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Showing posts from April, 2012

LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam)

I have now read the Judgment in the case LB of Islington v Al Alas and Wray [2012] EWHC 865 (Fam) This is a significant case in that it is not just about Vitamin D, but also about SBS. In essence we have a case where a child develops the symptoms of SBS in hospital. The problem with the science here has always been the ethical problems of proving that the triad can be caused by shaking. There are those that think that this is not possible. I have always been more concerned about looking at the issue of certainty. What is clear is that the certainty that there has been was mistaken.

Some figures on OECD oil demand

2006 - 49.58 2007 - 49.17 2008 - 47.54 2009 - 45.64 2010 - 46.17 2011 - 45.62 Forecast 2012 45.24 These are sourced from the 2008 Oil Market Report and the April 2012 OMR. The 2008 figure, therefore, may now have been slightly changed. The figures are in millions of barrels of oil per day. In other words OECD demand appears to have peaked. A big question about oil is that of elasticity of demand with price. However, from a Gross Value Added perspective clearly any economic growth would also require a reduction in the crude oil specific energy intensity.

Grandparents and the extended family

The Sunday Express have a story about the lack of use of extended family. There needs to be a greater willingness to use extended family. Obviously this is happening in many cases, but frequently absurd reasons are given to place children other than with the family.

Labour and the Additional Rate of Tax

Labour have got into a real mess on the Tax rate for over 150Kpa. They first forgot to vote against the resolution and went home. Only 2 Labour MPs voted with the SNP against the new rate. Having missed that opportunity they face the difficulty that they are not allowed to propose an amendment to increase tax. In an attempt to get round that they have proposed to remove the additional rate. That leaves only then the higher rate of 40%. Hence they are now proposing to reduce the additional rate to 40%.

No to directly elected mayor leaflets

The second leaflet against a directly elected mayor in Birmingham has just been launched and will be distributed over the next few weeks. Here are links to both leaflets.

Lucy Allan on This Morning

It is worth replaying Lucy Allan's story on This Morning. What I was not aware of previously was that she was assessed twice by the same psychologist. Once when she paid privately and once without seeing the assessor. The assessments were completely different. I have also found this story from the London Evening Standard.

Article by Steve Beauchampé re elected Mayor

Why The Mayoral Referendum Matters I recall a magazine headline prior to the tightly contested 2000 US Presidential election: it read: ‘Bush and Gore - Too Close To Care’. The implication, of course, was that the two men’s policies were so similar that it mattered not which was elected. We now know better. I was reminded of this headline recently when a friend likened Birmingham’s forthcoming mayoral referendum to, “moving the deckchairs around on the Titanic”. The implication being that not much would change should there be a Yes vote. But it most certainly will. In fact, the Localism Act 2011, which forces Birmingham and ten other English cities into holding referendums, could result in the biggest change to how our city is governed in over 100 years. But while the concept of a figurehead elected by the voters every four years may initially sound attractive, an examination of the extent of the changes to how we would be governed under the mayoral system makes alarming reading. The cu

Snooping proposal - hopefully on its way out

I was one of a number of Lib Dem MPs to publicly oppose the government's suggestions on online snooping. I have linked to a letter in The Independent of which I was one of the signatories. There is another letter in The Guardian. I don't know why my name doesn't appear in the letter in The Guardian, but to me it is important to record that I have publicly opposed such an extension of state surveillance. I personally don't mind CCTV in shopping centres. However, the government's proposals were clearly completely wrong.

Mitt Romney - a Physicists viewpoint

The link is to a New York times analysis of Mitt Romney which any physicist will find quite amusing. eg Complementarity. In much the same way that light is both a particle and a wave, Mitt Romney is both a moderate and a conservative, depending on the situation (Fig. 1). It is not that he is one or the other; it is not that he is one and then the other. He is both at the same time.

Snooping proposal - not one I can support

I initially thought the proposal to track everyone's emails for a couple of years was an April Fool. Sadly it appears not to be. Just because something is technically possible is no reason why government should implement it. I suppose we could insert a microchip in everyone's skull to record where they are and put this in a big database that can be accessed by a warrant. That may be technically feasible, but is not something I would support. Nor are the reports of the proposals from government.