Thursday, 29 January 2015

BBC Question Time Competition.

David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Wrexham in Wales. The panel includes Conservative culture secretary Sajid Javid MP, former Labour secretary of state for Wales Peter Hain MP, Plaid Cymru's economy spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, author and critic Germaine Greer and blogger Kate Maltby.

Looks like a real stinker.  

Bill Quango suspects - 
1. NHS NHS NHS {don't mention Labour in wales NHS}
2. Syriza- Austerity - Something Hain said about Miliband going down the Michael foot road - These old commies - they never stop trying , do they?
3. Saudi king died. Flags at half mast - it was a story at the start of the week. forgotten completely by now. But BBCQT works on its own timeline.
 4. Holocaust week. Are anti-EU supporters planning on gas chambers ? 
5. UK GDP fastest growing in Europe. Why aren't we feeling rich ?

Dimbletie - Professor Plum

1 or 2 points for each correct question asked. Depending on how close to the actual wording.
5 points for guessing the colour/design of  the Dimbleby tie.

 2 points for nearest match if no outright winner
1 point for each witty comment/excessive punning/ lampoon/mock/clever theme  that you put into the comments
1 point for the first entrant each week 
1 point for random other reasons

League Table 2015 

Hopper -1
Blue Eyes - 1
Charity Shield winner - Malcolm Tucker.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

$200 Oil ?! Way to go!

"OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Monday prices might have bottomed after the seven-month selloff, and warned of a possible spike to $200 a barrel."
An optimist, eh?  That's what we like to hear!  Last time I recall $200 being mentioned, it was by Putin - oh yes, and Goldman Sachs - back in 2008, when oil was at $147.

Happy days.  Way to go, Abdullah!


Tsipras gives a big hint of the stitch up on Day 2

"We don't want to go to mutually assured destruction [with the eurozone] but we won't continue being subservient"

So already of the Greek nightmare and already the enormity of the situation facing the Syriza Government has dawned on its hapless leader, Alex Tsipras. Greece won't default on its debts nor exit the Eurozone....but nor will it be subservient according to reports of his first cabinet meeting.

If I was a more cynical person I would think this is all a set up.

Last week The ECB announced QE, €60 billion a month of Government bonds to be bought. Then Syriza is elected and now they are already moving towards just asking for a bit of debt forgiveness to placate the populace.

The QE until July will push $240 billion of debt onto the ECB balance sheet - the holdings of Greek debt by Eurozone countries are, err, $240 billion. What a strange co-incidence!

It is almost as if Merkel has stitched up to accept QE in exchange for only forgiving Greece say 30% of its debt and it continuing in the Euro. This 30% will allow for a little more spending to keep Tsipras happy.

Life is good in the democratic Eurozone. Less so for Greek people trapped in the Euro nightmare perhaps, but hey, they are only little people after all?

Will this dastardly plan work...

 ....There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tories allow Labour to block Fracking - 100 days to election today

So last night in the House of Commons, the Tories agreed to Labour amendments to the Infrastructure Bill which means that 13 loopholes have to be closed in the environmental legislation before Fracking can go ahead.

Following planning rulings earlier this week, it has been a bad week for the future of Fracking in the UK. See below for how the IGAS share price has fared this year as a proxy to for how the prospects of fracking have fared:

It is down from a high of 148p to, er, 20p today.

It is not surprising with an election coming up that the Government will want to be seen to be giving into celebrity backed campaigns (Bianca Jagger says NO TO FRACKING, etc) with loony Green agendas as this helps bolster the Governments credentials on easy U-turns Green issues.

With the low oil price in any event, the strange turn of events is that this won't make much difference. Much like the last North Sea reserves, with oil below $50 none of the more expensive extraction ideas are going to be implemented. So the new North Sea fields and the Fracking are going to have to wait anyway for the recovery of the oil market; much as the rest of us don't want that to happen!

More worrying long-term is the nature of the complaints. For the first time in Parliament a key issue raised against fracking has been missing carbon targets. This is nonsense as Fracking is better than coal or oil. Guido wrote a super piece yesterday outlining how the anti-fracking lobby is full of hot air and waffle with hand-wringing communists as the centre of it, but has captured the Environmental committee. Even the Tory chair, Anne Macintosh, was a potential rebel last night.

Whilst I am in full agreement that unlike the US we should proceed with a safety first approach, we should indeed look to proceed. Modern Government seems paralysed by the intellectually incoherent green waffle and renewable subsidy-junkie lobbying.

With Labour, Greens and SNP on the march to winning an election between them, prospects for long-term cheap energy supply in the UK look to be in danger.