Monthly Archives: March 2013
  • 29/03/2013

    Offshore Fracking and North Sea Regulations

    An interesting development that demonstrates in some of the poor decision making by the coalition and the challenge of financing all in one. Trapoil, a real tiddler of a North Sea explorer, has made a big fanfare about starting to do off-shore fracking in the North Sea. Regular readers will know how immensely keen we are here on fracking for gas and oil  as it has the potential to solve our long-term energy needs in a way that wind farms simply won't. And so to do it


    27/03/2013

    Question Time – some news

    Austerity budget cuts lead to a more creative use of resources. I've noticed this quite a bit. Its something private companies do all the time. Shuffle resources. Look for ways of reducing costs. Doubling up workloads. Its so common place it goes unremarked. Yet in the public sector, its only when the budget hits the buffers that suddenly there is a necessary scramble for savings. departments are closed and managers oversee recycling and waste instead of individual ones for wheelie bins or bio-bags. Suddenly,


    27/03/2013

    The Evil That Is Censorship

    Here's a story I can empathise with.  Iain Inglis - from Wales - stormed to the semi-finals of China's Got Talent (sic) with his renditions of traditional Chinese Communist revolutionary songs

    'It was a bit of fun to start off with but the more performances I did, the more I was hooked. For some reason the Chinese people seem to find it quite hilarious'
    Since his biggest hit is a number called I Love Reading Chairman Mao's Books, we can see why this might

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    26/03/2013

    Larry Summers: Wrong about UK and US fiscal policy

    Larry Summers, a former senior US economic advisor made some pretty stinging comments yesterday about UK economic policy. He said it was a mish mash of austerity and loose monetary policy which has clearly failed, comparing it disapprovingly with the US policies. So what has happened to the 2 nations since the great crash of 2008 and who has come out better. Financial crises take a long-time to recover from and we can't be sure we are there yet, plus of course the US has not had to deal with the Euro collapse, which has probably benefited the US,

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    25/03/2013

    British Island Outposts (2) – Cyprus and the Bear

    History Corner again: Cyprus this time.  A few days ago in comments to her post on the adolescent troika and their jejune conduct, the estimable Hatfield Girl wrote:

    "One of the unacknowledged problems of England being so remote from the EU and in particular the Eurozone, is that imperial experience and knowledge is untapped. No English civil servant's political antennae would not have twitched at the very word Cyprus, never mind Cyprus and Russian bank deposits. They'd have been in with the Treasury and the Foreign Office,


    24/03/2013

    Cyrpus – will be it AIM high or low?

    Zak Mir gave Spreadbet Magazine readers some interesting insights into a few AIM stocks this week, in particular Gulf Keystone Petroluem which looks to me as if it might well drop below the key 172p support level rather than start a new breakout - with a court case over the ownership rights to the fields hanging over it then it is not surprising there is nervousness around the stock. But what of the AIM market as a whole with Chancellor announcing the abolition of stamp duty on trading in AIM shares and so making them even more attractive to retail investors?

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    23/03/2013

    History Corner: British Island Outposts (1)

    Today's Grauniad contains a curious little editorial that makes the case for Mrs Thatcher not needing the Falklands victory for her own political triumph a year later. 

    "The myth is that the Falklands won the Tories the general election. In fact, ... "
    Well, everyone must speak as they find, and history is an ongoing debate: the more views, the merrier, and the piece makes some sound points.  But I can't help feeling there's a perspective they have


    22/03/2013

    Move along, nothing to see here

    So in recap: We are closing down coal and nuclear plants; Reducing subsidy to Green energy; Subsidising fracking which is a few years off; Not building any new nuclear plants on any kind of non fanciful timescale; Not really building many new gas power plants and then we small mishaps like this. A mere 50% price jump in a day over a run of the mill incident... At least the lights will stay on, for now....

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    22/03/2013

    Where art thou, Eurofudge?

    Has it really comet his this? Ever since 2009 the favourite nibble across Euroland has been delicious eurofudge. Everywhere from Italy, to Spain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal there has been plenty of fudge; enough to sate even global appetites and keep the euro bandwagon well fed and on the road. But now tiny Cyprus could see and end to fudge distribution and dark day for the euro-fudge industry - another tale of woe for European industry. Of course, Euro-Fudge is resilient and production runs

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    21/03/2013

    Question Time : Downgraded Chancellor edition.

     Joining David Dimbleby on the panel of BBC Question Time in York: Michael Gove MP, Education Secretary; Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General for Labour; Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party; Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs; and bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. A mix of meanies and greenies,   rough scoring guide and player's guide Bang on,as the script, right answer - 3