Radioactive Trade Wars.

A Ban on Shell Fish & Fish.

Radioactive discharges from Windscale ( Sellafield ) picked up by shellfish have caused a lot of concerns over the years.

In 2004 this raised the prospect that it might stop the export of some British shellfish to the rest of Europe.

Now Russia has imposed a ban on fish and seafood imports from Japan.

In September South Korea banned all fishery products from eight Japan prefectures.


China has just banned all Shellfish from the West Coast of the USA.

Trade Wars ?

As the level of radioactivity from Fukushima grows, then so will concerns about the health of the fish in the Pacific.

Thus the number of countries disallowing the import of fish from Japan, Canada, and the US must grow.

These sorts of import bans will really upset the WTO, scupper GATT, and might bring about all sorts of trade sanctions.

Just how many countries will this impact ?

One can only guess the answer to that question.

However . . . . . .

With rising health concerns, and falling fish numbers, there will not be much of a fishing industry left in the Pacific within the next couple of years.

So any trade sanctions will be of a very academic nature indeed.

Ban them now !

What we now need is a European import ban upon all fish and shell fish from the Northern Pacific.

Such an import ban would highlight just what is happening at Fukushima,  and the need to close down all nukiller power plants.

Small Change For The Bank Please.

Some years ago I was in a shop on Green Lane, Harringay.

While I was in the process of waiting to pay for my goods a woman came to the counter and asked if she could change a £20 note for some small change.

The shop keeper did this, and the woman went back next door to her place of Employment.

Nothing so remarkable you might think,  except for just one fact.

She worked in a branch of the Bank of Cyprus.

I’ll make no further comment.

Cuts Cuts Cuts Cuts Cuts Cuts Cuts and More Cuts, or The Real Cost Of The 2012 olymics.

So here we go: –

Cuts in education.
Cuts in the number of hospital staff.
Cuts in library expenditure and opening hours.
Cuts in spending upon Museam and art galleries.
Cuts in social spending.
Cuts in the support for public transport.
Cuts in the support for energy conservation.
Cuts in help for the elderly.


Yet millions & millions are being spent on the 2012 olymics.

My prediction for next year
2013 : –

More cuts in education.
More Cuts in the number of hospital staff.
More Cuts in library expenditure and opening hours.
More Cuts in spending upon Museam and art galleries.
More Cuts in social spending.
More Cuts in the support for public transport.
More Cuts in the support for energy conservation.
More Cuts in help for the elderly.

While we will still be paying for the 2012 olymics.

While tax payers money is still being spent on Nukiller weapons.

Energy Subsidies & Energy Conservation Taxation.

Energy Issues.

I keep reading about the high prices which the energy companies
charge to their customers within Britain.

This is related to the problem of Fuel Poverty.

At the same time there is a major debate about energy subsidies.

This goes hand in glove with the idea of giving tax breaks to
‘green energy’  and carbon capture projects.

The problem about this is that the nukiller industry getting in to
the act, and erroneously claiming that these power plants help to
halt climate change.

This is the kind of argument which George Monbiot has fallen for:
– despite the fact that the mining and transport of uranium contributes to climate change.

Yet take away all of these subsidies,
and what do you get?

The use of solar and windpower as the cheapest form of energy production.

Some Real Alternative To Energy Production.

Of course the real challenge is to cut down upon the use or
or better use just what energy we do produce.

This should be done in conjunction with a major push to introduce
better energy conservation measures throughout the UK and the world.

Rather than give tax breaks to the energy companies,
it would be much better to put the money in to energy saving

Just cutting VAT ( Value Added Tax ) on double glazing,
or sales tax as it known in the rest of the world,
might be a good starting point.

At present the Energy-saving materials in the UK are VAT rated as 5%.

All energy conservation products should become zero VAT rated !

At the same time a lot of the present problem of fuel poverty,
and pensioners being killed as a result of hypothermia,
could be alleviated by increasing the Winter Fuel Payment from
the present derisory level of just £200 a year.

Such measures would be cheaper for us all in both the long and
short term too.

In the long term all these measures might help to cut down our
taxes and other expenditures,
and increases the amount which is paid out in pensions.

Thus in turn it would alleviate the whole set of problems which come with fuel poverty.

A Long Term Story About Never Never Land.

When I was a child in the 1950s and 1960s people would talk about purchasing items on the ‘ Never Never’.

i.e.  By hire purchase.

This expression goes with the
‘Use Now and Pay Later’
way of thinking.

It also goes hand in hand with a way of thinking which includes
that of paying by credit card,
‘pay day loans’,
increasing personal loans
building up national debts,
and in turn the kind of global financial mess we are all so familiar
with right now.

The same principle also seems to apply when it comes to just how
we all will have to continue to pay to look after nukiller waste for
many centuries after these plants have been closed.

The Daily Mail has just published the following news story which
illustrates this point:-

The most toxic pond in Europe: Sellafield will cost £10bn to make safe.

In the same news story they point out that once the nuclear fuel is
removed from the newly decommissioned nukiller power plant at
Oldbury, that these used fuel rods will be stored untouched upon site until at least 2096.

That is some 84 years in to the future.

If nukiller power is the ultimate example of ‘built in obsolescence’,
then we really are going to take a long time to pay for it on the
Never Never.

Don’t Tell Me As I’m Immune To This.

Switch off or take no notice.

That’s my attitude to most advertising,
and here is the reason why.

Most advertisements make a presumption about both ones
and  those social values which do not apply to me.

I also know just which lines tend to show that I’m about to be
conned out of my money.

So – Here is a check-list of those words  or expression which will
never work on me: –

– Mortgage.

– Credit card(s).

– Take away food menu(s).

– Cable Television.

– Mobile phone.

– Retirement & funeral plans.

– Loan offers.

– Celebs.

– ‘ As seen on TV ’.

– Branded goods.

– Christmas.

– Sports sponsorship.

– Corporate sponsorship.

– The Olympics and all that goes with it.

– The internal combustion engine.

– Offers for two.

– Anything which says ‘family friendly’.

– Upgrade(s).

– New  or Exciting.


– Special offer.

Now I could write something about those words and expressions
which might work on me,
but I just don’t want to deal with yet more spam or junk mail.

No thank you very much.

A Tale of Two Economies.

I was on a train recently, and got to hear a conversation which was
going on between two couples.

They were bemoaning the increase in student loans.

Some ten minutes later the two women in these couples were
engaged in a conversation upon what would be the right amount
of money they should give as a Christmas bonus to their cleaners.

Yes !  Really !

Some while later that day I came out of my local supermarket and
was confronted by someone begging on the streets.

How about that for something of a contrast for you to think upon.

Meanwhile I keep reading in the financial press that we are on
our way out of the recession.

As I wander along various high streets I keep noting just how
many more betting offices have opened within the last couple of

Now I not that this free Public transport on new years is being
sponsored by a company called Wonga, which is a money lender.

It seems to me that what with the forth coming cuts to both social
services, and public libraries,
that those who talk of there being an economic recovery should
just get out and use some public transport from time to time.


Just remember that the financial press is just as capable of
producing hype which is on the level as the gutter press.

Work Time – Study Time.

University education is not an automatic right,
but something which is a privilege.

In many parts of the world even the most rudimentary form of
education is something which a lot of people still strive for.

Those of us who are in our 60s & over can remember a time
when university was only available for those who came from a
wealthy background,
while the majority of the population started work at 15 or
earlier. Continue reading Work Time – Study Time.

Percentage Figures and Gross Effects.

Last week I saw an advertisement which claims that one in
eight of the people who use the tube are victims of identity

I just sat there and thought that equates to12.5% of the
which must also mean that 87.5% of the population do not
suffer from any form of identify theft.

The interesting difference between saying 1 in 8
and 87.5%
is that one of them sounds alarmingly high number,
while the other sounds like  a reasonably low percentage.

Perhaps that’s why I always like to see the raw statistics,
rather than any one else’s interpretation of just what they
might mean.

When it comes to any fiscal or population figures then it
makes a lot of sense to do so.

For even 1% of a population can equate to many thousands of
people, which in turn will equate to many thousands of
individual tragedies.

When it comes to percentage cuts in public finances it is not a
question of looking at the figures,
but just what this means to individuals,
and the social impact it will have upon the population as a

There is a very good argument that all social services should
be protected.

On the other hand there is a conservative argument that
people should not be encouraged to stay within a benefits
reliant culture,
but do something in order to help themselves.

The problem with this comes with a belief that this can be
solved with a totally unrealistic and totally unatonable
‘enterprise culture’.

There is an old socialist saying:
‘ From each according to his abilities
From each according to his means.’

I would agree with the conservatives that we do need to get
away from a benefit reliant culture,
but that must mean setting up more self help projects,
while also establishing more workers & consumer

Perhaps it is time to look at the figures again,
and see just what will work of the benefit of all.

Talk of cutting public expenditure by 25% may sound very
but cutting military expenditure be 100% would be most
welcome indeed.

It might also be worth while if we could all start to think of
public expenditure in terms of encouraging social cooperatives.

If cuts are on the way, then we are going to really need to
money in to those  projects which would benefits us all,
rather than just keep paying out money to the individual.

Failure to do so will mean a lot more poverty stricken
individuals that will need some sort of fiscal help.

It’s not the percentage figures which matter,
but just what those figures mean within the real world.

Pensions or Here’s The Deal….

For a lot of people on low salaries there is but one
compensation to be had,
and that is a reasonable pension,
or at least one which does not mean living in dire poverty
after retirement.

One of the consequences of low pay is never being able to
own ones own property,
and so having to pay rent until the day one dies.

Work in libraries and you will both earn far less that an
average salary,
and never be able to own the place you live in.

Now both the UK government,
and many financial bodies are claiming that all public sector
workers are receiving pensions which are
‘Too generous’.

Not a word do they say about how state pensions are so low
that they are below the poverty line.

Not a word about increasing the level of public worker
pensions to that which is enjoyed by finance workers.

Not a word about giving ‘key worker’ status to all low paid
library workers.

Not a word upon the need to increase the level of state

The self contradictions which result from all of the above
facts needs to be faced up to.

The choice is obvious in terms of preventing poverty in

Either: –

– Pay library workers more in order that we may be able to
both purchase their own properties,
and save enough for their old age.


– Keep the present public sector pensions at the same levels.

Failure to do so will mean that yet more people will not be
able to undertake working in public libraries,
and we will all suffer as a result!