Monday, 30 December 2019

Climate change New Year 2020

The Apocalypse is now. Whether you are in Idlib or the suburbs of Sydney. In Prudhoe it is a beautiful quiet morning and unseasonably warm for sure. In Australia it is our flaming June and it certainly is. There is months more to go. Australian institutions have been notably reluctant to recognise climate change. Just weeks ago they helped mess up the latest intergovernmental climate change conference. This I am certain of and so is the retiring BoE governor. Face up to the reality of the massive change needed in all our lives or we will quite likely burn. A dry summer in Prudhoe surrounded by its beautiful woodlands? That is what is happening to people just like you and me whether in Greece, California or Australia. This is a stark situation and I am amazed that many people will want to start New Year with a fireworks display? The thing is we have to listen to the Scientists and along the way the hearts of Putin, Trump et al have to change. But that is the rub, the hearts of all of us have to change. We need redemption. Recent political processes in Great Britain show the nastiness that lies in the human heart. Honest genuine patriotism can very easily be slid into warped hate filled nationalism. Nationalism will get the world nowhere in the face of where we are near headed. The miracle that is needed is a miracle of the heart and I would commend Jesus Christ and his Gospel and his presence today in the Holy Spirit as a power worth bending the knee too. My daughter gave me for Christmas a beautiful brand new apology for the Christian faith by Alister McGrath. And that reminded me of another book we have, all in the links below. I am an industrial archaeologist who sells out of date bus timetables married to a lovely librarian. Both of us work very hard in developing better public transport which will be essential going forward and where in the last 30 years investment (real betterment not like for like replacement) in North East England has been next to non existent. The famous industrial historian and founder of railway preservation L T C Rolt wrote one of the earliest green books - High Horse Riderless and I read it decades ago. Have a wonderful New Year Holiday and gear up for huge change in 2020!

Friday, 17 May 2019

Mrs May will resign

This became inevitable the moment she really announced she would go. Has there ever been a longer lame duck PM in our history? Ever since she lost the 2017 election and then had a monumental defeat last autumn. Each of the those moments would have been perfect to say I am not in the right job. And she certainly is not because any of networking, compromising, gladhanding skils she certainly does not have and the situation certainly needs them. It seems very likely that the elections next week will be more bloody noses. The only question is will the centre or the far right scent victory? She apparently thinks this will scare Labour and the Tories into voting for what most seem to think is a deal in which we say goodbye to sovereignty handing it and our trade deals to the EU. Is that likely? Will the parting gift at the moment of resignation be "Oh, you are going, we will vote on the fourth go for your plan"? New faces are needed either to make a real Brexit work or to tell the nation, "you know what, you were uttely misled, we cannot do this and if we do you can say goodbye to heavy industry" (heard about British Steel this week?). Sense would say a general election or new referendum will take place and that we will learn from the Irish. Sense however in British politics has been lacking since probably 2014/15?

Monday, 6 May 2019

UN Climate Change report

I feel something should be said about climate change, so much in the news recently. But what? I do not feel I have anything systematic to say. Just a series of questions and points which may add up to something. I cannot say that the UN report or the extinction rebellion protesters have enthused me. Jamming up London's public transport certainly did not. I do not deny the reality of man made global warming. I am very taken by the thought that the world population has doubled since 1970. That cannot be remotely sustainable. For the UK my preference is a population at about the 60 million level and it should be a society which is very self sustaining and biased towards quality public transport. It is no sweat to me to ground flight. But think how many Kenyans or Egyptians would be upset by that? Will airships becomes the answer? I live in rural England and Scotland, a modern clean diesel car seems inescapable until battery power is really tops. And think of the rare metals that go into those batteries. I don't mind imported meat drying up especially from North America. But do I want to live without corned beef? And I certainly really enjoy eating Galloway beef and the other excellent options with no food miles on them that you can enjoy from Northumberland and South West Scotland. It does seem to me that the real action if change is to happen is in South America, the Trophics, Sub Saharan Africa and the Sea. Eliminating plastic from the sea is a no brainer. But telling people not to have babies is not popular. The Chinese tried to and gave up? Should they have given up? I am very relieved we only have had one child yet the animal reaction is to go forth and procreate. Sex needs to be realigned as primarily for pleasure. Many religious groups including Catholicism would struggle with the new message: the world is overfull. Malthus the priest is someone we have to listen to. Go to

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Not left..........................................

I think (deliberately think rather than being certain) we will be participating in the EU elections on 23rd May. Donald Tusk is quite directly asking Britain to change its mind. How many Brits vote and how they vote is likely to be crucial going forward. I certainly will vote.

If it is news to you, the UK has been invited to stay "in" if it wants until Halloween to get things sorted! For May it is simple, that time will be used to get you to vote for the deal she has had on the table all along. However short of a miracle this will require Labour co-operation and in turn does anyone see that happening without a Custom's Union on the table?

The Custom's Union at one level makes enormous sense but it still leaves the UK handing control of large areas of its economy (the 5th largest soon to be 6th after India) to the EU without any influence against the present where we are equal partners in deciding matters. I think you have to have a huge amount of self confidence to wish to be in competition with one of the strongest cartels the world has ever seen instead of being a player shaping it.

So I think mature reflection comes back to being better off in rather than out, that is the achievement everything the post referendum period has shown us that after all, we are better off in. If you agree get to those elections.

Then there is Mrs May. She seems as happy as larry, she thinks it is right to carry on as leader for as long as the neverendingBrexit endures. She is the only guarantor of the delivery of Brexit. What a load of balloney. So much of where we are comes down to her leadership. If I was a Tory party member I would be pressing for her immediate removal forthwith. There is now time for a leadership election. I have argued for her departure for weeks or is it months despite accepting her deal for leaving is the only deal available. I stick by that: May must go.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Bogged down on the 31st March 2019

Okay it is still Brexit : after 10am on Marr, I heard something so revealing from Jane Moore Sun columnist. She was arguing that if we had voted Remain no more chaos would have followed and that by voting Leave the same logic should have been. They were both the yes/no of a binary situation. And that my dear Leaver is where it is all SO wrong. When you remain you vote for the status quo and there de facto you have to know what it means for all the shortcomings. But when you vote leave for a new situation, that is bound to be a hugely different choice. In logic, entering an undefined future is bound to involve far more potential answers than staying in stasis. That is even before you enter the real world that the EU, a massive trading partner of ours was not going anywhere because we said Leave. It is called geography. This refusal to recognise the huge flaws in the project from the outset which Gisella Stewart acknowledged and then correctly blamed on Parliament for signing off the Tory project is why we are where we are: stuck. And if you are Leave please understand that Leave could never, can never and will never mean simply Leave, not unless you wish to be in the mid Atlantic. A huge can of worms was opened in that referendum and we both said then "we're not playing" and I am so glad we did not. To have seriously entertained Leave a large number of white papers which never existed should have been written. And even after the vote, before Article 50 was signed, the studies to say what Leaving would look like could have been done. I cannot comprehend the most basic of mistakes that one after another both Cameron and May made. It seems to me most unlikely the end result is a crash out because as I think Stewart made clear and if not her another contributor, people may have thought they lived in a direct democracy, but they do not, they live in a representative democracy and that was rather ignored. I have no idea how this will end but an election is increasingly being framed, the local canvassing is certainly happening. But how that will make sense without clear remain or leave parties I have no idea. British politics is actually utterly stuck. However the best thing to do is to be patient and not advocate anything precipitate for that route brings suffering. After all the economy and the jobs market seem to plough on.