Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 23 March 2015

In Scotland? Vote tactically in May 2015 General Election - Keep SNP Out!

As I indicated in an article here posted during February 2015 (link here), I indicated that it is my intention to vote "tactically" at the forthcoming general election in May 2015 and that in the context of my own constituency this means I shall in all probability vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate, based on my own assessment of the political dynamics of this area, with the aim of trying to ensure that the SNP does not win here.

Recently I have 'liked' a Facebook group called Scotland's Big Voice ("SBV" for short), which like me has the aim of thwarting the disaster that too many (or any) SNP MPs at Westminster would represent, plus the aim of removing the SNP as Scotland's government at next year's Scottish Parliament election and obviously I would be happy to see that happen too. There's an interesting analysis of the SBV here in the website.

For the General Election in May 2015, SBV have drawn up a 'wheel' of all Scottish constituencies with suggestions of how people should vote tactically to minimise the number of SNP MPs elected and I am happy to say their assessment of my constituency (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey) tallies with my own. Below is the full chart:

- obviously to make this work effectively, people will to a greater or lesser extent have to vote "through gritted teeth" for a Party they might not normally choose to vote for; in many constituencies this will obviously involve a vote for Labour, anathema for me of course, or indeed for the Conservative or Liberal Democrat candidate, which for some natural Labour supporters would be similarly unpalatable under normal circumstances. But we are not in normal circumstances - if you want to maintain the long-term integrity of the United Kingdom and retain Scotland's position within it, some discomfort for a good cause will be essential if we are to prevent the SNP continuing its machinations to tear our country apart. Once the SNP is consigned to the trash-heap of history where it belongs, normal political business can be resumed.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Wind farms - a misplaced "in-", hopefully just poor sub-editing

The British government announced funding decisions a few days ago for wind farms in Scotland, with 11 projects gaining approval, however a major project in the Outer Moray Firth was not one of those to be approved.

My own views on wind farms are fairly simple - unlike many people I find the turbines and their towers quite elegant, when seen from a distance (as I do from my home and indeed did from my previous home too), although I am very doubtful of the wisdom of investing so much, specially because it is so heavily-subsidised with public money, in this rather unreliable method of generating electricity. One hears it is becoming more cost-effective (I heard someone say in support of it on television a few evenings ago when this funding was announced, that it is now competitive with nuclear power generation, but I don't know if this is true or not, and I suspect that the person interviewed and making that claim had a pecuniary interest in the wind-farm industry), but the harsh reality, which cannot be explained away, is that when the wind isn't blowing the turbines don't turn and no electricity is generated, so alternative methods of generating electricity must be maintained for 100% of wind-farm generation capacity. That is the truth.

Anyway today is Tuesday, so it's Nairnshire Telegraph time again; this is our local weekly newspaper, but unfortunately does not have an on-line presence. In its main editorial today it covers this story, specially as it means that a local former oil-rig manufacturing facility, now unused for some years, will miss out on what some had hoped would be a new use for the site just west of Nairn. Generally, I share the views expressed in the Nairnshire, although unfortunately what I suspect is a small sub-editing error has crept into the article, specifically in the penultimate sentence of the final paragraph, where I feel certain the that the phrase "bigger and more inefficient" should more logically have read "bigger and more efficient", or possibly "bigger and less inefficient":

- editorial appearing in "Nairnshire Telegraph" 3rd March 205
(Unfortunately our local weekly newspaper in Nairn
does not have an on-line presence.)