"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Headscarves must be unworn in Tunisia - religious observance conceals political objectives

A Lebanese family walks to the port city of Tyre after fleeing their village of Naqura in South Lebanon, Monday 31st July 2006.

The President of Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ali, has recently described the headscarf as a sectarian form of dress which had come into Tunisia uninvited. A 1981 law forbids the wearing of the hijab and police have recently been stopping wearers, asking them to remove the scarf and agree to refrain from wearing it in future.

98% of the population are Muslims but the Government who casually lock up what they see as extremist Muslim political opposition, say that scarf wearing is using religion to hide political aims. They also claim they have a Free Press but close down papers and lock up editors and journalists regularly. ... the beaches are nice however ... and they filmed The Life of Brian in Monastir.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which claims to be America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group said :

"Freedom of religion should be a valued aspect of any society. People of all faiths must be granted the right to freely practice their religion without government interference or intimidation.

"The Tunisian law banning Islamic attire in certain areas, and the apparent expanded interpretation of that law, violates international human rights standards set forth by the United Nations and ratified by virtually every nation on earth.

"Tunisia cannot claim to be a free and open society while carrying out such repressive and authoritarian actions."
In the past, CAIR has defended the right to wear Islamic attire in France and Turkey. The council has also defended hijab and other religious rights in American schools and workplaces.

Iraq. Now for Plan B.

The digital clock on my desk said 1202 hours 4 April 2004 as I sat down to a tasty sandwich. Sue Shea buzzed me.
"General Sanchez on the line. Urgent."

"All hell is breaking loose with Muqtada sir," he said "We're getting reports from Sadr City, Najaf .. Al Kut ....."

Page 318 / My Year in IRAQ Paul Bremer.

Having shut down Muqtada's newspaper al Hawza (page 313) which had published names of Iraqis working for the Coalition who should be killed , and publishing a Muqtada sermon from the previous Friday which called for arms against Israel and America and saying the 9/11 terrorist attack was a "blessing and a miracle from God" ... Bremer faced the murderous and bloody response.

Starting from Sadr City the battle spread. In days al-Sadr and his forces were in control of the cities of Najaf, Kufa, Kut, and Karbala. Muqtada was the new boy on the block, with little theological training, he was however a charismatic figure and outstanding orator - and now represents the voice and the strength of the Shia behind Prime Minister Maliki. For example

......the US forces arrested a member of Muqtada Sadr's army Sheikh Mazen al-Saedi who had been involved in death squad activity that killed hundreds of Sunnis. General Caldwell at his Press briefing on 19th October admitted (on questioning by Paul Schemm, AFP) that he had been released on the orders of Prime Minister Maliki - he did add that "he signed a conditional release promising to support the government of Iraq and disavow future acts of violence on his release".
Yeah like whatever.

After the British troops abandoned Amara overnight at the end of August the Mahdi army established their authority, and having started trouble this week, they have dictated a truce on their terms - sufficent to keep Coalition forces from interfering - a fight for which they have no stomach anyway.

This bloody skirmish in Amara, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell's (see pic) acceptance that US crackdown (Operation Together Forward ) on violence in Baghdad has failed, demonstrates the strategic failure and a massive strategic failure that Dickie Dannat and others have identified.

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations who was a Bush administration foreign policy official, talks of a "tipping point" both in Iraq and the US. "More of essentially the same is going to be a policy that very few people are going to be able to support," said Haass, adding his view that the administration's current Iraq strategy "has virtually no chance of succeeding." Even George Bush talks of the Tet offensive as the turning point in the war he managed to avoid.

So ...

The Coalition forces took Iraq, and had no plan about what to do ....

Mired in violence, unversally hated by the population throughout the country .... whatever plan they had and were working to...er...isn't working.

So... what we need is ..er .. a new strategy.

Virginia Sen. John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska have joined the Democrats in calling for a new Iraq strategy...

Any ideas on a post card please, George W Bush, Commander in Chief, White House, Washington DC. ZIP 20500

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rapture - the end time has been signed - like thieves in the night

Richard L. Armitage, signatory to the PNAC creed, deputy U.S. Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005, exposer of Ambassador Wilson's wife as a CIA operative to the Press, delivered the 23rd annual Rev. Thomas J. Furphy Lecture 7:30 tonight at DeSales University's Billera Hall.

Don't cut and run in Iraq was his message .... more like a leisurely stroll to the exit ..

"We notify the Iraqis that we're going to be drawing down a reasonable but careful percentage of our troops over a reasonable interval of months -- just for example, 5 percent of troops every three months."

"This will show seriousness of purpose, I think. It will give our population some hope and enthusiasm that this is not a never-ending affair. And also it will put the heat on the Iraqis, because ladies and gentlemen, we can't win this militarily. By the way, we can't lose this militarily."

"A lot of us, including me, are going to have a lot to answer for" , Armitage said.

So that's the message good Christian folk. We fucked up big style, we fucked over a nation , we fucked over it's people ... killing some 650,000 on the way, 1 million citizens have fled the country we "liberated". Now like the second coming , like a thief in the night, we will quietly steal away.

I Thessalonians 5:4,9-10 "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."

This is how the end time followers believe the rapture will come , rapture (in Greek harpazo, in Latin rapere) means to be caught up or taken away suddenly. The rapture refers to the sudden removal of all of God's people on the earth. In the twinkling of an eye, born again Christians will suddenly be transformed out of our human bodies and will rise up into the air to join Jesus Christ.

PS This has nothing to do with the Richards / Jagger "Thief in the Night" on Bridges to Babylon which is basically about creeping up into the bedroom of his babe and shagging her senseless.

"Premature withdrawal " .... Amara up in arms / flames

Amara, administrative centre of the Maysan province, Iraq, on the banks of the Tigris, south of Basra (pop. 300,000) and 50km from the Iranian border, was surrendered to Iraqi military control by Britain this August. It is a city used to religious and sectarian strfe and killing. Shi'ite Sadrist "Mahdi Army" militias (with 5 members in the Iraqi Government) fight with Badr brigades and both fight the Police and Iraqi Army for control of the city.

Tensions have grown since the abduction of five men earlier this week, including the brother of a local Mahdi leader, were allegedly abducted - some say arrested - by police on suspicion of involvement in the killing of a senior police intelligence officer Qassim al-Tamimi, said to be a Badr brigade member.

These erupted today resulting, Riyadh Saed, the duty physician at the city's main hospital reported there were 15 dead and 59 seriously injured. See BBC video of the fighting.

A British rapid reaction force stands by in Basra on the historic military principle , "hold me back befire I 'it 'im" stance, ready but unwilling to intervene. Further reports speak of the potential of a massive uprising in Baghdad as Ramadan tensions work themselves out.

Lord Patel wrote about the extraordinary British forces departure from Amara on Sunday, September 3
"Far called, our Army melts away ....."

"British forces evacuated the military headquarters without coordination with the Iraqi forces," Dhaffar Jabbar, spokesman for the Maysan governor, told Reuters on Thursday, as looters began moving into the camp in the wake of the British withdrawal......

Not quite the orderly handover to the Iraqi Government forces peddled so assiduously by HMG. Please read the full article to get the full flavour of this extraordinary military manouvre.

Those with a long memory will remember how it was reported in May 2004
how Sheikh Abdul-Satter al-Bahadli "a close adviser to Muqtada al-Sadr" , delivered a sermon at a Basra mosque waving an assualt rifle and called on supporters to launch a jihad against British troops.

Waving documents and photographs of Abu Ghraib women prisoners he claimed were of 3 Iraqi women being raped at British-run prisons, he said $350 would be given to anyone who captured a British soldier and $150 for killing one. He told the 3,000 worshippers that anyone who captured a woman soldier would be allowed to keep her as a slave.

Common Ills has a good posting on the Amara situation today

Shannon Airport to be De-militarised

Tony Lagouranis and Stephen Lewis former US interrogators at Abu-Ghraib prison are both members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and will be addressing the anti-war demonstration in Shannon next Friday, 28 October 2006.

The Belfast branch of Anti-War Ireland is hosting a free public meeting at Queen's University on Wednesday, 1 November, at which Tony and Stephen will speak.

Room - G105 in the David Kerr building at Queen's University, Belfast.
7.30pm on Wednesday, 1st of November.

email Belfast AWI at awibelfast@googlemail.com

Top Civil Servant knew Dr David Kelly was murdered

Two blogs worth a peek ........

Dr David Kelly by Rowena Thursby.

How senior British diplomat David Broucher described a meeting with Dr. David Kelly on 27th February 2003 in Geneva to the Hutton Inquiry which never took place.

A (fantasy) meeting at which Dr. David Kelly is supposed to have predicted his suicide to David Broucher with the words ...‘I will probably be found dead in the woods' ..... read more ...

The Guradian at the time reported that Broucher's appearance was a bit like the Sorcerers Apprentice ...

"Towards the end of Lord Hutton's inquiry yesterday, Mr Broucher, British ambassador to the disarmament conference in Geneva, made a surprise appearance.

He said he had sent an email to Patrick Lamb, (pic) Kelly's boss at the Foreign Office, on August 5, ( he testified on the 21st August) recalling a chance conversation with Dr Kelly at disarmament talks in February, in which he set out his concerns. Lamb also gave evidence.

Broucher told the Hutton enquiry he only met Dr Kelly once, if so, it was on 18th February 2002 when Dr Kelly recorded this in his diary (which she found in his house) as detailed by his sister Sarah Pape, at the Hutton enquiry.
Section 97 line numbers -

11 Q. It is FAM/1/1. If we look at the entry for February,
12 what does it tell us?
13 A. It mentions specifically a meeting with David Broucher
14 on 18th February 2002,

Further diary entries confirmed his arrival and departure flights from Geneva. So Broucher could not possibly have discussed (as he claims) ..

1. Resolution 1441 which was not passed until 8 October 2002 . So it was not, as counsel Dingemans said, in force at the time,
2. ‘The September (Dodgy) dossier’ was not even at the draft stage in February 2002, and was not published until the September of that year,
3/ ‘the 45 minutes’ with all the problems it incurred, did not exist in February 2002 - it was not introduced until August of that year.

This discrepancy was reported on at the time .. Daily Telegraph 2/9/2003

How very odd .... a (very senior) civil servant with a faulty memory. There are however, very many odd things about the death of Dr. Kelly. Go to the wesbite and sign up.


Kim Jong Il vs George W. Bush: A Dumb and Dumber Leader Quiz - remarkable parallels in the Lives of the Great Dictators by Tumerica in the form of a quiz - amazing factoid about the "size" of these men's fathers. Nudge, nudge , know whaddi mean ?

also Foley Folly Fallout II: "If I was one of those sickos who did this, I'd be nervous" ....Let's EX-FOLEY-ATE the House and the Congress. Vote anti-Republican this November!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Offshoring warrantless surveillance - more bollocks from the conspiracy freaks

Dag Wilhelmsen is General Manager of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency and is on a 4 day visit to Bulgaria to meet the Minister of Defence Vesselin Bliznakov and the State Commission on Information Security. Dag says of the NC3A "we provide, as a host nation as it's called, the capability to acquire a lot of NATO equipment and systems such as satellite communications, automated information systems, communication networks and deployable capabilities for NATO's operations."

In the light of the entry of Bulgaria to the EU in January announced last week it is important there is clarity of understanding between all NATO members.

His visit coincides with a curious e-mail Lord Patel has received regarding previous posts on US warrantless surveillance of domestic telephony / IP traffic in the US. The unkown but knowledgeable informant claims that the US outsource surveillance just as they do, imprisonment, torture and interrogation.

Data split off AT & T and other networks is ( the writer claims) squirted anywhere in the world for further analysis and this is undertaken by friendly folks who accept US military establishments, suitably equipped who take on staff on short term, highly deniable contracts who can be found strolling the streets on 4 week breaks on an island to the Eastern end of the Mediterranean well known for it's highly visible and well known mountain top communications gear.

They then disappear for 6 week stints - it is claimed - to the home of Ovid and a little further south and north of Greece .. where they might this week bump into Dag Wilhelmsen.

The writer was impelled to write (they say) after reading a post about CACI (suppliers of torturers to Abu Graigh and beyond) and their software skills in providing EU telcos to meet the forthcoming Data Directive.

So. get this crazy idea, data is split off domestic US telcos (well we know that), squirted to (say) Bulgaria and Romania, (i.e outside US legal jurisdiction) to be worked over by staff familiar with analytical software (but anonymised) used to handling massive data volumes (with security clearances of the highest order) , supplied by firms such as CACI (and many others ?) which might be tied in with NATO Command and Control agencies ? Preposterous nonsense, curiously this lunatic didn't involve a pitch for Viagra. Who on Earth would believe such crap ?

That's the trouble with the Internet, this sort of bollocks can circulate without the slightest shred of evidence. That Dag Wilhelmsen, the General Manager of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency was evidently wasting his precious time in Bulgaria meeting the Minister of Defence Vesselin Bliznako. Let's trust he didn't waste any time (and NATO taxpayers money) going to the US installation at the Ravnets base outside the port / airport of Burgas on the Black Sea.

9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA (c)

You may not have read , 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, by Webster Griffin Tarpley which is available for US$12.21 at Amazon.

A recent (7th October 2006) review .... Among Hundreds of Books, The Strongest Approach to Truth, by Robert D. Steele is worth considering.

"I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war (see my review of Jim Bamford's "Pretext for War"), and I am forced to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to indict (not necessarily convict) Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others of a neo-conservative neo-Nazi coup d'etat and kick-off of the clash of civilizations (see my review of "Crossing the Rubicon" as well as "State of Denial"). Most fascinatingly, the author links Samuel Huntington, author of "Clash of Civilizations" with Leo Strauss, the connecting rod between Nazi fascists and the neo-cons. "

"I sit here, a 54-year old, liberally educated, two graduate degrees, war college, a life overseas, 150 IQ or so, the number #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, a former Marine Corps infantry officer, a former CIA clandestine case officer, founder of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center, and I have to tell anyone who cares to read this: I believe it. I believe it enough to want a full investigation that passes the smell test of the 9/11 families as well as objective outside observers. I believe it sufficient to indict Dick Cheney and other neo-cons. Sadly, the Executive is now in the service of corporations that benefit from high crimes and misdemeanors, rather than in the service of the American people who suffer great ill from these terrible mis-deeds. "

The number of sane, well educated people who cannot buy the collapse of the Three World Trade Centre Towers, the Shanksville Mystery Crash, the Missile hit on the Pentagon on 9/11. They cannot buy impossible mobile phone calls, the remarkable survival of personal effects like driving licences when 100 ton planes with indestructible titanium engines evaporate .....

Book yourself a place in one of the jails being built across America, read Tarpley's book, tell someone about it.... Find out how the Military Commissions are going to work from the inside.

Where are they now ? - The Basra Two

Remember these two guys who Tim Collins describes in today's Daily Torygraph as "The riots and kidnap of British servicemen last September "....well here is a pic from the Daily Torygraph Afghan Pic File. The description is ..."British and American soldiers meet with village elders in the hope of bribing them with farming equipment and other incentives in exchange for reports on Taliban insurgent activities in the area, as part of the "hearts and minds" operation in southern Afghanistan"Original DT link here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nothing Entertaining about Women Behind Bars

In response to a question by Alex Salmond (Banff & Buchan, Scottish National Party) on 9th October, Gerry Sutcliffe the arithmetically challenged Home Office Minister detailed the monstrous way prisons are treated as dustbins for women who need medical treatment and assistance ;

No records are kept centrally of the number of women entering prison with drug, alcohol and mental health problems.

He could state however that Epidemiological studies , show ....

1. 40% of sentenced women are classified as hazardous drinkers;

of these women 77% had 2 or more mental disorders and 33% of the remainder had one mental disorder

2. 47% of women on remand report severe drug dependence and 7% moderate dependence;

of these women 75% had mental disorders

3. 90 % of women prisoners had at least one mental health disorder with 14 % possessing several disorders

There is limited information available on the proportion of women receiving interventions for drug dependency, records are not available centrally to show what proportion of women have had interventions to address the misuse of alcohol.

Women prisoners commencing treatment programs were ;

2003-04 297
2004-05 448
2005-06 577

The treatment of women in UK prisons is a stain on the nation, it is worse than they might expect in the Third World ... where many of them come from being forced to act as drug mules.

There are not votes in drug and alcohol crazed, abused women.

PS In 2003 14 women took their own lives in prison - 9 in 2002 - 6 in 2001.

The female prison population is appproximately 4,500

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics about Tagging

In England and Wales 67.4% of all prisoners released from prison re-offend within two years - a figure that has stayed stubbornly high for decades.

Under the Home Detention Curfew, prisoners can be released up to four and a half months early, as long as they wear an electronic tag.

Gerry Sutcliffe, who was appointed as Under-Secretary of State for criminal justice and offender management on 5 May 2006 said last week that only 4% of people offended while wearing tags.. in real life this means that since the scheme was introduced 1999 Home Office figures show that more than 1,000 violent crimes, including five killings, have been committed by prisoners released early with electronic tags.

This use of statistics is entirely spurious, dishonest and manifestly nonsense...

1. Offenders released early are specially selected and evaluated for a low risk of offending.
2. The 4% rate relates to and average period of 60 - 90 days whilst being tagged and only for against offences against the person.
3. There are NO FOLLOW UP studies about the rate of re-offending of prisoners who are freed from the tag.

There is one statistic that is precise, determined and brings a smile to the Home Office Ministers - MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee said it cost £70 a day less to enforce a curfew than keep people in jail... it also releases another desperately needed prison places.

Tagging is also used in place of prison - Curfew Orders in England and Wales, a Restriction of Liberty Order in Scotland. Of these there is no monitoring of offending whilst tagged or later re-offending - we simply don't know - except that one (out of only 2,500 convicted prisoners) tagged offender in Scotland committed murder.

However , the most detailed information is available about the , costs, and performance of the tagging companies.

The whole concept of tagging is said by Sheila Bird of the Royal Statistical Society to be, " ill designed, and that studies concentrate only on costs of the process and not in it's effectiveness in preventing re-offending"

Former senior probation officer David Fraser advocates that tagging should be abandoned..

"Supervising persistent offenders in the community, with or without a tag, is disastrous for the public," he said.

"The public need to be protected from crime. It is absolutely amazing that [the government] are able, somehow, to ignore this. What must happen? They are sleepwalking into civil unrest, in my view."

The growth in the UK prison population is astonishing, the management of it is increasingly stretched and drug taking, widespread, (50% in many prisons) is tacitly allowed to pacify the population. The concept and practice of rehabilitation and education , is underfunded, understaffed, and impractical. Prisoners are housed further and further from their families destroying family ties.

No wonder the Minister lies about the Statistics....but then he neither understands what prison is to do, nor how statistics should be used with care and accuracy.

67.4% of all prisoners released from prison re-offend within two years in England and Wales - a figure that has stayed stubbornly high for decades.... nothing is being done to address the problem.

Professor Sheila Bird is Principal Statistician at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit and is a specialist in (amongst many other areas) Illegal drugs epidemiology including in prisons; application of scientific method to criminal justice for injecting drug users and in determining cost-effective sentencing.

She chaired the report "Performance indicators: good, bad and ugly" by the Royal Statistical Society which discussed the utility and practice of performance monitoring of public bodies.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kim Howells and UK Gunboat Diplomacy - the firm smack of Gubment

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE News Release issued by The Government News
Network on 13 October 2006

Today Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells MP, Minister responsible for Middle
East issues, voiced his concern at the recent deaths of civilians in Gaza.

He said:

"We are concerned by reports of the death of a number of Palestinians,
including two children, on 12 and 13 October, as a result of Israeli military
actions in Gaza. Israel is entitled to defend itself from rocket fire, but
any response should be proportionate, in accordance with international law
and seek to avoid civilian casualties."

FCO PRESS OFFICE: 020 7008 3100
Press Office, Downing Street (West), London SW1A 2AL
Telephone: 020 7008 3100 Fax: 020 7008 3734
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Presumably killing one child was ...well...OK..er...proportionate.

UK Energy Security - Nuclear Con - Fusion (2)

In 2005 UK based electricity generation totalled 398 terawatt-hours,of which 61-63 terawatt-hours is generated by British Energy PLC who operate 8 nuclear power stations with a total capacity of 9,568 megawatts.he company also operate a coal fired plant at Eggborough with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

Due to a "leak" underground at the Hartlepool plant the reactors were shut down last month and their re-opening has been delayed. The work required might indicate similiar work needs also to be undertaken at Heysham 1.

Today the company announced that 2 more reactors have developed problems resulting in the need to close down the reactors...."a level of boiler tube cracking at the high end of the range previously experienced."

Hinkley point B has an installed capacity of 1,220 megawatts, while Hunterston B's is 1,190 megawatts, both are gas cooled reactors, and came on stream in February 1976, their design life ends in 2011.

The company also report problems with fuelling at Dungeness B which will result in unplanned outages - and one unit at Heysham is operating at reduced load due to "temperature anomolies".

It is early to calculate the effect on production of these problems but informed estimates consider that these closures will reduce annual output by at least 10% and as much as 15% cutting total national production 3/4% - when dmeand is growing at 1-2% annually. The repairs will of course add massively to operating costs.

There will be other effects...

UK Domestic electricity prices will rise both short and long term - increasing industrial costs and impacting on houehold costs to drive up inflation.

Production from other coal / gas fired plants will drive up CO2 emissions - making EU emission targets more difficult / impossible to acheive.

British Energy share price dropped dramatically today - 25% which will reinforce the nervousness of investors about the massive costs of replacing the current nuclear plants - making decisions about the financing, building and commissioning nuclear plants even more problematic for a Gubment with a new found, but unpopular belief in new UK nuclear plants.

However someone WAS planning and Dusseldorf based E.ON, Europe’s second-biggest utility after France’s state owned EDF, operates in the UK as Powergen, who announced in December they were planning a new "clean" coal fired station and announced last week plans to build two new 800-megawatt so-called "supercritical" units at Kingsnorth, in Kent. Supercritical means, slightly more efficient, slightly less emissions and much, much higher operating costs and increased future coal imports. Overall these will replace the present units at the site so do not add significantly to UK total electricity production.

E.ON UK has already applied for S36 consent to build two new gas-fired power stations, at Drakelow in Derbyshire and at the Isle of Grain in Kent, and is conducting a feasibility study into building a clean coal power station at Killingholme in Lincolnshire.

It would be unwise to suggest that this Gubment after 9 years in office has an "Energy Plan" but what plans they had for electricity generation are looking increasingly flaky, costly, reliant on overseas shareholders and suppliers of fuel and result in more CO2 emissions.

An interesting piece at Money Week which re-inforces above views.

Monday, October 16, 2006

UK Energy Security Background Notes (1)

UK Energy Security has many facets, security of sources of supply, security of transport, security of storage, security of distribution and naturally all this has to be costed into the delivery of the final product to the user.

Future plans also depend upon security i.e accuracy of production data and forecasts based on it. So this analysis of actual forecasts and experience is worth examining.

U.S. Department of Energy / EIA published their International Energy Outlook 2001 (IEO2001) which received some acute and startlingly accurate criticism when published, from Roger D. Blanchard, Northern Kentucky University, 4/9/2001

The EIA report made projections about North Sea Oil output for the UK and Norway...

1. North Sea
EIA - North Sea production reaches a peak in 2006, at almost 6.6 million barrels/day (mb/d).
2. The UK
EIA - The United Kingdom is expected to produce about 3.1 mb/d by the middle of this decade, followed by a decline to 2.7 mb/d by 2020.

To Roger Blanchard this decline in production , "appears totally unrealistic."

2. Norway

EIA - Norwegian production is expected to peak at about 3.7 mb/d in 2004 and then gradually decline to about 3.1 mb/d by the end of the forecast period.

For Roger Blanchard ..."Norwegian crude oil production probably either peaked last year or will this year." ...."The oil discovery rate in Norway has been poor in recent years so as the older fields decline, a steep decline should be expected for Norwegian oil production.

So 5 years on how did the EIA forecasts hold up for the North Sea ?

Well Ron Patterson in the Energy Bulletin revisited the figures in December 2005 .. which Chris Vernon also discussed here at Vital Trivia

NORTH SEA FORECAST "The facts are that the North Sea was already post peak when these words were written. The North sea peaked in 1999 at 5.947 mb/d. For the first nine months of 2005 the North Sea has averaged 4.787 mb/d, 1.16 mb/d below the average for all of 1999, the peak year. And that is over 1.8 mb/d below what they expected the production to be next year. It is almost a lead pipe cinch that by then the North sea will be producing at least 2 mb/d below their predicted 6.6 mb/d, and declining fast."

UK FORECAST The UK peaked in 1999 at 2.684 mb/d and now in the middle of this decade, their expected peak, the UK is producing an average of 1.668 mb/d over 1.4 mb/d or about 46 % below where the EIA expected UK production to be.

NORWEGIAN FORECAST Norway had already peaked in 2000 averaging 3.197 mb/d for that year. So far in 2005 they are averaging 2.72 mb/d, well below the 3.1 mb/d the EIA predicted they would be at in 2020. In fact they are now declining by about 3.3 % per year, a rate that would put them at about 1.6 mb/d in 2020.(EIA 3.1 MBD)

Chris Vernon points out that there website claims

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), created by Congress in 1977, is a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. They provide policy-independent data, forecasts, and analyses to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.

Why did they get it so wrong ...? Incompetence or a desire to mislead ?

That they got it spectactularly wrong is not in doubt. Roger Blanchard saw it at the time ....

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What is Dickie Dannatt up to ?

There was a special re-union Fifty years after the 2nd Battalion of the Green Howards was formed, at Darlington on Saturday 6 April 2002.

Special guests included former Chief of the Defence Staff Field Marshal the Lord Inge of Richmond (Clubs :Boodle's, Beefsteak, Army and Navy, MCC ) KG, GCB, DL, the Colonel of the Regiment and Assistant Chief of the General Staff Major General Richard Dannatt who spoke after the lunch.

Listeners to the BBC Radio cannot have missed the fruity military tones of Lord Inge boosting the reputation, honesty, integrity of his pal Dickie and fellow Green Howard ,although his comments in the House of Lords on 29th June this year are more worthy of consideration considering the "unexpected" contribution to public debate by Dickie Dannatt.

His contribution covers several columns in Hansard and is well worth reading. Sufficient to provide the odd paras below .. probably more interesting was the announcement by AEGIS Ltd 4th November 2005 that My Lord Inge, Privy Councillor and KCMG had joined the Board as non-executive Chairman..... He is an adviser to Investcorp ( US$32 Bn of funds) and BAE Systems, and a consultant to OWR AG (Germany) (world leaders in NBC de-contamation).

This is part of what my Lord said in June

Britain's Armed Forces have to face not only in Iraq and Afghanistan probably the most demanding, dangerous and complex operational challenges that they have faced for many years, but major funding problems and concerns about the shortcomings of equipment currently in service on operations and, in particular, the vulnerability of the old Northern Ireland Snatch Land Rovers, which was starkly illustrated in last week's Sunday Times. This is not a new problem which has suddenly arisen.

Re : Iraq
...While I am certainly not suggesting that we should pack our bags and come home with our tail between our legs, it does not help that the war has become increasingly unpopular and no longer commands the support which it did.

He moved on to the subject of Afghanistan

.... a country which exports a very high proportion of the heroin on the streets of this country, and I accept that it is a noble objective to want to greatly reduce the Afghan heroin crop. But I wonder if we have thought through the implications of our policy. I believe that it is a huge long-term challenge and I have very serious reservations about the size and fighting capability of our deployment, and about our operational objectives in Afghanistan.

He brought attention to one aspect of military procurement..
.... will the Minister give us a progress report on the future rapid effect system vehicle, which was given a very high profile as a vehicle, was critically important to the re-organised, more mobile Army, and was a key element of the Strategic Defence Review in 1998? I could be wrong, but I understand that no prototype has been designed, yet this vehicle is due in service in five years' time—in 2012. In the same year, the Lynx and Puma helicopters are due to come out of service. Both are critical for the Army's and the Royal Air Force's operational effectiveness.

I would like a clearer understanding of the Government's plan for the removal of the poppy crop and what the replacement economy will be.

...... we need to recognise that even from a cursory glance at our force levels in Helmand province, we do not have an adequate reserve in theatre ready and available.

Interestingly he was followed by My Lord Truscott who commenced by declaring an interest as an associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

Joining the Dots,

Inge, Aegis, RUSI, CGS ...General Sir Roger Wheeler , Knight Grand Cross of the Bath , CBE was CGS1997 and 2000. Sir Roger is the current 'Constable of the Tower of London'. He also joined the Aegis Board at the same time as Lord Inge .. and is also a Board member of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (AKA National Police Service in embryo) . Another chap who makes his own modest contribution is Fatty Soames, MP happily joining Aegis at the same time who is also a member of Council of the RUSI.

Now if anyone suspected a military ...well...er...congruence of interest in affecting ...er ... shall...we say political affairs where would it be ?

AEGIS ... just exactly what do they do ? .. and what plans have they got ?

HAKLUYT & COMPANY LIMITED 34 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QS is also said to be a company that can call on the expertise of My Lord Inge and his pals who get involved in the most extraordinary business activities.

What exactly is Dickie Dannatt up to ?

Jon Fraser speaks for us all .....

The Daily Telegraph invited comment at their Speakers Corner on the question did General Dickie Dannatt go too far ? ...

The majority response was support, with a lesser but smaller response from those who criticised the General for breaking the chain of command and speaking out of turn. There were a few, a very few who criticised the Military of which he is the head... the following is worth a wider audience.

"It’s no good being in Iraq for years and then claiming its not going to plan. I’m not a professional soldier and I haven’t been to Sandhurst but like many members of the public knew this conflict would end in civil war between the various factions. If Dannatt had any moral fibre and courage he would have resigned earlier and then made his thoughts known. This is just petulance. And to say we have a better chance in Afghanistan, which has always been wild and backward, as opposed to a rich secular state like Iraq shows a level of ignorance only matched by our politicians.
Posted by Jon Fraser on October 13, 2006 11:40 AM

It was always noticeable to me that when the illegal invasion took place, the Navy - Ark Royal were back in record time, closely followed by the Tornadoes. The PBI were simply stuck in the destert 13 Km outside Basra at the airport.

The British Bluntschli's voted with their feet.

For those interested in seeing the Videos of General Dannatt explaining himself to the various news organisitions they will find 13 Videos here.

Look and Learn on the Web -

In January 2004 with angel finance by CEO Dr. Tim Tuttle and CTO Dr. Adam Beguelin launched Truveo its video search engine technology in September 2005 which utilizes a proprietary web crawling technology they call "Visual Crawling".

"The next few years will see a dramatic increase in the amount of video available on the web," Dr. Tim Tuttle said last December when taken over by AOL. - to be added to Seattle based Singingfish acquired in in November 2003 to form the basis of the AOL Video Search - which is brilliant.

Nothing is more certain as traditional printing presses have been hit by the web , perhaps the TV studios are going to be hit as the amateur film maker, newscaster, newshound stakes their place.

Since then Google’s (Market Cap US£130Bn) has acquired for US$1.65 billion worth of shares video playing Web site YouTube.... which let's face, it is small potatoes to them, and will undoubtedly swell their ad base.

Now we hear that Yahoo are deep in talks with Facebook a private company located in Palo Alto, CA. It is a networking site built around college students — Facebook launched in February 2004, and the website claims over 10 million registered users across over 40,000 regional, work, college and high school networks. According to comScore, Facebook is the seventh-most trafficked site on the web and is the number one photo-sharing site.

Facebook has the most unfriendly face of any such site (clean, minimal so cool it's freezing) and says of itself in PR Newspeak ,which was probably constructed by software that correctly understands syntax but not people.

"Facebook is a social utility that helps people better understand the world around them. Facebook develops technologies that facilitate the spread of information through social networks allowing people to share information online the same way they do in the real world. "

Those guys at Yahoo would be well advised to look at ITV's acquisition of Friends re-United for US$200 Mn....The CEO who did that is now spending more time with his roses.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish