BBC Future

There’s something going on at the BBC. Yes, they are having to save money – it seems they believe the way to do that is to look at the archive. Not that the ink is dry on many of the programme descriptions before they are repeated. Broadcast one day they will be turning up again within hours. Not sure that should be such a huge problem, except with my short-term memory it would help if the repeats were labelled, just to remind me,

The Beeb gets paid a lot of money, and we are not really told what they do with it. Important presenters, by which they mean those that can most easily read from the autocue, are paid considerable sums. A senior broadcast journalist is paid £48 an hour. Not bad, but top earners earn huge sums, For the reported £1.8 million that Gary Lineker gets I’d assume he could wear better underpants. I worry about sexism, at 73 John Humphrys manages to present the Today programme on three days a week, plus Mastermind and anything else that will have him. Rumoured to earn £375,000 a year, having taken a pay cut. Where are the older women, for me to agle.

Are these celebrities really worth our money. The BBC is now acting like a social club for the chosen ones. Look at panel shows like QI, comedy lineups such as Apollo – and we see the same old faces all the time. In a country of well over 60 million people I’d like to see more variety.

The ethos is also changing. Last weekend it was announced that the Great British Sewing Bee was to be cancelled. Sunday night viewing saw SS GB on BBC 1 and an awful Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week with an Asian putting people through the sort of hell once confined to Japanese prisoner of war camps in World War II. Both were an affront to a great chunk of the the British population who remember why we ever went into two World ways during the last Century.

Why is this happening? TV management has always been inept, but it’s getting too far away from its audience, most of whom are ancient whilst the managers know nothing but shoot-em-up video games and have never smelt blood.

The BBC Licence is soon to be renewed. The Licence Fee will be under threat, and as that strikes of socialism, if not communism, then the present government will want to throw it all to the private dogs to ravage.

Anyone who has been forced to watch US TV will dread the day.

Our Country: UK

Ken Loach was given a BAFTA this week for his latest film, I, Daniel Blake He has been making films since 1962, all of which have contained valuable social comments, starting with Cathy Come Home in 1966.

At the award ceremony Ken Loach said that the film highlighted the way in which the present government treated the poor. ‘

I was disappointed to see a Facebook comment from a man called John Smith (sic) stating that celebrities should not use a public platform to air controversial views. He was supported by a number of people.

They, in turn, had all used a public platform toput across their arguments. We must presume that their real complaint was that Ken Loach had a wider audience. No mention was made of the cause of his complaint, and the subject matter of his film, or that he’d been a social campaigner for many years.

This defence of an awful government policy is now part of the changing public scene. Don’t defend but instead attack the character of the person making a complaint.

This is but a small step away from dictatorship. Disagree with the status quo and be damned.

I started a community radio station, and wanted to question local politicians. Very quickly I was attacked, my character maligned and most politicians would not agree to being interviewed by me.

Living in an area that had returned a solid Conservative majority for many years they were not used to having their decisions questioned. It was surprising how quickly members of my team turned against me.

Today the radio station has a director who has a very dubious reputation, who has tried to run a commercial station in the past and left behind a mountain of debt. He has removed most of the voluntary presenters, refuses to allow any community diiscussion and believes he will make money from advertisers.

He will fail – again.

The shame is that the town will also lose a valuable platform. Discussion is vital if we are to live and work together. The station did that. It also encouraged emerging talent, allowing school children to have teir own programmes, to run talent shows, and be involved in local events.

The station now breaks OfCom rules every day. The people are no longer able to coplain.


Perfect Country: Estonia

It’s not often I get excited, even stimulated, but three women (whom I’ve never met) are doing very well, so far. It may be that I bumped into Henrietta Moore at LSE – the anthropology department did have, I recall, at least one attractive lecturer (apart from Henrietta). I digress.

Henrietta Moore

Henrietta Moore

Fi Glovet

Fi Glover

Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox

They are presenters on a BBC World Service series called My Perfect Country.

It started with 14 programmes, all of which have looked at countries that present some factor that we could use to help build ‘My Perfect Country’

It’s been a good start, and should build into a movement that looks at the world in which we all live with different eyes and then promotes the necessary changes. There are now 66 episodes, and they make interesting listening – much better than watching soaps.

There’s no doubt that our world is dysfunctional, and this series is not perfect, but it’s a good start.

The first programme looked at Estonia, a postage stamp of a country stuck between Finland and Russia, with a population of just 1.3 million (not much more that we have in Suffolk).

They have had a hard time over the years; occupied by the Russians, then the Nazis, then Russia again, at one point losing 25% of their population. All this whle living in a very cold place!

They are clever. With excellent broadband coverage they have used it to bring together their communities, and to simplify government administration. Here we would be shouting about personal liberty Quite why can be difficult to understand. Estonia has shifted this perspective, with the government holding the data, releasing it as appropriate. (it’s more complex than that but…

The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. e-Residency additionally enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online.

e-Residents can:

  • Digitally sign documents and contracts
  • Verify the authenticity of signed documents
  • Encrypt and transmit documents securely
  • Establish an Estonian company online. A physical address in Estonia is required to establish an Estonian company.
  • Administer the company from anywhere in the world.
  • Conduct e-banking and remote money transfers. E-residents are not guaranteed bank accounts and may establish them only at the sole discretion of our banking partners after an in-person meeting.  Please do not book travel to Estonia with the purpose of opening a bank account without first consulting a business service provider.
  • Access online payment service providers
  • Declare Estonian taxes online. e-Residency does not automatically establish tax residency. To learn about taxation and to avoid double taxation please consult a tax professional.

Sounds like a good idea – I’m now looking for my passport.

Living in Great Britain

This is just an opening foray into a complex world. What worries me is that our government doesn’t look past the next election, and anyway we are all obsessed with money. What good is money?

It’ seems an uncertain world. There are changes afoot. So many that we could have a revolution. We’ll not be getting the guillotines out of store, although there is a myth (sic) that the USA has bought a load of these killing machines together with many plastic coffins and a range of prisons that each hold 200,000 people. Let’s dismiss that frightening thought. We are, after all, British not US citizens.

After all we have Brexit – that tasteless idea for a breakfast cereal. We can talk of nothing else. Not true of course, that’s easily trumped from across the Pond. Brexit will cause change: it may see a new Europe arising from the administrative ashes.

We will have changes. These should be recognised and exploited. It is, after all, what we, as a people, can do best. Which brings me to my first point.

There’s very little left in the nation’s store cupboard. Our government started this decline back in the 1980s with the malicious sale of all our nationalised utilities. This looked good on paper except we forgot that successive governments had plundered the income gained from these concerns, hiding the theft by restriction investment and innovation. Our railways (for example) have made little progress in the last 30 years whilst Eurostar in France (for example) has been thundering to places such as Lyon in just over two hours from Ashford at minimal cost. Can anyone point to a privatisation that has helped the people?

Half of Britain now seems to be foreign owned. The last boy given the job of Chancellor took great pleasure in selling the nation’s silver (not his own family’s), failing to realise that profit sent abroad is leaving us all as wage slaves, not owners.

We now chat among ourselves about leaving the EU. There is no plan, certainly not one that is openly discussed. The PM seems set upon hanging on to Trump’s tail, failing to realise that he may not be singing from a hymn sheet we can understand. After 70 years playing lap dog to America we must now realise it has all been a big mistake, and can only get worse.

There’s a preoccupation with trade deals when we should really concern ourselves with self-sufficiency. We must look at ourselves as a stand-alone unit and ensure we can manage on our own. That’s a vital first step that two major wars in the last century should have made us realise.

Luckily we have encouraged immigration. Slowly now we must make all these people consider themselves British. Understandably the first arrivals have had strong ties to their home countries and families still living there. Slowly that will diminish. Not many Americans send me money home every month, even though many of the founding families came from Suffolk, some from my own family. (

Think British. Your offspring born here will become English, Irish, Scots or Welsh. We’ll all become Great again.

It may be best to split England up into several parts, perhaps based upon its historical traditions: Wessex, East Anglia, a middle England and Northumbria (or Yorkshire). Each province sending delegates to a national Parliament.

All that raises much bigger questions. We need to create an intelligent democracy. We have an autocracy of sorts at present. Properly used we can create democratic systems. They will be vital as we move away from the need to work.

Think about that now.

Sizewell C response

Sizewell C

This is my submission to the Consultation: Trevor Lockwood BSc FRSA

I have read the Sizewell C Stage 2 Pre-Application Consultation document and the Summary document.

Before addressing the substance of these documents I wish to comment:

1. The UK spends over £2 billion every year at its main research establishment at Sellafield.

In that case why are we allowing two foreign countries to build our new nuclear power plants?

2. These consultation document are produced by the contractor: doesn’t the government, on behalf of the people, have a Response to Consultation with a more detailed specification? Work is now planned to start, largely on the speculations stated in these documents, and that raises great concern. Not just the speed but that the contractor seems to be driving the project.

3. No alternatives have been considered. We are presented with two, not one, but two EPR reactors. These raise questions:

3a) Are these the best, most reliable nuclear reactors available?

3b) How much will they cost – assuming that estimates at this stage are likely to at least double (in real terms) by the start of production and continue to rise throughout their life.

3c) It will be raised again but the waste from this facility is to remain on site – yet the eustatic effects to this stretch of coastline will affect the site before it is planned to end.

4. Alternative systems

This contractor’s outline assumes that this is the only decision to be considered. However with a ten-year construction time frame other options need to be considered.

4a) Better location: a safer location needs to be examined. What evidence is there to categorically state that Sizewell is the best site in the UK? Or is it just the cheapest? At least eight locatons could be viable.

4b) Russia is now building a Tesla Tower. If this works it will produce unlimited power, and nuclear power will not be required.

4c) Alternative fuels, namely Thorium, could be used. It will not make plutonium (weapon grade fuel) but is inherently safe and renewable. No serious objections have ever been raised, and it has been tested and found to be workable.

4d) Renewable energy: Several countries, including Holland, are creating local area linked power units using alternatives, such as solar panels -solar-battery powered cars are now being used to store excess energy. The comparative costs, flexibility and safety make such systems viable alternatives.

4e) Hows wll the generated power be transferred to points of us? We now now that copper is not the only transfer vehcile, and other formats could allow different system: local generation, long-distance transfer fro (say) desert areas.

Let me now turn to the Consultation 2 Document

References shown here refer to the paragraph headings of the Consultation Document. These are only the most obvious questions raised, and I’ll admit that by Section 8 I’d become so diillusioned that I couldn’t continue. Clearly there are too many variables that have not been examined, and too many assumptions made, so that the whole document is not more than the rablings of an undergraduate essay.

1.2.1 EDF is described as one of the largest energy companies in the UK. That a foreign company can make such a claim, during a time when we are planning to leave the EU, is inherently dangerous.

1.3.1 The NPS-EN1 and NPS-EN6 are now outdated, and will certainly be before this project is completed. They can no longer be relied upon.

3.3.1 If there is an urgent need for energy then nuclear power is not the answer. Alternatives are available, for example: all new housing should be energy efficient – with solar panels or other renewables.

3.3.3 Nuclear power is not clean, secure or affordable when its lifetime is considered.

Sizewell is only one of eight sites considered. It is by far the most dangerous. With a crumbling coastline, too close to Europe and in the middle of a tourist area and AONB.

3.3.9 Replacing an SSI does not provide a workable substitute – you can’t serve notice of ejection upon wildlife.

3.5 The National Police Statements provide too many objections, particularly defence interests; – less than 40 miles from the European coast, coastal change; changes daily, with flooding as a risk. Traffic with only the A12 (an unimproved A road0 already overloaded in summer, landscape and visual and aircraft movements all in danger.

4.2 It\s assumed that only 1,500 of the planned 5,000 workers will come from the UK. The back page of the Summary lists contact details for Portuguese, Polish, Bengali, Lithuanian and Romanian potential workers.

The assumption is that these foreign workers will form the greater part of the workforce. No training for UK workers is seriously considered. Cheap workers from abroad will do nothing to increase the skills base of UK workers.

4.2.10 Daily movements are not properly considered. Weasel words and phrases will not suffice. This is beautiful countryside that cannot be replaced once ruined.

4.2.13 Landing wharfage has been reduced from Stage 1 – to reduce costs. A better strategy would be to insist that all materials are brought by sea. Both Felixstowe and Lowestoft are equipped to handle larger vessels and to part load to Sizewell.

4.3.2 No mention is made of the long-term storage of nuclear waste – for perhaps thousands of years. It is to remain at this site! Just to save the contractor money, and leave the problem to the local population.

4.4.4 Rail route seems an excessive cost for a temporary structure – as it cuts across farmland. What will be the cost of re-establishing and compensation?

4.4.10 and 4.4.15 exit and access is plans unclear, and will slow traffic on A12 considerably – turning right or left will be a problem.

Figure 4.10 seems a better option but I’m unable to judge.

5.3 and 5.4.5 Employment, skilled employment, is vital to this area. At this stage temporary and long term tasks should be identified – those having long-term potential should be reserved for local people, and the appropriate training systems put in place now.

5.4.16 Remembering the problems at Leiston of Sizewell B workers there must be concern that this is prevented this time. It is proposed that temporary accommodation for some 3,000 workers will be constructed.

Why can’t this be planned as a permanent village to help with our housing crisis? I suspect it’s about cost – 4-storey portacabins are cheaper. Very short-term thinking. Costs of restitution will be considerable – why not think ahead.


This will have an adverse affect on tourism. During construction there will be excess traffic, pile driving, civil disruption by young workers. Towns, like Aldeburgh, may never recover.

5.5.21 Community safety plans are inadequate. Reporting events after they happen do not restore confidence.

6.5 Traffic management – this is an old-world agricultural community. It will not react well to disruption. The modelling graphs (Figure 6.2 etc) are inaccurate (no weekends shown, no daily flows).

6.8.15 Air quality measures should also consider the continuous easterly polluted air flow from Felixstowe’s 3.35 million TCU movements

7.3.2 This is nonsense – build a pond beside a sea that is likely to flood until a UK Geological Disposal Site is available – that is NOT going to happen. We shall leave this nuclear waste for future generations. That is wrong.

7.4.14 put beside the hedgerow removal we have seen in Suffolk over recent years this is a disgraceful restoration.

7.4.41 A cut-off wall is currently being modelled? What will happen when you pump away all the water needed for agriculture? What volumes are you considering?

7.4.51 fishermen now fish close to the warmed water outlet. Will CEFAS study really provide assurances required? It needs clarification.

7.4.66 As an ecologist I’m really concerned that you believe a mitigation strategy is all that is required.

SSI Crossing

The Thames Crossway project has eight tunnel boring machines – rent one for here, the Options given will not work.

7.5.36 et al That’s OK then. God has spoken sea wind and tide have been warned – there will never be another event like 1953, Dunwich will be returned. EDF marketeers have decided.

You state that a jetty will cause no problems nor will any dredging – how much spoil will be removed – can we sell it to the Dutch? Analysis is required.

For much of the remaining sections of the document I am too close to apoplexy to be safe to continue.

A four-storey accommodation block is to be screened by vegetation. Noise will be prevented. Modelling is continuing, environmental areas will be replaced – so it goes on. This is all written by a team of skilled liars.

We don’t need these constant references that the contractor plans to look at this problem – there are far too many.

There’s no appreciation that this is the closest portion of coastal land for most people. That it is a tourist area – visited by millions every year. That there is an internationally important nature reserve, which is just a stage in development of wildlife access that will stretch to Lowestoft,and link to the Broads.

I was a surveyor that worked on the Sizewell B training centre at Cliff Quay, Ipswich – which was an afterthought to the Sizewell B construction. A similar facility is not even mentioned here.

My patience ran out at this point. Here we are at Section 8, still writing about temporary works. Where’s the long-term development? Where’s the discussion about alternatives.

Why is this just a speculative document produced by a foreign contractor?

What are the implications of Brexit? How will the UK develop its own skill base? Why can’t we build this ourselves.

Can we see a financial comparison of the different energy options before assuming that this nuclear plan, using outmoded ideas, stuck alongside this environmentally sensitive coast is the only option we have.

I’m convinced it is not