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 Post subject: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:22 pm 
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I'm going to try an experiment ... a combination of an open thread and a political essay written on-line, in real time, feeding off the open thread and building in my own ideas and comments. The trigger for the thought is the aphorism, "all politics is local", which comes very much to mind when I read this piece in The Scotsman about the damage done to the roads by the recent cold spell (pictured). That is set to cost the Haggis Eaters at least £10 million in emergency repairs, which means that road authorities in England and Wales will probably have to find about £100 million.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:52 pm 
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You've yet to mention this from Northern Ireland that occurred due to the big global warming.

Thousands queue for water in Northern Ireland.

From 2006...

NI 'could face water shortages'

Quote:
Experts believe more winter rainfall could lead to flooding
Northern Ireland could face acute water shortages within the next 30 years, according to a climate change expert.

Dr John Sweeney said the Water Service should act now to prepare for drier summers and lower predictability of supply.


NIW's Water Resources Management Plan, October 2010: "potential impacts of climate change need to be factored into any long term decision making process."
http://www.niwater.com/siteFiles/resour ... 0final.pdf

On NIW's Climate Change page we learn one of NIW's top priorities is to pay for expensive green energy.

Quote:
We have set targets to reduce our energy consumption levels and to increase our purchase of green electricity. We currently exceed our target of sourcing 8% of green energy by 2008. We are now looking at the options available to us to produce more energy in house through use of hydro and wind turbines. We are also conducting pilot studies on the viability of using bio-fuels in our fleet operations. We are working closely with Water UK and experts in this field to see what we can do better. We meet with other water companies at this forum to help develop a carbon accounting system so that we know what our carbon footprint is and how to reduce it.


And Northern Ireland Water customers will love this "Save Water" competition for school children (and the hundreds of £s awarded for first prize poster and "rap").

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:06 pm
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Just an observation, but our patio was relaid 15 years ago with concrete paving slabs, and has suffered alarming frost damage this winter. Many edges have crumbled away, despite there being no obvious cracks. I can only surmise that they have become porous over time, and the nights when it got down to -12C has done the rest? We've had cold winters before, but not as many consistently cold days/nights in a row.


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 Post subject: Re: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:39 pm 
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dave ward wrote:
Just an observation, but our patio was relaid 15 years ago with concrete paving slabs, and has suffered alarming frost damage this winter. Many edges have crumbled away, despite there being no obvious cracks. I can only surmise that they have become porous over time, and the nights when it got down to -12C has done the rest? We've had cold winters before, but not as many consistently cold days/nights in a row.


I venture to suggest that the slabs were cheaply made ... but not necessarily cheaply bought - it is impossible to identify the short-cut without laboratory tests. Concrete product manufacturers (or importers - the chances are, they were imported) can get away with it because the unwitting buyer will not draw up a technical specification and thus has no redress when the product fails.

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 Post subject: Re: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:10 pm
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RAENORTH wrote:
dave ward wrote:
Just an observation, but our patio was relaid 15 years ago with concrete paving slabs, and has suffered alarming frost damage this winter. Many edges have crumbled away, despite there being no obvious cracks. I can only surmise that they have become porous over time, and the nights when it got down to -12C has done the rest? We've had cold winters before, but not as many consistently cold days/nights in a row.


I venture to suggest that the slabs were cheaply made ... but not necessarily cheaply bought - it is impossible to identify the short-cut without laboratory tests. Concrete product manufacturers (or importers - the chances are, they were imported) can get away with it because the unwitting buyer will not draw up a technical specification and thus has no redress when the product fails.


If you are anything like me, you have taken the cosmetic appearance of a patio slab as the most important buying criteria. During the summer and autumn I spent a lot of time repointing between my slabs and so far all appear to be sound. My main difficulty during the recent cold spell is that a covering of snow confuses the dog and she cannot decide where the patio ends and the lawn starts and we have had plenty to clear up now that everything has thawed!


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:10 pm
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Quote:
As Michelle Malkin so hilariously illustrates, though, there is something about the corporate mind that, once greenery gets in, common sense drains out. It is almost as if the two concepts cannot co-exist.


Unless a business is set up in order to take advantage of the global warming fad, the introduction of green policies will always have an adverse affect. We see corporations promoting themselves as being green, but it's purely PR and a wish to avoid the unwanted attention of unpleasant and vocal pressure groups. For most businesses green policies are a cost and offer little return.

CAGW is a form of socialism and even from that fundamental truth is at odds with business. Greenery is all about taking money involuntarily, squandering it on vanity projects and claiming it as a worthy cause. Every business which has a green policy will plaster it over the front of their website and make a big thing of it. Can you imagine a business that has a green policy just keeping it quiet and not telling anybody about unless they were asked? No, people feel pressured into imposing most of these ideas and the only way that they can get any mileage out of them is to try and use it to make themselves look good. Outside of activists and the political claque, nobody really cares and most workers would prefer to have a few quid in their pay packet rather than mindless recylcling schemes and solar powered staplers.

There is no other area in which any decent business would be willing to plough in so much cash with no business case and virtually no return or benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:48 pm
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Quote:
there is something about the corporate mind that, once greenery gets in, common sense drains out. It is almost as if the two concepts cannot co-exist.


I believe that a big part of the problem lies in the fact that nowadays to be in a 'management' position one needs a degree from a university aka indoctrination centre. Experience has over the past few decades been given less and less importance. In my work (IT) I have seen people with 20 years experience being shoved aside in favour of an adolescent with a degree - even if it was in some exotic subject totally unrelated to the core nature of the work.

How can one learn management from a university??

The amount of idiots i have to put up with has increased in equal proportion to the amount of graduates being churned out like cheesecakes... a product in itself of falling standards across the board.

We should go back to the Roman system - where you get different offices of public service with age - the cursus honorum, or the course of honors. Generally, one would start at the bottom of the course, with a junior magistracy, and gradually rise through the ranks to the chief magistracy of consul.

Quaestor: The minimum age was 31.
Aedile: minimum age 37
Praetor: The minimum age requirement was 40 years old.
Consul: There was a minimum age requirement of 43.

etc.. etc..

what we're getting instead is "the infantalisation of society"....


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Leonidas wrote:
Experience has over the past few decades been given less and less importance.

This retired computer programmer concurs.

Often, management is treated as an abstract skill in its own right, no insight into the detailed specifics of the business being required.

Contrast that with the old approach, where a manager would be able to do any employee's job better than the employee himself.

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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:51 pm 
Booker on water (second item):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ebook.html


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Clarence wrote:


Thanks for that ... I'll feed it in.

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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:13 pm 

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Your slabs were probably imported from India via Global Stone .


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:28 am
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I blame the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991 which sets up a cosy relationship between the statutory utilities and highways authorities. The general public is not involved in scheduling disruptive roadworks. If it were, common utility ducts, carrying two or more utility lines would become the norm. If disruption was monetised and factored in, then the long term economics of cuds would outweigh the basic locate, excavate, repair and backfill technology that has remained static for years.
Leaking pipes and cracked road surfaces could be reduced by upgrading construction standards to minimise the effects of freezing and thawing on the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:45 pm 

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Having observed 'management' in a nuclear shipyard for 18 long years my conclusion is that 90% of managers are incapable of managing. All they try to do is gather as much info as possible from those below them to keep as much of it as possible from those above them thus preserving their 'place' in the hierarchy.

My father was a manager from the day I was born in the year 1960. He started off in the Co-op as a 'back lad' and ended his days in the independent Co-op society, before some lunatic old biddies and Tory councillors on the Co-op committee sold out to a larger society, as the Departmental Grocery manager which was as far up the grocery tree as you could go. He rose quickly through the ranks on merit and had the management knack of knowing who to chastise, who to suggest, who to set the touch paper under, who to praise.

When he retired in 1995 as an Area manager of the larger society he refused to support his chosen successor and his boss asked him why. He said because although the successor was a very competent shop manager he didn't have what was required to be an Area manager. His boss disagreed but within six months he was on the phone wishing he had listened to my father!

Today with the piece of graduate paper being used to 'weed out undesirables' management has become stuffed to the gunnel's with people who don't know their arse from their elbow.

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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:00 pm 

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This evening in the German News the road damages due to the latest frost period in Germany are estimated at a staggering 20 billion Euros.
I wouldn't be surprised if the UK would have to face a similar bill.
Pot hole repairs with cold asphalt don't last very long and should be regarded as a temporary repair.


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 Post subject: Re: OPEN THREAD: The stuff of politics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:48 pm 
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rhaan wrote:
This evening in the German News the road damages due to the latest frost period in Germany are estimated at a staggering 20 billion Euros.
I wouldn't be surprised if the UK would have to face a similar bill.
Pot hole repairs with cold asphalt don't last very long and should be regarded as a temporary repair.


I don't think you are far wrong ... a figure of £9.5 billion for England & Wales was being quoted last year ... and there is very obvious additional damage to be seen after this winter.

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