Preparing for Paris

I WOULD urge all my readers to look very closely at the re-blog of Donna LaFramboise’s post which I posted last week.

(I should say at this point that I owe Donna an apology. Though her site does permit re-blogging, I failed to click the box saying what I had done and by the time I got back it had, of course, disappeared. I’ll do better next time.)

To begin with she records the fact that

Back in 1992 – well before science had anything conclusive to say about humanity’s impact on the climate – the United Nations persuaded countries to sign an international treaty aimed at saving the planet from ‘dangerous’ human-emitted greenhouse gases.

She adds: “Let me repeat that. The treaty came first.”

In 2010, she then reports, a committee of the InterAcademy Council reported that it had identified “significant shortcomings” at “each major step of [the] IPCC’s assessment process.”

The IPCC simply ignored the report and carried on as ‘normal’.

The following year Donna published her book “The Delinquent Teenager (who was mistaken for the world’s top climate expert)” which pulled together pretty much all the evidence then known (or suspected) that the “top scientists” who compiled the five-yearly IPCC reports were in reality nothing of the kind. Recognised experts in various relevant fields were sidelined because their views were considered “unhelpful” and less well-qualified (or in some cases not at all qualified) people more pliant (or compliant) appointed instead.

Others have also remarked on the extent to which environmental activists, most notably from Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth, have been heavily involved in these reports and that a considerable amount of input — not peer-reviewed in spite of the IPCC’s repeated claim that only peer-reviewed material is acceptable — has come from such organisations.

Donna then introduces a report, running to close on 200 pages, from the French Société de Calcul Mathématique which rips the IPCC to shreds (yet again!) with such comments as:

The IPCC report is totally flawed in terms of basic scientific method, since it ignores the natural variations in the variables that it seeks to analyze…

The IPCC report is equally flawed in terms of data acquisition, since in principle it chooses the data or datasets that support its theses and discard[s] all the rest…

The IPCC report is highly ideologically biased. It does not follow any of the basic rules of scientific research…

Once again, I urge you to follow the link in Donna’s article and read the whole thing.

To add to this triple blow there now comes another report, this time from German Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert and commented on by Pierre Gosselin in his NoTricksZone blog here

Ewert’s claim is that there has been massive manipulation of the NASA-GISS datasets, a claim that has been made before so while this latest manifestation is worth consideration the findings need perhaps to be taken at this stage with a pinch of salt. Follow the link above and see for yourself.

The common thread running through these three assaults on the integrity of the IPCC or the guardians of climate data — the IAC report, the SCM report, and now Ewert’s claims — is that their authors have no axe to grind. They have no dog, you might say, in the climate change/global warming fight. Warmists are quite likely to use that as an excuse to ignore the findings (which would be par for the course) but this could well turn out to be a mistake because if there is any solid factual basis, especially for the claims of the SCM and Ewert, they cannot be dismissed simply as shills for the fossil fuel industry which is the warmist fallback position when challenged.

In particular if it can be shown that Ewert’s claims have validity and that the adjustments to the land-based data lack justification, an argument that has been gathering strength in recent years as satellite observations and ground-based observations diverge and models continue to over-state warming, the scientific climate community will find it increasingly difficult to justify their claims.

With Paris unlikely to do other than cobble together a non-agreement, a cold winter in Europe on the cards together with increasing energy bills, and a growing awareness by people and government that the whole climate schtick is passé. I’ll leave you with one more link to another blogger. Pointman’s take on what is and is not likely to happen in Paris next week really, really is something you should read!

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The Naked Climate Change Emperor

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Strip away the pseudoscience and you’ll find one thing: politics. People attempting, via international treaties, to constrain human lives. For the sake of Mother Gaia.

naked_emperorIn a few weeks, world leaders will gather in Paris to boast about their bold stance on climate change. But strip away the considerable nonsense surrounding this topic, and a few stark facts remain. Back in 1992 – well before science had anything conclusive to say about humanity’s impact on the climate – the United Nations persuaded countries to sign an international treaty aimed at saving the planet from ‘dangerous’ human-emitted greenhouse gases.

Let me repeat that. The treaty came first.

Now let’s meet a UN entity called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We’re told it’s a ‘scientific body.’ But that’s a cynical ploy. The IPCC’s job is to provide scientific cover for the political convictions that spawned the treaty. As…

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Pray for Paris

ON THE EVENING of November 13, France were playing Germany in a soccer friendly at the Stade de France, a large number of people were enjoying a rock concert at the Théatre Bataclan, and in several other venues across central Paris, locals and visitors were doing what they would normally do on a Friday evening.

In the middle of this calm, law abiding scenario Paris suddenly discovered it was entertaining a group of murderous fanatics intent on killing as many people as possible in the name of a belief which brooks no discussion, no debate, no variation from the brutal creed which it espouses and which demands the death of ordinary people as some sort of retribution for the refusal of those same ordinary people to accede to their demands.

There is something ironic in the cry of “God is good” which precedes the finger on the trigger of a Kalshnikov or the pin of a grenade. God is indeed good, as many billions of people believe and have believed over the centuries but that goodness has demanded a respect by man for his fellow man and only a vanishingly small minority of humanity believe that their actons in Paris will lead to Paradise and 72 virgins (or is it raisins?) rather than to a very quick introduction to the torments of hell.

There is something equally ironic, and almost laughable, in the reported cries of “This is for Syria”.  Which bit of Syria are we talking about here? Are you for Assad? For ISIL? For the Kurds? For one of the numerous “opposition” splinter groups that abound? Did you even know? And since it is even money (based on eyewitness accounts) that you were French-born and therefore probably a descendant of immigrants from the Maghreb, did you even know where Syria is?

Meanwhile there are close to 130 dead (at the latest count) who were given no option but to die in someone else’s cause. Maybe some of them were sympathisers with whatever cause the killers believed they were furthering but the killers themselves may not have known what that cause was and enlisting any of the victims was not in the script anyway. And any who might have been sympathisers had no business to be out enjoying themselves at rock concerts or cafés anyway, right?

And the end result? Who knows?

In a fortnight’s time, Paris will play host to a different group of murderous fanatics (40,000 of them if they all turn up) equally intent on killing people, though slightly more subtly, in the name of a belief which brooks no discussion, no debate, no variation from the brutal creed which it espouses and which demands the death of ordinary people as some sort of retribution for the refusal of those same ordinary people to accede to their demands.

The Global Warming jihadis are coming to town!

The Conference of the Parties (which Willis Eschenbach on the WUWT website once re-christened the ‘Conference of the Partygoers) is the 21st jamboree by the far from Great and anything but Good fanatics of the War on Mankind who continue their determination, in the face of no evidence, to deprive the civilised world of the energy that has made it civilised and the “uncivilised” (for want of a better word) world of that same energy that might allow it to emerge from its current impoverished situation into the sunlit uplands that the rest of us enjoy.

These fanatics have no need of Kalashnikovs or hand grenades but their chosen weapon of unreliable, needlessly expensive energy is in the long run just as lethal and the death toll will be many times greater if they get their way.

The resemblance between these two groups is uncanny. Both rely heavily on absolute fidelity to a belief system with even the slightest depature from the faith bringing swift retribution. The foot soldiers, better described in Lenin’s phrase as “useful idiots”, can be relied on to parrot the core of the belief system while in one case shooting and bombing unbelievers and in the other using any means at their disposal to hamper the infrastructure on which civilisation depends.

Both believe that, minute minority though they may be, they are absolutely right; that anyone who disagrees with them is not only mistaken but sinfully so; that they are empowered by their self-righteousness to dictate to the rest of how we must act, how we must speak, how we must think, all on pain of an immediate death by firing squad or a lingering death by cold, starvation or disease.

Where they part company is in the belief that by murdering unbelievers and dying for their cause they will themselves receive an eternal reward. Islamists think that way; Climateers have no intention of doing anything as self-sacrificing as blowing themselves up though some of the extreme (or desperate?) fanatics take the view that anyone who disagrees with them ought to be at the very least imprisoned. Which makes the Islamists the more honest, when you think about it.

In the long run the Muslim jihadis can probably be dealt with. Even though their professed desire is for a caliphate which will ultimately embrace the whole world, politics, bribery, alliances, threats and the use of targeted assassinations as well as changing attitudes among a new generation can be effective if the will is there.

Whether the climate fanatics will be as easily dealt with is another matter. Since neither climate change not global warming are in reality relevant to the ultimate aim, which is de-industrialisation of the West and enforced non-industrialisation elsewhere, they are able continually to frame the argument in terms of what is most conducive to gaining new converts at the time.

So already global warming has become climate change while the threat of melting glaciers has given way to sea-level rise and then to ocean acidification. “Sustainability” was preferred to “biodiversity” and there is, of course, still the outright opposition to anything, such as GM crops or golden rice, that might improve the health and longevity of the poor of the world or the use of nuclear power or shale gas which would go some way to their stated aim of reducing CO2 which only provides further evidence that their real aim is something else.

And all accompanied by the endless mendacity and obfuscation which are characteristic of the eco-luddite or eco-fascist tendency as it seeks to impose its will on the 97% of people in the world who, if left to their own devices, would never give these charlatans the time of day.

It’s very likely true that “global warming is the most serious threat facing the world today”, perhaps even greater than the threat from militant jihadis. Just not in the way the Climateers and their hangers-on would like you to believe.

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Freedom is not an absolute whatever the liberals say

TO nobody’s surprise, least of all mine, all the usual suspects were in full cry like hounds on a trail before the Home Secretary had even got to her feet this afternoon.

By the time she sat down, the British people — if we can believe the pundits — were heading back to the darkest of Dark Ages to a life that would outstrip anything that George Orwell could possibly have imagined in his wildest nightmares.

So who exactly is forecasting the demise of Britain’s “traditional freedoms” exactly?
First up there is Shami Chakrabati who has described the draft Bill as a “breathtaking attack” on civil liberties.

This would be the same Shami Chakrabarti who not only supported the Leveson Inquiry, itself arguably the most “breathtaking attack” on the freedom of the press in 300 years, but who took an active rôle in its deliberations. If I had to choose between a free press with all its faults  and an unaccountable organisation like LIberty then I know which I would choose.

And I certainly would not expect to see the head of that organisation defending a group of second-rate luvvies who are happy to make use of the press when it suits them but turn on it when they’re caught with their trousers down (sometimes even literally).

There are laws that protect private individuals from harassment though there is no statutory right to privacy in English law and there is (was) a Press Complaints body which, while not perfect, served its purpose reasonably well. I have no brief for those who chose to hound Millie Dowler’s family as I have no brief for the paparazzi who make a grubby living trying to acquire candid (read ‘mildly pornographic if we’re lucky’) photographs of any celebrity that they feel inclined to pursue, from royalty down. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater (which Leveson apparently aimed to do) may suit some people but not the people.

On the other hand private individuals who are happy to have the media (and politicians)make use of them — I shall name no names but we all know of people about who you can say “I don’t know what he/she has done to deserve this sort of adulation” — are arguably fair game.

Next up in the handwringing stakes is JImmy Wales, creator of that fount of all on-line wisdom Wikipedia. When my bout of hysterical laughter is over I shall continue.
As a reference work for the non-contentious it has no equal, and I mean that sincerely, folks. But wander out into the world of academe or disputed science (climate is especially vulnerable) and you will meet a host of trolls busily re-writing pages to suit their own bigoted or jaundiced opinions to the point where the site is not just useless but downright dangerous.

Jimmy would like Apple to stop selling iPhones in the UK if Mrs May bans end to end encryption, ie nobody but nobody and that means nobody can crack your communication. Great idea that, Jimmy. Every terrorist organisation, criminal gang or paedophile group is going to light a big, big candle tonight to their patron saint Jimmy Wales!

So let’s remind ourselves that never, ever, since the invention of the printing press has any individual’s communication with another individual been that private. So let’s ask ourselves why we should start now.

Let us stop pretending that making it possible for the security services and the police to read our emails is any different from giving them authority to read our letters or that demanding that ISPs keep a record of what web sites we have visited is in any fundamental way different from filing a detailed list of our phone calls which is what it has been described as.

And finally in this Hall of Shame we have Edward Snowden.

This person’s Wikipedia entry (so maybe we need to take it with a pinch of salt) tells us that he is

“an American privacy activist, computer professional, former CIA employee, and former government contractor who leaked classified information from the United States National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run … with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I find the word “whistleblower” a somewhat inadequate description for this character.  “Creep”, perhaps, or “little shit”, whichever you choose he is certainly not someone that I am about to give much credence to when he tells the British how to run Britain.

He tells us that the communications data covered by the legislation is “the activity log of your life”.  He said that on Twitter! Oh, the irony!

Let me end this with another look at Ms Chakrabarti’s home base, Liberty.

As ever greater amounts of our lives are stored, shared and sent online, a detailed and intimate picture of you can be pieced together – revealing much more than any search through your bedside drawer.  Don’t we all deserve some basic protections?

Well, yes, Shami, we do deserve some protections. We need protection from those who wish to do us harm whether they are Islamist fanatics or drug dealers or partakers in organised crime or paedophile gangs or those who groom 14-year-old girls for sex.

But we have a responsibility of our own where the “basic protections” are concerned. We need to understand that there are people out there that the state cannot protect us from — fraudsters, computer hackers and others — who rely on our stupidity on-line. If “ever greater amounts of our lives are stored, shared and sent online” perhaps its is time to stop enabling this “detailed and intimate picture of you to be pieced together” from the things we are stupid enough to reveal on Twitter, Facebook and all the other (anti-)social media sites.

We are broadly speaking our own worst enemy but making it impossible to protect us from the real and deadly threats that face us is not freedom or privacy or safety. It’s stupidity.

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Academic arrogance

MOST PEOPLE of my acquaintance consider me to be relatively even-tempered, capable (most of the time at least) of reasoned argument and prepared to listen to other points of view without brushing them off as the ravings of lunatics or the fact-free ramblings of those who have decided to park their brains and rely on others to do their thinking for them.

I confess I tend to make an exception in the latter instance for those whose support for the more outré views on climate suggests that either their brains have turned to soup or that they are simply too bone-idle to make use of the intelligence with which they were endowed. Allegedly. I suspect that, also in this instance, the feeling is mutual.

Readers of the random postings on this blog, if there are any, will know that one theme that has been fairly constant since the early days has been the effect to which the putative “cures” for climate change bear most heavily on the poor. Most of those that I meet in the real world and on-line whose view of climate science is similar to mine (yes, the climate has been getting warmer but not so much recently; yes, it would be surprising if mankind didn’t have something to do with it; no, it is not going to be catastrophic) tend to agree with me on that subject also.

This is not some new fad on our part. Many of us have been involved in one way or another in working for or contributing to those organisations who are out in the field (or the desert or the jungle) trying to make some small difference to the well-being of people that our governments seem determined to ignore while the NGOs who claim to be working on their behalf  become increasingly concerned with polishing their CVs, treading the corridors of power and being seen at annual climate gabfests.

(If you are serious about the world’s poor, especially in Africa, then I suggest you might like to donate your spare coppers to Mercy Ships, Mary’s Meals, or Water Aid. Let Oxfam. SCF, and CAFOD whistle until they can prove that they’re in the business of aid not politics.

We have also at various times and in various ways done our small best to counteract the dubious mantra that it is climate change itself, rather than the expensively wasteful expenditure called for by such meaningless “accords” as Kyoto that is the biggest threat to the poor of the world.

If you want to see what I have written (and I mean every word of it) you can go and take a look hereherehere, and not least here and here.

After that you might like to go and take a look at this blog by Robert Wilson.

I don’t know anything about Wilson, except that he is some sort of academic and judging from this quote I’m not surprised.:

Concern for the poor, you see, is something that simply oozes out of the hearts of right-wing climate change deniers/skeptics /lukewarmers.. That is when they are talking about climate change.

It appears that Steve Milloy at Junk Science has upset him but knowing how precious academics can be I doubt that required much effort. I wonder if he knows what it is to be poor or whether he has any genuine concern for those in the “developed” world and elsewhere living at or close to the poverty line or who, thanks to the insane policies of western governments are dying before their time because they cannot afford to heat their homes. Or whether he is in favour of diverting large sums of money that could be spent on clean water, agriculture and cheap reliable energy into the pockets of dictators (because that is where much of the aid money he claims we “deniers” would like to put a stop to ends up) or closer to home into the bank accounts of already wealthy landowners.

And whether he actually knows anyone outside the tight little group-think circle of climateers to tell him how stupid that comment really is.

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Energy reality

A recent posting at Bishop Hill looks at moves both in the US and Australia to rein in the profligate expenditure on climate change with the US Department of Defense being instructed that none of the money sent its way is to be used for climate-related activity and the new Australian government taking an axe to funding for the CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) and, according to The Guardian:

the Australian Research Council … the Australian Institute for Marine Science and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Also slashed was funding for postgraduate researchers, for environmental science, clean technologies, water science and Cooperative Research Centres. There have also been huge cuts to R&D and innovation programs, and to virtually every federal renewable energy program.

The posting has attracted a number of comments including an argument that “however much some might dislike the fact, clean tech is the future.”

I took issue with this statement making the point that I don’t really know what “clean tech” actually is and that “clean” itself in the context of climate change / global warming / renewable energy / etcetera is one of those weasel words which means — Humpty-Dumpty like — what the speaker wants it to mean depending on the argument in play at the time.

Like the advertising claim that a disinfectant can kill 99% of known germs on the assumption that “germs”=”evil”, the environmentalists use of the word “clean” implies “good” as opposed to “dirty” which is “bad. Environmentalists live permanently in this black-and-white world where nuance is unheard-of.

If we consider that the incidence of — to take only one example — childhood asthma has increased markedly over the last half-century and more as the air has become “cleaner” one could make a plausible case for saying that “dirty” air has something going for it. It isn’t an argument I would care to support since the London pea-soupers of the early 1950s were hardly health-enhancing events but it is certainly true that since then technology has found ways to make fossil fuels less polluting and the incidence of allergies and childhood asthma has increased.

So talk of “clean-tech” begs the question: how much less polluting do they need to be? In what way are they currently not “clean” enough?

As usual the plea for cleaner energy runs alongside the claim that fossil fuels are “on the way out”. We have for the umpteenth time reached “peak oil / coal / gas”. The only way is down unless we sink massive sums into research now. And meantime we need to concentrate on wind and water and sunshine.The idea that there will be a dwindling number of customers for hydrocarbons any time in the next half-millennium at least or that there is any immediate need to place limits on the use of those fuels on grounds of “cleanliness” is a fallacy as has been proved by numerous experts on numerous occasions. Unless of course the neo-luddites have their way and artificial restrictions are placed on the use of hydrocarbons on the spurious excuse that that will “save the planet”.

Sheikh Yamani’s aphorism (was it all of 40 years ago? how time flies!) that the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones and what you might call the ‘oil age’ will end before we run out of oil was almost certainly correct and prophetic and to that extent the argument that research is needed has a certain merit. But there is no way that the move to the next generation of fuels can be forced either by government diktat or by neo-luddite obstructionism. If half the money currently being wasted on climate research or on paying the rich to become richer at the expense of the poorest by hosting wind farms were directed to solving the problem of what we do when current energy sources become depleted or too expensive to exploit then we might (I say again and stress might) make some progress on safe nuclear fusion or thorium or half-a-dozen other technologies as yet undreamt of.

I stress ‘might’ because the history of mankind is evidence that what in these days is called the ‘just in time’ principle is as old as the race itself. Various sayings from ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ to ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ demonstrate well enough that when the time comes that new energy sources are needed, as opposed to simply wanted by the neo-luddites to make them feel warm and cosy inside while the rest of us freeze, then those new energy sources will no doubt appear.

They may well be “renewable” but not in the sense in which the word is used today. An unpredictably intermittent supply of raw material can never be a sound basis on which to build an essential component of a civilised society and wishful thinking will not make it so. And wind and the sun can never ever be anything other than intermittent. The sun at least has the benefit of being predictable up to a point and in certain locations and within that limitation may have applications but wind, which can vary from second to second, is always going to create more problems than it solves.

To describe hydrocarbon fuels as a mature, declining industry is to ignore the simple fact that wind is not mature but obsolete and decayed. Windmills are a 13th century technology which the human race grew out of 200 years ago

So, the only “clean” fuel currently available which can do any/all of the things the environmentalists appear to want is uranium (thorium in however many years, maybe) and they won’t tolerate that either. So until they can point us towards a fuel which will provide cheap, reliable (as in 24/7) energy and one which can safely power transportation (including personal transport and aircraft) they are whistling in the wind.

And we shall have to keep on using the apparently inexhaustible supplies of hydrocarbons that have enabled all of us, environmentalists included, to become healthy and wealthy to a level our great-great grandparents would have believed impossible.

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Pig in a Scottish Poke

SO FAR I have managed to avoid becoming involved in the Scottish Independence debate largely through avoiding Scotland!

The extent to which I have a dog in this fight — or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a Cairn terrier puppy — will shortly become clear but as an ex-pat living in southern Burgundy my Caledoinan connections are not at first sight obvious especially since both my wife and I are English-born.

And therein lies the conundrum. Apart from being educated in Scotland I started my working life there and returned in 1966 when I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse (there’s a job and it’s there; d’you want it?). Until four years ago that was my home.

Two of our three children live there; one was born in Scotland, married a Scot and has a daughter who will plainly be Scottish. Our children are all the family I have while my wife’s family are scattered across the globe from Canada to China. If we have any claim to a piece of the UK it would be to a piece of Scotland.

And it’s largely for that reason that I watch with a mixture of sadness and horror what Alex Salmond — hereinafter referred to as Eck the Fish (or perhaps just Eck) — is trying to do to “my” country further to boost his already super-saturated ego. Let us be clear about this; Eck claims to be a patriot (the last refuge of a scoundrel, according to Dr Johnson)  but in reality he is an arrogant, self-opinionated control freak. And those are just his good points.

You need to be a genuine insider to understand fully what is going on in the upper echelons of Scottish politics and I still know a couple of people who, if not right inside Eck’s Y-fronts, are as close as any human being would like to get.

“Alec is scared s**tless that he might lose this,” I was told. “He knows if the vote is ‘no’ he is as good as dead and the SNP with him. So he is saying anything he can think of that will give him a short-term boost because by the time the everything collapses in chaos he will be either long gone or president-for-life.

“in reality he’d be better off calling himself King — a true successor to the last Last King of Scotland, Idi Amin.

“His big problem at the moment is that Cameron has just started sawing off the branch he’s sitting on. Osborne has made it clear that the currency union is a non-starter and the opposition and the Lib-Dems have said the same. Now Cameron has made it clear that there is no way back from a ‘yes’ vote. The whole project is turning into a nightmare.”

An ally of John Swinney took a slightly different approach.

“You’d be surprised how many SNP members, including some in parliament, are praying to any god they can think of for a ‘no’ vote,” he said. “They know full well that the day Scotland finally gets cut loose and people start to add up the true cost there will be calls for heads to roll and that might mean literally.

“It’s a bit like the gay marriage argument versus civil partnerships. DevoMax would give Scotland pretty much everything it wants and in fact probably more and cheaper than independence. Salmond’s ego won’t stand for that and he’s doing everything he can to bluster his way through till the referendum.

“This is not about the good of Scotland; this is about the glory of Salmond.”

With four months to go to the referendum, Eck and his supporters are still not prepared to come clean about the costs of independence and what is more alarming, they appear to think that Jedi mind tricks (a wave of the hand and “these are not the facts you need”) are all that is needed for victory. If ever there was a recipe for recriminations too late to effect the result this has to be it.

The Scottish people are being promised a paradise built on (declining) North Sea oil and in a desperate attempt to keep the eyes away from the thimble with the pea under it are being urged to look to Norway and Switzerland — two of the most expensive countries to live in in Europe —as examples of how successful Scotland can become. They are being asked to put their trust in a politician whose grip on the reins is so tight that he cannot tolerate dissent in his own ranks let alone in “one of the most democratic parliaments in the world” (so we are told).

None of the facts and figures add up. Yes, Scotland could “go it alone” but it will be a desperately impoverished Scotland. The idea that Scotland will be able to share the UK currency or share the UK embassies or walk into the EU demonstrates the extent to which the Yes campaign is out of touch with anything resembling reality.

Army? Don’t know. Navy? Don’t know. Air Force? Don’t know. Corporation Tax? We’ll cut it. And when Osborn/Balls cuts the UK rate? Don’t know? And where will the money come from anyway? Don’t know? Shipbuilding (the one major heavy industry left)? Destined for the scrapheap as the UK takes its naval requirements south.

And so on. And so on. All questions; no answers. And what about a national anthem? How about Joni MItchell’s Big Yellow Taxi?

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone”

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