Saturday, 18 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Eight Lux Lumine

Energy and its implications and complications seems to have gone back down the queue for attention and interest as the Bedlam Syndrome sweeps our politics.

We have been promised that the lights will be kept on.  To do this needs electricity and that needs power, lots and lots of it, especially with a rising population who demand more and more.

In the muddle of ideas, all costly and mostly inadequate to the task, see tidal booms in the Bristol Channel, wind farms for every bit of farm land and other wheezes there has been the nuclear option as a key part.

Our wise and expert government has done what it always does these days, goes for advice to people you would not trust to do your shopping, in this case the French.

The Independent today tells the story that has been around the web for a little time now and that is the new build French nuclear reactors are not only way behind time, they are way behind specification and may never work at all.

As we are to rely on Chinese money to build them; heaven forbid we could find our own; if they say not this will mean a very large hole in the accounts.

Which brings us back to oil and the situation developing is very complicated, there are many uncertainties and the overall issues barely understood in politics and government.

The Our Finite World blog is one place to pick up some clues although what exactly we should be doing and at what cost is far from clear at present.

My advice is to stock up on candles, buy wax now while they are cheap.  Those forced to use tallow candles in the future will find them smelly and unreliable.

Also pile up the timber so you can have hot food occasionally as a special treat.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Seven Health

It is long ago but there was a time when I was involved in running the NHS, if only in a very small way on the committee of a local Area Health Authority.

My chief experience of medicine had been the number of people taken to the Casualty Ward during the course of rugby matches, notably medic's from hospital teams who became patients rather than doctors.

A great deal has changed.  During the 1980's, Ken Clarke, still around and still ever fond of telling people they are totally wrong and he and only he is right, threw it all up in the air and was amazed that when it came down it was not what he intended.

In the last quarter century it has become a rite of passage for Health ministers on appointment to do a reorg' on the basis of old and unreliable data and with the advice of 'org' and man' consultants hoping to retire on the proceeds rather than medical consultants whose needs are more complicated.

Most of these have seemed fixated on the methods of mass production as applied to hospital throughputs together with management structures borrowed from retailing sectors that have either gone bust, been taken over by financial corporations or operate on pre-computer age structures.

The diagram above, Corporate Capture Of The NHS came from Spinwatch making the point that the NHS is now in the hands not of local and regional interests trying to achieve a balance of provision that matches needs but of the money providers.

They are being given deals that Croesus would envy while the election promises are for more and more government money to be thrown at them rather than the actual service providers.

Sadly, this money will be needed largely to try to contain rising deficits by increasing debt which loads more costs to add to future deficits.

If the expectation of life figures start to fall how will the spinners deal with that?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Six Property

Property, property all is property.  As the promises surge from the media spinners of the political parties the ideal of a property owning population comes very close to the populist and Distributist ideas of a century and more in which Three Acres and a Cow (see Wikipedia) were to be the right of all families.

Note, the word "democracy" is omitted, because in some ways it might not be like that at all as George Orwell observed.  This policy was one promoted by the then Liberal Party of the 1880's and Joseph Chamberlain and one way or another had a substantial following for some time.

See here for why this is relevant to current ideas on so many of us being property owners.  Inevitably, at the time it was a powerful political ploy given the extension of the franchise and the rapid changes occurring in the economy and population structure.

One reason why blogging has been thin recently arises from the history of one branch of the family tree which has led to some heavy work on the primary sources of that period.  It is typical of the experience of so many families and much of the population.

A key feature was that the combination of industrial urbanisation and communications and rapid population growth meant that there had to be a major leaving of the land and the land itself had to become far more productive in many sectors and together with mechanisation this meant large units.

In the present day we are seemingly in a very different world but it is possible that the forces that are in play now may mean that our recent notions of property ownership and distribution are as doomed as the ideal of Three Acres and a Cow was a century ago.

A small example is not far down the road.  Vacant offices are to become flat developments, the spending on this is lauded as economic growth.  But nobody is counting the effect of the 300 white collar and professional jobs lost and the reduction in business activity.  So while property prices keep going up it means that those who can really afford them keeps going down.

What we do have is increasing personal debt and if you are in debt then you are in thrall to the financial agencies providing it. Given the charges and costs of moving house and rising prices then a higher proportion of the population is in hock to the money men and these are the people funding the politicians who like the prelates of old throw out pence to the peasants who are tied to the land.

An essentially servile population largely tied to the land or its property equivalent or dependent on rentals governed and often allocated by a politically entrenched elite with the money flows controlled by an interwoven financial sector is not democracy in any real sense.

Back to the land is all very well but these days most rely on the supermarkets.  In the property market there are winners and losers, we are being tricked into believing we are all the winners but in reality if it does all go wrong then we will all be the losers.

Don't bet on it.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Five

The sweltering heat in the South and East of England arises from a plume of high pressure caused by hot air movement unusual for this time of year.

This is due to a surge of political manifesto's some scientists argue may be more dangerous than even the venting of methane gas.

They affect the nervous systems of politicians in such a way as to cause them to emit vapours that are potentially toxic.

It is easy to diagnose those most affected.  Their immune systems go into overdrive to become manic which affects the voice and the key symptom is to claim that the manifesto's are fully costed.

This derangement is potentially highly dangerous if those affected are left in charge of money, health services, children, armed forces and other sensitive areas.

Under no circumstances should they be taken to Europe or any of the other continents.

Also, they should be avoided to the point of staying away from ballot boxes, poll booths or postal voting forms.

Should you have serious concerns and suffer stress related reactions to TV and radio services covering this period of high tension it might be best to totally ignore it.

A glass of simple fruit juice might steady the nerves in trying to work out what might be true and what might not.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Four

To paraphrase the one bit of William Shakespeare that we all know; Dick The Butchers cri de coeur from Henry 6, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2, 71-78, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the accountants."  Our former Prime Minister, David Cameron declares that he did not go into politics to be a high powered accountant dedicated to balancing the books.

No, but he did go into a government system that uses a variety of accounting techniques to help to work out what the hell is going on and why and then try to deal with the consequences and implications.  It is a long word, administration, or if you prefer management.  Politicians are supposed to do it if elected.

But politicians spend other people's money, actual or created.  Even the poorest give them money, via sales taxes and other general taxation.  The issue is that it is popular to give out money and unpopular to take it away.  As the politicians have family, associates and powerful interests to placate they have to juggle the money to benefit these as well as those who want money spent on them.

Thus accountants who do proper and careful accounting are not wanted voyaging on the ship of state.  They have the nasty habit of bringing bad news, failing to stick to the political story line and worst of all explaining that all the options each have an unwanted downside.

Luckily, there are other accountants available ready and willing to manage the figures to suggest all is well and everything is possible.  By miracles of finance not only is everybody to be made happy but the accountants responsible will be rich beyond any politicians wildest dreams and these can be really wild.

So when Cameron implies that we can do without the accountants he does not mean this, he is saying that it can all be left to the ones he hires to present the figures in the form that the politicians like leaving them to gather in the benefits for their kind of people.

Meanwhile our modern Dick the Butcher has learned to hire his own accountant to avoid paying up the money that Cameron needs to be a winning politician.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Third

The leaders of the ten or twenty leading parties; err, the count had been lost; all solemnly promise that the pledges they make will be acted upon within the first hundred days of their being returned to power.

These pledges are firm promises that their relevant and incidental pledges will conform with the overall contextual promises on which the overarching pledges and promises are based.

I hope this statement makes the position clear.

As for the hundred days the definition of day will be dependent on which planet in our solar system is deemed most relevant, probably Venus.

However, the terms and conditions allow flexibility in determining the solar system which is applied to the issue in question.

I hope this assists with your forward planning.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Second

Hard on the heels of the Inheritance Tax and related giveaways, originally introduced to curb inequalities of wealth, comes the news that leading parties will give free funerals to all.  Not only that but in the spirit of diversity mortality will not mean loss of human rights.

So those wishing to communicate with their once nearest and dearest, or at least relatives will be entitled to claim for the cost of mediums, spiritualists and shamans.  Cameron will assert that he will table the new laws immediately on being returned to office in that Osborne's Treasury already has the relevant expertise.

The Labour Party will take the view that as their policies and practices are already ancient they are the ones to be entrusted.  The Lib Dem's will want to abolish death and replace it with life eternal in the freezer.  The Green's are divided as to whether dust should return to dust or adopt the Parsi methods of disposal.

The SNP view is that an open door policy is the way forward or backward.  In the absence of oil, industry or other forms of work Scotland could welcome the world's deceased.  Also, they would want to repatriate all Scots or their descendants who died abroad.  This would give a huge boost to public spending and the economy.

Jame's Skinner of Skinner's Horse could return from Delhi and John Russell Colvin with his tomb from the Red Fort at Agra could be placed on the lawns of Balmoral Castle as a major tourist attraction overlooking all the wind farms.

Scotland could become the dead centre of the world.