Fashionable Economics

by craig on February 23, 2013 2:21 pm in Uncategorized

The ludicrous thing was that Britain had a AAA rating in the first place.

It is four years since I started pointing out the blindlingly obvious, that quantitive easing would cause inflation and devaluation. Four years ago this blog had far fewer readers than it does now, and I am quite proud of that piece, so do read it.

At the time it was a deeply unfashionable view – in part because it was New Labour doing it, so all the BBC and Guardianista media were backing quantitive easing. Even when I wrote this two years ago:

Inflation as measured by the retail price index remains stubbornly at 5.2%, despite all the obvious deflationary pressures on the economy and continuing weak consumer demand. Strangely, the attempts to explain this being offered by media pundits all miss out quantitive easing, or to use a more old-fashioned term, printing money.

It is deeply unfashionable to hold to the view that simply to create more money reduces the value of the money already in circulation in relation to the supply of available goods; but that is what all history tells us (the benchmark example being the rampant inflation after Spanish opening up of the New World greatly increased the amount of gold coinage in circulation). Common sense tells us that too. Otherwise we could simply solve many of our problems by printing another couple of trillion pounds.

A couple of years ago, I suggested “Enough quantitive easing and we can eventually get back to stagflation”. We are just about there. Why have none of the experts noticed?

nobody much agreed.

Fashion in economics is fascinating. Now every financial pundit on the BBC and Sky has noticed that quantitive easing causes devaluation and inflation. Suddenly they have remembered that if you create a lot of something, it decreases its unit value.

Hey, but the banks have the money that was created, and bank bonuses are back to normal. So all is fine.

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192 Comments

  1. This is what you get when you’re a country under occupation by the Empire Of The Bankers. Its a singular empire – it has no borders, spans no defined territory, has no military, but it does have all the money!

  2. Hurray! All is fine! …..wait a minute – do I detect sarcasm?

    In all seriousness the Economics of the world are so screwed at the moment that in most newsrooms it’s all populist economics that makes the news. The only questions asked is “who can make the shitstorm outside sound the sweetest in the nicest possible sound bytes?” Truth tellers are deemed alarmists and get might be lucky to be acknowledged years later when the inevitable question of ‘What went wrong” is asked and answers are inevitably ignored once again.

  3. “the banks have the money that was created”

    Yes. It wouldn’t be so bad if the money was spent on something useful, like investing in infrastructure or maintaining public services. Printing money is fine if it’s done as an alternative to borrowing rather than as well as. Borrowing involves private banks doing the printing then charging us interest for the service. It’s a monumental scam.

    “has no military”

    Not true. It has the military forces of the USA, the EU and Israel at its disposal.

  4. Surely QE isn’t about fixing anything? Just papering over the bad debt for now until… Until what – that’s the real question.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWg6CyVKk0

    Robert Hirsch – The Impending World Oil Shortage: Learning from the past

    The US is doing its best to fill itself with more holes with speculative investment propelling ever increasing drilling rates but the Red Queen problem of running faster to stand still will catch up with them and the industry knows it even if some investors don’t.

    Ben Bernanke wrote academic papers on the 70s oil crisis and how to keep the economy afloat during oil shocks.

    Hirsch doesn’t seem to think shale will save us. Despite being one of the world’s leading experts on fusion he doesn’t seem t think that will save us either,

  5. Jimmy Carter Crisis of Confidence Speech 1979 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCOd-qWZB_g – where Carter sets a new way forward. This speech is a must watch even if you recall seeing it a long time ago, watch it again.

    Instead Reagan and Thatcher were elected and the North Sea and Prudhoe Bay were pumped as rapidly as possible and as cheaply as possible and the resources squandered. And now here we are.

    The key decisions that led us here were made decades ago.

  6. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/carter-crisis/

    We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

    President Jimmy Carter

  7. Iceland had the right approach. They let the banks default and sent the bankers responsible to prison.

    Their economy is recovering, ours is sinking.

  8. Was just about to ask about Iceland. Their economy doing as well as I hearing or mostly seeing in memes on Facebook? If it is really should be getting more mainstream coverage.

  9. “Was just about to ask about Iceland. Their economy doing as well as I hearing or mostly seeing in memes on Facebook? If it is really should be getting more mainstream coverage.”

    Their credit ratings are still worse than Britain but they are rising while ours are falling.

    Plus they have the satisfaction of knowing those responsible are behind bars not awarding themselves 12% pay rises and huge bonuses out of tax payer’s money.

  10. Rachel Reeves is the shadow treasury secretary. She has a Masters from the London School of Economics and worked as an economist at the Bank of England and as a banker at HBOS. She has always approved of Quantitative Easing:

    http://labourlist.org/2009/03/labour-must-challenge-the-tories-on-quantitative-easing/

    She is being heavily promoted in the media, and will probably be Chancellor of the Exchequer if Labour win in 2015.

    So there is no end in sight.

  11. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 5:58 pm

    Iran has the right idea. They hang their fraudulent bankers.

    ‘Fashion’ is a sort of zeitgeist. Groupthink is preferable to independence because no one wants to be labeled an ‘outlier’, or a pain-in-the-ass, or out-of-fashion.

    The only reason currency exists is because people believe it has value. The Fed and IMF have been authorizing the slurry of printing to keep the boats afloat. When some start to jump ship, it undermines the public fallacy. Just like the Dot.com boom at the turn of the century, our WW economic system s based on belief, without any genuine foundation of collateral to back up the paper and dross metal symbolism.

    The world economy is but a shadow. It has little substance to support it’s phantom menace.

  12. Dr Euan Mearns, Aberdeen University/The Oil Drum

    Unconventional Oil and Gas: A Game Changer?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XQOS4Sokyg

    [Short summary – no it isn’t]

    Or a funny Youtube video if you prefer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgzMZSmCDfs

  13. @ Craig,
    “It is four years since I started pointing out the blindlingly obvious, that quantitive easing would cause inflation and devaluation. Four years ago this blog had far fewer readers than it does now, and I am quite proud of that piece, so do read it.”
    Printing money and releasing it into circulation without:-
    1. Co-relation of the money supply to gold or other precious metal will cause inflation and a devaluation over time; and
    2. Production in a physical sense or services that earn money being absent or declining will not find an answer in quantitative easing. This merely kicks the can down the road and the problem is greater when next the same underlying economic issues are to be confronted again.
    America has been trying the easing formula, but has one advantage over all other countries , and has been able to do this for a while. The US dollar as the world’s reserve currency permits this temporary recklessness.
    Zimbabwe does not have that privilege and the consequences of recklessly printing money and the immediate results are there for all to see.
    Over time, with a contracted manufacturing sector and too much money chasing non-produced domestic goods and services – not surprisingly, the consequence is inflation.

  14. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 7:01 pm

    Re Iceland : several commenters have stated that bankers in Iceland have received prison terms. Is that really correct – can anyone link to a source for this claim, please?

    The former PM was tried on a number of charges but was only found guilty of (a minor) one, I think, and didn’t get a prison sentence.

  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland_banking_crisis#Convictions

    Baldur Guðlaugsson, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, was sentenced to two years probation by the District Court of Reykjavík for insider trading. The case was remitted to the Supreme Court of Iceland which upheld the ruling.[167]
    Aron Karlsson was sentenced to 2 years in prison by the District Court of Reykjavík for defrauding Arion Bank in real estate dealings.[168]
    Lárus Welding, CEO of Glitnir, and Guðmundur Hjaltason, Managing Director of Corporate Banking of Glitnir, were sentenced to 9 months in prison by the District Court of Reykjavík for a major breach of trust. Out of the 9 months, 6 are probationary for 2 years.[169]

  16. Habbabkuk, I have a question regarding your translation, here:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/02/the-appalling-sir-daniel-bethlehem/#comment-395582

  17. To think how bad it would be without North Sea oil. The reason for the deficit of course is inflated public sector salaries and pensions – thats where the money goes. Six months sick on full pay etc. £million payoffs for NHS reorganisation at the mo’. All that hasn’t been touched.

  18. The funny side. We have to laugh because otherwise we would cry.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-22/late-friday-humor-quantitative-easing-simplified

  19. “To think how bad it would be without North Sea oil. The reason for the deficit of course is inflated public sector salaries and pensions – thats where the money goes. Six months sick on full pay etc. £million payoffs for NHS reorganisation at the mo’. All that hasn’t been touched.”

    Here is a picture to put it in perspective.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/nov/27/billion-pound-gram-inormation-beautiful#zoomed-picture

  20. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    @ Clark re. translation :

    from the Shorter 0ED, 1973 : “To plead : to address the court as an advocate on behalf of either party”

    Perhaps “plead” should be “pleaded” for the past tense?

    Your alternative translations are OK as well, especially the first one (“represented”)

  21. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    @ Clark re. jailing Icelandic bankers :

    Thanks for that info.

    If we take out Aron Karlsson (because his case appears rto have been one of straightforward fraud and not specifically linked to the general econolmic and financial mismanagement), we have a grand total of 3 individuals sentenced, of which only 3 actually did time (a grand total of 6 months between them). Moreover, your source doesn’t mention the really big beasts – eg, David Oddsson (former PM) and those dashing young banking super-tycoons (eg the Kaupting Bank boss)with the unpronounceable names.

    All in all, not enough to justify FRED’s comment at 16h26 “….and sent the bankers responsible to prison…” and FRED’s further comment at 17h32 “…the satisfaction of knowing those responsible are behind bars…”.

    Poor old Fred, he never gets anything quite right, does he. Probably thinking too much about Lord McAlpine to focus properly on the task in hand.

  22. Even funnier is this BoE video which attempts to explain how the prestidigitators do their trick.

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/pages/inflation/qe/video.aspx

    Will the arrival of Mr Carney from Canada in July change anything? I put a search for ‘printing money’ on this document which contains his answers to the Treasury Committee on 7th February 2013 but I got nil response!

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/other/treasurycommittee/other/carneytsc.pdf

    Remember he has been in the UK before when he worked for Goldman Sachs.
    Masters of the Eurozone graphic http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2012/04/Goldman%20Europe%20New.jpg

    Mrs Windsor checked the stock in December before the new boy takes over.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/12/14/article-2247578-167F9E1E000005DC-624_634x394.jpg

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    @ Fred himself (17h32)

    “Their credit ratings are still worse than Britain (sic) but they are rising while ours are falling”.

    Technically correct, but a silly comment to make. And meaningless :

    Iceland’s credit rating was at rock bottom and there is nowhere for it to go but up.

    THe UK’s rating has (just – and by one of the three big agencies) been lowered one notch. One should therefore say “it has fallen” and not “it is falling”, which gives the impression that Fred has a crystal ball and knows that there will be further falls. (BTW, this happened to the US and France without affecting their borrowing costs).

    Stick to four letter words, Freddie boyo, you’re better at them.

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    23 Feb, 2013 - 9:44 pm

    The Queen is probably trying to find the dirty rats hiding amoungst the crates.

    I hope she will be succesful and then I think Prince Harry should have a go at them.

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! ( get rid of traitorous vermin!)

  25. Fred – there’s a standard pie chart here.

    http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/budget_pie_ukgs.php

    £127.2 billion goes on pensions.

    The NHS gets £104 billion. About 60% of that goes directly on pay. Much on the rest goes on buying services – where again pay will be a large proportion, so the actual figure will be higher. It includes 2 GPs who got about £475,000 each. As I said before they’re making payoffs of up to £1,000,000 during the reorganisation – which is 4x the statutory mininum – giving money away for zilch.

    Education gets £91.7 billion. I would guess the pay element is larger than in the NHS, but I couldn’t find a figure. One primary school headmaster earned £276,000, which is absud. Pay will also be a massive part of other departments spending.

    £47 billion goes on interest.

  26. “Poor old Fred, he never gets anything quite right, does he. Probably thinking too much about Lord McAlpine to focus properly on the task in hand.”

    What an utterly sad little shit you are.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-07/iceland-court-sentences-ex-byr-savings-executives-to-jail.html

  27. “Councils spend £155m on taxis to ferry children to school”. Per year. The public services conduct themselves with such frugality. Not.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9888482/Councils-spend-155m-on-taxis-to-ferry-children-to-school.html

  28. “Councils spend £155m on taxis to ferry children to school”. Per year. The public services conduct themselves with such frugality. Not.

    Well to be fair the government is doing their best to save money where they can.

    http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2012/11/06/work-capability-assessment-and-day-of-remembrance-early-day-motion-687-sponsored-by-john-mcdonnell-mp/

  29. The money system is all smoke screen. Money and wealth is bullshit, our selves in society arw so much more in society than a meaningless concept that is money.

    We are focusing on the wrong kind of wealth.

    Compassion, durability, ethos, hard working good samaritan.

    Money is Bullshit.

    Have a nice day tomorrow.

  30. “Iceland’s credit rating was at rock bottom and there is nowhere for it to go but up.”

    Not quite. It could stay the same.

    The point is that it’s hardly “meaningless” that Iceland, in taking a very different economic course to UK, is now improving whilst the UK is still declining.

    That seems quite significant, actually.

  31. “Money is Bullshit.”

    Bat guano has certainly been used as a currency, but more generally I think it’s best not to use something that has utilitarian value, or is perishable, as a means of exchange.

    Money, as distinct from a currency or means of exchange, ought really to be a store of value, and in this you’re absolutely correct.

    In many circumstances, one can indeed see bullshit providing an excellent store of value.

  32. English Knight

    23 Feb, 2013 - 11:37 pm

    http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock

    So to whom is this $50t debt due and whats the interest?

  33. “So to whom is this $50t debt due and whats the interest?”

    Public debt, that is money borrowed by the government to run the country not to finance a trade deficit, is mostly owed to ourselves. If the government needs more money than they take in taxes they issue bonds which they promise to pay back with interest at some time in the future. The Bank of England buys the bonds which then count as assets allowing them to print more money. When the bonds mature the government can just print more bonds to get the money to redeem them but because there is interest to pay the amount we are in debt will always be going up.

    Who gets the interest? Well as a private company the bank pays taxes on their profits then as major shareholders the government gets 25% of what’s left in dividends.

  34. English Knight

    24 Feb, 2013 - 12:40 am

    BTW – Sovereign debt has TRIPLED from $18t (accumulated over say 100 years)in 2002,to $52t in the 10 YEARS to 2012?!! Something is seriously amiss?

  35. Of course the BoE pension scheme, of which the majority of the MPC are members, have bet the farm on index linked securities. Surprise surprise. Guido Fawkes has pointed this out frequently; Max Keiser has mentioned it too.

  36. Sad to say that the kind of economic system which embraces and relies on QE is at core a life-destructive system. By this I mean that if the goal of an economy and economic relations from the local to regional to global reaches is to provide a better life for all – therein lies the contradiction which when analysed reveals the destructive processes of our economic system.
    Professor Schumpeter’s famed phrase is “creative destruction” . It encapsulates the nature of the beast. War and destruction clear the ground for the creation of new wealth.
    We over-produce; poach from North to South; create domestically skewed distributions of incomes and welfare – then call the whole dysfunctional process – democracy.
    One may care to weigh for a moment the reality of an economy which is failing domestically and the co-relations to the failed or lost ( or assuredly lost via horrendous mutually destructive) wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and then the cross-hair next war – Iran. The amoral constants will continue to unfold – unless people become sufficiently aware to reveal, then act on ( against) the power brokers of the life-destructive system which continues to direct us as a species.
    It is one thing for bankers and financiers to raid pension funds, mortgage portfolios and every accessible source of accumulated capital that can be plundered ; but, then when these processes are the handmaiden to the golden parachute bail-outs and payoffs to the very gangsters who brought the crisis to this point – one, if not preoccupied with considerations about the impact of domestic life-destructive processes – might shed a tear or two for the military equivalent projected in places like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and maybe soon ( Iran?).
    Where are life sustaining processes and practices to be found?

  37. ” There will be growth in the spring.”

  38. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 8:04 am

    re. Iceland

    @ Fred : I stand partially corrected with the other two individuals you linked to, thank you.

    @ Herbie : OK, it could stay still but experience shows that these things don’t on the whole. Iceland is also (re)starting from a rock bottom base.

    Interesting thread on the whole.

  39. @ Jives There will be growth in the spring….

    Green shoots is a term used colloquially to indicate signs of economic recovery during an economic downturn. It was first used in this sense by Norman Lamont, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, during the 1991 Recession. At the time, Chancellor Lamont was criticized for “insensitivity”.

    The phrase was used again by Baroness Vadera, former Business Minister of the UK in January, 2009 to refer to signs of economic recovery during the late-2000s recession, again to criticism from the media and opposition politicians.

    The U.S. media started to use the phrase to describe domestic economic conditions in February 2009 when in New York Times quoted Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase as saying, “It’s too early to get excited, but I think there are a couple of green shoots that say we’re not going down as heavily in the first quarter [of 2009] as we were in the fourth quarter [of 2008].”

    The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, made the first public use of the phrase by a Fed official in a March 15, 2009 interview with CBS 60 Minutes. Since February and March 2009, it has been used increasingly in the media and by a number of commentators to refer to positive economic data and statistics during the late-2000s (decade) recession.

    :)

  40. “BTW – Sovereign debt has TRIPLED from $18t (accumulated over say 100 years)in 2002,to $52t in the 10 YEARS to 2012?!! Something is seriously amiss?”

    It’s personal debt that is the really worrying one. £54,000 per household. The government happily let the shyster bankers lend cheap Chinese money to the population at high interest and now we, the people are £1.5 trillion in the red.

    They cripple the economy with their greed then steal the benefits of the disabled then send hired thugs and bullies round to illegally throw people on to the street and take their homes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPKOa-5GPPg

    Now, despite the misery caused in America, they are allowing the pay day loan sharks to operate in Britain robbing the desperate.

    Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    And as through your life you travel,
    Yes, as through your life you roam,
    You won’t never see an outlaw
    Drive a family from their home.

    Woody Guthrie

  41. “Fred : I stand partially corrected with the other two individuals you linked to, thank you.”

    No, if you had stuck to the facts you would have been corrected but as you decided to make derisive personal remarks about me you stand totally humiliated.

  42. Je You speak of public spending and baldly stated, category by category, the sums do look alarming.

    However, the expenditure should be compared to the income* from taxes, which in 2011/12 was £550.6bn which is 36% of GDP.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/25/tax-receipts-1963

    *Revenue relating to activities in the current year, comprising mainly direct and indirect taxes, but also including social security contributions, interest, dividends, capital taxes and profits from trading activities. Proceeds from the sale of assets are not included.

    PS What has the cost of taking children to school by taxi got to do with the price of fish? School buses have been abolished in Surrey. Most of the children concerned are those handicapped, with special needs or living in remote places.

    The Tory types in Surrey County Council abolished a perfectly good school bus service some years back. The Tory troughers at Waverley Borough Council have just voted themselves a 94% increase in councillors’ allowances. Surrey CC have raised their portion of council tax by 1.99%, as has my local council and the police. They chose these percentages to avoid the ridiculous Pickles referendum ie any rise in council tax over 2% triggers a referendum.

  43. Charles Melville

    24 Feb, 2013 - 10:18 am

    The idea that Quantitative Easing is inflationary is predicated on the fallacious arguments of the discredited Quantity Theory of Money. Quantitative Easing is basically an asset swap, and it is designed to increase commercial bank reserves in the mistaken belief that increasing reserves will enable increased bank lending. So it’s a silly policy. See Quantitative Easing 101
    http://bilbo/economicoutlook.net/blog?p=661
    A far better policy would be for the Government to spend directly into the economy? Would you regard that policy also as inflationary? Sigh, it’s as if Keynes had never lived. The progressive views of this blog need to correlated with an enlightened view of macroeconomic policy.

  44. Charles Melville,

    It is the idea that no matter how much money you print, it does not affect its unit value, which is nuts.

  45. Charles Melville

    24 Feb, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Correction : the link to Quantitative Easing 101 should read:
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=661
    Sorry about that.

  46. A few years ago I bought a book on European history by an ex-German bloke (whose name I forget) and was rather startled by his deadpan description of the C20th as a period when authority was removed from representative assemblies as fast as the franchise to elect people to them widened. I haven’t been startled since, except by realising how long it took me to get the point. The bankers haven’t got politicians over a barrel, they are the politicians and have been made so by politicians who don’t want democracy getting in the way of rule.

    It doesn’t matter to rich bastards that inflation, unemployment, the end of (derisory) social security, ill-health, premature death and negligence flow from their decisions, because that’s where their money comes from. Economic collapse for us, is a tax which is levied to benefit them.

  47. The principle of quantitative easing is sound enough, the Bank of England buys assets from the banks and increases the amount of money they have to put into the economy.

    Where the system falls down is when the assets they buy are bundles of mortgages on ramshackle log cabins sinking into a swamp somewhere in Mississippi and when the bankers decide not to put the money into the economy but instead give themselves huge pay rises and buy out other failing banks.

  48. @ Mary,

    Sorry im not really clued in on economics.My ‘growth in the spring’ quote was from the Peter Sellers film Being There.

    I’d recommend it if you aint seen it. ;-)

  49. Charles Melville

    24 Feb, 2013 - 10:54 am

    @Craig,
    Yes, it seems counterintuitive. But it is the Quantity Theory of Money that is nuts. That theory mixes up stocks and flows, and doesn’t get the dimensions of the quantities right. See Joan Robinson (1982) “Shedding Darkness” Cambridge J.of Economics 6(3) 295-6. Getting stocks and flows consistent is important, if one is to understand the effects of macroeconomic policy. Please look up Bill Mitchell’s work on bilbo.economicoutlook.net or Randall Wray on New Economic Perspectives at Kansas. Shed light on economics too. Start from the notion that Income = Spending.

  50. Deliciously, as we speak Labour activists are handing out leaflets saying that an independent Scotland will lose its AAA status.

  51. We know this zero intrinsic, state issued, legal tender, paper money system is hanging in collapse as inflation creeps relentlessly higher (money is just a broken promise).

    That collapse of the same fiat (let it be so) money system happened in china around 10 AD – read here:

    http://www.financialsensearchive.com/fsu/editorials/ramsden/2004/0617.html

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon explains how this dirty mendacious and nasty money system benefits the 1% few, their puppets, their launderers, their crooks and their facilitators, while screwing and pilfering the rest of us pawns (99%), trying to live between the yanks and jerks of a constantly shifting control lease.

  52. Bill Mitchell is a star but he can get mind-scramblingly technical at times. The following article, entitled “Taxpayers do not fund anything”, is as good a place as any to start IMO:

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=9281

  53. Money in itself does not represent an intrinsic value, sitting there in bank vaults as collateral, only when it is exchanged for goods and services will it redeem its value.

    Inflation shadows quantitative easing and in a world of diminished resources can quickly get out of hand, be the result of vigorous trading in limited resources.

    The increased neo colonialism in Africa is down to the pressures on resources, these same pressures can catapult inflation as the richest can and will pay most for goods, if they really want them and can’t get them anywhere else.

    Metals for example, will not go down much in price, maybe readily available iron ore will as there is large recycling base form it, but most other metals will see a rise in price as they get used up with recycling, despite decades of warning noises, still in its infancy, especially in this country were this revenue stream has not really been discovered yet, i.e google enhanced landfill mining.

    Watch the Tory’s great trick, they will paste economic success/petrol prices/referendums/anything on their successful re-election, you can already see the little snippets appear now before the County council elections in May, when they are facing obliteration for their lack of candour, democracy, integrity and adherence to their policy promises.

    Loosing a fake AAA is a little stick being waved at Osborne for daring to steer Britain away from Europe, the US needs its economic lever boy here in Europe and it will use its influences to strafe us into line. All that immense love in this special relationship is really coming out now…..

  54. “It is the idea that no matter how much money you print, it does not affect its unit value, which is nuts.”

    It’s not how much that matters it’s what for that matters.

    A pound coin is basically a share in Great Britain PLC. If a company issues new shares to build a new factory to meet increased demand then it isn’t going to affect the value of existing shares because the value of the company’s assets has increased in proportion.

    If a company issues new shares and uses the money for staff wages and to pay the electricity bill then the value of existing shares is going to fall.

    The most worrying aspect about the financial markets is the number of pieces of paper being bought and sold which do not represent anything of value in the real world. They already have a value greater than all the currency in the world and they were created out of nothing. When that bubble bursts we are all Zimbabwe.

  55. I’m sure you’re right Craig, but I wouldn’t like to say. I hope I’m not dim. Not bragging, but I got into a Russell Group Uni and was an A-grade PGCE student at the same institution. I read books, I think I know stuff, although I’m no genius and not the most articulate of trumpets. But bleeding economics?! I’ve got an ‘O’ level in it, but trying to find a serious introductory text to read that doesn’t either deliver me into a permanent vegetative state or indoctrinate me into the neoliberal cult is proving something of a challenge.

    Recommendations from any economically literate folk?

  56. “Money in itself does not represent an intrinsic value, sitting there in bank vaults as collateral, only when it is exchanged for goods and services will it redeem its value.”

    Hence my interest those local currency schemes which use a rapidly depreciating note in order to ensure that it is passed around quickly before it becomes worthless. I’ve always suspected that somewhere at the back of conventional economics lurks some sort of perpetual motion machine. It can look for periods of time as if it’s working, but it always winds down and stops eventually. QE is an impetetus that might kick it into apparent life for a while, but it will stop again soon.

  57. Vronsky

    Thanks – that cheered me up (about the Labour activists). i hope people in Scotland will get the message when UKIP wipe the floor with New Labour in Eastleigh too.

  58. Anyway, chaps and chappesses, no need to worry. St Vince of Cable says the UK’s loss of its its AAA credit rating is “largely symbolic” and there are “positive” signs for the economy despite the difficult climate.

    The business secretary agreed that attempts to reduce the deficit while boosting growth were proving “tricky”.

    But he said the measures were “working slowly” and rejected calls for the pace of cuts to be slowed or accelerated.

    So that’s OK Vince. Carry on with the quicksteps and waltzs why don’t you!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21564391

  59. Please buy local and boycott Amazon, even if it costs you a few more quid. Would you like to work in one of it’s ‘fulfillment centers’?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/amazon-used-neonazi-guards-to-keep-immigrant-workforce-under-control-in-germany-8495843.html

  60. Excellent post Craig, and interesting discussion.

    Looking at the current average borrowing rates as a gauge of health of each country is a massive oversimplification. What you are missing is that none of the EU countries are buying their own bonds and so artificially depressing interest rates. They are not allowed to do that and are being lambasted by bankers and right wing politicians as a result. In the long term it may actually save the EU once QE is abandoned in US/UK.

    This QE action is being hailed as some holy grail when it fact its just making things worse, although I do admit there seemed to be little or no other choice. As long as the Bank of England buy UK Treasury gilts(bonds) then it has a depressing effect on Government interest rates.

    Higher demand lowers interest rates that need to be paid . However as we deploy more currency we are essentially weakening the pound. This cannot go on forever. Think about that whole process.

    That is why the pound is collapsing against other currencies, if we use the rather primitive analogy that each pound is a share in UK PLC then we’re just issuing more shares, thus diluting those already in circulation’s value. Thus the pound is being silently devalued.

    In Scotland the AAA rating is a problem on 2 fronts, firstly that the Unionist’s made a big deal about it affecting Scotland and now seem to have done a volte face in that its no big deal….

  61. Charles Melville

    24 Feb, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    @ Yakoub

    Try Randall Wray’s “Modern Money Theory” (Palgrave 2012).

    This is written in a straightforward way without maths.
    He makes it clear that no-one has an income until someone spends.

    If you have a good grounding in maths, try Wynne Godley “Monetary Economics” (2007).

  62. The UKIP woman at Eastleigh, Diane James, is not all she seems. She is one of the Waverley Borough Councillors who have just voted themselves a 94% increase in their allowance. She is also racist like the Tory woman who has been parachuted in from Benfleet, Essex.

    – She (James) works in healthcare and campaigns against “the creeping privatisation of the NHS orchestrated by the Conservatives without an electoral mandate”.

    – She’s not local but has a history of doing well in elections from a standing start. As an independent, she won a council seat previously held by a Tory for 18 years

    – On her first day of campaigning, she caused controversy by calling for a temporary halt to immigration to stop Romanians coming to the UK and committing crimes.

    – She has a giant shop on Eastleigh high street and billboard van promoting her candidacy for Ukip

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9870260/The-Eastleigh-by-election-candidates.html

    ‘Works in heathcare’ means that she is a director of this £multi million venture capital outfit, Proven Health Vct Plc.

    It is an ‘Active business incorporated in England & Wales on 20th December 2000. Their business activity is recorded as Activities Of Venture And Development Capital Companies. Proven Health Vct Plc is run by 4 current members. and 1 company secretary. It has no share capital. It is not part of a group.

    The latest Annual Accounts submitted to Companies House for the year up to 31/01/2012 reported ‘cash at bank’ of £1,772,000, ‘liabilities’ worth £133,000, ‘net worth’ of £8,485,000 ‘assets’ worth £3,667,000.’ (Company Check website) and is also a director of a management consultancy.

    ~~~

    Furthermore, UKIP are a shambles. Marta Andreasen the UKIP MEP who attempted to expose the fraud in the EU has defected to the Tory grouping.

    She said of Farage, “Unfortunately, their party leader treats any views other than his own with contempt. Ukip is his plaything to mould and shape in any way he sees fit, regardless of the views of others, myself included. His actions, surrounding himself with an old boys club of like-minded sycophants, are dictatorial in sharp contrast to those of David Cameron, who has shown he can listen, adapt and do what is right for the country, not just for personal gain.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-mep-marta-andreasen-defects-to-the-tories-and-launches-attack-on-nigel-farage-8507960.html

    Andreasen’s new choice of party and her view of Agent Cameron made me smile.

  63. It’s also ludicrous that anyone pays attention to these ‘raters’. But, people do pay attention. And by ‘people’ I mean ‘people who should, and do, know far far better. So, that’s journalists and politicians.

    Credit-rating agencies are a scam. Perhaps once they had a function, but now they are just tools of neoliberalism. And, what’s especially depressing is how obvious it all is. We aren’t talking about faked moon-landings here. The total ineptitude of credit-rating agencies is a matter of public record, and it’s being going on for at least a decade. I say ‘ineptitude’, because I’m being kind. I suspect blatant corruption, blackmail and fraud – but that’s not on public record. What is on public record, though, is bad enough. The agencies have, for a decade, been wrong about almost everything. One may ask why …

  64. “Thanks – that cheered me up (about the Labour activists). i hope people in Sctland will get the message when UKIP wipe the floor with New Labour in Eastleigh too.”

    Actually I don’t think it’s wiping the floor they’ve got planned for them.

    https://twitter.com/andrewjdtaylor/status/304593081649479683/photo/1

  65. Good post Brendan.

  66. Thanks for that little video of Melenchon, Mark, very interesting to see how much mainstream socialism on the Continent has taken up the green localisation and energy agendas.
    It is quiet momentous for me, having left the young socialists in 1973, when the blueprint for survival made me join ‘die Gruenen’ in Germany, having realised that any socially responsible movement can only advocate subsidiarity, decentralisation of power, as well as circular economic patterns based on what is sustainable, recycling economics to a very large extend.

    But the political realities have panned out rather different as decentralising power and living responsible within such a model is an alien concept to all those who have grown up in a consumer society and you will find that many Greens drive to their annual Conference because its cheaper than the train.

    But what was said in the video can be enacted by any political party, any Government should introduce goals and targets, even this minority party coalition of establishment/status quo merchants.

    Together with industry,talks on how to change production processes and allow for recycled materials to be re-used, percentage targets, to radically change the linear model/throw away model. For that we should introduce MSR reactor technology, ideally with France and others, safely cooperate, urgently, and start burning our nuclear stockpiles for energy, the only responsible thing to do for future generations, Clark has convinced me.

    Add to this some precautionary/ job and expertise positive measures, working on the assumption/preparing for sea level rises in the east of England, to safeguard/buy time, for our estuaries, the Fen-lands, were some 5% of our fresh food supplies originate, but also the Thames estuary, the Blackwater and Orwell estuaries, there’s some serious public investment needed, jobs to be created and Dutch expertise thought.

    A Wash barrier and lock system would generate enough tidal power to scrap two nuclear power stations, that is regular power.
    I’m sure the insurance companies paying out billions for flood damage would agree.

    But I digress.

    BTW. Non of these ideas have copyrights and can be picked up by any Government flunky in need of brownie points, please do. And any further questions as top how to carry out the work in an ecologically sound, least impacting way, don’t hesitate to ask.

  67. @ Charles Melville,

    ” A far better policy would be for the Government to spend directly into the economy? Would you regard that policy also as inflationary? Sigh, it’s as if Keynes had never lived. The progressive views of this blog need to correlated with an enlightened view of macroeconomic policy.”

    I thought that when Obama was elected he would have done precisely that – heavily increased domestic spending on public projects – much as FDR did before him. Instead he continued with military over-expenditure and wars.

  68. The problem is neither printing money nor inflated executive pay it is theft of money by the bankers to purchase Zionist foreign policy with the money Thatcher and Brown gave them control over and freedom to move around the world. The power to steal was granted freely to the bankers by these politicians even though it was perfectly obvious what they were doing.

    The bankers were given these powers, supposedly on trust ha ha! on the ridiculous argument that high responsibility deserves high pay. We should hang these two PMs if we hang anybody. But the bankers had already blackmailed them so even if it was you or me in the same position we would have done the same as them if they had blackmailed us the same.

    The reason why we are strugging as an economy is that there has been no quantitive easing. Real cash has been stolen and replaced by QE cash. If the real money and the printed junk were both present and available the economy would be on fast zoom forward as technology accelerates at high speed.

    Unfortunately, Craig and the management class of this country are in problems if they talk about Zionist theft/blackmail and alternative foreign policy. ‘I can do more from within the system than outside it’ is the usual cheerful refrain. Those inside the gate who don’t want to be there are called gatekeepers. If they blow the whistle on Zionist fraud, they do not even get to live to see another day. Craig’s collar was felt and released again.

    One has to ask oneself why our foreign policy is different in the cases of Saddam, Gaddafi and Assad. The BBC was repeating yesterday in our own correspondent the lie that the Alawi sect is part of Islam. It only pretends. Its followers are numerous in Turkey. It is part of the source of the rift in Islam between Sunni and Shi’a, because none of the ideas of Shi’ism have any foundation in the Qur’an.

    The Alawis are the (not necessarily ethnic) remnant of polytheistic Jews who had absorbed the polytheism of East and West by trade, that were destroyed in Jerusalem by the Romans by Allah’s decree in the first century AD. The Alawi are not a sect of Islam nor even of Judaism. They are a sect of Classical pre-Christian polytheism, and still existing Eastern polytheism.

    Alawis and Shi’ism are part of the ancient religion which preceded the reforms brought by Jesus pbuh to the Children of Israel. I am not saying this in order to repeat the claim the BBC repeats again and again that there will be a genocide of the Alawis and the Iranians in the months to come. The real struggle is between A/ Deviance : Alawis, Turkey, Shi’a, the West, India, China, Russia, Sunni Political Islam on the one side and B/Integrity : Those who struggle for justice or believe in God’s Laws and who believe that politics is all lying. The genocide that is looming is the Masonic New World Order destroying the freedom of the world’s population’s hearts and minds.

    The point I am making is that the philosophical allegiances of all Syria’s neighbours, the Classical West ( ancient Rome ), Israel, the current regime in Turkey from southern Turkey, Iran, Shi’a Iraq, the atheist post-Soviet bloc and the atheist Chinese bloc are all with Assad and the Alawis.

    The oil-economic powerhouses of Sunni Islam have paid for material assistance and mercenaries from the above list, for their Sunnis to fight a jihad against Assad who is one of the above list himself. When this war started I thought Assad was just one of the dodgy Muslim rulers which is how he portrays himself and how the BBC still portrays him. In fact, Syria is a battleground of ideas between GNWO and spiritual Reformation. Assad is a very small pawn.

    There always has been a conflict inside the Jewish faith between those who want to redeem themselves by greater adherence to their religion and those who want to achieve success through Macciavellian means, ( bank robbery ). There is a similar rift in Islam. Saudi Islam is also divided between those on the dodgy side of the equation because they want to achieve power through politics and those who want change by the Qur’anic method of self-reform.

    In this practising Judaism is closer to the philosophy of Global Sunni Islam. What we are seeing in Syria is a war between the political minds of the world and the spiritual minds, which includes those who fight for justice and human rights. It is a battle for control of the world between a global alliance of deviance and a global alliance of integrity

    You non-believers who are fighting for justice and truth are paradoxically on God’s side while the Muslim political collaborators/ ahzab are against Him. The important issue is not the genocide of a small ethnic group, the Alawis, but the heart and mindocide of all free honest human beings.

  69. The content of the last sentence of this Guardian article filled me with disgust and disbelief. How callous of this young blood.

    ‘Not all students have immersed themselves in this debate. The Oxford Student newspaper reported that a member of the Bullingdon Club was fined for setting off a firework at a nightclub earlier this month. According to the paper, the student was accepted into the club after an initiation ceremony which included burning a £50 note in front of a tramp.’

    The article is about the furore following Galloway’s walk out from a debate and on whether Oxford will vote to join the BDS campaign against Israel. I think we can guess what the result of that vote at Oxford will be.

    Oxford in uproar over union motion to boycott Israel
    Threatening emails, accusations of racism and walkout by George Galloway follow motion at students’ union
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/feb/23/oxford-union-boycott-israel

  70. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    Lets not let the facts get in the way of a good argument. If anyone were to bother to look at the monetary statistics – see the link below then they will see that it is pretty clear that it is something other than the level of money supply that is causing what inflation we have.

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Documents/bankstats/2012/Dec12/TabA2.1.1.xls

    QE, which isn’t printing of money btw – but an attempt to improve the banks’ balance sheets in order to encourage them to lend, hasn’t worked because there is limited demand in the economy for such lending has probably had the impact of making things less worse than they would have otherwise been – the studies I have seen referred to say by 1-2% of GDP. Keynes in the 1930s pointed out that there was a limit to how much demand could be stimulated entirely by monetary stimulus and as Charles Melville has pointed out what we need is the direct injection of demand into the economy.

    If anyone wants something a little less academic on where Keynesians stand today then Krugman’s current paperback on “How do we get out of this depression?” is probably as good a palce as any to start.

  71. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    Mary

    Why have you ignored the body of the Observer article – do you think that it was right for Galloway to walk out on the debate because he was opposed by an Israeli on the grounds that he does not recognise Isreal or believe that individual Israelis have the right to a platform? the individual concerned was opposed to Israel’s policy on settlement.

  72. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    Craig

    If you want an example of anti-semitic claptrap on your blog – might I suggest you look at Guano’s (appropriate name) last near Protocols of Zion posting.

  73. @ Resdiss

    Galloway has every right not to engage with who he chooses just as Mary and other users here have every right not to engage with you or the other trolls

  74. “Why have you ignored the body of the Observer article – do you think that it was right for Galloway to walk out on the debate because he was opposed by an Israeli on the grounds that he does not recognise Isreal or believe that individual Israelis have the right to a platform? the individual concerned was opposed to Israel’s policy on settlement.”

    Do you think it was right of our sportsmen to refuse to play against apartheid South Africa?

    Isn’t that the point of boycotting something?

  75. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 2:47 pm

    re George Galloway (various posts above)

    It’s very curious, isn’t it, that he refused to debate with the Israeli, since he’s normally very fond of talking and very fluent when doing so.

    Could the answer be that he chickened out given that the Israeli was nearer to the “scene”, so to speak, than most of the other people he usually debates with and that he was fearful of being out-debated and out-argued for once?

    BTW I agree with Resident Dissident (welcome back!)’s comment about the Guano post : I thought the thread was running rather well, interesting and informative, and then – lo and behold – we’re with the Zionist plot to take over the world again. Pathetic.

  76. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Exexpat

    Then might I suggest that Galloway doesn’t go to debates on the subject – that is unless you prefer deabtes of the one hand clapping variety.

    Just as Mary is entitled to point out what she wants – so am I entitled to point out contrary views on what is a public forum, or trolling as you call it.

  77. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    Fred

    “Do you think it was right of our sportsmen to refuse to play against apartheid South Africa?”

    Yes when they were representing the State of South Africa – but in this case Galloway went to the debate and after giving his rant/speech left because he “doesn’t recognise Isreal and he doesn’t talk to Israelis”.

    Do you really think that such an attitude will really ever achieve anything?

  78. Galloway doesn’t talk to Israelis…

    http://politicalscrapbook.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/george-galloway-uri-geller.jpg

    Unless a good photo-op is in the offing.

    Incidentally in the past two years inflation has soared from 5.2% to a mind numbing 2.7%. You’ll have to excuse us but we oldies who lived through the mid-70’s when inflation was ten times that aren’t going to get terribly excited.

  79. “Do you really think that such an attitude will really ever achieve anything?”

    Yes.

    It worked with South Africa.

  80. We’re all in this together.

    Yeah right.

    Bullingdon Bastards.

    Burning £50 notes in front of a tramp may just be an initiation rite to these horrors but to a tramp the indignity,humiliation and pain could easily drive them to suicide.

    How on earth did these bastards get to rule?

  81. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    Fred

    Not even the Committee trying to organise the boycott agree with Galloway’s position of this. “BDS does not call for a boycott of individuals because she or he happens to be Israeli or because they express certain views.”

    http://www.bdsmovement.net/2013/bds-movement-position-on-boycott-of-individuals-10679

    And you are very wrong on South Africa – there was plenty of dialogue at the individual level – just read Mandela’s biography.

    Of course in Galloway’s book it is totally ok to talk and have a dialogue with a mass murderer who you claim to have previously condemned for gassing his own people and his neighbours and then praise him, or to praise another one who you have condemned months previously for shelling a Palestinian refugee camp. The man is a complete hypocrite and utter disgrace – I wouldn’t be suprised if he were to seek to join the Bullingdon Club.

  82. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Anyway good luck to Bradford City this afternoon – that city deserves a bit of luck.

  83. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Hmmm. Could it be there is a nest of Romeros in the Vatican, cleaning House? Ratzinger’s resignation is just the beginning?

    “O’Brien, who is due to retire next month, has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights, condemning homosexuality as immoral, opposing gay adoption, and most recently arguing that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved”. Last year he was named “bigot of the year” by the gay rights charity Stonewall”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/23/cardinal-keith-o-brien-accused-inappropriate

  84. I put the link up not to discuss the merits and demerits of George Galloway’s action that evening but to illustrate the mindset of a rich and overprivileged male undergraduate at Oxford. Does membership of the Bullingdon Club require a schooling at Eton or another public school? Yes. Whose children go to those schools? The rich and overprivileged.

    http://marissa177.deviantart.com/art/Summon-ze-trolls-303573005

  85. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Arbed? Are you around?

    “Brown, in federal custody since September 2012, has been jousting with the feds for quite some time.

    Round one of his travails began on March 6, 2012, when FBI agents raided his Dallas apartment, looking for evidence related to the 2011 hack of e-mails belonging to Stratfor—a private firm with substantial links to the American intelligence community. Brown sought refuge at his mother’s, but Special Agents arrived there as well, later in the evening. Although the feds found no incriminating evidence, they continued to harass Brown and his family, threatening to file obstruction of justice charges against Brown’s mother for hosting her son during the raid. This prompted Brown to record an ominous YouTube video threatening the Special Agent in charge of the investigation. He was arrested that evening and held for weeks without indictment, under the claim he was an imminent threat to the agent’s safety. In early October 2012, he was finally charged on a number of counts related to harassment of a federal officer.”

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/02/21/the-saga-of-barrett-brown/

  86. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    @ Resident Dissident :

    if you were to propose Gorgeous George for membership of the Bullingdon Club I should be happy to second him.

    Very nice answer to Fred’s question in reply to your question (a frequent device of his), you flummoxed him and left him floundering and gasping for breath like a landed fish :)

  87. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    “”Clearly they’re more worried about what they perceive as his egging people on to go after defence contractors and secret spy organisations,” says Brown’s former attorney Jay Leiderman. “Barrett believes in privacy for individuals and transparency for corporations and government. The government doesn’t like his belief system. And Barrett was effective in expressing that belief system.””

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/25/barret-brown-charges

  88. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:19 pm

    @ Mary at 16h10 on the Bullingdon Club

    No, membership does not require an Eton education or rich parents. Radek Sikorski (NO relation to the wartime general btw!) was a member despite being a penniless refugee from martial law in Poland.

    Check your assertions and bite on that viper tongue of yours, deary.

  89. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I find myself dreading the arrival of 16h00 UK time because this is when our fuzzy American friend Ben Franklin usually clocks in.

    One somehow catches oneself wishing that dawn would never arrive in California.

    I don’t mind his ideas, insofar as one can decrypt them, but I do wish he would tighten up his prose and drop the enigmatic, eliptic, oracular style, which is not impressive but merely irritating. He also uses commas in a most boring manner.

  90. Well said, Craig. But the other myth that needs exploding – and which is still fashionable – is that raising government spending inevitably brings sustainable growth. As with QE, spending can be a useful kickstart in the right circumstances, but that is all, in my opinion.

  91. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:30 pm

    “All roads, lead to Rome” History repeats, washes, rinses…..then repeats.

    “[Hersh] charged that U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by a cabal of neoconservative “crusaders” in the former vice president’s office and now in the special operations community:

    That’s the attitude,” he continued. “We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Joint Special Operations Command.”

    He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.”

    Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic organization commited [sic] to “defence [sic] of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering,” according to its website.

    “They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”

    “They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins,” he continued. “They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community.””

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/02/23/pulitzer-prize-winner-seymour-hersh-and-the-men-who-want-him-committed/

  92. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:33 pm

    Holy Christ !……praise from Caesar.

  93. “Galloway doesn’t talk to Israelis…”

    He hasn’t said he doesn’t talk to Israelis. He said he doesn’t debate with Israelis.

    Debating is George Galloway’s job, it’s what he does for a living, he is boycotting Israel.

  94. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    Now, if I could only attain the heights of relentless ankle-biting; my resume would be complete.

  95. Mevermind,

    I linked a copy of “The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle -An Interdisciplinary MIT Study” a few weeks ago,

    http://mitei.mit.edu/publications/reports-studies/future-nuclear-fuel-cycle

    I posted it mainly for Clark a few weeks ago but if anyone fancies digesting it.

    They totally dismiss Thorium options as a near term option and even then they pretty much ignore Molten Salt designs completely. The amount of waste in long term storage is reduced (but not so much the actual radioactivity and heat generation of the waste). There are far more transuranic and fission products in the system than now. Just more of it is inside a reactor at criticality than outside and sub-critical as now. Decide for yourselves if that is a good thing…

    They point out that the Thorium cycle apparent advantage of reducing Plutonium inventories is just swapped for an equally large amount of bomb capable U-233 cycling around the systems.

    There are other fuel cycles. These fuel cycles were chosen as representative fuel cycles that
    capture the major characteristics of the different options. Thorium fuel cycles were not ana-
    lyzed because they are not believed to fundamentally alter conclusions. A description and
    discussion of thorium fuel cycles is in Appendix A.

    I don’t see Thorium reactors and especially MSR Thorium Reactors being widely used any time soon. Reading between the lines it seems highly likely to me that the US thorium reactor research was cancelled for very good reasons despite what the proponents say. And yes they do reply to the MIT paper but with the same old hand waving as usual once you dig down. IMHO (and that of MIT) anyway.

    And I always like to remind folk that the famous “inherently safe” US Oak Ridge MSR nearly blew itself apart in a U-233 (bred from Thorium) chain reaction decades after it was shut down.

    http://www.ornl.gov/info/ridgelines/nov12/msre.htm

    The reactor facility, called “Ole Salty” by some, was converted to lab and office space as the reactor lay in stand-by status. Then, in March 1994, samples of the off-gases in the process lines unexpectedly revealed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and fluorine, a highly reactive gas. Where surveyors expected to find part-per-million concentrations, they found concentrations of UF6 of up to 8 percent and fluorine of 50 percent.

    …Engineers then had a more protracted challenge: How to remove both the UF6 that had collected in the piping and the very radioactive and chemically unstable uranium-233 that had collected in charcoal-bed filters for off-gases. Those filters were surrounded by a water-filled chamber, raising concern of a criticality accident that could have spread contamination for miles.

    … “We discovered a highly hazardous situation in 1994M,” Rushton says. “The uranium in the charcoal beds was in an unfavorable geometry that could have led to a chain reaction. If the system had burped, the contamination would have been dispersed over a wide area.

    The more studies we did, the more they showed that it could happen. There was a significant potential for disaster.

  96. Israel has failed for 8 years to change ‘that sort of attitude’ you so dislike in Mr. Galloway, ResDiss.

    Netanyahu has failed to engage and wasted eight years to talk to the most compliant and forthcoming opponent, Mahmoud Abbas, according to his own zionist critics saying so.

    Should Argentina be allowed to drill for oil near the Falklands if Syrian territory is prospected upon?
    a far more interesting question unless you like to join the tabloidal jokers making much column inches of Galloway’s walk out.

  97. “And you are very wrong on South Africa – there was plenty of dialogue at the individual level – just read Mandela’s biography.”

    But our sports organisations still refused to participate in games with them. Which is more akin to what happens at a debating society, a competition, with spectators.

  98. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    @ Fred :

    “Debating is George Galloway’s job, it’s what he does for a living..”

    But not in the House of Commons, it seems (which pays him his generous salary).

    *********

    I’ve now heard it all! Galloway chickens out of a debate with an Israeli and Fred says oh, this is part of the boycott of Israel (presumably the intellectual boycott). LOL

  99. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    Does not George Galloway remind one of that hero from the wonderful pre-Thatcherite 1970s, the great Derek Hatton of Liverpool?

    Both are sharp dressers, both are eloquent beyond one’s wildest dreams, and both are utter frauds beyond one’s wildest nightmares.

    The only difference is that Hatton has been well exposed for the fraud he was; Galloway’s turn is yet to come.

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (better than in the 1970s)

  100. thanks, M’anon, I shall read it carefully and then ask myself why the Chinese might want to build some new MSR reactors, maybe they want to use them in other industrial recycling processes.

  101. I should have added that the above assumes the goal is to use nuclear power to fuel the planet. If the goal is to design reactors to burn the waste and then close down one by one as nuclear power is phased out then burning waste in fast reactors does make a lot of sense.

    Bottom line is barring a miracle with fusion (and Lockheed’s Skunk Works have just made an astonishing claim that they know how to do it commercially) we are stuck with making the best of a set of bad choices.

  102. Nevermind,

    One of India’s nukes was a U-233 bomb that came out of their own Thorium research. Shakti V a 0.2kt blast. That’s a low yield but they may well have planned for the low yield – either as a battlefield device or part of a fusion boosted bomb (without the boosting) or even a trigger for a full on H-Bomb. Reference: http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JTS8yMDA5LzA4LzI4I0FyMDE1MDA

    As China investigates Thorium it will probably follow the US and India by exploding a Thorium bomb at some point. Thorium proponents often talk about India but never mention that they have already used some of their bred U-233 to produce a bomb.

    There have virtually certainly been other U-233 tests we don’t know about.

  103. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    Anon @ 4:54

    Do you have a link to the Lockheed fusion reference?

  104. English Knight

    24 Feb, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    A Methodist Yorkshireman got lucky with a WW2 refugee, possibly Gerald Kaufmans cousin sister in Manchester, and we have to suffer the crypto in this blog ! La vita è bollocks !

  105. Ben,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAsRFVbcyUY

    Published on Feb 11, 2013

    Problem: Energy access & climate change

    Solution: A 100MW compact fusion reactor that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen).

    Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).

  106. Will our Gorgeous friend be boycotting all Israeli citizens or just the Jewish people?

    Maybe he could do us all a favour and start boycotting the UK.

    Coming from the Dictators arselicker of choice, this takes chutzpah to new levels.

  107. Should also point out that the Skunk Works proposal (or have they already built one for DoD?) is traditional hot fusion not Low Energy “Cold Fusion”.

    The design is described as “the adjacent possible”. Hmm,. adjacent to what? :-)

    Seems to me either Skunk Works have lost the plot with or they know more than they are letting on. I wish I knew which.

  108. Clegg will make a statement on the Rennard affair later tonight. Reminder that Rennard is a Lib Dem Friend of Israel.

    Another friend of Israel and a friend of Clegg is the Indian Choudhrie. Note Clegg’s 2005 intentions for OUR NHS. He succeeded there didn’t he in aiding Cameron’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 through Parliament. Shame on him and his party.

    Cross posted from Medialens.

    A connection between Israeli arms exports and the privatisation of the NHS
    Posted by AndrewC on February 24, 2013, 12:37 am

    Arms dealing

    One of the biggest donors to the Liberal Democrats is “non-dom” Indian arms dealer Sudhir Choudhrie who, together with other members of his family, has given over £1m to the party since 2004 – both directly, and through businesses they control.

    Sudhir Choudhrie fled India for London as a result of an investigation by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into an arms deal between Israel and India. The CBI issued a warrant for his arrest and raided his offices in October 2006.

    In April 2009 the Indian broadsheet newspaper Daily News and Analysis (DNA) reported that its “own investigations have shown that Choudhary (sic) and family hold a 50% stake in the Israeli defence conglomerate Mikal, which owns artillery gun-maker Soltam”.

    In 2010 The Times of India reported of the Choudhries:
    “Their donations [to the LibDems] escalated after 2006, when Choudhrie left India and settled in the UK after he was accused by the CBI for manipulation and bribery”

    In July 2007 the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation formally asked Britain for help in their investigation into the Israeli “Barak” missile deal. Yet over four years later, Daily Mail India (28 March 2012) reported that
    “CBI sources say its probe into the case has hit a roadblock and “Letters Rogatory” sent to Israel and the UK remain pending”.

    Choudhrie had already returned to India the previous year, the Indian Express reported his arrival, complete with British passport, on September 28th 2011.
    Arms dealer Choudhurie is back in India after CBI closes payoffs case (Oct 01, 2011)

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/arms-dealer-choudhurie-is-back-in-india-after-cbi-closes-payoffs-case/854229

    On June 13, 2012 India Today reported that Choudhrie`s name had been added to the CBI`s list of dubious middlemen, known in official terminology as “undesirable contact men” (UCM). Such lists feature individuals “who are suspected to be resorting to corrupt or irregular practices in their dealings with official agencies”.

    Choudhrie has been on the list before.

    NHS

    Alpha Health, one of the companies controlled by the Choudhries, made a donation of £100,000 to the LibDems on 03/05/2005. Less than 5 months later, Nick Clegg, then a leading candidate for party leader, made a remarkably bold statement in an interview he gave to the Independent, where he said:

    “One very, very important point – I think breaking up the NHS is exactly what you do need to do to make it a more responsive service.”

    Intriguingly, the interview is no longer available on the Independent`s website, neither is the accompanying article also written by Woolf, entitled “Call for break-up of NHS will anger activists”. Fortunately the interview is still available through the Internet Archive, at this webpage:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/frontbencher-calls-for-nhs-to-be-broken-up-8062257.html?origin=internalSearch

    LibDem voters may have thought immediately after the 2010 election (i.e. before the Coalition with the Tories was announced) that they`d saved the NHS from what LibDem politicians had claimed only the Tories would do to it. A very different conclusion had been drawn by some of the rich backers of the LibDems.
    On May 9, 2010, just 3 days after the General Election, The Mail on Sunday reported that parent company, C&C ALPHA Group, was preparing a stock market listing for its healthcare division (C&C Alpha Healthcare) for hundreds of millions of pounds.

    More on the Choudhries’ involvement in the NHS can be read in the original version

    http://cheltenham-gloucesteragainstcuts.org/2013/02/06/the-tax-dodging-arms-dealing-major-liberal-democrat-donor-whos-making-money-from-our-nhs/

  109. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/02/fashionable-economics/#comment-395703

    Don’t you dare to patronize me with your ‘deary’, you piece of slime.

  110. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 5:43 pm

    Anon;

    It’s a start. This is the one good thing about capitalism. Co’s such as Lockheed/Martin have the investment capital to pursue the ‘X’ project and only have to answer to the stockholders, not the politicos who have no vision, or courage. But 10 years seems too optimistic, and too late, for operational readiness.

    http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2013/02/15/latest-entrant-in-the-fusion-sweepstakes-lockheed-martin/

  111. Ben,

    If the presentation had been by anyone other than “senior program manager, revolutionary technology” ” at the Skunk Works I would dismiss it out of hand. As they are one of the very few organisations in the world that could potentially have black projects in this area, I am very curious. How the hell did they get into magnetic containment of fusion reactors? And with a public prototype within 5 years? That seems only possible if they already have a working demo.

    Or possibly someone has slipped some acid into their coffees.

  112. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    Opus Dei or Knights of Malta……same smell.

  113. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 6:14 pm

    Anon; How did they get the SR-71 in 1960? The only thing I worry about is L/M’s total reliance on military applications in the past. Someone is always trying to weaponize new tech.

  114. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 6:16 pm

    @ Mary :

    “deary” – that was me in Michael Winner mode.

    If you prefer it, I could go over into Cockney bus conductor mode and call you “ducks”.

    Your choice, d****

  115. Ben, 4.14pm and 4.30pm

    Yes, I’m around. The Barrett Brown case is very interesting, and perhaps the most egregious case of all the recent ‘hactivist’ cases – mainly because the crux of what they are trying to convict him on (with their usual trick of charging a single action x12 counts bringing a potential 100-year sentence if they succeed) is something we all do on a daily basis: sharing a link. Here’s another good article on his case:

    http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/why-is-barrett-brown-facing-100-years-in-jail

    The WhoWhatWhy article is very good on exploring what else might be in play here: the Project PM site (recently down but people are at work rebuilding it – BarrettBrown was doing some really strong investigative digging on that site, it would be such a shame if it were lost) and particularly the HBGary hack. I’m not sure which out of those two would be seen as the greater threat by the US authorities, possibly HBGary as it was that hack which revealed that HBGary, Palantir and Berico were commissioned by the Department of Justice – via Washington law firm Hunton & Williams (thereby giving the DoJ cover by being able to utilise the attorney/client privilege of this arms-length arrangement to obvious plausible deniability advantage) – to devise their Target Wikileaks plan. IIRC, it was only the fact the meeting to ink the $megabucks deal (was it $6 million per quarter? per year? – can’t remember the figures) was still a couple of days off when the hack happened which stopped this becoming an even bigger scandal.

    I’m also familiar with Seymour Hersh’s work on the links between US Army top brass and the Knights of Malta. Here’s an article slightly closer in time to the original Foreign Policy report of the Doha meeting at which Hersh first made his remarks (sorry, can’t access the FP article itself without signing up):

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/21/highranking-members-military-part-knights-malta-opus-dei-reporter-claims/

    The Knights of Malta are a rather strange entity. They come up in the Cablegate releases as having received some State Dept funding (40,000 euros, I think, something like that) as an “extra-territorial, paramilitary” function of the Italian police, which doesn’t really marry up with the image of a purely pastoral charitable organisation they put out. (This is all from memory, but easily checked on cablegatesearch.org if you feel so inclined.) The Knights of Malta have a quite unique status in that they are officially a non-territorial sovereign state. The only territory they hold is a fort in the middle of Malta’s Grand Harbour and a small enclave just outside the Vatican. I can imagine the US Army finding all sorts of uses for a non-territorial sovereign state.

  116. Ben,

    I could speculate more but, in the unlikely event I got it right, they’d have to kill me :-)

    Ever hear about the “ultimate” weapons system design shown to JFK for a nuclear power space-faring battleship that could destroy the world from space? That’s what the military wanted to do with Project Orion. JFK was horrified according to reports. There’s a lot of interesting info in published details on Project Orion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nuclear_propulsion%29

    There is some info in the now hard to get hold of book on Project Orion that, if correct, is very, very interesting and probably shouldn’t be there. Also this BBC Documentary on Project Orion at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYoLcJuBtOw for a general overview of the Project.

  117. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Anon; My speculations might bring Craig out to question my sanity. :)

    From your Orion link; “Freeman Dyson performed the first analysis of what kinds of Orion missions were possible to reach Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the Sun.[9] His 1968 paper “Interstellar Transport”[10] (Physics Today, October 1968, p. 41–45) retained the concept of large nuclear explosions but Dyson moved away from the use of fission bombs and considered the use of one megaton deuterium fusion explosions instead. His conclusions were simple: the debris velocity of fusion explosions was probably in the 3000–30,000 km/s range and the reflecting geometry of Orion’s hemispherical pusher plate would reduce that range to 750–15,000 km/s.[11]”

    As i was reading the incredible stats on thrust, I was thinking about space travel, and then this graf popped up. Could the fusion research they are conducting resemble any form of Quantum Leap, which I have viewed with the same skepticism as Hermetics and the philosopher’s stone?

    As I understand QL, whether spiritual or technological, it seems to occur on the precipice of disaster, and the fusion research seems to come at a precipitous time. Too late?

  118. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    Hi Arbed;

    Any thoughts about connection between KoM and Knights Templar? Malta was their base.

  119. Ben,

    Ever read any Robert Anton Wilson? Or genius physicist David Bohm’s “Wholeness and the Implicate Order”?

    That there is more to the Universe than we understand is one of the few things that keeps me going.

  120. Hi Ben,

    None, I’m afraid. AFAIK, the Knights Templar existed back at the time of the crusades but I don’t think they outlasted the Grand Masters’ rule of Malta. The Knights of Malta would be their modern equivalent, I suppose – ostensibly a charitable organisation but I think Hersh is right, there’s more to it than that. Apparently, a lot of US Army bigwigs simply buy their Order of the KoM titles – maybe just a vanity thing but it feeds into a marked Christian fundamentalism in the top echelons of the US Army.

  121. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    @Fred

    “But our sports organisations still refused to participate in games with them. Which is more akin to what happens at a debating society, a competition, with spectators.”

    But debating is not a team sport – and even if it was I very much doubt that the Israeli who Galloway objected to would have been on the team given his views on settlements.

    @Nevermind

    “As bad as Netanyahu” is not a badge to wear with pride.

    @Mary

    One of the problems with free speech is that people raise points and matters that you disagree with – especially if they are in the same article that you link to. Try not to matronise us by assuming that we will all read things exactly the way that you want. I also notice that you have avoided answering the question asked.
    And since you were soliciting views on the Bullingdon Club – yes they are a bunch of patronising tossers with no perception of anyone’s feelings or viewpoint other than their own and are so arrogant that they do not feel that they even have to engage with those whom they disagree unless forced to do so.

    English Knight
    I/we are crypto what – spit it out man. Or you could just be polite and say that you disagree and say why – or perhaps you are just a crypto Englishman?

  122. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    Read RAW in the early 80’s. A true spiritual giant. It was sad when his young daughter was murdered, but he didn’t let that tragedy make him bitter. Yes we do see through a glass, darkly.
    We see but the narrowest spectrum of light with our eyes, yet we somehow think we see. Bohm is one I missed.

    Have you heard of (ancient history now) ‘Programming and meta-programming the human bio-computer’ by Dr. John Lilly? RAW recommended its reading.

  123. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    Anon; Self-beknighting seems par for the course. But knights are of a militant bent, hence my assumption that Crusaders, past and present, don’t have much to do with the Beatitudes of Christian foundation, and have common agendas.

  124. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    Arbed: from your Vice link….

    ” Without Barrett Brown, tons of this research would likely have gone unearthed. Besides a few journalists, not many people have been looking into this information. ”

    Without a doubt, these prosecutions (JA, Scwarz, Brown and even Hersh) have a ‘chilling effect’ on reportage. This is the genuine agenda; yet if they can get someone (Aaron) to become a CI, it’s just a bonus. The goal is to shut people up.

  125. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:20 pm

    running some errands…..later.

  126. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Arbed and Anon. My aplogies…..My 7:14 was in response to Arbed, not Anon.

  127. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    And George’s charity appears to be a little slow in its accounting

    http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1129092&SubsidiaryNumber=0

    Perhaps those who gave might want to see that their donations have been properly accounted for.

  128. Yes, I’m aware of Lilly but I haven’t read that book.

    Wilson went on to write a number of non-fiction books. They’re worth a read as well if you haven’t yet.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anton_Wilson

    On January 6, 2007, Wilson wrote on his blog that according to several medical authorities, he would likely only have between two days and two months left to live.[40] He closed this message with “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying. Please pardon my levity, I don’t see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.”

  129. “Any thoughts about connection between KoM and Knights Templar? Malta was their base.”

    I think you may be confusing the Knights Templars with the with the Knights Hospitallers.

  130. Anon, 24 Feb, 4:39 pm; I’ve just got home from a fascinating conversation with a friend in a government-associated department / company (I’m not sure which, you know how it is these days) that is tasked with taking an overview of available technology, and ensuring that the appropriate departments in diverse industries are made aware of techniques available from other sectors.

    One thing this department was investigating was options for “spent” fuel. When I first discussed this with my friend over a year ago, his department already knew about MSRs; it was one of the options on their list to be investigated. In our follow-up conversation today, he told me that they basically didn’t bother looking into MSRs because political / economic manoeuvring will make development economically impossible.

    The power companies know that generation capacity will fall behind demand in 2014, and thus they have the government over a barrel. Various suppliers of nuclear power stations simply told the government that they wouldn’t build any power stations unless they were guaranteed twice the market rate per unit of electricity supplied. The five companies submitting tenders has decreased to two, both of which are still demanding twice the market rate for their electricity.

    So the government has opted for gas, because gas powered generation is cheap in terms of capital investment and quick to build. But gas is expected to rise in price; 30% increases in the price electricity are expected within a few years or less. The nuclear companies only have to wait, as the generation shortfall is guaranteed. The longer they leave it, the more leverage they have. They have precisely zero motivation to invest in research and development, because they know that their familiar technology will be in demand soon enough, and with the danger of rolling blackouts, no one is going to be much concerned with piles of “spent” fuel. In the meantime, speculation upon their guaranteed future profits will bring them more money than actually selling electricity at anything less than twice the current price.

    I say that there’s a political tool to defeat such economic blackmail. It’s called nationalisation, but apparently it’s too unfashionable.

    Sorry for the somewhat confused report, but that’s about the gist of it.

  131. “But debating is not a team sport – and even if it was I very much doubt that the Israeli who Galloway objected to would have been on the team given his views on settlements. ”

    Irrelevant.

  132. “Perhaps those who gave might want to see that their donations have been properly accounted for.”

    Oh they know where their money went they just don’t want the American government to know.

    America had Nelson Mandela classed as a terrorist till 2008 you know. they actively supported apartheid in South Africa.

  133. One of the two companies still tendering is the French EDF. We’ve read reports here that the French military in Africa are “safeguarding” the uranium deposits (does ore in the ground need protection from “islamists”?), so I suspect that might not be mere coincidence.

  134. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 8:58 pm

    I think someone should write to George Galloway at the House of Commons (he’s there almost every day, don’t forget!) and ask him why his charity’s accounts are late.

    I nominate Fred for this task because Fred believes that the law of the land should be respected and because Fred appears to be favorably inclined to Mr Galloway and his works.

  135. Clark,

    Interesting. Thanks for that.

    We are about to lose a relatively small amount of coal capacity soon but I wonder if the later planned shutdown of many more coal stations happens to schedule – whatever international obligations say. Then, assuming we still have access to imported coal – the nuclear companies may not wield so much power. Let’s see what happens. But if there’s a big enough crisis…

    And then soon after Skunk Works will be shipping out 100MW fusion reactors by the boatload and we can all party on for a few more years with “limitless energy”. I wonder how that would go and if we would use it wisely. No need to answer that :-)

    Btw, last 24 hours UK generation mix fron National Grid.

    Coal 45%
    Gas 24%
    Nuke 20%
    Wind 4%
    Hydro 1%

    International Import 4%
    Other 2%

  136. Anon, I don’t regard your points at 24 Feb, 4:39 pm as a good arguments against MSRs. Yes, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was not decommissioned safely, and it wasn’t monitored properly after decommissioning. But that’s not an issue for MSRs in operation, as UF6 and fluorine production only occur after the salt has cooled down. Besides, that particular lesson has now been learned.

    Also, U233 is not a weapons proliferation problem unless it is removed from the reactor, and that isn’t part of normal operation. U233 remains in the fuel salt until it is all burned down to reaction products; there’s no need to transport the stuff around. Attempting to illicitly remove U233 would be rapidly fatal. If the risk we’re considering is that entire MSRs could fall under actual long-term control of a hostile power so that the U233 could be removed in good order, well, that implies that the hypothetical war would have already been lost.

    However, discussions with a (different) friend suggested another problem. Any sort of nuclear facility becomes a long-term risk in the event of serious economic / political collapse, as might be caused by climate change etc. The programme to turn “spent” fuel into electricity and lighter isotopes has a time-scale of thousands of years.

  137. @ Ben Franklin,

    ” My speculations might bring Craig out to question my sanity”

    Yes – some of us do from time – Ben.
    ( ha..ha…smile)

  138. ..to time.. Ben.

  139. “I nominate Fred for this task because Fred believes that the law of the land should be respected and because Fred appears to be favorably inclined to Mr Galloway and his works.”

    That spanking I gave you over the Iceland bankers really got to you didn’t it?

    I own you now, I’m in your head, you’ll write my name in every post:)

    Sweet dreams, if you can sleep that is.

  140. Anon, oh:

    “but I wonder if the later planned shutdown of many more coal stations happens to schedule – whatever international obligations say.”

    My friend mentioned that, and your suspicion is correct. All existing power stations are going to be run beyond their planned life expectancy, partly by patching stuff up, but (my own speculation) probably mostly by loosening the licensing requirements.

    Fucking politicians. Fucking worship of money. How do you get these idiots to doanything with any foresight? This needs treating as a physical problem, not an economic one.

  141. Anon, 9:02 pm

    “and we can all party on for a few more years with “limitless energy”. I wonder how that would go and if we would use it wisely.”

    Funnily enough, in the 1980s I was present in the lab at York University when they tried to replicate the cold fusion experiment. A bitter-sweet experience. Disappointment that the temperature on the thermometer failed to rise to the expected level. Relief (back in them Cold War days before global warming) that “limitless energy” hadn’t been granted to a species that lacked the wisdom to put it to good use.

  142. resident dissident

    24 Feb, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    “Oh they know where their money went they just don’t want the American government to know.”

    But they are still happy to allow the charity to claim Gift Aid from the UK Government which shares intelligence with the evil empire.

    And I think you missed out “in my view” after “irrelevant” in one of your decrees. The fact that many Israelis are able to express views different from that of Netanyahu and his crew is something that is highly important and might actually lead to progress being made one day – just like De Klerk was able to express different views from others in the leadership of South Africa – just read the book I recommended earlier.

  143. Clark,

    You just won’t let that Thorium MSR go will you? :-) It isn’t going to happen on a huge scale. The anti-proliferation experts won’t allow it and never would. Ever wondered if it was rapidly terminated because the project was out of control and dangerous?

    Well that’s just one alternative opinion from reading between the lines but it is dead easy to have a hidden Thorium/U-233 nuclear bomb project at nation state level as at least two countries (US and India) have admitted it only after the fact. The major proponents can shout all they like about proliferation resistance of the Thorium cycle but that doesn’t stop countries making bombs out of them in real life because all the “problems” were solved decades ago. And no I’m not going to speculate what terrorists might or might not do with control of an MSR.

    Once you take the proliferation resistance argument out of the picture (As MIT did) then you might as well stick with the Uranium/Plutonium cycle we have now for the foreseeable future. And that’s what the very brightest at MIT say when they look objectively.

    Oh and show me a working MSR where: “U233 remains in the fuel salt until it is all burned down to reaction products” (assuming you keep topping it up with more to burn-up of course). All we have is fantasies about future possible designs. At least in a conventional reactor the fissionable material is always kept “locked” inside the fuel element. Can’t think of anything going wrong circulating multiple critical masses indefinitely around a system where not only the chemistry is changing minute but even your actual elements. Can’t think of any dangers at all.

    The Chinese are finding it not as easy going as hoped. They’ve just announced that the projected completion date for their 2MW prototype MSR has now been put back to 2020.

    http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2012/10/30/completion-date-slips-for-chinas-thorium-molten-salt-reactor/

    The new timescale seems to reflect the significant design challenges that have been evident over the first two days of the conference, where experts from China and around the world have described various hurdles to the thorium molten salt reactor. Among them:

    Developing materials or processes that can withstand corrosive salts, temperatures much higher than conventional nuclear, and radiation.

    Assuring that the failsafe “freeze plug” works and thus allows TMSRs to live up to the claim that they are “meltdown proof.” In a TMSR, a plug melts when the reactor overheats, allowing the liquid fuel to drain into a safe tank.

    Developing processes for the safe removal of actinides. Although TMSRs do not leave behind the longer living wastes of conventional uranium reactors, they still produce toxic elements, albeit with a shorter lifespan.

    My guess is that will slip and slip and the list will grow and grow and there never will be a large scale production system based on it.

  144. There are interesting concepts emerging from Low Energy Nuclear Reaction research. I’m watching with interest but it might never be more than a curious toy compared to hot fusion. Would be nice if clean cold fusion at high power output was possible though. Probably our luck to find a nasty can of worms there as well though!

  145. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 10:25 pm

    Anon; I cheated and went to the Cliff Notes.

    Bohm is new to me, so thanks.

    Just as the enigmatic physics of waves vs particles, seems contradictory, so too the Relativity and Quantum theories seem to cancel one another out. But I think the point has to do with our observable world and it’s limitations.

    The Ink droplet analogy was, in human terms, like a Rorshach with subjectivity, not objectivity, as the measure.

    “For Bohm, the whole encompasses all things, structures, abstractions, and processes, including processes that result in (relatively) stable structures as well as those that involve a metamorphosis of structures or things.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicate_and_explicate_order_according_to_David_Bohm

    His metaphysics are a lot closer to the idea of a Unified Field Theory, which confounded Einstein, to the end.

  146. <blockquoteE
    Fucking politicians. Fucking worship of money. How do you get these idiots to doanything with any foresight? This needs treating as a physical problem, not an economic one.

    They will “solve the problem” with World War 3 if necessary. That seems to be the game-plan. What do you expect from sociopaths?

  147. Ben,

    David Bohm discussions with Krishnamurti (who has been mentioned here before). Google for the combination.

    Some highlights

    http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Ebooks/Jiddu-Krishnamurti-Books/The_Ending_Of_Time.pdf

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaAqM6Mtpwk “The Future of Humanity”

    I’ve read the book a long time ago but not seen the video as I just found it. Also just found the book again online as I had forgotten about it.

  148. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    24 Feb, 2013 - 11:33 pm

    Don’t wish to rush through the dialogue, as it must be absorbed slowly for the import to gel, Anon.

    I thought this exchange rather enlightening;

    ————————————–

    DB: Yes it is true in that regard. I think it would be untrue to say the mind evolved in time.

    K: Of course.

    DB: But physically it seems clear there has been a process of evolution and this has increased the capacity of the brain to do
    certain things. But for example we couldn’t be discussing this if the brain had not grown larger.

    K: Of course sir, I understand all that.

    DB: But I think you are implying that the mind is not originating in the brain. Is that so? The brain is perhaps an instrument for it, of the mind?

    K: The mind. And the mind is not time.

    DB: The mind is not time. K: Just see what it means. We are getting nearer.

    DB: It does not evolve with the brain.

    K: Sounds odd, doesn’t it?

    DB: It would sound odd to persons not used to it, In the past
    people used to accept this idea quite easily.

    K: The mind not being of time, and the brain being of time – is
    that the origin of conflict?

    DB: That may be an important point.

    K: You understand sir what that means? The Hindus say the
    Atman, the highest Principle is in man, which is the mind. I may be translating wrongly, interpreting it wrongly. And the brain is of time. I am putting it, they may not put it that way. So is that the origin of conflict?

    DB: Well we have to see why that produces conflict. It is not clear to say even that the brain is of time, but rather it has developed in such a way that time is in it.

    K: Yes, that is what I meant.

    DB: But not necessarily so.

    K: It has evolved.

    DB: It has evolved so it has time within it.

    K: Yes as it has evolved, time is part of it.

    DB: It has become part of its very structure

    K: Yes.

  149. Anon, I agree that MSRs will probably never be developed in the “West”, but beyond that, your arguments are sadly disappointing.

    Your proliferation argument is self-contradictory; if it is so easy to use MSRs to produce weapon cores, states would do so covertly, out of the control of “the anti-proliferation experts”. Also, the Oak Ridge MSRE papers would never have been published, and the IAEA would be opposing China’s current programme.

    The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was not “rapidly terminated”. The scheduled tests, including the post-shutdown tests were completed. Theoretical development of the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor continued until seven years later; it was that which was rapidly terminated, and it was a political decision about funding. Alvin Weinberg was the primary developer of both MSRs and PWRs, and he preferred the MSR on the grounds of safety.

    Just over one critical mass of fuel salt is circulated, not “multiple masses”. Removal of fission products from the fuel salt is theoretically possible but yet to be demonstrated.

    The article you linked to is by a blogger who seems to understand the matter less than I do myself. For instance, the corrosion problems he speculates about were solved in the ’60s, and the freeze plug was tested every Friday for four years; the staff would just simulate a power failure by turning the fan off, watch the reactor drain itself, and go home for the weekend. The blogger demonstrates further ignorance by inventing a problem of “developing processes for the safe removal of actinides”. MSRs destroy actinides; that’s the point of building them. He means “reaction products”. I must write to the Weinberg Foundation and alert them to his lack of understanding.

    And the Chinese have allotted themselves another three years; big deal! Eight years to develop a working prototype, when our lot can’t even make a decision in that time frame.

    Anon, I don’t mind you arguing against MSRs; I’d actually like to see some arguments that get me thinking. But I’m sorry, what you’ve presented here isn’t very good.

  150. Ben Franklin, a book recommendation for you:

    The Self-Aware Universe by Amit Goswami, Ph.D.

    Goswami’s concepts get a bit confusing in places, but the gist of the matter comes through pretty clearly.

  151. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 12:00 am

    So long as he’s not as confusing as Don Juan Matus, I’ll give him a try, Clark.

  152. Anon, I predict that you’ll eventually come to love the MSR. You’re an anti-proliferationist, and this reactor can eat weapon cores. It’s the “Swords into Ploughshares” reactor, and our sociopath politicians probably just get the creeps about it.

  153. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 12:28 am

    Clark/Anon:

    Clark’s book recommendation and Anon’s dialogue have some synchronicity attached.

    “The Yuga Cycle doctrine tells us that we are now living in the Kali Yuga; the age of darkness, when moral virtue and mental capabilities reach their lowest point in the cycle. The Indian epic The Mahabharata describes the Kali Yuga as the period when the “World Soul” is Black in hue; only one quarter of virtue remains, which slowly dwindles to zero at the end of the Kali Yuga. Men turn to wickedness; disease, lethargy, anger, natural calamities, anguish and fear of scarcity dominate. Penance, sacrifices and religious observances fall into disuse. All creatures degenerate. Change passes over all things, without exception……..snip…………. The popularly accepted date for the beginning of the Kali Yuga is 3102 BC, thirty-five years after the conclusion of the great battle of the Mahabharata. This is remarkably close to the proposed beginning of the current “Great Cycle” of the Mayan Long Count Calendar in 3114 BC. It is of interest to note that in both of these cases the beginning dates of the respective cycles were calculated retrospectively.”

    http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/DMisraB6.php

    Spiritual Quantum Leaps (those anecdotal, personal variety) seem to occur after a high fever, or debilitating illness. It is clear that our societal decline is on some sort of precipice. We either fall to our deaths or soar like a majestic eagle. I agree, Anon. This stuff gives one some hope.

  154. Clark,

    I think you are in a dream world about Thorium. “and the IAEA would be opposing China’s current programme”. What planet are you living on Clark? That’s Chine not Iran.

    Nobody knows how to build one safely or even if we can do in a reasonable production configuration. I’m going to argue that we don’t know certain things about the end of the Thorium project because they are intentionally kept quiet. That’s my guess and of course it isn’t the official story. A much later team documented the near disaster of the left behind titanic mess but you just brush that off. Nobody had predicted that Clark. Yes they could have but they didn’t.

    And as to the quantity of critical masses present in full scale production mufti-hundred megawatt reactors. When you are thinking just over one you are talking about the (moderated) critical mass of the liquid in the presence of the moderator. Not about the total amount of kg of U-233 circulating around the production system which is “diluted”. No wonder the Chinese are aiming only at a possible 2MW by 2020.

    Just like there are many fissile bare sphere critical masses (in total mass but not in configuration obviously) in an operational “conventional” reactor so there are of U-2333 in large scale MSRs. Only in the MSR it is “diluted” and circulating in a liquid as opposed to kept in place “mixed” in a solid fuel rod.

    You keep repeating “All the problems were solved”. No they weren’t. They didn’t even know they were leaving behind a disaster waiting to happen. Let’s see what other problems the Chinese find.

    By the way, what happens if moderating material follows the reactant down your “fail-safe” plughole in a catastrophic failure scenario?

  155. Clark,

    Nuclear bomb designer Ted Taylor spent many years trying to find a Thorium cycle he considered safe. He couldn’t do it. He could always think of a way to make a bomb out of it. Until a few bomb designers say they are happy with an MSR design then I’ll take Taylor over the non-bomb designer proponents.

    And before you say Edward Teller, all he called for in a co-authored paper just before his death was for construction of “a small prototype reactor” to look at the cycle again and he only agreed to put his name to that paper if it was specifically to be built underground for safety. I’m dubious about how much input the 94 year old Teller had to that paper anyway especially as he had previously explicitly rejected calling for a restart of the Thorium project despite studying it himself.

  156. Oh no It’s the MSR again! One concludes that it couldn’t ever be shut down once started, and then ever restarted, if that molten mass cools in situ, then core, pumps, everything are scrap thereafter. Sort of like a disposable one-shot camera, but immobile and costing billions, complete with powerful flash. The necessary pre-heating of tons, literally of this stuff, (huge energy inputs) means it can only be stopped by draining it out, while molten and still reacting, into where or what is unknown –an adjacent spare reactor? Any emergency shutdown, would leave the whole plant gummed up with these same tons of material, no longer liquid but in a semi-solid, waxy state that could never be pumped back out or remelted, and still ferociously radioactive. As for failsafe, this claim is used too often, some PWR were ‘failsafe’, in so many ways, some similar to your ‘freeze plug’ in that e.g. control rod support could be soft lead or even plastic which would melt at a certain point, well past major catastrophe and gravity would emplace them in the core, if they still fit or the core not ‘gone away’, a continent off and the earth a Stilton cheese.

    Nuclear science is a lethal dead end; budding 1980s nuclear scientists should have studied electronics instead; acne, over-enthusiasm and scant common sense, their heavy burden.

  157. @Anon There are interesting concepts emerging from Low Energy Nuclear Reaction research. I’m watching with interest but it might never be more than a curious toy compared to hot fusion. Would be nice if clean cold fusion at high power output was possible though. Probably our luck to find a nasty can of worms there as well though!

    LENR is the way to to go.Hot fusion is a waste of space they have spent billions on it for very little return.Rossi seems to have sold out so I am doing my own research and construction this year.David Bohm had a great sense of humour from my memories of him when I was working at HH Wills Physics Lab Bristol.

  158. Des Res

    Protocols of Zion. Protocols meaning perhaps ground rules.
    Whatever they were I’ve never studied them, but that doesn’t mean that there are no protocols of Zionism the most obvious being the necessity of being a friend of Israel in order to climb the slippery pole of Westminster politics.

    Thinking about Thatcher, what do cows eat? Any small child can tell you grass. What do bankers eat? Interest. So why did Thatcher give the go ahead to feed cows on animal parts? And why did she give the bankers permission to eat capital by stealing the capital and substituting customers capital with ponzi schemes?

    Short term gains – long term international bankruptcy. Nothing whatsoever to do with Zionism. Unfortunately unlike you I am equipped with a brain. The moment that bankers could get their hands on real cash UK foreign policy started to attack Muslim countries starting with Yugoslavia and job still unfinished.

    There seemed to be a quota of violence, of genocide, or of aerial destruction required to achieve no perceivable ends.
    Only disintegration of Muslim societies and economies seemed to be the aim. All of this cost a lot of money. So where does the money come from when this country was economically on its knees?

    Maybe from UK business investment in what was the third world?
    Maybe from oil-rich countries like Saudi who had an agenda to subjugate the Muslims to their way of thinking? Or maybe from Zionist banksters? The conclusion that I come to from the evidence I have seen is that the answer is that the money for the war on terror came from an alliance of the above three criminal protocols.

  159. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 8:25 am

    @ Fred :

    “the spanking you gave me…” ?

    So that’s the kind of top shelf magazine you squint at when you’re in your local W.H. Smith, eh?

    You’re coming perilously close to admitting that my comparison is valid (if McAlpine is a paedo because he looks at pictures by Graham Ovenden then Fred must be a rapist because he looks at girlie magazines).

    And can you copy us the letter you send to the Gorgeous One about the late filing of accounts, please?

  160. ““the spanking you gave me…” ? ”

    Yes, wiped the floor with you retard.

    Now don’t you have some kiddie porn to download?

  161. Anon, it occurred to me when I awoke that you’d make the false comparison between the critical mass of fuel salt diluted with carrier salt, versus the critical mass of solid uranium. I guess you’ll have to find a safer planet to live on, because this one has about a billion critical masses circulating in the oceans, ten trillion critical masses in the crust, and uncounted quadrillions circulating in a dangerously random manner at lower depths. By your reasoning, it really is surprising that the whole planet hasn’t exploded, and doesn’t seem to suffer from random subsurface fission explosions.

    Cryptonym, if you’re going to oppose something, at least learn a bit about it, or you’ll be forever tilting at windmills and discrediting yourself. The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment was easy to halt. The fuel salt has to be contained in a compact shape for the reaction to proceed. To pause the reaction, they just drained the fuel salt into two smaller tanks, each sub-critical. Decay heat kept the salt molten, and to continue the experiment, they just pumped the fuel salt back up into the fuel loop. Yes, I’m all in favour of multiple, redundant reactor vessels, pipe work, etc. That’s one of the big advantages of a liquid core; you can just pump it into a “spare” system.

    Anon, and especially Cryptonym, the anti-nuclear campaigners have rightly been criticised for making invalid arguments and inciting irrational fear of nuclear technology. You’re attacking the wrong targets and thereby guaranteeing the failure of your own arguments. This is wasteful. We need a coherent, well-informed opposition to advocates from the pro-nuclear lobby. Nuclear technology needs to be done well, to avoid further disasters like Fukushima.

    We need good arguments in various spheres of technology now, not in decades time after the opposition have learned that they’ve been scaring themselves and everyone else with ghost stories and rumours of witches. We have nanotechnology, “kitchen biotech” and 3D printers converging into a technology so powerful it’ll make our current concerns about nuclear power look utterly trivial. Come on, folks, raise your game! It’s as if you’re spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about road transport by highlighting the possible health effects of electromagnetic radiation from ignition systems, while overlooking enforcement of driving laws, exhaust emissions regulations, decent road design and seat belts.

    Really, honestly, I want a competent opposition. What you’re offering isn’t that.

  162. Clark,

    The material in the circulating liquid is continually being fed through processing systems outside the reacting core. There you can in theory do anything you want with that stream as you well know. The argument that the reactor shuts down if you remove too mush fissile material is irrelevant if your plan is just to get at what’s inside. Yes, if we cover the things with cameras and telemetry to monitor every stage of the process remotely we can have some assurance but what if a country just switches them off in a crisis? What do we do? Bomb the reactor?

    I would place a large amount of money (if I had it) on there being numerous existing restricted reports on what terrorists or host countries could do with virtually any proposed and existing reactor design. In fact we do even have the odd “Red team” report in public. Allegedly a possible sequence of catastrophic events at Dounreay was conveyed to HMG which helped deal the final blow to it. Maybe we will get to see that paper one day. Maybe it doesn’t exist. I don’t know but I’ve heard that from more than one source.

    Your incredible arrogance on this specific subject (which flows from the literature of MSRs) is astonishing and you are actually managing to turn me more and more against the technology by your attitude as you remind me of the arrogant bastards throughout the nuclear industry which I once a long time ago naively thought I wanted to be part of.

    The only real MSR that ever operated was a dangerous toy. They have a 100% record (1 out of 1) of nearly causing disaster. The superior arrogance of you and MSR supporters in general actually sickens me.

    Don’t you even begin to comprehend the difficulty in scaling up the process from that little toy? The Chinese experiment will be only 1/500th the scale for a commercial grid supplying reactor. But really the passive cooling will scale up in an emergency will it? The building will be the heat-sink you say? What if the building isn’t three? And what varies by the square and what varies by the cube.

    A sackcloth and ashes approach is the only thing I want to hear from the nuclear industry. Not the sick-making brochures.

    Btw, MIT said that they ran the burn simulations for all the technologies including Thorium MSR but sadly they didn’t publish them all. What do they reckon really comes out as waste in practice as opposed to on paper where you just draw an arrow between boxes in a closed loop and say “solved”.

    If and when the Chinese produce a working truly “closed fuel cycle” design then we can talk specifics but the Chinese 2MW MSR has slipped from 20015 to 2017 and now to 2020.

    In any case if Skunk Works have a 100MW fusion reactor operation before 2020 as they say they can than a 2MW MSR by the same date is completely pointless..

    Really, honestly, I want a competent opposition. What you’re offering isn’t that

    Well, that will get us onside.

    Maybe just maybe there will be deployed production MSRs but I doubt it greatly

  163. Myself:

    “It’s as if you’re spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about road transport by highlighting the possible health effects of electromagnetic radiation from ignition systems, while overlooking enforcement of driving laws, exhaust emissions regulations, decent road design and seat belts.”

    It’s actually worse than that. It’s as if you’re using dubious arguments about possible leukaemia clusters around transformers for electrified rail systems which would amount to a few dozen victims in the unlikely event it turned out to be true, while failing to mention road transport at all, with the tens of thousands it kills and injures every year.

    The high human population on Earth is now utterly dependent upon sources of energy. If we can’t make enough energy, billions will starve. But all our sources of energy have inherent dangers, in addition to unnecessary political dangers. Hundreds of thousands are already dead, and millions have been displaced and had their lives ruined, by fighting over hydrocarbons, and it’ll only get worse as supply becomes more difficult. Please try to get things in perspective.

  164. Anon:

    “A sackcloth and ashes approach is the only thing I want to hear from the nuclear industry.”

    Yes, but that’s also what you want for the Internet, isn’t it? You did comment to that effect. And what else? Just how far back do you want to go? Abolish the dangerous technologies of reading, writing and arithmetic? Stop using fire? Maybe weaving ropes and sharpening stones were bad. You need to spell this out; how do you intend this to be enforced?

  165. Anon, also, do you have any thoughts on the popular idea of an “emerging global consciousness”? I’ll give you a clue about my own perspective; I think such a thing is emerging, but I do not accept dualism.

  166. @Fred

    Deary me, insulting the mentally disabled and attempting to use child pornography in a cheap slanderous insult. Step away from the keyboard for a few days and do something relaxing or seek some help.

    The Student strikes back against our Gorgeous friend:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/25/george-galloway-humiliated-me-israel-debate-mahmood-naji_n_2757691.html?

  167. Yes, but that’s also what you want for the Internet, isn’t it? You did comment to that effect. And what else? Just how far back do you want to go? Abolish the dangerous technologies of reading, writing and arithmetic? Stop using fire?

    Don’t be silly. And,I have no idea what you mean about any previous comment I may have made about the Internet. I was enthusiastically promoting that when it was still just Arpanet.

    Emerging global consciousness?

    And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.…

    So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

    -HST

    If anything better does emerge it will probably only be after we face a global long dark night of the soul.

  168. Anon, sorry; maybe it was Cryptonym advocating a world without the Internet, asking me “where the line should be drawn”. Or maybe there are multiple Anons. It’s back on an earlier thread somewhere. I’ll try to find it later, but I have to go and sort someone’s Internet connectivity problems next.

    That said, there is a strong anti-technology wing in the anti-nuclear contingent, and they generate a lot of unsupportable arguments. And paradoxically, a lot of them seem to be in favour of burning fossil fuel as fast as possible.

    “If anything better does emerge it will probably only be after we face a global long dark night of the soul.”

    Yes, I’m afraid of that, too. It’s looking increasingly and depressingly likely.

  169. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 3:40 pm

    Anon;

    Was it the ‘wave speech’, or the particle speech? I saw the water-marks on the Grand Canyon from the once broad and deep Colorado river which eroded the surface shale down to billion-year old strata and wondered about the original inhabitants….Navajo and Hopi……and their sense of time.

    http://awakeningasone.com/the-signs/hopi-prophecy/

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie

    Since this is supposed to be a thread about economics, could I remind you that you still owe us an explanation of the discrepancy between the the 13000 fewer unemployed but the only 11000 more employed, which was raised on a previous thread.

    Your somewhat lofty tone gave me the impression that you had considerable expertise in employment economics and I was just thinking that you could perhaps share some of that expertise with us.

    Thanks in advance!

  171. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Feb, 2013 - 6:42 pm

  172. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    24 Feb, 2013 – 2:47 pm

    You say:

    “It’s very curious, isn’t it, that he [George Galloway] refused to debate with the Israeli, since he’s normally very fond of talking and very fluent when doing so.”

    “Could the answer be that he chickened out given that the Israeli was nearer to the “scene”, so to speak, than most of the other people he usually debates with and that he was fearful of being out-debated and out-argued for once?”

    You’re at it again Mr Habbabkuk; expressing your point of view in the form of a question: “Could the answer be…”

    Why don’t you just say something like…In my opinion George Galloway chickened out…?

    Do you not like to commit yourself to a straight assertion of your views? Is it because someone might out-argue you and so, by putting a question mark at the end, will allow you to respond that you were merely asking a question?

    I was disappointed that George Galloway walked out but he does act on impulse at times – like the rest of us. Galloway’s track record for winning debates is well established as you seem to acknowledge when you imply that he may have been “…out-debated and out-argued for once…”

    In other words: he hasn’t been out-debated or out- argued previously.

  173. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2013 - 7:57 pm

    resident dissident
    24 Feb, 2013 – 3:01 pm

    In answer to Fred’s question:

    Do you think it was right of our sportsmen to refuse to play against apartheid South Africa?

    You said:

    “Yes when they were representing the State of South Africa – but in this case Galloway went to the debate and after giving his rant/speech left because he “doesn’t recognise Isreal [sic] and he doesn’t talk to Israelis”.[sic]

    Eylon Aslan-Levy was at the debate to represent the state of Israel.

    Galloway and others are boycotting interaction with Israel and its representatives because of the international crimes and human rights abuses that the state commits against the Palestinians.

    Israel now operates an apartheid system not too dissimilar to old apartheid South Africa.

  174. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    24 Feb, 2013 – 4:49 pm

    “Does not George Galloway remind one of that hero from the wonderful pre-Thatcherite 1970s, the great Derek Hatton of Liverpool?”

    No he doesn’t and why should he? And your wrong again Habbabkuk: Derek Hatton was Liverpool Council Deputy Leader from 1983 (not pre-Thatcherite 1970’s).

    Check your facts.

    “Both are sharp dressers, both are eloquent beyond one’s wildest dreams…”

    What is “a sharp dresser”? What are you implying here?

    And Derek Hatton could never be described as “eloquent beyond one’s wildest dreams” by anyone’s standards.

  175. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2013 - 8:46 pm

    resident dissident
    24 Feb, 2013 – 7:02 pm

    You say to Fred:

    “But debating is not a team sport – and even if it was I very much doubt that the Israeli who Galloway objected to would have been on the team given his views on settlements.”

    What are his [the Israeli’s] views on settlements? Please enlighten us.

  176. Galloway was perfectly correct in refusing to debate fiercely with an obviously Jewish-looking student. The debate would have become both personal and racist within minutes and Galloway had the commonsense to see that he had been set up.

    Galloway is not a Muslim so far as I know, but I know from my own experience as an English Muslim revert, that for historical reasons of Empire and its treachery most born Muslims resent the witness of English people about Islam or the issues that affect Islam. The organiser Mahmoud Naji would not be acting abnormally if he set up an Englishman to look racist and personal.

    Muslims not only resent, patronise and discount the insights and knowledge of their English brothers/sisters, but they actually want to conquer and subjugate the English who conquered and subjugated them. They do not want the spiritual and intellectual purpose of exchange of ideas between the non-Muslims and Muslims. They put every physical and psychological barrier in the way of English people who reach out to study or preach their religion.

    In this context, I see the underlying racism of Mahmoud Naji, and I think George Galloway was highly astute and wise to evade the trap he saw he had been put in.

  177. What is more, in the course of the War on Terror, it has become increasingly clear that all of the misfortunes of the Muslims do not result from the ordinary non-Muslims, they result from political minds inside Islam who call on hostile powers from outside Islam to punish Muslims who resist their megalomanic ideas.

    It’s hard to make that psychological shift from blaming and scapegoating the colonial powers, to recognising the qiyanat/ betrayal by the ambitious/criminal/ self-interested Muslims who want to win position and power from the enemies of Islam by betraying their brothers and sisters.

    Whenever I tell my Muslim brothers and sisters that their enemies lie inside the Muslim community they always reply:’ Yes, we know this and we have always suffered from this throughout the history of Islam. The present day is no different. All of the problems of Islam are caused by the traitors from inside Islam. ‘

    The wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya,and now Syria are principally punishments by self-appointed deviant-minded politicians who cannot win their brothers and sisters over to their way of thinking by reasoned argument, and enlist the help of the enemies of Islam to castigate the Muslims with the conditions of tyranny and war in order to punish them for not accepting their authority blindly.

    As I have mentioned before, the fact that these self-appointed minders of Islam collaborate with the enemies of Islam and betray their fellow Muslims by definition means that they are wrong-minded, opponents to the patient etiquettes of Islam.

    If the Saudis were not unfathomably racist against all the Muslims who hie from East of Mecca, and unfathomably racist in favour of all non-Muslims who come from the West, it would be easier for those Eastern Muslims to submit to Saudi indoctrination. Do as I say, not do as I do prevails.

    I know this audience couldn’t care less about the internal problems of Islam. I see Galloway as a Scotsman who instinctively understands the institutional injustice of the central controlling power against the surrounding satellites. But when a sensitive and principled voice speaks up for one of the satellites such as Palestine, a member of another satellite nation tries to accuse him of being a representative of the central controlling power. This is our problem. Please do not try to interfere.

    The Muslims should have the humility to understand that anyone who reaches out with sympathy and understanding to analyse and assist the Muslims against internal or external oppression, from political domination by Saudi or political domination from the non=Muslims, not to shun them. Until they learn the humility to learn from the wisdom of their sympathisers, Divide and Rule rules OK. It is not a hostile act to tell your fellow human being the truth about their situation from their own experience, and it takes great humility to have that truth accurately described to you by someone outside your own circle of ideas.

  178. resident dissident

    25 Feb, 2013 - 10:04 pm

    Guano – I withdraw my previous comment about your handle being appropriate. Guano has a use – you clearly do not.

    Your latest demonstration of your pig ignorance (sorry, I withdraw the pig – pigs are intelligent animals) include the following:

    “to debate fiercely with an obviously Jewish-looking student” – hasn’t anyone told you that many Jews in Isreal look no different at all from their neighbours.

    “UK foreign policy started to attack Muslim countries starting with Yugoslavia” – that would be Muslim Yugoslavia and those two well known friends of all Muslims Slobo and Karadzjic would it?

  179. resident dissident

    25 Feb, 2013 - 10:26 pm

    “Eylon Aslan-Levy was at the debate to represent the state of Israel.”

    No he wasn’t – he was there as an individual Oxford student – as the Muslim chair who arranges the debates explained this was one of a series of debates to pit individual Oxford students against public figures.

    As for his views on settlements these were partly set out in the original Guardian article to which Mary linked i.e.

    “Aslan-Levy, who was born and brought up in Britain, said he is keen for the Palestinian conflict to be settled diplomatically and disagrees with the settler movement and its representatives, such as Dani Dayan, who spoke at the union last Friday”

    I’m sure if you want to know more then you can send a polite question to his twitter account.

  180. in My humble opinion, the you tube video of George Galloway spanking ( No Em Pun intended ) the Senate over Iraq – is one of the best youtube videos Ever,

    But here is Another of G.G Having his Blood pressure Go through the roof, as he tries educate a silly Zionist Type…Both Funny and yet sad

  181. Thanks for that link, Brian. I have tears of laughter running down my face.

    “You’ll give me a heart attack, Andy. I’d better go on to another caller”.

  182. Des Res
    Sorry the cork in your pop gun was on a short piece of string. You’ll have to reload and get closer to your aim. My point was that the facial characteristics of Mr Galloway’s debating opponent are, apart from the dangly curls in front of the ears, exactly the features of modern Israel youth.

    When I went to Israel a long time ago I was struck by the similarity as you say between the appearance of young Palestinians and young Israelis, both of whom at that time shaved their beards. But Mr Aslan-Levy has that anaemic look of a young Jew, while the most of the Muslim youth now support beards.

    I sometimes change coaches at Golders Green, and I also recently encountered a troop of ringleted students on a cliff walk in Dorset. Apart from being politely insistent on their right to occupy the Holy Land, they were also all of similar face to Mr Aslan-Levy. The debate was a set up to make Galloway look a fool, which he isn’t.

  183. Des Res

    “Aslan-Levy, who was born and brought up in Britain, said he is keen for the Palestinian conflict to be settled diplomatically and disagrees with the settler movement and its representatives, such as Dani Dayan, who spoke at the union last Friday”

    Those of us who have had dealings in our personal lives with Jewish people have learned not to take their statements at face value. That is learned from bitter experience. Zionists always lie and you will be a lot closer to the truth if you reverse their statements.

    “Aslan-Levy, who was born and brought up in Britain, said he is keen for the Palestinian conflict to be settled by Zionist deceit and believes the settler movement and its representatives have the right policies.” Deceit is extremely irritating, especially on the lips of people you trust like women and students.

    George Galloway seems to have been through a similar learning curve to my own. there is nothing you can do with Zionist deceit. Walk away and leave them with the egg on their face.

  184. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Feb, 2013 - 8:22 am

    @ Doug Scorgie re. The Gorgeous One / Derek Hatton :

    Absolutely right, Dougie, I was a decade out, but that doesn’t of course invalidate my basic point.

    Don’t you know a sharp dresser when you see one? Of course you do, there was another (extreme left-wing) example quite near to you, the famous “Tommy Sheridan”…remember him?

    Do you happen to know if The Georgeous One smokes Havanas (no reason why he shouldn’t, of course!). Just to build up a more complete picture, you understand!

  185. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Feb, 2013 - 8:33 am

    @ Doug Scorgie (19h30) :

    “You’re at it again Mr Habbabkuk; expressing ypur point of view in the form of a question”

    You’re a hawk-eyed observer indeed, Mr Doug, and you’re quite right, I do have recourse to that rhetorical device from time to time. But it’s quite a common rhetorical device and I shouldn’t fret about it if I were you; just focus on substance and answer the question(s). *

    “Is it because someone might out-argue you”

    The possibility that I could be out-argued cxertainly exists, but on the evidence so far it certainly won’t be you who’ll do it.

    * reminder : your learned explanation for the unemployment/employment figures? Still waiting with bated breath!

    *************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  186. ‘Those of us who have had dealings in our personal lives with Jewish people have learned not to take their statements at face value. That is learned from bitter experience. Zionists always lie and you will be a lot closer to the truth if you reverse their statements.’ – Gunao

    Moderators?

    Okay, I think we have seen enough, this Guano character is obviously an insane, out and out bigot, who has invested a great deal of his life in make-believe.

    I would encourage anyone of sane mind not to debate with him.

  187. CE
    You are not a troll, you are trash.

  188. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Feb, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    @ CE :

    I must urge you not to be too hard with young Guano. Everything in creation has a function, although that function may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye. On this blog characters like Guano, English Knight and Mark Golding, for example, provide rich comic relief : to condemn them as merely insane, although understandable, is ungenerous and smacks of Saint Mary-style negativism.

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  189. CE, today’s Gatekeeper decreed:

    “Okay, I think we have seen enough, this Guano character is obviously an insane, out and out bigot, who has invested a great deal of his life in make-believe.

    I would encourage anyone of sane mind not to debate with him.”

    CE. Zionism is a political ideology. Not all Zionists are Jewish. Not all Jews are Zionists. Opposing a political ideology is not bigotry.

    Meanwhile in Israel

    A film of an Israeli settler trying to convince Palestinians to hand over their fram land to him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tEgKT0cIOZk

    Turn on captions to enjoy the full glory of the religious nutjob.

    “Now, you listen to me. Soon the Messiah will come. He’ll be here any minute. You understand this well. It’s also written in the Koran. When the Messiah comes, you’ll be our slaves.”

  190. Can’t agree here Craig. After all that quantitative easing inflation has fallen from 5.2% to 2.7% -i.e almost halved. Stagflation is a difficult thing to explain, but my guess is it’s caused by rises in fuel and energy prices. It began in the 1970s after the 1973 OPEC oil price rise and fuel and energy costs have been rising in the last decade too.

    Printing money certainly devalues existing money – but it also devalues debts denominated in the same currency that’s being printed; and our main problem is not inflation, but unemployment and lack of credit. South Korean economist Ha Joon Chang has pointed out that even IMF analyses estimate that inflation doesn’t impact on growth until it reaches 8%, while less conservative studies suggest 20%.

    Banks issue money as debt all the time, out of thin air. There’s no reason governments can’t print money and instead of giving it to the banks to pad their reserves, give it to ordinary people or as low or zero interest loans to small and medium businesses which actually pay their taxes and aren’t likely to move abroad the moment higher profits are available in another country.

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