Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poor MPs

Sir Nicholas Winterton, Tory MP for Macclesfield really deserves our sympathy.
He has just been told he can only claim the cost of a Standard Class train ticket when travelling between London and his constituency.
Bless him!
In the hope I cam be of some help to the beleaguered gentleman, I have done a minute's research.
Standard Class from Euston to Macclesfield after school at Westminster throws out on Friday evening (peak time) will cost £52.50 whereas First Class will cost £74.00.
That's a difference of £21.50! Scandalous!
Actually, what is really scandalous is that this croaking comes from someone who is apparently well versed in the art of milking the public purse.
He and his MP wife were recently rumbled, having claimed £41,508 and £41,584 respectively in rent on a flat which was owned by a trust controlled by their children. Trustees? Sir Nicholas Winterton, his wife and their solicitor.
Out of all that wonga, you would think he would be able to stump up the additional £21.50 without our help.
On the other hand though, it is not merely a matter of funds. As Sir Nicholas pointed out; he needs to travel First Class as the people that travel in the other parts of the train are riff-raff.
To be fair, he didn't actually say that. What he did say was:
"They are a totally different type of people. There's lots of children, there's noise, there's activity. I like to have peace and quiet when I'm travelling."
Riff-raff, in other words!
He also said:
"They want to stop Members of Parliament travelling first class. That puts us below local councillors and officers of local government. They all travel first class. Majors in the army travel first class. So we are supposed to stand when there are no seats. I’m sorry, it infuriates me.”
Sir Nicholas, think on this; people such as Majors and local government officers have trained and worked hard to achieve their status. You didn't; you were elected by a group of citizens who were possibly fooled into thinking you were off to Westminster to do them some good when it transpires you wheedled your way into the job in order to line your own pockets and to satisfy some narcissistic compulsion to be seen as an "important person".
You are not.
Now, sod off quietly into the sunset. Roll on the general election when you retire and give us a break.
Come to that, why wait? Retire now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ali Dizaei; part 2

It seems it never stops, once something begins to unravel.
In this instance, the unravelling relates to the strange nether world inhabited by Dizaei and his ilk.
A few years ago, the Met Police spent an awful lot of money on Operation Helios.
This operation stemmed not from the fact that they jsut had a few quid left over in the kitty. This operation stemmed from some serious concerns raised by the Serious Organised Crime Agency about his conduct. The concerns were passed on to the Met's anti-corruption unit. Shortly after that, Dizaei went up for his second promotion board and "got the job". This despite the observation by a Deputy Assistant Commissioner following his interview as "the most rude and arrogant man she had ever met".
While serving with Thames Valley police, a Met Police informant told of allegations that Dizaei was "involved in drugs, interfering win court cases for money and consorting with prostitutes. Nothing came of these allegations and Dizaei was allowed to go on his merry way. Soon after this, he was transferred to the Met.
Again, allegations were made to Thames Valley about his conduct and these were passed to the Met. Operation Helios began soon after that.
The allegations and concerns about Dizaei were taken seriously enough that over 1,000 wire-taps were put in place, from which evidence arose of Dizaei's involvement with foreign embassies.
He was a frequent visitor to the Iranian embassy where he apparently had meetings in a high security room.
He also allegedly drove a car belonging to the Liberian embassy, with the accompanying diplomatic plates no doubt.
During Operation Helios, Dizaei had a good laugh at the investigating officers regarding the Iranian embassy visits. He claimed they were all announced by him before hand.
Yeah, well, if that was the case, why is it that one of the triggers for Operation Helios was an allegation of him spying for the Iranians? Smoke...Fire...?
Operation Helios suffered an ignominious defeat somewhere between all the thousands of hours of surveillance and the case's arrival at CPS and the High Court.
Subsequent to that collapse, an inquiry was held into the operation and found that the Met had been rather jolly unfair cads and bounders. The good, honest and upright citizen Dizaei had been prosecuted because of his race. Still laughing about that conclusion are we Sir William Morris?
During the trial and again during the inquiry and yet again in a attempt to get a High Court injunction on Dizaei's behalf prior to the court appearances resulting from Operation Helios, the CPS had the following to say:
"When one looks at the fruits of Operation Helios: cocaine, steroids, threats to an ex-girl friend, admission of wrong-doing apparently violence to the boy friend of an ex-girl friend, concerns that he had connections to the Iranian Intelligence Service, assisting the xxxx sisters to remain in the United Kingdom for payment of money, a cheque identified from one of them to be paid into his account, an envelope given to him in the course of his assisting xxxx with the arrangement of police assistance at a Fulham hotel, £500 paid to him for assisting xxx with her visa application, associating with xxx thought to be involved with smuggling illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom, associating with xxxx, yyyy and zzzz, suspected advance fee fraudsters, his very close friendship with xxx who had tried to deposit £2million in a bank in the most suspicious circumstances and agreeing to assist xxx by adding his legitimacy to a conference, interfering with police investigations and disclosing information from those investigations, suggesting to xxx the various options available to xxx accused of damaging a car, interfering with that investigation by bullying yyyy, agreeing to assist xxxx who was under investigation for assaulting a traffic warden, ineterfing with xxxx licence application by deliberately flouting a command not to be involved, but going on to do so.
Receiving £800 from xxxx in return for advice on providing a defence on a drink-drive charge, and meeting that accused person while on bail and receiving 7 free concert tickets each of which was nominally worth £500 when he was responsible for policing that concert."
They then go on to say that this was "some, but not all, of the material received during the Helios investigation".
The Morris inquiry has published most of its findings on line. An interesting Appendix is this submission by Dizaei himself:
It is heavy going, reading through the whole bloody thing but at the end, you will be left with the impression that here was a barrack room lawyer of the first order. A whinging, so and so who looks as if he was weaving the strands of potential rabble rousing, even as a police probationer.
As for the Iranian embassy connection, how about this for a potent brew:
NBPA and their alleged "values" (anti-racism); Dizaei's use of the NBPA as a platform for his tub thumping; Iranian president, Ach Me Dinner Jacket and his pronouncements that Israel must be wiped off the face of the planet. Now, it seems to me that a view such as that held and publicly declared by the Iranian president is somewhat racist. The very thing Dizaei and the NBPA vow to fight against.
Well check out this picture:
Our good old friend Dizaei, addressing a conference in Iran in support of Ach Me Dinner Jacket's presidential "election" campaign. This at a time when he was suspended from the Met.
Thanks to the Daily Mail for that snap. It is part of a larger item on the outrageous behaviour of Dizaei:
Finally, yet another Daily Mail link (and I thought I was crusading!):
PS All the xxxx, yyy etc above is a result of names having been blacked out in the transcripts.
London in nto infested with hordes of people with the surname xxx!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ali Dizaei; the Shahrokh Mireskandari connection

Now, here's a little bugger.
Shahrokh Mireskandari (or Dr Shahrokh 'Sean' Mireskandari BSc (Hons), MA (Hons) JD (Hons) as he likes to style himself) was pretty closely involved with Commander Ali Ba Ba.
In September 2008, Dizaei was suspended for, among other things, his allegedly advising a defence team in the prosecution of an East European woman who was charged with killing a cyclist in a hit and run accident.
The lawyer representing this woman was Shahrokh Mireskandari.
In 2007, the lawyer was a guest at Dizaei's wedding (well, one of them) as was this East European woman.
As far as I can gather, this woman was on bail for the alleged offence.
And Dizaei, a top cop, had invited her to his wedding!
It was alleged, in the Daily Mail, that Dizaei was briefing the defence team on how to pick holes in the prosecution's case, which was being prepared by his colleagues in the Met.
The defendant's sister later said "'Sean told us that Dizaei would be a consultant and would guide us about the police work and whether they were right or not... whether they had done something illegal.' (Sean is another of the dodgy brief's names).
Anyway, back to the dodgy brief.
As can be seen in the opening lines, he has a pretty impressive string of titles, degrees etc.
Except they are all bogus!
He does have a long experience of the law though, beginning with his conviction in Los Angeles in 1991 for operating a telephone marketing scam.
Read this item in the Daily Mail from 2008:
This article also covers how the Solicitors Regulation Authority investigated this dodgy brief and discovered how he acquired the string of letters after his name.
He claimed to obtained a law degree at the American University of Hawaii. This was shut down by the courts in Hawaii in 2005, with the owner, Hassan Safavi under investigation.
Hassan Safavi? Another bloody Anglo-Iranian!
The dodgy brief, when questioned, refused to disclose where else he may have obtained his "law degrees".
Eventually, at the end of their investigations, the dodgy brief's law firm, Dean & Dean, was shut down by the SRA.
Guess what his next move was? He was, in 2009, suing the SRA and the Law Society for "race & religious discrimination". I don't know if this has been resolved at this time but the SRA web site still carries the notice of "Intervention" which closed him down.
I don't know the full extent of his case load over the years he has been in business here but I can say that an awful lot of his work seems to have involved the Met's Black Police Association. He appears to have been central to a number of high profile cases, generally encouraging anyone of an Asian background to sue the police for "discrimination".
Ali Dizaei; enough said about that piece of work!
Tariq Ghaffour; having finished his 30 years in the force, he decided he wanted to be the El Supremo at the Olympics in London in 2012. At the instigation of Dr Dodgy Brief, he accused Sir Ian Blair of having reneged on a promise to give him this plum job. It had been made very clear from a long time before this that the government would be taking charge of this, not the Met Police. It didn't stop the accusation of racism and the Met (quite wrongly and irresponsibly) paying out £300,000 as compensation for the "hurt he had felt". On top of that, this bloke goes away with a pension-related lump sum of £525,000 and an annual pension of £85,000.
It seems this deal went through in order to smooth the handover from Sir Ian Blair to Sir Paul Stephenson as Commissioner. Bloody spineless and irresponsible!
Commander Shabir Hussain; he sued the Met Police for ....well you know very well what for.
He claims he was overlooked for promotion in 2006. It transpires that, during the selection process he was one of 7 candidates. One other candidate scored the same as Hussain, the others all scored higher. Nobody scored lower. He didn't get the job. Now, that was in 2006. What happened between 2006 and the date the spurious claim went to a tribunal in 2008? No idea but probably Dr Dodgy Brief became involved.
He lost his case.
Yasmin Rehman; This woman was a senior manager with responsibility for "promoting racial and religious diversity" within the Met Police. In 2008, she lodged a claim of racial discrimination, making all manner of outlandish allegations. In December of that year, she withdrew the allegations and has since quit the Met. (probably a fair indication there was nothing to her claims). Throughout this fiasco, she was advised by the MBPA. This organisation often employed our friend Dr. Dodgy Brief; I wonder what, if any, involvement he had in this trumped up nonsense?
It goes on and on, usually with this fraud somewhere in the background, apparently orchestrating things.
Have a listen to him attacking Sir Ian Blair in a radio interview in 2007:
Last heard of, this numty was suing the Solicitors Regulation Authority for £10million.
Again, last heard of, there were rumours he had legged it to the USA.

Ali Dizaei Saga; NBPA

As a result of the recent conviction of Ali Dizaei, I started looking into some of the things with which he has been involved and one of these is the National Black Police Association, of which he is a past leader.
I do not like racism of any sort and an organisation that restricts its membership, aims and agenda to exclude any other group is racist.
This is regardless of which ethnic group is restricting others, black, white, brown or purple.
For some time, I have wondered how this nation can tolerate the idea of an organisation which seems to boast of its own brand of racism in its name.
Let there be a White Police Association and there will be bloody uproar!
I read a post somewhere in which some mis-guided person wrote that membership of the NBPA is open to anyone, regardless of ethnic origin. I actually believed it, for about 5 minutes.
First I looked up the NBPA's web site and found that none of its leaders, prominent members etc are white.
I looked a the constitution to see what it says about membership.
They skirt around that somewhat by saying membership is open to any of the national Black Police Associations. So that means looking up the membership requirements of the various associations around the country.
At the outset of the NBPA constitution, they include a handy re-definition of the term "Black":
"1.3 The definition of "Black" is one that emphasises the common experience and determination of people of African, African-Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Asian or Asian sub-continent origin to oppose the effects of racism and victimisation".
This tells us 2 things:
1. It is a racist organisation
2. They are thick. "Middle Eastern, Asian and Asian sub-continent origin" all means one thing; "Asian".
Come to that, people of African-Caribbean origin can also be deemed to be of African origin.
Anyway, I checked the Merseyside BPA for their membership criteria, to see if they were a little less woolly about membership requirements. They say:
"Full members must be able to satisfy our constitutional definition of ‘black’. Contrary to popular believe this does not mean you must be must be black as commonly understood, but rather have the ‘common experience and determination’ of people who are, because it is they that are typically far more likely historically and currently, to be on the receiving end of racism. Indeed we have a number of white full members, one of whom is currently an MBPA Executive Committee member."
Which proves 2 things:
1. It is a racist organisation
2. They are thick. Check the spelling and the grammar. Trust me; I copied this directly from their web site:
I don't think I need any more convincing that this organisation is anything other than racist.
If they called their club something along the lines of the "Anti-Racist Police Officers Association" and opened membership to any Police Officer who was determined to stand up to racism in any form, they may get a bit more sympathy.
As they stand, they are to be condemned as racist. Nothing more and nothing less.
Incidentally, did I mention that they are thick?
Here's another gem from one of their affiliated associations, the Met Police BPA:
"The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) were very surprised to hear the verdict given on 08.02.2010 regarding the case of Commander Ali Dizaei."
No shit, Sherlock!
To be fair, they do go on to say "
It is imperative that we recognise and respect the decision of the Jury - no one should be above the law." but the damage is done in that first sentence.
(By the way, why does the word jury require a capital J?)
Nice guys that they are though, the web page does include an invitation to their MetBPA Social Dance.
Don't you love these "Social Dances"? Far better than the "Unsocial Dances"!
Tickets are available to all police officers, regardless of ethnic origin (apparently).
Tickets are £12.00 for BPA members and £15.00 for non-members.
Hang on, isn't that discriminatory? Doesn't that mean that officers who don't fit the membership definitions will be obliged to pay the higher price?
I smell scandal!

Got you, you toe rag!

At last, the bane of the Metroplitan Police, Commander Ali Dizaei has been well and truly rumbled.
Yesterday, he was sentenced to 4 years in prison for perverting the course of justice.
Now let's hope the Crown Prosecution Service will go back in time a couple of years to see what
really happened on the numerous occasions this nasty piece of work was "cleared" of other charges.
The National Black Police Association, headed by Ali Dizaei himself, has constantly claimed that
there has been a conspiracy against him.
In the past, he has been accused of knowingly employing an illegal immigrant, of attempting to
pervert the course of justice, of misusing his police credit card fraudulently etc etc.
On each occasion, he has been cleared but it is gradually becoming obvious to any who care to see, he has relied upon the "race card" every time.
The problem has usually been that the police have had treat this barrel of laughs with kid gloves,
scared to death of the race issue being raised and driven by political correctness.
Generally, this cowardly attitude has arisen from the inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence murder. The inquiry declared that the Met was "instituionally racist".
An absurd term that, I think, will come back to haunt a few people.
My understanding of the term would imply that there was a policy in place in that force that
dictated a policy of racism that should be followed as a regular procedure in much the same terms as, for example, the policy that lays down what uniform an officer must wear or how an officer fills in a notebook etc.
I have, a long time ago, worked briefly at Scotland Yard, the home of the Met Police and I know of the "canteen culture" that McPherson's inquiry referred to.
Yes, there was the odd officer or two who was possibly guilty of racist remarks but in no different
ratios than can be observed in all walks of life. Policemen (and women) are ordinary people and
ordinary people do have their own, individual, characteristics. Some are good, some less so.
My observations in Scotland Yard were that the people I saw there were no different from people I met elsewhere; some were possibly racist, others were "pissed on power", while others were just pretty decent, common or garden people.
So, to use the term "institutionally racist, all McPherson did was to create a new weapon that
would come in handy for a bunch of miscreants. Every time anybody who was not obviously white was accused of anything by the Met, they could all cry "racism" and the powers that be were too cowardly to stand up to them as they were scared to death of the prospect of either being racist themselves or of propping up a racist organisation.
Now, with the conviction yesterday, it may be time to look at some of the events in this crook's
recent past.
Only 2 months ago, the News of the World newspaper paid "damages" to Dizaei after reporting that he had hired an illegal immigrant.
The person involved, Ace Bakhtyari, was indeed an illegal immigrant who was in this country on a fake French passport.
Ali Dizaei did indeed employ him, first as a photographer, taking photographs at Dizaei's second
Ali Dizaei did indeed take this person into the House of Commons, allowing him to bypass security on the grounds that "he is with me". It would be a brave constable who would say to a superior officer of Dizaei's rank "I don't care who he is with, where is his ID?"
According to Bakhtyari, now back in Iran following his deportation, he became Dizaei's odd job man, staying at Dizaei's house (well one of Dizaei's 3 houses). He was so close to and trusted by Dizaei that he used to carry Dizaei's credit card for purchasing bits and bobs for his little jobs around the house.
When he was arrested during a routine police stop, Bakhtyari was found to be carrying Dizaei's credit card, along with the fake passport which led to his arrest and deportation.
Did I mention 3 houses? Indeed I did. Dizaei, allegedly, has homes in Acton, Henley and Chiswick.
Not bad going for a bloke who was on an income of £90,000.
Another bit of Dizaei's "previous" was involvement in allegations of helping a bent solicitor,
Shahrokh Mireskandari, in a case involving Dizaei allegedly helping an East European woman get off a case by showing her lawyers how to pick holes in the prosecution's case.
In fact, come to think of it, this ex-lawyer Mireskandari is such a bill of goods, he deserves his
own page!
As does Dizaei's best mate, Ali Ghaffour who is another walking travesty.
It is rare I say this, but I actually do feel sorry for the bog-standard, run of the mill policeman
in this country.
The race relations industry (for that is surely what we have here) has the police authorities by the throat and are not going to let go easily. The effect this has on your ordinary, honest policeman must be a sapping of morale.
Under the stewardship of the previous boss, Sir Ian Blair, the Met Police seemed to have become
toothless in the face of any challenge using the race card.
Hopefully, the successful prosecution of Dizaei might indicate a new willingness to face up to the
sharp practice brigade in the Met.
Finally; the government recently overturned hundreds of years of history and scrapped the "Double Jeopardy" rule which meant that, should you be found not guilty of an accusation, you could not be prosecuted again.
Now, if the prosecution don't like a not guilty verdict, they can drag you back to have another go
at you.
Well, let's see if they have the guts to use this new found power to resurrect some of the apparent miscarriages of justice surrounding the likes of Dizaei and his ilk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How long does it take to learn a lesson

Many years ago, I was a soldier. During my time, we had 2 main weapons; the 9mm Sterling sub-machine gun and the 7.62mm Self Loading Rifle (SLR).
Shortly after I left the Army, there was much talk about a shift away from these to smaller bore weapons.
The theory went that it wasn't really necessary to kill people, it was good enough to merely wound them. Someone had calculated that it takes 2, 3 or 4 (don't remember the number) extras to take care of the wounded, thus putting a serious strain on the enemy's resources.
Bollocks! shouted Kelvin. I have never heard such twaddle.
At the time, the big emphasis was on the potential Cold War opponents, USSR & China.
If the generals had read their history thoroughly, they would have noticed that this pair had a history of wasting their own soldiers' lives wholesale. Well, with the huge populations each have, they could afford to.
The "let's wound them and grind their efforts to a halt" theory thus goes right out of the window.
If a soldier of the USSR or China was wounded then he would be left where he was. In fact, if he was a Russian soldier and he managed to crawl back to his own lines, he would probably be shot by his own comrades for running away!
Regardless, the hierarchy pressed on with their "good idea" and eventually came up with the SA80, which fires a 5.66mm round. When they had added all the high tech gizmos, it weighed around the same as the old SLR so was no benefit to the poor bloody soldier who had to cart it about (about 10 lbs with a loaded magazine).
It did have a nice high-tech telescopic sight though. Fat lot of good that was as the weapon was not expected to be used much above 300m from the target. If you couldn't see the target without a telescope at that range, you were possibly in the wrong job.
When the SA80 was introduced, it was plagued with all manner of problems with bits falling off, breaking etc.
God knows how many years later, these "issues" were fixed.
Good! Now they had a rifle that worked. Except for this 300m range thing.
Throughout the time of the adoption and development of this wonder weapon, all of our real and potential foes have stuck to the good old Kalashnikov, good for 400M or more.
The net result is that our troops have to get a bit closer to the baddies, either by sneaking up on them or through the good old fashioned typically British tactic of charging the bastards.
Now some bright spark has determined that what we really need in places such as Afghanistan is a weapon more comparable to the Kalashnikov, so they have produced a new weapon.
Guess what? It is a 7.62mm self loading rifle.
Well, bugger me!
Isn't that where we came in?
Twenty odd years and who knows how many wasted lives later, we are back where we started.
Anyone who has served with the old SLR will tell you that when you get shot with a 7.62mm round, you stay shot. At any distance up to 600m or so.
Why do we need to re-learn all old lessons every few decades?
Why do we need to fix something that wasn't broken?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

World's biggest collection of Chavs

Has anyone been watching the darts tournament currently under way in Frimley?
I have seen a couple of games, mainly because there was bugger all else on telly.
I am amazed at the collection of enthusiasts, families etc that gather there. I have a suspicion that if anyone turns up dressed like an ordinary person, they will quickly be shown the door.
The players turn up as bloated as you like showing yet another possible aspect of the dress code. If you aren't covered in tattoos and loads of bling, you don't get a game.
The audience seem to favour a collection of flashing, plastic tiaras for the women and jesters' caps for the men.
Then there is the commentator, can't remember his name now, possibly it is Tony Green, but he goes on and on and on about players' families, girl friends etc. "There's Fred's wife, lovely lass is myrtle". "Young Griselda, Bert's lady, is looking in fine form this evening. Lovely lass is Griselda". Every bugger there is great, lovely or smashing according to Mr Green.
Come on, they are a bunch of chavs and pikeys!
I used to play a lot of darts myself, both in the Army and while working in places such as Saudi Arabia etc and I used to enjoy it. It was looked on as a game, not a sport, and as a great social event, bringing people together for a good old laugh, booze-up and some social sandwich eating.
What have we now? A collection of very strange people, dressed in some really strange garb and calling for darts to be recognised as an Olympic sport!
Give me a bloody break!

Weather and Whingeing Brits

A couple of days ago, the BBC News web site quoted a prat at Gatwick airport, saying "Why is it whenever we get a bit of snow, this country grinds to a halt?" He then went on to describe the country as pathetic because of the effect the recent bad weather has had on transport etc.
I hereby declare this berk as "Empty Head of the Year".
He has probably been to Torremolinos a couple of times and considers himself therefore qualified to make sage comments on how this country compares in various fields, including dealing with the weather.
Well, Mr Empty Head, how about this?
I have lived and/or worked in plenty of locations where I have experienced cold/snowy weather, including Sweden, Norway, Germany, USA, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary etc.
Take it from me sunshine, they all have difficulties when the weather takes a turn for the worse, despite all of the above countries being much more familiar with severe cold and snow.
Look at Germany this weekend; roads closed left, right and sideways, trains & planes cancelled, more than 300 car accidents reported in one State alone (Baden Wurttemburg) and 108 more in Nord Rhein-Westphalia and a major motorway, the A5, closed.
In Poland, more than 140 people have frozen to death.
Eurostar have reduced their services through the Channel Tunnel, allegedly because of "traction problems".
Twaddle! It is because their trains are crap in the cold weather. Shuttle trains are running on the same tracks, with the same iron wheels. How does that work?
Tell you what, Eurostar's locomotives are desinged and built in France, while the Shuttle locomotives are built in Peterborough. Crap in the UK when the weather is bad then?
I spent time in Dallas in the winter of 1977 which was their worst in 100 years. It was entertaining to watch cars doing pirouettes on the icy freeways. Although the deep snow and ice remained until Easter, I don't remember seeing a gritter out on the roads once! Snow ploughs, yes but not gritters.
So, Empty Head, shut up and get some more travelling done. Try somewhere that doesn't thrive on Watneys Red Barrel, fish and chips and drunken British dick-heads.


When watching the government's recent announcement regarding the granting of licences for wind farms in British coastal waters, I was struck by some of the ridiculous statements concerning the additional benefits these farms would bring. ('Additional' only applies if you believe there are any benefits to begin with!)
Gordon Brown said: "This new round of licences provides a substantial new platform for investing in UK industrial capacity".
On the other hand, the British Wind Energy Association said the UK would only truly benefit if the turbines were manufactured here.
Another spokesman from the same association said more or less the opposite of that.
Recently, a successful manufacturer of turbine blades, based on the Isle of Wight, was closed by its (foreign owned) parent company. Not enough money in it, apparently.
Now that is rubbish, the Vestas plant exported all its production, thus earning foreign currency and contributing to some extent to the perennial balance of payments issue.
These blades were not particularly small either, have a look at this load leaving Southampton (for Canada) in 2008:
And I have seen plenty of these.
So, in order to examine the claims of more jobs etc, let's look at what is actually happening.
The licence areas are:
Moray Firth Zone; licence granted to EDP Renovaveis and SeaEnergy Renewables. The first of which is a Portuguese company and the second is a newly renamed company, previously known as Ramco, based in Scotland. Ramco shares are largely held by Lanstead Capital PL, a venture capital mob run by a couple of Americans, Lampe Conway of Delaware and Stephen Remp, an American.
The Firth of Forth Zone; licence granted to SSE Renewables and Fluor. Now there's a can of worms. SSE refers to Scottish & Southern Electricity, a company which is in to all sorts of other ventures beside just plain selling of electricity. If ever you played one of the myriad scratch-cards available in the UK, there is a chance it was one of theirs. Other products they offer include broadband and internet services. Try looking at their web site; it doesn't bloody work! If they handle the offshore wind issue with the same technical skills they apply to the internet side of their business, there could be bumpy times ahead.
The Dogger Bank Zone; licence granted to SSE Renewables, RWE Npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft. Christ! More SSE Renewables! Plus RWE, Statoil and Statkraft.
Now, in Norwegian, 'Stat' means 'State' and Kraft means (in common with many other European languages) 'Power'. So there we have 2 Norwegian state owned concerns, 'State Oil' and 'State Power'. Meanwhile, let's not forget RWE Npower Renewables. This is a subsidiary of a subsidiary of RWE, otherwise known as 'Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk'. A German company.
The Hornsea Zone; licence granted to Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens Project Ventures and Hochtief Construction. Mainstream Renewable Power was formed by the Irish company Airtricity in 2008, and Airticity in turn was acquired by SSE in 2008. Siemens and Hochtief are both universally well known German construction companies.
The Norfolk Bank Zone; licence granted to Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Vindkraft. Scottish Power Renewables is owned by Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish based multi-national. Vattenfall Vindkraft is a Swedish company that does ...well.. Swedish things.
The Hastings Zone; licence granted to E.On Climate and Renewables UK. We probably all are aware the E.On is a German company.
The Isle of Wight Zone; licence granted to Eneco New Energy, a Dutch company owned by 61 Dutch municipalities.
The Bristol Channel Zone; licence granted to RWE Npower Renewables. Done them, see Dogger Bank above.
The Irish Sea Zone; licence granted to Centrica Renewable Energy and involving RES Group. RES is part of the Robert McAlpine Group. Bloody hell, it is British! As for Centrica, they may well have been out of a demerger with British Gas but have in the past been the proud owners of the AA, Halfords, Goldfish credit cards, OneTel etc. etc. Not really a construction company then.
So, having had a look at that lot, I can see a couple of companies that qualify as engineering/construction companies, in particular Siemens, Hochtief and Fluor. None of these are based in Britain so why does anyone think they would be falling over themselves to generate jobs here?
There can only be one possible answer to this; the UK government will offer massive subsidies to "encourage" them. The EU will probably then block such subsidies, the engineering companies will, quite naturally, ensure those jobs are created in their home countries and the UK government will shrug their collective shoulders and say "we tried but EU regulations foiled us".
Balls! If this government was as serious about creating jobs here as they are about the fairy stories surrounding wind power, they would apply any subsidies to British engineering companies, helping regenerate at least a section of our manufacturing industry, creating jobs for UK residents and keeping our taxes here.
They would rather see all the assistance that this move would provide go to foreign industry.
That is why I headed this rant "Treason".
Definition of treason: a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
Also defined as: the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Newspaper? Really?

Being a staunch supporter of Liverpool FC, I never buy the thing called "The Sun". I know the proprietors of this rag class it as a 'Newspaper' but they are taking the wee wee.
The Times used to be a fine newspaper but has fallen into a new category now; a sort of broadsheet tabloid. Being part of the same stable as The Sun, it was inevitable that the standards of this publication would fall from its pervious position as the yardstick by which other newspapers would be judged.
However, it is that other rag, The Sun, that is the subject of my attention today.
At work today, someone left a copy of this paper on a table in the lunch room, so I thought I would have a look (as surely it is a 'look' that one has, not a 'read') and what an eye-opener that was!
Some samples;
Front Page Headline: HATE MAIL CLERIC. This refers to a proposal by the leader of a bunch of Islamic fascists, Anjem Choudary, to write an open letter to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. He plans to publish this (it is an open letter, after all) on the internet. He is mailing nobody but don't let that get in the way of the Sun's front page rant. "Bugger the facts lads, it's the headlines we want".
Fast forward a few pages, past all the tits and bums etc. and, on page 11, is the headline "Killer Dad in suicide ahead of Vickie trial". This refers to the father of a murdered girl who had been remanded in custody, awaiting trial for the girl's murder. There's the catch; he was awaiting trial. He had been found neither guilty nor not guilty. Once again, the cry in the editorial room goes up; "Bugger the facts lads, it's the headlines we want".
On page 12 we see the headline "Family's Brit plea". What the bloody hell does that mean? It is not English as I understand it, it is merely a lump composed of two English words with an American slang word stuffed in the middle. What does it refer to? It refers to the family of the British man executed for drug smuggling in China recently. The article explains; the family want the UK government to hold an inquest. (Can't help wondering why, even I know how he died). My question to The Sun is "How does this headline give an inkling of what the article was about?"
On page 21 we see, in a massive font "DRUGS TERROR POTTER STAR IN HOSTEL HIDEOUT". I can't be bothered reading it, the headline tells me all I need to know. It will be gibberish, written by a moron with little or no actual 'news' content. So let's move on.
A item on page 22 refers to women being likely to return an unwanted gift from a partner.
The headline "Gift Rapped". ???
Page 26 brings the following gem; a man serving life for killing gay people has lost 7 stones in prison. There you go folks, that is what you hand over your hard earned cash for!
And so this rag goes on. Crap from cover to cover!
And to think, people happily hand over 30p for this!