Posts Tagged ‘Absolute Disgrace’
If there is such a thing as a Duke of Edinburgh fan club, we codgers of the allotments should be in it. Philip is held in high esteem amongst our gang and not just because he is even older than we are. Some of us remember him as a dashing naval commander, few would have bet on his lasting the course as a silent member of a privileged and somewhat outdated clique. But he has toed the line apart from the occasional outburst. And today the papers are full of one of them.
We have always contended that the man is worth listening to, that he has more expoerience and nous than Cameron, Clegg and Miliband merged into one. And why shouldn’t he speak out, this is still supposedly a democracy. Yesterday he did just that in a conversation with Esbjorn Wilmar, of Infinergy, which builds and operates turbines. Philip was quick on the attack, he described wind turbines as “absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace”. We agree wholeheartedly.
The Duke went on to ask if Mr Wilmar believes in fairy stories. a good question since almost everything we have been told about wind farms is just that, a fairy story. Right now every electricity customer is paying around £90 per year to subsidise the monstrosities that are popping up everywhere. Heaven help you if you live withing two miles of a land-based version for the noise emitted is horrendous, so much so that right across the country turbines are being switched off during strong winds following a huge number of complaints about unacceptable noise levels. Residents near a new 22-turbine wind farm in Fullabrook, Devon, report that the noise is so acute that many sleep on sofas in their front rooms!
Already the UK has 3,421, with 2941 being onshore. Incentives are being paid to land owners with a view to a further 4500 being erected urgently, most of them owned by overseas companies, which currently receive around £500 million per year in government subsidies.
Noise apart, there is another major problem. During the coldest weather there is usually little wind and turbines cannot produce power without wind. On the other hand when there are very strong winds the national grid cannot cope with the surge and the power produced cannot be stored. Ministers contend that wind harnessing is essential if we are to meet the official commitment to produce 32 per cent of Britain’s electricity from 2020. But it simply will not work.
Even if we were able to build 10,000 turbines between then and now, they would come nowhere near meeting a third of our needs – indeed, during the coldest winter months, when demand is highest, they would supply only about one tenth of the demand. That means that gas-fired power stations, whose operation pushes more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And electricity generated by wind is vastly more expensive that that generated in other ways.
Of course there is an urgent need to generate clean electricity while cutting our use of fossil fuels. But wind farms are not the answer, neither is solar power, wave power or tidal power. The theory in every case sounds fine but the volume capabilility is very low indeed. Sadly the only way to pursue a dynamic green energy power is to build new nuclear power stations.
Not a popular idea. But simply spending vast amounts of something that can never make a significant impact is ludicrous, truly a fairy story.
Predictably, the politicians are rushing to silence the Duke and anyone else who dares to question their supposed wisdom. Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, calls opponents of wind-power “curmudgeons and fault-finders”. Coming from someone who seems incapable of remembering whether or not he was driving a car, that is rich. Coming from someone who supports spending £1 billion on buying up properties to clear the way for high-speed rail which will serve a tiny fraction of those suffering appalling rail services, it is as rich as Albert’s wife Christmas cake.
Good for the Duke. He may not have been elected but he regularly demonstrates a good deal more sense than those that were!
VIEW FROM (NEAR TO) THE SPEAKER’S CHAIR!
Sally Burcow in today’s Sunday Star; “First it was Labour’s fault, then the snow was to blame. And now its the Eurozone’s turn. Next thing you know it will be leaves on the line. How easy this politics game is. Just avoid taking responsibility and pass the buck!
Well I’m afraid it won’t wash. Unemployment figures are at a 17-year high and more than a million young people are out of work. For the government to blame the Eurozone is absurd. The fact is jobless figures always have a time lag . There is more connection with what happened six months ago.
It is time for this Government to stop pointing the finger at other people – or the weather. Come on Tories, man up and take responsibility – you’re fast running out of excuses. They urgently need a plan to stimulate growth and create new jobs. They should delay no longer.
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S WEEKEND QUIZ; 1. A cucumber 2. Jans Lehmann 3. Sutton Pierce 4. The Mikado 5. St Leger 6. Peter (Rabbit) 7. A Human 8. An Alto 9. Partridges 10. Saddam Hussein
Having heard that the arctic weather is to return in a few days time we decided to dig in the muck accumulated whilst the ground was rock-hard. Sadly one probe with the spade revealed that the ground is not as it appears, a soft top conceals granite. A robin followed our abortive efforts but worms were off its menu yet again, we could offer only corn as consolation. It has taken to following us into the shed and we are beginning to wonder if it is some kind of spy, micro-chipped by the Guardian perhaps. If so it learned nothing today other than that most of those gathered loath both Clegg and the violent students equally.
Without the mindless violence yesterday’s London protests would have been an impressive demonstration of the strength of feeling against the increase in tuition fees. Sadly the thugs – were they really students – have turned the bulk of public opinion against the protesters. The statue of Winston Churchill was defaced, the Cenotaph mocked and damaged, the heir to the throne attacked. And a lot of young policemen, many of whom have not had the privilege of several years of relative leisure at the taxpayers expense, were badly injured. It was for most decent people an absolute disgrace.
In fairness we are not yet sure of the identity of the morons. Those interviewed on TV did not strike one as students, if they were the intelligence levels of those at university have sunk somewhat!
All of which was a disaster. The cause is just and deserved massive support with which we could all relate. The cause of the cause was easy to identify. The Lib Dems built up the hopes of the National Union of Students by signing their pledge. All politicians use weasel words but they actually signed their names to a commitment to oppose any increase in fees. Clegg duped the students and their rage is understandable, if not their method of expressing it. When the vote came, half of the Lib Dem MPs acted honourably and either voted against or abstained but those in the cabinet were talked by Clegg into voting in favour.
This morning’s polls show the Lib Dems with their lowest ever rating and it is hard to envisage a recovery. In effect Clegg and Cable have become stooges to a Conservative group that must be privately rubbing its hands with delight. Unpopular and unfair policies are being rushed through and their subservient partner is picking up the tab of blame. Last evening’s Question Time featured one of Clegg’s cronies who said that when they signed the pledge they did not envisage being in government. That makes the action even less honourable. And his subsequent claim that Labour also favour the increase was irrelevant. It was the Lib Dems, and they alone, who signed.
Under the terms of the coalition agreement all Lib Dems were free to abstain. Why Clegg refused to do this is a mystery, in so doing he has split his party and condemned his own career to the lost deposit file. His actions are every bit as shameful as those of Phil Woolas who has been banned from politics.
The coalition scraped through but it was a hollow victory. The antics of its junior partner has created a situation every bit as volatile as the Poll Tax. And if that proves an accurate analogy the tuition fees will never be implemented. However the leaders of the protest movement must find a way of staging peaceful demonstrations for public opinion is becoming soured by the mindless and gleeful violence. Desecrating the memorial to millions of young men and women who gave their lives for freedom is a sure way of making enemies of the vast majority of the population which has never seen the inside of a university.
And Nick Clegg? He clearly lacks self understanding for the only way in which he can save his party and avoid driving the final nail into the coffin of an already tainted democracy, is to resign. But a man who cares not for even his own pledge is unlikely to do that. In which case it is, to misquote the two Ronnies, goodbye for him and goodbye for them.
NHS “CLOSE TO BREAKING POINT”
The Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians ( RCP) yesterday said that the NHS is on the verge of collapse. Attendances at A & E departments have climbed by 5% this year and the number of patients being admitted to hospitals likewise. Since 2004 the workforce has increased by 12% but the workload has climbed by 19%. And implementation of the European directive on Junior Doctor’s hours has made a bad situation even worse.
The NHS is now being forced to make savings of £20 billion and the most dramatic changes ever are being imposed by Andrew Lansley. The result is forecast by the RCP to be wards closing and waiting times lengthening to the point where patient care reaches depths previously unknown.
The RCP is not known for exaggeration and it is surely time that Lansley gave serious consideration to his present policies which will ultimately hit every family in the land at a time when they are most vulnerable.
What do you think? Is the NHS safe in Andrew Lansley’s hands?
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. In an air accident 2. Aldo Moro
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. What firsts did Ann Hays and Elizabeth Hoisington achieve in the USA? 2. Where was Clifford Dupont sworn in as president?