Japan and Germany Close the Nuclear Door, and Britain Opens it

As one nuclear door closes so another nuclear door opens. First, the doors that are closing are in Japan and Germany. In Germany they have decided to decommission all nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster. The German government feels much more comfortable without nuclear energy. They are comfortable that they will have sufficient supplies from fossil fuel and renewables. In Japan the government are very uncomfortable about nuclear energy. The effects of Fukushima are still being felt. The Dai-Ichi power plant is still leaking radiation and 40% of the fish caught near the plant are unfit for human consumption due to high levels of caesium being found in fish. The fact that it is still being found in fish indicates that contamination is continuing either from leakage or form contaminated sediment or from groundwater run off or a combination of all three factors.

However the good old United Kingdom can still be found to open the nuclear doors. Continue reading

The Lending Policy of National Westminster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland

I came across a case which illustrates perfectly the problems that the banking industry is continuing to cause in our economy. It is better neither a borrower nor a lender be, not just because borrowing can ruin friendships and distort them, but because borrowers in effect put themselves in the hands of the lenders and while those hands may be safe for a time eventually the lender’s greed ruins the borrower. What follows is a true story. Continue reading

Playing the Race Card

Allegations of racial insults are being made with increasing frequency, although without doubt as a whole the British nation has become less racially prejudiced with each year that passes. It is difficult to understand why racial insults are becoming more prevalent. Each year more of us find that more of our acquaintances and relatives by marriage are of a different race than our own race, and each year we have a less focused understanding of what race we belong to. It seems therefore that the racism is more about colour than race.  Continue reading

The Cost of the Olympics and The Recession

Britain is now out of recession and that is good news. Preliminary figures show a third quarter growth of just 1%. Some commentators put the growth down to the Olympic Games ticket sales, but I have no doubt that the tickets sales were of a lesser amount than the lost dales in the retail industry in London and the construction and maintenance industry slow down during the games which was caused by the games taking place in London.

There is other good news; there have been more people in employment and despite the impossibility of small businesses securing finance  from their banks, businesses are managing somehow, although with difficulty.

It is clear that we need to employ people in making things, installing things and servicing things if we are to secure our economic future. It is also clear that we must learn the lessons of the recession, caused by bank and hedge fund speculation. Someone has calculated that people are now £1800 a year worse off than they were in 2008. Most of that money has gone into the pockets of the bankers and hedge fund operators. That is no way to run an economy.

As our economy grows we must ensure that we direct money and therefore growth into the production of things, rather than the production of another giant casino which will impoverish those who are not wealthy. That is the lesson we must learn.

Gas Flaring – Cheap and Nasty

 

In 2007 Shell and the Nigerian Government undertook that they would end gas flaring by 2008. They have not kept their promise. Gas flaring is the practice of burning off methane from oil wells, instead of dealing with the methane in an environmentally friendly fashion. Continue reading

When a Choice of Two is No Choice At All

Mr Obama has been President of the United States of America for the past four years. He came on the scene promising much but has delivered little. It would have been unreasonable to expect him in four short years to solve the decay of the American economy, which has been on a downturn since the 1990s but I think everyone expected him to act with greater humanity in foreign affairs. Instead we have seen that he like his predecessors is following the same policies in Afghanistan and Iraq and like his predecessor has not dismantled the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Continue reading

Complexity is a Profit Centre

Life is very complicated these days especially so for those who live in highly developed cultures. We cope with its complexity with the help of our computers but much of the complexity is driven by computers and by businesses who decide that complexity is a source of additional profit. The banks have a number of accounts and a person opening or changing an account is faced with a plethora of choice. If you need to use gas or electricity there are hundreds of different accounts you can choose. If you want to buy food there is a huge amount of apparent choice when you shop.   Continue reading