2012 - The End of The World is Nigh.

Harold Camping was RIGHT!. We are all going to die, and you dear Reader will be deader than most.

21st December 2012. BOOM! The end of the world. 12:00pm sharp. Don't be late. This is the date the Mayan 13th Bak'tun on their Long Count Calender runs out. (actually it wraps over to the 14th Bak'tun - but we'll ignore that)

The Mayans may have been a stone age civilisation, but they knew (Uh...) "things". Things like, well, Um....

They were in touch with a deeper mystical and celestial presence.
They had reached that deep cosmic Nirvana that our civilisation cannot ever attain.
They were in touch with the inner psyche of the divinity at the centre of existence.
Their karma extended beyond a mere physical existence into a truly eternal Cosmic conscience..

That is why they painted their women's faces blue, then filed down their teeth to points. Finally they made them go boss eyed by balancing a ruby on their nose.

How mystical!
How metaphysical!
And how much money do you have? Arghhhh!..Ignore that last question.

YOU really are DOOMED. YOU are the walking DEAD.

But is that a fat wallet I see?.Hallelujah!!!! There is a way ahead. There is salvation. Remember though, if you have money you simply cannot enter heaven. De Facto.

Rich men and the eye of needle? Remember that?

It's no goodtrying to amend your ways now. Rushing off down the boozer to blow it all on Old Rosie (the Cider of Champions) simply is NOT going to cut the mustard.

Remember this is GOD we are dealing with. Not the planning department at the local council.
Oh OK - bad example - but just because the planning dept think they are gods doesn't make it true.

(In order to be culturally inclusive the following applies to all Welsh, Scots and Irish as well as Canadians, Australians, Yanks, Mexicans, Norwegians and everyone else for that matter, as long as they were born on a week-day or alternatively on the week-end)

Yep. I am talking to ONLY TO YOU my grubby little Englander. YOU are the only one who can be saved by Billothewisp. But YOU Have to agree to be saved.

Let's face it. Otherwise you are stuffed. Unless you agree to be saved then for you, it is an eternity of hell fire and damnation. So what is Hell? Brimstone? Whips? Boiling Oil?

Nah - that's kids stuff.

Hell is being forced to drink gassy alcohol free American lager and watch the X factor all day. The adverts will be filled with no-win no-fee lawyers. If you change channels all you will get is a continual discussion between the two members of JedWard on their understanding of the Schroedinger Wave equation.

Your eyes will be stitched open. Your bladder will be stitched shut. Your mind will be filled with images of a naked Kate Moss - but when she is 85 years old.

Serves you right. But there is hope.
Yes! Billothewisp is here to save you! Don't start thinking about it! Don't start reasoning! That only leads to hell and a wrinkly Kate Moss. What you need to do is divest yourself of all that hellish filthy lucre just laying in your bank account. Billothewisp has broad shoulders. He can absorb the shame. He can soak up the bad karma that flows from (ugh!) money. So, as soon as possible, ensure you send him all those ugly high denomination notes.

When the whole world explodes at 12.00pm 21st December 2012, you can go straight to
the front of the queue into Heaven (celebrity entrance). Just mention Billothewisp.

Be Saved. Send all your money to me! (Metaxa is also accepted in part payment)

You know it makes sense.

Happy New Year.
Love and kisses

A Christmas Carol

It was Christmas Eve.

 In a dark corner of the public bar in an obscure boozer in one of the wilder recesses of Purbeck, Carol pulled a pint of Old Rosie (the Cider of Champions).

Scrooge greedily eyed the filling glass and impatiently tapped the bar with his knuckles. 

The liquid slowly filled the glass. The smell of sour apples filled the bar. Scrooge's tapping got louder and louder.

Carol (who was not known for her tolerance of old impatient men) glared at the ungrateful customer. She finished the pouring. The glass was slid across the counter. Scrooge grudgingly passed over a handful of coins.

Scrooge licked his lips. His grubby little hands clutched round the glass of cloudy fluid. Raising it carefully to his lips, he sipped the brew. Slowly and carefully, he consumed the golden liquid.

Soon the glass was empty.

Scrooge tearfully eyed the empty glass, then like a man in mourning, he cracked open his wallet and extracted a single twenty pound note. He bought another pint of Old Rosie and then another and finally, a fourth.

Scrooge, it has to be said, was utterly hammered.

It should be remembered that Old Rosie, (the Cider of Champions) is not a brew for the faint hearted. It is rated at 7.5% ABV.

It may be that the natural cloudiness of Old Rosie is part of the brewing process, or it might be because Old Rosie is dissolving the glass.

This does have its advantages though, we now know that Old Rosie is one of the most potent sterilising agents known to man.

If during an outbreak of MRSA the patients were given a couple of pints of Old Rosie each morning, the bug would be toast.

However, I digress. Back to Scrooge.

Anyway Scrooge had imbibed four whole pints of Old Rosie before he decided to stagger home. He got about half way before the hedge looked too comfortable to avoid. He lay down.

Now at this point of course, old Scrooge is supposed to go off on three journeys of discovery, into the past, the present and the future. There he discovers the true meaning of Christmas and ends up a better and more fulfilled person.

But really, let's be serious. If you think anyone is going to be able to stand up after drinking four pints of Old Rosie, let alone indulge in time travelling and character building, then you are sadly deluded.

Scrooge was lucky. Carol was driving home down the same country lane and noticed the old man snoring away in the hedge. She woke him up and threw the drunk into the back of her car. In true Christmas spirit she dumped him 100 yards from home. Just far enough for him to stagger home, and dream up an excuse for the wife.

A true act of Christmas generosity by a bona-fide Christmas Carol.

Merry Xmas.

Love & Kisses

Another day Another Template

Well, I was getting tired of the old template anyway. I thought I would upgrade to one of the latest wizzy free templates in hope of fixing the embedded comment box problem as well on the fly, but to no avail.

So I give up. It is going to have to be pop up comment boxes from now on.

Looks like this is a problem smeared all over the net, but if I wait for Google to come up with a fix I'll probably die of old age first.

Anyway no more of me droning on about how crap this is. (Thank God I hear you say).

A cidery Xmas lament is in the making


Re-Functional but only just...

My inability to comment (i.e. reply) on this blog has finally been fixed by changing the comment method to a separate window from in-line. When I get daring I will change it back.

My God, don't you forget just how sloooowww modems were, though to be fair this GSM modem isn't too bad. I suppose it is all down to the amount of bloat on websites these days.

Anyway, before I start reposting I should re-visit some folk first.

I'll get the Xmas greeting done next, then its back to some dear old campaigning.


Blogger is Broken

My Blogger I/F is broken.

To make matters worse, I am currently running on a GSM modem that is as slow as a three legged dog on sedatives.

There appears to be a javascript issue where the owner of a blog cannot now  even comment on his own posts!

When I try and issue a comment it asks me which identity I wish to sign in as, although I am already signed in. Then it refuses to allow me to select anything by clicking the button. I cannot issue a comnment until logged in etc etc etc. forever ad infinitum.

Hi Ho Hum.

For those missing a reply, please accept my apologies. A reply is written and will be issued asap.

I give in.

I will have another go tomorrow, but maybe that wordpress blog beckons. I am getting sick of this and google changing stuff under your feet without testing it thooroughly first.


A short intermission will ensue. Please feel free to leave comments but the may not be moderated or replied to for a few days as I am currently overwhelmed with other things and time is tight.

Normal abuse will resume shortly.

Any comments to this blog are always published (excluding adverts, gratuitously offensive or totally off-topic) and a reply usually issued. But there may a delay for a few days. That's all.

Love and Kisses

Safer SetBacks

Actually, the Scout Camp at East Stoke would be (much) less than 1000 feet from the nearest turbine of the proposed East Stoke (Alaska Farm) Industrial wind turbine complex.

Yet a leading Wind Turbine Manufacturer (Vestas) recommends in its technical documentation that technicians working on turbines of a similar size stay at least 400 metres away (1300 feet) - unless absolutely necessary.

A residential home for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (i.e. some of the most vulnerable in our community)  is about 2400 feet away.

Peoples homes are within 2000 feet.

Meanwhile the Scottish Government requires a 2Km (6500 foot) setback and just about every medical expert who has studied the field agrees with them including:

  •  Dr Chris Hanning (the world's leading sleep deprivation expert) 
  • The French equivalent of the BMA, 
  • Dr Amanda Harry ENT Specialist 
  • Dr Nina Pierpont consultant pedriatrician (author of Wind Turbine Syndrome). 

All of these medics have produced devastating reports on the effects of having turbines too close to peoples homes.

Then there are  the environmental bodies, all queuing up to support a setback of around 2Km.

  • The United Kingdom Noise Association
  • The John Muir Trust
  • The CPRE.

The only organisation who thinks having closer setback is a "good idea" is RenewablesUK the cartel trade association representing the wind turbine carpet baggers.

But, seriously folks,  you do not have to worry about the morality and social conscience of the wind turbine fraternity.

They simply don't have any.

Hat tip to my friend Linda at Windtoons ( Here )

A Wind Turbine Capacity Factor Near You.

Billothewisp has decided to have a little competition to see which parts of the UK had the highest and lowest Wind Turbine capacity factors in 2010. Then we can see what the carbon savings are, particularly for the proposed East Stoke and Silton wind farms in Dorset..

Take this document  ( Here ). It is part of a document set called DUKES. (God! how Chris Huhne must hate having to publish this stuff)

In particular take this table.

Clearly the CF winner is (at a paltry 23.9%) is Northern Ireland.

Also very clearly, the CF loser is (at a wholly pathetic 17.7%)  is The South West of England.

It also shows that the "wonder" of offshore windpower only managed a CF of 29.6%.

Hmmm. There is something wrong here isn't there?

RenewablesUK, the wind industry trade association drone on and on  about the overall capacity factor being about 30%.

But last year not even off-shore managed the illusionary 30% CF. Dismally, not a single on-shore area came anywhere close to 25% let alone 30%.

If you believe in these things, then I expect you think that even though the output may be crap, they still help reduce carbon emissions

Unfortunately the truth is somewhat less rosy.

Billothewisp has to quote another governmental/academic document to offer some clarity as to exactly what carbon saving will be made.

The document was actually brought to my attention by a Guardian article last week written by Polly Curtis.

This Guardian article itself was the usual half-baked pro-wind  "investigation", and lacked even a semblance of even handedness. (See this comically one-sided  "Reality Check" ).

But it did refer to a very interesting report by the UKERC concerning wind turbine intermittency.

The document is available here -  The Intermittency Report

The Intermittency Report points out that due to their intermittent output, wind turbines need carbon emitting backup.

Because this backup is is trying to track the wind and compensate for the turbine vagaries, it is running inefficiently at sub optimal output.

The extra carbon emissions from this inefficient operation statistically gets compensated  by the wind turbine - but only when the collective turbine output reaches  a CF of about 20%.

So, if you have a capacity factor of 30% you are in saving carbon emissions..

But, that means that turbines in places like the South-West, (CF of 17.7%),  do not even cover the inefficiency they force on their carbon based backup generators. This carbon based backup generation  emits more carbon due to having to backup these ineffective turbines than it would if they didn't exist and was providing the power on its own.

In the South West, more CO2 is emitted not less. All thanks to the pitifully ineffective wind turbines.

These turbines cost carbon while producing intermittent expensive and unreliable energy.

You could actually reduce carbon emissions by shutting down all the South-West's turbines. (rather than paying them a subsidy).

Even for offshore wind, the carbon savings are pitifully small and horrendously expensive..

Particularly, for the proposed East Stoke and Silton wind farms in Dorset, the most environmentally sensible thing to do is exactly what the local councils have voted for - rejection.

Unfortunately the lure of the filthy lucre means that both of the corporations involved are going to appeal against the democratic decisions of the democratically elected local councils.

It is going to be the usual sad scenario  of money, power and greed versus local democracy.

The cost in national resources and finance, along with the environmental damage so outweigh any possible environmental gain  that we would be massively better off both financially and environmentally by consigning the whole white elephant wind turbine fleet  to the dustbin of history.

UK Diesel Most Expensive in Europe, Soon the World

UK Diesel is the most expensive in the Europe Union and the second most expensive in the world.

(graph taken from Australian Institute of Petroleum )

The average European Diesel price is over 17% cheaper. The cheapest (Luxembourg) is over 27% cheaper.

You can  Compare Diesel Prices on European Energy Portal Here

Notice that taxation component on the graph.

UK Diesel is by far the most heavily taxed fuel in the whole of the OECD, let alone Europe.

But still, I have to admit,  the price of Diesel in Turkey is slightly higher than in the UK. (sigh)

So we come shameful second for overpriced fuel in the OECD countries.

But my fellow grubby little Englanders should not worry. George Osbourne is "On The Ball".

The proposed 3p rise in fuel duty (which also then increases the VAT  - a tax on a tax) should ensure that the UK triumphantly grasps the world crown of the most expensive Diesel fuel in the world.

Another world first for England and the UK


How proud we should all be. (not)

Bankers Pull the Plug on Scottish Wind

It seems that the banking fraternity are beginning to get a little worried about sticking their snouts in the Scottish wind turbine trough.
(See Windpower Monthly article Here)

Up until now it has been easy money for both the bankers and their wind turbine operator clients. They have been backed by all political parties, with politicians fawning at their feet.

The media has fallen over themselves (especially the BBC) to promote and propagandise on their behalf.

Anyone standing against them has been villified and despised but more usually, just ignored.

But now something is stirring. Something unpleasantly related the truth about how much this joke technology is costing us and how ineffective it is.

Honourable and informed organisations like the John Muir Trust, and the Renewable Energy Foundation, as well as highly regarded engineers are diligently questioning the current madness.
(See This Post)

If (and when) the sh*t hits the fan, the last thing the greedy bankers want on the balance sheet is a large quantity of ineffective wind turbines that no-one is subsidising any more.

The first line on that balance sheet concerns Scotland.

Now if dear old Alec Salmond gets his way and Scotland goes independent then Scotland is going to have to pay the onerous ROC subsidy. This subsidy for off-shore turbines triples the final cost of the electricity generated. On-shore is slightly less eye wateringly expensive, merely doubling the cost.

However, this potential £4bn outlay leaves Alac Salmond unphased. The master plan is to get the despised English to pay or (I quote from the above link) "then there would be a severe danger of the lights going off in England"

Oh dear, Oh Dear.

Alec Salmond obviously places a great deal of  faith in the English sticking to the ludicrous "renewables" targets that have been stupidly set by the last UK government.

But of course, there won't be a UK government if Scotland goes independent.

As the UK is doing very well towards meeting its Kyoto CO2 reduction targets (much better than either Germany or Denmark) I would find it hardly surprising if this bit of UK governmental "renewable obligation" stupidity were to be quietly swept under the carpet and forgotten about.

Now tie that in to the enormous gas field found under Lanacashire and the fact we have 85 years worth of nuclear fuel stockpiled.

We can, using both the new gas and nuclear, replace coal completely. This would cut our carbon emissions massively more than could ever be achieved by wind turbines. (That is, of course, assuming wind turbines actually ever manage to cut carbon emissions in the first place).

The "renewables" feeding frenzy becomes a busted flush.

Whatever you think about the greedy bankers, one thing you can be sure of is that they will protect their bottom line. They are not going to indulge in any dreamworld, English hating Nirvana that could in all likely-hood prevent them getting their massive bonuses.

Bankers are greedy, averacious, cowardly and uncaring.

But they are not stupid.

Wind Farm Conquistadors

The Globalisation swindle that is wind energy has really plumbed the depths of depravity in Mexico. A new breed of Spanish Conquistadors have arrived. Like their forebears they have set out to rob the indigenous people of their land.

We may think we have it bad in England, where greedy multinationals hire celebrity lawyers at £20,000 a day to twist the truth and buy their own "justice".

But in Mexico, the wind companies trick the native population out of their land rights. They then get their thugs in to clear out those who won't leave.

If the locals stand up to the intimidation then they resort to death threats and beatings.

Most of these wind companies I should add, are European. Mainly Spanish.

Find that difficult to believe? Thinking old Billo might been at the cider too much today?

Well, my grubby little Englander: I have some links for you: (there are many more)
Oaxaca death threats to human rights defenders
Oaxaca possible conflict regarding wind energy projects
Wind parks take over indigenous lands

And then there is this one particularly - a call for objections by Amnesty International. Please use the link to raise a complaint if you can. The Campesinos need support.

Community threatened by wind farm staff

In Oaxaca Mexico,  there are about 14 different native groups. Collectively they are known as Campesinos. These poor and often illiterate native peoples put great store in typical traditional values. Things like: Your Word being your Bond.

For the wind energy corporate lawyers it was like taking candy from a baby.

Oaxaca is one of the poorest regions in Mexico. Here are some stats:

        * 34.5% of houses do not have running water;
        * 54.4% do not have plumbing;
        * 12.7% do not have electricity;
        * Only 37.8% of houses have all three of these basic services;
        * 40% of houses have dirt floors.

But don't go looking to any wind company for social improvement. They are too busy making huge profits. They don't even pay their bills.

To these globalised corporate monsters, the complaining Campesinos are just irritating Mexican Nimby's.

Campesinos can be ignored, and if they cannot be ignored they can be derided and treated with contempt. If they still continue to object then they can be beaten up - or worse.

Read this very important 2008 Paper (pdf) : Wind Conflicts In The Isthmus Of Tehuantepec by Sergio Oceransky.  It is Here and Here

If you are not appalled and disgusted by the attitude and comments from the company bosses that Sergio has recorded, then God help you.

But you can only swindle people for so long before it all boils over.

Recently a demostration and picket line of Campesino men, women and children was rammed by a bus carrying construction workers and security guards.

Twenty protestors were injured, some seriously. The outraged Campesinos returned the violence and an innocent construction worker was shot in the face and killed.

One killed 20 injured Mexican wind protest

When you get injustice, there are always those willing to push things further
(Read This Blood Curdling Blog Post Here)

Meanwhile the real villains, the people who should be held to account are 4000 miles away in Madrid counting their money.

This ugly world wide abuse is driven by governmental stupidity and plain old corporate greed. All this is fuelled by the ridiculous subsidies attached to this ineffectual energy source. (Yes - even in poverty stricken Oaxaca)

This abuse will continue until those in authority actually do something to stop it. It does not matter whether this abuse is happening in Oaxaca, Dorset or Ontario.

It must be addressed.

The English MP

I don't agree with everything Frank Field says, but he is at least honourable. He is perhaps, as well the only MP with enough balls to stand up for England today. (h/t to Man In a Shed)

This You-Tube Link Here takes you to 4 minutes into his speech (to the English specific Part)

The video below gives you the full speech. (5 mins)

Sausage, Egg and Chips...(and lettuce)

Billothewisp indulged in one of his favorite little vices today. A plate of Sausage Egg and Chips ( As you know , you can take the boy out of the council estate, but....).

It duly arrived. Sausage, Egg Chips and (er...) lettuce.

Someone somewhere is determined that the plebian multitudes (Billothewisp included) get their 5 a day whether they want them or not. Consequently, in order to meet some directive, from somewhere, some buffoon decided that Billothewisp needed some greens. (I wouldn't have minded if it had been peas)

Now I could spout forth about horses and water but instead I'll just 'fess up to leaving the lettuce untouched.

If any of my wind-turbine loving friends ( of whom I have none ) are consequently concerned about Billothewisp's mineral intake, I can assure them that all will be rectified later this evening when pints of Old Rosie (the cider of champions) will flow freely.

No doubt my non-friends (i.e. those who wish to save the environment by destroying it with wind-turbine foolishness ) will be aghast. In fact, I darkly suspect that they would regard Old Rosie as a bio-hazard.

But I can assure them that there is only one safe thing to do with Old Rosie and that is to drink it. Leaving it lying around is much more dangerous. Mainly because some other bastard will probably nick your pint when your back is turned.

Scale and Proportion

Nelsons Column is 51 meters high. Even in London amid a sea of concrete and high rise buildings Nelson's column still dominates the local area.

Which is fine.

It was designed like that at the behest of the local population. It was a tribute to a national hero.

However, impressive as it is, it neither generates noise nor does it move. It is a monument. A stationary tribute to a great man - 51meters high.

Here it is.. to get some scale from it  - look at the relative size of the people at the base.

Remember this monument is only 51 metres high. Now imagine it twice as tall. Then add another half a column. Until you get about 125 meters. Two and a half times the height of Nelsons column. Then, instead of having the thing in the concrete environment of London, stick in the countryside, preferably up on a ridge so it dominates the whole county.

But don't stop there add another 4 or 5 all the same height, in a line. Not oppressive enough for you?

OK - lets get them to make unpleasant pulsating noise called amplitude modulation. Finally, in case nobody has noticed them, place a large rotating rotor on each one.

Practically speaking, they will (just like Nelsons column) be pretty damn useless for generating electricity.

Remember though, each of these things is two and a half times the height of Nelsons Column above.

 Imagine four of those within 800 yards (or less) of your back door.

If you are going to build these enormous and hopelessly ineffective wind turbines and especially of you reckon they are harmless and "majestic" why not build them in London?

Say, next to Nelsons Column. Or perhaps in Hyde Park. Maybe put a few down the sides of the Mall.

But no. Of course that would never happen. It is much easier to impose them on the countryside. Blight the lives of the yokels. Dare I suggest that if they were to be built in London it would not be long before they came to an untimely (though very welcome) demise.

Gas: Excess Supply but Retail Prices Still Rise.

I picked up an interesting little snippet from Reuters today on Yahoo  see This Link

Looks like that in Europe there is a 10% oversupply of natural gas. Meanwhile the Utilities are still hiking their prices to the consumer.

At projected import, domestic production and consumption levels, the EU's gas market will have 50 billion cubic metres (bcm) more excess supply in 2011 than it did last year, and the system is likely to remain similarly long in 2012,
This compares to an EU consumption of 492.5 bcm in 2010, according to BP, and to more than France's annual gas consumption of 47 bcm, and only slightly less than Britain's 57 bcm production in 2010.
This year and next year are likely to see an import and domestic production excess above consumption of just over 60 bcm.

Every single per-centage rise in energy prices pushes another 40,000 households into fuel poverty. Most of those households will be pensioners and the poor.

So why did the utilities successfully get away with their recent price hikes?

Because they could.

Why didn't the regulator (Ofgem) veto these rises?

Because it is a self-serving, toothless bureaucracy, incapable of regulating a bag of sherbet let alone a greedy cartel.

Why didn't the Government act?

Oh Come On. Get a grip and don't be silly. The government is part of the cartel. They want prices to rise.

In any normal market an over supply means prices should fall.

So are you expecting your bill to drop as quickly as it went up?

Don't hold your breath.

And particularly don't expect Huhne or any of the other buffoons to do anything about it.

Government Policy: Leave the Old to Freeze

The interview with Chris Huhne on the Channel 4 news last night was surreal.

He talked continuously, spouting on and on and on. Desperately, he tried to talk out the time time slot and refused to allow the interviewer to get in with her questions.

At times he was literally talking gibberish.

The whole interview amounted to him stringing together sound bites with no coherence or intelligibility. It was a bit like a  Madonna song but without the sex appeal - lots of emotional words strung together that sound good, but in reality  make no sense.

At least Madonna is entertaining.

Huhne point-blank refused to address the issues of fuel poverty and how his policies are forcing millions into penury. He frantically tried to sidestep the government's own figures on how the so called Green Policies are grinding down whole sections of our community. When it got too difficult he simply made it up of the hoof and made himself look even more ridiculous.

I could barely believe that anyone in government could so abjectly and so cynically fail those who need support. Instead he bamboozled and waffled on, trying to deflect focus away from his ridiculous fashion statement "Green Agenda". A policy that is essentially based on hidden taxation. Taxation on the poor to benefit the rich.

When it comes down to it, when you strip away the waffle and obfuscation, Chris Huhne would rather let thousands of pensioners and the poor die of cold rather than call a halt to the current lunatic energy policy.

His laughable solution is to get people to "shop around".

Tell that to the average 80 year old.

Tell the old dear down the road who has never even used a computer that she should use a price comparison site. 

Tell the old boy to "shop around" even though he is in his last days and wheelchair bound.

They all deserve better.

Much, much better than the preposterous Mr Huhne.

When it comes to the final analysis, the Government is responsible for this catastrophe.

This government may well be responsible for picking up many of the failings of the last Labour administration. But they are still responsible. After all that is what they were elected for - to take responsibility.

It is no good trying to deflect the blame onto the veracious big six energy companies. The whole of this debacle is simply down to bad and incompetent government. Both in the past and in the present.

We need a government that is willing and capable of breaking the current energy cartel. We need a government that plans energy policy on best practice not on vacuously fashionable but grossly ineffective solutions like wind power.

There are no excuses. 

If this coming winter, people die or are left freezing, then it is this governments fault.

Of course it is Huhne's fault. But it will also be Cameron's fault. Hague's fault, and all the others.

They are the government. Fixing problem is what they should be about.

Somebody in government has to do something practical about our looming (or loomed) energy crisis. Mouthing platitudes is not enough.

To get things going, one good step forward would be to  give Mr Huhne his P45.

Debunking the Myths

OK. This is a long post. To sweeten the task there is a windtoons cartoon at the end. No cheating.

Perhaps the most obscene aspect to the whole of the wind turbine fiasco is the way the carpet-baggers make up the "facts" to fit their own tawdry little aims. Especially when the truth is somewhat inconvenient. Wide eyed they then go into rant mode in an attempt browbeat everyone into believing their propaganda.

Take this site HERE for example. It is funded by the EU. But look at the bottom of any web page and notice it proudly states it is "co-ordinated by the EWEA" That is the European Wind Energy Association in case you did not know.

To me that sounds a bit like like having NHS Direct run by Glaxo-Smith-Kline-Beecham. Although to be fair to GSKB, I think they would be far more honourable than the average carpet-bagging wind-turbine cartel. But I digress.

On this site they have that favourite set of web pages you find on any of the carpet-bagging websites these days, proudly labelled  "Myths". Evidently our carpet-bagging friends want to enlighten the public by "Debunking the Myths" and show us all how wind energy is not only cheap reliable and non-intermittent but will probably cure cancer and teach you child to read as well.

What you actually get is the usual sad self serving deception and hypocrisy one has come to expect from the bureaucratic elite that runs this farce. When Sir Robert Armstrong used the phase "Economical with the truth" during the spy catcher trial of 1986 he really had no idea how the wind industry would take the meaning of the phase to a much higher level.

So let us look at the first myth they want to debunk. The myth which we all so mistakenly believe i.e.
"Wind power is expensive". Their answer to this "myth" is: (exactly as written:)

Wind power ... can compete with other power generation options at good sites.

Now I suspect that a good site to the average carpet-bagger is anywhere they have got planning permission. To the rest of us I suspect a good site would be a windy site. One where, say, the turbine output would meet their often hyped 30% average capacity factor.

Now as you know there are some clever blokes about who love to debunk the debunk. One is called Professor Jefferson who did some research on the whole of the English turbine fleet that was operational for all of 2009 (See pdf Here).

He found that an annual 30% capacity factor was only reached by 7.6% of the turbine fleet. While 74% of the fleet failed to even reach 25% capacity factor. In fact the same percentage (7.6%) of turbines failed to manage 10% as managed to reach 30%.

So, the first deceit here in our "Debunking the Myths" is the "good site" deceit.

If you limited Wind turbines to only "good sites", and assuming that means a site that reaches the often quoted "30%" capacity factor then perhaps they could compete. They forget to mention that this would junk 92% of the turbine fleet in England straight away. Clearly MOST (almost all)  wind turbine power generation cannot compete with other power generation.

But it gets worse. They want to elaborate. (Ugh!)

First off they state the bleeding obvious
Wind cannot compete with the cost of producing electricity from an existing power plant that has already been depreciated and paid for by taxpayers or electricity consumers.

Uh yes I would go along with that. Unfortunately though wind will never be free of its subsidy. It needs it to survive. If you did away with the ROC all wind farms would close down over night. Consequently wind will never be able to compete on a level playing field. It will always be cash hungry and require subsidy.

Then they contradict their first statement about how competitive wind is and admit that even at "good windy sites" is is not fully competitive, opting for a half way house "increasingly competitive".

At good windy sites, however, it is increasingly competitive with other new-build generation technologies, especially given the dramatic rise in oil and gas prices. Oil, which influences the price of gas, has increased from an average of $14 in 1998 (in real terms) to around $100 in 2008.

Whatever you think about fracking we do now know that in the USA gas is now trading at a 50% discount to Europe. So even the spiteful little hope of other energy source prices  rising so high they make wind competitive is history.

But that's just the start. I could go on... and on... But you would get bored as would I.

When you hear about Wind turbine carpet baggers and their brown nosing friends ranting on about "Debunking the Myths" you know that what they really mean to do is ply you with their own deceptive propaganda and half truths.

Always listen to the arguments then ask yourself what is in it for them.

With Professor Jefferson, the CPRE, the John Muir Trust, Country Guardian and many others the answer is a desire to protect countryside and the people who live there.

With our deceptive band of turbine carpet-baggers the answer is money - your money.

Anyway after that rather depressing analysis lets finish with another excellent cartoon from windtoons.com

Wind Turbines: Dilbert and Windtoons say it all

So my grubby little Englanders, it looks like Infinergy have lodged an appeal. They are keen to overturn the democratic decision which rejected their dirty little money making plan for 4 industrial wind turbines at East Stoke in the Purbecks.

While  the average two year old understands that No means NO clearly the ugly corporate monster that is Infinergy cannot do without their filthy lucre, irrespective of the consequences for the local people.

Anyway, as you would expect this blog will be carrying a number of articles regarding windpower, greed and fanaticism over the next few months.

But tonight lets enjoy a few little gems from Dilbert and Windtoons.com


Oh So true... So True!

Never Lie about Experimental Results.

As you may know, Anthony Watts has a term for people like me. I am a Luke Warmer. In other words, I roughly go along with the theory that we may be increasing the Earth temperature due to the emmission of green house gases.

I am though, open to debate. I also hasten to point out, I am neither a "End of the Worlder" or a disciple of Al Gore. But in the past I have placed the the odd ding-dong comment on sites like Anthony's.

I must say though that I do find find Watts entertaining, if though sometimes rather off-base.

But today, he has a really good (and dare I say fascinating) article on why people really should not fiddle scientific results. (See Here)

That simple rule applies to everyone. Including Al Gore.

Al Gore recently did a 24 hour Gore-athon to "save the world in 24 hours" (Sigh)

I must say I find Al Gore downright embarrasing. Almost as embarrasing as his glassy eyed evengelical following.

Really, who can take seriously a man who couldn't even beat George Bush in an election?

But even worse. One of the simple experiments they did as part of this Gore-athon was fiddled.

If the science behind Global Warming (or anything else for that matter) is to stand and be believed, fiddling the results of simple secondary school experiments is really totally beyond the pale.

Read the article on Watts - and cringe.

Actually, I must say, it is really interesting and entertaining. The author should be congratulated for an excellent peice of detective work. While it doesn't do anything to resolve the science behind global warming it really does make Gore and his followers look like a complete bunch of pillocks.

It really shows how, in science, especially in a contentious field, there is absolutely no room for fiddling the results.

Al Gore - hang your head in shame (fat chance)

Yvette Cooper, Immigration and Honesty

I suppose I should have some sympathy for someone married to Ed Balls.

But after what I heard from Yvette Cooper this morning on Radio 4 I don't know which of the two I regard as the more dishonest or duplicitous.

Perhaps I should reserve my sympathy for Ed Milliband. After all, he only knifed his brother in the back. He didn't sell the whole country down the river like these other two.

There are some suppressed reports on immigration which are about to hit the fan. They concern the uncontrolled immigration policy that was quietly engineered by the Labour party during the last decade.

The findings in these reports are damning. see Here and Here.

If you think this was down simply to Labours incompetence rather than a deliberate half-cocked policy then perhaps you should read these too  Here and Here

So what did Yvette have to say about these reports this morning on radio 4?

Well, after many weasel words about the enormous immigration she and her colleagues presided over, she did actually mumble the word "sorry". Although rather disgustingly she first tried to blame it all on the Poles.

Maybe too many Poles did come here all at once. But at least they usually work also generally try and fit in.

Unlike some of the others, copiously reported on in these suppressed government reports and who Yvette Cooper so scrupulously avoided mentioning.

I suppose a mumbled "sorry" is at least a start. Coupled with her better (or worse?) half and his half baked apology for ruining the economy then I suppose the Labour party can congratulate themselves on glossing over two areas of their arrogance and incompetence.

Lets see....that only leaves

Lack of helicopters for Afghanistan
Housing policy
Attempted regional dismemberment of England
Cosying up to the Banks
Destroying UK industry
Reducing state education to a constantly changing shambles
Imposing bogus and ridiculous targets on the NHS
A half baked and very dangerous energy policy
Supporting a vast range of gangsters and dictators world-wide (including Gaddaffi)
More wars than any previous government since WWII
The Barnett Formula
Being George Bush's lapdog
Political Correctness

Oh I'm bored now. Make your own bloody list. There is just too much to choose from.

As for Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls, they obviously deserve each other.

The Road to Weimar UK

So the Bank of England is falling over itself to  do some more Printing Money Quantitative Easing. ( Guardian Here )

Oh Joy!

More Funny Money. The new Opium of the Masses. The delicious fix from a set of new credit cards and payback on the never never.

Who cares if it is our kids who will pick up the tab.

Like a country of stoned addicts, we can (for a while) all run away from the harsh economic truths caused by undiluted Globalisation and irresponsible government. We can all have a nice time pretending there is nothing much wrong with the world economy.

Dear old Ed Balls (that well known Economic superstar) even thinks we should go further. Lets cut VAT!

Dear old Ed just begs the question: Why not just cut up the credit cards, forget about the debt and start it all again.

So when do we pay it all back? Ah Manana, Manana.

Who cares? Tomorrow never comes. Just ask the Greeks.

And if its good enough for the Greeks then its good enough for us. Let the Germans pay! Serve then right for clocking up so much overtime. I'm sure they don't mind (much).

Never mind that we are mortgaging our kids future. Just as long as we can selfishly indulge in more predatory priced Chinese imports, then we can forget about the reality.

Meanwhile we can all celebrate as those villainous bandits who have actually saved some cash get further stuffed by the inevitable inflation.

All those greedy old folk who paid their way throughout their lives and never touched the welfare state.

The fools.

Fancy putting away cash for a rainy day when you could spend! Spend! SPEND!

Why not just let someone else pick up the tab?

Lets face it, these contemptibly independent old folk deserve to suffer don't they?

How dare they have money - just because they saved.

How dare they even think their money should be safe-guarded - just because they didn't squander it.

At least UK industry won't complain. It is so broken by unfair predatory foreign competition it just bows its head and accepts its fate. If UK businesses are lucky they may pick up the odd scrap from the funny money. As long as they don't expect anything more than a straw to clutch at then that's OK.

While savers get robbed and UK industry continues to be demolished by unfair competition, our great leaders all yearn for a nice boom. Something that they can grandstand over, strut about a bit, show us all how important they all are.

Meanwhile the economy can go to the dogs.

If this dangerous addiction to QE continues it will just lead to the next fix, and the next, and the next. Then one day soon, you may well find that you are taking you wages home in a wheel barrow.

Just like they did in the Weimar Republic.

(For those who don't know what the Weimar Republic was Read Here)

Engineer Spotting in Public Toilets.

There is one simple and easy method you can use to spot an engineer. Unfortunately it does involve hanging around public toilets. As a consequence of this Billothewisp recommends that you only indulge in this bit of "I Spy" when you are actually taking a leak yourself. Otherwise who knows what might happen.

Billothewisp cannot be held responsible for any over zealous engineer spotting and certainly will not post bail for any  person using this blog post as an excuse for hanging around public toilets.

Anyway, the simple and easy method:

Watch the target as he/she enters the public toilet. Observe closely both the pre and post urinary ablutions.

If they wash their hands after taking a leak then they are probably nice clean fastidious people. Some engineers are. Some engineers are not. This is no indicator as to any engineering vocation.

If however, they wash their hands before taking a leak then they are guaranteed 100% bona fide engineer.

You know it makes sense.



Fracking in Lancashire

So it looks like Cuadrilla has stuck big in Lancashire. Loads of Natural gas. Some reports say enough to meet our energy needs for the next 50 years. (see here)

A great many of the Great Green disciples of Huhne are lining up to whinge and moan about extracting this gas.  But really they ought to do their basic research first and then think things through. (Oh, how I wish!)

Let us see how fracking for gas relates to their BIG idea. aka Wind Turbines. Wind turbines are, after all, truly BIG. Large in size but unfortunately minuscule in ability.

We know, (and they know) all about intermittency and unreliability etc. often expounded on in this blog, I won't go on about it any more here than just to say that even the most inflexible Luddite supporter of these things has to confess that they need considerable backup for when the wind doesn't blow.

Because Wind Turbine output is so unpredictable and massively variable over short periods of time, the forms of backup are limited. The backup is mainly limited to Open Cycle Gas Turbines, although some Closed Cycle Gas Turbines can be used at a pinch for less violent changes in output.

What do you power OCGT or even CCGT on?  Yes. That's right. Gas.

So if (God forbid) we carpet our country with these useless wind turbine monsters, where will the gas come from for the necessary spinning reserve?


Or perhaps we could just get the whole population chewing on Mung beans for a fortnight and then plumb them into the nearest OCGT.

Those two suggestions are far more lucid and coherent than anything you will find coming out of the Green party or their comrades.

Of course, Fracking needs to be controlled and monitored. But the ridiculous, ill informed and politically biased charade of mortified concern that is being pumped out by the Greens  and others is simply absurd.

Now, what about my back yard?

Well, I live in Purbeck in Dorset. We currently have the largest on-shore oil field in the UK. It is quite likely that the Kimmeridge shale will also hold a considerable amount of gas.

Over many years, the oil field has performed impeccably. There is no reason to assume that any gas extraction would be any different.

If, you are going to build gas power plant you might as well use it efficiently. Then you can simply dispense with the wind turbines all together.

Actually, I would rather have nuclear plant, then you don't need gas. (at least for electrical generation). But either way we can dispense with the  fairy-land lunacy that is the wind industry.

So, if it is a choice between carpeting Purbeck with (as some suggest) 42 huge and useless wind turbines or have a few fracking gas extraction wells, give me the wells any day.

Wind Turbines: The 30% Capacity Factor Myth

I don't know about you, but I am getting really tired of large corporate bodies continually peddling half-truths and even outright lies in order to service their own greed.

Take the wind industry for example. Especially with the way they try to big up the ludicrous ineffectiveness of their money machines.

Truly, if it was not for the fact that they get paid (at least) twice for their intermittent and unreliable production of electricity, these ugly white elephants would be abandoned and left to rot.

Whenever the wind industry talks about the capacity factor (that's the actual averaged output over a year compared to the maximum turbine rating) the wind industry always try and pretend that this capacity factor is 30%.

While this may sound low, it is actually a massive exaggeration on the real figures.

Unfortunately, the wind industry have repeated the lie so many times it is often taken as" a given" by organisations that should know better.

So what is the capacity factor for on-shore wind turbines?

Luckily there are people like Professor Michael Jefferson who has has done an analysis of the exaggerated claims of the wind industry.

His presentation is available Here

While his presentation truly demolishes the mythical 30%, it is just one of the many false claims he debunks. His presentation is well worth a read.

Look at this for 2009: (taken from Professor Jeffersons presentation)

In 2009, the real capacity factor for on-shore turbines was 21% NOT 30% Only 7.5% achieved the mythical 30% capacity factor. In other words 92.5% of on-shore turbines in 2009 failed to reach the 30% capacity factor that is promoted by the wind industry. Remember, since 2009, it has got even less windy.

Even in 2008, which was an abnormally windy year,  over 81% of on-shore turbines failed to chalk up a  30% capacity factor. In fact in 2008, the windiest year in recent history, the real on-shore average capacity factor was 23%.

So when is the wind industry going to stop telling lies?
When are they going to confess that the real output from these monstrous money making machines is much less then the figures they ritually push?

If you are waiting for the truth from the wind industry, I wouldn't hold your breath.

But even this farcically low capacity factor hides the true hideously ineffectiveness of these white elephants.

Always remember when comparing capacity factors of generating equipment that wind power is intermittent. With wind, most of the energy arrives in infrequent, irregular and unpredictable bursts. Most of the time their actual output is much less than even the real dismally low capacity factor.

But more on this in a future post.

Scottish Tories and a Changing Game

Murdo Fraser, frontrunner to be the Conservative party’s next Scottish leader is planning to disband the Scottish Conservatives and start up a new independent, though affiliated  center-right party. He sees this as the best way to neutralise what is seen as the poison infecting the centre-right voter base in Scotland.
(Daily Mail article Here)  (Morning Star article Here)

Maybe though there is another agenda here.

Just as the Scottish electorate have lost faith with the Conservative party, I think it quite possible that the Conservative party has in turn lost faith with Scotland.

This proposal from Murdo Frazer would make the political viability of Scottish independence more certain. A General Election in Scotland would be (at least in part) a Scottish electorial fight between Scottish political parties. Today is is in reality, the SNP versus UK national parties operating under Scottish banners. With Murdo Frazer's proposal, a General Election in Scotland will be a Scotland centric affair.

For the Tories, there is certainly no longer any political advantage to propping up the Scottish economy with English taxes. Currently the Tories (and previously Labour) are funding huge subsidies to Scotland via the Barnett formula and various job schemes (such as the two white elephant aircraft carriers). This Danegeld is being paid primarily to try and undermine Scottish Nationalism.

Maybe though the Tories have now dispaired of ever seeing any return on this expenditure and have decided to abandon Scotland to its own self determinist fate. Then the Tories could concentrate on England. England is of course, where the overwhelming Tory support lies.

If the conservatives abandoned Scotland and then promoted and encouraged the formation of an English Assembly they would, most likely, within that English Assembly, be unassailable.

After all, although a minority in the UK parliament they are still today the largest single party. If you take out Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs, the Tories are solidly in the majority.

Where does this leave Labour?

I think Labour saw this coming in the early 2000's. They tried to defeat the prospect of an English parliament by attempting to dismember England into a number of competing Regions. As we all know their policy was derailed by a popular vote in NE England. Even so, a number of the Regional Quango's, elites and assorted hangers-on still remain.

Labour realised that if there ever was an true English Parliament or Assembly, then Labour would be the main loser. It is likely that, in England, there would never again be another Labour government with an absolute majority.

An English Parliament would be, by far, the most powerful and influential national parliament in these islands.

I don't think it would be long before an English Assembly tired of any remnant UK parliament. It would soon see the many advantages of simply being a wholly separate state. Especially if the other UK nations like Scotland has similar ambitions.

Scotland, and possibly Wales and Northern Ireland too, could muddle along by themselves.

Maybe this statement from Murdo Frazer is less about a new Scottish Party but is more about testing the water for a new English Party - The English Conservatives.

We live in interesting times.

Despots versus the Deserving

OK my grubby little Englanders, here are a couple of very happy individuals, possibly celebrating some of the few billions you have shovelled their way.

Now, while the one on the left has recently spent a great deal of time sat on the toilet thinking up excuses for the rape, torture and murder he has inflicted on his own people, there are several other equally vile despots queuing up to take his place on the world stage.

All of these despots are gleefully massaging the ego of  the UK governmental "Ship Of Fools" who promote the  prevailing "vision" of the UK being a [sic] (or is that sick) foreign aid "Super-power".

The other smiling bastard in the picture needs no introduction.

While Mugabe is regarded as a bit of a bad boy by the foreign office, that has not stopped them in the past giving him everything from gold plated Mercedes limos to jet fighters.

Oh, So much better value than spending it on hip replacements for old ladies.

Needless to say all the money, aid, skill and sheer hard work that has been squandered on these so called "World Leaders" has effectively gone down the drain.

Now have a look at this bunch.

Billothewisp along with about 30 other folk, each lent them the princely sum of $25.00.

It is being repaid, on time and to the penny.

Or this group.

I blogged about these guys earlier Here (if you adore guinea pigs - look away now!)

Again, like the African group, they are normal, average, honest people who need a hand up, not a hand out. They also have met all their re-payments in full.

The loan was set up by an organisation called Kiva (Here).

I do have some issues with Kiva. But compared to traditional foreign aid and "charity" they are shiny white virgin saints.

Our government can continue to stroke its political ego. It can continue fuelling the despots of this world by giving them massive hand outs.

Or it can promote personal responsibility. Enable honest people, who are willing to lend relatively small amounts, to directly help other honest people wanting to borrow.

A hand up not a hand out.

If Cameron wants to install some "moral" imperative, maybe he should facilitate individuals doing their own "foreign aid". Cut the appallingly wasteful foreign aid budget and give tax breaks to the average person. Encourage them to lend on a person to person or Peer to Peer basis.

Cut the Mugabes and Gadaffis out of  the loop.

Am I dreaming?


Is this wishful thinking?


But it cannot be worse than the current foreign aid debacle which swindles the UK tax-payer, fuels depravity and gains little or nothing for those who simply need a hand up.

The Elephant In the Turbine

Sometimes when Billothewisp is reading through papers on the foolishness that is wind turbinery, he comes across a paper or article which makes him feel a bit Queasy. A bit like he has read something that is not for general consumption, but has inadvertently been put into the public domain. Something that makes old Billothewisp feel like a spy in a foreign camp.

You know - a bit like overhearing a crimmo secretly confess to a crime while the press and the cognoscenti are baying about a miscarriage of justice.

Or hearing one of "His Majesty's" entourage quietly whisper: "Yes! the King really is wearing no cloths".

Recently I had two of those almost meta-physical moments. And they were related and did not involve any cider.

The first concerned a new  piece of posh propaganda released by the zealots in Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

Who are the CSE?

Yet another "charity" (and I wonder where the cash comes from.). While they are no doubt, a bona-fide charity, I don't think any-one there is going short on the pay and perks front.

Anyway, I digress. The CSE have released a document called "Common Concerns about Windpower"

It is without doubt a truly wonderful piece of propaganda.

It is so good Billothewisp awards it the Joseph Goebbels Truth Economy Award for 2011. (First Class)

To be fair, it doesn't tell many lies (although there are some) but it does vigorously, wholeheartedly, and with serious malice afore-thought, twist the truth into its own perverted little vision.

Not since some guy in the CIA described the 1975 failure in Vietnam as a "sub-optimal victory" has there been such a shiny spin put on such a dismal subject.

There is so much that is wrong in this document it is difficult to know where to start, so as Julie Andrews once said "I'll start at the very beginning" (a very good place to start).

There will, no doubt, be several posts about this as I cut my way through this "charitable work" of the CSE.

Anyway part one show us all how wonderfully greeeeeeeen the average turbine is, and how is repays its energy deficit in the wink of an eye.

In fact, according to our charitable friends at the CSE  (billothewisp assumes a straight face here) the average turbine repays its energy cost within 3 months - 6 months at the outside.

The CSE then go to tell us that in its lifetime, a turbine will return at least 20 times the energy used to manufacture it.

Now we come to the first "spy in the camp moment"

3 months x 20 = 5 years. Does a "productive" wind turbine really wear out in 5 years? Or maybe 10 years for the ones that hardly produce anything - aka The Wind Turbine in Reading

Or maybe the figures are..... (dare I say it) Wrong.

Oh, I can hear the indignation.
I can see the trembling bottom lips.
The tears of of outrage welling up in the average windies eyes.

That was "at least 20 times". At least means more than. 5 years is the minimum.

Hmmm let us have a comparison.

I buy a new car. It will be good for at least 100,000 miles. Most though won't get to 120,000 let alone 200,000. 300,000 will be a freak exception.

As a comparison it would (sort of) indicate that hardly any turbines (if any) will ever make it to the much vaunted 20 -25 year life span.

But that of course is just an old engineer making a dodgy comparison.

How about some inside facts?

Here my grubby little Englanders we come to the second document and the second "spy in the camp" moment.

This second article was so well named  I stole the title for this post. It is available Here.

The document is the June 2010 cover story for the August journal: "TRIBOLOGY & LUBRICATION TECHNOLOGY" The article is obviously written by an "enthusiast" i.e. one who thinks wind turbinery can do no wrong.

But the basis of the article, which the author  does comprehensively expound on, is that the gear box blows up every (wait for it) 5 to 7 years. Actually, although it is written by an enthusiast, the article lacks the self serving  deceit of the CSE document. The guy is obviously an engineer. He just needs treatment.

Here is a cut and paste of highlighted paragraphs...

Oh Dear! but then... (Ugh!) there is this....

The author informs us that gear box reliability has been a known problem for well over ten years, without yet even coming close to being solved.

So today the problem of gearbox reliability is NOT solved.

One day it maybe solved. One day. but not today. Maybe tomorrow, maybe never.

We are building these things and plan forcing the Grid to rely on them, even though have a known ( and terrible) reliability issue.

Let us go back to the transport analogy.

Say you operated a a fleet of lorries. Would you replace your existing old but "known to work" fleet with a fleet of shiny new lorries which were known to have a massive reliability problem?

If the salesman came up and said to you, "Oh that'll (probably) be solved in a few years" would whip out your cheque book or kick him out of the door?

Not only are these things ugly, inefficient, intermittent and uneconomic. they are also hideously unreliable.

Other than that (besides the health issues, the subsidy and landscaper damage) I suppose they are (to paraphrase the CIA propagandist) sub-optimally OK

Redcar and the Barnett formula

In my last post I described some good news (at last) for the North East of England as the Redcar Steel works re-opened. I also mentioned how the region has been so badly treated by successive governments.

The North East of England is, obviously, part of England. No surprises there. Consequently, like the rest of England the North East pays substantially into the Barnett formula. The Barnett formula provides a huge subsidy to Scotland. It was a stop gap quick fix for a long past Scottish funding problem that was supposed to last a year. While the funding issue may be long gone the Barnett formula is still with us 20 years later.

Nobody in government has the balls to cancel it.

Each person in Scotland get an extra £1200 a year spent on them compared to their English counterparts (i.e. like the good folk of the North East). This amounts to no less than a 11p in the pound tax break for the Scots. (See Yorkshire Post here)

In a time of national penury, if anyone should get such a tax break, surely it should be North East England rather than the whole Scottish nation.

Much of Scotland is wealthy - very wealthy. It is not right that poorer parts of the UK end up losing their services and opportunities simply to subsidise and placate the ever greedy Alex Salmond and the Scottish Parliament.

The Barnett formula is intrinsically unfair.

Ask yourself this:

Should poor (or even well-off) English working people be paying extra to support the likes of like Sir Fred Goodwin (Scottish resident). Should English tax payers support Scotland so it can offer free student education to not only Scottish students but other European students as well? While English students wanting to study in Scotland have to pay the full whack?

Scotland has plenty of resources. Even if Scotland wants to remain part of the Union then the Barnett formula should be abolished or at least modified so that subsidy is given on basis of need not national boundary. But if Scotland wants out of the union, well, by all means, in that case the Scots should spend their taxes however they want.

If the Scots want independence then it is their right to pursue it. Trying to buy them off with this dirty little Danegeld called the Barnett Formula is as repulsive as it is unfair.

But if that is how it is going to be, then what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander. Please do not expect my taxes to subsidise Scottish largesse or anything else for that matter.

English taxes are desperately needed elsewhere - like bringing jobs to Yorkshire and the North East

Good News from Redcar Steelworks

After the catastophe of of TATA, and the disgusting "hands off" betrayal of British steel workers by the last government, at  least there is a little good news for my friends and fellow grubby Little Englanders in Redcar.

Sold off to TATA, Redcar steelworks was then closed down.  Mothballed was the term - but mothballs don't feed the kids.

Finally earlier this year, TATA sold Redcar to Thai steelmaker Sahaviriya Steel Industries (trading as SSI UK).

Billothewisp has to admit that at the time I thought that the future looked bleak - Yet another foreign owner of a strategic industry. I has dark thoughts as to the purpose of this purchase.

Possibly SSI was there only to extract as much in goverment grants, secure extortionate trade deals, run the plant into the ground and then dissapear. Or worse, simply keep the place closed so removing a competitor from the market (which was, I suspect TATA's original motive).

But so far, SSI look like a significant improvement over TATA.

SSI are planning to reopen Redcar and have now started hiring, so we should perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt. (See their Website Here)

The need for jobs, and the eagerness of the people the North East to gain  honest work in a hard and gruelling industry is shown by the fact that each of the 1000 jobs had at least ten applicants. (See BBC Report Here)

On many occasions, the people of the North East have been sold down the river by government. This betrayal has been variously aided and abetted by the sharp suits in London and a putrid adherence to the false doctine of Globalisation.

This betrayal has gone on for far too long.

It is about time the good people of the North East had a few (dozen) good breaks.

I still have my fears and reservations. But at this time, I wish SSI Ltd all the best.

European Petrol and Diesel Prices Compared

The European Energy Portal provides information on a whole range of energy prices/issues, including Petrol and Diesel prices across Europe. This great site must be one of the few benefits we get from the EU.

Take this table on relative fuel prices (Petrol and Diesel).

Unsurprisingly Petrol in the UK is among the highest in Europe, although not as bad as some.

But rather shockingly, UK Diesel is by far the most expensive in Europe.

In fact the nearest rival (price wise) is Sweden. But even in Sweden the price of Diesel is still 7.5% cheaper than in the UK.

The cheapest European diesel price is in Luxembourg which is a whopping 30% less than the UK

Diesel is of course used in road transport as well as private vehicles. No wonder the transport industry is moaning all the time.

So why is Petrol and especially Diesel so expensive?

Here is another table from the EU Energy portal, giving a cost breakdown.

Notice the root cause of the price of diesel being so high is the outrageously high UK excise duty on diesel.

Diesel requires less refining, gives a higher mpg, and for a well tuned engine is just a clean a petrol. We should be encouraging motorist to use it in preference to petrol. It is also the life blood of industry.

  • No Diesel = no distribution. 
  • No distribution = no industry.
  • No industry = no taxes to pay MP's expenses.

Any government, committed to enabling UK industry to dig us out of this current economic mess must cut the excise duty on diesel. How can industry compete when it is crippled by distribution costs?

Even from an environmental viewpoint the government must at least level the playing field with petrol.

Kyoto, Quotas and Fashion Statements.

Well, it looks like the UK is the bad boy again. We are not meeting our renewables target.

All you grubby little Englanders - hang your heads in shame. Here is the offending graph. (see The EU Energy Portal )

But the funny thing is, that on the same website just a bit further up the page is a neat little bar graph related to progress towards the Kyoto protocol. Whatever you think of Kyoto it was at least aimed at reducing emissions and gave some figures.
Here is the graph.

Now in this graph, far from being the nasty bully-boy bad-guys pumping the filth out into the atmosphere, grubby little England is actually one of the golden halo'd nations that have not only reduced emmissions, but have actually reduced them more than their allocated quota.

Even our Eco-zealot friends in Germany have not managed to do so well. But now, of course, our German friends have also shut down all their nuclear power plants and started burning coal like it is going out of fashion. I expect that very soon they will be slipping into the bad boy red sector. In fact they are likely to join their eco friends in Denmark who are spectacularly under target.

Then there is Spain.

Oh dear Oh dear.

Although Spain ranks as number 3 in the European wind turbine league they are also number 3 from the bottom of the Kyoto table. Bad Bad Bad.

Now, of course there are a couple of little issues here. Not all the Kyoto targets are the same. The UK's target was 12.5%. Germany bigged theirs up to 18% and Denmark did the most grandstanding by stating that they would cut their emissions by no less than 21%. Spain though was actually allowed to increase their emissions by 15%

Big words from Germany. Even bigger words from Denmark.

Or was it just hot air?

Obviously, we need to compare like with like.

So let us use the UK as the benchmark and compare how our European pals are really doing.

So, the base line is the UK. We have exceeded our target reduction by 7.63%. As our target was 12.5%, that makes about a real cut of over 20%

Our German friends, (remember this was before they shut down their nuclear power) had a target of 18% and exceeded their target by 1.52%. So their real cut is 19.5%

Demark did the most grandstanding at Kyoto and took the applause for promising to cut emissions by 21% (Huhhah!) but they have missed their target by no less than 16.42%. Whoops! That is a real cut then of less than 5% OUCH!

But then we come to Spain.

Oh Dear Oh Dear.

Spain was allowed to increase their emissions by 15%. But they still missed their target by 22.35% So compared to us un-green nasty little Englanders, the Spanish have made a real cut of...

Well, there is no cut, real or otherwise.

Their emissions have increased by nearly a third. Doh!

Now let us look at the relevence of these two targets.

The "renewables" target has been put in place to meet (among other targets) the 2012 Kyoto quota's.

Germany has the largest number of wind turbines in Europe, Spain comes a close second. Denmark has by far the highest per capita fleet of turbines anywhere in the world.

But all to no avail. While they may have all grandstanded at Kyoto about how green they were, and while they have foolishly wasted billions on intermittent, unreliable and ultimately ineffective wind turbines, they have, on a real comparison failed to even match the UK cuts, let alone meet their bigged up targets.

There is one year left to run for Kyoto. I'll be interested to see if they pay the fines for missing the "legally binding" Kyoto targets.

Does a Dead Cat Bounce? (if named Footsie?)

So the FTSE 100 went up by over 1.5% today after initially falling by over 4%. This wild fluctuation came after it lost somewhere around 18% in the previous week.

But it went up. So everything is fine and dandy.

(There was me thinking we were up sh*t creek without a paddle.)

The Yanks, are still smarting from being downgraded from AAA to AA+. They are moaning that they only owe 13 trillion dollars.

For the mathematically challenged that is:

(I think I got all the noughts in)

The US Treasury is outraged at  Standard & Poors downgrade. Personally Billothewisp thinks Standard & Poors has done a pretty dismal job too.

Billothewisp thinks that, if you have allowed yourself to sleep walk into a position where you owe the aforesaid 13 trillion dollars, really your credit rating should be ZZZ-, not AA+, let alone AAA.

Finally here in England, it seems the (parody of a) government might want to do some more Printing Money Quantitative Easing.

As I remember, one side effect of Printing Money Quantitative Easing is that inflation takes off.

Of course being a simple soul I may be wrong and the current 5% (and rising) inflation is purely coincidental with the last batch of Printing Money Quantitative Easing.

I wonder what inflation will go to after the next print run?

Neodymium and Wind Turbines

Take a look at these two old Chinese NIMBYs complaining about how a six mile wide lake of effluent has ruined their country-side. A lake of effluent, produced mining Neodymium. (See Mail Article Here)

Neodymium is a rare earth metal. It is increasingly being used in wind turbines and is seen by many turbine supporters as a magic bullet. Something desperately needed to improve the farcical output, and improve the reliability of these white elephants.

Neodymium allows turbines to get over the need for horrendously complex gearboxes needed to drive the doubly fed induction generators currently used. Doubly fed induction generators need to turn at about 1500 rpm minimum. You can imagine the gearing ratio needed.

This is what happens when the bearings fail.

With Neodymium magnets, the generator is simplified and the gearbox can be (almost) dispensed with. Grossly ineffective and unreliable turbines become (ever so slightly) less gross.

But at what cost?

To the rich and powerful owners of these things, along with glazed eyed brown nosers who support them, the answer is a small amount of the ROC subsidy for a short time.

To the Chinese peasants who lose their land and see their families broken up the answer is somewhat more devastating.

But, they are only common folk and a world away at that. Even if their existence is known of, they scarcely matter to our eco warrior friends.

Even so, Neodymium cannot break the laws of Physics. The best that you will ever get out of a turbine (it is called Betz law) is theoretically 59% of the actual wind energy, Practically though you would be doing very well to get 40-45%.

Even then, however big and powerful your Neodymium magnets, if the wind does not blow, 40% of nothing is still nothing.

All Neodymium provides are cheaper gearboxes, less embarrassing turbine fires and less need to employ maintenance technicians.

It also provides slave wages to a dispossessed people while lining the coffers of a elitist dictatorship.

Like so many aspects of the wind turbine scam, the rich and powerful, both here and in China, do very well out of Neodymium and wind turbines.

As usual, it is the average person who pays the price.