Friday, 29 September 2017



Can Sir James Dyson, inventor and innovative maker of Dyson vacuum-cleaners and other domestic appliances, design, test and manufacture an electric car by 2020, with a budget of just £2.5 billion ? 

With a 50 person team of engineers, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK - we once built a hybrid-electric-car prototype in 1980 called Microdot. Inspired by TESLA,  I wrote about it in August 2017:

I guess, or advise, that Dyson will make the battery-holder the chassis for the car - essentially a battery with wheels. My advice, if he wants it, is to fit an electric motor on each wheel-axle and dispense with gears, drive trains and other weighty components. Design a Minimum-Weight-Vehicle MWV, to achieve maximum range and speeds. Electric axle motors can also act as brakes - and go into reverse. 
Avoid the madness of Self-Driving cars - they double vehicle-movements and will go the way of 1960s Flying Cars. And avoid the bicycle-shed approach of Sir Clive Sinclair's electric-C5 "car"; which was actually a 3 wheeled soap-box for suicidal English eccentrics.
I guess the Dyson battery when it runs down, will be swapped, swapped in a few minutes for a full one - with a 350 miles range. Or it will be recharged while plugged at home or at work.
Sceptics think he cannot get a new car through the UK regulatory hurdles or set up UK manufacturing. He doesn't need to; he only needs a partner who can do it. Perhaps a Chinese manufacturer, such as the company that bought British MG cars after it collapsed. Or TATA  Motors of India that owns Jaguar-Landrover.  As for the Brexit barrier shutting us out of Europe, Dyson can form a European company in, say, Germany or Italy - both highly successful vehicle mass-producers, traders and exporters. The UK's Brexit deal with the EU will take 20 years. Dyson can't wait that long. 
If the Brexiting UK, stupidly walking away from 50% of its best customers, still doesn't want a British Electric Vehicle (HM Government rubbished and sabotaged our Microdot in 1980), Dyson can do it all from China or India - and import them to the fading, retired, old, sad, geriatric, opting-out, Can't-Do, can't think, read or write, UK. Dyson might that way, via India or China, avoid Trump's 220% tariff on Made-in-Britain imports to the USA (e.g. Bombardier). This can be done quickly; the electric technology has worked since about 1890. He will need a hardened, non-hackable, well programmed computer on board - Samsung perhaps? 
What does require big-investment and great innovation is the refuelling network. Why not do a deal with TESLA's Elon Musk who is installing re-chargers across America and Europe. If not, there are many electric power companies who want to get in on the EV (electric vehicle) industry - and plenty of established gas, petrol and diesel stations that want to add electric re-chargers to their forecourts. Even Big-Oil and Dirty-Coal are rushing to join the bright new future. 
All airports will be kitted out with batteries and chargers to power the Electric-Planes that will soon replace oil-fired jet engines. 
The future is electric. Sir James Dyson will build EVs. Maybe the British Government will wrench its attention away from our doomed Brexit negotiations for a few minutes and will support him - and issue all the necessary licences in double-quick time, so that the industry will be based here in the UK. Unlikely - but we can hope. 
"For example, the UK’s best-selling electric, the Nissan Leaf, is £16,680 with the battery on lease for a monthly fee, rising to £21,680 if you buy the battery outright.
Electricity is certainly cheaper than petrol or diesel. Travelling 100 miles in an electric car will cost £3-£4 depending on energy tariffs, compared with £15 in a petrol car.
Affordability is a key issue. When Volvo announced all its new car launches would by electric or hybrid from 2019, it stressed that they would be premium models, ie expensive.
Jack Cousens of the AA said: “Buying a car is an important financial decision, and families on low incomes will need government assistance and incentives to make the change to electric vehicles.”  (Editor - utter rubbish)

Monday, 25 September 2017

The National Narrative of Brexit

The National Narrative of Brexit
By Mel Cooper

So, at last we know why we are leaving the EU. Theresa May spelled it out in Florence with great clarity. It is because we are not really European at all. We have never felt European and by implication we have never been European. Being European is simply not part of our national narrative!

Alone in the Dark
After all, how little Europe has to do with us. No wonder we were able to sell out Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938 on the spurious suggestion that we would have peace in our time. No wonder, even then, we were far more interested in keeping refugees and immigrants out than we now admit to ourselves. (Check the history!)

But, of course, we have always stood alone, alone. Forget those damned Polish interloping pilots during World War II. Forget the Americans who came over by droves, the Free French or the troops from Canada and Australia and New Zealand and India who fought side by side with us in two world wars. Forget Lend Lease and loans and other help from Roosevelt the Lying Dutchman? By this logic, of course. we should have made peace with Hitler in 1940; and we probably would have too, if it hadn’t been for that silver tongued Churchill character who no doubt got it from his gifts of persuasion, belligerence and anti-Nazi sentiments from his American mother. What kind of true Brit is that? And she was descended from one Johann Jakob Astor, a German parvenu!

I suppose that it is too late to send back that descendant of a long line of German immigrants, the Queen? Think of all those damned intermarriages with continentals, especially the children of Queen Victoria! What about our Queen’s consort, Phil the Greek? Does the Huguenot blood in our DNA cause you many problems?

Theresa May might as well have blamed the World Jewish Conspiracy, because that kind of thinking is the route to theories of race purity. That way lies the very thing that everyone supposedly fought against in World War II. That way lies isolationism, lack of vision, lack of co-operation.

Once there was a programme called Little Britain on the TV. It was a satire. Today, Theresa May has given it permission to become Reality TV.

So there we have it. The Little Britain Bean-brains are taking over the country. They are listening to evil intellectual dwarfs like Nigel Farage. I was hesitant to think that Brexiteers were fools. I felt they simply had delusions about a gold age of the British past that never really existed and wanted to turn back the clock to resurrect a world that is virtually impossible in our modern, global times.

It turns out that if Theresa May is an exemplar of their attitudes, they may be worse than fools. They are delusional and they are a small distance away from being racial purity neo-cons. I fear that Theresa May has pointed out the truth. We are leaving the EU not for any sane or sound reasons, not because of our democratic ideals, but simply because Europe has never been part of the national narrative of Mrs May or people like her.

Well ,the thinking is meretricious. The UK has achieved many wonderful things of which we can be proud, has had many wonderful heroes and innovators, has produced some amazing art and it has a fascinating, complex history. But all the way back to the Norman invasion, at the very least, it has always been linked with Europe despite preferring at several points in its history to live in denial of that fact. Otherwise why would the Balance of Power in Europe have been such an obsession, such a problem?

And so today I am furious on the one hand; insulted on the other (I have grandparents who fled tyrannies in Russia and Poland and others who came from Austria and Germany; and I grew up as a Canadian; but none of this counts as part of the national narrative of my adopted country). Because I adopted this country I am rather miffed that it clearly now does not really want to adopt me or three million other immigrants who build lives and careers here, contribute to the country financially and culturally, and arrived because they loved what they thought to be the British qualities of tolerance, respect for law and open-mindedness. But, because it is not part of our narrative, Theresa May and her like are closing not just their minds but the collective mind of this country. That is, you should pardon a foreign phrase, our zeitgeist. And that is precisely what the 52% voted for, whether they thought it through and realized it or not.  That is what Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson encouraged – all that we could claw back the ten billion a year that actually amounts to one whole percent of what the government of the UK has to spend annually. One whole percent that is going to solve all our problems because we no longer give it to the EU to gain access to many things that no one is thinking about and which we are throwing away.

So Theresa May, in my opinion, is buying into and also selling us a narrative that is spurious, intellectually suspect and potentially not only divisive and isolationist but ultimately could develop into something quite evil. Her narrative suggests strongly that we no longer with to see ourselves as part of a splendid experiment that may have many flaws but that is, at its heart, a dream worth pursuing. We are not interested in such idealism. Were we ever? Of course not. I have just been told by our Prime Minister that it is not part of our national narrative, remember? We are not European, we have never been European, the last 44 years or so doesn’t mean a damned thing. And that makes me very, very sad.

Well, I have a problem because I do actually feel that I am European; and that being European is not mutually exclusive with being British. So I and everyone like me have just been insulted by the Brexiteer National Narrative. Hundreds of years of history and involvement of all kinds with Europe are simply being wiped away and denied. The perspective puts on the blinkers. Did we not fight the War of the Spanish Succession all by ourselves; or win at Waterloo with no help from anyone? Have we never been in a coalition with anyone on the continent? What about our dead who are buried in Flanders fields? Why are they there? What about that Cold War we went through together with Western Europe; or the creation of NATO; or the fact that the UK was gagging to get into the Common Market once upon a time and has prospered along with the EU? Forget it! It is not part of our national narrative. And we should start thinking now about leaving the United Nations which has been declared Not Fit for Purpose by some. I mean, come on; we are Britain and we can go it alone so why do we need to put up with this messy, altruistic body in New York?

For me, it is not just that Theresa May has given herself away in an unthinking moment and made a blinkered and relatively stupid statement. It is also, frankly, that her thinking is dangerous. Meanwhile she seems sincerely to believe that Europe is now required to give us a better deal than it ever gave anyone else for trade and commerce and so forth. Well, here is a bit of news for Theresa May, who clearly has been paying very little attention these past few decades. You may recall, if she does not, that the EU let us stay out of the Schengen Agreement; it let us keep the pound and not join the Euro. Need I go on? And we always had, by the way, the ability to control our borders and have people register and so forth; our governments simply chose not to.

Yes, there are flaws and problems with the EU. Yes, these need urgent attention and solving (which they are certainly not getting while we blunder about trying to Brexit from the EU).  But being British, the problems and flaws of the EU have nothing to do with us, Mate. We just should walk away instead of putting in the hard graft. That’s the True Brit way!

It’s all their problem because it is simply not part of our national narrative to want to liberate Europe from the tyrannies and stupidities of the past and lend our weight to making all of Europe so prosperous and even friendly that we not only do not fight each other any more but actually can stand together in the face of the physical and political calamities that seem to be escalating on a daily basis at the moment. This is a great time to find out that being European is not a part of our national narrative. We should be looking as a group of nations to be helping Greece and Spain and Italy figure out ways to become more prosperous because that is for the good of all of us. But hey, not us! We are simply going to cut loose and sail across the Atlantic and anchor somewhere just off Long Island Sound. We can do that. We can do anything. Because we are British!

Even if we get to vote on the final deal, the whole national narrative of Brexit is entirely venal. There are moral issues that are far more important than any of the trade deals that might be coming our way but no one is discussing those issues. And meantime there is a parliament that is supposed to be looking after our best interests that is playing dead in the face of one of the greatest potential acts of self-harm that this country has ever known. Because we are, after all, not European and Europe is not part of our national narrative.

So let us by all means leave the EU. We deserve whatever that will do to us.

More Mel Cooper:


Friday, 22 September 2017


Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has just addressed the European Union on BREXIT in a speech in Florence (Firenze) Italy. Her tone was conciliatory. She spoke slowly and loudly enough for even the most un-English alien wog foreigner to hear and understand. Mrs May asked for a two year transition, implementation period, after March 2019; she said NO to the single-market, No to the Customs Union and repeated that the EU needs our trade as much as we need theirs. Political commentators think she wants a Canadian-EU type deal. 

[23 Sept 2017 - "I told you so."  Moodys downgrade UK credit rating. We are failing fast on world markets.]

Nigel Farage MEP, fascist and fanatic Leaver, is outraged. He wants us to leave now, today, because "The People Have Spoken". This beer swilling, cheerful cheeky-chappy, City millionaire has offered no suggestions as to the divorce proceedings or settlement. He wants to sweep aside 60 years of cooperation and carefully negotiated agreements overnight, with a wave of his beer soaked arm. Then, he says, the UK will be free, free, free and will find Happy Valley, Father Christmas and where the little elves and fairies practice their magic and mend our shoes while we sleep.

TV commentators are largely agreed that the EU will not and cannot let the UK quit to enjoy a better business arrangement with the EU than the remaining 27 Member countries (500 million people). If they did that it would lead to the break-up of the European Union - which is of course what Farage and the extreme right want. They want chaos, such as Hitler fomented in his rise to power. They are fascists verging towards Nazism - all of whom pay little or no tax. (Remind you of Donald T?). Farage, the 5th columnist traitor in Brussels, is paid $120,000 a year by the EU - tax free, which he applies to stab the EU repeatedly - to death if he can. 

They are backed by media moguls who are offshore non-dom tax-evaders - who are agitating for Great Britain to become a banana republic tax-haven - even though we have no bananas. These media owners include Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail, fascist supporters in 1938, who claims to be French for tax purposes but pays no tax anywhere; the strange Barclay Twins, The Telegraph, who lurk offshore in a private castle in the Channel Islands and pay no tax; Mr Desmond a past-pornographer who owns the Daily Express; and of course the Australian Mr Murdoch, News International, The Sun, The Times and Sky News etc. who changed his nationality to the US after he had increased his inherited fortune via his infamous UK, Page 3 Tits and Bums assault on Britain in The Sun - Britain's most widely drooled over newspaper. He also pays no tax here. No doubt, the other 130,000 UK owners of British Virgin Island secret companies are all Brexiters as they also back-pedal rapidly from EU laws that would shut the tax-havens and make them pay tax - like the great unwashed ordinary people. 

After Mrs May's overture to the EU, the pound fell - again. Why? What are The infallible Markets seeing?

1) Sterling collapsed 20% after the June 2016 vote to leave. The vote was 52% to 48%, mostly won by the neglected underemployed, underpaid, underclass who have been oppressed by the super-rich tax-evaders since Thatcher's Big-Bang in 1983. 34 years is a long time to wait for a job or a living-wage. Devaluation now costs us $19 billion a year - every year - because we have a $150 billion import/export deficit. UK living costs are rising fast.

2) All respected business and finance organisations do not want Brexit. They are unanimous that it will greatly harm our exports and push up the costs of imports and block good employees from the EU. There are NO trade agreements even drafted, never mind agreed, to replace our EU arrangements. Our "friends" overseas, such as America, will make polite noises before circumventing us and dealing with the EU - the largest and richest trading bloc ever seen.  We are quitting our pivotal role in its affairs. Crazy or what?

3) The City of London has to keep its Passporting Rights to trade in Europe. It will lose such rights. It is a sitting duck that Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the other EU members are rapidly picking off - one by one. The City will be ruined after hundreds of years of being a world leading financial centre. 

4) Large parts of the UK where people have been taught to read, write and count voted overwhelmingly to Remain in Europe. Scotland will probably quit the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland will probably join Southern Ireland as an EU member. London is 70% Remain. Can London leave the UK and join the EU? All our political parties are split and hamstrung.

5) Civil servants - public servants - estimate that there are from 7,000 to 70,000 major and minor agreements in place with the EU that will have to be re-negotiated, first with the EU then with the world. The task stops Britain from tackling any other business. We are frozen to the spot. Our political negotiators are in chaos. The UK is on hold for many, many years before we can attend to any new business. The list of 60 years of long hard fought for agreements is endless. Here are some of the issues:

1) Fishing rights
2) Agriculture and approved food sales
3) City Passporting Rights
4) Manufacturing specifications on millions of components
5) Transborder security, defence, terrorism
6) UK residents living in the EU and vice-versa
7) Travel documents - visitors
8) Interpol
9) Drugs and Medicines - transborder health-insurance
10) Tens of thousands of approved chemicals
11) Tariffs
12) Telecoms
13) Energy import and export
 etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. 

6) Other nations will not be able to conclude agreements with us until our position with the EU is clear. We are well and  truly f****d. 

[STOP PRESS: 28th September 2017 - America First - Sod BREXIT.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has clobbered aerospace giant Bombardier with a hefty 220 per cent duty on the sale of its CS100 commercial jets to a U.S. airline following a trade complaint from an American rival.
The department ruled that Bombardier benefited from improper government subsidies, a finding that deals a blow to the Montreal-based company.]

...And a portend, under repair, Big Ben has stopped ticking and sounding its bells - for several years; perhaps forever.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


How hurricanes (tropical cyclones) form. NASA. 

Cumulonimbus cloudTropical cyclones are like giant engines that use warm, moist air as fuel. That is why they form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface. Because this air moves up and away from the surface, there is less air left near the surface. Another way to say the same thing is that the warm air rises, causing an area of lower air pressure below.

A cumulonimbus cloud. A tropical cyclone has so many of these, they form huge, circular bands.

Air from surrounding areas with higher air pressure pushes in to the low pressure area. Then that "new" air becomes warm and moist and rises, too. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air swirls in to take its place. As the warmed, moist air rises and cools off, the water in the air forms clouds. The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean's heat and water evaporating from the surface.
Storms that form north of the equator spin counterclockwise. Storms south of the equator spin clockwise. This difference is because of Earth's rotation on its axis.
As the storm system rotates faster and faster, an eye forms in the center. It is very calm and clear in the eye, with very low air pressure. Higher pressure air from above flows down into the eye.

Rotation wind speed is due to the planet spinning - Coriolis Force - from friction between surface and air; and to the rate of heat rising (and sucking in cooler air). The Earth spins at about 1,000 miles an hour (1,600 kph); so in theory it can impart very high speeds depending on the friction. Average calculations for planet Earth show that the two effects, (a) spin and (b) rising air can create winds of 100 metres per second or 224 mph


Trump's $50 M mansion on St Martin island

As these Caribbean islands, hiding an estimated $32 trillion in illicit tax-unpaid assets, are wrecked by Hurricane Irma, and the hurricanes still to come - who will pay for rescues and restorations? The Tax-Evaders? The islanders? or OECD Tax-payers via the World Bank? The frozen assets have been siphoned from the US, EU, UK, Pacific Rim and other wealthy regions. Do tax-dodgers Sir Richard Branson and President Donald Trump and the rest of them now need our mainland ships, planes, medics, personnel and a big tax-payer handout to rebuild their off-shore mansions?

"I'm Smart. I don't pay tax" President Trump during his campaign; still refusing today to show his tax-returns.

CNN:  Hurricane IRMA 

Irma's core, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph -- well above the 157 mph threshold of a Category 5 -- slammed Barbuda early Wednesday before hitting St. Martin and Anguilla.
    Virginia Barreras told CNN she was riding out the storm in a hotel in tiny St. Martin, an island of about 75,000 people.
    "The palm trees are bent over and (I) can't see anything but white," she said early Wednesday, before Irma's core passed over the island. "The walls shake when the wind blows hard, and we can hear debris being thrown around.
    The Category 5 hurricane is "potentially catastrophic," the National Hurricane Center said. Besides devastating winds, the center warns of high storm surges that could crush low-lying structures near shore.
    Though Irma's path is uncertain, forecasters have said it could turn toward Florida over the weekend, and officials there are ordering some evacuations and shutting down schools.

    Latest developments

    -- Around 8 a.m. ET Wednesday, Irma's core was spinning about 15 miles west-southwest of Anguilla, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.
    -- After slamming St. Martin and Anguilla and St. Kitts and Nevis in the morning, the storm is expected to be near the British Virgin Islands and northern US Virgin Islands.
    -- The storm's center is then expected to pass near or just north of Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon or night.
    -- Irma is likely to turn toward the Turks and Caicos islands and the southeastern Bahamas, where storm surges of up to 20 feet are possible, the hurricane center said.
    -- It's too early to tell whether it will make landfall on the US mainland, but forecasts show it could churn toward Florida over the weekend.
    -- People in Florida should heed any evacuation order, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday. "(A) storm surge could cover your house. We can rebuild homes -- we cannot rebuild your family," he said.
    -- In the US Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp ordered a 36-hour curfew that started at 6 a.m. local time Wednesday.

    Read more: