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Articles by John

Wealth vs the People: Why the Balance of Payments is Critical

8 days ago

Money has two main functions: it is the medium of exchange and a store of wealth.  In the days before WWI it was accepted as a law of economics that a currency would be backed by gold, that there was a real asset underlying every pound or dollar.  Since WWII the world has settled into a system where the relative value of currencies is set, over the longer term, by the balance of payments.  Those countries that have strong finances and saleable goods and services have a high demand for their currencies which increase their relative value. A modern currency is a token with a value that represents the balance between production and consumption in a country.  It seems as if currencies are now a medium of exchange but not a store of wealth.  This conversion of currencies to support exchange

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No Platforming: The BBC is also Guilty

9 days ago

The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, is considering appointing a "Free Speech Champion" and introducing fines for universities that "no-platform" speakers.  This is excellent news.  We can tell it is a move in the right direction because the Guardian ran a comment piece criticising it.No-platforming at universities by students is just the most public example of suppressing free speech.  No platforming happens wherever people intend indoctrination rather than education.  The most egregious example of no-platforming in universities is in the Humanities where publishing and appointing staff who have centrist or right of centre views has been terminated. (See UK Universities Bar Conservative Voters from an Academic Career for data).The most dangerous example of no-platforming is the BBC and

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A laboratory escape is the most likely source of COVID

15 days ago

Many virologists are involved in research to make viral infections more dangerous.  The argument for doing this "gain of function" research is that it allows virologists to be prepared for the next pandemic.Gain of Function research relies on the biosafety of laboratories.  It would be very dangerous to produce a virulent, pandemic virus and then accidentally allow it to escape.A study of high safety US virological laboratories by Lipsitch and Galvani (2014).  produced a figure of there being a 20% risk of a laboratory worker getting infected every 10 years by a lab escape and 5-60% of such escapes causing a pandemic. In other words, as a result of laboratory experiments in the USA alone, the world is running a similar risk of a pandemic from laboratory escapes in any 10 year period as

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The Devolution Disaster

16 days ago

Labour’s Scotland Act of 1998 and the succeeding Scotland Acts of 2012 and 2016 provide the Scottish Parliament with a wide range of powers (See note below).There is no party in Scotland agitating to give these powers back to Westminster so we can only expect Scotland to demand further powers culminating in independence.Labour’s Belfast Agreement 1998 (known as the Good Friday Agreement) cedes Northern Ireland to the Republic when opinion polls and a subsequent referendum show a reasonable majority for Irish Union.  Demographic changes mean this will probably occur within a decade or so.  It has no clause saying that should the majority in NI wish to return to the UK another referendum will be held.  During the EU Referendum Labour and the Remain Campaign argued volubly about UK

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Is British Classism Anti-English Racism?

16 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]We now live in a postmodern age in which politics has been re-described as the oppression of racial groups.  The "Left" in politics no longer supports the working class to attain revolution but polarises society by race. The upper class "Right" no longer praises its nation state but extols the virtues of all market places and customers.  The English have been the victims of racism since the Norman conquest.  After the conquest everything English was destroyed.  It was several hundred years after the conquest before the English language was used in government.  A small, French speaking, governing class preserved its separateness. Even today the upper classes go for a francophone "amble" whilst the English "walk".It is customary to regard the governing

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COVID-19 was possibly created using reverse genetics.

18 days ago

It is now one year and two months since COVID-19 first struck in Wuhan, China. In all of this time, despite a huge effort by virologists, no natural source of the virus has been found.  In May 2020 China announced that there was no evidence that the virus came from the the HuaNan fish market in Wuhan.The fact that since 1978 virologists have been able to create RNA viruses from DNA in the lab has been largely ignored by the world’s media (see Synthetic viruses: a new opportunity to understand and prevent viral disease).  This process involves converting the viral RNA into DNA and placing this in other organisms to act as chromosomes that create RNA viruses. (See reference list 1 below).  The DNA can be edited and changed to order.  There are many ways to do this "reverse genetics" so it is

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Children leave school as indoctrinated Labour voters

21 days ago

Were the education system a fair reflection of society we would expect as many children  voting Conservative as voting Labour when they leave school or university.In the past this predilection for Labour amongst children was shrugged off as childish "idealism" but now it is getting beyond a joke. It is obvious from voting trends with age that as people become used to the real world outside of education they learn lessons about socialism that convert them to conservatism so what is happening in our schools?Given that most 18-24 year olds know next to nothing about making their way in the world any large source of voting bias will come from indoctrination.  The most obvious source of indoctrination is the remarkable political bias amongst teachers:TESLabour understand that they are not

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Elon Musk is sure there will be Life on Mars.

23 days ago

Why go to Mars?  Mars has a third of Earth’s gravity and plentiful frozen water and carbon dioxide for fuel and oxygen so it is the ideal location for a space base.  Starships can take off directly from Mars but need a massive, re-usable booster to leave Earth.Impression of Starship plus boosterMars is also commercially attractive.  Metals extracted from Mars and the relatively nearby asteroid belt could be returned to earth automatically and fairly cheaply with the use of dedicated re-entry pods and parachutes.  They would literally be "dropped off".   However Elon Musk is not devoting his enormous fortune to a project to colonise Mars for purely commercial reasons. He is mainly motivated by the need for humanity to have a planet ‘B’ just in case we make Earth uninhabitable with nuclear

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The causes of global warming and global instability

23 days ago

There are four powerful political forces in the world today: multinational business, internationalist socialism, international evangelism and nationalism.  It is the first three of these that are having a devastating effect.The global ecological crisis is largely due to multinational business.  Without our massive trade beyond our borders we would be constrained by the resources of our respective countries.  As countries increase industrial activity they also increase their populations and, without excessive international trade, will reach a limit to growth.  It is the consumption of resources in excess of those that are locally available that is the cause of the global ecological crisis, whether that crisis is manifest as species extinction, overpopulation or global warming.The global

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COVID-19 and the start of future wars

25 days ago

COVID19 almost certainly escaped from a laboratory in China.   It was either part of a collection of natural bat viruses that were being investigated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology or a bioweapon based on a bat virus that escaped.  (See Coronavirus one year on).  It is unlikely that COVID19 was a deliberate bioweapon release because of the risk of an uncontrollable epidemic in China. The events surrounding the release show that bioweapons of this type are now the best method of starting a war.  Any large state wishing to launch a war against a superpower would devise a weapon such as COVID19 because it seriously damages the economy and operational efficiency of the enemy prior to any hot war phase of a conflict.  COVID is a near perfect economic bioweapon.In the past the military

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COVID-19 a year on: Why was the UK hit so hard?

28 days ago

The initial COVID-19 epidemic in the UK was due to allowing vast numbers of people into the UK from abroad during late February and March 2020.  The UK receives millions of air passengers per month and estimates of 20,000 or more cases entered the country between January and March 23rd 2020 lockdown.  These initial cases were unhindered from infecting very large numbers of people.The failure of the UK to control its borders in the month after "political" Brexit is not surprising because it was following EU norms during the transition period and the EU did not authorise countries to take independent action until late March.  This does not exonerate the UK from inaction because several EU countries broke ranks with EU policy and the UK should have been expected to do so.  Whatever the

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The state of the Union: Scots and Irish leaving the Union.

January 26, 2021

There has been a lots of talk recently of the Scottish backing independence.  What is interesting is that this support was lacking after the EU Referendum but has had a sudden boost in 2020.Opinion polls on Scots IndependenceThis looks like a coronavirus effect where people all over the world have been blaming their governments for the virus.  However, the arrival of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister also decreased support for the Union. Anyone who is opposed to Scottish independence would want to wait until COVID19 is a year in the past before considering the issue.A border poll on Northern Irish secession is likely from 2026 onwards.September 2020Once the polls show a reasonable majority for secession Northern Ireland is compelled to hold a border poll according to the terms of the

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EU covers slow vaccine approval with spats against drug companies.

January 26, 2021

It now seems that the EU’s European Medicines Agency may approve the Astra Zeneca vaccine at the end of January.   They also delayed approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by almost a month compared with other countries.  The slow approval process means that the drug companies invested in countries such as the India and the UK where vaccines were needed in vast numbers rather than the EU.Pfizer/BioNtech has had to redevelop its plant at Puurs in Belgium to meet EU demand and so has been slow to supply vaccine in the first few weeks. Astra Zeneca has had a similar problem with its Belgium partner Novasep being unable to meet the demand.As we know only too well in the UK, when the EU is thwarted it turns to bullying as the first option. Even before the approval of the Astra Zeneca vaccine

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Coronavirus: COVID19 one year on.

January 23, 2021

COVID 19 was first known to be a contagious epidemic in December 2019 after an outbreak at the Peoples Liberation Army Hospital in Wuhan.  The outbreak spread into the HuaNan fish market.  An article in the Lancet confirmed this pattern of infection with the earliest cases being outside the fish market:Source: LancetHowever, the army volunteers in the PLA Hospital were almost certainly not included in the above data (see below).A site survey of the circumstances of the spread was undertaken by a group of Chinese investigators .  This survey showed that the HuaNan market had never sold bats, that the Virological laboratories in Wuhan had large collections of bat viruses and that biosecurity was so poor that: "The tissue samples and contaminated trashes were  source  of  pathogens.  They

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AIs will dominate warfare by 2030s. Will freedom end?

January 22, 2021

Unfortunately there are only two approaches to military AI: ban it or have the best.  AI has not been banned so the pace at which AI is being introduced into the military is breathtaking as countries attempt to get the best.  AI is being used to improve the effectiveness of battlefield weapons such as airplanes, tanks and artillery but it is also being used to create autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons.  Semi-autonomous weaponry is particularly interesting.  Individual semi-autonomous weapons are currently being controlled remotely by humans but a transition is occurring where clusters of AI weapons will surround human combatants as they go into battle.The UK has, perhaps, one of the most advanced 6th generation airplanes under development.  The Tempest is designed to control a fleet of

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The BBC: the need for change

January 20, 2021

The BBC has been subject to dramatic changes in its Charter over the past 14 years and this has had a deeply negative effect on the Corporation.The BBC Charters until 2007 placed the BBC under fairly tight government control and used general advisory and national broadcasting councils to monitor fairness and content.  In 2007 the broadcasting councils were removed and a new structure imposed which included Ofcom as the overseer of BBC bias and content (Ofcom is famously ineffectual, it even has a shocking Trustpilot rating of 1.5 stars ). Unfortunately the 2007 Charter was very weak on fairness and bias which allowed the BBC to become partisan.  There was nothing but Ofcom to stop this.   The BBC speciality was to omit coverage of news or background information that did not reinforce the

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The Mainstream Media are to Blame for Political Unrest

January 18, 2021

The political unrest in the USA is the result of changes to the regulation of the media that occurred in the late twentieth century.  These allowed media providers to be openly partisan.In 1949 the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced the "Fairness Doctrine" which obliged broadcasters to present fair and balanced coverage of controversial issues of interest to their communities, including by devoting equal airtime to opposing points of view.  In 1987 the FCC ended the Fairness Doctrine and deliberately removed the provisions related to the doctrine until all had gone by 2011. During this period Congress passed the 1996 Telecommunications Act Section 230 which gave Internet companies the power to provide "platforms" where they could censor online content but not be held

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Morality and Politics

January 14, 2021

The process of democracy evolved to allow those with different ideas of what is moral and right to co-exist in a society.The democratic process involves people freely expressing their opinions and then a vote being taken to decide which group of people should govern for a fixed period.  Political debate revolves around two types of issue, the moral and the managerial.  Each contending group attempts to create a moral platform from which they will govern.It is worthwhile, before considering morality, to consider the nature of political debate and decision making.   If there is to be any meaningful debate in politics the debate must address the full context such as who are the interested parties and what do they believe?  Having established the context then what are the moral points being

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The Great American Purge

January 12, 2021

We had become used to news of Republicans being excluded from Social Media over the past year in preparation for the Presidential Election but the purge after the election is surprising and worrying.  Waking up this week to news of the withdrawal of big business funding for some Republicans, Amazon Web Services and all other platforms refusing to host Parler,  70,000 "QAnon" accounts being closed by Twitter and even Stripe refusing to process digital payments by the Trump campaign we should all be worried for the USA.  We should also be worried about our own media. Even in the UK they have not clearly stated the nature of the Republican complaint about the election (see below).It was noticeable last week that very few media outlets referred to the actual text of Trump’s "inflammatory"

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Democracy under Attack from Tech Giants!

January 11, 2021

Twitter, Facebook etc. are banning Republicans.  It should be understood that the political role of these social media giants is not new, they have been routinely biased outside of the USA for years. (See Is Twitter a Menace?).  The misperception of Twitter as a platform for free speech has had enormous ramifications.  As an example the UK Commons Committee on interference in the EU Referendum failed to notice that Twitter had routinely shadow banned and outright banned Leave users.  Facebook was doing the same to any private groups who attempted to set up pro-Leave Facebook pages.The political role of Google and Apple is now also out in the open as they ban and shadow ban Republican platforms.  Again the bias at Google was known for some time (See Google, Twitter, Facebook are all biased

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China – EU Deal

January 11, 2021

The EU has just signed an Investment Deal with China.  Unlike the UK-EU Trade Deal the Chinese can unilaterally alter its terms and there is no attempt to set a "level playing field" or equal adherence to Human Rights.  Within a week of the Deal being signed the Chinese arrested nearly the entire opposition in Hong Kong.The most amazing aspect of the Deal, in the light of UK-EU negotiations, is that Germany and France pushed it through without full support from the other member states. The EU is shaping up into a Franco-German power with the other member states trapped into being helpless puppets.Notice the lack of coverage of this Deal in the UK broadcast media.  They always suppress the truth about the EU. See EU Press Release11/1/2021

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The “Insurrection” in the USA

January 7, 2021

The global media have tended to cover the occupation of the US Capitol as an insurrection.  It was a demonstration which ended in a riot, not an insurrection.  Trump will hand over power to Biden in two weeks and all that the riot yesterday will do is cause Trump’s remaining staff to leave before they become unemployable by association.What is most interesting is the media reaction to yesterday’s demonstration.  There was no reason to call it an insurrection, rioters wandering around an emptied government building is not a revolution.  There was also no need for news reporters to effect an air of breathless panic as if the sky were falling in.  They did not behave in this way six months ago when cities across the USA were subject to demonstrations, riots, arson and looting.  Most news

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GCSE Results Down this Year

January 7, 2021

Nothing shows the fall in educational standards better than the failure of the current generation of journalists and teachers to understand the various types of examinations. This article was originally written in 2012 but still applies.  A postscript for the effects of COVID has been added.GCSE grades have fallen this year (2012) for the first time. 

The pupils, parents, schools, higher education industry and even the government have a vested interest in ensuring that grade inflation continues until everyone gets a grade A.  It is only the long term health of industry and the country that demands proper examinations.  So what went wrong?Apparently this tiny change, that has set the educational establishment and media squealing like stuck pigs, is due to a tougher marking and

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A Guide to Political Principles

January 6, 2021

What we desire from politics is that it should support us in creating and maintaining a home.   Our home is needed to raise the next generation and to provide each of us with an object for our love.  It is the care for each other that we learn in the home that gives us the the ability to be loyal, love and care for our partners and, if we are fortunate, for our children.  Home is not just our house, it extends wider than this into the town, county and country in which we live.  The home is the ethical and practical foundation of politics, young adults tend to forget this and just assume that their home is a natural part of life.  It is the home that teaches us how to love and the home that we create that teaches us how to give love.  The past fifty years have seen unrelenting attacks on

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Politics is about Home

January 4, 2021

Most people love their home.  For most people their home is the object of their love.Homes are built by loyalty, tenacity and love.  The adults must struggle in the world beyond the home to bring back enough money to pay for the family.  This is, and has been, the basis for human life.  The family home is about building a structure of love, trust and security.Until the Industrial Age people regarded their village or town as a form of home.  Most people had friends and neighbours who they had known since a young age and who lived locally.  In late teenage life the conflicts between children tended to settle down and adulthood was marked by a large measure of mutual respect amongst peers (modern young adults never discover that this happens).  This made the village or town into a tenuous

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The Public Sector is a Disaster

January 2, 2021

Challenges like COVID test organisations.The PPE crisis was due to failures in NHS Purchasing.  NHS Purchasing had cunningly used its role as a near monopoly consumer of PPE to terminate PPE production in the UK.  Instead it used a handful of SE Asian and Chinese suppliers which had little surplus stock during the pandemic.  NHS Purchasing is a Civil Service department.  It neglected the need for strategic medical supplies in the UK.The March epidemic in the UK was caused by advice from Public Health England that international travel would have little effect on the epidemic.  Subsequently it has been admitted that the entry of tens of thousands of infected travellers caused the huge UK outbreak.  Any numerate individual could have predicted that millions of people entering the UK from

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Resolutions for A Bright Future!

January 1, 2021

The success of the UK is now the responsibility of the UK.  Here are some New Year’s resolutions to guarantee a prosperous future.The first task of the Government is to back winners.  This is how any enterprise becomes prosperous. The excellent Alok Sharma of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) might establish competing Investment Councils to provide substantial investment in the shares of successful, medium sized, UK companies. Individuals running the Councils that fail to back winners would be penalised and those who back winners lionised.  Special legislation should allow massive fines for corrupt Council members.  Now we have left the EU the "golden share" could be re-introduced.Government purchasing should favour small and medium sized UK companies.  Any

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Predictions for 2021

December 28, 2020

The most obvious prediction is that vaccines will defeat the COVID epidemic and life will begin to return to normal.  Full normality is unlikely until the late summer but a semblance of normality will begin at the end of March provided the government prioritises vaccine administration, recruiting pharmacies who already provide vaccinations to the effort as well as anyone else who is competent from medical students to vets.  The UK economy and the global economy are on the rocks but will recover rapidly in 2021. However, it take years to recover to 2008 levels of wages.  The Bank of England will continue playing the very dangerous game of using "stimulus funding" to bolster FTSE companies and banks rather than wages – this stops inflation but leads to ever increasing differences in wealth

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The BBC: A National Liability?

December 22, 2020

Of all the national institutions that have had a role in the COVID pandemic the BBC deserves special mention.  According to its Charter the BBC should offer a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United  Kingdom news providers, using the highest calibre presenters and journalists.  Yet every day the BBC News has been sending out the same message: "no one understands the government guidance".  It is the role of the BBC to explain the government guidance.  It has failed miserably and it is ridiculous moaning about the lack of information that it should have been providing itself. The BBC was so disorganised that it gave more air time in England to the guidance for Scotland and Wales than that for England even though the Scots and Welsh have their own BBC

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