Archive for January 14th, 2012|Daily archive page

RAILROADED: Hundreds of historic houses will be flattened or ruined by new high speed train link – by Harry Mount – Last updated at 3:05 AM on 14th January 2012

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm

There are few English villages more idyllic than Chetwode in Buckinghamshire, just on the Oxfordshire border. The Grade I listed priory church of St Mary and St Nicholas was built from the remains of an Augustinian priory founded in 1245. In its chancel window is England’s oldest heraldic stained glass, showing Henry III’s coat of arms.

In the nave, there’s a plaque to John Betjeman’s father-in-law, Field Marshal Lord Chetwode. In the churchyard, you can’t hear anything apart from the sound of birdsong.

But this week, Transport Secretary Justine Greening confirmed that the HS2 high-speed train line will now go ahead — and once it is up and running, you won’t hear a bird around here for love nor money. Any vicar taking a service in the church will, as the trains pass,  have to bellow out his sermons at the top of his voice.

John Barnes with his home Packington Moor farmhouse near Tamworth close where the proposed HS2 route would run

Christopher and Celia Prideaux’s Doddershall House, in the Buckinghamshire village of Quainton, is under threat from the proposed HS2 rail route

‘This is where the trains will hit 225mph — the noise will be like a Formula One car,’ says Ken Cooper, 67, a chartered surveyor and office developer who lives next door to the church in the Grade II-listed, 17th-century Priory House, 300 yards from the prospective track.

    Cameron is derailed by father-in-law: Lord Astor attacks PM’s decision to back £32billion high speed train line

‘That’s 90 decibels. We came here for the sound of silence. It’s the most wonderful part of the world. We wanted to stay here for ever, and hand the house onto our son, but who’d want to live here when the trains come?’

Ken and his wife Barbara are among hundreds of people whose lives have been destroyed by the prospect of the new line slicing through the heart of England — ‘the Berlin Wall for Britain’, as it’s been dubbed by the campaigning conservation magazine Cornerstone.

The Lower Farm house, in the village of Lower Thorpe, near Banbury, Oxfordshire, is owned by Tania and Russell Parsons and on the route of the HS2 rail line

Dozens of listed buildings like Priory House are due to be demolished, or severely blighted, if HS2 is built.

Thanks to compulsory purchase order legislation, the Government has the power to force through the HS2 line on its chosen route. This allows the Government to buy property or land without the owner’s consent.

Country cottages, Georgian farmhouses, medieval rectories, ancient manor houses . . . in all, 314 listed buildings will be damaged or destroyed by the high-speed train, despite a valiant campaign to save them by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

This week, Lord Astor, David Cameron’s stepfather-in-law, who lives not far from the line in Ginge Manor, Oxfordshire, attacked the project. Outside Aylesbury, Lord Rothschild’s venerable Waddesdon Manor will shudder to the sound of the passing trains.

But it’s not just the rich and the grand who will have their historic houses blighted by the railway. At the stroke of a planner’s pen, lifetimes of careful saving, back-breaking renovation and self-sacrifice have been rendered futile.

Those properties which are not actually demolished are likely to see their values plunge. And yet not a soul from the Government warned the victims about the disaster thundering towards them at 225mph.

The Coopers bought Priory House and its surrounding 50 acres in 1989 when the building was in severe disrepair. They spent £350,000 reconstructing this rare architectural gem: a 1655 double-gabled house, refashioned in 1833 with a charming panelled drawing room, and a hall and dining room fitted out with elegant 18th-century fireplaces, cornices and doorcases.

With his own hands, Ken Cooper built a Doric-style temple by the lake, where the priory monks used to keep their carp. An ancient moat runs round the old kitchen garden, only 150 yards from the spot where 18 trains an hour will come roaring through at more than 200mph.

Ken Cooper in front of his home The Priory, which adjoins St Mary and St Nicholas church in Chetwode, Buckinghamshire.

Sally Cakebread at the Savay Farm in Denham

When plans for the route were first mooted two years ago, no one got in touch with the Coopers to tell them their world was to be turned upside down.

‘We heard about it from a neighbour,’ says Barbara Cooper. ‘The authorities never tell you anything.

‘The first our neighbours heard about their home being demolished was when they looked up the route and saw a circle with a cross on their house — meaning it was due to be demolished.

‘When you see the HS2 on telly, they show a normal train. But this won’t be a normal train line. It will be a pair of tracks, 100 yards wide, with no vegetation on either side and high fences to keep deer out.’

Pat Dillon at his home Dunton Hall and Barn in Curdworth, Warwickshire close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

Only homeowners whose houses are to be demolished will get full compensation. Otherwise, they must seek partial compensation for their blighted properties, and they can only do that in 15 years’ time, once the trains are working. Meanwhile, they face years of misery as the line is built.
If none of your land is lost — as is the case with the Coopers — you can claim only for things like vibration, noise and fumes. They cannot claim for the loss of their view, which has remained largely unchanged for 350 years.

‘Yet the value of this house has already been halved,’ says Mrs Cooper. ‘Who’s going to buy it when the trains are here?

Across England — through Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire — the message is the same: the Government has ridden roughshod over the property-owning rights of people who have given their lives to their houses.

Gary and Lynn Eastman, both 65, moved to Twyford, Buckinghamshire, in 1987 with their three children. For 25 years, they’ve been renovating the medieval, half-timbered St Mary’s House. The former rectory, which is next to the Grade I-listed Norman church of St Mary’s — is where John Sergeant, the BBC broadcaster and son of the local vicar, grew up.

The original HS2 plans placed the railway 50 metres from the Eastmans’ front door. The new plan puts it 150 metres away, but the line will still be highly visible — and, at 77 decibels, most certainly audible — in a neighbouring field currently used for grazing sheep.

St Mary’s is a rare, Grade II-listed double-hall house — a pair of adjoining medieval buildings which have become one charming family home.

‘When we came here, it was pretty much derelict,’ says Gary Eastman, who has just retired as managing director of a construction company. ‘We’ve done all the building work ourselves, and put our lives into it. And then HS2 came along. It’s an ill-considered vanity project, which will only shave a fraction off journey times.

Sylvia Arnold at her home Woodend Lock Cottage, King’s Bromley in Staffordshire, close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

Jon-Paul Weaverat his Lavernder Hall Farm in Berkswell near Solihull close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

Jon-Paul Weaverat his Lavernder Hall Farm in Berkswell near Solihull close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

‘This is a little rural village, a delightful part of England, and some bright spark comes along and just says, “Let’s run a railway through the village”.

‘HS2 is already casting its shadow here. No one here has been able to sell their house since March 2010 when it was announced.’

‘What’s going to happen when the children in the village school grow up?’ says his wife Lynn. ‘Who’s going to want to bring their children up here?’

‘And they never told us anything about their plans. I first heard about it on the radio. There’s heartache in this village.’

John Freestone with his home Sunflower Farmhouse in the village of Chetwode, Buckinghamshire. The propesed HS2 route would run nearby

Those sentiments are echoed all along the railway line, right into the Buckinghamshire fringes of London. Savay Farm, in Denham Green, is the family home of Sally Cakebread, her mother and her nine-year-old daughter.

A Grade I-listed manor house dating back to the 11th century, it was used by Henry VIII as a hunting lodge. The farm was bought by Sally Cakebread’s father in 1945.
Under the HS2 plans, the Colne Valley Viaduct — a concrete and steel structure some two-and-a-quarter miles long, and 30 metres high, wrapped in power lines and caging — will pass 200 yards from Sally’s garden.

‘I really can’t believe it,’ says Sally. ‘Our home is among the protected houses in Britain, and we can’t even get permission to add a tiny extension. But the Government can run this eyesore past the foot of the garden. If this goes ahead, the view from our house will be awful. England is all about its heritage. If we don’t protect that, what will we have?

‘My daughter is worried she won’t be able to sleep at night, with trains passing every four minutes, and the noise and speed of them will make our windows rattle. ’

The train runs through the heartland shires of the Conservative vote. As I travelled through them this week, I met staunch Tories who said they’d never vote for the party again because they felt so let down. Again and again, those affected talked about ‘betrayal’.

‘We’ve been ignored — it’s almost as if we don’t exist,’ said Shirley Baker, 71, who has lived with her family in the Grade II-listed Dale House in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, since 1983.

The HS2 line will slice the Bakers’ land in half, with the trains travelling in the shadow of the barn and stables, where they run their horse livery business. The HS2 planner has even redrawn the Bakers’ drive to their house, incorporating a crazy, right-angled blind corner — a death trap for horses and humans.

‘The house will be unliveable in,’ Mrs Baker says. ‘There’s no way we could keep up the business with the trains running right by it.’
Peter Bassano at St John the Baptist church, in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire

Peter Bassano at St John the Baptist church, in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire
Shirley and Ken Baker Paul at their home Dalehouse Farmhouse near Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

Shirley and Ken Baker Paul at their home Dalehouse Farmhouse near Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, close to which the proposed HS2 route would run

The Bakers live in the main house, an early 18th-century Georgian farmhouse, with pretty white casement windows, while their daughter Naomi Tailby, 48, lives in the adjoining early 19th-century malthouse, a handsome, higgledy-piggledy building with dormer windows poking through a roof of lichened tiles. The Bakers’ two grandchildren have known no other home.

‘If HS2 comes, we’ll have to leave and the family will have to separate,’ says Naomi. ‘I’ll have to find somewhere rural to run the business, but there’s no compensation for relocating a business, and my parents, because of their age, will have to stay near the town. I see you can’t make national decisions on a family basis, but you’ve got to acknowledge that there is a family basis to these decisions all the same.

‘How can they consider demolishing your business and your livelihood, move three generations of a family, and not contact you? We heard from a neighbouring farmer.’
A protest sign in Wendover, south-west England, over the £17bn ($26.2bn) HS2 new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham

A protest sign in Wendover, south-west England, over the £17bn ($26.2bn) HS2 new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham

All along the line, ancient houses are to be demolished or overwhelmed — such as Packington Moor Farm, a fine brick Georgian farmhouse near Tamworth, Staffordshire. For years, the house has been run as a wedding venue, cafe and farm shop by John Barnes and his family.

‘Not only is the house being demolished, but it also cuts the farm in half,’ says Mr Barnes in despair.

‘We only heard about it on the internet, and there was very little interest in our situation when we contacted the authorities.

‘Our whole business will be wiped out. Our wedding and events business and the farmshop will disappear. The family has been here for nigh-on 100 years. I’m the third generation, and my son and daughter are both involved in the business.

‘Now, we’re left in limbo, even though we will definitely be open for the next five years. We’re pretty upset about it all. The real shock came when they moved the  putative route a year ago. It was originally going across my meadowland, and then we heard the line was going straight through the house.’

Also due for demolition is the Grade-II listed, 18th-century Coleshill Hall Farm in Warwickshire, with its medieval moat. The HS2 will run right through the site of the farmhouse and its even older outbuildings. Another slice of history will be lost for ever.

In Curdworth, Warwickshire, the line will run a mere 20 metres from the 17th-century, classical Dunton Hall, once home to Samuel Johnson’s grandparents.

Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, is a Grade I-listed building, stretching back almost 1,000 years to the reign of Edward the Confessor. Two of the greatest English architects, James Gibbs and James Wyatt, remodelled the building in the 18th century.

A hotel since 1999, and owned by the National Trust since 2008, it generates around £300,000 a year for the Trust. But who will want to stay there once HS2 passes 350 metres to the east of the house?
HS2: The route for the new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham

HS2: The route for the new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham

‘We have concerns in terms of the landscape, the visual impact and noise,’ says Claire Graves of the National Trust. ‘There is also the issue of the loss of seclusion and privacy for visitors and guests. Who knows what impact that will have?’

Meanwhile, the Prideaux family and their ancestors have lived at Grade II-listed Doddershall House in Quainton, Buckinghamshire, since it was built in 1520. HS2 will run just 250 yards from the house, destroying a lodge, slicing across the farmyard, and cutting off two private access roads.

‘Not only will we have noise and vibrations, but we will have to drive miles around the line to a new crossing,’ says Christopher Prideaux, 75, a retired banker. ‘That’s one thing in a car but virtually unworkable in a combine harvester.’

Christopher and Celia Prideaux have three children and eight grandchildren who may now never live in the ancestral home. Half a millennium of family history destroyed to chop 20 minutes off a commuter’s journey from Birmingham to London.

As Shirley Baker of condemned Dale House says of the project. ‘It’s not the British way, going through the back door. It’s underhand, immoral and unethical.’
Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. The comments below have not been moderated.

Herr Lipp Niedersachsen – Halt die Klappe!

– John, Erehwyna, 14/1/2012 16:53
Rating (0)

See what happens when you give up your guns? Need any? We have plenty here in USA. Sounds like the “commoner” is saying “up the nose” to the “landed gentry” there. Here’s an idea, make the two cities it connects tear down as many row houses as necessary to provide open green spaces, parks with trees in the cities that is equal to what those citizens take from the country. They won’t do it, that would be too much like equality.

– James D, Baltimore, Md, USA, 14/1/2012 16:38
Rating   1

Why dont we be sensible and improve the current rail network. I travel from Manchester to London regurlarly by train and a 30 mins saving in time is insufficient justification to spnd £33 billion. We do we suffer such stupid and inept thinking from our politicians. They make my blood boil at times!!!.

– True Brit, Manchester, 14/1/2012 16:35
Rating   5

… If ordinary, working class and middle class people were in a similar postion, we wouldn’t hear a word about it. – Zak, London, 14/1/2012 16:05 Ordinary, working and middle class people are affected by this. Hundreds of us, all for the sake of pleasing a few rich businessmen who’s country piles and city penthouses won’t be at risk. This will bring nothing to the country but massive debt, the trains are under-used and over-pricey all ready. It will cost every household over £1000 – ask yourself if you get £1,000 worth of use out of travelling from London to Birmingham and the majority of people will say no. Cuts to benefits, hospitals, schools, the NHS, but we can afford this railway? All these people calling us Nimbies because we can’t afford our property prices to plummet, give us your address and let’s route the thing through your garden if you are so in favour.

– Jill, Bucks, 14/1/2012 16:33
Rating   6

Sad, but the country overall will benefit – not to mention the environment, as more people travel by rail. Having lived next to the M3, at least the noise will only be periodic and not a constant drone day-and-night. In any event, as we are talking about 15 years time, it is something that will affect the next generation, who don’t yet live there, than those interviewed.

– Michael, Manchester, 14/1/2012 16:30
Rating   5

Nuts. Should be stopped at all costs. Cultural Heritage is already being destroyed FAR too much.

– J., London, 14/1/2012 16:30
Rating   5

I love the Nimbys, if they had gotten there way in the past we would still be living in caves as to build anything else would have harmed their outlook.

– anon, wilts, 14/1/2012 16:20
Rating   23

Pretty sure they could find a route for the new train line that goes around these villages

– James, Edinburgh, 14/1/2012 16:17
Rating   1

What a disgrace and it’s all towards saving about just 30 minutes off the actual journey and will take15 years to build. I can’t believe this. My heart goes out to those communities affected by this. Does the UK really need this in the light of so many small airports for getting around?

– smokingetna, Sicily, 14/1/2012 16:16
Rating   43

heritage lost is hard to get back

– Stuart, Ottawa, Canada, 14/1/2012 16:16

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Such beautiful and generations old homes! Hey idiot Englishmen. Nail the MPs in that constituency and VOTE ONLY for an MP who will ABOLISH EMINENT DOMAIN POWERS and grant ALLODIAL TITLES. So much for the Inns of Law of England? Not a word from the English Bar Council? Even the heritage families have neglected whats going on in England until this occured. Could someone see if at the heart of this all if the Lord Judges are for ort against and will stand up for the people – indirectly speaking on behalf of the Royal institution? Know your enemies Englishmen . . . (If the worst is confirmed, how about Lord Astor leading a revolt for a new English Dynasty that does grant ALLODIAL TITLES then?) Any connection in this action to that Latvian girl’s body recently found on Royal grounds?

Guan Eng moves to compel EC into holding local govt elections – Written by Lim Guan Eng – Friday, 13 January 2012 14:38

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

In 1956, George Town became the first local council in the country to have a fully elected council with the president elected from among the councillors. In 1965, local government elections in Malaysia were suspended. The official reasons given was that the country was facing the threat of Confrontation initiated by Indonesia.

The Local Government Act passed in 1976 , provided for only appointed councillors and presidents (Section 10) and was adopted by the Penang State Government. All councillors, including the presidents were appointed by the state government of the day. One of DAP’s key agenda is the restoration of local government elections.

The Penang PR state government has pressed for local government elections to enable councillors and mayors to be directly elected ever since we took power in 2008. Amongst some of the efforts taken by the Penang State Government to restore the third vote(after vote for parliament and state seats) are as follows:-

1.     On  11/8/2009 The Penang State Government moved a resolution in the State Assembly calling on the Federal Government to bring back local government elections. This was passed by the Penang state assembly.

2.     The State Government also engaged a 3 panel lawyer Dato Yeo Yang Poh, Mr Tommy Thomas and Malik Imtiaz and to provide legal opinion to the Penang State Government or our rights and powers to compel local government elections to be held.

3.     The Penang State Government wrote a letter to National Council of  Local Government (NCLG) under Article 95A of the Federal Constitution  NCLG date on 13/7/2009 and requested  bring up the topic of local government elections in this council. However the NCLG, rejected the State’s request.

4.     Based on the advice of the 3 panel lawyers, I wrote to the Election Commission on behalf of Penang State Government on 4/3/2010 requesting the Election Commission to conduct local government elections. Under Article 113 (4) Federal Constitution, it is explicitly state that Federal or State law may authorise the Election Commission to conduct elections other than those referred to in Clause (1).

As Clause 1 refers to parliamentary and state seats, clearly the state government has jurisdiction over whether to hold election for municipal seats since local government is under the State list. The Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution of powers within the State List explicitly states that the state government decides over local government elections.

5.     The reply by Election Commission dated 23 March 2010 to the Penang State Government rejecting the Penang State government’s request to restore Local Government Elections is disappointing. The Penang state government has no choice but to institute legal proceedings to compel the Election Commission to comply wth the state government’s directive to conduct local government elections.

As a first step, the Penang State Government has been advised by Tommy Thomas, at a meeting with Tommy Thomas and some EXCO members yesterday, to first negate Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1976. Section 15 states: “Not withstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law, all provisions relating to local government elections shall cease to have force or effect.” In other words section 15 nullified all local government elections.

Tommy Thomas has also advised that the State government issue a Gazette notification exempting all the local authorities within Penang from applying Section 15 of the Local Government Act. This would result in section 15 not being applicable in Penang and is the first step towards seeking a court declaration to compel the Election Commission to conduct local government elections.

I will be proposing at the next EXCO meeting next week directing the State Legal Advisor to issue this gazette notification. This is a necessary precursor to take the issue to court to seek a declaration, which will be conducted by Tommy Thomas.

Lim Guan Eng is the Penang Chief Minister and secretary-general of DAP

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Who is DAP fooling?

DAP can APPOINT any councillors that voters can be asked informally to select from a list that is open for any aspiring preferably non-politically aligned candidates to list themselves on, WHILE refusing all Councillors failing to get enough votes on a 66.6% quorum that should be voted over a 6 month or even 1 year period. Hiding behind the BN government’s failure top act is shameless when DAP can do the above.

Also remember to vote only for MPs/candidates who endorse to grant :

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.

Pakatan has not made any move or sound on the above 3 items . . . and is now pretending to not be able to hold Local Council Elections as well, and has a rather fundo cast to it’s central committees. How is this better than what 3rd Force can offer? Make clear on so many issue, especially section 377B, or UNHCR Article 18 in the context of Apostasy to counter the potential fundo issue. You guys are several decades too old and several shades too dated ti be ‘todays’ government – nepotistic and term limitless to boot . . .

An Electricity Free World Sat, 11/13/2010 – 16:00 — AgreeToDisagree

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

Average: 3.2 (13 votes)

Remove all items/systems products that need Fuel or Electricity

1) Use of smaller non-pollutive wood and sail ships again in place of single massive diesel guzzlers.

2) Beast of burden run cargo trains (elephants and howdahs for the wealthy, horses and carriages for the regular, bullocks and mules for the poor) for transport of goods or transport in general.

3) Aerodynamic hot air balloons in place of airplanes? Does one really need to get somewhere so quickly that one needs to leave a 747 sized carbon billion gallon fuel polluting footprint as opposed to some hot air?

4) “Rickshaw” / “Sedan Chair” culture that will support the entire lives of 1 to 4 people via 30 year contracts instead of buying a single vehicle equivalent to 2-5 low cost flats.

5) Go low tech on entertainments too. Start retraining musicians and actors for local stages instead of buying TVs. The state could support Town criers instead of supporting Radio Stations which use electricity and cause people to use electricity. Use messenger pigeons instead of handphones.

6) Do not use factory production machines. Start building and training weaving loom workers and tailors instead of paying for multi-million dollar machines that pollute the envioronment. Button carvers and makers using shellfish and wood buttons.

7) Use centralised ‘Fanning’ systems powered by workers or have personal maids for fanning. Would you rather support a human being, or pay the idiot electric company bill and their idiot executives to pollute the world and be rude to you? Use beeswax or animal oil candles instead of paying for electricity again.

8) Eat whole fresh foods rather than high preservative coloured/flavoured canned/plastic packed foods. There will be no need for canning factories or the mines that need to produce tin or other metals to can foods with. Use herbs and traditional medicines instead of often dangerous chemical and unpronounceable based pharmaceuticals. Reinstitute the milkman network.

9) Go back to using printed books made with carved or impressed plates and organic dyes. I strongly believe that 1 day’s use of a computer could cause more pollution than a single medieval era book would leave behind. Support artists with REAL talent instead of media companies paying software platform developers BILLIONS. Use the abacus instead of the calculator.

10) Replace tractors with bullocks and elephants. What would you rather have? A potential meat and bone/leather/horn/ivory source that exquisite furniture can be made out of that is biodegradable, or a pollutant producing crop sowing or harvesting machines like backhoes that rust and need ungodly amounts of maintainence which again require parts manufactured in polluting factories? Go organic, in this case, let your machinery be that provided by nature in the form of beasts of burden.

11) Street lights would be maintained by crews of oil-lamp or candle lighters and even sponsored by citizens so inclined to buy the oil or candles. Would such workers not be a better choice to support than the impersonal and abusive electric producers that hold us all by the throat that pollute the entire land? High rises could use stone and gear weighted systems that could be managed and support a team of engineers, instead of a lift component or lift maker. Support PEOPLE not machines. The electricity bill for the lifts alone should be enough to pay the lift engineers quite well AND  not pollute.

12) Flagstone (wealthy), cobblestone/mortar (average), or gravel (budget) roads could be used in place of tar or the pollutive tarring machines. No to pollutive cement factories!

13) Reinstitute the nightsoil system in conjunction with the Corprovore Terrarium.

Combined with the organic solutions earlier mentioned, Nuclear technology and GMOs would seem sheer insanity when so many organic sources of human or animal powered, fuelless, electricity free possibilities exist. Who needs electricity for quality of life? Electricity in fact destroys quality of life.

that wouldn’t workWed, 12/15/2010 – 10:13 — Anonymous

that wouldn’t work work because everything the world is trying to achieve is PROGRESS, doing everything or even one thing in your solution would mean we would go and live in the 16th century which is a major setback. We must get rid of CO2 and pollution by improving not by doing the oppsite.

yours sincerely,

Ben van Heumen

I don’t think its a setback.

Fri, 12/17/2010 – 16:13 — AgreeToDisagree

I don’t think its a setback. The lack of density and leisurely pace of life in the 16th century was very pleasant and meaningful. Progress is not speed, progress is QUALITY OF LIFE, and in that we have REGRESSED because of PROGRESS.

There will be no CO2 or pollution either. Maybe it will be a setback for those profiteering off consumerism and ‘big government’ or using technology to hide behind so their inadequacy as people will be less apparent, but material objects and speed can never buy happiness.

Consider the good aura of tree lined healthful low density environment of the 16th or even earlier century. That is truly PROGRESS.

yours sincerely,


The day you agree to a

Mon, 03/21/2011 – 17:09 — Anonymous

The day you agree to a personal five year contract of retrieving and caryying ‘night soil’ we will agree with all of your ideas.

Everyone produces the stuff, so everyone pulls their own weight (shovels their own sh1t)
Sun, 05/08/2011 – 22:43 — Anonymous

Everyone produces the stuff, and should carry their OWN sh*t. Besides did you not see the ideas on use of slugs and salt ‘eating’ bacteria to deal with the human waste problem? No need to carry night soil? Sounds like someone in the sewage industry feels a need to get personal . . .

Read carefully then comment. Whats this got to do with moi? There will always be contractors . . .

But that could be something in the line of national service (for city dwellers who will get to choose when they shovel sh*t, watch Mad Max b4???) if not using their own pit system and linked to the centralized one. A Hazmat type suited system with disinfecting showers at exit and entry points could be implemented though, or the stench and bacterial load could kill.

Coprovore Terrarium Sewage Unit (To Replace Sepic Tanks or Entire Sewage system) Tue, 08/10/2010 – 23:49 — AgreeToDisagree

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

Introducing a terrarium form habitat with featuring solid waste eating slugs. Biologically natural and 100% green. Apart from the earlier mentioned open air method earlier suggested, we could also use :

(1) Slugs For Processing of Meat Waste & Solid Sewage
– solid waste be fed to coprovores like slugs
– when slug populations grow too large, they can be given (after a period of cleansing via ‘clean’ diet) to ducks or geese or any animals that eat slugs, these animals can be in turn eaten by humans
– when slug casts begin to pile too high, casts may be also used as fertilizers of plants (after a period being denatured in simulated open air/sunlit but enclosed environments – maybe a multi storey building with high ceilings so allow more light in) which can be later fed to livestock animals
– solid waste again given to slugs (solid waste sanitation problems solved)

Further degradation of solid waste within residential unit terrariums could be incorporated via mirrors within sealed glass “Light Ducts” (similar to Air Ducts but utilising sunlight reflected onto the terrarium floor to ensure optimal solar exposure.)

(2) Worms for Non-Meat Food Waste / Composting
– worms are fed vegetable matter
– dead worms are fed to slugs
– over population used for chicken feed (always eat free range birds/fowl !)
– worm casts are used as fertilizer

(3) Processing of Liquid Waste
– this removes the need for pollutive Nitrate Fertilizer Factories
– in this method, salt must be removed from the urine must be somehow treated to remove salt beforehand, any ideas apart from salt free diets and tertiary water treatment?
– if the salt problem can be solved (probably not too difficult), the 1:20 urine/water ratio by some opinions mixture with water make a water based good nitrate fertiliser that is not too concentrated
– air can be further passed through the mix to better help bacteria oxidize ammonia, this may be optional as it adds a layer of cost
– a second level of processing, can also be included in the leaching area where other microbes in gravel can break the nitrate into carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas.
– the third level of processing including UV light method disinfection can ensure leached water is even be reusable in toilet unit flushing or even irrigation.
– with a final level of processing being use of plants that store easily accessed water (i.e. water vines) and later purification with Moringa extract, filtration, and of course boiling and maybe a second round of UV treatment again. No chemicals !

With these 3 systems side by side, all organic waste could be handled quite easily in a chemical free manner. The strategy is have sufficient numbers of slugs or breed larger forms of slugs and earth worms bred to consume all the organic solid waste humans living in a particular family can produce.

Leaching will be included in the system as with septic tanks to allow drainage of liquid waste into separate tank that will be de-salted (solution not yet included) and used as nitrate fertilizer.

Combined with strict use of ONLY organic materials in all industries, this 100% green biological waste removal system (which replaced septic tanks) when sufficiently refined to go into mass production, will end mankind’s waste issues. No more sewers or burgeoning septic tank problems !

Update to above on the Salt issue – Sun, 05/08/2011 – 22:47:

The salt issue can be solved with ‘salt eating bacteria’ which could be used in tandem with the slugs. Slug casts and slugs as mentioned could be reused for fertilizer and feed for livestock.

Salt Eating Bacteria

Various Synthetic Product Replacements / Support of Organics Industry Instead of Synthetics Thu, 07/08/2010 – 20:54 — AgreeToDisagree

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

If there is demand, the organic goods industry will grow. If there is lack of demand, the plastics and petrochem industry will die. Overall result, better environment, less illness. Try also to put these thoughts/boycotts into practice that will enrich the Organics Industry and kill the Synthetics Industry :

1) Buy fresh food instead of canned or plastic food. Preservatives are pollutive and hazardous to health. Those with nearby access to wet markets or outlets with fresh food, use smaller refrigerators to save electricity.

2) Build low density/low rise cities of wood and stone. This allows builders to avoid using pollutive steel in buildings. Use wood instead of plastic/metal on and in cars/electronic equipment/switch/lighting/airconditioning/refrigerator coverings. Remember when Televisions used WOOD instead of pollutive plastic for their covers? Stop using plastic and aluminium framed umbrellas and bicycles in favour of bamboo framed paper umbrellas. Use leather or fur and latex in place of petrochem based pvc or poly-velvet for shoes and jackets or handbags. Use natural pigments in place of synthetic petro-chem based paints. Buy natural fibres, instead of polyester and such. Use bicycles instead of cars or hire trishaws/quadshaws or buy trishaws/quadshaws and support a driver or two of a trishaw/quadshaw (2 cyclist version of trishaw) instead paying the pollutive and abusive car industry or government road tax and the idiot executives and bureaucrats of either being paid millions. Get your local councils to ensure at least 1 Bicycle/Trishaw/Quadshaw depot and Sedan/Bicycle/Trishaw/Quadshaw dedicated route exists from your residential neighbourhood to the city. Also make sure that Trishaws and Quadshaws are made of BAMBOO/Wood and WAXED-PAPER/Tung-Oil-Cloth instead of aluminium and polyester. Make sure those tires are rubber-natural-fibres composites instead of those made with synthetics.

3) Do not send sewage to the ocean where sea life cannot absorb urea/nitrate/etc. BUT INSTEAD degrade sewage on land where the correct fungi and insect-life can process and return ‘nightsoil’ to the land so that ‘topsoil’ retains it’s richness in nutrients. Compost food waste. This of course, especially the former, will need lots of dedicated space and reasonable monitoring to ensure only properly processed ‘soil’ can be used. An off limits *Sewage Landfill* zone, perhaps in skyscrapers.

4) Use non-pollutive ‘Tung Oil’ Lacquerware, Stoneware or Glass ONLY, stop using pollutive petrochem based plastic. Alternatively, use ‘Bamboo-ware’ instead of anything else.

5) Use local manufacturers for consumer items instead of cost-ineffective/pollutive shipping and freighting industries. Brand names after all are mostly made in ‘Third World’ countries and tagged as luxury goods. Do you really think anyone believes that an article of clothing or accessory is worth more than the sustainability of the planet?

6) Use beeswax or animal fat based lamps for lighting or even as heat source for cooking, do not use electricity which is based on coal, petrol or gas.

7) Use Organic soaps made from Common Soapwort / Neem Leaf / Clove Leaf / Betel Leaf or Vinegar (also a non-poisonous deterrant to some insects) instead of dangeorous and non-biodegradable caustic detergents that are again washed into the sewage system and into the sea. All of the above mentioned natural detergents are edible and cause purging at large amounts at worst. Try an ounce of synthetic cleaner of any type and expect to wind up in hospital for days or even die from it.

8) For water, use crushed Moringa seeds (Indian, Indonesian, Latin American, and Sub-Saharan Africa drought resistant tree) in RAINWATER from non-industrialised regions to remove bacteria and solids. From just one hour (full day if you must), Moringa, a natural flocculant (substance that aggregates suspended particles) can give you a reasonably healthier and far safer alternative to piped water. Boil as usual of course. The soup of metals and floating sediments from highly floridated (lowers IQ) and chlorinated (poisons internal organs) water running through miles of sometimes decades old decaying piping before reaching you are a killer to drink. (*fact : boiling ‘activates’ flouride particles in water and causes further ionisation of neural structures, particularly the pineal gland which regulates healthful sleep patterns)

9) Use hot water on insects you want to kill. A hot water spritzer (vacuum flask with spritzing attchment) would be ideal for this purpose. You’d be surprised how effective this method is. Not pesticides or (arsenic) which do not achieve the same effect and are 100s of time more dangerous and non-biodegradable that will pollute the water table in time to come and gather in the immediate living environment they are used in.

10) Eat natural whole foods instead of vitamins. The highly processed nature of vitamins lacks ‘life force’ or ‘qi’ or ‘prana’ and are even processed from sewage or unwanted meat or food product waste via high tech methods. Would you pay for soemthing derived from what people throw away?

Addenda :

I can’t remember which vehicle manufacturer it was, but, at least one manufacturer is making moves towards using “Jute Cloth” infused with, of all things Plastic, (use Tung Oil instead you silly manufacturer), to replace metal bodywork for vehicles. I like the infused-Jute idea very much especially if infused with Tung laquer instead of plastic.

Jute for the non-luxury cheaper/industrial vehicle, bamboo for the average vehicle, and hardwood for the luxury vehicles!

A lighter vehicle/or aeroplane/ship would use less energy to move and if done in a Bamboo Chassis, “Tung Oil infused Jute” for outer panel structures combined with a 100% mechanical powered system (wind up vehicles could be cleanest when the spring and gear metal components could even eventually be replaced with natural materials), would cause even less pollution than so called electrical cars which after all need to plug into pollution causing energy sources.

Perhaps the shipping industry should shift from steel back to wood again? The costs could be lower and the scrapyards causing the worst pollution could be dismantled to biodegradable wood materials that could be used as fertiliser or be fed to insects that again could be used to feed livestock!

Those with nearby access to wet markets or outlets with fresh food, use smaller refrigerators to save electricity.A hot water spritzer (vacuum flask with spritzing attchment) would be ideal for this purpose.Remember when Televisions used WOOD instead of pollutive plastic for their covers. Stop using plastic and aluminium framed umbrellas and bicycles in favour of bamboo framed paper umbrellas. Use leather or fur and latex in place of petrochem based pvc or poly-velvet for shoes and jackets or handbags.Use leather or fur and latex in place of petrochem based pvc or poly-velvet for shoes and jackets or handbags.

Some research/thoughts on power terminology : Horse Power and CC Cubic Centimeters – @AgreeToDisagree – 14th Januaery 2012

In clean energy, Elephant on January 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

WTF is a cc of power? WTF is a HP (horsepower)?

On a smaller engine, typically used on lawn mowers and snow blowers, rough estimate is 34.5cc = 1 hp. A one liter bottle of water has a volume of 1000 cc.

Example 342CC engine on a snowblower would approximately equate to a 10hp engine.

CCs are engine size. Horsepower is [I]power[/I]. You can get a rough estimate of the power by multiplying the engine’s size in cc by about 8 tenths of it’s redline, dividing that by 56,634, then dividing that by 1.3. Considering that motorcycle engines of that size are normally put in cruisers, which often have a redline between 5 and 6,000 rpm, I estimate (with no guarantee) a horsepower rating between 97 and 117hp. Anonymous

How to Convert CC to Horsepower

Horsepower (hp) is a measure of power output, and cubic centimeters (cc) is a measure of volume (size), so there is no formula for the direct conversion of cc to horsepower. Some very efficient small engines can produce almost 1 horsepower per cc of volume, and some huge diesel ship engines produce only 1 hp for every 234 cc of volume.

Almost all non-racing automobile engines have a cc to hp ratio in a range of 13 to 25:1 (i.e. some engines can produce 100 hp at just 1300 cc, but others require up to 2500 cc to produce the same 100 hp). The Simetric website (see Resources) offers a chart with an extensive listing of cc to hp ratios of various types of engines.

Engine Efficiency vs. Size

Determine the horsepower of the engine. Since horsepower and cc are different units of measure, the only way to accurately convert cc to hp is to determine the horsepower output of the specific engine in question first. The hp output of an engine is available from many sources, including the spec sheet in the owner’s manual, auto parts store or dealership and online. (Or, given that power output degrades over time and varies based on the engine tuning, it can be determined by empirical testing at an engine workshop and/or race track.)
Calculate the cc to hp ratio. When you have determined the horsepower of the engine, divide that number by the number of cc in the engine, giving you the cc to hp ratio. For example, if the hp rating of a 3000 cc engine is 200, then the cc to hp ratio is 3000/200 = 15.

Highly efficient engines, such as those in Formula One race cars or top fuel dragsters, can have cc to hp ratios as small as 1.05 to 1 or even less. That is, the engine is producing almost 1 hp of power output for every cc of engine size. Engines like this are supercharged and incredibly highly tuned, and all run on the most volatile fuels. Larger, less efficient engines, like those found on capital ships, might produce 1 hp for every 200 cc of engine size or more. These engines have a very long stroke and are intentionally designed for a low power but high torque output.

Tips & Warnings

Horsepower is a non-metric unit of power that is almost only used in reference to internal combustion engines. Other more typical units of power used in scientific discourse include kilowatts

(1 hp = .75kW) and foot pounds per second (1 hp = 550 ft-lb/sec).

Units of horsepower (HP) measure power output, while cubic centimeter (CC) units measure volume. Since each is used to measure different things, there is no easy calculator for direct conversion,

but there is a formula that you can use to convert CC to HP. As a general rule related to vehicle engines, 15 CC = 1 HP. So a 1500 CC engine is roughly equivalent to a 100 HP engine.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Look at all the illogical nonsense terms above! Misleading and mismatched use of the word ‘horse’ and what a ‘horse’ can actually produce in power (horsepower) – much like fiat currency inflation if anything. Locally a Pawpaw (Papaya) costs 1 cent in the pre 50s era. Now it costs $3.00 or more. 300 times?!? That is why some of us are not interested in economics and have awareness of inequitable wealth distribution . . .

One horse (a REAL HORSE) could pull most of today’s smallest cars at a reasonable speed. Does this mean that 100 horsepower is only 1 REAL HORSE’s actual power? What does the industry term *mean* 100 horses? 10 REAL HORSES could pull 1 lorry. Shouldn’t a standard draft horse’s limit of 700lbs be 1 HP proper? See below :

The two-horse rule : “The concept of teamwork can be illustrated by the two-horse rule. If one horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, how much weight will they pull yoked together? The answer may surprise you. The two-horse team will pull their own weight plus the weight of their interaction. Therefore, yoked together, the horses can pull 3000 pounds!”

At one horse : we get 700 pounds pullable / 2 horses we get 3000 pounds pullable

So take for example :

The 660cc Kancil at 623 kg (1,373 lb) : the HP listed for a Kancil is 49 hp (37 kW) – How about we just say *1.5 HP* (instead of 49 HP) as only 1.5 horses are needed to pull this vehicle?

Then take for example the 3200cc S300 Mercedes 221 at 2304 kg (5 079.45) : the HP listed for a S300 Mercedes 221 is 204 hp (152 kW) – How about we just say *3 HP* (instead of 204 HP) as only 3 horses are needed to pull this vehicle?

Finally why do cars need to be made of heavy metal/steel when roads don’t even allow vehicles to travel at any reasonable speed enough to crack or dent wooden frames? Use bamboo or wood instead, almost as tough considering added flexibility.

Whats with the CC efficiency nonsense? Also we can eat horsemeat of retired horses than waste energy and time with recycling and pollute from rust and paint.

Then consider the below article :

Pavegen: Energy Generating Pavement Hits the Streets
by Diane Pham, 10/28/09

Any one point on a busy street can receive up to 50,000 steps a day, so imagine if you could take all that foot traffic and turn it into something useful – like energy! A new product designed by Laurence Kemball-Cook, the director of Pavegen Systems Ltd., can do just that. With a minuscule flex of 5mm, the energy generating pavement is able to absorb the kinetic energy produced by every footstep, creating 2.1 watts of electricity per hour.

Every time a rubber Pavegen stone is stepped on it bends, producing kinetic energy that is either stored within lithium polymer batteries or distributed to nearby lights, information displays, and much more. Just five slabs spread over a lively sidewalk has the ability to generate enough energy to illuminate a bus stop throughout the night. But applications are not limited to the street. Extended into other public and private spaces the system has the potential to power lights, computers, automatic doors, ticket machines, refrigerators, shop signs, microwaves… Depending on the usage, the payback period could be as little as one year, and each Pavegen stone has an estimated system life of five years of use, or 20 million steps.

Constructed from marine grade stainless steel and recycled materials, the surface (which comes in a variety of choice colors) of each slab features the rubber from old tires, and the internal components are made from recycled aluminium. Whenever a slab is stepped on it emits a glow (which only uses 5% of the total energy produced) – this not only informs the passerby of their contribution, but also reinforces a sustainable attitude and an increased awareness of the energy that is continually created and expended by each individual.

So far Pavegen has been tested out in East London and will continue onto various destinations in the UK in 2010. If all goes well it will hopefully be jetting off to some of the most trafficked and amazing places all over the world like New York’s Times Square, the Eiffel Tower or even Disney World.

+ Pavegen Systems Ltd.

WHAT IF we got somewhat heavily loaded horses and trotted them up and down along such a pathway in a ramp form multistorey building to produce kinetic energy to power the world? What kind of CLEAN 100% green power could be produced? That life of 5 years of use thing could be improved easily to 50 if nanomaterials are used. So think you scientists, horses, then even elephants (try a pachyderm sized hamster wheel) and after genetic science – dinosaurs . . .

"Elephant Wheel Power", think Hamster wheel at Elephantine size, crossed with same mechanisms used in Hydro-power, except the driving force is a number of elephants on shifts . . . overall cost of pollution, and building of dams is far much higher. This is an organic source of power that is infinitely renewable, just keep the work animals well rested and happy . . .

Humiliation of the French: After lecturing Britain on its finances, France is stripped of its gold-plated AAA credit rating – by Hugo Duncan Last updated at 3:50 AM on 14th January 2012

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2012 at 6:18 am

France, along with eight other countries have been downgraded
Germany, Holland, Finland, Luxembourg, Estonia, Ireland and Belgium remain unchanged
Italy reduced two notches to BBB+
Banks fail to reach deal for Greece to halve privately held debt burden
Analysts warn that Britain may still be downgraded

France was stripped of its coveted AAA credit rating last night in a crushing humiliation for President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The downgrade of Europe’s second largest economy – along with eight other Eurozone countries – came just a month after a bitter war of words broke out between Paris and London over the relative health of the French and British economies.

The row followed Prime Minister David Cameron’s historic decision to veto a European treaty to deal with the crisis affecting the euro.

Senior French politicians and the country’s top central banker insisted it should be Britain, not France, that should be stripped of the gold-plated AAA rating.

But last night, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s delivered its verdict – and it made dismal reading for Mr Sarkozy ahead of the French presidential election this spring.

The French downgrade by one notch to AA+ was met with muted glee in Downing Street and the Treasury, where officials have grown tired of Mr Sarkozy’s grandstanding over the economy and his attempts to undermine Britain at the EU summit before Christmas.

Allies of the Prime Minister and Chancellor refused to make public comments, but one described a ‘mood of quiet satisfaction’ that Britain’s strategy of announcing spending cuts to reassure the financial markets and the credit ratings agencies ‘has been vindicated’.


By one notch:

By two notches:









Hong Kong

France has been rated AAA for the last 36 years and S&P’s decision is a major setback to the President’s hopes of re-election.

Analysts said the top-notch score was no longer appropriate due to the country’s towering debts, weak economy, and the crisis gripping the single currency.

The AAA rating – still held by the UK – allows countries to borrow cheaply on the international money markets and is seen as crucial to hopes of economic recovery.
Standard and Poor’s credit rating system

Higher interest rates for the government will push up the cost of borrowing for businesses and households and hamper economic growth.

The French downgrade cast fresh doubt over the firepower of the European Financial Stability Facility, the eurozone bailout fund.

It could make it harder for the EFSF to raise enough money to prop up Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and severely dent hopes that Italy and Spain can be protected.

Italy had its rating downgraded by two notches, to BBB+ as nine eurozone countries had their long-term rating cut to some degree.

S&P also downgraded Austria from AAA to AA+ but left the eurozone’s four other top-rated countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg – unchanged, along with Estonia, Ireland and Belgium.

Other eurozone countries with lower credit ratings, including Spain and Italy, also face further downgrades.

The euro sank by around 1 per cent. It hit a new 16-month low against the dollar of $1.263 and dropped against the pound to just above 82p, the lowest level since September 2010.

Kathleen Brooks, a research director at currency firm, said the downgrade could tip the balance in favour of Mr Sarkozy’s presidential rival, Socialist Francois Hollande.

‘It won’t do Sarkozy’s approval ratings any good and could give Hollande a boost,’ she said.

‘However, the markets may not react well to a Socialist French President, especially when France needs urgent structural economic reforms to bring its public finances under control.’

The French Government insisted the country could continue to meet its debt obligations.

‘France today is a safe investment, it can repay its debts and the news concerning our deficit is better than expected,’ said Budget minister Valerie Pecresse.

But the French ten-year bond yield – the benchmark measure of the interest rate investors demand to lend to the government – was stuck above 3 per cent last night.

By contrast it was below 2 per cent in Britain, which has emerged as a safe haven while the single currency crisis rages.

Analysts warned that France and Austria will not be the last AAA-rated countries to be downgraded, and that Britain could be hit. S&P downgraded the U.S. last summer.

Graham Neilson, of asset management firm Cairn Capital in London, said: ‘This is just the start.

‘There will be more to come and not just in Europe – there is simply still too much debt and not enough growth in developed economies.

‘The handbag-waving that took place last year between France and the UK may be settled with a UK downgrade later this year.

‘Ultimately this is a good thing. One of myriad reasons for this debt pile-up is the perception that developed Western government debt, particularly within the eurozone, is risk-free. It is not.’

The French and Austrian downgrades came as talks between Greece and its lenders over a possible 50 per cent write-off of its debts stalled.

Mr Sarkozy is only 2 per cent in front of far-Right nationalist leader Marine Le Pen as she bids to become French President, a poll shows today.

It puts Le Pen on 21.5 per cent and Sarkozy on 23.5. The front runner on 27 per cent is the Socialist candidate, Mr Hollande.

Time is running out for Greek government

Meanwhile, in Greece, banking representatives have warned time is running out for the Greek government, which today held a second day of talks with private bondholders on the crucial debt relief deal.

They said that if a deal to roughly halve its privately held debt burden – which would unlock more bailout funds – is not struck soon then the country could go bust.

That, it warned, would send shockwaves throughout the global economy. The negotiations came ahead of a visit on Monday by international inspectors monitoring Greece’s austerity program.

Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos
Greek Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos

Under pressure: Time is running out for Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos (left) and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (right) to seal a crucial debt relief deal

The private debt deal is a key part of Greece’s second international bailout, worth a total 130 billion euro, which tops the initial 110 billion euro programme agreed in May 2010 to keep the country solvent after its borrowing costs soared to unreachable heights.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos met Charles Dallara and Jean Lemierre of global banking body the Institute of International Finance today.

After a first round of talks yesterday, a senior Greek finance ministry official said a deal could be struck by the end of next week, with a formal public offer coming at the beginning of February.

But a statement from the IIF warned that ‘some key areas remain unresolved’, and stressed that ‘time for reaching an agreement is running short.’

A poll in Germany today revealed half of its citizens did not believe Greece should be allowed to go bankrupt.

In contrast 41 per cent of Germans asked said other eurozone countries should let Greece go bust.

Only 15 per cent thought a Greek bankruptcy would be economically good for Germany, while 69 per cent believed it would be detrimental, the survey found.

The poll of 1,359 people was conducted for ZDF television between Tuesday and Thursday.

It gave a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.

Frederic Oudea, chief executive of French bank Societe Generale, which holds a substantial amount of Greek debt, said negotiations could finish in the next few days and private creditors might end up accepting losses even larger than the target of 50 per cent.

He added: ‘But we have to be careful to maintain a balance because even if governments are saying that Greece will be a unique case, it will be instructive to investors.

‘It could become a ‘cautionary tale’ that could weigh on other countries.’

The talks are being complicated by the large number of actors involved in the broader bailout deal.

Not only the Greeks and the IIF, but the 17 countries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund who will have to fund the payments to the private creditors also have to sign off.

That is complicating reaching an agreement on contentious issues, such as what interest Greece will have to pay on the new, lower-value bonds, according to people familiar with the talks.

The interest rate is key to determining the cost of the second bailout for Greece’s official creditors – the eurozone and the IMF.

In contrast to the face value of the bonds, which may not have to be repaid for many years if the restructuring works, the interest has to be paid from the very start.

One person briefed on the talks said there is disagreement among eurozone governments on how much interest Greece should pay – with some pushing for an interest rate as low as 3 per cent. That would be very little for bonds that are paid off in 20 to 30 years’ time.
The two-year-old Greek debt crisis, which followed revelations that Athens had been under-reporting key data on its bloated budget deficit and public debt, has shaken the eurozone and roiled financial markets.

Greece’s foreign ministry today said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will visit Athens on Sunday for talks with Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas. Westerwelle is also expected to meet with Papademos.

Germany is a key contributor to Greece’s rescue loan program. Athens will only continue to receive the loans if it satisfies inspectors from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that its austerity program is working.

Talks: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (left) and Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas (right) will be in Athens on Sunday for a meeting

But the 2011 budget deficit is expected to overshoot targets, while the pace of promised reforms remains sluggish. The inspectors, collectively known as the troika, are expected to arrive in Athens next Tuesday.

Over the past two years, Greece has slashed pensions and salaries while repeatedly hiking taxes, in a deeply unpopular program that has sparked a string of general strikes and often violent protests.

Last week, Papademos urged unions to accept further income losses, warning that bankruptcy and an ignominious exit from the euro could otherwise follow.

And today he told Parliament: ‘If the country does not manage to confront its debt crisis and the economy’s structural weaknesses, the consequences for standard of living of workers and pensioners will be dramatic.

Trouble: Fellow eurozone members Ireland and Portugal have also been forced to take international bailouts, with the threat of contagion rattling Europe’s economy and battering the euro

‘It is preferable to have open businesses with slightly lower wages … than closed businesses.’

He said some 38,000 businesses have closed since 2009. Unemployment hit 18.2 per cent in October, while the economy is heading for a fourth year of recession.

Papademos said, however, that it would be hard to further cut the lower end of salaries and pensions, and promised ‘tough negotiations’ with debt inspectors on labor reforms.

He added: ‘But our ability to negotiate is linked with … our own ability to address the sources of our problems.’

Far-reaching implications of downgrade

In the run-up to the last meeting of EU leaders on December 9, S&P said it was putting 15 of the eurozone’s nations on notice for a downgrade.

A downgrade of the eurozone’s triple A nations could have far-reaching implications, potentially complicating the ability of Europe’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability

Facility, or EFSF, to provide support to struggling countries. France is a major contributor to the EFSF.

Rumours of the downgrades provide further evidence that investors in the markets remain jittery despite some positive signs over Europe’s debt crisis this week.

Auctions from the likes of Italy and Spain have gone smoothly while the European Central Bank’s chief noted signs of economic stabilization.

Louise Cooper, markets analyst at BGC Partners, said: ‘This rally is not built on solid foundations so this (selling) is indicative that underlying there’s not much confidence.’ Standard & Poor’s refused to comment on the speculation.

Nevertheless, the market response to the speculation was fairly savage across all markets.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 1.7 per cent at 6,075 while the CAC-40 in France fell 1.4 per cent at 3,156. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 1.3 per cent lower at 5,588.

Meanwhile, the euro was 1.4 per cent lower at $1.2644, its lowest level since September 2010.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average was 1.1 per cent lower at 12,330 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.2 per cent to 1,280.

Though the pickup in the stream of U.S. earnings will impact markets over the coming days and weeks, Europe’s debt crisis is likely to remain the main focus.

Europe’s crisis sprang from worries that countries had taken on more debt during boom years than they could pay back once their economies slowed.

Those concerns led investors to demand astronomically high yields or interest rates to lend money to countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal, eventually forcing those three to seek bailout loans, rather than rely on market financing.

In recent months, it has seemed as if Italy would join that ignominious club, but that would present an insurmountable challenge: Italy’s economy dwarfs the three that have sought rescues and Europe can’t afford to bail it out.

[[[[ *** REPONSE ** ]]]

I loled when I saw this. Don’t be dishonest Duncan. This is simply Anglo outfits run by England retaliating against France for being scolded. This article writer needs to respect the

article readers abit more and stop being so narrowly communal. If England is bad in finances and France wants to unload a few hundred years of insults including the fall of Monarchy and

Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, France can jolly well do that without article writers propagandising and twisting facts like this. It’s retaliation by a non-neutral biased ‘rating agency’

(currency/fiat collusion agency). Come on Hugo, do an honest rewrite!

To be fair this is how the ‘Rating’ Agency should work :


Canada/Americas    can rate all the below but noyt Canada/Americas :

South Americas
North Atlantic Isles
Middle East
Central Asia
Far East Asia

North Atlantic Isles (including England) can rate all the below but not North Atlantic Isles :

South Americas
North Atlantic Isles
Middle East
Central Asia
Far East Asia

AND to have a rating listed or changed, ALL ‘Rating Agencies’ but the local ‘Rating Agency’ of the nation to be rated MAY NOT participate in determining the rating.

As the adge goes, ‘Self praise is no praise.’ In this case an attack on another is simply a inverse version of self praise. This is a biased article, and World Finance Bodies of any self respect at all should consider the above suggestions of non-local based ratings staffed and headed entirely by local ethnicities. Otherwise as the English would say, this was just wanking (at France in this case) . . .

It is the Anglo tin plated ratings agencies that humiliated itself by these unethical actions not France that was humiliated.

AAA is for any nation which has reserves equivalent to GDP

AA is for any nation which has had ZERO DEBT for 10 years
A for any nation which has had ZERO DEBT for 3 years

B for any nation which has 100 million DEBT

B minus for any nation which has 1 billion DEBT
C for any nation which has 10 billion DEBT

C minus for any nation which has 100 billion DEBT
D for any nation which has had 1 trillion DEBT

D minus for any nation which has had 10 trillion DEBT

E for any nation which has DEBT which is unreturnable but they still retain autonomy
F for any nation which is a failed state from DEBT and falls under IMF type bodies in permanent debt slavery (methinks there are a few already . . . )

Tell it like it is you misrepresenting agencies! Overhaul the system, ANY nation with ANY DEBT does not deserve any **A** EVER!!!