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Going to the Dogs

Nothing to see here, move along now

Hospital in Venezuela

Dr María Gonzales cannot recall the exact moment when she realised Venezuela’s health crisis had enveloped her hospital, the Luis Razetti in the Caribbean coastal city of Barcelona.

It may have been during a surge in cases of scabies, a skin infection that ought to be easily prevented with soap, water and disinfectant. It could have been her first sight of an emaciated child, something she had only previously seen in medical books or documentaries about famines in Africa. Or perhaps it was when she found herself prescribing a 40-minute cold shower because the pharmacy had run out of anti-fever drugs.

But the severity of the situation was certainly clear earlier this month, when a patient came in with a suspected case of diphtheria – a disease that Venezuela was supposed to have eradicated more than 20 years ago.

“It’s like we have returned to the last century,” she says. “Everything is going backwards.”

The Grauniad – Inside Venezuela’s healthcare crisis

Thus begins the gradual transformation of the narrative from “Venezuela – The new socialist paradise” under El Presidente Hugo Chávez to “Venezuela never tried socialism”, or some other bullshit excuse.

In this rewriting of history, Nicolás Maduro plays Alexei Rykov to Hugo Chávez’s “Lenin” and in so doing tells us everything we need to know about socialism and why it has always failed and will always fail. No doubt socialist revisionaries will decide that the hapless Maduro was actually a capitalist mole, implanted by the CIA to undermine the efforts of comrade Chávez.

If done slowly (as in the UK), you end up with death by a thousand cuts, if done quickly (as in Venezuela), you end up with people scavenging through garbage cans for something to eat and infant mortality sky-rocketing.

For those on the left, actual evidence of the continual and repeated failure of socialism is something that must be buried and denied to preserve the narrative, something which they have had plenty of experience with over the last century or so.

All of which just goes to show that every attempt to create a “great socialist paradise” just ends up being a reinterpretation of Animal Farm, the only difference between these various failed states being the weather.

Venezuela institutes forced labour

Venezuela Forced Labour in Agriculture

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages. That “effectively amounts to forced labour,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas’ Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

CNN Money – Venezuela’s new decree on forced labour

This is what happens when the blood-sucking ticks of the Maxist-Leninist-Maoist spectrum get hold of the economy, you rapidly go from subsidised foodstuffs and the promise of cradle-to-grave protection by the state to starvation and forced labour.

The only thing new in all of this is the date; socialist induced famines being a well documented feature, albeit seldom advertised. Certainly Venezuela’s policies from nationalisation of the petrochemical industry to price fixing and currency manipulation have a familiar feel to any student of post-WW2 Eastern Europe. Thus we prepare to entire the next stage of the consequences of economic denial, the Road to Hyperinflation.

Venezuela’s inflation for 2016 is estimated at 481.5% this year and by a staggering 1,642.8% next year, according to the latest International Monetary Fund World Outlook. Given that smuggling food is now a crime in the country as is taking photographs of the queues outside supermarkets, these figures are probably understated.

The supermarket shelves are empty, not because of a US government plot to bring down Maduro (as the Chavistas claim), but because simple economics says that goods cannot be sold at below the cost of production, which is what Chavista policies require at this time given the massive budget deficit.

Maduro continues to occupy the presidential palace, with attempts to remove him taking a glacial pace. One would perhaps wish for a coup to end the deadlock quickly, but that was the route by which Hugo Chavez began his populist climb into power, so possibly not.

I think Venezuelans will have to get a little thinner before the Presidential cockroach is forced to finally “check out”.

Daily Fail (Again).

* WWI icon Field Marshall Horatio Herbert Kitchener died on June 5 1916
* On mission to Russia his ship the HMS Hampshire exploded off Scotland
* HMS Hampshire sunk in Scapa Flow, the scene of recent Battle of Jutland
* Lord Kitchener widely known for being face of WWI recruitment posters

Emphasis mine. From here.

I dispare. That is like saying the Somme occurred in the Yorkshire Dales.

I can take any quantity of editorial bias but when it comes to simple, checkable facts about a battle that has been heavily in the news recently due to the centenary.


But wait there is more! The farticle also gives the oxygen of publicity to the idea that Kitchener made it to Russia and… became… Joseph Stalin.


Nick Cohen has this to say in The Guardian of all places.

I have nothing more to add really except Oliver Stone doesn’t live in a country that is out of toilet paper.

Shoddy Absurdia considers issuing I.O.U.’s

I'm sure we're never going to see 100 dollar oil barrel again

Saudi Arabia is considering using IOUs to pay outstanding bills with contractors and conserve cash, according to people briefed on the discussions.

As payment from the state, contractors would receive bond-like instruments which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Companies have received some payments in cash and the rest could come in the “I-owe-you” notes, the people said, adding that no decisions have been made on the measures.

Saudi Arabia has slowed payments to contractors and suppliers, tapped foreign reserves and borrowed from local and international banks in response to the decline in crude oil, which accounts for the bulk of its revenue. The country will probably post a budget deficit of about 13.5 percent of economic output this year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, pushing the government to borrow an estimated 120 billion riyals ($32 billion).

Bloomberg – Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs

In the overall scheme of things this probably doesn’t amount to much, but it just goes to show how even a little disturbance in the oil price can cause economic turmoil when all you have is oil.

I don’t expect Venezuelan-type queuing for bog roll in Riyadh any time soon, but it just goes to show that when we eventually transition to a post-oil global economy these bastards will be back to buggering goats in their desert tents, which is exactly where they belong.

If only there was some way of making it happen sooner…

Biodynamic eggs…

First off I have an A in A-level biology and an MSc in astrophysics. I have have no qualifications in being a gullible twat.

Secondly, I am a very good cook.

When I buy eggs I always go for proper free range (note the term can cover a multiple of things) and I do this on the basis of genuine animal welfare and not the position of the planets.

BTW I did sixth-form work experience in a lab at Newcastle University and it was into GM-ing cassava toremove the toxins because whilst cassava is a staple for much of Africa (and elsewhere – it grows anywhere) it contains toxins that have to be removed by a lengthy process. Now if genetically modified cassava can be free of the toxins then the work of the rural housewife is dramatically decreased. Which means…

… Let’s see shall we?

And quite frankly I’d rather see poor Tanzanians benefit in a tangible fashion rather than Hipsters from Hoxton. The first group are feeding their families, the second their egos.

So what is a “biodynamic egg”? It is an egg laid according to astrology. Here day fights with night. And they charge more for them – 10p more for six than “organic” eggs.

I weep tears of blood. Norman Borlaug must be spinning in his grave.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for vaguely spiritual ideas (and the established religions) but what really gets my goat is the “vaguely spiritual” and their attempt to cross the divide. Science ought to be about this world and religion about the next. Science (including pseudo-science) has no place in morality and religion none in science.

The one where iDave is right…

I have met a number of people who were of the opinion Nigeria was hopelessly corrupt. Most of them Nigerian which was why they lived in England.

So iDave was “undiplomatic” but he spoke the truth. If that ain’t true explain this.. A few years ago we dumped a sofa and I slit it and got eight quid out of it. I want a Nigerian sofa because that is a hell of a lot of sponds to go astray. Obviously I’d need a hole in the ceiling and a Sepp Blatter to get on it to watch Sky.

And that is just the military budget. So don’t piss on my my back and tell me it is raining.

Yes, we give Nigeria a lot of aid. It mainly goes the way of Keyser Söze. I don’t mind some of my cash going to build wells and such for the desperately poor but lining the pockets of gits is a bit above and beyond.

We do enough of that here anyway.

Shoddy Absurdia

Regular readers will know I have little or no time for the only country on the planet that forbids women from driving. They also stone homosexuals. I on the other hand have got stoned with homosexuals. I have also been in cars driven by women. The times we live in eh?

It’s coming out. I knew. I just knew the camel-fucking bastards were up to their fucking necks in 9/11 (and the rest).

I don’t care for their depravity but depravity is just that. Being implicit in the murder of nigh on 3000 people is another matter entirely. I don’t care if they want to make my ancestors who embuggered monks on Lindisfarne and stole their plate look civilized. But that was over a thousand years ago. Things move on. The last gift my country got from Norway was a Christmas Tree. What have we ever got from Saudi Arabia? Hatred, evil and 15/19 on 9/11.

The time has come…

We build nuclear because Saudi you have nothing but oil. Nothing. I mean nothing. Let’s put this bluntly. This is not Islamophobia – oh, no! This is straight horror at our bending-over for a vile regime. I have visited some of the great Mosques of the World. I was treated with respect and I showed them respect.

I have dirty little secret. I do. I like photographing religious buildings and Islam does seem much more amenable than Catholics for example.

This is not Islam. This is an unspeakably corrupt regime we have enabled.

This has to end. Now.

The Daily Fail.

I have a life-long interest in aviation. The Daily Mail does not it would appear.

It has a story about an American pilot trying to fly around the World. The headline is…

“Around the world in a VERY private jet! Pilot begins solo flight across the globe on a journey completed by just 113 people”,

This is the picture…

Now you don’t exactly have to be Biggles to spot that is not a jet.

There a few things I know quite a lot about. Aircraft are one. there are many things I don’t know about. How much does the MSM sneak under my radar?

And in case you think it’s just The Mail… The BBC had Prince William flying solo in a Tucano within days of joining the RAF and with the pictures clearly showing an instructor getting in the second cockpit. Prince Harry was an Apache gunner and not pilot. It goes on and on.

I can cope with media bias in terms of op-ed. But when it is raw, obvious facts then I do wonder. I said it earlier and make no apology for repeating it. If you can’t get the facts right – the basic facts – I don’t care as to your opinion on anything.

It’s like the football scores. I may or may not agree with you as to how well a player did but I expect you to get the final score right. Unless you are Chris Kamara, obviously. Classic Kamara is, “Someone’s just scored Bob! Not sure at what end!”.

Embarrassing Bodies

A short few years back I flicked onto a show called, “Embarrassing Bodies” on C4.

I watched dumb-founded not just because I saw it as a C21st freak-show (which it is of course) but because I couldn’t work it out. The central idea was that people with complaints too embarrassing to see a GP (or whatever) were OK to be seen by the travelling circus of Dr Christian and Dr Pixie* instead.

I hated the communal showers after PE as a kid (I am not the only one for whom this is the case – far from) and the only person in this World of 7.x billion people I feel OK being naked in front of is my wife. Obviously. I don’t buy the whole Germanic Nazi gym mistress “Health and Efficiency” schtick. One of the most bizarre sights I ever saw was in Yugoslavia (as was) on a beach. A late middle-aged geezer was offering boat trips and, as it was “clothing optional” and he was nearly starkers. I mean nearly because whilst he was fully cock’n’balls to the breeze because he would be the Captain of your lugger the only garment he was wearing was a captain’s hat. My mother laughed so hard she almost died. No wonder a couple of years later they had a brutal civil war. For to quote John Rotten, “There was fuck all else to do”.

Nudity is obviously our natural state but we haven’t been natural since Ugg- the Person of Cave – thought of bringing fire inside the cave. It’s called culture and nakedness is special only because it is not broadcast. This is not argument against nude art or even porn (quite the reverse) but if nudity is “normalized” then what’s left? An MRI scan – have you seen Miley Cyrus’s pancreas yet? It is also natural to die from simple infections but we have antibiotics and stuff now. It’s called “Civilization”. So is taking 300 people in a 200 tonne metal bird from Manchester to Philadelphia but somehow Boeing manage it. Actually my last trans-Atlantic was on an A330 but they are much of a muchness. Perhaps that is the point. True genius is to make something amazing mundane. Doesn’t apply to incongruous nudity mind. That is making the amazing mundane.

So, if I may get back to my point. I think there is something very odd about a society were people are afraid to show their “bits” to a doctor in a private space but OK if it is on broadcast media. I mentioned the C4 show started a bit back but just recently ITV have chimed in with Jeremy Kyle’s Emergency Room.

And I thought Jeremy Kyle in and of himself was more than enough grotesquely enlarged bollocks. Truly he is the only pigeon-chested abattoir-creeper who keeps Piers Morgan from the very nadir of the cunt-list.

*No, I am not making the names up. One sounds like something from “Pilgrim’s Progress” and the other like… “Dr Pixie will see you now…”. Arrgh!!! I mean Dr Smith or Dr Jones or Dr Patel… But Dr Pixie? I’d rather see the “Wise Woman” and pay extra for the cackling. Having said that a couple of hours on the flet with Galadriel would about see me right. Insert your own Nenya joke here.

Taxman begs “Please don’t pay tax early”

Negative Interest Rates

Zug, the small but affluent canton outside Zürich, has announced it is ending discounts for early payment of tax bills. The reason? The longer it has cash on its books, the more likely it will incur costs as a result of negative interest rates charged by Swiss banks. The canton calculates that the move will save SFr 2.5m ($2.5m) a year.

Swiss canton tells taxpayers to delay settling bills

As discussed with Paul Marks here the consequences of negative interest rates are only really hitting us at the margins at the moment, but these rates are indicative of the sorts of problems that we can expect to encounter in mainstream Western countries as the monetarist plate spinning finally begins to spin out of control.

Unless you are in the commodities trading business (as I am in between sojourning in sunny Penang here), you’ll probably have never heard of Zug, which is a tiny Swiss canton just outside Zürich alongside the beautiful lake Zug, but also home to 30 of the worlds top commodities trading houses, primarily because of the advantageous taxes that may be negotiated with the Zug tax authorities.

However, I would argue that what happens in Zug is an important bellwether for what will happen in other Western countries as negative interest rates become more widespread and if the Swiss can’t get their financial shit together, what hope is their for anybody else?

Why else do you think your governments are trying to make holding large amounts of cash illegal? Because if enough people withdraw from the banking system then it will collapse as Northern Rock showed at the beginning of the current crisis.

Next stop – cars being weighed between journeys in and out of Switzerland to pick up those using the strong Swiss Franc against the weak Euro to avoid paying Swiss prices on their shopping.

Bacon Panties

Just read the whole thing. It is beyond parody. I don’t eat pork products since finding -out pigs are so smart and my wife is vegan so… Not on my Crimble list. It does though demonstrate a level of decadence beyond belief.

The Cross I Bear.

I was born at the RVI, Newcastle in 1973. I am a life-long fan of Newcastle United.

Newcastle United started in the C19th as a Catholic club (this is long forgotten – there is no Rangers/Celtic antiquities in England) I only point it out because of the Catholic tradition of the mortification of the flesh. The last time the Magpies won the league was in 1927. My late Granddad was 4. The last time we won anything was in 1969. I was minus 4. It’s like I have been continually drinking warm monkey piss for 42 years. A few years back… Well… I moved to Manchester. I suppose I could have shifted my allegiance but no! Once a Geordie… There is something almost Biblical about this and I am thinking Job here.

From here. Read the whole thing. I was born smart, have a loving family and wife (and cat). I have been lucky in most stuff. Not in my team. It is existential… This amused me most…

“Aye, I was there when we won the Fairs Cup in ’69,” says Colin, recalling Newcastle’s last major triumph, in the predecessor to the Uefa Cup. A month later, Colin witnessed another miracle, when man first set foot on the moon.

Quite frankly, the next time Newcastle win anything forget the moon! I’ll be by the methane seas of Titan.

Newcastle are currently bottom of the Premiership. We are going down with the Mackems. To call it a disgrace is like calling Islamic State a paradigm of religious tolerance.

So, I started watching Rugby Union. I don’t have much luck do I?

Baroness “Irritable” Jowell.

It would appear Dame Tessa is going to get a cat-skin windcheater.

Apparently this is courtesy of Ed Millipede. But not just him. Alan Johnson who I vaguely figured as being on the vaguely saner side of Labour (Jezza has raised the bar somewhat) said this of Baroness Jowell (possibly soon to be the mayor of London she is to be made a peer of the realm for services to… er… Apparently the 2012 Olympics),

Now don’t get me wrong here but… Yes, she did deliver the Olympics (sort of) but they made an utter hash of the legacy including not having the faintest idea what the fuck to do with the stadium despite a number of London football clubs wanting to buy it but this was verboten for reasons undisclosed. I am right here? I’m fairly sure West Ham and Spurs were interested at least.

Anyway Johnson, having a moment felt the need to email this to his literal handful of fans…

“Tessa is a star. She is Labour’s Kylie – everyone loves her and she only needs a first name. She has a remarkable way with people that generates real affection…”

This is Tessa Jowell…

Due to her new enobling (she is already a dame) she is campaigning for the Mayorship under the tag, “A Lady for London”. I apologize to anyone who has now puked on their laptop. She insists you don’t have to call her Baroness Jowell, “Tessa” will do. How gracious of her!

This is Kylie Minogue…

I think someone should have gone to Specsavers. I mean one is the globe’s sweetheart (and the Madonna you don’t wanna kick) and the other is Tessa Jowell.

I am not condoning anyone kicking Madonna. Just that you do think of it don’t ya? And in a back alley, after dark with nobody else around… Well anything could happen. Those cobbles can be slippy.

RAFF Protests Halite Decision

Unfortunately they’re doing it wrong.

For once Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and I have something in common.  Sort of.

Who is Halite?  Once calling themselves Canatxx they are the people who want to store pressurised gas in salt caverns slap bang in the middle of a geologically unstable area, full of brine wells, a collapsed salt mine and geological faults, in my neck of the woods.  The YouTube video I have linked to will explain why 40,000 local residents have been fighting for years to resist this insanity.

There are no weasel words like might or could or maybe.  Brine wells at Preesall have collapsed in the past and one is in the process of collapsing.  The depression in the ground is growing fast and an entire field has been lost to it already  Another well is filled with God knows how many tons of mercury sludge courtesy of the now departed ICI.  Just image what will happen to the water table if that bad boy collapsed.  And Halite want to store pressurised gas right next to the brine well field.  Let’s not forget the partially collapsed salt mine.  And did I mention the natural faults that gas can migrate along?  Well it needs saying over and over.

Anti-fracking campaigners have reacted with anger and frustration at a Government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.

And I agree with their reaction.  Three applications from Canatxx/Halite have been rejected by local government because of the real danger of catastrophe yet some cretin in central government has given the green light to this insanity.

Energy minister Lord Bourne has, on appeal, granted permission to Halite to create a huge underground gas store in salt caverns at Preesall despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.

Now residents and campaigners opposing shale gas say that decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was undemocratic and bodes ill for their own battle against energy company Cuadrilla.

But this is where my strange comradeship with RAFF and their associate anti-fracking groups parts way.  You see their “protest” appears to be purely selfish.  They don’t seem to care about the real dangers of the Halite proposal.  They only seem to care about how it will affect their own cause and how they can exploit it.

Two bids by Cuadrilla to test frack on the Fylde were rejected last month by Lancashire County Council, but the shale gas explorer could yet appeal to a Government inspector.

It’s not about Halite, you see.  It’s about Cuadrilla and the appeal they will no doubt be submitting.  A real danger has been hijacked to support an anti-capitalist cause that really would benefit all if fracking were permitted to go ahead.  That really piddles me off.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We are appalled by this decision to overrule local democracy and fear that Westminster will try and intervene in the fracking debate too against the wishes of the people and elected representatives.

What Barbara doesn’t tell you is that Mike Hill, who was campaigning on an anti-fracking ticket, was wiped out during the GE by the Tory incumbent who I believe is actually pro fracking.  It seems that democracy is something of a loose concept in Barbara’s world.  At this point I will add that the proposed Roseacre site is highly problematical because access will be a nightmare and Barbara does have a point.  However there is no such problem with the Plumpton proposal which I support and Barbara doesn’t.  She is opposed to fracking absolutely.

“We elect local councillors (parish, borough and county) to represent us and this is democracy in action. Local people understand local issues and the will of the people.

Yeah, I saw how the craven sods at Lancashire County Council were cowed by a few tens of anti-fracking protestors and voted against the advice of their own legal department.  Democracy my left nether cheek.  Perhaps you think the 40,000 plus local residents fighting the Halite plans can be co-opted by proxy to your own cause, eh Barbara?

“To blatantly ignore this is sheer arrogance and a recipe for disaster. We will stand with the people of the Wyre.

That’ll be a “yes” then.

“They have spent years to successfully defeat this, with good grounds, and even had the support of the Planning Inspector as well as local councils. They must be absolutely devastated.

We are devastated and we are still fighting.  But Barbara, where were you and your pals all those years we were fighting Canatxx?  How come we get your support now?

“Fracking is an altogether different game as it could affect over 60 per cent of the UK, and should Westminster intervene again, I am sure it will have serious repercussions.”

Whereas gas storage is a dangerous game and has the real potential to affect more than 60% of the residents of Fleetwood, Knott End, Presall, Stalmine, Steynall and parts of Thornton if the storage caverns rupture following the collapse of a brine well (it has already happened in the US which is why storage of the type proposed for Preesall has been banned in the US on safety grounds), the gas escapes and finds an ignition source.  All thanks to Westminster intervention.

All that seems to bother Barbara is the precedent set by overturning a decision made by local government.

Alan Tootill, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This confirms our worst fears.

“This government has no concern for local democracy and local decision-making.

“Over 40,000 people objected to the Preesall applications and three times the plans were turned down at local level.

I didn’t hear your voice raised against the initial Canatxx/Halite proposals either Alan.  I don’t recall you standing up at the many meetings and voicing your concern.

There is also a familiar name mentioned in dispatches.  You’ll find her in the comments below the Mike Hill post.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action of Fylde Fracking, said: “It is awful news not just for the people of Wyre but for the rights of local people anywhere in the UK.

“That central government can overrule the clear will of the people and their Council that has three times rejected this application, makes a mockery of our ‘democracy’.

“Many of us have been fighting to keep fracking out of Lancashire for nearly four years now and the recent support of Lancashire County Council was very welcome; with this announcement today though at the overturning of the decision on Halite, we are of course deeply concerned about what will happen next in this campaign as well.

See what I mean?  They’ve tagged on their anti-fracking campaign to the Halite fight.  I know Tina by sight having seen her on TV and in the papers several times but I don’t recall seeing her at the Stop Canatxx meetings either.  All of a sudden the Canatxx/Halite cause has become the No Fracking cause.  At least in the anti-fracking eyes.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘This decision raises big questions about the Government’s commitment to local democracy because this facility was turned down several times before Westminster stepped in to make it happen.

Then maybe Friends of the Earth ought to hand back the millions in taxpayer money, whether taxpayers agreed with it or not, that has been handed to FoE by various governments over the years.  It’s obviously a matter of principal after all.  But I guess, like Barbara, your perception of democracy only goes so far, eh, Tony?

“This must not be repeated in order to force fracking on Lancashire after the county refused to swallow the hype from central Government and the fracking industry.”

“This must not be repeated in order to refuse fracking on Lancashire after the county swallowed the hype from minority anti-frackers and the Big Green industry.”

There, fixed it.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne, who is the Minister responsible for energy planning consents, said the Halite plan was strategically important for the nation.

Yeah, because what the Scammell truck would a Professor of Law know about geological faults, collapsed mines. the unsuitability of layered salt beds, unsafe brine wells and other unimportant shit that affects the lives and safety of tens of thousands of locals?  Oh and we’re considered an area of Special Scientific Interest too because of the rare fauna and flora living in and around Morecambe Bay which will be grossly affected by the brine outfall. Why, after so many years,  has central government, after even that towering intellect, John Prescott, recognised the serious flaw in Canatxx/Halite’s planning applications, suddenly made this perverse decision?  Well I have a theory.

Wyre has been a marginal seat for a long time.  Since 1997 it has been tinkered with twice which gave us Hilton Dawson (Lab) a decent MP who worked hard for the constituency before resigning and returning home to his native Northumberland. Then came Ben Wallace (Con) who also fought hard on the Canatxx front and moved over to the newly created Wyre and Preston North in 2010.  Despite Labour stacking the boundary decks in its favour we got Eric Ollerenshaw (Con) clinging to his seat by the skin of his marginal teeth, only ever rebelling (well abstaining really) against the Tory whip once but who still recognised the dangers posed by the gas storage proposal and added his effort to the fight against corporate venality and stupidity.

Then in May, 2015 we get Cat Smith (Lab) also on the slimmest of majorities, with her BA in sociology and gender studies who, while paying lip service to both the anti-Halite and anti-fracking camps, clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue what she’s talking about.  Perhaps, once in a while, when she isn’t too busy identifying herself as a Christian, socialist, feminist, republican, trade unionist and LGBT, she’ll pick up and read The Idiot’s Guide to Wyre Estuary Geology so she doesn’t look a total fool and will finally be able to tell the difference between a landslide and a great big Scammell off sinkhole.  Meanwhile we get the standard leftie gobshite response to Lord Bourne’s decision by calling for the “launch of a new action” and “seeking urgent clarification” rather than going up to the idiot and hitting him with FACTS.  But then she did previously work for Jezza Corbyn so she quite possibly has a good grounding in political stupid.

And my theory?  Well Lord Bourne has nasty previous when it comes to the opposition.  He plays very dirty tricks and then lies about what he’s done before being forced to come clean.  Ask Rhodri Morgan.  Lord Bourne got handed this particular chalice when it turned out that Amber Rudd’s brother , Roland, heads a lobbying company, Finsbury, that numbers Halite amongst its clients.  Given Bourne’s scandalous history could the recently tinkered with constituency returning a Labour MP be an underlying reason for his perverse, against all common sense decision?  I think we should be told.

Here’s the “offical” reason for the decision.

He said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down.

“This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.

Yes, we’ve seen how central government keeps the bills down with bills hiked up to feed the heavily subsidised and deeply despised renewables monster.  As for the local economy, destruction of the environment aside, there may be a temporary injection of jobs to construct the storage caverns and build a pipeline to connect with the main grid at Garstang.  But honestly, long term, how many people will it take to press a button at the control station in order to release or store gas?   Three hundred?  Four hundred?  Try a handful.

What is the impact of millions of gallons of concentrated brine that Halite propose to pump into the sea off Anchorsholme as they carve holes in the salt?  What will happen if the geology ruptures a cavern and the project goes sky high tits up?  The infrastructure to deal with an explosion doesn’t exist.  There are mainly small villages and narrow country lanes in this part of the world.  That is providing, of course that no structure damaged in the blast doesn’t block those narrow country lanes and blocks access to the grossly inadequate emergency services.

Oh and the storage capacity that Halite proposes will give a close to zero contribution to keeping the lights on.  Selling the gas back to the grid at premium rates will keep bills down how?   The man is a moral bankrupt and a weapons grade pudendum

“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future.”

I agree but what would be the point of pumping gas from underground only to pump it back underground?  The only people to benefit from storage is Halite who will buy cheap and sell at a premium rate at great risk to the locals.  Halite propose to do it here because back in their native US they would be given very short shrift.  You see storing gas in layered salt, most particularly anywhere near a field of brine wells (we have more than a hundred of them), is banned because it is demonstrably unsafe and a threat to life. Is that what Bourne calls stimulating businesses?

And if he really believes that gas is the greenest fossil fuel will he be insisting that the Drax power station will be converted to gas instead of burning CO2 producing wood pellets from felled US forests?

No?  Thought not.