Thursday, 1 November 2007

UK think tank wants to Downgrade Christmas to be 'even-handed' to non-Christians

The Institute of Public Policy Research in all it’s think-tanky ‘brilliance’ has decided it might be a good idea to downgrade Christmas.

I know it’s become too commercial over the last few decades - but why? To help make the UK more multi cultural. That’s why?.

Just when the consensus amongst the ‘great and good’ had worked it’s way round to the conclusion that ‘multiculturalism’ does not work, is devisive and causes more harm than good. The IPPR is marching the other way.

They are suggesting it in the interests of even-handedness and argue we should mark other religious festivals in the same way.

Some problems there – Exactly how many of them?

If you are not going to accord all religions the same treatment what ones do you ignore and how do you justify it?

Should they all be Bank Holidays? When will anyone work if they are?

Their ‘solution’ looks rather more like just another opportunity for the law of unintended consequences to wreak damage and cause ill feeling, just another bunch of cognoscenti eroding of social cohesion…

UKERC worried they have their sums wrong.

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) recons it may have got it’s sums wrong by up to 30%.

Firstly we need to realise that the figure up to 30% clearly includes zero percent, the weasel words are ‘up to’.

Of course the underlying implication is that just persuading people to buy energy ‘saving’ devices is not going to do it, because those wacky citizens will just waste the money saved by using less energy on something else that uses energy and destroys the planet anyway.

So ‘SOMEONE’ needs to ensure they can’t spend all that extra money that would otherwise just be burning (and that produces CO2 too, doesn’t it) a hole in their pocket.

Well taxation ought to solve that problem and it will be a ‘GOOD’ and ‘MORAL’ tax that saves the planet too.

Now lets follow the money…

The UKERC are funded by three ‘Research Councils’:
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

And who finds them? Why the UK Government - they are basically organs for distributing tax payers money. Much from the Department of Trade and Industry’s share of it.

Now lets look at the UKERC’s argument. Take Compact Fluorescent ‘bulbs’, leaving aside the mercury pollution they can cause and the fact that, at least in my actual experience, they do not last anywhere near as long as advertised.

An equivalent 60-watt bulb that can actually be used with a dimmer would cost around £11.60. The saving that can be had from using it is around £7 per year. Even a standard 100w equivalent would cost around a fiver. So in fact initially one would have less money to spare having paid out more for the bulb than normal. One could not expect the bulbs to have paid for themselves before at least 9 to 19 months.

Only then can you nip out and waste your extra £7 a year on a 4X4, or a plasma TV. Or maybe loft insulation, or another CF Bulb, or double-glazing - Because if you are into saving energy then that is the direction you will probably be thinking in.