David Willets and the UK Space Agency

Lets hope that David Willets gets his way and there is a drive forward in the UK space industry. (See BBC article here) While the UK has done moderately well out producing satellites, the lack of foresight over the years has left the UK trailing a long way behind in many critical space technologies. This has cost us dear in jobs, wealth and technical innovation.

For example countries as diverse as France, the Ukraine and the USA make great profits from the their satellite launcher programs.

There are now new entrants as well. For example India now has a highly advanced launcher design and development programme. The Indian Space industry is pre-eminent in the Indian technological advance. The Indians know exactly how important this technology is to their progress.

We could have been in a lot better a position than we are now but for crass inane and short sighted decisions over the last 40 years. But, that was then. This is now. And bitching about the past is not going to achieve anything.

While the large monolithic companies dominate what there is of the UK space industry, there are, surprisingly, a whole raft of small to middling companies. Even humble enthusiasts have played a great part in keeping the UK space industry alive. What separates these new small companies from the monolithic monsters is the level of enthusiasm and ingenuity that they put into their work. Today they produce a startling array of sub-systems and some even have embryonic launch systems in development..

Companies like

Sounding Rocket Services Ltd
Surrey University Space Centre
Starchaser Industries

Then there are the larger mavericks like the on-going development of Virgin Galactics Launcher One

Don't forget the enthusiasts like Rob Harrison (See Earlier Post Here)

But all of these companies need support ( and I don't just mean money). They need acknowledgement, encouragement and a fair slice of the cake. In the past too much of the slender budget has been gobbled up by the big defence based companies that squander the money and have little to show for it at the end of the day.

If we are to progress and make this industry pay and produce jobs and wealth we need to nurture and support the smaller companies that are untainted be the dead thinking and bloated corporate cynicism that infects the large aerospace industries in this country.

We need to invest in and support the small dynamic companies that are driven by enthusiasm.

Even at this late stage we could, as a nation take a niche slice of the lucrative world launcher budget and we could create long term high value jobs and wealth.

To do this we need to think small and support the hard working can-do companies.

There should be no place blinkered politicians or bloated corporate monsters who have dismally failed to achieve anything worthwhile since the short sighted cancellation of Black Arrow in 1971.

David Laws and Fair Expenses

Billothewisp offers his humble apologies to the Great and Good, the divine leaders and reporters of the truth who preside over the us, the Plebeian riff-raff that pollute this poisoned and betrayed little England.

But Billothewisp wishes to go against the grain on the current outrage against David Laws.

In recent history we have all been confronted by the crimes of the corrupt members of our ruling elite .

You may remember, within the ranks of the cognoscenti there have been “accidental” claims for non existent mortgages, claims for the rental of porno movies (no doubt for educational reasons) and the flip-flopping of houses for considerable gain..

If I remember correctly some of our Great and Good are facing criminal charges over these travesties.

Now David Laws has been forced to resign over paying £40,000 in rent to his boyfriend.

Admittedly, on the surface that looks pretty bad. Especially when we have all been conditioned to provide a knee jerk reaction to such claims by the crooked goings on in the last parliament.

But look a little deeper. This claim for £40,000 spans eight years. So that is about £400 (ish) a month.

Try renting a bedsit in London for £400 a month. You will probably fail .

So, David laws is homosexual (who cares?). He pays his lover a fair rent for staying in London. What is wrong with that?

You know. Seriously!

I don't even really like the Liberal Democrats.

But we supposedly live in a (wishful thinking here) libertarian Democracy.

If David laws chooses to be homosexual that is his decision and none of our business. If he chooses to pay his lover a fair market rate rent rather than living in a crummy bedsit, then that is his decision and not yours or mine.

Further more, by sacking David Laws for a non-crime we lose a capable administrator, all be it a Liberal-Democrat one (but then again, we all have our faults)

We need to make sure that our justified outrage at criminals lining their pockets does not turn into a witch hunt against everyone who simply does not fit the mould.

The Coming Dark Age

Billothewisp would like to reassure his readers that he does not believe Western civilisation is about to collapse.

He is though seriously concerned about the clock ticking us down to an energy famine. An energy famine that, in eight to ten years time will have a catastrophic effect on jobs, society and especially on the old and frail.

I use the word “will” rather than “may” because arguably it is already too late.

The lights will go out.

In ten years our generating capability is likely to be so compromised, so under resourced and so out of date that even if Chris Huhne saw the light and ordered 15 nuclear power stations tomorrow, there still would be a shortage.

But there is no real likely-hood of Chris Huhne doing anything of the sort.
(See Telegraph article here)

He says Nuclear power is a “failed technology”. Tell that to the French, who currently top up our already inadequate supplies from their (85% Nuclear) power grid. Even tell it to the UK where 25% has been reliably and continuously provided for 30 years by nuclear.

Our nuclear power generation is going to decrease not because there is any flaw in it but simply because the stations are old and need to be retired.

Chris Huhne continues to clutch at a truly failed power option, that of wind generation. Wind power has its niches, but it is incapable of keeping the lights on or the wheels of industry turning. It is time Mr Huhne put the future victims of an energy shortage above his personal dogma.

The clock is ticking.

Unless something effective is done very soon, people will die.

I have two urgent words of warning for Mr Huhne.

Tick Tock.

The German Cash Cow

Oh Doom.

The Euro is diving.

Billothewisp sends his sincere condolences to our euro-patriot German taxpayer friends.

But never mind.

I'm sure the Greeks, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and Irish will really pull back on their expediture.

I am sure they really would not want someone else to be picking up the bill for their profligacy.

Surely their honour will not be compromised!

I am certain that they are thinking all the time about the cost to you my German pals.

That is the glory of the Euro.

Everyone contributes spends according to their ability and then they all try and pay the bills.

But, unfortunately, it also looks like paying the bills is going to be done according to ability.

So, our illustrious German friends, it looks like you are going to pick up the tab.

Tough luck my friends.

Life is hard and unfair.

Especially for you and the Euro dream.

Wakefield, Autism and Heresy

I hold the concept of vigorous scientific process in very high esteem. There is also great and pressing need for regulation within medicine.

But I feel uneasy about the case of Dr Andrew Wakefield. (see BBC here)

Here the scientific peer review and examination appears to be one sided and vindictive.

It may well be that Andrew Wakefield is wrong but the level of vilification that has been heaped upon him does not feel right. While he certainly did demotivate parents from accepting the MMR for their children, he did also encourage the use the triple separate vaccine.

It was the government who deliberately banned access to separate vaccines. The only reason for this ban can be one of purient petty finance and an evil defence of their position.

There has been a continued implied suggestion (though never followed through) that Wakefield's research was purely motivated by money. This is, to put it kindly, patently and obviously wrong. To me it feels more like slanderous propaganda.

Wakefield may well be wrong. His findings may well be incorrect. But all honest and capable scientists deserve to be heard, even if their words go against the current accepted opinion.

We used to burn heretics at the stake.

Striking them off the medical register because they offend the government and “settled science” is just as medieval

BBC to get even more money.

Companies are working short time and trying to survive.
People are having their wages frozen or even cut.
Front line services are going to have to live within their means.
The government is trying to cut £6 billion out of the overspend.
Even cabinet ministers have taken a 5% pay cut.

Yet the bloody BBC gets the OK to increase the licence fee. (see here) . No doubt they haven't got enough champagne or caviar in the cellar to keep the glitterati happy.

Honest to God.
What the hell is going on?.

When is anybody ever going to have the guts to stand up to these self serving elitist bastards in the BBC?

Supermarkets, Drink and Pubs

A police officer spoke a lot of sense on Radio 4 on Friday regarding binge drinking. While he generally welcomed the latest publicity stunt pulled by Tesco, (who now suggest selling booze at a loss is a bad idea), he went on to expound on the real damage done by ruthless and irresponsible supermarkets selling booze. (See Independent Here)

He was particularly lucid on the effect cheap supermarket booze has had on the structure of our communities. He explained how the supermarkets have destroyed working mens clubs and community pubs by selling their drink so cheap. Years ago the young used to learn to drink (and get drunk sometimes) within the confines of their community and elders. Now it is within the confines of the local park or cemetery and without any adult presence.

There needs to be a break put on the irresponsible use of alcohol. One way of doing this would be to encourage responsible drinking within working mens clubs and community pubs. Regrettably these are the very establishments that are currently closing at an alarming rate.

The government (or at least previous governments) spend our money on just about every hair brained and politically correct “community” project they can find. Perhaps it is now time to support traditional community drinking establishments. Maybe the government could even squeeze the likes of Tesco for the money.

MI5 On Trial?

There is a great desire to see justice for the victims of the 7/7 brutality. But I worry that the Great and Good within our judiciary are simply going to use the 7/7 inquest to grandstand their opinions and showcase their “liberal” credentials. No doubt they hope to con us all into thinking they actually care about our society.

Yet only last week we saw a case where two known enemies of the state were unbelievably let loose rather than be deported to their native country. (See Telegraph Here)

Thank the judiciary for that one.

Think back a little further. Remember those “Hate Preachers?” They couldn't be evicted either.

Guess who ensured they stayed put.

Now it appears that the 7/7 coroner (Lady Justice Hallet) is going to perform a hostile interrogation on MI5 in open court and potentially risk aspects of our national security. (see Guardian here)

Inevitably, it appears that if there is some good publicity in it for the lawyers, (and a little bit more power and influence maybe) the happier they will be.

Meanwhile people who actually defend the average guy on the street will be pilloried and put at risk.

Perhaps she should remember who the real criminals were before bouncing off on a sanctimonious ego trip.

Don't forget, it was only a short while ago that these self serving insensitive buffoons we call “the law” had intended (in their oh so Politically Correct way) of have a single inquest for both the murderers and their victims of 7/7.

Swallowing that decision and being forced to have separate inquests must have come hard to our well feathered legal friends. But even they know their limits in the face of public outrage.

Maybe we do need to learn lessons from the 7/7 atrocity but we really do not need witch hunts or inquisitions.

We especially do not need the ruling elite slavering over the prospect of humiliating and vilifying some of our finest.

Luckily there are people out there defending us from the likes of the 7/7 murderers.

It is a pity that a significant part of the legal establishment appear to be on the other side.

The Germans are Rattled (and so am I)

Dear Angela Merkel has done a complete U turn in less than a week about a bank transaction tax. (See TimesOnline Here)

This looks like another desperate ploy to try and shore up domestic German support for the the Greek financial bale-out.

If that falls apart then all hell will break loose.

Meanwhile the Stock market is in a tail spin. The Euro has nose dived against the dollar (as has the already heavily devalued Pound) and in the USA jobless figures are going the wrong way.

In South-East Asia, North Korea is threatening war against anyone who criticises it for murdering 46 South Korean sailors.

Just to round it off the BA strike is back on.

Blimey! Anything else about to turn sour?

Nuclear: The Only viable Option

The new energy minister Chris Huhne is evidently a nuclear sceptic (see here).

I reckon there are a few things he needs to take a long hard look at. Otherwise he could be remembered as the minister who sentenced the old and frail to death by hypothermia if we get a bad winter in 10 years time.

Currently we have about 20% of our electricity comes from an ageing fleet of British designed nuclear reactors. Very reliable, highly successful but getting old. Many of these are due to be decommissioned due to the their age. 70% of our nuclear reactors will be shut down in the next ten years.

But a another hidden portion of our electricity is actually generated by nuclear. We import electricity from France where almost 80 % of their power is generated by nuclear. Today. French nuclear power is regularly used to top up sagging British supply. This will only get worse as we lose more base-line generating capacity. We could of course simply rely ever further on French Nuclear power (as we do today to an extent) or we can properly provision and provide for our own energy supply.

So what about wind power? Let us get real. Wind power is a non starter. It is intermittent difficult to harvest and requires massive maintenance and support.

This support has to be done over a large area, often serving machines that are barely viable. If and when they break down it will be cheaper to leave them off line than to fix them until their regular servicing period arrives.

Place them off-shore and you have massive problems with transmission and the maintenance costs multiply further The only reason the utility companies are interested is due to the incredible subsidies they get. Wind power simply cannot compete with just about any other form of power generation. That competition can be on just about any criterion: reliability, availability, financial cost and (dare I say it) environmental cost per MWe.

Wind power is, in its current state of development, simply an expensive fashion statement, eagerly clutched at by anti-technology Luddites and those who kow-tow to them.

Due to the the negligence of the last government the country finds itself in an invidious position. There is likely to be a serious shortfall in generating capacity within the next ten years. Labour was simply not prepared (until it was arguably too late) to take any difficult and decisive decisions on how we will power the national grid.

Chris Huhne needs to remember he is in government to support the British people and to ensure that they have sufficient electricity to maintain their lives and jobs.

He is not there to to make fashion statements or fund latter day follies.

Liam Bryne tries Leesons Cure

When Nick Leeson ruined Barings bank he at least had the decency to place a A4 sheet of paper on his keyboard giving his apologies. That was just before he did a runner.

On that sheet of paper were two words.

“I'm Sorry”

In total he lost about $850 million.

Nick Leeson went to jail and Barings went bust.

It looks like history may be repeating itself, although on a far grander scale. Nick Leeson's losses were, all-in-all, a mere smidgen of the amount of wealth vaporised by Gordon Brown and associates.

Liam Byrne of the outgoing Labour administration also left a note, just before making an exit. It was addressed to his successor at the Treasury.

The note read:

"I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left."

I suppose at least that shows a level of honesty. (See Timesonline article here)

A level of honesty similar to Nick Leeson's anyway. But I don't expect anyone will be going to prison.

As for the main architects of this calamity, namely Messrs Brown and Darling, barely a squeak. The only statement being a piece of flannel coming from Darling. He stated that Osborne's warnings about the Labour debt mountain were simply propaganda.

Actually I'm surprised Darling didn't blame it all on the last Conservative administration.

The one thing Osborne must not do is to try and hide the magnitude of the problem. OK the pound may take a hammering, we may lose out AAA credit rating but the facts of this catastrophe must be made public.

Electorates rely on information to make their decisions. That is why Brown postponed the last spending review. The present government has started well and must continue to treat voters with honesty and clarity.

Osbourne will be doing nobody any favours by papering over the fissures left by the Brown and Darling.

I hope we hear the unbridled truth. However bad it may be.

Oh Joy! BBC to get a kicking

Dear readers, you may have noticed that Billothewisp is hardly a fan of the that self serving corporate monster that many endearingly refer to as “The Beeb”

“The Beeb”.

Sounds nice doesn't it?

A little homely. Cuddly even.

A bit like referring to a Stalin as Uncle Joe or Kim Jong II as the Dear Leader.

It makes them sound, well, Oh so nice.

The ugly truth is that the BBC acts very much like a state within a state. It has its own tax raising power through the laughably outdated TV licence. It protects its patch with any weapon that comes to hand and it has not been slow on bending politics to its own will if need be (see this piece by Daniel Hannan)

Surely a public service broadcaster should be restricted to the same powers and controls as any other public service. But when have you ever come across say, the judiciary raising their own special tax?

Which other branch of the Civil Service pays £4.6 million to its top nine executives? What public service pays £834000 to its Chief Executive? That is the pay by the way. God knows what are the pension rights/severance pay/terminal bonus/pat-in-lieu etc. etc.

This thing is a monster and like all ugly self serving monoliths it threatens our very democracy.

So Billothewisp was very pleased to see this article which indicates that these self serving fat cats Civil Servants are going to be brought to heel.

I hope it is true.

I expect the BBC will whine bitch and threaten. I expect that there will attempts at intimidation and blackmail to prevent any curtailment of their privileged position.

We should expect various irrelevant revelations “In the National Interest” about who is sleeping with who etc. etc. especially concerning those trying to control the monster.

The BBC establishment must be faced down and the whole thing reformed.

Or we will all continue to be the losers, while paying for the champagne lifestyles of the self serving unaccountable elite that is the BBC.

What about England Dave?

It is good to see that David Cameron has honoured his promise and visited Scotland within one week of taking office. It looks like the Scottish parliament is going to get more tax raising power so it can raise more of its own revenue. Hopefully this means they will be less dependant on Westminster and ultimately the English taxpayer.

The new coalition government has also made some promising statements about repealing the despised Barnett formula and there is a prospect of something being done about the West Lothian issue i.e. Scottish votes on English matters in the Commons.

That is all good news.

But whatever way you cut it, the lack of any form of English assembly is still a running sore. We need at least debate on an English parliament and the future of the Union.

It is simply unfair and undemocratic that all the other countries of the UK have their own parliament/assembly and yet the English have nothing.

The counter argument, often given, is that the UK parliament is also the legitimate English parliament. This infers that then the UK is really England plus colonial outposts. That is an idea that most people within these islands of all nationalities would find distasteful. (and quite rightly so)

The English currently have only a subset of the democratic rights inferred on other UK nations. It is easy to believe that this is simply so England can be bureaucratically administered and can then be used as the cash cow to finance profligacy elsewhere.

I appreciate that there are a mass of problems that this new government have inherited , especially related to our ruined economy. They of course, must be addressed urgently and first.

I do hope though, that these current pressing needs are not used as a subterfuge to sweep the English issue under the carpet.

Cameron, Clegg and Elephants.

Billothewisp has been rather quiet this week due to suffering from 'flu.

So may I offer my belated congratulations to David Cameron and Thingy from the Liberal Doo-Dahs, who have at least managed to lever Gordon Brown out of 10 Downing street.

Actually when you think about it, they should probably get a Nobel prize for that single feat alone.

It is also good to see that there is a possibility for upgrading our decrepit electorial system.

However there is still the Elephant in the room.

Namely that little known and almost forgotten non country of England.

How are our new Divine Duo going to address the no vote, no country, no representation issue? Are the sour faced little Englanders going to be ignored again or is this issue going to be addressed?

In a recent poll (see here) nearly 70% of those polled wanted an English Parliament.

Dear Dave and Thingy.

The English Elephant is still here.

(Hat tip to Waking Hereward blog for the original report. see here)

England in a Losers Coalition

First off: A hat tip to the Free England Alliance - Hampshire Blog which alerted me to this article in the Times today. I suggest you read it.

Meanwhile tonight, it looks like the Lib-Dem activists are cutting up rough about a coalition with Tories.

Even Gordo has said he is going to fall on his sword to try and stop a Conservative led government (but, Um, Oh.. not quite yet).

There is a distinct possibility that a government, of sorts could be formed by an alliance of Labour, Lib-Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Greens and anyone else who doesn't like the Tories.

Can you imagine how effective that will be?

Lots of feuding, disparate parties, myopically focused on their own narrow interests. They have little in common except their joint wish to undermine the Tories.

In order to keep the nationalists on-board, there would have to be a strong preservation of their services and jobs. Except of course in England, and guess who will pick up the bill.

Getting this lot to vote in one direction would be like herding cats. So don't expect much to get fixed. It could prove entertaining for us humble Proles. But only in a masochistic and very expensive way.

I am surprised that this potential Losers Coalition has any appetite for it, bearing in mind the parlous state the country. Obviously they haven't read the dire warnings from people like the Governor of the Bank of England. (see Independant article here).

Perhaps Cameron should sit back and let them have a go. It is going to be a cert that the whole thing would collapse within a short time. We may all hurt a lot during a Coalition Of The Losers but it may be worth it in the long run.

Finally, just a thought. Why is the Conservative Party so obsessed with the now obsolete concept of the United Kingdom? It's time has passed. If they were to give a lead to (at least) an English Assembly their large support within England would turn into an avalanche.

Maybe though things are changing. See this ConservativeHome article.

John Redwood tends to be out in front of Conservative policy.

Looks like he is leading again.

Meanwhile on Wall Street

Billothewisp would just like to remind readers that while political deals are being made, that the world has been turning.

One thing you may have missed due to the election Roo-Ha-Ha and while Cleggy and Cameron have been sidling up to each other is that on Thursday, at one point, the world economy appeared to go into global meltdown.

The Dow Jones, at one point lost nearly 1000 points (that is a lot. In fact the biggest daily fall since 1987)

But of course, the people who run these markets are all closely related to sheep.

For some reason one decided to turn and then the whole thing went back on up . It ended the day having lost a mere 350 points. That was still the biggest loss since 2008.

As well as some issues regarding electronic trading, there is the fear this is also tied up with the Greek financial debacle. This is now threatening a domino effect on a number of other (mainly) European economies (unfortunately we are one of the dominoes).

Dear Auntie Angela in Germany is wafting lyrical about the future of the EU etc. etc. etc. A faint hint of hysteria and panic is entering her otherwise dulcet tone these days.

If you have any shares you will probably find they have lost nearly 10% of their value in the last week alone.

This is bad. Very very bad. And getting worse.

So, you thought a hung parliament was a problem!

Extracting Gordon Brown

I had a cynical little smile tonight when the Dear Leader was on the Box telling us that he will, for the moment, remain in No 10, and will deal with anyone.

I reckon that the only way you will get Gordon Brown out of No 10 will be with a crowbar and a pair of pliers.

I can imagine Gordo, with his arms wrapped around the bannister of the stairs screaming Nooooooo! as the electorate frantically pull on his legs towards the door.

Expect some breathtaking offers in the next few days and some blatant power plays from all corners but especially from the King.

We live in “interesting times”, in the worst Chinese interpretation of that phrase.

God Bless you, my fellow sour faced little Englanders. Let us hope that in the coming flux our country at least gets a look in.

Vote, Drink and Moan

My dear fellow ugly, tainted, sour, little Englanders. As you know Billowthewisp likes a good moan. In fact Billothwisp hold a diploma in moaning awarded by his local pub. It would have been a doctorate in moaning but the landlord was biased against me. (bastard) You cannot rely on anyone these days. But there I go again.


It has been pointed out to me that moaning and not voting are mutually exclusive (e.g vote and moan or don't vote and shut-up). This blogger makes the point Here.

As I have no intention of shutting up I had better toddle off to the voting booth. Luckily the pub will be on the route home. Then that biased unfair landlord will get the full force of my Ire.

I suggest you do the same. Vote for the bloke/sheila who you think is the best candidate. If you think they are all a load of crap spoil your ballot paper. But always cast your vote. As for tactical voting, A vote form a crap candidate is a crap vote. Vote for who you believe in.

Then go down the pub and get rightously hammered.

This is why Billothewisp recommends evening voting, when the pub is open.

You know it makes sense.
Love & Kisses

A Greek Tragedy and an English Vote.

As we come to the end of the British election campaign, matters in Greece have turned ugly. Greece is nigh on bankrupt and sliding towards anarchy. To maintain their position within the Euro zone they have to make massive cuts . Even our future cuts, that will be very bad, will not match those currently demanded of Greece.

There is a lesson here for us. Greece gave up its sovereignty too easily. It surrendered its national control over its currency and, like us has kow-towed to the Bureaucrats in Brussels. While things were good, the Greeks wafted along on a sea of debt. Now it has all turned sour. Today Germany is calling the shots. Greece does as it is told.

There but for the grace of God we go. I must admit that, several years ago I was of the opinion that joining the Euro was a good idea. How wrong I was.

When we go to vote tomorrow, we should all ask ourselves as to whether the people we are voting for will strive to keep us off the Greek road to ruin.

The European Union has just about cost the Greeks everything. It has also cost us dear.

As the SNP seems ultra Europhile, maybe the primary concern we should express with our vote should be for the sovereignty of (at least) England if not the whole of the UK.

Let us prevent the Greek tragedy becoming the English tragedy.

Examine the manifestos.
Who is really going to protect our sovereignty?

Watch out who you vote for.

Lib-Dems and Flying Pigs

Billothewisp loves the party political leaflets. He swoons over the promises and is thrilled by the wonderful feats of rationality they include. But he does get puzzled by the maths, especially the Dorset South pre-poll results given by the Lib-Dems.

A Hat tip to James Cleverly for this post. It made me take a closer look at the Lib-Dem literature that has been poked through our door. Like James we see a miraculous transformation of the voting intentions of the electorate.

My constituency is South Dorset.

In the Lib-Dem leaflet there is a bar-graph of party support. According to the Lib-Dem leaflet, this is the voting intentions

Lib-Dem 37%
Conservative 41%
Labour 14%

The Labour bar on the bar graph also has a handy little arrow stating “A Long Way Behind”


I felt a little nonplussed by this, especially as the sitting MP is Jim Knight (Labour). While I expect he is going to lose his seat, he is actually one of the better of the Labour bunch and actually commands a level of loyalty within the constituency. I would be very surprised (amazed even) if his support fell to 14 %..

I thought I would Google the last election result. Here it is in this Guardian article.

In summary we got:

Lib-Dem 15.7%
Conservative 37.9%
Labour 41.6%

So Ros Kayes (Lib-Dem) reckons she has more than doubled Lib-Dem support. While poor old Jim Knight has seen his support fall by 2/3rds!

Hey! There goes another flying pig.

I hope this is simply wishful thinking and not a deliberate attempt at deception.

Maybe it is simply that the Lib-Dems need a few maths lessons. If so it doesn't sit well with the idea of them running the economy. But it is much worse if they have been deliberately deceptive.

One thing politics desperately needs in this country is honesty.
Not spin, not deception or wishful thinking.
We have had quite enough of those, thankyou.

A Scottish Debate – In England

Billothewisp has been drinking too much cider. He is annoyed. My apologies to my fellow ugly, sour faced, little Englanders..

But what the hell is going on?

Here I am, sitting in the middle of rural Dorset in the non country of England listening to a Scottish debate on the coming election. (BBC News channel)

A similar debate will not occur for my non country. No parliament. No assembly. No representation.

There will be no English debate. England has been abolished. At least in the minds of those who seek its demise.

So then, even by the ruling elites corrupt standards, where is the missing, bastardised regionalism?

So where are (at least) the Regional debates? Tell me. I want to know.

The ugly brutalised dissection of England into a set of regions was supposed to mirror the other countries within these islands.

So then: Where are the regional debates?

We have a Scottish debate, a Welsh debate, a Northern Ireland debate.

At least, where is the Northumbrian debate? The Wessex debate?

Of course they will never happen.

The truth is that there are no regional debates because publicising the false regional dissection of England would risk questioning English identity. Likewise there will be no English debate because that would destroy the grand regionalism master-plan.

England and the English are patient and tolerant.

But there are limits to everything. To put it mildly.

This is unfair.

Lib-Dems Euro Fighter Cancellation

During the last Leader Debate, Billothewisp watched Nick Clegg announce that Euro Fighter (Typhoon) should be cancelled. In fact I think what he meant was cancellation of the Tranche 3B contract as outlined in his Defence Policy (see summary here).

As I understand it cancellation of the Tranche 3B contract is actually a cancellation of the latter stages of the overall contract. Some Typhoons are already in service. So at least Nick Clegg's grand money saving idea would only seriously damage the RAF's air defence capability rather than completely crippling it.

It is funny how ambitious political leaders simply cannot remember recent history.

You would have thought he would at least be able to remember the utter catastrophe Gordon Brown unleashed on our forces by failing to provide enough helicopters and modern armoured vehicles for use in Afghanistan.

But lets go back in time a little further, and to another country..

Go back to 1st September 1939, and look what happened to Poland. Like us, the Poles had dedicated brave and courageous airmen. Unlike us they had old and out-of-date aircraft ( see PZL P.11 here). While their airmen flew with undoubted bravery, they had little chance of stopping the Germans (even the German bombers were faster than the Polish fighters).

One of the reasons Nazi Germany attacked Poland was it knew the Polish air force was outdated, under equipped and no match for the Luftwaffe. If the Poles had had a up-to-date air force with sufficient equipment then maybe the Nazi's would have bottled it. Then today the world would be a very different place.

Now come forward to a little known aspect of the Battle of Britain. We all know of the success of Hurricanes and Spitfires. Even then these state-of-the-art machines were hard pressed. But what is often forgotten is that there were two other aircraft used in Britain's aerial defence. These fared less well.

These planes were the Boulton-Paul Defiant and the Bristol Blenheim (a bomber conversion). Both of these planes were also flown by dedicated courageous crews but they both suffered such appalling losses that they were soon relegated to night interceptions only. These aircraft were not completely obsolete like the Polish PZL P.11 but were they inadequate for the role given to them. If, at the time, we had had to rely on these aircraft rather than the more advanced Spitfire and Hurricane we would have probably lost. Again the world today would be a very different place.

If the remaining Euro fighter contract is cancelled we end up being defended with what we have got. Air defence will be left to a mix of a few Typhoons and Tornado F3's( which are, like the Blenheim, essentially bomber conversion) The Tornado is now at end-of-life. Tornado F3's are not (and never have been ) highly regarded. Now they are also obsolete.

If Euro fighter (Typhoon) is cut back then we leave ourselves open to aggression from those who are better equipped.

I could go on about who/what/where the threat may be. But is that necessary? Have we not learnt Gordon Browns lesson?

He ignored the need for more helicopters and new armour because the threat, at that time, was not fully tangible.

He gambled with our security and with the lives of our servicemen.

Are we going to make that mistake again?

Why Labour won't Die

Billothewisp has been drinking a lot of cider. During his drinking he has pondered the fate of the Labour Party and politics in general. Especially after the events with Mrs Duffy.

However bad the election result, there is a simple reason Labour will not die. Irrespective of the self serving, elitist clique who own, run and rule the party.

That simple thing is loyalty.

The loyalty of people like Mrs Duffy. People who are generally despised and treated with contempt by the Labour cognoscenti.

Straight forward working people, concerned about their communities. People who get treated like lepers by the ruling elite. They are the ones who will vote Labour even after being demonised and betrayed.

They will vote Labour because they are loyal and trustworthy. They will do it because they respect their forebears who formed the Labour party. They will vote Labour as an act of loyalty to their community.

Lucky ruling elite.

But what about the ruling elite?

I don't want to address the immigration issues again, but I do want to address the mind set of King Gordo and others of the intelligentsia within the Labour party who would deign Mrs Duffy and her like as “bigoted”. Simply because she expressed a view non centric to their mindset.

Bigoted. Really! What a thing to think! Let alone say. Even if it was said in private.

Here we have a pensioner, reasonably expressing her concern on a number of issues. She is smiled at, condescended to, and virtually patted on the head like a good dog. Later she is referred to as a bigot.

Lets make no mistake over this. That is exactly what Brown felt. He said it in private. There is no reason for him to have said it at all, unless that is what he thought and wanted to express. All the snuffling, apologies and false smiles later were there simply to try and dig himself out of the crap.

Even if she had been wrong (and I don't think she was), Mrs Duffy expressed her views in a controlled, reasonable and dignified manner. She deserves more than to be instantly labelled, categorised and demonised.

That is what the McCarthy witch-hunts were about or the Stalinist show trials.

It lays bare the narrow minded elitist mindset that grips the Labour Party.

But loyalty is a great thing. The overpaid luvvies, the champagne socialists and the intellectual contortionists can be assured it will keep them going for quite a few more years.

But one day, maybe, the trough snuffling elite will push things just too far. The loyal will rebel. Maybe then we will get a political party that tries to represent the electorate rather than a narrow intellectual clique. Maybe then we will get a Labour party that good people like Mrs Duffy deserve.

Democracy and Gerrymandering

Billothewisp was delighted to see this article in the Independent claiming that there has been a “Remarkable” rise in voter registration.

Believe me, nobody would be happier than me if it turns out to be genuine. One of the failures of our democracy is that it engages with too few of the electorate.

But I have worries. Hopefully this is paranoia, simply brought on by a lack of a regular haircut. But one comment at the end of the Independent article raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

“The officer at the council showed me his computer screen to validate my details, what was then immediately noticeable that some moderate sized houses on my road had 40-50 registered voters registered to them which were at most able to accommodate 8 people.”

When questioned the officer shrugged his shoulders.

I will repeat that.

He shrugged his shoulders.

Democracy can easily be subverted by its enemies. Especially if no one cares.

Really, we must guard our democracy better than this. It is more important than income tax, traffic offences or VAT all of which have hoards of police/inspectors/officials protecting them. Democracy needs to be defended as well.

Gerrymandering is an ugly inexcusable crime. If it is found (or suspected) it must be vigorously and publicly investigated. Any perpetrators must be prosecuted.

If proven, those involved should go to jail.

Our democracy is in enough trouble as it is without being perverted with Gerrymandering.

Hat tip to Richard at EU Referendum Who blogged about this here first.

Bigotry, Anonymity and Immigration

This morning Billothewisp found he had this comment on this post concerning the Dear Leader, bigotry and a charming working class lady called Mrs Duffy.

The commentator, who goes under the funny name of "Anonymous" demanded facts and criticised some of the post. He/She even criticised bits I did't say and were not there, but never mind.

Billothewisp is pleased to get a criticism and happily provides the information. Blow by Blow.

So to "Anonymous": Thank-you for the question and challenge. You appear to have three areas of contention.

1. Anonymous: "Where's the evidence for your view that most Brits living abroad are retirees? Statistics and sources please."

Reply: Read what I said. ("most of the Brits staying in Europe are retirees or in high demand jobs.")

Read This BBC Report ( slightly old (2006) but do you think anything has changed? Also it is the same data cited by the Labour party in defence of Gordon Brown. Ironically, it is from his friends in the IPPR).

From The above link: ONS Passenger survey for emigrants:
40% professional managerial,
25% Manual/clerical
17.5% retirees/carers,
9.3% children
7.9% students

This is of course world wide emigration. Emigration to Europe is skewed more to retirees. Emigration to Australasia and the Americas is skewed to younger professionals.
See this BBC piece: Quote: "Many of those going appear to be young and highly skilled... The second group, particularly in Europe, are the middle-aged, retired or semi-retired."

I could go on from the BBC alone. The best source though is not the BBC, which is far from impartial (I'm using it first here because I suspect you love the BBC - I hate it)

This is an excellent account of this issue from Channel 4 website FactCheck. Better than anything the BBC produces.

But if you really want the Meat and Potatoes see What is the problem? This page at Migration Watch summarises extensive and detailed information concerning mass immigration. Trawl the Migration Watch website here and learn about the problem.

2. Anonymous: "Also, would you not say that her description of "immigrants" "flocking in" is both dehumanising and very problematic.

Reply: As for Mrs Duffy, From the latest reports I understand she turned down £30K from the Sun who wanted to put words in her mouth. So at least her personal integrity exceeds that of most MP's. So how would you describe 1M arrivals in such a short time to a single country? Flocking seems reasonable to me.

3. Anonymous: "Again, where is the proof that Eastern European immigrants have had an adverse impact on the economy, on the services that people receive from the state, on cultural life. Support your claims"

Reply With regard the Polish/East European influx, please read what I said and not what you want me to have said.

What I said: "The million(s) coming in are at best (like the Poles) looking for work and contributing through taxes. Although it can only be unhealthy for both England and Poland to have such a large number of workers dislocated from their own country. Like it or not, it does also mean less work for the locals."

To expand a little on what I actually wrote above:

The problem with the Poles is not their work ethic, attitude or honesty. The problem is simply the sheer numbers arriving. They are usually skilled and hard workers. Nothing wrong with that. But they often take jobs well below their actual qualification/ability level and displace the poorer and less able locals who end up on the dole. That was Mrs Duffy's worry (mine also). Further more, imagine what their absence is doing to the infrastructure in Poland.

Although I did not mention the impact immigrants have on the overall economy and social infrastructure I would suggest you read What is the problem? Section 10 and it's references. It may well challenge some of your pre-conceptions.


The main theme of the post was that immigration is the taboo subject and that anyone mentioning is automatically (and unfairly) labelled a bigot.
I suspect you're allegiance is to the intellectual end of the Labour party. As such I suspect you (like your colleagues) are totally divorced from the cares and concerns of the the working class within this country (people like Mrs Duffy). Your blinkered and elitist attitudes isolate and frustrate fair, decent and loyal people.

Mainly due to Labours duplicitous handling of immigration, there is a possiblity that the BNP may get an MP elected. If that happens it will be solely because this issue has been ignored and brushed under the carpet. If this happens it will be due to people like you air-brushing out this problem and sneering at the concerns of honest people.

In other words it will be your fault.

p.s Why be anonymous? Only voting should be anonymous. How can I be influenced by your views if I cannot read your blog?