Standing Up to your Equals

The European Union at its best has many qualities, but at its worst has all the traits of an Empire, an Empire of nations. “Being a nation means standing up to your equals. Being an Empire means kicking your inferiors.” Continue reading

Biomass Power Station Burns – I told you so!

When the first proposals to build a biomass wood pellet burning power station in the United Kingdom were mooted (Port Talbot in South Wales was chosen for this dubious honour) I wrote on these pages warning about the project and generally explaining that biomass power stations seemed to be to me to have environmental disadvantages in terms of massive carbon dioxide emissions as well as potential dangers in that wood pellets were liable to spontaneous combust when stored in large quantities. Continue reading

Flood Insurance – Who should Pay?

Insurance is, as Orwell called it, a swindle, but at least it is a logical swindle. Insurance rates are calculated on the industry’s view of statistics; the uplift and margin applied to those statistics are the tools of the swindle, but the fundamental premium you pay depends on the figures. If you wish to insure your life you age and the statistical analysis of your longevity will be relevant and if you want to insure your home against losses suffered by flooding then the likelihood of flooding in the place where your home is situate is part of the figuring which sets the price that you pay. If the insurance company, when looking at the statistics tells you that it will not insure your home at any price, then you know that flooding is not merely possible but highly probable. Continue reading

The Trump View of Ugly

I expect most will agree that wind turbines are not pretty things. They stand very high, usually knee deep in sea water, and slowly turn using the wind power to make electrical power. A wind turbine is not the most aesthetically pleasing sight, but it is hardly the least aesthetically pleasing sight made by humanity in the world. I can think of many ugly buildings that to me look far worst and much more vulgar than a gaggle of off shore turbines. Continue reading

Payday Loans

They call them “payday loans” because these are loans intended to be made for a few days to tide a person over from one payday to the next. They are at astonishing high rates of interest – rates which forty years ago (when inflation was higher) would have been considered so high by the courts that they would have been ruled illegal, because the rate made it very hard to repay. This often happens today but the rules have been skewed; instead of favouring equity, they favour the money that makes these unconsciousonable lending. Continue reading

PPI Profits and Proceeds of Crime

I see that Lloyds Bank has a loss of more than £3.5 billion last year, which is either a great deal of money or not very much, depending on your point of view. £3.5 billion would have provided theUKwith the BBC free for a year, saving each household £145 in licence fee. That amount lost by the bank is not really lost at all. Let me explain. Continue reading

Some Good News Leaks from Fukushima

We associate Fukushima with a flooded broken nuclear power reactor, rather than good news, but good news has come from some research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution whose vessel has been measuring sea and sea organism radioactivity in the ocean affected by the Fukushima event. Continue reading

The Power of Wealth

A man was strolling through the woods in Yorkshire. He had in his possession a knife. He decided to try throwing the knife at a tree, with a singular lack of success, when two policemen appeared. They arrested him and questioned him closely as to who he was, where he had got the knife, what was he doing and where he was staying. When the policemen discovered he was a guest of a very wealthy local banker they let the man go, with good wishes.

The man later reflected on the perennial temptation to a shameful admiration of wealth which has distorted and poisoned our police. He wrote Continue reading

Emissions from Scotland

Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland seeks to cut emissions faster deeper and more thoroughly. It aims to reduce (from 1990 levels) emissions by 42% by 2020, which is in less than eight short years’ time, and by a massive 80% by 2050. If it can achieve this it will have led the rest of Europe in emission reduction. Continue reading

Whisper who dares: Bideford Council is saying its prayers

When someone becomes a High Court Judge in England and Wales the appointment is usually of someone who has great legal intellect. The best of Judges are able to summarise great principles of law in a few words. The law is littered with complex doctrines which are explained in pithy sentences. There are all the maxims of equity, which a layman can understand, for example “he who seeks equity must do equity”. It is a well expressed statement of the law. Continue reading