“Influence”

The Scottish Referendum was a close run thing. The worse the Scots behaved the more concessions they wrung from the rest of the United Kingdom and matters will probably reach a state in which independence will be necessary; it will be achieved de facto, if not de jure. The independence movement was led in Scotland by Alex Salmond, who is a very talented politician. he was First Minister (there is no “prime” in Scotland) and has now resigned from that position. It seems he is likely to become a Member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament at the next election. That seems to me to be very odd. Continue reading

Cry Your Tears For Freedom While you Count Your Money

The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan religious leader. A Buddhist, the Dalai Lama was one of the few religious leaders to be a ruler of a nation. He was enthroned on 1951 as the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet but a year later the communist Chinese toppled his government and China consumed the nation of Tibet and the Dalai Lama fled into exile where he has remained ever since, drawing attention to the oppression of Tibet. His exile has been longer that Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment or Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s house arrest. Continue reading

Mr Menendez wants to exercise jurisdiction over the United Kingdom

The Chilcot Inquiry rumbles on in London. Every week that passes provides evidence that the Iraq invasion was illegal and there is prima facie evidence that the illegality was such that the war constituted the war crime of waging a war of aggression, which is probably the most serious crime that can be committed. Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of this war. As far as I know none of the members of the American administration that did the war dance have been invited to London to give evidence to the Inquiry and if they were “summoned” they would give the summons short shrift. Those people have to account to their own governments for their actions, under the existing framework of law, not to the government of another state, even if that state was a close ally in the war. Mr Bush and the American people would regard the any such summons as impudent. Continue reading

How much stock of energy should we hold?

If you run a business you know that the stock that you hold (known in the US as inventory) is critical to the success of your business. The more stock that you hold the more capital you have tied up; in some businesses stock decays with time (such as food) or becomes less valuable by becoming unfashionable or out of date. You try to avoid buying stock that you cannot sell.

 

These factors have led most businesses to manage their stock carefully; they need enough to keep their customers satisfied but not so much that they do not have enough money to pay all their bills. So over the years, using computers and all the efficiencies of modern businesses try to get their stocks just in time to sell it when needed, because “just in time” is the most profitable way to handle it.

 

Generally speaking energy companies have tried the same approach with their stocks of fuel for the same reasons. As a nation the way our energy is organised the level of the stocks of fuel that is held is dictating by business reasons, rather than what is in the national interest. Continue reading