Sunday 22 November 2020

The Sunday Ishmael 22/11/2020

In the midst of the usual coronanewsbollox and the rabid controversy surrounding the news that Home Secretary, Ms L. R. Tit (mr. verge, passim), may be an appalling bully or may be the victim of a misogynistic and racist media campaign, but is, for certain sure, a jolly good pal of Bojo the Hoho,

Hand, Boris
it may have escaped  your attention that this week it was announced that gas boilers will be banned in all newly built homes within three years under the government’s war on climate change. The “future homes standard” will require all new homes to have low-carbon alternatives, such as electric heat pumps. These work by capturing the heat in the ground or in the air and discharging it inside your house. The cold air from your house is then dumped outside, like a reverse fridge, thus cooling down your garden. Doubtless in bonny Scotland there will be grants available from the generous Scottish Government to rip out the gas or oil central heating system installed under a Scottish Government grant ten years ago and replace it with the new system. 

In 2011, mr ishmael took a holiday. He really didn't like going on holiday, but always tried to make the best of a bad job. On this occasion, after a thoroughly miserable ten days away from home, he came home to find the Scottish Government's contractors installing a new gas boiler and central heating system in his 200 year-old-home:



It's just one of those remorseless milestones on Ruin's highway, just another example of the moronic gobsters shitting all over everything, including our precious language,  and of them fertilising the ghastly managerialist patois which befouls the public - and probably the private - discourse.  Clearly, on balance, in a sense, in a very real sense, I simply say, a myriad of, at the end of the day, the bottom line, end of, you simply cannot underestimate the importance of this;  a gobbledegook of clumsy, infelicitous phrases strung together  in a facetious,  clodhopping attempt to convey eloquence, erudition, even; the purveyors of this claptrap were probably never  aware that hopefully is an adverb, or even what an adverb is.

It wouldn't be so bad if it was just  Celebrity, gobbing away like this but it's Power, too, and Academe, lazy and stupid, they may as well be blowing bubbles.  One hears and reads govament ministers, jumped-up seckatries of this-and-that who wouldn't - at their current age - pass the eleven-plus,  so grossly malformed, imprecise, ambiguous and downright ugly is their spoken and written English.  The BBC - or Radio CIA  as it has recently reinvented itself;   these Oxbridge Atlanticists, what are they like, eh? - it's cabal of job-for-life idiot presenters wallowing in Estuary solecisms, no longer quietly guards the language, is no longer an exemplar,  while Mark Beardy and Alan Yentob are paid millions, relentlessy grammarless arseholes; editorials in the broadsheets  are littered with sentences which aren't and the numbskulls who  leave university with degrees can neither read, write, speak nor add-up.

Seems a little perverse, then,  to object to  one more idiocy, one more tautologism, why bother, who gives a fuck, not the Unelected Prime Minister, fluent in shitespeak, not the foreign seckatry, a man whose clunking cadences jerk up and down like a fiddler's elbow, a man who thinks he dignifies his creaking rhetoric by making all of his ays long ones, yet a man who is lauded by his fellow parliamentarians as ay most scholarly fellow, even though he is ay noisesome poltroon. Wasn't David Blunkett Education seckatry, isn't Alan Sugar in the House of Lords, isn't Adrian Choylds the new Voice of the Nation, or is it Chris Moyles or, God help us all, Chris the gobby nonce Evans?

Object we must, though, if only to comfort ourselves momentarily, to help steel ourselves, quicken our own step,  against  Ruin's backward quick-march. I know you, and you know me.....we come together rarely in peace and love but  in sonnets of disquiet,  commentaries of outrage - you know, Who the fuck do they think they're talking to, this garland of nincompoops, slung unwontedly around our necks,  these people who bleat about falling standards, heedless that they, all over the media like the pox, are instigators, culprits not victims.

It is not for media consumption but for myself and my friends my stories are sung and some here will recall my young friend, stanislav, railing against the apostrophe Jihadists, still around, who would claim to have dismissed a post or an individual comment simply by having gleefully complained that an apostrophe was in the wrong place or absent, even though their own rebuttals were often a linguistic and intellectual desert. Pray, let us not be so infantile.  It is  not prose rough-hewn or inadvertence or  educationally short-changed  ignorance to which I object  but it is the well-educated turned language-fashionista who are so contemptible;  lazy and self satisfied, not for them the internalised self-editor whose rigour so polices many of us here,  they don't have to think about what they are saying,  these mediapolitico pricks,  or how they say it,  they are just cheap shits, in love with the sound of their own rank, turgid voices.  In the 'forties, effete, layabout public schoolboy, George Orwell, wrote a furiously grand, snobby essay on the subject of politics and the English language and I will reproduce it here, eventually, it is uncannily prescient and reveals that this coarsening, this watering-down  of language's precision and invention has been on the march for some time;  who among us, here, would try to outguess its pitiless, vulgar legions? Well, I would.

It was the reason why, which so recently bugged me;  you know how these things happen,  you notice something once and then it's everywhere, these tautologisms are all around, in the air and on the ground.  The reason why Prince Gormless is marrying Miss Totty;  the reason why Osama bin Wotsit was killed;  the reason why the Coalition has come together not in the interests of its members - fuck no -  but in the national interest;  the reason why AyVee is shit and the reason why it is cool to kill Gadaffi's grandchildren, collateralise the wee nignogs,  as Air Vice Marshall Rupert Golightly-Jockstrap would regretfully bluster it away, the cunt. The reason why these children were killed by us is because unfortunately these things happen in war, even though we are not at war.

And I nearly found  myself advancing, here,  the reason why there has been a dearth of commentary in these quarters -  the wee policeman, though, an eternal sentinel, some chiding hybrid of school teachers Miss Boulter and Mr Hill, threw me down my internal  stairs, bless him.

The reason  is that, after a fashion, we dried up; we paranoics-romantique, we lonesome, insomniacal obsessives shouldn't take holidays, for if we do they throw us off our stride, completely. It didn't help that the ten days were spent without access to cyberspace, its instantaneousness of everything. I have been driving around the UK for a longtime, now, been up and down her highways as far as my eye could see and I have always been able to finish up exactly where I wanted to be, you look at a map,  you just watch the signs,  there's millions of them,  or you can always pullover and ask someone - you might find someone who can visualise things and give you concise, useful direction - but if you can read you can find your way, oh, all around the country.  So this multi-lingual satellite navigation system, in the Citroen, was, for my purposes,  absolutely redundant and probably, like the mobile phone, a nasty harbinger of GlobaCorp Control Systems.  No, for me; that manifestation of information technology is as welcome as warm snot on a doorknob.  Google, though, is my rod and my staff;  my help cometh even from Microsoft Windows, who made Heaven and Earth, I will lift up mine eyes unto Firefox Three;  the search engine is my Shepherd, I shall not want, surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in cyberspace forever - which, of course, shall we all - as it happened in the beginning, is happening now and shall ever be happening.  Fucked without the Internet, I was. Ducking into netcafes and libraries for half an hour here and there, strangers keyboarding furiously, hemming me in at my shoulders, no access to my Picasa library of freaks and knobheads, blog and email passwords forgotten, it was shit and so I gave up, until I could be at home, always so good to be back home again.  Meantime,  I read William Burroughs and shopped in one of those larcenous shitholes which rejoice in the name of Antiques Centre - sharp-faced, greedy harridans lying without restraint, Yes, it is Victorian,  the fender,  it only looks so shiny because we use a special process to clean it up, yes and the brand new screws and the brand new screws and washers, they are part of the special process.  It was grim sport, venturing among the unGodly and reminded us of how we cherish our relative isolation here in Scotland, the best part of England.

And talking of which, another reasonwhy  there have been a few weeks of relative absenteeism, is the largesse with your money of First Minister Salmond and the Tribesmen.  A day after returning home,  a big parcel arrived from the Scottish govament, as they insist on calling it.  So big it was, that it came on a pallet, a new, energy efficient  central heating system; a big, fuck-off, external  combi boiler,  eight radiators, a new two thousand litre fuel tank and all the knobs and pipes and detectors and alarms and programmers;  the lads were a week installing it, carpets up, floorboards up, walls drilled with brightly coloured Makita drills, pipes bent and forced through walls thirty-two inches thick,  bookcases emptied, furniture dismantled, hotwater cylinders removed, dust and shit and packaging everywhere, manic plumbers and engineers and sparkses determinedly pressing-on, to the next installation and the next.  The cost was getting on for nine grand, my contribution was  about eight hundred and, since they offered,  I took a loan for it, interest free, repayable over about eight years.  It is, of course, this sort of thing, and the scrapping of prescription charges,  as much as a righteous loathing of the MacToiletmen, which has seen Salmond, in his own mind, at least, crowned Emperor.

I know that I should have said, Hang about, this is a Barnett Formula freebie too far, no thank you, Sir, I will stick with my existing CH system, and my Rayburn and my coal fires,  I fucking hate radiators anyway, they leak, it's a nasty heat and they occupy walls in a way which restricts the deployment of furniture;  actually, I don't mind being a bit cold,  even though it's not a good  idea to be shivering when one has the former fag and former baconsandwich arteries, grinding and contracting, Mr Death's artificers modifying my life support piping.  And there was a time when I would have said, No, don't want it, let somebody else have it - diffident and painfully self denying, we Zen-Presbyerian-Marxists - but as Mr Doctor John the Night Tripper remarked, If I Don't Do It, Somebody Else Will.  I am sure that the UPM, Mr CallHimDave, would go into one - I don't pay my taxes for Mr Ishmael to walk around his house bollock naked in the middle of Winter, no, like most decent people I pay my taxes to fire half-million pound Cruise missiles at wogs in Libya,  that's what taxpaying ststesmen like me and Mr Sarkozy the Dwarf and Signor Berlusconi the Pimp pay our taxes for, if we have to pay any that is, which seems most unfair if we do. 

Seemed silly, not to take it, when it was offered, and anyway we retained the old, warm-air system, trunked through the house with more hardware than B & Q's got, easy on the  sinuses and hard on the damp.  Grinning grins all day long  of blithe acceptance and understanding at the workmen as they sought vainly to explain one aspect or another of combi-boiler technology and then,when they had gone, squatting in some unfamilar place at some unfamiliar surface, maybe with a telly or a washing machine on in the background made blogging impossible. The young can do this stuff, I see them laptopping away in the most unlikely places, maybe travellers like mr jgm2 or mr yaic do it perforce, and manage without a mouse, but I can't, I need to sit down in quiet, at my own desk,  without hindrance.  Just a personal ritual, not just a ritual, the establishment of a productive environment always been thus.  I remember, in the eighties, hearing Ruin's  children condescendingly explain to me that having Radio One on helped them with their homework, no, really, you have an attitude problem, Ishmael, that's your trouble. The days when we might properly - in everyone's interest - correct or even rebuke the young long gone, now, washed away in a floodtide of over-protective consumer sentimentality;  luvemtobitsmykids, although, of course, such is mere, worthless self-love.

The people in charge, when the space shuttles went to toast, they knew about it all, the O rings, the missing tiles,  there wasn't any need for all that shit to happen; maybe, like my plumber-engineers, they were just too busy being clever, maybe getting on with something else, the next mission, that they completely missed the point of their endeavour. There will be some jargon phrase for this phenomenon, some geekspeak, meant to mollify, exculpate and neutralise, something from the same shitty  lexicon as collateral damage. It can't be this way everywhere, can it? A monkey wrench up their arses, or a slide rule,  that's the remedy.

So there it is, disorientated to the Nth. degree,  abroad, adrift, banished from cyberspace, marooned among heathen Godless motherfuckers and then, returning  home   to the unexpected, unscheduled  doings of Chaos.  But its nearly over.  The lads just need to return and make the boiler work.  The sparks wired the  whole thing the wrong way 'round. Other than that, other than it not working, it's fine. I am expecting them anytime from last Friday onwards but of course by now they will be on another job, destroying someone else's hard-won equilibrium, my malinstallation and its remedy erased from their minds..   Back, anyway, to Decency's barricades and as  la belle haughty, Lennox,  insists, poppily, it's good to be back home again.

Today's essay was:
Not the Reason Why  written 10/5/2011

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So, since there'll be no use for gas and, under the same, green industrial revolution initiative,
new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030, the oil industry relied on by that fishy pair, Salmond and Sturgeon, to finance an independent Scotland, is about to disappear into the mists of history. Just saying.

Mr and Mrs Priti Patel



Mike said...

Salmond and Sturgeon - I hadn't made that fishy connection before. Brilliant.

mrs ishmael said...

Thanks, mr mike. Fishing industry big in Scotland, of course. Maybe the crystal-clear waters will teem with less Salmond and Sturgeon in the near future, as well as less oil.

mongoose said...

You are a caution, mr verge.

I think though it is as mr mike implies on the other thread. If Pritti was ineffective, they would just STFU and let her twist in the wind. It is because she is effective that they want rid of her. This does not mean that she will not be replaced in due course. All of these scrapes cost political capital. She is perhaps doing the dirty work for a more emollient soul to come later.

The gas boiler business BTW has fallen at the first feasibility fence. The car business will follow in due course.

Doug Shoulders said...

Extract heat from outside and underground? Was this said with a straight face?
I know the UK energy policy is somewhat lacking in common sense but I didn’t think it had descended into the absurd.

inmate said...

Doris n his floozy been watching to much Grand Designs, mr Doug Shoulders, where obscenely wealthy folks can build their dream homes.
If you run a hundred or so yards of plastic water pipe around and around, six feet underground, in the five acre garden, you just had to have, location, location, location innit, you can extract 'heat,' try it in your tenth floor flat in Yardley, or terraced slum in Oldham and the water will come back a damn site colder than it went out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mr Mongoose - wouldn't have thought she'd have it in her (in her name, that is) being small and perfectly formed as it is, and with all those vowels, but seek - or perhaps rod - and ye shall find, as our favourite young plumber might have put it. No doubt BoHo would concur, especially where Plitty Ladies are concerned. (Incidentally his full name - ABdePJ - yields "ex roi de londres", but the remainder is gibberish drivel, which is probably all too appropriate.)



Doug Shoulders said...

As you say Mr Inmate. I was more interested in how heat is retrieved from fresh air. I can tell you it’s very fresh where I live. And for ten months of the year.
Some folks would have you believe that the wind mill will be the provider of our energy needs. If we could only build enough of em.
Course, what they don’t tell you is that it costs more to make one than the thing will pay back into the grid. Bit like the motor car. Consumes more energy making it than it will use during its lifetime.
Only a few months ago diesel was l'horreur du jour. Someone must have pointed out that the world economy wouldn’t function without the diesel engine.
Now we are all to change to electric in ten years. Try that one on farmers, industrial plant operators, construction sites. etc
Absolutely fuckin’ clueless. As Pritti said “'Why is everyone so fucking useless?” She should have pursued for an answer though.

mongoose said...

I have a friend who has installed a heat pump for heat, and solar for energy. (And, yes, he has more money than he need ever worry about and he has gone the whole nine yards.) The first year, he spent a net 4800 squids on electricity. He has now trimmed and parried and monoeuvred and has reduced this to a mere 2800 net. That is two ancient-ish people in a pretty nice Cotswold cottage. No teenagers having four baths a day and all of the usual family nonsense.

It is not even remotely sensible. And still the water is not properly hot enough in his HW system and the temp has to be topped up by an immersion heater. FFS we were avoiding turning that on back in the 1960s.

Doug Shoulders said...

In my parents old house, where the condensation used to freeze on the inside of the window on the cold days, they had a coal fire which would heat an immersion boiler.
The principle was developed into the “back boiler” for gas and would , then, also supply the central heating system.
A friend who lives in Northern Ireland (No mains gas there) has a coal version of the back boiler and you can hear the pipes banging off the floor with the amount of heat going through them.
I’ve often considered converting the coal fire in our house to the same system. But it’s unlikely that we will be burning a coal fire in this part of the world for much longer while our overlords are expanding their green agenda.

inmate said...

Yes mr Doug Shoulders, I read a report in the Spectator, a couple of years back, slamming the renewables industry who claimed that renewables provided 14% of the worlds energy. What they failed to say was 0.46% of global energy was provided by wind and 0.35% by solar and tidal combined. The rest is biomass, woodchip fired power stations, sticks, logs and dung - throw another shitcake on the fire.
Sorry I can’t post a link on this ithing.
If anyone would wish to see the real cost of renewables, check out: Human Planet on the youtubes. I know Michael Moore is a dick but he only produced it, he’s not in it.
When Rishi is anointed PM, pretty Priti will be toast, can’t have women making decisions for an Asian man, they’re only could for suttee.

inmate said...

Please try this.

ultrapox said...

fear not, fellow project-sufferers, when the current health-and-climate-crises are inevitably revealed as huge criminal hoaxes, the transcendentally levitated arses of the neo-liberal establishment will all hit the ground-zero of reality with a resounding, narrative-resetting bump.

the reverend cerne abbas said...

@doug shoulders

priti patel might equally well have said "why is everyone so fucking racist"...

because, frankly - given his exclusive cambridge-and-harvard-education and innate sense of british fair-play - it's a shame permanent secretary sir philip rutnam kcbdidn't have the common decency to make a principled stand against the miserable and miserly manner in which the windrush-victims are currently being treated - or rather racially insulted - by the home-office compensation-team - however, of course, the execution of such an honourable move would not only have revealed this gold-toff civil servant's own intimate complicity in the high crime of institutional racism, but would also have professionally obliged him to denounce every last racist minister who, right from the hostile environment's ideologically obsessive inception, has gleefully mucked in to dole out the constant cruel cascade of acridly anti-afro-caribbean orders.

equally, to perform such a chivalrous deed as exposing the officially induced abuse of the windrush-generation would have forced this fair-wind first divison cur to condemn the inherently racist departmental staff-members who - under his personal command - have each unquestioningly followed every dirty discriminative directive issued by every passing career-crooked cabinet-minister-of-the-night.

no, i'm afraid that, in the case of sir philip rutnam, actions speak louder than words...

after all, one doesn't get to where sir philip did - at the pristine blue-chipped pinnacle of the most racially oppressive institution in the entire british neo-imperialist establishment - by treating the darker-coloured britons in our society as fellow human-beings, does one now?

oh dear, maybe sir philip should just have stopped conspiring and learned to love the little brown bombshell...

the reverend cerne abbas said...

@the reverend cerne abbas

with reference to the last sentence of the above comment:

rather than "conspiring", maybe sir philip should just have stopped "complaining"...

and @ultrapox:

whilst i whole-heartedly concur with your scientifically sound sentiments and astute analysis of all things airborne, why not just add a "for" after "fellow project-sufferers", my good fellow?

Doug Shoulders said...

Thanks for the link Mr Inmate.
Zero percent to the nearest whole number.
Some other startling statistics there.
Utterly futile just about sums it up.

ultrapox said...

now, in a rare divergence from normal programming, i really must coast clubbily along with the somewhat skeptical consensus of commentator-criticism hereabouts...

for in my own petit bourgeois, but brutally honest, opinion, it's certainly a sad indictment of the british establishment's elite education-system that it cannot be relied upon to turn out the calm-headed calibre of chap required to deal with a common comp-wildcat, such as is rudely represented in our socially enriched populace by the unrecalcitrantly rough 'n raucous ms prickli p.

indeed, if members of our hitherto respected master-class continue to hide upstairs, bolted into their tastefully distressed upmarket emotional cupboards - or remain psychologically quarantined within their sociopathically-gated communes - then naturally they'll never afford themselves the stamped-and-seasoned ticket to ride upon opportunity's aromatically ambient omnibus which, as common-sense dictates, offers the only tried-and-tested - although rather rickety-'n-rowdy - route to developing that vital turd-immunity needed, in these disconcertingly diverse times, to combat the cantankerous cabinet-cudgellings of the afore-mentioned contentiously appointed - and increasingly contumacious - comp-class upstart...

however, since it took eleven long years for the hysterically handbag-enamoured establishment to reign in - and ruefully rinse itself of - the last over-ambitious shop-keeper's daughter to darken its doorstep, i shall certainly not be holding my breath for socio-political progress, vis-à-vis professional deportment, in the exclusively educated executive ranks of our premier division pen-pushers.

incidentally, you may be interested to learn that, besides the woefully-handled windrush-scandal - and its ever-lingering whiff of racist indifference - the proud and pretentious sir philip rutnam also skillfully presided over the fifty-million-quid-fiasco of west coast rail's infamous franchise-flop...

so maybe it was time for andy to go home, anyway...

time for tubby-bye-bye

and as for prickli...

well, i'm sure she just requires a spot of unconscious bias training, init?

lady henrietta raspberry said...


forgive me, my good sir, but i do not believe that excessive ambition - whether possessed by current home secretary bagatelle or former prime minister gotcha - presents any particular problem to the british establishment - since after all, personal ambition confers the fortunate advantage of rendering a politician highly manipulable...

however, for a cabinet-minister to be over-zealous is quite another matter altogether, and could conceivably pose a most serious threat to the well-being of the nation - because imagine, if you dare, the emergent governmental nightmare of a home secretary who actually executed her job efficiently and achieved all immigration targets, for pity's sake...

i mean, how-in-bloody-blazes'-name would this great and proud country be able to function without an infinite black-market-employment-pool of readily exploitable illegals, what?

lady henrietta raspberry said...


oh dear me, i'm sorry, but "skillfully" - spelt with four ls - is just an absolutely aberrant americanism which, quite frankly, gives me the most awful orthographic indigestion...

please in future, just think "cricket" - or more precisely, the number of stumps in a wicket - and i warrant that you won't stray too far from the english crease.

heaven forbid this sort of irregularity is contagious...

else we might be forced to ban all transatlantic flights - and voyages too.

ultrapox said...

@lady henrietta raspberry

thank you for straightening out my spelling-technique.

err...should that read "of the number of stumps in a wicket", milady?

mrs ishmael said...

mr ultrapox/ lady henrietta/the reverend abbas,you make some sound points about the entrenched elitism within the Civil Service. Okay, racism and sexism are aspects of it, but essentially the Civil Service remains, despite all attempts at reform - and there haven't been too many of those - the home of privilege; enshrining and perpetuating wealth, status and power for the sons and a few daughters, of the Establishment, nurturing them at the teat of Entitlement. Of course they close ranks against Outsiders, to secure and maintain their privilege. But - don't get carried away with the thought that because she's Asian and Hindu in her origin story, from a family chain of newsagents shops, is little and female, went to a Polytechnic and to despised universities, that she is some sorta heroine. She is deeply Conservative, the sort of Conservative that viscerally hates the welfare state, the public sector and those who struggle to put food on the table. She has climbed the greasy pole to the second top political post in Britain - she thinks the greasy pole is a damn fine idea. Her political hero is the Iron Lady: she said - "Margaret Thatcher had a unique ability to understand what made people tick, households tick and businesses tick. Managing the economy, balancing the books and making decisions — not purchasing things the country couldn't afford" Things the country can't afford - hah - like a botched coronaresponse- or feeding the children. Bloody Third World country, Great Britain. Humph.

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mrs ishmael said...

Thanks for the link, mr inmate - interesting article, and as mr shoulders said, the figures point away from a wind and tide-powered future. The author argues that in order to generate sufficient energy from these devices, it would be necessary to plant Britain from coast to coast with turbines. I think that has already happened here, in the north of the North. Once outwith the towns, wherever one's eye rests on the landscape, there's a great swishing monster, flailing its arms about, screaming into the wind, when it is not having a nice lie down in its field, "under repair". Such was the beneficent generousity of the Scottish and British Governments that every farmer or householder with a sufficiently large garden, was financially assisted to erect one or more of these windmills, and to reap a feed-in tariff for every kilowatt generated. Drive down (or up, depending on direction of travel) to Caithness and you'll see extensive wind farms glinting in the sunshine, either on land or in the sea. I'm not one who thinks they are ugly - I actually consider them beautiful in a science fiction sort of way, white and elegant; but they are very noisy, and, as the Spectator article pointed out, a deathly hazard to birds. The (in)efficiency of the wind farms is also a consideration - we have lots of air here that moves about very fast. The problem is not that there is insufficient wind to move the sails - you'll seldom see them stilled for lack of wind - but we frequently have too much wind, and then the windmills have to stand down, and sometimes suffer injury.
Orkney is committed to a renewable electric future - subsidised electric vehicles, with the owners having enjoyed free travel in consequence of free public recharging facilities. Scapa Flow is currently hosting ships and platforms associated with the oil industry, so all bets are covered.
mr ishmael was a keen advocate of a nuclear future, but, like most people fairly ignorant about the modern nuclear industry, my mind was always full of images of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, Dounray, nuclear winters, contamination and a tainted gene pool. The extraction of coal from underground, even from open-cast mining, however, is also a damn dangerous business, which has caused dreadful disasters and shortened the lives of miners by horrible lung diseases. Maybe, as the Spectator article argues, the future is nuclear. It can't be fossil fuels. The clue is in the name. Fossils. old stuff. No more being made.

Doug Shoulders said...

It's a topic that is close to my heart and I wish I had more time to debate etc..
I hate waste. Being of the Scottish and I hate to see a thousand years of effort on carbon technology being thrown away for the sake of technology that is not proven.
We are in an age where the horrors that you mention are easily thwarted if the will is there.

mrs ishmael said...

mr shoulders, do take the time to debate - are you suggesting that there is a future for carbon technology? How so?
They will, of course, do what they want to do, what is fashionable and what has been bought and paid for by lobbyists - but I would very much like your opinion on sensible energy futures.

Mike said...

Mrs I: the only future is nuclear, IMHO, for cheap reliable (and safe) energy - and whatever anyone might think, energy is essential to life as we know it - or its throw another shitcake time. Which is why the West will perish - Greta syndrome - Germany has signed its own suicide note, which will be brought forward if they cancel Nordstream 2. And Russia is the world leader in nuclear power generation - they even supply fuel to the ageing US reactors.

Bungalow Bill said...

Let us rediscover our wretchedness and our glory, Mrs I. Even Matt and Boris, Nicola, Bill and Karl must do so in the end.

"Pull down thy vanity, it is not man Made courage, or made order, or made grace....."

And then another lovely, strange American:

" .....These external regions, what do we fill them with
Except reflections, the escapades of death.
Cinderella fulfilling herself beneath the roof?"

We are not gods, and do not have to be.

Mike said...

43C today in parts of Sydney. Bloody hot when I went for a walk at 7am. Not even summer yet. We have no cases, no deaths for at least a week or more. Time to fire up the barbie. Christmas is a cummin in.

Bungalow Bill said...

What do you put this success down to Mr Mike?

Bungalow Bill said...

Meanwhile in London town, it is pleasing to see our moronic police disgracing themselves again. The fuse is lit and is burning up.

mrs ishmael said...

mr bungalow bill evokes Ezra Pound, in his exhortation to pull down thy vanity.
The Canto continues: "Learn of the green world what can be thy place
In scaled invention or true artistry,
Pull down thy vanity"
That litle, crippled saint, Ian Dury, said it concisely - there ain't half been some clever bastards
Being a dyed-in-the-wool romantic, and, still, in essence, about fourteen, my perfect Pound poem is The River Merchant's Wife, a poem of love and loss and longing: "The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind. The paired butterflies are already yellow with August".
I'm a bit of a textile artist, as mr ishmael has mentioned here and there, and I've been struggling to capture the spirit and images of the river merchant's wife for years now. It's elusive. So is Pound.
Wallace Stevens is the lovely, strange American mr bill refers us to, on this occasion, as previously. First time I came across him was when mr bill told us about him. Gods know what to make of him. I don't, being not a god.
Still, we have to heat our houses, poor, shivering bastards that we are in these cold northlands. I'm burning up the fossil fuels as if they were still making them, but I've got myself and a wee small dog to keep warm against the sharp bite of winter.
mr mike, it is just wrong to have 43C in the run up to Christmas.

mrs ishmael said...

Oh, yes, did you know that there is a county in Scotland called Sutherland? It is pretty far north, beyond Inverness. Bleak, dreach, treeless, with lots of gorse. Sutherland - or Southland - was named by people who thought that this benighted county was a southern paradise of warmth, blue seas and balmy breezes. You have to have come from pretty far north to think that. That's right, Scandinavia. Vikings. Their name means "pirate raid".
Anyway,there's a lot of wind farms in Sutherland, generating lotsa electricity, clean, simple and a joy to use. They don't need it in Sutherland, sparsely populated because it is a shithole. The operators of windfarms in Sutherland have been paid a whopping £63,475,000 in total during the last 10 years for turning their turbines off at times of grid congestion.Brenda Herrick of the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum has said she is shocked at the extent of the payment, which is met by customers through their electricity bills. She said: “I was pretty horrified when I saw the total. It is just unbelievable the fact that we are paying such a huge amount for windfarms to switch off and yet we keep building more. What is the point of building windfarms in a remote area like Sutherland, so far from where the electricity is needed?”
According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, so-called ‘constraints payments’ began to be paid out in 2010 and are made when wind power in Scotland exceeds local demand but cannot be exported to England due to insufficient grid infrastructure.
Same problem in Orkney. Electricity is generated in these windy, desolate regions that god has forgotten for very good reasons, but it cannot be exported to the cities because the cables canna take it.
Throw another shitcake on the fire.

Mike said...

Mr BB: I don't know why we have got off so lightly. There are now no stats published because there is nothing to report. Its as if the virus has disappeared. Same in NZ also.

As expected, the action of politicians and officials was pathetic - in the early days they let cruise ships dock and infected passengers disembark (the border force and health couldn't agree who was responsible); the 14 day hotel quarantine for overseas returnees was a joke (it transpires the security guards were shagging the quarantinees).

I'm just speculation, but...we probably have a younger and healthier (more sporty) population; our climate is warmer with less pollution (except in bush fire season) and high UV; our health service is more effective and efficient than the NHS; its common for people to have the flu jab each year. And we are known as The Lucky Country - eg, at the beginning of this year we had bushfires bigger than France out of control; then magically there was unprecedented rain.

We have had few real restrictions and almost nothing now. The main problem now is that people embraced "working from home" (aka surfing and playing golf) so enthusiastically that the buggers don't want to go back. I've just come back from a walk (7am) and the beach at the end of my road is packed.

Mike said...

I know Mrs I. Even after 25 years, Christmas doesn't seem like Christmas down here - actually we also have a second Christmas in July (our winter); but you need to remember our winter is warmer than your summer.

Bungalow Bill said...

Thanks Mr Mike. I wonder if temperature might be a big factor. Anyway, it's great to know that at least part of the world is living a proper human life. Don 't let the fuckers take it off you.

Mrs I, your Pound reference is very apt and very moving. There's a great blog called First Known When Lost (a quote from that other beautiful poet, Edward Thomas) and the man who does it is gentle, compassionate and deeply refreshing. He often quotes, and meditates on, Eastern poetry and thought and many other things that people on here would find consoling in these godawful times.

Mr I's Zen intuitions were always a big joy for me as are yours, Mrs I. Your garden expressed and expresses that.

Let's gather together for warmth.

Mike said...

No worries Mr BB. Our origins as a convict nation mean we value our freedoms.

When you have a prominent politician (Jaquie Lambie) who says in Federal Parliament that all she wants is a man having "heaps of cash" and "a package between their legs" and "he doesn't need to talk", then you know we are OK.

mrs ishmael said...

There's a lot to be said for shitcakes, now we are musing on renewable energy. When I was a girl, we lived in Yorkshire, and my dad took me blackberrying to Esholt sewage works, where the blackberries were as big as plums. Esholt is one of Yorkshire Water’s biggest sewage treatment works serving around 760,000 people in Bradford and Leeds, and processing over 30,000 tonnes of sludge. Back in the day, they produced sweet-smelling compost for your garden, and, of course, the rich, rich earth produced fabulous blackberries. They've diversified now, and are making electricity from the biogas produced from the advanced anaerobic digestion of human shit. Modern, high tech shitcakes for the fire.
Thank you, mr bill, for the steer towards the First Known When Lost blog. It is beautiful.

mongoose said...

Quite right, chaps, the temperature and UV of Oz are both catastrophic for a coronavirus. And it's an outdoor nation, not an indoor one.

Similarly correct, mr mike, about nuclear power. It is the only way. The stupidity of our betters who prattle on about renewable this and hydrogen that. None of these things exist or are executable at anything like the levels required. It is not as if our paltry CO2 output is anything but a piddle in the barrel of the world's output.

One more time - it is almost always warmer than this anyway. The Greenland Ice Cores "

Mike said...

Mrs I: That's a lot of shit to produce a few punnets of blackberries. Down here we don't recycle our piss and shit - we are much more civilised and just dump it in the ocean then eat the fish and prawns.

ultrapox said...

@mrs ishmael

such inhuman tendencies as you describe, mrs ishmael, are permitted to proliferate in our conservative government, simply because it is faced, on the clubby parliamentary benches, by a compliant crypto-conservative 'opposition' which assumes the supinely oleaginous form of the labour party, and which, since the genocidal disgrace of the blair-brown new labour dictatorship, is arguably to be found further right on the political wind-scale than the conservative party itself.

for example, when - in a customary attempt to pander to the rabidly anti-immigrant gallery - the new labour government passed the 2007 uk borders act, it not only laid the rock-hard foundations for mrs may's infamous hostile environment, but, as a flag-shit policy, also launched blanket-deportation-legislation - from the show-boating deployment of which the present conservative government habitually derives a cheap, and racially empowering, thrill, along with the divine cross-party authority to, almost indiscriminately, ship afro-caribbeans back to their birth-country by the politically pretty plane-load.

indeed, by incorporating in his shady front row such a neo-liberal sprinkling of herren brown und blair's new labour nazis, euro-youth keir starmer has effectively legitimized the hostile environment.

similarly, how can schizoid socialist, and eu-globalist, afua hirsch persist in whingeing on about the racial injustice of section 32(3) deportations enforced under a conservative government, when in her virtue-arselicking article, she disingenuously fails to acknowledge the former labour government's vote-greedy complicity in slipping this humanity-sweeping law onto the statute-book in the first place?

how can this pseudo-socialist journalist pretend to complain about the legal niceties of deportation-cases involving a few afro-caribbean convicts - and about the fact that these cases have not been determined on the basis of individual merit - when she has never bothered to champion automatic freedom-of-movement to the uk for all afro-caribbeans?

ironically, until britain's entry into the european common market, commonwealth-born afro-caribbeans all enjoyed automatic freedom-of-movement to the uk - and therefore it appears that, whilst crypto-neo-imperialists, such as ms hirsch, are ardent ideological champions for freedom-of-movement to the uk from white eu-empire-countries, ms hirsch, by default of her afro-exclusive blocist euro-centrism, cannot see fit to campaign for freedom-of-movement to the uk from black commonwealth countries.

it will bring eternal shame upon the so-called left, but the reality-refuting ranks of ethically crippled schizo-socialists in the labour party can never prove a credible opposition to radical conservatism...

for as the apostle corbyn has spelt out to sinner starmer time-and-time-and-time-again:

"thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye"

ultrapox said...

safety constitutes the main concern with respect to nuclear power-plants - however, since rogue-developers can conspire to raise reactor-related construction-expenses to an absolutely astronomical level, cost can be a considerable problem too.

now, bearing the two afore-mentioned points carefully in mind, let me inform you that the uk's first european pressurized reactor - known as hinckley point c - is a crooked nuclear house built, by edf, on shifty chinese foundations, in a historically tsunami-prone location, to a dodgy, outdated and flood-susceptible areva-design, which has been dogged by serious safety-issues - according to official reports from sister-plants being constructed to similar specifications, at flamanville, france, also by edf, and at taishan, china.

moreover, having noted the high costs of, and delays in, constructing the flamanville epr, france's energy minister, barbara pompili, called the project "une gabegie" - which may be roughly translated as "a right horlicks".

in contrast, construction, by edf, of the epr-unit at olkiluoto nuclear power plant, in finland, is merely subject to multibillion-euro litigation over delays.

areva and edf are both firms based in france, where, during recent years, a number of babies have been born with unexplained genetic defects - and yet, whilst the french authorities have proposed as the probable cause of these defects the agricultural use of pesticides, one simply cannot deny that a map of the birth-defect-distribution super-imposed with locations of nuclear power plants, both operational and decommissioned, could well indicate the root-cause of such terrible genetic disorders to not necessarily be farming-related...

one investor in the hinckley point c project - state-owned china general nuclear power group - cgn - has been blacklisted by the united states department of commerce for attempting to acquire - and then divert for military application - advanced us nuclear technology and material, nonetheless, the cherry on the catastrophic nuclear cake has to be that, by virtue of his intimate inside business-dealings with the chinese government, a certain hunter biden now owns shares in cgn - a most disturbing fact which can only confirm that, as a major froggy-built infrastructure-scheme on uk-soil, hinkley point c must definitely be corrupt-to-the-core, with "disaster" written all over it.

anyhow, those amongst you who may be of a nervous disposition regarding nuclear accidents, explosions, and bollock-frying fall-out, fear not...

because in may 2020, our trusty bodge-happy builders, edf energy, applied for a development-consent-order to construct two epr-units at sizewell, suffolk - both of which are said to be in the early stages of planning.

indeed, yet two further epr-units have been proposed for construction at the moorside-site near sellafield, cumbria - apparently as part of a future "clean energy" hub, which "would also incorporate modular reactors, renewable energy generation, hydrogen production and battery-storage technologies"...

but do eprs actually supply "clean energy"...?

well, not according to george monbiot - a staunch supporter of nuclear power - who expressed the following view:

"the clunky third-generation power station chosen for hinkley c already looks outdated, beside the promise of integral fast reactors and liquid fluoride thorium reactors. while other power stations are consuming nuclear waste - spent fuel - hinkley will be producing it."

mrs ishmael said...

mr ultrapox - it is more than a bit of a worry - thank you for your exposition, which has done nothing to reassure me about a nuclear future. Not that I can do a damn thing about it. Back to the shitcakes.
And as for the Labour Party being neither socialist nor left, Saint Corbyn excepted, sadly, that's the case. I was talking to someone the other day, who was thinking about joining my trade union. Trouble is, she said, it seems to be very political.
What can you do? Nobody knows anything any more. So I went into a little rant about the history of the Trade Union movement and the birth of the Labour Party. Is that so, she said - you'd never know any of that. Nope, you wouldn't, not from the behaviour of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

mrs ishmael said...

mr mongoose - "The Greenland Ice Cores" graph is very interesting, demonstrating that these massive temperature fluctuations are a commonplace for the planet and have little to do with human agency. The thing is, when Saint Greta and her ilk comment on saving the planet, they don't actually mean it - the planet will save itself. They mean save the human race - and in my dark days I think the human race has had its chance and its time for the next species to have a go at fracking things up. Global warming matters to us because we can survive only within a fairly narrow temperature band, breathing a quite specific mixture of gases. And we built our major cities on coasts and water courses, to take advantage of rivers and the ocean for transport, inland being far more difficult and dangerous than the sea routes. So even quite a small rise in the sea level will cause massive problems for the world's major cities. Brasilia should be okay. As will Bradford and its sewage treatment works. mr mike is fracked, of course, as humans live on quite a small fringe of land aroiund the vast Australian desert, surrounded by the shit and shark filled seas. And Australia is on the move, continuing its serene northwards drift, on a collision course with the European land mass. Now, why is no-one worrying about that?

mongoose said...

The problem is, mrs i, if the planet has these temperature fluctuations and therefore what is going to happen is going to happen, why are we not looking that Devil in the face? The reason why sea rise would be a problem is because human beings find it useful to live at the interface of land and water. If that interface moves - and it does - the people will move not away from it but towards it! Poor mr mike, lives - as do they all down there - in pretty much the only inhabitable part of the whole damn continent precisely because of this interface. It's a wee green fringe of life.

Whisper it, but sea rise is a pretty constant phenomenon. In the UK it is 1.9mm year after year, decade after decade in quite a tedious fashion. And the ice cores graph... Put you thy paw over the bit to the left of 1250BC, and what do you see? Consider: interglacials are normally about 10-12,000 years long. Have we had our day in the sun? Should I be getting some long-johns?

As for nuclear power, and as for safety, and as for security, as for blah blah, here is the first graph I came across this morning, and I cannot be arsed to look for a second: Mortality per power produced. Do, please, give me a fucking break. And I have been inside a nuclear power station. They are serious and careful people. The protection of a nuclear power station from terrorists or warfare is far easier than the protection of a forest of fatuous windmills. I tell you what, hire a tranny (one with wheels) and charge it up to the gates of your nearest nuclear station, open the window and yell something saucy in arabic. See what happens to you.

But it is as you say, mrs i, precisely so, if we fuck it up, the planet will wait for us to be dead, wait for our mis-step to pass, for however many millions of years that it takes and the panto will persevere along a different, new path.

Snippet for you, the wicked polar-bear-killing, seaside flooding ice melt has uncovered treats for archaeologists. Arrow heads from 6000 years ago, arrow heads from 800 years ago. What can it mean? Was the earth there bare of ice for thousands of years before the first steam engine cranked into death-spewing life?

ultrapox said...

@ultrapox - 29 november 2020 at 05:08

instead of:

"similarly, how can schizoid socialist, and eu-globalist, afua hirsch persist in whingeing on about the racial injustice of section 32(3) deportations enforced under a conservative government..."

please read:

"similarly, how can schizoid socialist, and eu-globalist, afua hirsch persist in whingeing on about the racial injustice of section 32(3) deportations which are being enforced under a conservative government..."

regarding the nuclear accident-waiting-to-happen, i bet the greens will live to regret their support for the neo-imperialist war-monger biden, not least when he and his horrible corrupt son, hunter, contaminate our green and pleasant land, for all eternity, with fizzy fall-out from their cowboy-constructed sino-globalist monster-plant at hinkley point...

in fact, come the self-inflicted corruption-catalyzed atomic apocalypse, it will be considered no less than a modern-day miracle-of-conversion when, having been so comfortably tucked up in bed with the neo-liberal establishment, the easily had environmentalists begin to practically beg for their 'racist' bogeyman, trump, back, along with his terminally tasteless - but otherwise rather harmless - tweets, golf-courses, and hotels.

like current pandemic-propaganda, the notion of a climate-emergency is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with basic education or common rationality.

ultrapox said...

@ultrapox - 30 november 2020 at 02:40

the last paragraph should read:

"like current pandemic-propaganda, the notion of a climate-emergency is an insult to the intelligence of any rational person who possesses a basic education."

power-tripping climate-emergency-fanatics love to laugh at those of us who reject the lying neo-liberal establishment's bogus theory of climate-change - yet these stupid 'science'-led sheep have never themselves even bothered to study climate-change-science.

ultrapox said...

@mongoose - 28 november 2020 at 23:37

"one more time - it is almost always warmer than this anyway. the greenland ice cores"

one wonders whether the power-tripping climate-emergency-fanatics - and their fellow information-suppressing fascists - have even taken the trouble to study mr mongoose's ice-core-graph, let alone develop the intelligence to comprehend its significance.

the clue to the greenland-ice-core-graph's climatological importance is in the name greenland, a descriptive title which the vikings bestowed upon the island, when they inhabited it over a thousand years ago - several hundreds of years before either the ignition of the industrial revolution, or the invention of the internal combustion engine.

i dunno...

it's always the little liars in life who believe the big liars in government and the establishment - hence the pathetic phenomenon climate-emergency protesters sitting pointlessly in the middle of oxford circus, and a plague of idiots wearing face-masks.

ultrapox said...


for reasons of national security, i can't go into detail about the multitude of non-tranny-vectors which could variously be employed in order to spark up a nuclear power station...

but i'll graciously concede that windmills most definitely require high security - just in case don fucking quixote attempts to hold the world to ransom with one.

ultrapox said...

does a terrorist perhaps "exploit" a "vector", rather than "employ" one?

ultrapox said...

@ultrapox - 3 december 2020 at 00:27

sorry, the last paragraph of that comment should obviously have read:

"it's always the little liars in life who believe the big liars in government and the establishment - hence the pathetic phenomenon of climate-emergency-protesters sitting pointlessly in the middle of oxford circus, and a plague of idiots wearing face-masks."

given that without the sun, and its dominant effect on local space-weather, we would not even have a terrestrial climate, it makes complete sense that, when there's a clear correlation between levels of solar activity and short-term climate-change, we should attempt to discover the astro-physical mechanism by which variations in solar activity actually affect our climate - rather than bury our heads in the corruptly shifting establishment-sand, as neo-liberally induced ipcc scientists have so criminally done, for so long.

graphic correlation between levels of solar activity and short-term climate-change:

explanation, by stephen wilde, of the astro-physical mechanism by which variations in solar activity actually affect our climate:

updated explanation, by stephen wilde, of the astro-physical mechanism by which variations in solar activity actually affect our climate:

climate sense by stephen wilde:

real scientific discussion about climate-systems: