The Edge Of Space

Doesn't it just make your heart sing when you hear about someone like Rob Harrison with his high altitude balloon project featured in the Telegraph here.

Essentially this guy has waved two fingers at the "can't do" "shan't do" culture that infests our broken little land, and has gone on to produce something quite spectacular.

And all for 500 quid.

Today he has NASA calling and is something of an international celebrity.

I bet the control freaks who feast off the bureaucracy that usually stifles such endevour are blowing blood vessels.

All I can say is: Well done mate! Excellent!

There are others who are also breaking the mould and pushing the edge. See Here for another HAB (High altitude balloon) group that has some spectacular results.

Up and down the country there is an army of grubby little English engineers, in their sheds, plotting against the dead hand of state lethargy that infects these shores.

Not everyone gets to break the mould like Rob, but you can guarantee that his success will inspire others to even greater feats.

If anything will dig this country out of the morass it has got itself into, it is barnstorming technical invention.

Each spectacular achievement is a hammer blow against the current English mind set of apathy and technological despair.

Maybe each industrious little shed in this country should have a new plaque on its door.

“The Recovery Starts Here”

Redcar Steelworks. An 11th Hour Rescue?

It looks like there is a consortium trying to take back the Redcar steel works from the hands of TATA.

That's the good news. (See Gazette article here )

But TATA will still keep the coke works. This means they maintain a strangle-hold over the steel works. A functional Redcar would be a direct competitor with other TATA owned steel production plants.

Even so, lets hope the consortium make it work. The hard working people of Redcar deserve a bit of good news for a change.

A modicum of support from the government would not go amiss either. If the government implemented some controls over the predatory flooding of the local market with foreign steel, Redcar could prosper.

But don't hold your breath.

Cuts for the Old. Foreign Aid Ring Fenced

I cannot believe this. Our political leaders have all queued up to emphasise how they are going to ring fence foreign aid. Now Clegg wants to cut winter fuel payments to the over 60's. See BBC news report here

I must be missing something here. Who comes first? British people at the end of their working lives or foreign governments?

Most of the aid recipients are massively corrupt. Others like India and China are running huge budget surpluses. They have the money, but they choose not to spend it on their poor. They let us do it instead.

I appreciate that the winter fuel payments for the under 65's may have to go due to the catastrophic economic situation we are in, but surely at least some of the £8 billion foreign aid budget should go first.

If you want to see why people in this ruined little land of ours cannot be bothered to vote then this must be a iconic example.

With this we see our political leaders displaying exactly how unimportant they regard the common people in this country. They seem all yearn to strut about on the World stage showing how generous and globalised they are, while their own people can go to hell.

Its about GREED Not Green (Stupid)

Hat tip the S Margetson, a commentator on Times article here. Their comment was so good I nicked part of it for the title.

Previously in my posts about wind turbines I have made the badly wrong assumption that they only produced about a third of their rated power. (i.e. a capacity factor of 33%)

No chance. Not even close. Please accept my apologies.

At best look to about 25% more typically 15-22% BUT that is averaged over the whole year. So that will include times, when they are running well but nobody wants the power (like at night). It will include periods (like the recent winter) when there was virtually no wind for long periods.

If you look at the comment in the above article by Roger Young you will see that when we were in the depths of winter the actual out put of one wind farm approach 0.0%.
Chris Pavelly also makes some sharp observations on this farce in the Times article

The propaganda bullshit sprayed around by the blinkered supporters of these white elephants is simply based on wishful thinking. If they are allowed to keep on driving this nonsense forward we will end up with insufficient and unaffordable energy supply. Then there will be a cold snap and people will die.

These things are unreliable ugly and economically unviable. They are merely fashion extras for a morally bankrupt government and a ruthlessly greedy utility sector.

It is time we learned the lesson. Stop this ridiculous waste of money and resources now. Otherwise we will end up in real trouble, without enough real generating capability.

Christmas, Turkeys and their Children

Unite, through their charismatic and vocal leaders have led the BA cabin crew into a strike that will at the very least, cripple BA for years. It could well spell the end for the company.

Perhaps those swayed by the likes of Charlie Wheelan and Tony Woodley should remember the fate of BMC, aka British Leyland, aka Austin Rover, aka Rover Group.

Each name change was a desperate and vain attempt to restore the brand name from the fatal strike and self interested tarnish that beset our car manufacturing in the 1970's

At the bitter end, Rover Group products were pretty good. Its work force dedicated and committed. But the brand never recovered from the petty strikes and stoppages of the Wilson/Callaghan era.

The final nail in the coffin for Rover Group was a government disinterested in its own people and industries.

Rover Group died.

The innocent children of the self interested strikers of the 70's truly inherited the sins of their fathers. They now collect the dole while their fathers collect their pensions.

Perhaps this will be the sad fate of BA in ten years from now.

If not sooner.

At least the cabin crews will have their perks and pensions.

As for their children. Who Knows?

Exploiting the Public Purse

So, you thought the MP's expenses scandal was bad? Forget it. It was mere trivia.

You were appalled by cash for honours? Believe me. It was just a set of grubby little deals.

If you really want to see an appalling and exploitative manipulation of public funds for party political advantage, if you want to see a cynical theft of public money to engorge a corrupt ruling elite, see this Telegraph article here.

The Telegraph describes the devious circular transfer of funds from the public purse to Unite and then to the Labour party's coffers. It calls it money-laundering and that is not far from the truth. Whatever way you look at it, it can be barely legal and is an appalling indictment of this corrupt politburo that controls our sinking economy.

People who indulge in such appalling manipulation of public funds for their own benefit have no place in government. It is time for them to be booted out.

Snog Marry Avoid

OK, I admit it. Its a fair cop.

I watch “Snog Marry Avoid”. I find it entertaining and mildly amusing.

There I've said it.

Now I will have to live with the shame.

It's on BBC 3 on Thursday night. Basically it takes two or three twenty-something women who have, to say the least, lost control of their urge to wear make-up.

The essence of the program revolves around giving each girl a make-under.

This involves wiping off the tango coloured fake tan, removing the bizarre piercings and generally turning them into natural English beauties.

It is entertaining and has a feel-good factor. But, while it is a valid piece of entertainment, should this be really be funded by a compulsory tax (aka the television licence) just to pad out the listings on underwatched BBC 3?

If there are places for programs like “Snog Marry Avoid” (and there are) why can these not be financed by either adverts or subscription?

Anyway, while I have to pay to keep the wealthy BBC elite in the style and comfort they have become accustomed to, I will continue to watch "Snog Marry Avoid".

In fact, if the glorious day ever comes where the BBC are brought to heel I will miss “Snog Marry Avoid”. But at least my basic freedom of choosing what pay to watch will be restored, and the BBC will be forced to return to true public service broadcasting.

I imagine the “Snog Marry Avoid” format would migrate to its proper place on a pay-to-view or advert supported channel.

Even then I would probably continue in my shame and watch and enjoy “Snog Marry Avoid”. It is just so, tackily good!

Unemployment Statistics: When Less is More

Today it was announced that the quarterly unemployment figures showed a fall of 33,000 to 2.45 million. (See BBC Here) and (New Statesman Here)

So why is this not good news?

Unfortunately there are several sad but straight forward reasons.

1.The number actually in work fell by even more (54,000).
2.99,000 students left the labour market and so were excluded from the figures
3.The number of long term unemployed continued its relentless rise to 687,000
4.A massive 90,000 jobs have been rapidly “created” in the public sector

The bottom line is that 147,000 people left the labour market. 99000 went into further education and the rest just stopped bothering. On top of this the figures are further distorted by an extra 90,000 jobs magically created in the public sector. Many of these will be short term and are unlikely to last long after the election, whoever wins.

Read This Blogger Here and get an idea of the cynical manipulation of the statistics by the use of careful wording to define who gets included and who gets excluded from the jobless figures.

It would be really great if this country started to pull itself out of the mire. But until things change and we start building real employment and not just manufacturing extra fake jobs in the public sector or forcing kids into 3 more years living off their parents, we are going to go downhill.

We need honest politicians not spin doctors. We also need to be told the truth about how bad things are. Until we know the truth about how bad unemployment is, and what we need to do to remedy the problem, things will not improve.

The Great Petroleum Swindle

Incredible as it may seem, Billothewisp is losing faith in the honesty of the Great Good and Extremely Well Fed who benificiently rule over this ruined little England of ours.

Particularly the current price of fuel smells strongly of decomposing fish and rotten cabbage. See Guardian Here and Live Oil Prices Here

Today the AA announced that petrol would reach 1.20 per litre. That is even higher than it reached at the peak of the oil price rises of July 2008.

But then, in 2008, oil was $146 a barrel. Today it is a little over half that at $82 a barrel.

Even with Gordon “The Abyss” Browns devaluation of the Pound the figures scream robbery.

Lets do some arithmetic.

If we use the £1.20/litre on July 2008 as the bench mark ($146 per barrel with exchange rate of $2 /£1)

Excluding the devaluation, the price of a litre today is about the same. (£1.20)

Factor in the devaluation (now about $1.50 / £1) we get the price equivalent what £1.20 should be if Gordon Brown hadn't wrecked the economy. That is 90p litre.

Working out the price difference, compensating for Gordo's cock ups. (i.e. being "nice" to the Dear Leader)

146 = price barrel oil 2008
1.2 = price litre petrol in 2008
82 = price barrel oil now
0.9 = price litre petrol now adjusted from 1.20 to accomodate Browns devaluation

146/1.2 = x * 82/0.9 where x is the rate of increase

x = (146 * 0.9) / (82 * 1.2) = 1.335.

So even after accommodating the devaluation, compared to the price of a barrel of oil, petrol is now over 33% more expensive than at its peak in July 2008.

If you are less sympathetic to Browns incompetence and ignore the devaluation, the price increase compared to crude oil price shoots up to a staggering rise of 78%.

Some fresh bullshit I heard on the TV explained this was due to a refining capacity problem.

What a load of bollocks.

There was and has been no shortage of refining capacity now or any appreciable change since 2008. Who do they think they are kidding?

The truth of the matter is that we are being screwed.

Top of the list of those robbing us is our Dear Leader For Eternity Gordon Brown. Just to make it as bad a possible he now plans another 3p hike. No doubt so he can squander some more of our money before we get a chance to throw him out.

This cosy cartel among the Oil barons is cynically exploiting the incompetence of Browns hopeless government. We are the ones getting fleeced while those who are supposed to be in charge stand around with their hands in the pockets. Happily counting the extra tax revenue that just happens their way.

Don't expect any fair play on fuel any time soon.

Financial Honesty from David Cameron

The Conservative party are to outline their strategy to tackle the immense debt before the election. See Guardian here

Financially this country is screwed. It is going to take a lot of pain and suffering to get things back from the precipice.

David Cameron is going to tell us what he is going to do, whereas today, the odious Ed balls was prattling on about flushing even more cash down the toilet.

I hope Cameron doesn't spare us the gruesome details. It is important that folk know how bad things are.

If as a consequence of this honesty the electorate sticks its head in the sand and votes for Brown and his cronies then they/we deserve the consequences of our democracy.

It would be far, far better in the long term for this country for Cameron to lose honestly than to win (or even worse nearly win) on a fudge.

So I hope for all of us that Cameron really does lay it on the line.

Tell it like it is Dave. Someone has to be honest and do the right thing.

The Liberals New Secret Weapon

Thingy, who runs the Liberal Doo-Dahs along with his dad (the old bald bloke who acts as their treasury spokesman) has a secret weapon.

In these days of dull self-serving politicians, the Liberals have now have something very different. A real vote winning candidate with extensive experience in a popular area of the media.

Her name is Anna Arrowsmith a 38 year old film maker. She is their candidate in Gravesham in Kent. (See Mirror Here) and (See Times Here)

The secret weapon in the Liberals armoury is Ms Arrowsmiths particular area of media expertise.

Low budget pornography.

We can all imagine how politically disinterested young men will be particularly enthralled by Ms Arrowsmiths offerings. If she was put in charge of the Liberal party propaganda machine then they would be unassailable.

Maybe if the Liberals exploit this new area of expertise, others will be forced to follow. Perhaps we could watch the Labour party doing to each other what they have been doing to the country for the last 13 years.

Truly, Party political broadcasts would never be the same again.

English Railways and English Taxes

It was enchanting to hear that our Scottish cousins, particularly those in the SNP are keen to get a high speed rail link extended into Scotland. (See BBC Article Here)

Evidently such a link would reduce the journey time between London and Edinburgh to three hours. Although, to me, this seems rather counter-intuitive. Why would Scottish Nationalists wish to be closer to London?

But never mind.

One day soon, as many Scots desire, Scotland may become an independent country.

Maybe then the non country of England will also get its own parliament. Strange as it may seem, this English parliament would be primarily concerned with English issues. Including English infrastructure projects and English taxes.

Of course the Scottish parliament would in turn be responsible for Scottish infrastructure projects and Scottish taxes.

Anyway should this all happen, I hope that tradition will dictate that we, the grubby despised Little Englanders will extend the hand of friendship and camaraderie to our noble Scottish cousins.

Yes! We will help build the rail link all the way up to Edinburgh.

Immediately after the cheque has cleared.

No More the World Role

I have never figured out why the Labour party is so enslaved to the Victorian concept of a “World Role” for our Island. Take this article by Ed Milliband FT Article Here.

You have ask:

Whats the point?
Does this make our countries safer, fairer or more worthwhile?
Do we need to be the worlds policeman?
Was it absolutely necessary to fight 5 wars in the last 13 years?

True, in the past we were the driving force for World Order. We controlled the Worlds economy and progress. But that was then.

Do we really want that now?

Or is this just another piece of control freakery from our Labour political elite?

According the noted historian, Simon Schama, during the 150 years the British Empire dominated the world, the whole of the empire always ran at a financial loss. Not one single year did the colonies and dominions ever produce a net profit. The flow of funds and resources was one way. Out of Britain.

In reality, the 19th /early 20th century British empire was funded and built by Welsh miners, English engineers and Scottish ship builders. In other words, by the the working class of these islands. Not by the mythical plundering of foreign lands and their populations.

The 19th century working class was really working and genuinely down-trodden. They were the true victims of empire. Their hard labour and wealth has been used, (and so often squandered) funding the development of far away lands. Places like Zimbabwe, Yemen, Uganda, Burma. A small sample of many countries now laid low by the corruption and greed of their rulers.

Milliband is wrong.

We can and should (if necessary) turn our backs on this futile grandstanding. In our current financial circumstances, we should certainly do no more than countries like Germany and France.

Particularly, we should not use our soldiers as a blood sacrifice to give Brown, Milliband and others a shabby meaning to their Global ambitions.

We need to close our doors. We must reduce the haemorrhage of money flowing from the country. We need to look inwards and solve our own desperate problems, rather than torturing ourselves with the problems of others.

In essence, we do need to put the people of this land first for a change.

More Junk Mail from the Nimble Posties

Billothewisp patiently waits for his Royal Mail delivery each morning. He eagerly opens all the delightful brochures describing haemorrhoid treatments, laxatives and air fresheners.

But recently my friendly postie has had some reservations about making his deliveries. To be fair these are the wilder parts of rural Dorset.

There are rumours of wicked goings on. Wicker men and blood sacrifices. Strange and bizarre rituals.

Virgin posties are particularly nervous. But at least they have their bikes.

It gives them a sporting chance.

But now, after the latest deal between the management and union at the post office, our noble postie brethren are likely to be weighed down with even more junk mail. Already we get over 4 billion (that is 4000,000,000) pieces of junk mail every year. It looks like that soon we will be getting even more. See here

That is until the sacks become too heavy and our posties too exhausted.

Then anything could happen.

Darwinian selection will kick in. The quick and fit postie will deliver for another day.
The slow will be toast (or roast). At least round here.

But barbecued postie aside, Billothewisp has a use for all the junk mail. It gets used as a fire-lighter for the wood burner.

So after you have been enthralled by the wonderful images and magical cures for vaginal itching, constipation and piles, you too can ensure the junk mail finally serves a useful purpose.

But don't forget the poor weighed down postie. Especially those who have to risk the dark and dangerous byways in the Neanderthal county of Dorset.

Gas Price Cuts:
It Must Be Spring!

Billothewisp suspects our great and illustrious masters have much more pressing problems than worrying how much the plebs get ripped off by gas companies. After all winter is now nearly at an end and there is an election in the air.

Funny though it may seem, those wonderfully honest and non exploitative gas companies are all announcing cuts to the price of their gas, just as the daffodils start to poke their little yellow heads up through the frost. (See Here)

What a wonderful surprise for the general riff-raff who have been hammered by massive and unwarranted bills over the last six months.

What a coincidence though that the cheap gas will only come on tap as the temperature rises and the demand goes down. Such a pity for the average peasant who just won't need the gas, just as the price becomes less expensive..

Only a cynic would guess that the closeness of spring and summer could be the driving force for the downturn in the price. Only an even bigger cynic might well suspect the prices will go back up again come October, just as the demand rises.

More Money for Scotland
Say the Liberals

News from the Liberal Doo-Dahs suggest more money should be spent on Scotland. As you may remember, the Liberals, are led by .. Er, Um...Thingy.

That is the infinitely forgettable young suit who, with his dad, rules over our Mung bean eating friends in the Liberal Thingy-whatists.

A brief diversion from the topic of this post follows, as I try to remember his name. Avoid as you wish.

---diversion starts here---

But what is his name? Something to do with Christmas as I recall. Rudolph? Santa? No.
Something about hell also breaks into my memory. Daemon? No? Nick? Yes!

Its Nick!

As in old Nick or St. Nick!!

But Nick What?

Ah Yes! Its Nick Griffin!

But no. No. That's not right. Same sort of meaningless drivel but he is more nasty and less woolly than our Liberal Doo-Dah Friend.

A derogatory electronics term comes to mind: Kludge. Yes that's describes the Liberal ping-pongs.
Nick Kludge, Klodge,Kleege, Cleege, Clegg. Clegg!

Its Clegg!

Nick Clegg Rules over the non-carnivorous plant hugging Liberal-wot-sits

But never mind he is not the point of concern about this post.

---diversion ends here---

The report concerning more money for Scotland is in this BBC report here.

It looks like another of the Liberal Bing-Bongs wants to spend even more money on our Scottish brethren. This is despite the Scottish being given 117% of the funding per head of the English riff-raff. Courtesy of the Barnett formula.

Of course this unfairness does not really matter. The English have no parliament or representation so how are they going to complain?

As one of the unrepresented English riff-raff may I suggest to my ruffian English colleagues that they give our erstwhile and ferociously sincere Liberal bing-bongs a piece of their mind. They could do this while being door-stepped during the coming electioneering.

One topic for discussion may be the selective amnesia the bing-bongs have concerning the financial and electoral injustice done us sour faced cruel little Englanders.

Remind them how close they have come to political oblivion in the past.

Then further remind them that the ugly and despised English have long political memories. Especially about those who have swindled them out of their fair share of resources in order to buy votes and toady up to others in our Island.

I expect their eyes will glaze over and you, my English barbarian associates, will be regarded as assorted forms of lunatic. But never mind.

Unlike Thingy and the rest of the Liberal Ding-Dongs, English democracy has a future.

Why has this country of ours been so badly treated? Why have the English become the despised whipping boys and cash cows for the rest of these islands?

When they have to answer such questions, then maybe our lettuce crunching friends in the Liberal flip-flops may get the idea that each part of these island deserve the same representation, financial allocation and fair play.

We Need Teachers
Not Academic Elites

Labour has been an utter catastrophe for education. But Cameron has got it wrong by suggesting teachers should only be chosen from an academic elite.

Academic ability, beyond that required to deliver the syllabus has no correlation with the ability to teach.

Many of the finest teachers in the 50's and 60's had no degree at all, but had charisma and enthusiasm. Many of the worst teachers today have excellent qualifications but little enthusiasm or life experience.

Increasing the requirements to teach will simply narrow the pool of available talent down further. The net result will be more and more kids being taught by untrained teaching assistants.

Academic ability and the ability to teach are not the same thing.

Fishy Economics at the BBC

So our grossly underpaid director general (£800K per annum) has announced savings of £600 million at the BBC. To achieve a saving which amounts to 20% of the BBC's annual poll tax income, two virtually unknown radio stations are to go. Half of the content of the BBC website is also to go.

I don't know if I am just confused by high finance but really, this does not sound like real cuts of £600 million to me.

Could it be that our magnificent BBC establishment are pulling the wool over our eyes?

The DG also proudly announced that 90p out of every pound will go to “content”.

A cynical little voice in my head makes me inquire as to whether this could be achieved by giving a few hidden pay rises to the already grossly overpaid luvvies.

Think about it.

The more it costs to produce “content” the less as a percentage is the cost of buildings and infrastructure. Hence by having a few more of the cognoscenti on £200K will soon make the BBC more "efficient".

To me, the whole dark self serving edifice of the BBC stinks of corruption. This cost cutting is just a devious little ruse to deflect criticism about the disgusting rises in the licence fee during a time of national crisis.

Subliminal Propaganda

I awoke this morning to a set of adverts on the radio. Not nice at the best of times.

I counted. There were six.

Of these, four (yes four) were self promotional government propaganda.

Of the other two, one was for Vauxhall vans. (fair enough)

The other was for a foreign car manufacturer bragging about how you/he could extract £2000 of my taxes for your old banger.

One of the pieces of government propaganda one was actually repeated. Once at the beginning of the ad slot and once at the end.

How do these crooks get away with this?

This country is supposed to be broke and yet there is plenty of dosh floating around to buy the Labour party a little more subliminal promotion at our expense.

How much do they spend on this stuff? I know the grotty little global warming diatribe cost £6 million. I imagine this trite junk costs about the same.

Have we got money to burn?

There seems to have been a noticeable upturn in this dirty political self promotional rubbish. The government sponsored propaganda is everywhere. I do not know how to tap into this but there must be a way of seeing if this is (as I suspect) being ramped up as the election nears. Anyone know a way?