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January 22, 2008


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Hen Ferchetan

I didn't realise pairing had fallen out of favour. It makes perfect sense to me and I hope it gets popular again.

I guess one of the reasons it's lost popularity is that MP's want their voting figures to be high while whips don't want to leave anything to chance.


Thanks, Rwendland.I agree entirely that one mega project is vulnerable and not the most practical way forward for renewables. Glad you approve of Peter Hain - his role in the cabinet is far more important that his declaring donations late.

La Rance's turbines were found be in 'pristine' state after 20 years of operation, the source of pwere is free and there is no waste. I have using the quote for a long time- I'll look up the source.



Do you have a source for your claim "La Rance in Brittany which produces the cheapest electricity in the world"?

AFAICS the economics of both barrages and nuclear depends crititcally on the discount rate used to cost the capital involved. Both were claimed economic at the 2-4% discount rates used by govt for such projects in the 1960-70s. But private financeers are using 8% to 15% discount rates for such projects now, making both uneconomic to private finance.

I suspect if you accept the La Rance financial claims, you also should accept the claims that 1970s nuclear power stations were economic - with cheap finance and all cost risks put onto future consumers rather than the finaniers. Is that an intellectual route you would want to follow?

I'm for renewable power, but if we want a large uptake we need to get the economics right. The occassional mega-project isn't the way to go. You are right to push sea turbine R&D though, as that has promise of widescale use. Lets not be distracted by a mega-barrage, which may delay R&D help for more promising ideas.

I see Peter Hain previewed Marine Current Turbines’ sea turbine site in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough last year. Good for Peter.


A cull would be be an evidence-free decision. What will they blame if TB increases again in the culled areas? I think you could be right and Rooker will plump for the slaughter and live to regret it.

Chris Gale

Thanks for the post on badgers Paul.
The next few weeks will be critical, will Rooker deliver a cull for his NFU friends or will someone at senior level in government realise that killing badgers to appease the NFU would be electoral suicide?


I thought you'd say that. Irony spot anyone?


It's the entirely worthwhile Council of Europe, which deals with human rights, monitors elections and has a good record of encouraging former communist countries to improve their human rights. All MP delegates are still in hourly contact with their constituents and regard it as additional work. Much more productive that adding 1 to a majority of 138.


What meeting are all these MPs at that is so important it's detaining them for a week from any constituency business, anyway?

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