100mm extract hose at the bottom of the Vee which goes into the workshop system via a blast gate. The 30mm tube from the blade has now been upgraded to a 50mm item which works better and discharges into the main pipe.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Ed's Wall

We had a problem of earth retention at the front of our house which had been bodged by the previous owner and was a mess in need of sorting out. The first rule of building is that anything below ground always takes longer and costs more than anticipated and this was to be no exception.

Bowed walls damp leaking and moving masonary were all visible in full.

As usual the only answer is to rip it all out and start again, unlike the previous owner who had tried to restrain it with an additional reinforced concrete wall. The hole got ever bigger and endless trucks of waste absorbed cash in huge quantities.

The garage was permanently damp and it was easy to see why with a pathetic piece of holed polythene 5 courses below ground level.

Backfill was a mix of soil and building spoil and with leaking surface drains was wet and unstable.

I am fortunate in having a friend Ed who is knows a great deal about building, who recommended a substantial and effective retaining wall for the 2m height difference. This relies on mass of which is has an ample sufficiency!

We sealed this with a chemical coating and membrane.

The rear will now have land drains installed, connected to the main sewer and back filled with pea gravel then consolidated stone to make good and further surface drains at the top.

The ground works team in full agreement!