Thursday, 31 January 2013

Inconvenient Truths

Continuing my series showing to the green meanies that we sceptics are sceptical for good reason, today we come to one of the great articles of faith: seal level rise.

It's all down to those models again, the ones that have been wrong and repeatedly so as they failed to predict the current pause in warming and which fail to account for the lack of warming where it should be at altitude above the equator.

These same models insist that we will be seeing increased levels of precipitation. But, guess what? It just ain't happening, and that is even taking into account the lousy weather in Britain last year. Nothing unprecedented is happening. Thanks to our obsession with the weather, we have long records about rainfall in England. See this graph:

This clearly shows that there is no increase. The average rainfall is 913mm per annum plus or minus 18mm. To date nothing has changed.

And sea level? We have records of that too and it has increased. But it has not increased markedly or in any way alarmingly since we started pumping vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere post the industrialisation rush from 1945.

Here's another graph

This comes from New York dating back to midway through the 19th century. Yes it shows a gradual rise but nothing that comes close to being correlated with CO2. It should be a huge increase if those models are right. It's nothing like that.

Yet whenever we get big storms causing huge damage like Hurrican Sandy last year or Katrina in New Orleans, it is almost always put down to climate change. This is arrant nonsense. These were extraordinary storms which overwhelmed defences that are usually adequate in the case of New York or were scandalously poorly maintained in the case of New Orleans. The sea level, though rising, is nothing to do with it.

But are these events becoming more common? In my next post I will deal with the issue of so called extreme events.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

PMQs 30th January 2013 - The Labour Borrowing is Better Than Tory Borrowing Edition

Last week, by common consent, Dave had a good week. He gave the speech and it was rousingly received. He set the agenda, had the backbenches cheering for him and bested by some distance a confused and confusing Wallace who has been wrong footed despite the months and months he had to prepare. Dave is the great gambler of British politics, the last ditch, good in a crisis man. Wallace is the play safe man who seems to think that the premiership is just going to fall into his lap without any need for all of that tedious policy formulation stuff taking place. His sense of entitlement is greater than that of any public schoolboy. he just assumes that he speaks for the workers, the people who so obligingly send these middle class elitists off to parliament only to be ignored when they get there. This is how the EU manages to survive and thrive. It's why Wallace doesn't trust us with the vote. Much better when you can rely on nice safe, predictable constituencies and their bovine electorates. Now UKIP may give him a harder time.

At the weekend it emerged that the great stalking horse hope of some Conservatives, although not very many at the moment thanks to The Speech, is Adam Afriyie. Who? Well exactly. He, we are told, is the British Obama, although we though that was Chuka Umunna. Okay, so he's the Tory Obama. That doesn't really work though does it? And it wouldn't even if anyone had ever heard of him. Does Britain need an Obama? Well Labour probably do because they have Wallace and his equally useless brother or of course pudgy Balls, they playground bully who doesn't like it when people retaliate. Labour desperately need an Obama, or at least another Blair.

The Tories for now seem content with Dave. And there is also Boris who told us at the weekend that we should stop talking austerity. He did not, however, as the Guardian claimed, come out as a Keynesian. He was just saying we should talk ourselves up a bit, stop being so gloomy. He didn't point out, although perhaps he should have, that it's a funny kind of austerity that sees public spending keep rising and the public debt double. Those who tell us we need Keynesian deficit spending seem not to have noticed that that is precisely what we have had under Labour and the Tories. It's demonstrably not working. Do you think it will lead them to a rethink? It's about as likely as Adam Afriyie being the next leader of the Tories with Nadine Dorries as his Chancellor.

Mind you, the chances of Dave still being PM after the next election were dealt a blow yesterday by those upstanding defenders of democracy and decency the Lib Dems yesterday. They teamed up with Labour to defeat the government's boundaries review measure which would have equalised the size of constituencies and taken away Labour's inbuilt advantage. The only consolation is that Labour are most unlikely to show any gratitude to Nick and his party if they go on to form a government thanks to this latest piece of Lib Dem perfidy. Labour are about as principled as their yellow fellow leftist travellers, indeed Gordon Brown even turned up to vote for once. Democracy is something both Labour and the Lib Dems have in common. They prefer it on their terms and prefer not to consult the people since we can't be relied upon to always give the right answer.

And so to this week's PMQs with Dave on at least a European high and Wallace once more in a policy lite place, something he proved in addition to having the sort of chutzpah that would have made the late Michael Winner blush. Wallace decided to talk about the economy, of the possibility of an unprecedented triple dip recession and of the government's borrowing. 

Last year, said Wallace, Dave had told him that the good news would keep coming, what was his excuse this time?

Dave pointed out, not unreasonably if a little niggardly, that the Labour MPs cheering this were cheering the shrinking and struggling economy. He then quoted the soon to be ex Governor of the Bank of England who had said only a few days ago, and in the face of the latest disappointment, that the economy was moving in the right direction, as backed up by those remarkably robust unemployment figures Wallace declined to talk about rather than make a mess of his Europe policy.

Wallace then accused Dave of complacency. Apparently the use of this word every Wednesday is now one of the few established and agreed upon areas of Labour policy. I have no word on whether they have agreed that Wallace must always deliver it in that silly school boy sneer he routinely deploys. Perhaps that is another one of his departures from advice and the agreed line.

But then along came, like buses and repeats on television, another of his favourite lines about the part time chancellor after Dave had told him the government was not remotely complacent. The Chancellor affected mirth and insouciance. Or possibly he passed wind. Television has its limitations on such occasions.

And then there followed some competitive IMF quoting. Wallace cherry picked a bit that suited him. Then Dave did the same. What a useful organ the IMF is and its reports are political golddust. Only the Bible and maybe Shakespeare can be quoted more flexibly to support and enhance any point or argument.

Now Wallace accused the PM of being incomprehensible. He tends to deploy this one each week too. Either he asserts something that Dave didn't say or he tells him he is making no sense. Dave responded perfectly cogently and coherently to my ears that Wallace was complaining about the debt whilst offering more debt himself. Wallace now rolled out his soundbite of the day. It was long and, whilst not incomprehensible, I frankly can't be bothered to type it all out. Snappy it wasn't. But he did get in that this was the slowest recovery for 100 years.

Dave, as Dave does, said that Labour would repeat the same mistakes and this was why the British public would never trust them with the economy. Oh and at the end we had the words of Galloway. He asked the PM to adumbrate, because he does like to show how learned he is even if he cannot seem to marshal them in to any good sense ideas or instincts, about Syria. Dave simply responded as so many have to Galloway inshallah, or would like to, that, wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator he can be sure to have the support of god fearing Mr Galloway.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Inconvenient Truths

As part of my new series explaining that climate sceptics are sceptical for good reason and not because we are hopeless troglodytes, obscurantists or in the pay of big oil, today's post tackles models. No, not the sort who drive a Toyota Prius to save the planet and eat a grain of rice for lunch, the sort we used to see making the headlines on the BBC predicting boiling seas and the desertification of Europe.

Much, indeed almost all of the warming scare is based around these models in the absence of proper evidence. These claim that a doubling of CO2 will produce a 3 degree increase in temperatures. This is well in excess of any physical reason and is based on the effect of increased water vapour - the most potent greenhouse gas - which would exacerbate the effect of additional CO2.

The problem is that there is no evidence that this is happening and there is increasing evidence that it is not (see graphs in last post). There has been a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945 which, if the models are correct, would imply an increase of 1.2 degrees. In fact the increase has been 0.4 degrees. So has the planet cooled by 0.8 degrees naturally to compensate for our pollution? Perhaps it is a sign at last of a beneficent god.

And there are more reasons to doubt those models. Take a look at this extrapolated from the 4th IPCC report.

These are sections from the South Pole on the left up to the North Pole on the right and expressing altitude as pressure. Sea level is 1000 hPa and 11km is 200hPa.

And here we see another major problem for those models in the blob just above the equator which according to the models should be warming at 0.6 degrees because of the CO2 at that level trapping radiation.

But it's not happening. We seek it in vain and it's not been for the want of trying with balloons flying instruments in there constantly for weather forecasting purposes. There is no heating whatsoever and there has to be if the models are right.

All things being equal this ought to be fatal to a scientific theory. It ought at the very least to prompt a rethink and scepticism oughtn't it?

Monday, 28 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice

Today is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, the Jane Austen book that, above all others, still sets hearts a flutter, and that was before Colin Firth so famously played Mr Darcy in such a manner that nobody will ever be able to do so again until such time as that famous BBC version is made obsolete by technology.

I love P and P. Yes, a bloke. And I mean the book, not the dramatisation that actually managed to fill the TV lounge in my student hall of residence back in 1995. But, it has to be said, though she may be one of our greatest ever authors, she effectively kept writing the same book over and over with only slight variations on the theme. That's why P and P is so popular. The rest are just sequels, oh and one prequel.

Cut Taxes, Mr Osborne

Two years ago I wrote this post concerning the only recently elected new leader of the Labour Party, Mr Ed Miliband. At the time I referred to him as Forrest. Since then he has come to be known as Wallace. But take a look at the post. With regard to Labour's economic policy not a lot has changed.

As we saw last week with the latest GDP figures, our economy is not performing well. It is flatlining. This is a matter of great concern to Labour of course, that's why their smug and obnoxious shadow chancellor enjoys goading his opposite number and the PM in the Commons with his infantile had gestures. He is still, just as two years ago, utterly blind to the fact that it was his party and many of his policies which created the mess we are now in.

The fact is that, despite the rhetoric of all of the parties, we are not enduring austerity. We are pursuing what looks suspiciously like a Keynesian policy agenda. Our public spending is still running at record levels and is increasing with the pain being postponed. Quite why this government has talked so much of austerity whilst actually inflicting very little remains a mystery. That they then allow the opposition to get away with calling it too  far and too fast is beyond imagination. This spending plans of this government are scarcely different from those pencilled in by the last Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling.

Some of us have been pointing this out for some time. We have the worst of all worlds with our current economic policies. We have talk of austerity without having it in practice. Thus we have all the doom and gloom without the savings, we have had easy cuts like those to infrastructure and defence but nothing to address our chronic welfare problems, the absurd spending on overseas aid to make the Tories look modern and 'progressive' and ring fenced spending on a chronically inefficient health service.

The reason that the British economy is not performing well is complex and not helped by the problems of the Eurozone, but it is certainly not helped by a state that is sucking out ever more from an economy drowning in Gordon's Brown tax and spend legacy thanks to a government too afraid to do what it knows needs to be done but which might confirm them as the nasty party. But it would take a psychologist to explain why it is that they are prepared to pose as imposing austerity without actually doing so. Why take the punishment but only dole out placebos to a chronically ill economy?

And it is not as if this is a government incapable of doing the right things and trusting its instincts. Welfare is being reformed if a little too slowly. Education is a real bright spot. But where is the real reforming zeal on the economy, and in particular on tax? Why did they take all that flak for cutting the upper rate of tax from 50% to 45%? Why not just do what they knew would be best for the economy and cut back to the 40% rate that Labour kept in place for their entire term?

And why do they allow this continual creep of the 40% rate to those who are by no means rich? How is that good for the economy and good for the so called strivers political parties so patronisingly refer to these days?

What is needed is for the government to cut taxes now. It should immediately abolish the upper rate and tax all higher earners at 40%. It should dramatically raise the threshold for those paying 40% to take out middle earners currently struggling and not spending in our struggling economy. And it should immediately reinstate a 10% rate for low earners. It should set out an agenda for a flatter tax system for all to be phased in over the next 5 years as the finances improve.

Our economy is flatlining because we lack the confidence and the financial firepower to spend. We are not struggling because of austerity but because we are still financing a state that cannot or will not cut itself. If the government cannot cut it should announce a freeze in public spending until further notice until the economy is growing again and can afford Brown levels of spending. It is the only way to kickstart our economy and break it out of its torpor.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Murray Loses

To be fair that headline is not as inevitable as it was this time last year. Murray has got to three consecutive grand slam finals, lost two and won one. Today it was very close for the first couple of sets. But then class told. Perhaps Murray should cheer up a bit, smile a bit more often. You're one of the top three best players in the world, you're richer than Croesus, you have a beautiful girlfriend and a very devoted mother. Smile. Lighten up. Then when you win I will have to find a non generic photo of you.

Love and Marriage

Gigi Chao's dad still insists that he would like to give any man she can convince to marry her $40 million. Surely, Gigi, we can come to some arrangement?


Sunday Funnies

Friday, 25 January 2013

Inconvenient Truths

Earlier this week I pointed out the tendency of lefties and climate change fanatics in particular (the two are interchangeable) for calling those who disagree with them names rather than engage in proper debate. This was exemplified by Graham Linehan who called me an idiot because I, a climate change sceptic, objected to being compared to the gun toting idiots of America who refuse to give up their semi-automatic rifles despite Sandy Hook and many massacres like it.

And so this is a series which seeks to show that those of us who are sceptics on the issue of climate change have perfectly good and valid reasons for our scepticism.

So let's first address the big question head on. Is the world warming? Yes it is. Surprised?

The fact is that few sceptics, except the head bangers who appear on Fox News, dispute that the world is warming. There are questions about the reliability of the data - the siting of some temperature measurement stations is poor and are often resited meaning unreliability - but by and large we accept that the world has warmed over the last 150 years or so.

There are clear signs of this. The polar ice has reduced as have some glaciers, although even here it can be for reasons other than just warmer global temperatures.

But where we diverge is on causes. We do not accept that warming is happening because of human activities. There are good reasons for this fundamental doubt.

The physics of the greenhouse effect are well known, and indeed we would not be here on this planet were it not for the greenhouse effect which makes our planet warm enough to be habitable at least for complex lifeforms like our own and the myriad of other species on the planet to thrive and survive. But the extent to which infra-red energy is causing heating is unknown, despite the dubious claims of various models.

The biggest problem with the anthropogenic warming theory is that it is impossible to separate man-made warming with natural warming, which long pre-dated man and indeed made us possible.  

Take a look at this graph from the University of East Anglia , it shows global temperatures relative to the average recorded from 1950 to 1990.

It shows regular drops and increases in temperatures. Lower from 1850 to 1860; higher then to 1880; dropping to 1910; rising to 1945; falling back again to 1980 (when people were worried about a new ice age); rising to 2000. Since then there has been a slight drop. Yes, a slight drop.

Now take a look at this graph which records the  steady upward trend of CO2 as recorded in Hawaii.

This, it seems reasonable to conclude, is largely down to man-made emissions.

Now look at this graph which records annual CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuel.

This pretty definitively shows that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is down to man burning fossil fuels. It also shows that only after 1945 did this begin to increase from relatively low levels. So it is reasonable to conclude that the warming we saw prior to 1945 was natural and had little to do with man. So how can we be sure that the warming since then has been down to man? Put simply we can't, and that is before we factor in the fact that temperatures, despite the huge increase of man-made CO2 since World War II, have not risen in line with CO2 as all of the doom laden predictions say it should.

Unfortunately we only have accurate readings of temperatures going back 150 years or so. There are other ways however of getting good if less accurate data. Ice core samples effectively allow us to look back in time but cannot give us accurate measures of global temperature. But they can show changes in temperature.

This graph shows these trends

Essentially this is a kind of average, according to ice samples and taking out any abnormal events which would skew the data. They show that natural climate varies by up to one degree in any century for natural reasons. It also shows that there is a less than one in ten chance of it varying by more than 1.9 degrees. During the twentieth century the temperature varied by 0.9 degrees, well within the range of natural variation.

That, in a nutshell, is why we are sceptical. There are of course many other reasons. Those who propose man-made causes have nothing other than speculative models to fall back on. We have historic records which clearly show that the warming we have seen and which is now on hold is nothing unusual and nothing to worry about.

I'll come to some of the other reasons soon.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

But Ref, I Got the Ball!

There was much outrage on Twitter last night when Eden Hazard, a highly expensive and well remunerated footballer kicked a ball boy and then got sent off. There were some who thought this the greatest outrage since Joey Barton's French accent.

In truth it wasn't exactly a Cantona moment. It wasn't much of a kick. It's not as if he tried to launch him, Beckham style, into the top corner of the net. He gave him a slight nudge as the little oik held on to the ball and then proceeded to roll around in fake agony like a big girl's blouse.

And anyway, even if you remain outraged at this piece of pantomime dressed up as sport, you needn't worry because the little bastard is rich. It turns out also that the lad is the son of a Swansea director  and is actually the heir to a fortune that would even make a footballer blush. It could only have been worse if he had turned out to be the son of Fred Goodwin. And he boasted of his intention to hold up the game by holding on to the ball. So rescind that red card, ban the oik for life. Can we all have a kick?

Deficient Deficit Language

David Cameron had a good day yesterday. He got his backbenchers off his back, exposed another Labour policy vacuum and potential omnishambles and won the best headlines and commentaries of his premiership.

But he also told a bare faced lie. In a party election broadcast he told the nation that 'we are paying down our debts'. This is simply not true. It relies on a classic Gordon Brown-like piece of language manipulation and the fact that most people don't know or don't care about the difference between our debt and deficit.

We are not paying down our debt. We are trying, very slowly to reduce the deficit which, year on year is adding to our debt. The deficit is what we borrow each year to fund what taxes will not cover. That deficit is then added to our debt. Our debt will grow more under this government than it did under Labour. Take a look at this graph from The Spectator based on ONS figures.

Nevertheless it is Labour we should blame for all of this since the deficit is their legacy. So when they complain about this language of Dave's we should look askance. Because they are also frequently guilty of the same deliberately misleading language. And, which is more to the point, they would be borrowing even more than the government is. They say the government is cutting too far and too fast. Many, looking at the graph above, will be surprised given that all of the talk these last two years has been of austerity and cuts. Yet government spending is increasing and the cuts have been minimal, some, including me, would say far too minimal. Our debt is expanding and heading into dangerous territory. This is why we are set to lose our AAA credit status.

And we should also look askance at calls from the IMF for us to look again at our strategy. This is not a government imposing draconian cuts on the country in order to pay down our debts. It is doing the bare minimum.

I applaud David Cameron's gusty approach to Europe and hope it succeeds. But why do we have to endure all of this talk about cuts and austerity and listen to the caterwauling coming from the unions and other vested interests about Tory cuts? We should laugh in the face of Labour spokesmen who complain about Cameron's misleading language. Our debt is set to expand throughout this parliament. Perhaps we should put that graph on a poster.

Labour's Clear Position on Europe

Did you, like me, think that you heard Wallace tell the Commons yesterday that Labour were against an in/out referendum? That's because you did. But he meant to say, we are now told, that this is their position 'for now.'

Before that, on the BBC's Daily Politics, Caroline Flint had said that a referendum was still on the table. Then Wallace told us that he was against his own party's position. Then his spinners told us that his position was not yet. This was what he had meant to say. Perhaps he has caught his shadow chancellor's speech impediment and will soon be complaining that we are bullying him when we point out that he is contradicting himself.

Later, Emma Reynolds told us: 'our position is consistent and clear,' they think that if they keep saying stuff like that we will just assume that this is the case, 'we're against an in/ out referendum, but never say never.' And john Denham and little Dougy Alexander were roaming around, in no sense of panic of course, saying something along the lines of they see no reason to consult the British public but they might if everything changes, say the EU gets into a crisis surrounding its currency and needs to create all kinds of new rules and institutions.....oh, hang on.

And there are plenty of Labour MPs who think they should be in favour of a referendum, including the man who is supposed to be in charge of they, without irony call party policy. Yesterday it looked suspiciously as if the policy was to make it up as they go along and to automatically oppose everything the government says only to change a few weeks later, or hours in some cases and hope nobody notices. They did the same on Leveson.

So, they are against it, but they might not be. It all depends. I hope that clears it up for you.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

PMQs 23rd January 2013 - The Post Speech Edition

And it came to pass that Dave gave the speech. And it was good. And he saw that it was good and his face glowed like a man who spent the previous weekend having almost no sleep had no right to glow. And his party saw that it was good and there was much rejoicing. And Labour and the Lib Dems saw that it was good and they were glum and resentful and looked fearfully towards the opinion polls.

The cheers Dave received as he entered the chamber this morning were enough to make even a ruddy cheeked man of his complexion glow like a Belisha beacon. But Dave looked pleased and happy and, despite the extra workload he gave himself on this busy day, remarkably relaxed.

Incidentally, while we are on the subject, why does the PM, when asked to detail his activities for the day at the start of PMQs, not actually do so? Why instead of the boring ministerial meetings line he always gives didn't he respond I had meetings then gave the speech which may define my premiership and which has neatly snookered the opposition and discomfited Nick and his Euro loony pals?

And how snookered Wallace looked today. He tried to hide it by demanding to know how the PM will vote in a referendum four years hence after a renegotiation yet to even start. He even had to resort to his old line about the PM being there to answer questions. Never a good sign when he uses that one.

But then he was flustered and cornered into answering a question. No, he said, he did not think there should be an in/out referendum. Presumably this was missed by Dave. He certainly made no mention of it instead claiming that Wallace had said the opposite.

We can be pretty sure that this bold statement will not last. Labour will pretend that they mean they don't want one now. Well neither does the PM. Are they ruling out ever consulting the British people? Well they would like to. But that doesn't sound very democratic does it? It sound very European actually. So Dave wants us to stay in the EU but thinks the people should give their consent. Wallace wants to stay in the EU and will use whatever excuse he can to ensure we do on our present terms by not asking us. Guess who the Eurocrats will be hoping wins in 2015. For the Tories, it's like divine intervention.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

In or Out? We Get To Decide

Today is the day of The Speech. And, it seems, Dave is going to give us a referendum - if we re - elect him in 2015. This is because the Lib Dems would not allow one now despite having promised one at the last election. Labour are also against, although you can never quite tell with them. The other day they were definitely against only updating benefits by 1% and voted accordingly. But does that mean they would be against it in government. Yes. And then no.

Dave says he wants us to stay in the EU but only if they let us change the rules. Europe says they won't because if we get concessions everyone will want them. And this would be bad apparently. Europe is very much against the notion of giving people what they want. It prefers to give them what they ought to want and ignores them until they agree that that is what they want. Referendums are thus best avoided. Asking the people what they want is un-European.

But Dave insists that the people must be consulted. The trouble is we Brits are not keen on Europe and so he must get change to win our consent. Otherwise we may well walk away. Sleepwalking to the exit says Labour. Charging towards it high on Red Bull after the celebration party more like.

You see some of us on this little island that is nevertheless Germany's biggest trading partner feel that an exit need hold no fears for us. We would thrive outside. Indeed we would do so well others would likely follow.

Why do we feel this way? Because Europe has ceased to be about free trade and has become a project in and of itself. The whole single market shtick has become an excuse for constant interference in our lives for no obvious reason. Only this week it was revealed that Europe wants powers over our press. Why? To what end? Why should an unelected bureaucrat supposedly there to oversee a single market need powers over the press? But then this is the EU. Its reach is constantly being extended without our consent by people who don't trouble themselves with democratic accountability. Maybe that's why they want powers over our impertinent press to make it more like the compliant BBC. If only they could get such control they might have prevented all of this referendum talk.

Ultimately the only way to stop it is by threatening to leave and being prepared to do so. Dave knows the British are instinctively hostile to the EU. But if it is so good for us let us see how. Let's have the debate.

Meantime the PM can say to the country that he trusts the British people unlike the other major parties. He believes we should be consulted and will give us a referendum if he wins another term. He may have just won it. And we may be about to win our country back.

Inconvenient Truths: Why Climate Change Sceptics Get Insulted For Asking Awkward Questions

I wrote yesterday about the tendency of lefties to call those who disagree with them names rather than debate the facts in a civilised way. This is particularly the case with the debate that they have long tried to shut down over global warming, climate change or whatever new name they have dreamt up when the facts change but they are unwilling to admit it. Those of us who ask questions and express perfectly reasonable and healthy scepticism are routinely attacked and vilified as deniers, obscurantists and evil planet destroyers rather than people who are simply pursuing the accepted scientific method and asking for proof.

Because that is what they don't want you to know. The theory surrounding climate change is unproven. The evidence is almost non-existent. Our questions are perfectly reasonable and should be required when the theory in question is threatening to change all of our lives, is costing us billions, throwing people out of work, ruining our landscapes and pushing more and more people into fuel poverty.

So this is the beginning of a series in which I will point out the flaws and the unfortunate gaps, the issues that cause we sceptics to ask awkward questions. If only we could get answers rather than spin, sophistry and insults.

And it is appropriate that we start today, the day after President Obama made 'combating climate change' a key plank of his plans for his second term. Obama said this yesterday in freezing cold Washington:

We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.

The threat of climate change is that the alleged cure may be worse than the disease and could kill the patient. The only reason that fuel poverty isn't more of an issue in America is nothing to do with supposed greener policies and everything to do with the exploitation of shale gas making energy cheaper and very much against the green orthodoxy. Here in Britain our energy prices have nearly doubled, in large part thanks to green policies and the subsidies needed by renewables.
What of that great get out clause of the green meanies, the 'overwhelming judgement of science'. Sounds impressive doesn't it? But it's meaningless. Who dispenses this judgement? Where does it come from? Are we talking about that wonderful alleged consensus we are always hearing about?

Well unfortunately science doesn't work that way. Consensus never has and hopefully never will be the determining factor in science. Otherwise the greats, from Galileo, Copernicus, Newton to Einstein would never have been listened to. They produced theories and evidence subsequently proved them right. That, to this day, is what the theory of manmade greenhouse warming lacks.

Even the claim about that alleged consensus is bogus. It is spin and lies designed to impress people, which of course it has often succeeded in doing, even on presidential rostrums. But the reference is to a survey that was conducted. It was a couple of questions sent to climate scientists from which a consensus was imagined. Not much nuance there. But then they're not keen on nuance among the green meanies.

Oh and what of that claim about extreme weather increasing? Well again it's nonsense that 'science' speaking as one voice after a big meeting came to this handy conclusion. Clearly it could not and did not. There is no evidence whatsoever that such events are increasing. There is evidence that we live in a connected world in which such events are reported almost instantly, graphically and in amazing detail by people who carry cameras everywhere. We are also living in an ever more crowded world and so incidents are bound to increase in populated areas.

Watt's Up With That has produced this graph to show that such extreme events have stayed stable and are not increasing in any measurable way.

And this kind of tendentious, sloppy and plain mendacious use of factoids is common in the faith that is climate change theory. That is why, when we ask questions, they prefer to slander us rather than debate the facts. Their models have been demonstrated to be wrong and that is all the evidence they can produce. Now that the summers are not getting hotter and the cold winters have returned they tell us that this because of global warming too. Oh and the pause is just a pause and warming  will resume soon. How do they know? They don't.

So this is a series which will seek to show that our scepticism is perfectly justified and should be the reaction of all intelligent people. Increasingly it is. That's why they call us names. More to follow soon.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Can We Have A Decent National Anthem Like This One Please?

Climate Change - Why Did Graham Linehan Call Me an Idiot?

As you will no doubt have noticed, I am never slow to voice an opinion. This, thanks to Twitter, tends to mean I get into arguments.

Now I try to be civilised about these things. You would think it would be possible to disagree about something without resorting to name calling and questioning of my motives in addition to my parentage. But apparently not. I have mentioned before how angry and aggressive lefties can be. Thus anyone who disagrees with them about taxes, benefits, Europe, privatisation, America, or the life and career of George Galloway must do so because they are an evil bastard intent on grinding the poor into the dust and returning them to the poorhouse. It never occurs to them that we might be just as concerned about the plight of the poor as they are but note that their solutions don't work and have actually made matters worse after being tested to destruction by the last Labour government. This is a situation which hasn't been helped by the Tory tendency of late to apologise for being Tory and the nasty party.

But the anger and name calling becomes particularly acute on the issue of global warming, or climate change, or whatever they are calling it this week now that we have had a foot of snow with more to come. Not content with equating sceptics with Nazis by calling us deniers, they angrily accuse us of being in the pay of big oil (I wish) or of course of the usual drowning polar bears, flooded island nations and heartless raping of the planet.

I have been accused of all of these things in the last week for the crime of disagreeing with the bien pensant consensus. This must be what it feels like to be Julie Burchill. Well, sort of.

The other day I was called an idiot by a sitcom writer. Graham Linehan, author of Father Ted and The IT Crowd had compared climate change sceptics to those in America who demand the right to bear arms. I objected to this absurd characterisation thus:

Well not really, people demonstrably keep getting shot while the climate demonstrably hasn't warmed for 20 years. Nice try.

What was his response? It went thus:

You're either tweeting from a different planet, or you're an idiot.

Note no attempt to debate, come up with counter arguments or in any way take part in a civilised discussion.

I replied:

Nicely honed argument. AGW is a theory whose predictions keep being falsified. 20 years! But you ignore it and keep insulting ppl.

To which I, of course, have had no response.

Why do the likes of Linehan do this? Because they prefer their lazy assumptions to actually doing some proper reading which might challenge them. Like the most fervent of religious believers, they don't actually understand the cause they are so ready to defend to the point of calling people names. Anyone who disagrees or who questions is simply a denier or an idiot. Yet when push comes to shove they can't actually explain why.

And so, for the benefit of Mr Linehan and my other poorly read and painfully incurious recent interlocutors, tomorrow I shall write a short summary of why it is that some of us, many of us, are sceptical about climate change. And it's not because there is snow on the ground for the fifth winter in succession, although that ought surely to give pause for thought to Independent readers at least. It's not because the Met Office recently changed its predictions and admitted grudgingly that the planet has stopped warming.

Believe it or not we have a perfectly rational and well researched set of reasons for questioning whether our planet is set to warm catastrophically in the coming decades. And we are winning the argument.

I shall post this tomorrow. I doubt however that I shall get an apology any time soon from Graham Linehan. I still enjoy his sitcoms though. Indeed talking to some with his mindset is rather like talking to Father Dougal. Was he really a comic creation?

Friday, 18 January 2013

No Speech, Just Snow and Sand

So, in the wake of the calamitous events in the Algerian desert, The Speech is off. This means we will have to go through the whole tedious build-up once again at some point in the future. But it also means that Labour have more time to decide what it is they are actually for and against and try to think of an answer for the question, would you give the British people a referendum. Don't hold your breath on that one.

In the meantime the news today is set to be dominated by Algeria and the snow. The snow? you say. But I thought that by now we would have raised a generation of children who have never seen snow in these globally warmed times. Indeed that was one of the predictions that was made a few years ago which certain parts of the media reported with banner headlines and lots of tutting and shaking of heads.
But this did not come to pass. We are suffering one of the worst storms in years, if not quite as bad as you might expect if you read the Daily Express. Global warming is on hold. It's not even climate change now. What we now have is extreme weather events that are brought about by..... well, you know.

So the low temperatures and foot of snow you will wake up to this morning are because of the 4 x 4 you will need to get anyway safely.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The EU: Another Labour Lacuna

Wallace had a lot of fun at the prime minister's expense yesterday, in as much as the uselessly earnest Leader of the Opposition could ever have fun. He doesn't really do fun. And yet, under cross examination on Today this morning we saw, not so much another lacuna, but a yawning chasm of emptiness, a void where policy ought to be on the issue of Europe. The reason that Labour is not divided on the subject like the Tories clearly are is that their leadership is determined not to give them anything to disagree about.

A referendum? He won't say which clearly means he doesn't want to give us one and will twist and turn and make every excuse possible not to say so because this infuriates the electorate. This is the party, let us not forget, that promised a referendum on the constitution but then didn't give us one on the Lisbon Treaty, which was the same document in more obscure legal language.

He did say that he wants the EU to be 'more flexible,' and to 'work better for Britain.' Well isn't that what Dave is saying, albeit rather more explicitly? Wallace also confirmed that he would not repeal legislation that means any more powers given to the EU would have to face the hurdle of a referendum. So what exactly does he disagree with the prime minister about?

Well as usual we don't know because Wallace is trying to have it both ways. In the same way that he says he wants to cut the deficit but opposes all cuts, he is now saying he wants the EU to work better for Britain but won't say how. He also says that some powers need repatriating but seems to be arguing that now is not a good time to achieve this. So now, when the Euro is in crisis and our 'partners' are on the course to further integration is not a good time. Why? The age old EU excuse that it would breed uncertainty.

Cameron's negotiating strategy is hopeless, says Wallace, even though Wallace doesn't think the EU is working well. So how would he approach negotiation? Presumably, since he is against the (presumed) Cameron strategy of demanding back powers and giving a referendum on the settlement to the British people, Wallace thinks he would do better by sucking up to the EU, offering concessions and expecting a few back in return. That worked so well under Labour after all didn't it?

Threatening to walk away is just not going to work says Wallace. Well it's certainly concentrated minds hasn't it. EU leader after EU leader these last couple of weeks have been attacking us, calling us un-European in the apparent belief that this will offend us, and threatening various dire consequences. That, to my undiplomatic mind, seems to be a sign of success.

The Cameron position, as he explained somewhat intemperately at yesterday's PMQs, is that we want to be in Europe but want it reformed to work better for us since we don't want to go the way of the Euro core. That's unobjectionable isn't it? Even Nick Clegg agrees with that in his more honest and coherent moments.

And when Dave has come back with his new peace in our time declaration, he proposes to put this to the British people in a referendum. Since the peoples of Europe tend to be quite hard to please this means it had better be a good deal. That's why the EU hates things being put to referendums. Now to my untrained eye that looks like an excellent negotiating strategy. It's certainly better than the Labour one of being at the centre and then supinely agreeing to all that is demanded so that we can be called good Europeans and betraying the British people by forcing through a new treaty without a referendum .

And for evidence that this is a strategy that could work you only have to look at the excuses being trotted out for why it is a bad idea. It will displease the Americans is the most desperate, and this from the Guardian for god's sake. But the one most often being wheeled out is that the uncertainty will put off investors as deployed by a few businessmen, the Labour leader and of course all Lib Dems including Vince Cable and his deputy Nick Clegg. There is no evidence for this and indeed a lot of evidence to the contrary. All we have to do is remember that this was the reason given for why we should join the Euro by the same sort of people.

We have yet to see what David Cameron is going to say in the speech to end all speeches. But it is likely to be along the lines imagined. It is possible, some would say probable, that he won't get the kind of concessions his party wants and that he won't get the resultant deal past the British people in a referendum. This is what really spooks the Lib Dems. They, the only party with democracy in their name, are afraid that the British people's verdict will be one with which they are uncomfortable. You would think that, as the third party (the fourth by some measures) they would be accustomed to this. Yet they are kicking up a stink. Democracy, like their liberal values, is something they prefer to use selectively. Best not consult the people if you suspect they won't say what you like. They learnt that when we wouldn't give them the new electoral system they wanted and are still sore about it.

It is true that the Conservatives are divided on  this subject and that there is going to be an almighty row if Dave's speech doesn't give them the raw meat they demand. But isn't that a healthy sign in a democracy? Isn't it good that this vital subject is debated and thoroughly explored? Isn't it vital that they include us all in this process instead of arrogantly shutting us out as Labour did and the Lib Dems would do despite their talk of a referendum at the last election? An astonishing number of our laws and secondary legislation is now being simply handed out from on high by Brussels. You would think that parliamentarians would be as concerned by that as the rest of us. Apparently only Tories are.

Labour will for the time being make hay while the sun shines. But ultimately we may find that Dave is playing a blinder on this issue. He wants us to stay in but we want a new deal, one he can sell to the British people. Labour and the Lib Dems don't like it. The EU and the rest of Europe certainly don't like it. But it could see Dave win the next election and without those irritating Lib Dems to hold him back. An in/out referendum remains a distinct possibility if we cannot get what we want. The British people will recognise that as the only way to get the deal we want and need. Labour and the Lib Dems recognise it too. That is why they are so dead set against it that they are using the uncertainty excuse to prevent it. Uncertainty is sometimes the price of democracy. It's a price well worth paying even if business will be as spooked by our Euroscepticism as is alleged. This is highly doubtful.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

PMQs 16th January 2013 - The Pre THE SPEECH Edition

This Friday Dave is finally going to give The Speech. This is apparently what those in the know are calling it. Many, including Nick, are not pleased. It is however not true, I am told, that the reason Dave is  making this speech is as part of the process of reclaiming from Wallace the One Nation slogan he has shamelessly commandeered. Dave is not intent on turning us into one nation detached from Europe just to show the nauseating little dweeb who is boss. Not that this necessarily makes it a bad idea. We have traditionally been one nation at the edge of Europe and detached from it. That's why they all have the freedom to try and bully us into not leaving the EU. We fought to give them that right.

But the Europhiles are seriously worried. They are giving interviews, making speeches, talking about sleepwalking our way out of Europe and away from those lovely well paid jobs for failed politicians and those who have fallen out of favour with their party leaders or indeed the electorate. Labour in particular loves Europe, although not as particularly as the Lib Dems who really really love it and in a fully consensual way. It has given the Kinnock family several pensions and even now St Tony has ambitions to be its president. But then at least Tony has been elected to something during the career he had before he became a globe-trotting money making machine. Unlike the current EU foreign panjandrum Baroness Ashton, who has never knowingly asked the public for consent to anything, least of all her own sparkling and well remunerated career. That's why she makes such a good Eurocrat. They're not keen on consulting the public.

So Labour like Europe. That's why they will be against a referendum in the certain knowledge that we the people do not like Europe and might say something disobliging about it if allowed to vote. That's why they shamelessly denied us the one they had previously promised on a constitution. That's why Gordon went to sign the Lisbon Treaty he had rammed through parliament without a referendum several hours later than everyone else. That's why Wallace keeps shifting position on the issue to keep us all guessing. But then he does that on most things. Perhaps it is because he is as confused as the rest of us on what his policy on Europe and indeed everything else is.

But at least we know that Ed Balls will remain his shadow chancellor up to the next election. He told us that at the weekend. That is as close to being decisive as Wallace gets. When he's forced into it and when Balls threatens a non stammering hissy fit.

But today, decisive Wallace wanted to talk about indecisive and dithering Dave, in particular about Dave's Europe problem. He came armed with jokes which Dave called feeble, which was odd because he started the session laughing at the jokes as he attempts to not look cross and red faced and thus attracting Labour barbs.

Yes Dave got to his feet with a smile on his face. Then he got serious, because he has to really. His party demands it. But Wallace was having fun. It's easy for him. His party is behind him and he is successfully managing not to talk about Europe, along with more or less everything else. But, as Dave irritably pointed out once the mask of jocularity and good humour had slipped, he dare not talk about substance rather than process because that would reveal a good deal too much.

Wallace asked if Britain would be in the EU in five years time. A slip this surely since Wallace presumably intends to be in a position to determine this himself. Yes he would have to have a firm position on something. He would also have to once again deny the British people the referendum they are so keen on. Is that Labour Party policy? Dave neglected to ask.

Instead the PM told us what we already know but which presumably will be in THE SPEECH. The stuff about renegotiation and giving choices. What would Wallace choose he asked but got no answer. Instead Wallace reminded him of the rebels voting for a referendum last year and then brought up the words of William Hague, the man who had once stood where he was now standing and made much better jokes but also had a lot to say on the subject of Europe. An in/out referendum, he had apparently once said, would create economic uncertainty. Was he right?

Yes, said Dave. Entirely. There was a collective intake of breath from the awkward squad on the Tory backbenches. But Cameron quickly moved on to point out that Wallace was talking all about process rather than substance. But Dave then went on to make a rather impassioned defence of his position. Perhaps it was a line from THE SPEECH. It seemed very well rehearsed. He wanted a proper debate he said and called on his interlocutor to cut out the feeble jokes.

This cut Wallace to the quick. He thought the jokes were rather good. And to be fair they had been delivered in a commendably breezy and light way without the fluffing and waffling we usually see from him. Indeed his greater brevity had elicited proper answers from Dave too. It was almost illuminating, which is unusual to say the least.

Wallace had fun at the prime minister's expense today but Dave will have been expecting that. He was reasonably successful at giving the impression that he was not bovvered. But underneath it all we could see that this is a prime minister who is about to give the speech of his life and is aware it might not be enough. The Tories are ripping themselves to shreds over Europe again and Labour are enjoying the spectacle. But what if he does promise a referendum, however delayed and whatever the conditions. Could that be enough to cost Wallace the next election? It might be for the best given that he doesn't really know what he would do anyway and he has committed himself to going to that election with Ed Balls at his side.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Right to Offend Men, Women and the Delusional Dickless

In a blow against those who, anxious to defend anyone and everyone from having their feelings hurt, demand the right to punish and censor anyone deemed to be giving offence, the government yesterday accepted a Lords amendment that will protect those who use non threatening but insulting language against others.

It was a victory for common sense. The law, section 5 of the Public Order Act, had seen such ludicrous acts as calling a police horse gay prosecuted or saying woof to a dog in sight of police officers who have clearly cut crime too much.

So victory then? Well, yes and no.

Unfortunately, on the same day, our fearless press had a post Leveson fit of the vapours and withdrew a column from the provocative keyboard of Julie Burchill, one of the sistas gone bad. Ms Burchill (she is definitely a Ms) had incurred the wrath of Britain's 'transgender community' - they probably brought it up at one of their big meetings. She, for she really is a she, was of the opinion that those who have surgery to reverse their penises do not necessarily thus acquire knowledge of all things feminist and gynaecological. Then the fury of the shims descended upon her.

Such was the fury that The Observer, refusing the opportunity to double its usual readership to six figures, withdrew it from its website. The Telegraph commendably, and with La Burchill's permission, then republished it here.

Why was it withdrawn? Because the right-on brigade of the left had deemed it offensive and indeed had said so in no uncertain terms, turning on themselves to the bemusement and amusement of those of us who would otherwise, because we read good Sunday papers, have known nothing of this spat.

But what did she say that was so awful? That transgender people are not real women? Well they aren't. The fact that you feel that you were born in the wrong body may be awful and regrettable but you still, notwithstanding the miracles of modern medicine, cannot become the sex of your choice. You can just, and there is no nice way of saying this, make yourself look and sound like a freak. Sometimes it is just best to accept the hand that nature gives you. I would have liked to have been slimmer and better looking and able to play football. Sadly I have the physique of a rugby player, the looks of Pete Sampras in a pasty English body and the footballing ability of Vinnie Jones - although I can pass the ball better and tend not to grab men, any men, by the balls. These are the cards I was dealt.

Yet it would seem that this 'community' cannot accept the fact that they were born with or without a  penis and demand their right to be what they think they should be. Penis shmenis they say and the rest of us must not laugh or otherwise tell them to get real. If they could they would probably take mother nature to the ECHR. The ECHR would probably find for them and award them damages, or compulsory waxing and hormone treatment on the NHS.

And this debate, which has been enormously entertaining, has been sparked off by a columnist and her friend doing their jobs. That is what the press is for. Sadly it seems liberals, or those who profess themselves to be liberal, have forgotten this. Who needed Leveson when they censor themselves for fear of people who still believe, whatever the Lords says, that they have the right not to be offended?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Ghosts of Europe Spooked by Threat of Democracy

This Friday, as was announced yesterday after this post was published, David Cameron will make That speech about Europe. This is why lots of other people are prognosticating on the subject too, sticking their oars in and delivering dire warnings about the path we are on.

These are the likes of Ken Clarke, Peter Mandelson, Michael Heseltine - the sort who once urged us to join the Euro or else suffer loss of investment. Now the self same people are making the same predictions if we leave the EU. And their views are actually reported by straight faced journalists who are not laughing like drains.

In a way though those of us who were proven right about the Euro and see no reason why Britain, if we can't get back powers our politicians had no right to give away, cannot thrive and survive outside, should be pleased by this chorus of alarm. They can see that Britain really could leave. We are winning the argument.

For what is their argument? It's the same tired one that has already been disproved with the Euro. They also tell us we will not get powers back so we shouldn't try. Nonsense. They are our rights temporarily transferred to Europe. Or we leave. It should hold no fears. George Osborne was right that Europe will have to change if is to retain us as members.

Ultimately this is the only language Europe understands. Engagement and compromise never work. It's time for a new settlement put to an angry British people. So it had better be a good settlement allowing us to decide who lives here and what we grow, how many fish we catch etc. Or else.

Over to you Mr Cameron. Now that Labour have ruled out a referendum themselves which they would no doubt have reneged on anyway here is your opportunity to have a legacy to be proud of. Here is the moment for you to set yourself on the path to winning the next election and Britain on the path to self determination, trading freely with our neighbours whilst watching them pursue their silly dreams of union. Set us free Mr Cameron. Let us vote you out of trouble and into the history books.

Friday, 11 January 2013

The High Price of Democracy

There was a debate going on on Twitter this morning concerning the remuneration of MPs. Some, including the MPs themselves, say that they should get more. The majority think otherwise, some in no uncertain terms.

It may surprise you to learn that I actually agree with the MPs. They should be paid more. Surely they should be paid as much as GPs?

But what is wrong with the present system is not just that the allowances they receive have been used to supplement salaries on the sly. What is wrong is that all MPs are treated equally and paid the same salaries regardless of seniority, time served, the work they do, the committees they serve on and so on. All too often, in some of the rotten boroughs known as safe constituencies, MPs can be elected and then do little or nothing with no questions asked, just look at the current member for Kirkcaldy, one Gordon Brown MP, who hasn't appeared in the Commons more than once in a year and yet still draws his salary as his big post election sulk and orgy of self justification heads for its fourth year. The people of Kirkcaldy can do nothing about this scandalous arrogance until the election of 2015, or unless he falls under a bus, something that is unlikely given that he still gets a chauffeured car and police protection paid on top of his MPs salary and prime ministerial pension.

What we need, if MPs are to be given the pay they feel they deserve, is the MPs we deserve. That means open primaries to select candidates so that it is not a party stitch up to give twenty and thirty something party wonks safe constituencies for life. We want people who have life experience and who are prepared to put a case for why they deserve the honour of representing us in Westminster, not time servers who have patted the right backs, served in the right quangos and party back offices and never had a proper job, which might be useful when they legislate for the rest of us and presume to tell us what is best.

And while we are on this subject, the government is quite right to say no to opposition calls for the greater professionalisation of councillors. This is just another Labour ruse to take more from the public purse to supplement their own diminished coffers. Councillors already give each other jobs in neighbouring authorities and have been abusing the system of expenses for decades. Now they have created their own cabinets and have become full time without ever troubling to ask the electorate for their approval. Indeed the electorate, wrongly in my opinion, have consistently rejected the notion of elected mayors to make the whole matter more transparent.

The left are all too keen to pry into our lives and to create ever more layers of elected officials and the resultant bureaucracies to interfere in all of our lives, which is why we should resist any attempts to professionalise local democracy. It is unnecessary and counterproductive, more red tape and obstacles we can ill afford. It is also a shocking waste of money at a time when we are supposed to be economising. Britain was greatest when local authorities were run by men (only men in those days) who did so because they believed in public service. Wouldn't it be nice if those seeking office were to follow that example rather than demand ever higher remuneration for their cushy jobs for life awarded for merely being a politics geek?

Video Diary on Hold

Apologies for the lateness of my latest video diary. I have been having problems. At first they were my own mistakes but yesterday, despite half a dozen attempts, Blogger would not load the damned thing. It still won't.

This is all very frustrating. Thus my video diary is not going to be the regular feature I had intended, at least not yet. I am exploring alternative ways of doing it along with better equipment. This blog is going to be changing, expanding and getting a revamp in the coming weeks and months. But I am being hindered by technology and my current internet speeds at present. This is changing soon.


They say that good writing should come from the heart, that you should write what you know. Well clearly that is the secret of Quentin Tarantino's success. That famous dialogue, those rambling soliloquies come from within. See above.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Special Relationship?

I have to take issue with those who are saying this morning that the US has no right to comment on whether or not Britain should or should not be in the EU. Of course they have a right to express an opinion, just as we have a right to nod thoughtfully before filing their opinion under irrelevant.

Most Euro sceptics would acknowledge that there are good arguments for Britain staying in the EU, trade being the most notable. But being America's representative at the table in Brussels does not rank as a strong one. They want a like minded lieutenant to argue their case for them from the inside which is perfectly understandable from their point of view given that the EU is dominated by the historically rather anti American French. But are we likely to sacrifice our democracy and right to self determination for that goal?

America was founded because they no longer wanted to be dominated by a far away country in which they had no representation. We are now increasingly minded to get out of the EU for remarkably similar reasons.

But this is a timely wake up call for those who still believe in the special relationship. It was always a media invention anyway. We have a special relationship when we are useful and the Obama administration is increasingly turning to the Pacific and away from the old world of Europe for understandable reasons. In this respect we should be following them and away from sclerotic Europe. We are only in a special relationship if and when we are useful. In their remarkably cack handed way the Americans have illustrated that nicely today. We will not sacrifice democracy in this country so that they can defend their way of life.

Ha Ha Shadow Chancellor

Is Ed Balls, the Nelson Muntz of British politics, on a quest to make himself look ridiculous on a monthly basis. It is being reported this week, presumably because friends of the shadow chancellor have let it be known, that he would refuse to be moved from his position to make way for a Miliband rapprochement. He would stick out that big lower lip of his and sulk.

The fact is though that Labour will never have a coherent or viable economic policy with the oh so sensitive bruiser at the economic helm. Not only was he the architect of our vast deficit, he would still add to it. Not that David Miliband would be a great improvement since, in another bananaman moment, he told the world this week that he was never great at Maths. However this is not necessarily a hindrance with Labour. They prefer not to add up what they are spending and sucking out of the economy. They're like people who go on spending binges and then refuse to open their credit card bills.

But if Nelson is wondering why so many people are pointing at him and saying ha ha these days, it is because he is becoming ever more of a tragic and risible figure.

The Meaning of Life

Isn't the world we live in wonderful? No God required! Coming soon on BBC2. Say what you like about auntie Beeb and all of its recent self made problems, but it still makes some great stuff when the management gets out of the way.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

PMQs 9th January 2013 - The Post Audit Edition

The Coalition had a relaunch this week. You could tell it was a relaunch because they had lots of posters around them proclaiming their unity and Nick Clegg stopped trying to differentiate himself with the Tories, stopped for a moment claiming that he was fighting Tory plans to murder all first borns, and stood on a platform alongside Dave looking consensual.

Unfortunately for this pals act, then Lord Tom Strathclyde quit the government - because of the Lib Dems making his life a living hell. They are up to their usual trick of trying to be all things to all men but whilst in government. Tom was sick of it and decided to go off and make some real money in the real world. No doubt he will succeed. No doubt the Lib Dems will then try to tax his mansion and penalise him for his success.

Yesterday there was a ding dong battle over the government's desire to limit rises in welfare to 1%, the same as that of public sector employees. Labour have come out against this, although in a typically weaselly way by changing the terms of the argument. Or changing the subject to one they would rather talk about. They won't tell us what benefits they would cut, although of course they see the need to cut that deficit they saddled us all with. No they would cut unemployment instead by taxing a bit more and creating some temporary jobs for the long term unemployed that would probably not last or amount to much. But never mind, the money would come from rich bastards. So that's okay then.

This has been a week when all of the parties have been battling over the word strivers. It's the sort of word that only policy wonks use. They seem to have no comprehension of the fact it makes them look like anally retentive, patronising wankers who have no idea what it feels like to work in a proper job for a living and worrying about stretching the next month's salary all the way to the following one. They don't regard themselves as strivers. But the Tories are right that they do resent the fact that some politicians regard those out of work as put upon victims in need of ever more help for fear of judging them.

Labour, it is fair to say, for all of their bluster, is worried about the welfare issue. They are once again talking to themselves and The Guardian rather than the sheep who vote for them in their safe constituencies. The Tories have alighted on a winning argument for a change. It's not about being nasty, it's about being fair and realistic. Our welfare system is out of control and counter productive. Yes the best way of reducing it is to get more people into work. But you don't do that through more political quick fixes paid for by more taxes. You do it by making work pay, not through tax credits and ever more handouts to make life easier for the poor who are only poor thanks to Labour's failures.

And so to PMQs.

Wallace decided to try and make hay out of that audit, as he called it, and in particular the news that the failures had been left out, although all that this reminded us of was that Labour used to do this sort of thing, only annually, before abandoning it when we all realised we were paying for more of their spin. The fact that the Coalition left out some, as yet, unkept promises, was something that surprised Wallace apparently. Did anyone mention Lisbon?

The fact is that Wallace is not good at being satirical. He is not good at making jokes. It makes him sound sneery and silly. He even does silly school boy gestures and expressions to complete the impression. It does not make him look statesmanlike. This was especially the case at the end when he nearly joined heads with his embattled shadow Chancellor in an attempt, we assume, to make them look united. It actually made them look like Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

And Dave was able to swat him away by contrasting Labour's inability to get serious about the deficit that Wallace's own brother yesterday half acknowledged is in need of addressing by accepting the government's spending envelope. Of course he did so whilst also criticising their rancid cap on the benefits bill. But once a Miliband always a Miliband.

Ultimately his brother on the front bench today was reduced to sneering at a bit of poor presentation and an adviser's faux pas. Dave could retaliate that Labour still cannot reconcile their words on deficit reduction with actually making tough decisions on what to cut, whichever Miliband you are. Dave was on feisty form and denied ever having broken the law on foxhunting (not breaking any law as some are alleging). He has said this before and now repeated it. The only red pests he hunts are those in the House of Commons he said. And they seem determined to stay red, whatever part of the Miliband clan they come from.

Alex Jones - Is This Man Allowed a Gun?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Climate Stubbornly Fails To Obey Models

I spent an entertaining hour or two 'debating' with some climate alarmists and a troll or two who accused me of being in the pay of big oil (yawn) yesterday. Then today the Met Office announced that it is revising its forecast for warming down. Essentially, despite all the alarmist rhetoric, the climate will have failed to warm for two decades according to one of AGW's only cheer leaders.

Oh and the BBC which reported it in a reasonably balanced way given how signed up they are to the whole AGW bandwagon made a grudging admission too.

There was a time when most alarmist projections used to make headline news on the BBC. Fortunately they have stopped that. But this wasn't given the prominence it was due. The Met Office is spinning that they still expect the climate to warm as predicted and that this is all just natural variability. But that is what we have been saying all along. Apparently natural variability is okay if it is explaining the climate's failure to warm but not when it is used to explain warming independent of man.

Nobody denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What we do question is the assumption that climate will change as fast or as inexorably as is alleged because of manmade CO2. There is plenty of the natural stuff and it does not drive the climate in the way that is alleged. But in short nobody really knows. The evidence is stacking up that the forcing the models predicted is simply wrong. It's a lot more complex and we are a long way from understanding it. But the urgency urged on us all is simply unnecessary.

But the argument is slowly being won. Whatever they say now, this is embarrassing. But it will take a few more years of temperatures failing to rise before they admit it is anything more.

Video Diary - Apologies

Apologies for fans of my video diary (you do exist). There was going to be one today. I shot it in London, outside the Houses of Parliament but unfortunately the results were not good. It was upside down. But this is a learning experience and I am learning the hard way which way to hold the camera. It's not as simple as you might think. So my piece on David Cameron's criticism of UKIP will never see the light of day. I'll try and get better.