55 mile convoy is Trudeau’s trucking hell
After almost 2 years of cross border haulage between Canada and The United States during COVID-19 helping to keep food (amongst other things) on both countries’ shelves, the requirement for truckers in both countries to be vaccinated against the virus has been met with appropriate derision.
A world record 55 mile convoy has made its way across Canada en route to Ottawa, where unfortunately/conveniently depending on your political hue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been forced to self isolate following alleged close contact exposure to COVID-19.
Interestingly, Trudeau has used increasingly desperate measures to try and write off the convoy as little more than a modest sideshow. When that failed and it became clear that the convoy had unstoppable momentum and no little public support (cheering in temperatures below -20oC), Trudeau reverted to his authoritarian instincts and turned off all traffic cameras in Ottawa.
After previously describing the unvaccinated as racist and misogynist and latterly as fringe, Canada’s dear leader, whose father knew Fidel Castro and mother allegedly had an affair with him, is not seeking a confrontational revolution with the might of the truckers.
Spectacular failure of leadership does not begin to come close for the former blacked up Prime Minister.
Germany returns to Russian control
The announcement from the new Social Democrat led German government that British military planes will not be allowed in German airspace en route to Ukraine is an interesting development between 2 countries that form part of NATO.
Since Gerhard Schröder, German Chancellor prior to Angela Merkel left office, he has trousered millions of Euros in return for no discernible service to Gazprom, a Russian energy provider.
Frau Merkel’s decision to close all German nuclear plants following the Fukushima nuclear disaster effectively catapulted Germany into Russia’s arms, creating a dependency for gas as the fuel of choice for providing German power.
Germany’s silent acceptance of gas pipelines being diverted around Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and lack of objections to the massing of over 100,000 Russian soldiers and munitions on the Ukraine border, complete this sorry tail of Germany’s supplication to Mother Russia.
Anyone else remember what Trump thought of NATO? Now you know why.
Harry Potter triggers Chester academics
In the latest in a series of ever more ridiculous decisions by Universities whose primary function now seems to be outwoking each other rather than providing degree level education to impressionable minds, University of Chester’s English Department has raised the bar (or plummed new depths depending on your view of wokeism).
The University has put a trigger warning for students on Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone saying that studying the children’s book ‘can lead to difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class and identity’.
Nothing to do of course with JK Rowling’s well trailed belief in the immutability of sex and it’s primacy over gender preference.
Since the onslaught of attacks on Rowling, sales of the Harry Potter series have soared. Harry really is a wizard it seems.
£100M government backing for Sizewell C nuclear plant
This article is from the Construction News web site, which is subscription based. I have not seen it reported elsewhere.
The government has injected £100m into EDF’s £20Bn Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk.
The funding commitment from business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will be used to develop the project, with the aim of attracting further financing from private investors.
The government has committed to reaching a final investment decision on at least one large-scale nuclear power station before this parliament’s scheduled 2024 end date.
Kwarteng said the fresh funding would help build confidence in the project: “In light of high global gas prices, we need to ensure Britain’s future energy supply is bolstered by reliable, affordable, low-carbon power that is generated in this country. New nuclear is not only an important part of our plans to ensure greater energy independence, but to create high-quality jobs and drive economic growth.
“The funding announced today will further support the development of Sizewell C during this important phase of negotiations as we seek to maximise investor confidence in this nationally significant project.”
Negotiations between the government and Sizewell C project developer EDF have been ongoing since last year. If built, Sizewell C could power the equivalent of around six million homes. Last October, the government outlined how it plans to fund new nuclear power plant construction in the UK with the adoption of a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model.
The RAB will see UK energy billpayers part-fund the construction of new plants through their energy bills, taking the pressure off private investors and reducing whole-life costs, according to the government.
As part of the funding deal, the government will take certain rights over the land of the Sizewell C site and EDF’s shares in the Sizewell C company. This will give the government the opportunity to continue to develop nuclear or other energy infrastructure on the site should the current project not go ahead.
If EDF builds the new nuclear plant, the government will be reimbursed for the £100M, with either cash or an equity stake in the project.
EDF Energy chief executive Simone Rossi said: “Together with our own investment, these funds will allow us to continue to move the project towards a financial investment decision. Sizewell C will benefit from being a near-replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which is more than five years into construction and making great progress in the challenging context of the COVID pandemic.”
The Planning Inspectorate’s report on the Sizewell C plans is due to be submitted to the government next month. A decision on whether to proceed with the development is expected in the spring.
EDF is also currently building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.
Strewth Liz! £500K estimate for flight to Australia
On 28th January 2022, I put out the following tweet.
Suffice to say, reactions were “mixed”. Despite 13 likes and one overtly supportive follower who shared my sense of, at best, “poor optics”, most respondents were negative with views varying from “she was on government business” or “she was within the rules” to questioning the size of the estimate (which I did not compile) and asking if I thought Ms Truss should have taken EasyJet.
I will leave you to decide on the validity of my argument and the veracity of the estimate but my broad thoughts are as follows.
- If the £500,000 figure is correct for an entourage of 14 people, that equates to £35,729 per person. That is exorbitant in the extreme.
- Given the ongoing travails of the Conservative & Unionist Party and persistent assertions of profligacy, the optics for Ms Truss, at worst a “theoretical” leadership contender are sub optimal.
- Margaret Thatcher would not have spent £500,000 flying to the moon.
- The former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, flew economy class to Geneva, whilst in office.
- And finally, just because you can, does not mean you should. Did anyone even think of considering an alternative method of conveying the Foreign Secretary safely whilst providing value for the taxpayer?
Whilst most Tories accepted Boris Johnson had an interchangeable relationship with the truth, a history of infidelity and a propensity to bumble, he was the “Get Brexit Done” candidate that was deemed necessary to move the UK out of political purgatory.
Ms Truss starts in a challenging position in any leadership contest. She is a former Liberal Democrat, an adulteress and a Remainer. A “colourful” past if you will.
Given the “turbulence” endured by the Johnson led Tories since the Owen Paterson debacle, were Ms Truss to end up in a run off with her fate decided by Tory members, I suspect they would not so willingly temporarily ignore her past shortcomings as they did Mr Johnson’s.
Mark Steyn: take a bow
For those of you who already knew Mark Steyn before his arrival on GBNews, well done and I hope you’ve been filling your boots with Steynian vignettes for all of his time in broadcast media.
Whilst GBNews has a stable of excellent presenters (and inevitably some that I’m less keen on), Steyn’s booming articulation is unrivalled.
His show is eclectic, combining encyclopaedic geopolitical knowledge with an array of fantastic guests and no little detail. An hour is never enough.
This week, we have been treated to 2 quotable Steyn specials:
- Real men freeze in Fahrenheit;
- 50 shades of Sue Gray
I do not recall any great fanfare upon Steyn’s arrival. The first time I saw him he was filling in for Nigel Farage. He also announced at the beginning of January that his last day in the GBNews chair would be 14th January 2022. Yet still he remains.
Whilst it is unclear how long he will remain a fixture of GBNews, (along with the outstanding Michael Portillo who apart from the channel’s launch night was not seen again until December yet is becoming a semi regular feature), let’s savour Mark Steyn whilst he is on our screens.
With Steyn as the meat in a Nigel Farage and Dan Wootton sandwich from Monday to Thursday and having the 19:00 slot on Fridays, it is little wonder that GBNews, less than 8 months after launch is beating Sky News in the news evening ratings.
© justchrisdavies 2022