Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Fuck Off Council Snoopers

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Keep your own council on its toes.

Well as you can imagine I must appeal you claims that I'm a vexatious.

Then member of the Council Ron Gould, made the comment "We have been told all about you" back in 2005, so far who we are and what they have been told about me has not been explained.

Joe Anderson made the comment to some he was walking down Dale Street with that I "bullshit everything", he has been asked to explain that but has failed to do so. It also brings into question Anderson's degree of social training as he doesn't seem to be able to moderate his voice in public or he wants people to hear his abusive comments.

In both cases they have not denied, clarified or the source explained. A subject access request provided no information one why these allegations should have been made. I strongly suspect that your staff pass around gossip they hear and perhaps have their own axe to grind with me, this is most unprofessional, but typical of the council

Then we have the troubling matter if Wendy Twigge, and her malicious complaint to the police and some ancillary allegations and comments she made, which was disproved by a recording of the phone call, but her statement was backed up by an equally false statement from Chris Walsh, someone you still employee and who I have stated I will not deal with in any circumstances. Yet here he his still making decisions about my communications with the council.

Then there is the little question of the multi year unofficial mail block, whose existence you organisation seem blissfully unaware of until the Ombudsman got involved, more of Walsh's handy work? no documentation has ever been produced about this.

The right to communicate with my councillors is not your to take away, I will continue to use the methods the council publishes to contact the council and will not give yourself, Walsh or Anderson to remove the emails who content they find exposes their lack of dignity.

Attempting to get explanation from your charges regarding their rude and ill-informed actions, is slightly more difficult than getting blood from a stone, continuing to ask unanswered, unacknowledged and relevant questions cannot be considered vexatious, the council is simply using it as a smoke screen to hide from scrutiny.

Your own role in funding Anderson's Ill informed legal action, using public money, makes you IMHO an accessory to embezzlement, as a member of the public I have an interest in how public money is spent, and as such I am reporting it to the police as a financial crime. For the full data I forward this link to Merseyside Police

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Trident: A fork in the road.

I've always been a supporter of the UK having nuclear weapons. The morality of a weapon doesn't depend on upon its size, destroying a city by conventional carpet bombing is just as immoral as using a nuclear weapon.

I'm less keen on Trident for several reasons, one of which is that with the rise of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system it will become less effective. The major powers are developing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles to overcome this defence. These vehicles will be launched from ICBMs, but instead of following a ballistic trajectory to their target, they will fly at a speed approaching Mach 10 in the upper atmosphere. So reducing reaction time for any ABM system.

For the UK developing one of these is a possibility, perhaps along with France, the other possibility is a very long range (3000 miles +) cruise missile, which is the option I prefer. This is partly down to utility and partly down to the rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones to you. What is a cruise missile, but a single use, disposable UAV? The UK is committed to developing UAV, so why not take advantage of this convergence of technology.

I was struck by the following assessment on Wikipedia of the Royal United Services Institute suggestion for a Trident replacement.

A ‘Dual-Capable’ Submarine Force: "This would maintain the plan to build new submarines, but with only four missile tubes (compared with the twelve currently planned) and with an explicit design mandate that asked designers to allow them also to perform conventional roles... It would not be possible, however, for potential adversaries to detect whether or not a particular boat was nuclear-armed when it went on patrol. Such an arrangement could, in time, combine increased survivability for the nuclear force while also holding out the possibility of further reductions in the size and readiness of the nuclear deterrent."

The US is also considering a dual use boat to replace the Ohio class based on the Virginia Class

The US Navy has converted 4 of its Ohio-class Trident submarines to a role which replaces the Trident missiles with 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as many other systems.

The US's current attack submarine is the Virginia Class, which as part if its design contains the Virginia Payload Module a system which is very similar to having Trident Launch tubes, but with the 7 cruise missile armament, though these will not be nuclear capable.

These all point to the end of the dedicated ballistic missile submarine, Tridents replacement should be the dual use boat, when not armed with Trident, the tubes should not be empty but armed for other jobs. These boats should be based on the Astute class, and when the Astute class comes up for replacement, they should be replaced by dual use boats. This could provide a Navy with a Nuclear Submarine fleet of 11+ boats, possibly up to 14, with greater flexibility than the current system.

In the very long term, a cruise missile could replace the Trident missiles themselves, in about 2050, which will be long after I've stopped being.

Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader, is against Trident's replacement, but given the current makeup of parliament, he is unlikely to get his way. That doesn't mean he cannot influence the system, with dual use boats, the boats do not become waste if Nuclear weapons are  abandoned. The dual use plan adapts the system to the threats faced now and at the same time makes Nuclear Disarmament easier.

When it comes to a vote in the Commons on replacement I cannot see JC ever asking his party to vote for a replacement of the Vanguard boats, but it might be easier for the party to abstain on Dual Use boats, if that is a way of stopping a like replacement, with all the costs and limited capability that entails, and as the RUSI report suggests this, "while also holding out the possibility of further reductions in the size and readiness of the nuclear deterrent." which is at least a step in the direction JC wants to go, it is better than no step at all.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Battle of the Gob Shites

On Saturday, August 8th, there is a march titled "The White Man March" as you can probably guess, from the title this is being organised by the Racist far right. They are promising 150 people, so rather a small march. I doubt it will happen now after they sent a threatening letter to Joe Anderson, the City Mayor see Neo-Nazi thugs threaten race riots in Liverpool if they're not allowed to march.
If the march does go ahead, then there will undoubtedly be a counter demonstration by the Anti-Fascists League, which is, for the most part the SWP. The SWP isn't that nice an organisation either, they'd quite happily end freedom of speech, and some will argue that is what they'll be trying to do on Saturday.
If I go down it will be to take photographs and document the entire thing, the one thing that is for sure is that there will be a very antagonistic atmosphere and lots of Police. I will probably wear steel toe caps, as there will also be police horses, who, whilst being staunchly non-violent, do weight a tonne.
I don't have any time for the Marchers or the counter-marchers. They remind me of people who play their music very loud and are convinced they are doing everyone a favour, by letting them hear their tunes. Ideally, they'd be placed into either side of a semi-detached, on a housing estate, full of semi-detached with everyone hating their neighbours for playing their shite music and preventing their great music from being heard properly.
Unfortunately, they like to be in a semi, in the middle of a normal housing estate. They each believe that by making more and more noise they will attract more people to support their music.
Like so much of the crap in the world, this is about gangs and the need people have to feel part of a group. "Look, I'm not alone" should be the subtitled on the placards of both sides. Society is full of little groups of people linked by some tenuous connection, who, when they all gather together can convince themselves they are not some minor clique. "Look, I'm at a Corbyn/SNP/LFC/AFL/Religious meeting and everyone agrees with me, which means the whole world agrees with me".
When more than 20 people, or 3 drunks, gather together they suddenly become deluded that they are the representatives of a majority in society and can miraculously solve all the world's problems. You'd think after several millennia of pissed people putting the world to rights, after a mug or two of badly fermented fruit, we as a species would have realised it is bollocks.
The truth, as revealed by Cleveland Brown is simple.

It is a long hard struggle folk and no amount of protests or counter protests will improve tomorrow, if you are seriously in the fight for a better future, it is the lives of your great great great grandchildren who you should be fighting for.

Personally, I think we should cordon off two separate blocks on Wavertree Playing field and put the White Man marchers in one and the UAF in another and sell tickets to people to watch them.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Schroedingers Spacecraft

Pluto before New Horizons impact or not.
It is now about 2 hours after New Horizons  made its closest approach to Pluto or perhaps crashed into it, we have no way of knowing as the event happened more than 4 light hours away. Even if we had a telescopes big enough to pick out New Horizons the light from the event would not have arrived.
In reality it will not be until we receive the first past flyby communications that we will know whether or not the probe has survived and gathered data.
Currently New Horizons is both an impact crater on Pluto and a Successful space probe, but when, in the quantum sense will this superposition be resolved? When the first light hits Earth or when the first signal has arrived?

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Pluto dwarf planet, major star

On the 14th of July 2015 at 11:50 UTC New Horizons will fly by Pluto at an altitude of 7,800 miles. On July 14-15, 1965 Mariner 4 performed the first flyby of a planet, so it will be exactly 50 years. It is 50 years through which I have lived, I'm 5 years younger than the Space age, but 2 years older than planetary research.
Best picture of Pluto 4 July 2015
In that time Pluto's status has changed from Planet to Dwarf Planet, this has caused some upset to some people. In reality, when Pluto was first observed it was the press that decided it was a planet, astronomers new it was different but couldn't spell out why. When other objects similar to Pluto began to be found, starting with the romantically named  (15760) 1992 QB1 in 1992, it became clear that a new classification was needed or there was going to be a vast number of planets, currently there are over 1500 know Trans Neptunian Object and Pluto is more like the larger of these Eris, Makemake and Haumea than it is like the 8 planets.
In mid June the pictures from New Horizons exceeded the resolution of Hubble images, detail is now beginning to show and in 10 days Pluto will be ready for its close up.
When the mission set out it was to complete the set of planetary snapshots, but it appears now that Voyager 2 managed that in 1989. So this mission now represents a much more important milestone, not the end of one phase of discovery, but the start of a new one, a phase that will take many life times to complete, even if new faster than light travel is discovered. The TNOs cover a vast collection of objects including the Kuiper belt, scattered disk, and Oort cloud enough to make sure that we lose interest before getting to them all.
I had a look through the list of predictions of what might be found, I cannot comment on those but did notice one missing and that is a Flux Tube between Pluto & Charon, similar to the Io Flux tube, but far far weaker. I think it is possible only because the solar wind will be so light at that point that even a ghostly tube may exist. For it to exist Pluto must have a magnetic field and Charon an atmosphere. If there is one I want my name on it.
If you are alive on the 14th then you live at the beginning of a greater age of space exploration than any of your dead predecessors. Like the start of all the other ages it will be live on all sorts of media but you should make sure you gather with your friends and family so you can remember where you were when it started.
I know who I was with and where I was when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon and when Giotto passed by Halley's Comet  they are precious memories to me, if not the others present.

New Horizons Web Page.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Seconds out.

If I read one more joke about the leap second, then someone is going to die. In the days before twitter it took a good few weeks before every single possible joke on a fashionable topic had been exhausted. Now by the time you have read the first all possible versions of that joke have been tweeted, in every applicable language. A long twitter fad is one that lasts a month, a twitter fad that makes it past a week is geriatric.

Most marginal ideas can be created dissected and disposed of in a matter of hours, on the internet, with the exception of conspiracy theories, the more they are cut, the more they live, each slice creates a new scion which will itself be dissected and multiplied like all those that came before.

The shrapnel produced by this endless pounding is like an irritating dust that gets in the way of the view. It blocks up vents and creates friction in the bearings. It's no longer like a big rock that stands in the road that simply has to be bypassed it a long section of the road a cloying suffocating mess, which in some conditions becomes an impassable quagmire.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Things to Come

This the future for humanity, it is this or nothing.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Still ruled by princes

The UK may nominally be a monarchy and lots of other countries republics, but in reality the duties that the state assumes for itself and the duties that conservatives would like to limit a state too, are those of a medieval prince.
The first duty of a medieval prince was the defence of his lands, mainly from other medieval princes, to fight in the wars of his allies and those he owed fealty to.

Protecting them from his knights or from each other was a long way down the list, protecting them from disease and injury was even further down the list. In the case of disease, it doubtful they could actually have done anything.

The standing of a prince amongst his peers was judged by the his wealth, his victories in battle and the wealth of his knights.

Today, governments around the world will spend enormous amounts of treasure and blood to stop the likes of ISIS and Al Qaeda from killing its citizens, it will deprive its citizens of the basic freedom of privacy, deprive those from other countries of the freedom itself.

The most princely of states are the ones that actively eschew the hereditary principle, while their citizens are killed by disease, injury and their fellow citizens. The measure of a modern state should not be the prestige of its leaders.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

We need to talk about Warren

Sometime ago the leader of Liverpool City Council was Warren Bradley, a LibDem. He became leader when Mike "Jackanory" Storey had to resign of a breach of the code of conduct. Storey was at best anodyne, a primary school headmaster with all the charisma of a primary school headmaster. When Warren came along, I'd never heard of him, but it was quite clear he was only Storey's proxy.

Both Storey and Bradley achieved very little, the greatest achievement of Storey was securing the Capital of Culture year for Liverpool and that was about it. Very little happened in the city.

After a brief discussion with Bradley, it seems that he thinks of himself as badly done by and regards any mention of his conviction for a rather foolish bit of electoral fraud as abusive. Warren you weren't hard done by, you were just so far out of your league it was painful.

One of his statements that "educated people are seeing through Joe Anderson", would seem to imply, that as he doesn't like the guy, he sees himself as an educated man. Well, while I don't have any facts about his education, if he has one he has always hidden it well. He variously came over as some who hasn't got that much of an idea of what's going on, always slightly bemused or slightly drunk.

Like a lot of LibDems, he suffered from a lack of imagination and drive, whether you agree with Anderson or not, he has got something done, Warren and Co never did, they were obsessed with not annoying anyone, in the end they annoyed a lot of people. People will forgive mistakes, they are less forgiving of inaction. It is equally true that always answering the call "something must be done" with something is just as wrong.

Liverpool Council suffered from a paralysis that it didn't want to be in the same light as Militant, this led it to be non-confrontational and frankly cowardly, Warren is the personification of that. You can see in the local journals the anger that Joe Anderson has raised by simply doing things, some are outraged that he has not doing the things that they want, others are just annoyed that he is doing things at all. All of them are convinced they speak for the people of Liverpool, all of them ignore the fact that in the May election Joe's party increased its seats on the council.

Let get this right Joe is not a smooth political operator he is in fact a bit of a gobshite but so are his most voluble critics. Not least among them Warren. What most of the voices offer is a quick fix, just do what we want, have our  priorities and it will all be ok. What history teaches us is that this is wrong, you cannot have any real, permanent long term effect on society over night, this is a long hard slog where the reasonable ambition is to make things better for your great grandchildren. To believe you can do it quicker is vanity and a dangerous vanity.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Trans North/HS3

The Government released The Northern Powerhouse: One Agenda, One Economy, One North report, which contains some interesting stuff regarding Liverpool and High-Speed rail, most notably
Liverpool to Manchester Airport / Manchester – Work by Network Rail has shown that journey times between Liverpool and Manchester of 20 minutes are possible, including a connection onto the HS2 network. We will now carry out further work to produce detailed options to move towards the journey time ambition. hThis will include the option for a new high speed line between Liverpool and Manchester with a connection to the proposed HS2 network.
Trans North/HS3
Also covered is HS3 which has similarities to my Pan Northern Railway  through without York, Chester and Holyhead.
HS3 using existing lines
The target maximum speed that has been mentioned is 140 mph, this was the same as the target for the West Coast Mainline upgrade in the 90s.
The was for the first generation of Pendolinos, the second generation is capable of 155mph. The reason they don't go over 125 is the lack of in-cab signalling, but under existing plans, the entire system will be set up for in-cab signalling by 2029, according to the International Rail Journal. Electrification from Man to Leeds is already planned as is Leeds to Hull according to the BBC. It is already in place Liverpool to Manchester.
The proposed times for HS3 are
Liv -> Manc in 20 minutes, mean  94.5 mph over 31.5 miles.
Man->Leeds in 30 minutes, mean 85.4 mph over 42.7 miles.
Leeds ->Hull in 45 minutes, mean 68 mph over 51.6 miles. 

So all those are already planned before HS3! what extra is needs to happen for HS3?
The OpenOffice Calc spread sheet can be found here
The OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet can be found here.
The Liverpool to Manchester section, given a Pendolino, allowed to accelerate straight to 140 and decelerate into Manchester Victoria would take 15:35. With various limitations caused by going through stations and in urban areas 20 minutes is very close to the maximum that could be achieved. To make a 20 minutes service possible some work would need to be done, whether that would be passing loops or quadrupling of long sections I don't know, perhaps some traffic could be offloaded to other routes but providing access for St Helens & Newton le Willows is not optional. Complete requadrupling of the section from Lime Street to Huyton Junction would help, that would require work to widen the track bed at Broad Green where the M62 intrudes.
The Manchester -> Leeds time of 30 minutes knocks about 15 minutes off of the current journey time, and is 9:37 slower than the theoretical maximum, bearing in mind this is the curviest bit of the route this is less demanding than the Liverpool-Manchester time and perhaps reflects greater thought and time applied.  
The Hull time is only 9 minutes faster than the current time which is the smallest improvement and as this is the longest route doesn't make much sense. Most of the route is quite straight except for a large kink around Selby.
Rail lines around Selby
The average speed for Leeds -> Hull is 68.8 compared with 94.53 for Liv->Man and 85.4 for Man->Leeds. This seems a bit slow, given the profile I would expect a mean speed faster than the Man->Leeds speed. At the same average speed as the Liv->Man journey Leeds -> Hull is about 32:45 and at the Man -> Leeds is 36:15. So it should be possible to knock a further 10 minutes off the overall journey getting the overall journey down to 1:25.
A second generation Pendolino is capable of 155mph, similar to the Advanced Passenger Train, in order to operate at the higher speed the APT had enhanced brakes, these are not on the Pendolino. If a system capable of similar braking to the APT's Hydro Kinetic system were fitted then speeds over 140 could be achieved, which might allow some more savings or at least greater safety margin.  One candidate for the breaking system would be Circular or Linear Eddy Current Braking both of which have been used on railways in excess of 155mph.

Beyond England
Welsh extension.
Currently, the time from Hull to Holyhead, 218 miles, would be 4:09 with an average speed of 52.5 mph, if some stops are taken out leaving only the major stops, then the journey can be down to 3:39 with a mean speed of 59 mph. Whilst this probably faster than it can be driven, the current journey would be longer as it would involve waiting for connections at the principal stations.
Using the 140 mph maximum then with the full set of stops the journey could be made in 2:19 with a mean speed of 94 mph. With only the principle stops that drops to 1:42 at a mean of 128.
The theoretical speed would obviously not be possible but a time of between 2:30 and 2:45 should be possible, knocking 1:24 of the current possible time.
A Liverpool Holyhead journey, via the soon to be reinstated Halton curve, would take about 2:00, this time, is even more speculative than the others as it involves the Chester to Runcorn parliamentary train, which only runs early Saturday morning during the summer, and is in no rush. Taking out the stops gets down to 1:52. With the high-speed options, the time drops to 1:00 with stops and 51 without. Giving an estimated real world time as 1:15, a 45-minute saving.
Electrifying and speeding up Chester to Holyhead would improve London-Holyhead times, as well as local trains, as part of HS3, it would provide a very useful link between the Ferry Terminals of Hull and Holyhead.