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About JohnfromUK

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    Worcestershire/Gloucestershire border

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  1. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    Well, that is actually 'Phase 2'. The final phase is the note left by Liam Byrne (Labour Treasury Secretary) for his successor "there's no money left"
  2. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    The EU collects money from all member states, and spends that money in all member states. From what is collected, there is a significant portion diverted off for 'administration' (roughly £10 billion, or 7% of the overall EU budget) paying for the commission, EU parliament, 3 x major EU headquarters, meetings, employees, translators, civil servants, expenses claims, pensions, travel and transport for MEPs and EU civil servants, bureaucracy, JC Junckers bar bill etc.) The remainder is spent in the member states, but 'redistributes', such that in effect the 'rich' states (Germany, UK, Holland, France Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg, Finland) make a net contribution, whereas the other 16 are net beneficiaries. The UK has the second largest net contribution (£3.5 billion) after Germany. What the EU is basically doing is collecting money from the 'rich', and redistributing it to the 'poor' - the normal socialist system, and 'creaming off' a pretty hefty administration charge on the way. Does this make real sense? Not in my book. As an aside, the EU also persuaded (bullied) countries like Greece to join the Euro - a move that was (as hindsight has shown) not appropriate to their relatively fragile economy, and has cost them dearly. You cannot make countries with fragile economies like Greece follow the same economic system as strong industrial powerhouses like Germany. It won't work.
  3. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    Stamps didn't reduce in price either. There will be some reduced visiting for meter reading (strict) - but it won't be as much as people seem to think, and with the meters being MUCH more complex, and needing battery back up etc., I suspect meter life will be lower, needing more meters replaced under maintenance. The cost of the new meters is higher compared to the old type. My guess is that there will be little real saving, just as I suspect there will be little or no real saving on usage for consumers. In fact, the whole exercise is a scam. If people really want to save energy/carbon/the planet, there are a few SIMPLE steps that make a REAL difference to carbon usage. Keep the heating turned down in winter and wear better insulating clothes Travel less - and when you do travel, use a very economical car (a supermini used much less carbon than a mid sized family car, let alone a 4 x 4, or luxury car) Travel out of hours - sitting in queues wastes fuel and is very polluting Give up flying - flying is the biggest 'avoidable' use of carbon/fuel resources Make cars, appliances all last longer. Many use more carbon 'in the making of' than they use in fuel in their lifetimes only run appliances like washing machines and dishwashers when full - they use as much carbon (and water) whether full or washing one item.
  4. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    Nothing (or at least not much) : There still has to be an inspection at least every 2 years (safety and integrity of anti tamper seals). In practice my meter now is read only about every 2 years anyway (I submit readings monthly). Smart Gas meters also need a battery - which has a life of 'several years', but there seem to be quite a lot of cases of early life battery failure.
  5. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    There is a dedicated network (called DCC) being installed. See https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/media/338770/15574_building_a_smart_metering_network_v3.pdf However - as is so often the case with government (taxpayer) funded projects, it is near impossible to find out what progress has been made (i.e. a coverage map, or similar)
  6. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    I can't see how they can introduce 'smart tariffs' until you have a smart meter (because with an old 'non smart' meter, they won't know when the fuel/power was used). More likely is that they will hike up the 'non smart' tariff (or possibly the standing charge) to coerce people to change to smart.
  7. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    I suspect the key advantage (and it will be to the suppliers) will be further down the line - when they introduce variable pricing. This will charge based on overall demand - i.e. when they are having to buy in electricity (or gas) at high 'spot prices' to meet demand, the price will go up, and when there is a surplus (mainly at night) it will come down. This is more important as we move from reliable constant power stations (mainly fossil fuel powered or nuclear) to unreliable sources like wind and solar. The idea of the (now discredited) 'night storage' systems was to use the 'cheap' surplus electricity at night, and save at peak periods. It was cheap to install, but ineffective had poor controls and expensive to run, and is now little used. It did however allow a better 'balance' of demand on the supply system.
  8. JohnfromUK

    Smart Meters- Unsurprising?

    This - or there are cheap apps for iPad/iPhone and no doubt Android as well that enable you to input readings and get a graph/statistics should you want to. My meters are all (electricity, water, gas) very easily accessible - and so I do use an app. The findings are; Electricity is roughly constant throughout the year at an average of about 9 KWhrs (roughly £1.10 exc standing charge) a day (used for lighting, refrigeration, cooking, towel rails etc.) Gas is minimal in summer (average about 4 KWhrs a day (roughly £0.16 exc standing charge)) heating water, but hugely variable when heating and gas fires are used in the winter (up to 240 KWhrs a day (roughly £7.00 exc standing charge), but average probably about 90 KWhrs (roughly £2.60 exc standing charge) a day) Conclusion would be that there is little saving to be made on electricity (I have all LED lights, efficient modern fridge/freezer, induction cooker etc. and use litte electricity for heating (always a heavy user)). Gas is also fairly obvious - you heat a lot - it uses a lot of gas. Easy to keep a check on by reading meter manually if you want to.
  9. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    That one is a bit arguable; the commissioner (JC Juncker) is elected by MEPs as a sort of electoral college - who are elected by us. The 28 members of the European Commission are chosen one from each country (by the elected government of that country). Send planes with an RAF escort - that WILL rattle them!
  10. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    A Federal Europe is the overriding goal of those who actually 'run' the EU (when they are sufficiently sober to see the goal). They would have no second thoughts about sacrificing businesses and jobs to achieve that end. It is increasingly clear that the actual decisions are being made by the likes of Martyn Selmayr (who is an unelected official).
  11. JohnfromUK

    Binos, Try Before You Buy

    Always good advice to try as many as you can before buying. It is especially important for glasses wearers where there is considerable variation in the 'eye relief' distance. If this is too low, it becomes a problem to use binos without removing your glasses.
  12. JohnfromUK

    CBD Oil

    I hear on the news this morning (Radio 4) that it is likely to 'be added" to things doctors can prescribe as there are definite medical benefits. Also on here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44886025 Seems to me a sensible response.
  13. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    That is very true, and even thinking back, they are pretty thin on the ground; Some others I might consider include Austin Mitchell (still alive) Lord Hume and Jim Callaghan (both dead).
  14. JohnfromUK

    BREXIT - merged threads

    The late Lord (Peter) Carrington, who died quite recently and a grand old age.
  15. JohnfromUK

    Vegan in the family

    Everyone has a different interpretation of 'extreme' - hence - you are quite right - there will be some tail chasing. I have no doubt that some regard me - with my interest in field sports as 'extreme'. I don't regard vegan as 'extreme', but I do regard ALF, Hunt Saboteurs etc. as extreme. There are 'minorities' - examples being religious groups, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, skin colour etc. which we do 'have to' accommodate (by law) - and many others (best examples I can think of might (tongue much in cheek) be estate agents, lawyers, accountants!) that we also 'accommodate', although to the best of my knowledge they don't have legal protection! In general the 'extreme' elements (ALF, Hunt Saboteurs etc.) are still 'accommodated' by many in society - and in many cases it might be better if they weren't. However I'm guilty of going off topic here.