Friday, 27 May 2016

Clearly racist

The above poster, issued by Operation Black Vote, is clearly racist and someone should be prosecuted. If the races in the picture were reversed and it was a thuggish black man threatening a white woman it would not take long for the police to start kicking down doors, but when it's anti-white racism the official response ranges from slow to glacial.

And just to make matters worse, your taxes paid for that poster to be issued.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Time to do some panic buying

The French are blockading their oil refineries again. They are also blockading the ports to stop oil tankers docking. Filling up the car is getting difficult, with long queues where petrol is available and at least a quarter of filling stations completely dry. The government has three months' emergency oil and is releasing that, but of course there is panic-buying increasing demand just as the supply dwindles.

But the UK is fine, isn't it?

No. Think back to the UK blockades of 2000 when the country ran dry and pretty much shut down. How did that start? In France! UK protestors saw what was happening over the Channel and picketed UK refineries. There is a chance, not massive, but possible, that the same will happen again. So right now you should be panic-buying petrol. (When it does happen and everyone else is panic-buying petrol, you should have moved on to panic-buying food.)

That said, the UK government does have a secret plan on how to deal with refinery protests - it blocks all national reporting of the protest; nothing on TV news, nothing in the national papers. It doesn't, or cannot, block local reporting, so with some digging you will still be able to find out what's happening by looking at regional websites, but the great mass of people will not become aware of the protests so will not panic-buy and will not go to join the protests. Problem solved! Perhaps UK oil refinery blockades are happening right now - we wouldn't know. After all, there were further refinery blockades in 2005 and 2007 and they had no effect, because no one knew.

Incidentally, the BBC's usual tactic for burying news they don't want known is to report it as 'local'; nothing on the flagship news programmes, nothing on the website front page. So they're covered, they've reported it, but not in a way many people will see. Everything that happens is local to somewhere so everything can be buried if they want.

Anyway, a quick trip to top up the car can't hurt, can it?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Things that don't happen

Back in 2010, 3D TV was so close to taking over the world it seemed like a done deal. Sales rose in 2011 and 2012 but then started to taper off. There were health issues; the technology was inconvenient - most types required you to wear special glasses - and 3D TV became the great new thing that never happened.

It will happen one day, but it is not a hot topic any more.

No, today's hot topic is driverless cars. The world seems convinced they are just around the corner. Share-tippers are working out who to invest in, and even who to short (car parks are down, Uber is up) and politicians are jumping on the bandwagon and passing the laws needed to make them legal.

But it is all too soon. Driverless cars are not coming. Yes, there will always be more and better driver-assist technology available, but then, we get new driver-assist technology all the time - it's nothing new. The big new thing of cars driving around UK roads with no people in them is not coming anytime soon. The technical and legal obstacles are just too big. Our roads are too jammed, too confusing and other drivers too unforgiving for a driverless car to work.

Driverless trains we already have; driverless planes are feasible, but cars - nope, not for a long while yet. For the time being, contrarians will be rewarded.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Trump backs Brexit

Looks like all our ducks are lining up nicely. Donald J Trump, Republican candidate for US President presumptive (ie all his serious opponents have discontinued their campaigns so now all that remains is the coronation) has come out on the side of Brexit, saying the UK would be better off without the EU. This is the complete opposite of what President Obama said last month when he threatened to put the UK to the back of the line for a trade deal with the US if we voted ourselves out of the EU.

Unfortunately it is by no means certain that Trump will take the White House. He mainly languishes behind Hillary Clinton (the most likely Democrat candidate) in the polls. And Hillary is anti-Brexit, saying she thinks a strong UK in a strong EU is ideal. Ironically, and often remarked upon, Hillary would never support America joining any organisation like the EU - the loss of self-determination would be unacceptable to Americans.

We will be doing the Brexit vote long before we know who the next President of the USA will be, and even if we do vote ourselves out there is a two year transition period during which opinions can change a lot. 

It is also worth remembering that in the past when countries vote the "wrong way" the EU makes them vote again to get it right. So one vote to leave might not make it stick. However the auguries are hopeful at the moment: we could get a Trump president and a Brexit before the end of the year.