Rules of Engagement Mystery


Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party

When Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party, was asked on BBC TV last night what he though about the abduction of British sailors and marines by Iranian terrorists, he highlighted a very obvious issue that had escaped previous comment.


HMS Cornwall is equipped with potent armament that includes an armed helicopter to fly shotgun on any inspection team sent by RIB to inspect shipping in Iraqi waters

He pointed out that the MOD claim, apparently fully supported by GPS co-ordinates, has been that the British rummage crew was 1.7 miles inside Iraqi waters at the time that they were forced by Iranian terrorists to head for Iranian waters and detention. He pointed out that HMS Cornwall and an armed helicopter were in attendance and must have seen the Iranian terrorists entering Iraqi waters to make the abduction. That provided ample opportunity to deter, sink or seize the terrorists before they could threaten the British RIB.

US sources have expressed surprise that the British sailors and marines did not open fire on the Iranian terrorists. This may be a case of rules of engagement prohibiting them from taking this course, or it might be a case of the terrorists being much more heavily armed, with a commercial vessel potentially in danger of being hit by stray bullets.

Nigel Farage made the point that the helicopter should have intervened before the incident could develop – and a very good point it is too!!

It could be a case of the Blair regime tying British troops’ hands while still placing them in harms way. If so it would not be the first time.

There is now a growing risk that this Iranian provocation will be used as the excuse for military action against Iran.


Amadinajad, terrorist and would-be genocidal maniac

Mahmoud Amadinajad is smugly saying that the US and British do not have the capacity to invade Iran and that Iranians can ignore empty UN threats. He could be forgetting that its the Legacy Stupid. With both Blair and Bush now thinking of their legacy after office, what better way to balance the mess of Iraq with a successful surgical strike against Iran to remove any nuclear production capability and in retaliation for the abduction of British citizens from Iraqi waters.

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile

Both the US and UK have a plentiful supply of cruise missiles. Tehran Airshow 2007 could see precision flying displays by these vehicles at low level. Maybe best to avoid a flight line seat and watch it all on CNN!

The Iranians are banking on the US and UK being unable to reach any decision that they will enforce. Iran knows that the UN is an empty vessel that make a lot of noise but delivers nothing. In the process they may be overlooking that both the US and the UK have no shortage of long range weapon systems and could expect very active support from Israel which is threatened with holocaust by Amadinajad and his mental defectives. Its in times like these that nations make small miscalculations that start a major war.

Piracy – Good News and Bad News


The Good News is that the total number of reported attacks have fallen for the second year in succession to 239 for 2006, against 276 for 2005

The bad news is that attacks have become more violent and involved more sophisticated weapons and equipment.


Mahmoud Amadinajad – wanted for piracy and intent to commit genocide

The recent abduction of British sailors and Marines by Iranian criminals is one example of State-sponsored piracy.



United States of Europe – Keeping the Red Flag Flying Here

In a ruling that will affect thousands of boatowners the European
Commission has decided that any aftersales modifications to any part of a boat after manufacture, such as fitting an autopilot or self-steering gear, will invalidate the yacht’s RCD code. This is a massive blow to owners of new yachts who choose to have extras fitted at a later date and is effectively a licence to print money for manufacturers supplying all those pricey extras.

And what about the rest of us with older boats we are continually pampering and upgrading? Where does that leave us?

The ruling came about because of the case of Megawat, the Irish Hanse 371 that lost her rudder and quickly sank in the Irish Sea in 2005 after the incorrect retrofitting of an autopilot ram to the alloy rudder stock. As a result of the same case, the European Commision is also advising against using copper antifouling anywhere near an alloy rudder stock.

The Commission has penalised many owners and marine trades by drawing sweeping conclusions from one case. If they had wanted to be helpful, why did they not point out that perhaps alloy is not the best material from which to make a rudder stock and/or that standards for the design and manufacture of rudders should ensure that if they do fail they do not rip out completely and lead to a sinking? Answers on a postcard, please.

I’ll be investigating this in the June issue of Yachting World.

>From Elaine Bunting’s blog:

Language of Hate


Dr Goebbels used a simple technique to destroy opponents. He started to compare them to progressively more anti-social models by words and images. The most notorious smear was the film that depicted Jews as armies of rats befouling everything they touched

The Global Warmers have taken a leaf from the Geobbels manual of smear. In Britain, citizens were once regarded by Local Government bureaucrats as voters, residents, or rate-payers. The Global Warmers began to substitute polluter for rate-payer. They have now moved to the next stage of the smear by referring to them as eco-criminals.


For those who wonder what sort of vile creature can be described as an eco-criminal, the answer is ‘anyone who leaves the wrong waste bin out – because they lost track of the bewildering and unnecessarily complex rules and regulations and in error put out more bins or the wrong bins for the next collection’.

One shrill Global Warmer pronounced those who leave out the wrong bin for collection are no better than fly-tippers.


For those who may not know what a fly-tipper is, this is someone who dumps refuse on someone else’s land, rather than putting it out for collection, or taking it to an approved refuse dump. The fly-tipper has now become very common through the European Union. As refuse collection rules become more complex and impenetrable, covert computer spies are added to refuse bins to spy on citizens, and ever more draconian taxes are introduced, an increasing number of citizens are taking their refuse at night and tipping it covertly at the most convenient (for them) spot. In Ireland this has become a major problem since the introduction of weigh-and-pay refuse collection taxes. As similar taxes are introduced in the United Kingdom, the fly-tipping problem is expected to become more severe there also.


Galileo “in crisis”


The Galileo Project was intended to deliver a rival to the United States’ well-established and widely used GPS system, partly to free Europe from dependence on a foreign navigation system and partly as an anti-American political gesture, the Franco-German Axis seeing the US as an enemy.

This is similar to repeated attempts to develop a direct competitor to the Internet. In this latter case, Europe does have the technical advantage of a long experience in developing X.400 and X.500 specifications that would allow a much more efficient global data network to be constructed. However, as with GPS, successive US Administrations have maintained an open policy and the Internet has delivered outstanding value for money, as does the US GPS environment.

EUflag1 EUflag2

The European Union began as a Trading Partnership, even though the Franco-German political elite have always been very open that they intend to create a United States of Europe that can take on, and defeat, the United States of America. European Federation became more obvious with the adoption of a flag to mark the growth to ten Member States. The EU is now continuing down the path towards a huge empire that will extend into the Middle East and already includes territory in Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. New maps drawn up as part of the process of extinguishing national associations – see BSD review of the People’s Republic of Arc Manche “Hello Mister President” Friday, November 3rd, 2006 – includes countries that have either refused to joint the EU or joined and then left. Proposals for a new flag to mark the expansion of the EU may indicate the Stalinist national socialist preferences of many eletist EU politicians.

Some EU statements on the need to develop a rival to the Internet demonstrate that any State control and interference with communications systems are much more likely to come from the EU than from the US. It would be highly desirable to produce a counter to spam which costs Internet users so much, and it would be highly desirable to prevent criminals from making use of the Internet, but these undesirable factors are the price of avoiding censorship and control by narrow minorities. The real solution will be the evolution of systems that users are free to adopt, or ignore, without having them imposed by a small group of elite politicians

THE European Union’s project to set up its own satellite-based positioning system, Galileo, is in crisis according to German transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee, An EU Council of Ministers meeting yesterday set deadlines for the project to be brought back on track.


German transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee

Mr Tiefensee said: “Galileo has not yet overcome its difficulties. It is true that the industry has made some moves in the right direction. The concession contract has been concluded. But the consortium has yet to resolve elementary issues. Thus, for instance, decisions within the consortium can only be taken by unanimity. But we need a consortium company that is capable of negotiating and taking decisions, so that the blockades are not continued. That is why Galileo is still in a crisis”, said the German transport minister, Wolfgang Tiefensee, at today’s EU Transport Council in Brussels.”

GPS Constellation

The US GPS system is already highly developed and is the system used by a wide variety of military and civil GPS receiver navigation systems. For those countries using the US system, and civilians of US and non-US nationality, there is always a fear that one day the US will encrypt signals so that the system can only be used by the US Federal Government and its selected Agencies. That fear would apply to any GPS constellation that was under the control of a single country. The only practical solutions would be for receivers to be able to use any of several different systems, but at a greatly increased cost of receiver products, or to develop a way in which at least part of the constellation could be brought under multi-national control

A German government statement said: “There have been major delays in the negotiations on the concession for the European Galileo satellite navigation system. This is due primarily to inadequate organizational and management structures within the bidding consortium and to disagreements regarding the distribution of work shares. Work shares are part of the ‘Brussels Gravy Train’ of corruption, where contracts are shared out on the basis of political influence, rather than on financial and/or technical superiority. For this reason, Mr Tiefensee, in his capacity as EU Council President, today presented to his European counterparts a package of concrete measures to resolve the current blockade, and made it clear that any further delay in this major European innovative project is unacceptable.”


The US GPS constellation is now onto Block III satellites. The long experience in running a GPS system places the US well ahead of any other country. That is good for the US and American manufacturers but a major challenge for everyone else. Any new GPS constellation, launched in competition, would probably start off close to the US Block II or Block IIA technology, several generations behind the current Block III technology

Mr Tiefensee added: “At its meeting today, the EU Transport Council reached agreement on a way to ensure the speedy continuation of the Galileo project. In the Conclusions, which were adopted at my suggestion, the European Commission is requested to develop scenarios by June as to how Galileo can – if necessary – be realized in a different way. Because it would appear likely that we will face similar delays to the project in the future. Likewise, the consortium has been given a deadline – 10 May – by which they are to have solved their internal problems and overcome any blockades. In addition, I expect the European Commission to embrace the political leadership role it has been given and to do everything it can to remove the existing obstacles.” said Mr Tiefensee.


A Block III GPS satellite under construction and test at the Lockheed Martin facility in the US. This generation of GPS satellites is a long way from the very first Block I space craft. Since the first constellation was launched by the US, originally specifically for military purposes, the constellation has become more effective as the number of satellites in it increase. It has also become more effective as satellite technology has advanced.

Today, millions of GPS receiver systems are on sale and in widespread use around the world on land, at sea, and in the air. GPS navigation systems could become mandatory for even small private marine craft and for motor vehicles.

Although the European Union has expressed many concerns about possible US restriction by signal encryption, the objections may have more to do with the plans of the EU ruling elite to implement a “Big Brother” police state of the type being introduced, against the popular wishes of citizens, by the Blair regime national socialists. GPS is seen as a fundamental tool of the Great Index that will allow every citizen to be monitored in great detail. Some of the secret police applications, that are likely to be added to the Great Index, would require direct and total control of the GPS constellation on which the system would be based. That means that civil liberty considerations by an American President could result in the US GPS constellation carrying devices to frustrate police state monitoring applications or use information from such applications.




Gordon Brown Scottish Prime Minister-in-Waiting

Yesterday saw what may be the final Budget from Gordon Brown, although there is a precedent for the roles of Prime Minister and Chancellor to be combined. Much depends on when Blair decides to resign and he shows a reluctance to do so. Some suggest that he is hanging on to give colleagues time to find a challenger to Brown to succeed Blair. Others point out that the police investigations appear to be structured to present files to the Prosecution Service after Blair steps down. As he may be charged with offences this is an encouragement to delay resignation, as happened in Italy when Prime Minister Berlusconi was under threat of prosecution.

This British budget set a real challenge.

In the first years of the Blair regime, Brown kept to spending plans set by the previous Conservative administration which had, under Chancellor Clarke, established consecutive quarters of growth and achieved the strongest economic performance by Britain since before the 1914-18 War. Brown also introduced the first of a series of stealth taxes, the most damaging being an annual GB£5 billion raid on pension funds, destroying the long established excellence of pensions schemes in the UK.

In the second five years, Brown has continued to raise new stealth taxes but has presided over a massive spending programme that is bigger than it looks because Private Finance Initiative schemes have been used to fund a huge NHS building programme and other public works, mortgaging the UK Government for the next 30 years. Some estimate that PFI schemes add another GB£10 billion to the current fiscal deficit.

When the Bank of England took responsibility for setting interest rates, they still had to work to political instruction. As a recession began to open, the interest rates were used to encourage a huge level of unsecured personal debt and fueled a dramatic rise in house values. Eventually that has to be paid for and 2007 looks like the year of payback.

None of this is well timed for Brown’s aspiration to follow Blair as Prime Minister. There was simply no money to give away. As a result Brown relied on misdirection. He tried to create the false impression of massive tax cuts when in reality he was delivering a Budget that was overall neutral, headline cuts being matched by covert increases.

As a result most citizens will not see any overall change in their tax liabilities. A few will see some very modest gains and more will see tax increases overall. Unfortunately the main losers appear to be in the poorest section of society. Business is similarly affected because the apparent gains on reduced taxation will be balanced for most companies by increases elsewhere and some will be worse off, mainly in the vital Small/Medium Enterprise, SME, segment.

Brown has created a track record of devious Budgets where in the months following his Commons presentation, the reality of the Budget slowly emerges and ‘winners’ find that they have won nothing.

This Budget began to be exposed as it was delivered, commentators having now learned to look for the hidden taxes and increases.

Three intriguing questions are raised:

will Blair announce his resignation in May?

will Brown win the contest that will follow for a successor?

has Brown already decided to go for a snap General Election if Blair goes and he succeeds?

The answers may depend on the results of the forthcoming Local Government elections, particularly on the Scottish votes. Current forecasts show the Scottish Nationalists heading for a majority in the Scottish Parliament and they have already stated that their first task would be to run a referendum for a break up of the United Kingdom. If that happens, Gordon Brown, as a Scottish MP, would be left hunting for an English Constituency if he wanted to be Prime Minister in London. Ironically, the Scottish Prime Minister-in-Waiting would be unwelcome in Scotland.

The more concerning question is:

has a new recession already started?

Some commentators point to the rapidly rising number of personal bankruptcies and house repossessions. With further increases in Bank Rate forecast, the number of people defaulting on house mortgages could increase very rapidly, triggering a total collapse of the housing market. This Budget shows how tight Government funding has already become behind the propaganda. It also indicates the scale of spending cutbacks due for public services, and the impact that will have on jobs.


The Real Issue – Information Integrity


There are many packaged information security products some more effective than others

Most individuals and organizations paid no attention to information security until computer virus and spyware attacks, via the Internet, became endemic. For the majority, it became a matter of signing up for a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and regarding the matter as closed. For busy people there may not seem to be much alternative, or need for alternative. There is always some other emergency to deal with. When an individual is making personal decisions, or an organization is taking a decision in a narrow part of that entity’s operations, it may be fair enough to make a quick and poorly considered choice. Unfortunately, what we each do now affects so many other people, including people we are never aware of, and who, in turn, are unaware of how we have affected them.

The real task should have been to consider risk management across an enterprise, whether that was an individual, a family, a community, a commercial organization, a community service organization, or a government. Holistic risk management is a concept that calls for an analysis of operational objectives (what we are here to do), with an analysis of potential or actual risks (all those things that could impede us in achieving our objectives). Once we know where we are, and where we want to get to, we can decide on the relative importance of each of the elements that we have reviewed.


Start by reading a good handbook on holistic risk management to decide how to approach the process

As with any aspect of life, we can decide, at the start, how much of a task we want to set ourselves. We can use paper and pencil in a rapid and informal review that records what we already knew and what we thought we knew but didn’t. At the other extreme we can establish many committees, buy sophisticated computer-based systems and do everything using a formal language so that the review is firmly based on mathematical analysis and decision-making. Between the two extremes are many alternatives with varying degrees of bureaucracy. Government departments and large corporations tend to use the most complex and bureaucratic approach, but that does not necessarily produce the most effective result. Where it fails, it is usually not a failure of methodology or technology, but the inept manipulation of the tools to achieve a preconceived result, or to conceal widespread error.

One example of this is the Blair regime’s use of Gateway Reviews where consultants are employed to produce reports on the effectiveness of major information system projects and procurements. The reviews are rarely objective because of the specification laid on the consultants. If the review produces a result that might make the regime look good, it is published, or ‘leaked’ in parts. If, as is probably the most common situation, the review identifies a series of glaring errors and incompetence, the regime claims that the information cannot be released because of some fictitious risk to the Gateway Review process. The Information Commissioner then rules that the information must be published and the regime hires an army of very expensive lawyers to frustrate the Information Commissioner. If Government manages to continue to suppress the reports, it may be that seriously defective systems will be implemented and the data that they contain may be of the lowest integrity.

The reason that holistic risk management should be employed is that it does not mandate a ‘Right Way’. The analysis stage simply lists and reviews all of the elements of objective and risk. That analysis has to then be turned into something meaningful to the specific enterprise. Every enterprise, from the individual to the largest organization, has a culture. Some are comfortable with taking risks to achieve objectives. Others are very cautious. As a result, those who want to reach their objectives most completely will be prepared to accept much less risk reduction, or outright avoidance, than would a conservative enterprise that is averse to risk. The analysis can be used in any way desired, but it will provide a map of objectives and risks. At any time, the approach to managing risks can be changed. It will have a direct effect on the achievement of objectives, but the effect will be identifiable before the final decision is taken.

As a result, we can all manage risk effectively according to the lifestyle that we desire. However, the core of this process is information risk. It begins with the analysis because, if the analysis is flawed, every decision could be flawed. The real issue is the integrity of the information rather than the assurance or availability. We need to know where the information came from, who handled it, who accepted it, and how it has been stored and used. If we do not have that knowledge, the information has a low integrity. That can mean that it is worthless, but it can also mean that it is dangerous. Our lack of knowledge automatically means that assurance is also low. Providing high availability to the information can mean that we lose control of it completely. A major loss of control can be established through uncontrolled data aggregation where high integrity data is mixed and adulterated with lower integrity data and the sum of the ingredients creates what is, effectively, new information that has the integrity of the lowest integrity level data involved in the aggregation..

In a manual paper-based system, we can ensure a high integrity because each document has an author. That author can include a bibliography of sources to show how the information was collected or measured. The document can be held in a secure storage system where a librarian is responsible for signing out and signing in every document. That does not guarantee that someone using the document is not irresponsible, but they can be interviewed and investigated if a problem occurs. Electronic systems can work in exactly the same way and should employ that level of supervision and measurement if the contents of an electronic document are to be used to enable and support decision-making.


The false prospective presented by the Blair regime to justify the invasion of Iraq is an example of one, or more, documents that can be traced to sources and individual decisions. A judicial review, which may eventually be undertaken, would be able to call for all records to be made available and question all those who worked with the information. If intelligence officers were responsible, they would have made a case against falsification and demanded a written instruction from politicians. If the written instruction was refused, the intelligence officer should have recorded any concerns, including recommendations against political orders. Under judicial review, the officer’s notes may not be acceptable evidence for a conviction but it will be possible for all parties to be questioned, leading to probability or admission.

As the Internet becomes more and more an integral part of life for so many enterprises that amount of casual and untrusted information in circulation increases dramatically. However, we do have some control. An enterprise can decide how information, obtained via the Internet, can be used within the enterprise and what information may be contributed back to the Internet. The growing difficulty is that we are not able to control an increasing percentage of information that relates to us.

computer & table

Others may not take the same care that we do

The first area is in the management, by others, of data that we have provided. A current British scandal is created because banks have been dumping highly sensitive customer information in rubbish sacks left on public streets, or where the public has potentially uncontrolled access to the refuse. This is a major risk to those customers because it reduces the integrity of, what should have remained, high integrity sensitive information. The risk is not just that the sensitive information may have been stolen, or copied, and used in an authorized way, but that we no longer know for certain what has happened to the information. The fact that someone has not impersonated the original information providers for hostile purposes does not mean that an attack will never happen. Where a large amount of customer information has been so carelessly dumped, it will take criminals some time to get round to using all of it in crimes. In this example it is unlikely to have been the first incident, just that previous careless acts have not been detected.

KGB Symbol

The Great Index is associated with the Russian KGB but was started under the Czars. Similar systems were attempted in Germany under the Gestapo and SDP. The same principles have been embraced by the Blair regime

A slightly different, but no less sinister, example is the reckless actions of the Blair regime. This is a combination of deliberate actions and incompetence. From the start of the Blair regime in 1997, one continuing policy has been the establishment of a Great Index that would allow government to survey in minute detail every citizen. The primary purpose may have been to create a police state, where single party government is established and where a small ruling elite is immune from the wishes of the mass of population. However, the way in which the Blair regime may have intended to use the information is the smaller part of a huge risk for every citizen.

Systems implemented in Britain, by the Blair regime, have an appalling record of reliability. The initial entry of data is very seriously flawed and the subsequent performance of the system has degraded the integrity of the data further. As data is shared between systems, these systems are infected with low integrity data and this destroys their system integrity. The situation may now have reached the stage where the only way to restore data integrity would be to scrap all systems and start again. This would represent a phenomenal cost, even if the new clean systems were only created where there was a clear proven need for the government to require the information from citizens and where only essential information is collected.

There is mounting evidence that deliberate data subversion has taken place because government systems are inadequately protected from attack, and have been inadequately administered to identify where an attack has taken place, and the consequences of that attack. However, as the integrity of government data continues to fall, criminals and political attackers may move to non-government systems that have a higher level of integrity, placing those systems under greater threat.

Low data integrity poses two very specific sets of threat to citizens and customers of enterprises who take the same lack of care in managing information under their control.

The first set of risks comes because this contaminated data is sold on to third parties without the specific knowledge or approval of those who contributed the data. With a commercial enterprise the problem can be reduced because citizens could refuse to supply information. It is a different matter in the case of government because the citizen is legally required to provide information requested. In the case of the new Internal Passport and External Passport system in Britain, citizens will not only be forced to provide information that will be sold or used in any way the Blair regimes considers appropriate, but they will have to pay for the privilege of being abused. The cost will be both in the time and travel costs of going to an interrogation centre, that may be some considerable distance away, and in a direct fee payable before the Passports are issued.

The second set of risks are created because the data contributor has no control over what happens to sensitive personal information and no knowledge of who has had access, or for what purpose. From emerging scandals, it has transpired that citizens have been threatened by criminals who purchased information from the British Government to enable them to make their assault. There have already been a number of serious miscarriages of justice where low integrity data has been presented in court and where it has influenced a trial outcome. British motorists are already very familiar with the unchallenged use of flawed information at trial for alleged traffic offences. Magistrates, judges and juries still place levels of blind trust on ‘evidence’, presented by the government and its agents, which might have been justified under the old paper-based system of information handling.


Sally Clark, who recently and tragically died, was one of a number of high profile miscarriages of justice where conviction was influenced by very low integrity information used in evidence by prosecutors

An immediate reduction of risk could be achieved if Courts begin to treat any information, presented by government agencies, or any other litigant, as having a very low integrity, to the point where it cannot be admitted in evidence, unless its integrity can be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. This would restore some balance, but the real solution is to treat information integrity seriously and ensure that all electronic systems are subject to, at least, the same standards of accountability that has traditionally applied to paper-based information. Coupled with that is an urgent need to make sure that the consequences of networking any information resource are fully considered and that information integrity is adjusted accordingly.

This does not have to limit those who voluntarily chose to take a relaxed attitude to information risk. It just means that they should clearly show where the integrity may be suspect.

For example, one consequence of the Internet has been that managers of enterprises ‘save money’ by conducting research over the Internet and interpreting the information themselves, where they would previously have purchased a prepared market analysis from a specialist company. The purchased analysis would have an integrity that was based on the reputation and experience of the research company and their ability to identify and prove their information sources. It can be argued that a senior manager working as his, or her, own researcher is actually more expensive than paying a specialist company, but there are situations where money is saved when preparing a business report. Where the report is used to provide general trend indication it may not present any difficulties, proving perfectly adequate. Where important decisions have to be made on the information in the report, it may still be safe to use the information in that way, provided that the decision maker fully understands how the information was sourced and what level of integrity it has.


Who Can Tax the Highest?


Dave The-Tosser-Within Cameron promises eye-watering new aviation taxes if Blue Labour replaces Blair’s National Socialists

In Britain a wrestling match has begun between Blair’s national socialists and Blue Labour under Dave The-Tosser-Within Cameron over who can think of the highest taxes. National socialist Chancellor Brown is furious to find that Dave had beaten him to the punch with promises of swinging new aviation taxes.

Tory logo

The Conservative Party, traditionally the Party of low taxation, small government, and competence, has been taken over by the Blue Labour faction led by Dave Cameron, leading to a war between Blair’s National Socialists and New Labour over how to increase taxation on a population that already works more days to pay the Government than it works for itself. The None-of-the-Above LibDems wait to see who comes up with the highest tax so that they can trump with a promise to impose much higher taxes if they ever become the balance in a hung Parliament.

All three Parties have seen Global Warming as an excuse to raid the taxpayers’ pockets in the name of Saving the Planet. As scientists increasing swing away from blaming human profligacy to identifying the Sun as the cause of climate change, these champions of high taxation will have to start thinking of new ways to rob citizens – perhaps a massive tax on sun glasses and beach wear.

Conservative Party proposals to impose taxes on aviation as a tool to curb emissions, have met with a chorus of opposition from the industry – and government. Opinion polls show the proposals as a massive vote loser. This could be the Clever-Dumb Balance at work with New Labour attempting to negate the rapid progress they have made in overtaking Blair’s National Socialists in the opinion polls.


In a barrage of publicity, Tory shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, has called for a change – realistically a hike – on fuel duty and/or charging VAT on domestic flights, replacing Air Passenger Duty (APD) with an emissions-based per-flight tax and introducing a ‘Green Miles Allowance’ aimed at frequent fliers.

‘Green Miles’ could have been a vote catcher – something the oil companies could offer with every litre of fuel burned. The sale of indulgences may replace conventional taxes because people can feel pious and expiate their ‘sins’ by buying a wad of indulgences.

The proposals have taken up swathes of British press pages, with some attacking the Conservatives as wishing to put a tax on fun, while others have described the Tories as “mad.”

“Our Greener Skies consultation sets out credible proposals for curbing the future growth of emissions from air transport,” said Osborne, adding: “This does not tax people out of their one foreign holiday a year, but instead focuses on dirtier aircraft and more frequent fliers.”


Blair and Brown already have a long track record for incompetence and over-taxation

Predictably, the Labour Party has struck back, raising the interesting question of whether or not airlines would simply import fuel from countries where tax is not levied – leading to heavier aircraft and more pollution.

Brown is furious that one of his forthcoming new taxes has been commandeered by Dave and George. If he now announces a similar tax he will be accused of jumping on a Blue Labour bandwagon.

“The Treasury continues to believe that the inclusion of aviation in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme is the most efficient and cost-effective way to aid the aviation sector tackling climate change,” said a Treasury spokesperson.

“While this work continues, the government recognizes that domestic measures can play a role in tackling the environmental impact of aviation and from February this year, it increased Air Passenger Duty, saving the equivalent of 0.75m tonnes of carbon every year by 2011.”


The Autonomous House


Everything you wanted to know about saving the planet but were afraid to ask. This book was published in 1975 at an early stage in the ‘green’ movement development. It is interesting to compare its approach with the 2007 beliefs.

At a conference in Cambridge, England, shortly after this and similar books were published, one speaker bemoaned the situation asking that, “we find something to scare the shit out of folk, or they wont buy this”. That something three decades on is the Global Warming extremists.

This book was an intelligent attempt to review all of the possibilities that might contribute to a reduction of consumption and pollution. The authors concluded that it was not practical to build a fully autonomous house without deliberately reducing consumption to reduce the input of resources and the output of waste.

The book contains a great deal of information with many drawings, charts and tables to support the text. The authors have begun with a description of building techniques that might be employed to produce houses that would provide optimum heat containment and use natural resources as far as practical. They then work through all of the services and systems that could be designed with energy and resource conservation in mind. At the time that this book was written a number of test buildings had been constructed in a number of countries to provide data on autonomous living.

There is a heavily “home-made” content throughout the work, with suggestions on how to build a sewage system and store methane gas to be used for cooking and heating. The book describes how the systems could be constructed out of junk such as old vehicle and bicycle inner tubes, jam jars, plastic jerry cans and agricultural materials.


Manufacturing and marketing ‘save-the-planet’ products is now big business

Translating the concept to widespread housing policy and life style was impractical. The fundamentalist Global Warmers realised that they needed something to terrify people, products that could be readily purchased and installed by tradesmen, and ways of making it look more attractive by permitting and encouraging a continuation of urbanization.


The Church of Global Warming makes its message more attractive by offering the purchase of indulgences, to be used when ‘abusing’ the planet. The Christian Church used a similar device to make some of its teachings more pallatable, and making a great deal of money for priests and the Church, but leading to the backlash against hypocrisy that gave birth to the Protestant Christian religions

The concepts of the carbon credit card and the purchase of indulgences would have been regarded as a criminal cheat by the autonomous householder. The result in 2007 is hypocrisy where a new industry makes new profits from products and services that are marketed to solve a problem that may not exist but where a combination of fear and self-satisfaction is promoted. It will be very interesting to see how a generation will view 2007 in three decades time.