Congratulations, Tony Blair

Mr Tony Blair must be an enormously gifted businessman. He spent ten years as Prime Minister and left us with two years of Gordon Brown in charge. During those ten years there was some prosperity and a great deal of dogma which we now see has little foundation in truth and by the time Mr Brown’s short term of office had come to an end we found that the bankers had stolen all the money under the sleepy eyes of various politicians and regulators, which politicians included of course Mr Blair. Continue reading

I was in Rome with President Obama. We never met although he met the Pope in the Vatican and I met some good people in the bar of an hotel. Continue reading

That Will Teach Me

Could it be that I always try to do that which I cannot do in order to attempt to learn that which I do not know? If I learn something easily I almost certainly knew it already, for learning never tires me, I am only tired by undertaking that which i know, not that which I do not know.

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

The heading is the oath that witness swear. I rarely find that the truth is simple or pure; it is a complex thing which is woven with many threads which interlock in ways that can be hard to find out. It is never pure; truth may seem to be but can never be pure. It can be impossible to speak the whole truth, no matter how hard you try and harder still to speak nothing but the truth. Life is so complex that we must speak in short cuts and abbreviations as well as speaking from an imperfect knowledge of life.

Nevertheless the oaths serves its purpose which is to make a witness agree that he or she will give evidence that is the approximate truth as the witness understands it and as complete as the witness feels it necessary to speak so as to avoid not speaking the untruth. It might be better to change the oath to a promise that the evidence will not be untrue.

Thom Gunn Is Dead

Thom Gunn died nearly ten years ago. I have only discovered the news and I am saddened by it because although I never met him I knew him from his poetry, some of which moved me deeply.  Continue reading

Writing Time

I have written more than a million words on these pages, although I have not counted them all. I have anxiously, possibly too anxiously, tried not to write badly and to write sincerely. I usually write a day at a time and although I do not consciously try to write a log or diary of events inevitably my words, if read again several years after they were written, bring back to mind events which I had forgotten and times that now seem to be so long ago. Continue reading

Cabot Oil and Gas -v- Mrs Scroggins

Mrs Scroggins might be a name that Charles Dickens would have used in one of his novels, perhaps for a kindly nurse. Dickens was good with names. However the real Mrs Scroggins is a retired nurse and grandmother who lives in Susquehanna County which is in Pennsylvania. The name of the county indicates its origins as land once owned by native Americans, long since vanished from the Pennsylvanian landscape, and now other Americans are trustees and guardians of the land.

Mrs Scroggins opposes fracking. She is entitled to oppose it and make her opposition known. The frackers in question are the Cabot Oil & Gas Company and in the course of her opposition Mrs Scroggins has apparently trespassed on the company’s land on eleven occasions and uploaded videos of her visits to YouTube. As far as I know she did not physically damage the land, just took videos of what is going on there, which can hardly qualify as a secret whether of the industrial or any other kind.

The Cabot people however did not like the idea of Mrs Scroggins trespassing on their land and probably liked the videos she took going public even less so they obtained a temporary injunction against her which prevents Mrs Scroggins from

“entering upon property owned and/or leased by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation including but not limited to well sites, well pads and access roads.”

However Cabot leases subsurface rights to more than 200,000 acres across the state, including around 40 per cent of Susquehanna County, which stops Mrs Scroggins for visiting much of the county, including her friends homes, the local grocers, hospital and recycling centre, the latter of which I expect Mrs Scroggins would wish to visit frequently.

It seems that there is some doubt as to whether an injunction can restrain someone from visiting land which have the sub surface leased to a fracking company and Mrs Scroffins lawyers are contesting the injunction, which Cabot claims was sought only to prevent Mrs Scroggins from injuring herself by getting to close to fracking operations.

Of course, Cabot would claim, I imagine, that there is no chance of their fracking operations injuring any resident of Susquehanna County, but the residents will have to take their chances on that as no court will restrain the fracking operations being carried out by Cabot.

However, if you care to view Mrs Scroggins videos on you tube you might find that there is some cause for alarm at the way in which fracking operations are carried out.

I wish the retired nurse the best in her endeavours to educate the people of he neighbourhood about the way in which the fracking operations are being carried out, and hope that the court will show sense and overturn the injunction, although I fear that the interests of business and money over ordinary folk may well continue to prevail.

Assuming Words Have Meanings

When you hear words you usually assume that the words spoken are meaningful. This is not always the case. Some words are spoken to confuse and when you do not understand what is spoken you usually assume that the fault in understanding lies with you. However when actions are undertaken those actions are invariably meaningful and although we may understand them but imperfectly, we can have some understanding of them. Continue reading

As the trains rush past

The current debate about the proposed high speed rail link between London and Lancashire seems to have got into a muddle. It seems that the real advantage of this railway will not be speed but extra capacity. However there are real doubts about whether it will help a revival of the economy outside London.  Continue reading

EU and the Ukraine

The European Union is acting more like a super state and less like a union of independent states. It seems to be imposing its foreign policy on the whole of the Union and undertaking a diplomacy which seeks to suck in as many states as possible into its hegemony. Continue reading