At last they come up with a settlement. I know they say the devil is in the detail, BUT it loksfairly straight forward to me! The problem is likely to be in the ambiguity about using The Stormont Brake. The words trivial and significant are used which gives a free hand to the bigots in the DUP who make this definitions dangerous. The Green Plan seems commonsense but with criminal gangs active in both catholic and unionist communities there is likely to be plenty of misuse of labels!
I am neither naive or stupid – but …. energy costs went up rapidly after price of wholesale gas rose after invasion of Ukraine. That cost is nower lower than ot was a year ago. Why are we still seeing a price hike in April? The energy companies made fortunes for directors and shareholders. Surely even with capitalism, providers of essential services/utilties have a responsibility to the public? If they do not take this sensibly it then becomes the duty of government to regulate the cost to the consumer. If companies do not like it they can leave.
At present we are seeing firms go bust due to cost rises, food rationing due to companies unable to heat hot houses (alternatives should be examined), schools and other public services facing staff cuts and poorer services. OFGEM is blatently failing in its duty and members should resign and replaced with experts like Martin Lewis.
The same goes for OFWAT and the press needs proper regulation too.
Why they are being rationed. 1. Coldweather in Morocco and Spain. 2. War in Ukraine hiked fuel costs for growing in the UK and Netherlands. 3. Government has been warned about supply chain issues and refused to do anythingto help home grown produce. 4. BREXIT – plentiful sipplies across EU (and Ukraine) but wholesalers find it so simple to sell their produce across the EU. 5. Related to. Brexit – labour costs and shortages.
I am sure prices have risen in the EU but not to the ridiculous level here. But we have a government that puts ideology before practicality. Perhaps giving tax breaks for farmers to invest in solar panels on their greenhouses , or barns might be better, and wind turbines. We certainly need to grow more in this country to alleviate inevitable climate hiccups. We also need to lower housing costs to enable sustainable food costs.
Turnip face Coffrey has no clue. Her only mantra is the free market – an excuse for doing absolutely nothing and blame others when things go wrong.
I am getting ready to plant tomatoes and hope a bumper crop will allow me to dry more. Seasonal produce from Europe makes sense too. I make strawberry jam in the summer to consume in winter.. It makes sense to be sensible about eating in season and local. i love mango and pineapple and olives and apricots and papaya. So a mix of frozen, preserved and imported should give a healthy diet. And whilst I have cut down on meat – we should be sensible about this too!
It seems that a deal between the Westminster government and the EU is entirely feasible. Whether the DUP will endorse it is debatable, as is the backing of the ERG. Sunak can almost certainly get it through Parliament, albeit with the backing of Labour. This is riski for Rishi as Johnson and the ERG are mustering troops for an assault on his leadership. The real test will be the spring elections which are just a couple of months away. If the Conservatives do as badly as expected, the hyenas on the right will be circling.
Mean while Coffrey tells us that we should be eating turnips not tomatoes! At least Marie-Antoinette replaced bread with cake! Perhap Lee Anderson could include turnips in his 30p meals. Add in some Bully Beef from Raab and Braverman – a dishi Rishi could be proud of!
Seriously Rishi needs to sort the cabinet out soon. Appeasing the ERG for party unity before the welfare of the country will inevitably lead to his downfall, regardless of whether the NI agreement is a success or not. There is a definite sizeable minority who support Britain First or whatever the latest conflagration of the racist right is. However in most areas I believe that getting those 15% of votes will be at the cost of a similar proportion moving to the LibDems or Starmers ‘tory friendly” Labour. This should be a landmark oportunity for the Greens too, unfortunately they are probably to concerned with being WOKE and gender issues. However important these issues may seem, climate change, the environment, the economy and social justice are so much more important. Transgender issues will have their day – if we can work out the rest of the shit first. And where are the LibDems?
Regarding the local elections – photo ID needed. I suspect most young people have a driving licence or passport. Those disadvantaged people in society, and especially cities will possibly be barred from voting. The other section of society that may struggle is the older sector. OK I am nearly 70 but my passport is nearly out of date, I only have a paper copy of my driving licence. Would an out of date copy of either be relevant? There is a poster about this – small and surrounded by many other posters for recycling etc. How many people will turn up on the day and be denied the opportunity to vote? Will the police be on standby?
USA is experiencing extremes of weather at the same time. The South-east has hot weather with temperatures around 32C; meanwhile the Dakota’s are experiencing -50C. Blizzards are affecting much of the country with Los Angeles issuing an alert as they may get 2m of snow.
Australia has had relatively wet weather which has encouraged plant growth. So far so good, but whenthe next dry period comes there will be more than twice as much vegetation to burn in wildfires. Whether this is exacerbated by the reduction in numbers of wild herbivores I do not know. Certainly houses have been built in areas where the natural periodic fires take place.
New Zealand is still recovering from the floods caused by a hurricane which destroyed homes, roads and rail lines besides deaths.
Flooding in São Paulo state, Brazil has left 48 dead after 600mm of rain fell.
The UK faces another month of high pressure with cloudy damp and cold weather. Not good for solar or wind, although yesterday wind and solar outstripped gas with none from coal. Readings from the BT Tower show that pollution has dropped markedly since the. introduction of the ULEZ seems to be working – next up will be building emissions.
The UK should be actively planning for the situation now unfolding in South Korea. The fertility rate there is now below 1 at 0.78 (replacement level is 2.1). Having less children and having them later (average is 33.5) allcontributes to an ageing population with huge implications for the economy, pensions, care system, and health services. Japan is also having to face a similar, if less rapid decline. Europe also has fertility rates below 2.1.
Interesting article on geopolitical divide in Guardian. Is Russia an ally? UK 0%, EU 2%, USA 5%, Turkey18%, China 32% and India 50%. and basically a similar split on friend or foe. With our almost totally homogenous press we tend to forget that many parts of the world have not forgiven our misdemeanours from the days of Empire. The anti-woke brigade brook no argument that everyone should move on from the past.
What does the survey show? Perhaps just how easily the MSMedia can manipulate public opinion? Perhaps there is a more complicated story to be developed here, rather than Putin should be assassinated and everything will be ok (which several avid Daily Fail readers have told me. Have the EU and NATO been too quick to assimilate former Warsaw Pact countries into their organisations. The Cold Wr happened and with it propaganda by both. sides. Eastern Europe has not been, and is not, a beacon of western democracy (Hungary and Poland and Serbia, although the later is even more complicated). From what I know and have read, there is no doubt in my mind that Putin was wrong to order the troops in. But it is also surely a fault of diplomacy that we have this situation. Is Obama at fault by not taking a stronger stance? Did the Trump era send messages to the Russians that he was totally consumed in home affairs? Maybe Syria was a catalyst? The west was aware of its mistakes in Iraq and Libya, where we really screwed the situation, Algeria where we largely left it to the French and Mali and Chad and Niger likewise. Did we allow Russia to fund Assam whilst we just supported Turkey who were more occupied with crushing the newly confident unofficial Kurdish state. The Kurds were perhaps the most effective military group against ISIS – but seem to have been sold out by all – again.
Either way it would seems that Presidents Biden and Xi need to stop posturing and start negotiating before both feed the industrial/military complexes in each country. Where does the UK fit bin all this – basically it does not! We are part of NATO (but contribute less than 10% of USA, and fewer troops than Turkey).
War is always brutal but this one seems to be affecting the general population on one side and large numbers of conscripts (and criminals released from prison for national service) on the other.
Turkey – once it stops shaking! – would seem to be a key player in the future due to its key geopolitical situation straddling 2 continents. A large area and a largish population (87 million – and will probably level off later this century at 100million), I think mainly muslim, but with sizeable other religions. Not quite part of the European economy and the likes of Farage, Johnson and their EU colleagues will ensure that never happens.
Which makes me wonder – the EU has accepted countries from many different situations, and seems to have done rather well at preventing violence and promoting a type of democracy. Spain and Portugal are countries that are largely peaceful, Greece another that many EU haters will point out has actually prospered recently (after a huge dip, and an acrinomyious fallout).
Rest of the world – Taiwan – I think the domestic situation in China will have to deteriorate seriously for the to contemplate an invasion. They know that the USAwill provide weapons, and probably Japan. They have always said they want to reclaim it – there is no logic to do it now, unless they think the USA is too occupied with Ukraine. But surely they have seen the way the Ukraine has resisted the Russians., It seems unlikely that the population of Taiwan would support a Chinese invasion. So why do the right wing keep raising this prospect.
Is the American establishment using a possible stray weather balloon which may have been collecting legitamate data, or even been spying – they all do it so not a big deal?, to suggest that Chinese technolgy (that competes with American technology) is spying. We have had newspaper stories saying that UK Police Software is vulnerable! What to? Revealing extreme misogynie and racism?
Are our techno genious’s not able to create firewalls, etc. I personally believe they could.
I just made the following – recipe
I added some chilli flakes and it was great. I did not have camembert so an onion and yoghurt dip with cucumber and ricotta cheese.
Biden has visited. But China may supply Russia with military aid. China may need the money which Russia could pay? But it would be an escalation as it would almost certainly prompt the USA or NATO to provide planes and weapons. Whether China wants this escalation when its own economy is not booming and civil unrest seems to be growing. Putin is due to make a key speech today to rally support. India also seems to be supporting Russia. The diplomatic game continues. Is anyone trying to negotiate a ceasefire and talks? Compromise will be difficult for both sides, but will have to happen eventually.
So the ERG will rally support against any concessions to the EU made by Sunak. Johnson is making a start to a bid to become PM again. 100 MP’s make back these two causes. There is no mention of how to solve the problem and make relationships with Europe better for industry and the people of the UK. Sunak should make a start by kicking people out of the Party. Starmer may have a similar problem on the left.