Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexit 3

If you cut it down to BoJo wanting to be PM and Gove wanted to be free Euro regulations so he could stage his libertarian/laissez faire experiment. Then it makes sense.
Farage was just used by them to bring along the racists xenophobes, to get the vote up.
However, the majority of disgruntled Labour voters think the UK is already too libertarian/laissez faire .
The next stage should be some massive distancing of themselves from Farage. 

The racists aren't going to get reduction in immigration as that will help keep wages down.
They hope the peasants will not notice they have been used for a while.
If all goes to plan we will be paying the same into the EU, with nothing coming back but BoJo & his backers will be using the UK as a sweat shop to trade the mainland.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Brexit 2

I had a look at article 50, I have reproduced it at the bottom, strange thing is that it doesn't require a referendum just that a government apply. Given the UK government's normal method of working you have to ask what is the referendum really for? It is scary that almost on a whim a government could decide to leave the EU with no electoral mandate.

Legal

The legal position is quite clear the government is required to do nothing. The legislation made this an advisory referendum, you and I, given advice should take the time to consider it but we are entitled to ignore it, we are also entitled to ask for a second opinion.
The EU itself can do nothing until it receives a Chapter 50 notification, in some way it is being irresponsible in making comments, the decision is still in the hand of the UK government. 
One learned professor of Law in Scotland claimed I was rather ill-informed on this but the problem is there is no case law, the nearest you can get is in commercial law, with things like cooling off periods and misselling. Everyone is ill informed on the subject of the legalisation until it goes to court. I have had legal advice which I have ignored before and be proved right to do so when the court took my side. I have also one a case representing myself when the organisation I was up against had got barristers advice and was trying to scare me with the idea of costs, I won.

Sovereignty

The Sovereignty of the UK parliament was one of the big concerns of the #brexiteers, they wanted it preserved and maximised, by making the vote advisory, the UK government kept maintained that sovereignty. It would be hard for them to complain about sovereignty being used to thwart their ambitions.

Democracy

The settled will of the people is hardly what we have at 48%-52%, even Farage said as much when claiming that 48%-52% or closer would be unfinished business, admittedly he was trying to legitimise a 2nd ref in his favour.
The government itself was voted in by less than 40% of the people and happily ignored the other 60% but according to a lot of people that is just the system we have and we have to put up with it. Well, the system we have put the word advisory in and kept Parliament sovereign, so the system we have does allow the choice.
UKIP amongst other have suggested recall votes and in one case UKIP has actually asked for one, the trigger point being a petition by 10% of the electorate, so what happened if the call for a second ref gets to 4,532,510, will the Kippers join in and request a 2nd vote.

Ethically

Even before the vote, this was termed the beginning of post fact democracy, reflecting the sheer amount of lies told, it seems that lots of people had no real idea what they were voting about. They didn't read the average size print, just the headlines of their favourite tabloid. Admittedly the had the opportunity to become informed about the subject but didn't take it, but they still claim they didn't make an informed choice. If there was a larger margin then the decision would be clear

Result

Omnishambles, no one comes out of this looking good, well at least no one in the UK. The legislation was a mess, the campaigns were a mess. the entire thing was a mess.
The other question is why aren't Boris and Co demanding the article 50 be enacted immediately? This referendum was not about getting a simple answer to a simple question, it is deeply bound up with political manoeuvrings in centre right politics

Where are we?

In a mess.
One thing is for sure the next time someone thinks of having a referendum they should think long and hard about the rules best out of 3 is not a bad idea, it would give more time for thought and reflection and in the end a more considered view.
It probably should be binding unless there is a very small margin.



Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit

Of all the fuck witted and stupid things the UK voting public has done over the years, this is by far the most stupid. The arguments articulated by the leaders of the #Brexits campaign where grossly inaccurate and totally non-convincing, however, they are not why the people voted they way the did. They voted to punish David Cameron and the London elite, without a single thought of what the consequences might be.
It is not the first time the people of this island have done such a thing, when in the last general election, some of the Scots voters decided to punish Labour for sharing a platform with the Tories, that was up there as well. For that we got a more powerful Tory government, this vote of protest will let in some of the even nastier parts of the Tory party, it will drive Scotland away, ensuring decades of Tory majorities, who with their power base in the south of England will continue to pour cash into that area.
The EU for all its faults gave the money where it was most needed, this mob will not. Congratulate yourselves on giving David Cameron a bloody nose, all you had to do was rip off your own arm and smash him in the face with the soggy end and then punch him with the other hand till you got a contusion fracture. He will pop down to A&E and then spend some time at home convalescing with his millions, before a good long holiday and then making some more millions. You'll be trying to live on a shrinking amount of disability pay and perhaps scrounge of your equally impoverished kids.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A New Edge Hill

Today I spent a few hours in the Liverpool Records office, reading some of the early plans for Merseyrail, mainly one called MALTS(Merseyside Area Land Use/Transportation Study: final report: report A to the Steering Committee) which was as much fun as it sounds.

Edge Hill Spur

On this that comes over clearly is how important the Edge Hill link is, the purpose of the line was to prove a connection from Central low level to Edge Hill for trains heading south on the Northern Line, even though it was not done, the junction, as it was built. made allowance for the later completing of the line.
2 slight different scenarios were suggested in the document.

1. Use the Wapping tunnel, white in the above picture, providing 2-way connections accessed via the blue tunnel(0.25 miles), which would need to be built. The also used a then existent fly over to take one track over the approaches to Lime Street to avoid conflicts with the main line,essentially a flying junction.

2. Use the Wapping tunnel only, as a connection for trains going down to central. Trains go up to Edge hill, after a short section in the Wapping tunnel, used the yellow tunnel(0.7 miles) to cross under the mainline and connect to the Victoria tunnel for access to Edge Hill, so essentially a burrowing junction. This is useful as the flyover has since been removed.

A third scheme has since been suggested.

3. Use the blue & Yellow tunnels for trains in both direction. This also avoids the major conflict but is not quite as efficient as using the flyover.

Whichever way it was done the line would provide access to St Helens via Huyton to trains on Merseyrail. If I had to pick I'd pick scheme 3, with some stations such as Blackburne Place & Oxford road and Joe's Folly or Paddington Square as it likes to be called.

One of the major advantages is that by extending the Ormskirk service to St Helens and perhaps the Kirkby train to Ditton, space at central would be freed up, no more would train's be standing at what were intended to be through platforms.

Closing Lime Street

The bit that surprised me was that in 1969, when the document was written, serious consideration was given to whether Lime Street should be closed, with mainline services finishing at a new station at Edge Hill. The idea would have been to use the Edge Hill spur to provide access to the city centre, I could find no suggestion that even a small station should be provided at Lime Street.
Connected with a better underground system the proposal is not wholly impractical, though it would not be good for the prestige of the city as Lime Street station is a magnificent portal. This proposal is only a few paragraphs in the document and when it was written Central high level and Exchange were both still in use and the proposals may have led to one of them being retained. It is not practicable without them.
There is no mention in the document of using the full length of the Wapping and Victoria tunnels to provide a greater reach for the system but that could well have been an option.

HS2/HS3

Now with the possibility for HS2 & HS3 Lime Street is again looking rather small and difficult to expand, but while I would not close it, what would happen if an HS2/HS3 terminal was built at Edge Hill? With the full array of add-on services to spread people around the area. If the Stock Interchange Line(SIL) was brought back into service then trains from the Wirral could have direct access via the Edge Hill spur to the new station?
Providing a Tram-Train service down the Wapping tunnel along the strand and then back up the Waterloo Victoria and vice versa would connect large parts of the city. If really pushed then perhaps the Tram section could be overhead. The tram section is in purple on the top map.
Most non-GC services calling at Edge Hill would provide another line into the city or perhaps a dedicated shuttle with the mainline access to Lime Street reduced to just 3 lines.
My HS2/HS2 proposal has always involved getting to Ditton, then gauge expansion to Lime Street, some of the other proposals from 20 MilesMore still get us to Edge Hill.
It is a plan worth thinking about IMHO.

Stock Interchange Line(SIL) in red.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Fuck the Humanities

In the world of English literature, everyone opinion of the validity of Jane Austen's work as a guide the femininity in the 21st century or whether she can be held up as a proto-feminist may be valid. However when dealing with real world issues such as global warming or the environment, not everyone opinion is valid.
The only reason I can be bothered to have a debate with you is because at some point action made need democratic approval. Now even if the antiscience POV wins, it will not make their arguments right, it will have no bearing on the validity of anyone's arguments. The physical real world does not care about a majority opinion, it will not agree to disagree with you.
Your feelings are not at all valuable in determining if a debate was good or not. A good debate is not determined by everybody leaving feeling positive about themselves and the process but by the right conclusions having been come to, if after spending time defending a point, then some time later shoot your own argument in the foot, then expect never to be taken seriously again.
The laws of physics and the universe do not care how you feel.
The smug feeling that hippies and touch feely everyone POV is valid, well you just the stock broker in this picture, because To those laws, your opinions and happiness at the debate are as valuable as ths guy's "value for shareholder".

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Wolstenholme Square 75 years and back to Square one.

Some of you may have heard of Liverpool nightclubs, Cream, The Continental and The Kazimier, few of you will know they sat on Wolstenholme Square. For a more detailed history see liverpool1207.

At the beginning of May 1941, the square looked like this. Nice buildings but only a paint factory



In May 1941, along with other parts of Liverpool it was the subject of an unscheduled redevelopment by the Luftwaffe. Unscheduled as far as the owners and Liverpool were concerned but I'm sure the Luftwaffe had a very thorough schedule.
From Liverpool1207
The post war rebuild was not of the same quality as the original even with the stone cladding, I went to the Continental thrice and hated it, which is good as I normally loath night clubs.



75 Years after the original Luftwaffe redevelopment it now looks like this flattened again in May 2016 by Mee's Demolition, this time, the owners knew.




Soon the rebuild will start, back to, if not its former glory, then to at least a more respectable height.


For more details see Falconer Chester Hall Wolstenholme Square

You might not like it but the buildings that housed the clubs were cheaply put up after the war, this is a timely rebuild. Everyone will still have their memories of nights out, in my case, despite lots of therapy. There is nothing lost in this particular redevelopment, it is the final scab falling off a war wound. One more bomb site gone.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Hydrocarbons for peace.

There are few people more enthusiastic about electric cars than Robert Llewellyn, better known to some of you as Kryten from Red Dwarf, here is one of his video blogs regarding Orkney.I don't have a problem with most of it but I'm a little concerned about some of Rob's attitudes to hydrocarbons, not the fossil variety or even the biologically variety but the totally synthetic stuff. You can see Rob's opinion when he is shown the old diesel plant, which, I imagine is still kept in good condition to back up the wind.
Orkney's power system is a hierarchy. the first tier is power being generated and then used immediately, the next stage is the large battery, followed by presumably the interconnector or the diesel, then the other.
One a windy sunny and warm day, Orkney will be generating more power than it can use, the batteries will be full and the interconnect will be maxed out, what to do then? Well, the hierarchy seems to be different for using excess generated power that it is for generating power, the diesel section is missing.
Storing electrical power in batteries is highly efficient the energy density is low and over time the batteries discharge, this means they are good for short term storage. I wonder how long Rob has left one of his cars to see how good the batteries are, it something I'm having trouble finding out.
The US Navy has been developing a system for producing Jet Fuel from sea water on its Nuclear Powered Aircraft carriers. See Fueling the Fleet, Navy Looks to the Seas  and US Navy Announces $3/Gallon Jet Fuel from CO2. So the diesel's part in the hierarchy could be restored.
Rob's criticism of the diesel as being "dirty", might be seen as a reason not to do it, but the dirty bit of diesel comes from impurities in the fossil fuel, others comes from the incomplete combustion of diesel due to a large variety of hydrocarbon compounds in the natural mix. The production of wholly synthetic fuel eliminates most of the impurities and allows the fine tuning of the compounds in the synthetic hydrocarbon, which allows the combustion process to be optimised to minimise particulate output. My own choice for the compound would be Hexadecane (C16H34) but chemists might pick a better compound.
There are other alternatives for longer term storage, such as Cryogenic energy storage, which may be more efficient in the short term, but the one thing that is know about hydrocarbons is that they are stable for a long term, they can survive underground. So while over a few months or years the Nitrogen will boil off, if extra power isn't added.
We also have large amounts of infrastructure to transport and store hydrocarbons, if we one day our fuel stores are full and our environmental plants are producing the power that is needed then, we can put some of the hydrocarbons back where the fossils came from back underground, helping to reduce the excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
Synthetic diesel is a very high-density energy store, there might never be a day when batteries have a high enough energy storage for long range air travel or to produce the power for some of the world's biggest machines, they may but synthetic fuels will be there as a backup and very long term store.
If and when we move to a fusion powered world, we can get rid of windmills we can still make synthetic diesel for those of grid needs, we still pump it underground and Rob's mate Chris can still drive around in his vintage motors.
Whatever we do we need a hierarchy of storage and synthetic diesel seem to be a good candidate for the long term tier as well as for various niche applications. It is no use being sniffy about it, we cannot waste the ideas and material we have invested in hydrocarbons.
The one thing that is gone for good for future cars is the mechanical transmission, the superiority of electric transmission and it ability to match the prime mover speed to produce the energy need efficiently is better than mechanical CVT.