Friday, 3 July 2015

Looking For A Proper Lift-off!

The controversy about Heathrow and HS2 trundles on.

But the matter must not reside simply according to the preferences of the MPs sitting in seats surrounding the airport. Boris Johnson was brave enough to look for an alternative on the east side, but perhaps there's another alternative. Not necessarily a total answer, but one that could partially solve this issue and also be an alternative answer to HS2.

The (partial) answer I propose is in VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing technology).

It's a little known fact that Britain was ahead of the world in the 1950s in this area of technology in relation to civilian use. Please look up Wiki for a description of the Fairey Rotodyne, which came close to success. Maybe now - 60 years on - the idea should be re-visited - there have been so many advances made in this time that I feel certain a concerted effort (and investment) should return results, at least for domestic and European travel.

Since the Rotodyne, the USA did not let go of the idea (neither did Britain, in the military Harrier development), and are still working on it for transportation purposes. But it does irritate me that we are now dependent on the US for all things new that require big investment. We had the technical people once, and I presume we have lost them to the US.

HS2 canot. surely, be justified at all, but I can see the need for a large VTOL service with maybe 4, 6 or 8 northward journeys per day, city centre to city centre. i.e. using a City Airport facility. And a similar VTOL service to major cities in western Europe.

Just think, no need for more runways than we have already, and the HS2 idea thrown where it should be - on the scrapheap. And couldn't a VTOL service be operational well before 2025?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Is this a true form of 'One Nation Politics'?

My articles these days may seem to indicate that I've become merely anti-Tory minded; the reader might also think that I've lost my sense of balance and reasonableness. But that's not really the case - I'm simply out for what's fair for all, and while the P.M. spouts about wanting a 'One Nation' approach, there is precious little policy emerging that seems to reflect that ideal.

Perhaps Cameron is busy watching what's going on in respect of G7 partying, ISIL and Greece and hasn't got time to look after domestic matters of importance? Whilst Cameron is looking east, perhaps his underlings are trying to capitalise on the space he's leaving them?

For example, the Energy Secretary (Amber Rudd) appeared on the BBC's Question Time last week and got away with saying that her party had been elected to effect their unchecked policies. I can recall that once upon a time a government with so low a majority and gaining only 24% of the vote would be more circumspect about how it behaves. But these days, true moderate people in the Tory ranks are hard to find.

And I can see why Ms. Rudd has been put in the job as Energy Sec. Her attitude is clearly of the "I will get it done" variety regardless of sensibilities. It is already clear that Fracking is one of her biggest hobby-horses and will do all she can to get her party's Fracking policy implemented. However, I read today (in the middle pages of a 'paper) that, against legal advice, a Lancashire council is blocking an application for a Fracking licence, and it will be interesting to see what happens in what surely will become a test case. I can see demonstrations resulting if that council's block is thrown out on appeal, and water cannon being bought and deployed against the protesters.

The strange thing about the Tories and their support of Fracking is that at the very recent G7 meeting, Cameron joined in the condemnation of fossil-fuel energy usage! What then is shale-gas fracking technology all about, but the latest fossil-fuel technique?

What support does the government give to green technology? Precious little. Thank goodness that there may have to be a re-think about HS2!

And we also learnt today that "intense farming and climate change put Britain's bread basket at risk". In other words, our children will witness the total demise of this country's ability to produce food as a result of the country's merciless rape of the soil. The time of abundance could easily be coming to an end.

The Tories are trumpeting how they've been put into power to apply Draconian changes that are affecting the poor (e.g. the "Bedroom Tax", the Disability Living Allowance, Child Benefit (limited to 2 children), Tax Credits etc) and measures that can only harm the fabric of the nation. But meanwhile we have a tooth-less opposition bench - the major part of which is undertaking an in-fight as demonstrated by Alan Milburn's attack on Ed Miliband and the Labour Party's failure at the recent General Election.

We have probably the weakest House of Commons in my lifetime at our so-called service. We need to wake up, follow closely what's going on, and tell our MPs our views. The language and mannerisms used by the politicians are now potentially more misguiding and malevolent than has ever been the case in my lifetime!