Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Guardian: "Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds"

Link to The Guardian

"The Earth's land has warmed by 1.5C over the past 250 years and 'humans are almost entirely the cause', according to a scientific study set up to address climate change sceptics' concerns, about whether human-induced global warming is occurring.

"Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic, who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings: 'We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds'."

Barnet Labour: "Discussion and vote at Barnet’s council meeting on 12th April 2011 on North London Waste Authority plans for a waste treatment plant at Pinkham Way"

(Added to Barnet Labour's web site on 24 July 2012)

Click above for video

Earlier information on Facebook from Barnet Labour:
FYI - from our Council Meeting on the 10th - this answer to my question has just been published.

Question 41 Councillor Barry Rawlings
Has Barnet formally objected to the application for village green status to the site on Pinkham Way?
Answer by Councillor Joanna Tambourides
London Borough of Barnet and the North London Waste Authority has jointly instructed leading Counsel to robustly defend and object to the village green application and to defend this at a Public Inquiry when this is convened. The formal objections has not been submitted given that deadline for sending the Landowner’s (LBB/NLWA) objections to Haringey, as Registration Authority, is 20 July.
· · · 6 July at 21:24

Saturday, 28 July 2012

27 July, and the NLWP responds to the Inspector: Ah, "disqualified by s33A(5)(a)(iii)." Of course.


Preliminary Matters
The Bodies with whom it was necessary for the seven North London Waste Planning Authorities (“the Boroughs”) to co-operate with pursuant to s.33A in respect of the preparation of the North London Waste Plan (“the NLWP”)
1. The Stage 1 Decision of the Inspector dated 25 June 2012 identifies 4 Counties which it is said will be likely to experience significant impacts through deposit of waste in their landfill sites and “possibly” also as a result of the movement of waste through those Counties. Those Counties are Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Those Counties are all two tier areas. One other area is mentioned - Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire County Council was abolished in April 2009 and its responsibilities have devolved to Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council which are both unitary authorities. However, Bedford Borough Council is not represented by either the South East Waste Planning Advisory Group (SEWPAG) or the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Body (EoEWTAB) and has not made any complaint that it is affected by the NLWP issues. It is therefore not addressed in this Submission.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Barnet Bloggers, One Year On: "'Easy council' scandal puts Town Hall outsourcing reforms in the spotlight"

Link to web site

"... Not the least significant aspects of the story is how it came to light: through the diligence of a group of local bloggers, including Barnet Eye, Mr Mustard, Mrs Angry, Mr Reasonable, and Vickim57 [now Citizen Barnet].

"The bloggers started their investigations after one of them heard that a MetPro employee had been boasting privately about how citizen journalists in the borough were being filmed at council meetings, and their blogs monitored.

"Their collective role in uncovering the scandal, through searches at companies house, use of Freedom of Information requests, and sheer dogged persistence, was acknowledged at Thursday's council audit committee by its chair, Lord Palmer."

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

[Reposted from Jun 2011) Friern Barnet & Whetstone Residents' Association: Comments on Pinkham Way and waste planning

The following text appeared in our latest 'Friern Barnet & Whetstone Residents' Association' Newsletter:

Barnet is set to become the rubbish centre for North London

"There are serious proposals in the 'North London Waste Plan' for two large rubbish sites, one in Pinkham Way (North Circular Road) in Friern Barnet, and the other near to Staples Corner.

"These proposals for handling rubbish are what the Mayor of London wants, they are what the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) wants, they are what Enfield Council wants, and they are what Barnet Council wants. The only people who don’t want the one in Pinkham Way are the people who live nearby, in Friern Barnet and in Haringey.

"The publication of the North London Waste Plan in May of this year confirms our worst fears for the future of Barnet, and Friern Barnet in particular. The plan is about what will happen to the waste generated by seven boroughs in North London — Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

"At the consultation meeting, about its proposed Pinkham Way waste handling centre, hosted by Barnet Council and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), held earlier this year, your Residents Association officers asked why the Edmonton site was not being developed to handle more waste.

"Edmonton is a very large site, with plenty of room for expansion. We know that, in the past, the operators of the site had attempted to expand the facility, but that this was turned down by the Greater London Authority, then led by Ken Livingstone. But Livingstone is no longer Mayor, so your Association’s officers asked: why hadn’t Boris Johnson seriously reconsidered the future of the Edmonton site?

"Unfortunately, nobody at the consultation meeting could be found, who was sufficiently well-informed to answer the question. The staff spoken to at the consultation meeting could only say that the processed rubbish from the proposed Pinkham Way site would be sent for burning "at Edmonton or elsewhere".

"To your Association’s officers, this didn’t seem to make much sense, to process the rubbish at Pinkham Way, and then to ship it to Edmonton for burning, when it could all be processed and burnt at Edmonton.

"Now the NLWA tells us that the stack in Edmonton is due to be demolished in 2020. There is no intention to replace the stack on this site. So, where will a new stack for burning be built? There are only two other sites mentioned in the North London Waste Plan, both in Barnet. One is the site near Staples Corner at Geron Way (3.28 hectares) and the other is at Pinkham Way (5.93 hectares).

"In the meantime, over at Edmonton, there is another plan, one favoured by the Mayor of London and Enfield Council, called the 'Central Leeside and Meridian Water Master Plan'. They want to develop the area for high-density housing, and obviously don’t want a giant polluting stack inhibiting the developers' investment.

"Therefore, towards the end of this decade, the NLWA will have to plan a new site for burning waste. We fear that, when they come to look at this issue of processed waste, the NLWA will see that Pinkham Way is the most logical place (economically) for a burning centre and stack. In the years leading up to the demolition of the Edmonton stack, say 2017 or 2018, the NLWA (or some replacement privatised body) may ask themselves the question: why process waste and send it elsewhere for burning, when the waste could be burnt at Pinkham Way and so avoid the expense of additional transport.

"North London (the seven boroughs previously mentioned) produces 4.7 million tonnes of waste per year. Of this, 21% is municipal waste collected by the Councils (basically household waste, but the councils do collect from some businesses) and 4% is hazardous waste, processed at special centres. The other 75% of the total is commercial and industrial waste.

"The North London Waste Plan rather glosses over what happens to this 3.5 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste. According to them, this kind of waste will be handled according to another plan, or rather another two plans — the London Plan (2008) and the Draft Replacement London Plan (2009).

"The North London Waste Plan says that, "the rise in the landfill tax is a key driver in ensuring less waste goes to landfill." They go on to say, by using the Olympic Park as an example, that, "...[This] supports the London Plan’s target of recycling and re-using 95% of construction, demolition and excavation waste." (Comment from your officers: this is one atypical example, politically-driven as a taxpayer’s project.)

"They add that, "Assuming that the 95% on-site target is achieved, ... this residual waste (around 120,000 tonnes per annum in 2027) is likely to require landfill, for which North London has no suitable land." (Your officers say: if only 90% on-site target is achieved, then 240,000 tonnes per annum will need landfill.)

"The North London Waste Plan finishes this particular section on commercial and industrial waste by saying, "However, the flexibility in the North London Waste Plan will allow for development of other waste management facilities, as the market need arises, to offset this export [out of London]." (Our comment: we couldn’t find anything about where these other waste management facilities, for handling commercial and industrial waste, may be located in North London, or what these 'market needs' might consist of. In other words, it’s a long time in the future, and by then it will be somebody else’s problem.)

"Barnet doesn’t seem to have a coherent waste policy or plans. It seems happy to go along with what the current Mayor of London wants. Unlike the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, it has no policy forcing commercial businesses (including restaurants) to sort and recycle their waste. This borough’s commercial waste is collected by private companies, and what happens to it after collection is not included in the North London Waste Plan."

Rough boundary of Association

The new Association web site is 

"The FBWRA was born in the 1920’s, under the original title of 'Friern Barnet Ratepayers' Association', until 1965, when Finchley and Golders Green, Hendon, Chipping Barnet, East Barnet and Friern Barnet were grouped together, as the London Borough of Barnet.

" 'Friern Barnet Urban District' covered the area from Northumberland Road and County Gate in the north, to Wilton and Cromwell Road in the south, with about 30,000 residents in 1965. Its largest open space was the grounds of Friern Hospital, until this was closed and built over by the Prince’s Park development.

"We are affiliated to the 'Federation of Residents’ Associations of Barnet', and the 'London Green Belt Council', and are represented on the 'Finchley Society', 'Friern Barnet Council of Voluntary Service', and other groups."

Link to a previous post about the Association here,
or link to HOME (see all posts).

Early Day Motion - Contact your MP to sign!

Link to web site


"That this House
  • notes the European Parliament's adoption by a large majority, on 24 May 2012, of a resolution on a Resource Efficient Europe, which commits to working towards a zero waste strategy and the Parliament's call on the Commission to bring forward legislative proposals, by the end of 2014, to ban both landfill and the incineration of recyclable and compostable waste in Europe, by 2020;
  • further notes growing evidence of incinerator overcapacity in the UK by 2015, which seriously risks harming recycling performance, as has already happened in some European countries;
  • further notes UK figures showing a steady and significant decline in residual waste since the middle of the last decade - even allowing for the economic recession - and rising recycling rates;
  • acknowledges the impact that these developments will have on the economic case for, and environmental sustainability of, mass-burn incinerators in the UK within a decade; and
  • calls on the Secretaries of State for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and Communities and Local Government, and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury 
    • to work together to examine how government policy can positively facilitate the pursuit of zero waste strategies, and
    • to report to Parliament on their findings as a matter of urgency, as many local communities across the country are currently opposing their local waste authorities' costly, environmentally damaging and unsustainable plans to build mass-burn incineration plants."

[We would add 'mass-burn' is no more guilty than 'non-mass burn' incineration.]

Boris Johnson's Olympic Welcome

Monday, 23 July 2012

SEWPAG and EoEWTAB tell the NLWP's Inspector a thing or two

North London Waste Plan Examination:
The Duty to Co-operate

"The statement from the Inspector, placed on the North London Waste Plan website on Wednesday 13th June, mentioned that
'the Inspector would be happy to receive any further submissions on the “duty to co-operate” from parties who were present at the hearing within the next week, should they wish to submit any.'
"To this end, we would like to summarise the position of our principles the South East Waste Advisory Group (SEWPAG) and the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Board (EoEWTAB) as presented at the examination, as follows:
  1. The seven Boroughs have not engaged actively with the planning authorities outside London when preparing this Plan and no evidence has been adduced to show any such co-operation.
  2. Section 110 of the Localism Act 2011 states that the Duty to Co-operate applies to Local Planning Authorities. This includes London Boroughs. The Act also states that the Duty applies to County Councils. The fact that waste planning is a function of upper tier authorities and is not a district council function shows that it is a strategic function that must be carried out on a larger than local level.
  3. Planning for waste management is a strategic matter, since waste often arises in one planning authority area and is managed in another. Policies adopted in one authority can therefore have an impact on neighbouring authorities. This is the circumstance that was envisaged when Parliament discussed the Duty to Co-operate and waste planning is an example of this. Paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) explicitly lists planning for waste management infrastructure as a strategic matter.
  4. The North London Waste Plan is not deliverable because many sites where waste arising in North London is currently exported to and managed will not be available for the Plan period.
  5. Actions to co-operate with other authorities as envisaged in the Localism Act could have produced deliverable solutions for the management of North London’s waste. These actions have not been undertaken.
  6. The lack of policies to manage North London's waste in North London means that there is insufficient land allocated for the management of waste in North London. This will have a very significant impact on authorities outside North London.
  7. NLWA states that it does not propose any development outside the geographic limits of the seven North London Boroughs. This is incorrect. The NLWP implicitly states that waste will be managed outside the seven Boroughs, because it does not provide sufficient capacity to manage North London's waste inside the seven Boroughs.
  8. Notwithstanding the approach in the London Plan and the attempt by the NLWP to manage the waste apportioned to it in the London Plan, there remains a need for a waste planning authority to plan to manage all the waste arising in the plan area in accordance with PPS10.
  9. We would suggest that the Duty to Co-operate as envisaged in the Localism Act requires more than simply reading the Plans of other planning authorities. Nonetheless, if those plans had been properly analysed, the NLWP would contain policies to respond to the lack of available landfill capacity in authority areas such as Central Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. No representations have been made by the seven Boroughs to any of the Waste Plans or Local Plans in any of the authorities outside London. Officers of Hertfordshire and Essex agree that they each held a single meeting with Archie Onslow (Programme Manager NLWP) and that these meetings solely comprised an exchange of existing information. No proposals were discussed as to how waste from North London will be managed in the future. These were certainly not a 'continuous process of engagement from initial thinking through to implementation' as required by paragraph 181 of the NPPF.
  10. No representative of the NLWP has ever attended a meeting of SEWPAG or the EoEWTAB or its predecessors. No approach has ever been received by these bodies to discuss the NLWP.
  11. No communication at all has taken place with Northamptonshire (or the East Midlands Waste Advisory Body), who have received the second largest proportion of non-hazardous waste from North London in past years.
  12. The NLWP has offered no evidence of active and constructive engagement with authorities outside London.
  13. The NLWP has not fulfilled its Duty to Co-operate.

BBC: "Double decker bus does push-ups" (er, that's it)

Link to BBC web site

Getting around the 'Olympic brand police' (a shop in Surbiton)

Barnet RubbishGate Scandal (via Mrs Angry)

Barnet dustcart on holiday in the Channel Islands
Click above for 'Broken Barnet' 

"... The reader who sent this photo thought we would enjoy this view of a refuse collection lorry, spotted on her trip to Guernsey. Why? Because, as you will notice, this vehicle quite clearly is exhibiting a Barnet logo on the side.

"How very peculiar, thought Mrs Angry. No wonder the wheelie bins sometimes take so long to get emptied. Do our dustmen have to travel all the way to Guernsey to dump their loads?

"... She got to thinking: well, who does have the contract for supplying our refuse collection lorries - ha ha , if there is one? Whose lorries do we use? Oh, well: look here. It seems that we pay a company called 'Go Plant Ltd' for such services, and this company is based at the council's Mill Hill Depot. Ah. Mmm. Go Plant ..."

"... significant accounting irregularities ..."

"... financial director dismissed ..."

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group: Packet in.

"Thanks to 350 people who signed on Saturday!"
Link to web site

"The sun shone on our stall on Muswell Hill Broadway on Saturday, where we collected 350 signatures from Muswell Hill shoppers, dismayed at the levels of packaging still used in our supermarkets and food outlets.

"We’re now up to 530 and counting. If you didn’t see us, you can still sign online now!"

Barnet Times: "Hundreds march against Barnet Council's One Barnet Programme"

Link to Barnet Times

"Hundreds of people marched through the borough on Saturday, to protest against Barnet Council’s One Barnet Programme.

"Protesters gathered at the closed Friern Barnet Library, in Friern Barnet Road, then marched to North Finchley Library, before walking through Tally Ho Corner and ending up outside Victoria Park."

Sunday, 22 July 2012

"Get ahead of the games" (when using Mastercard to buy your Pepsi and Burger King)

Link to SKY news and video

Boris Johnson has criticised the 'brand army' which stamps on people
using the Olympic rings symbol, in the run-up to the London Games.

The London Mayor said:
"If you want to stick five doughnuts in your window
and call them Olympic rings, then be my guest."

Saturday, 21 July 2012

London24: "Council face deadline for controversial Muswell Hill waste plant plans"

Link to web site

"Haringey Council has been handed a July 27 deadline to submit information to a public inquiry set up to consider plans for a controversial waste processing plant in Muswell Hill.

"... A spokesman for Camden Council said:
"The Inspector has given the seven boroughs involved in the North London Waste plan until July 27 to confirm how we have fulfilled our duty to co-operate with other local authorities who may be affected by the proposals outlined in the plan."

One Year On: Enfield Greens

Link to web site

"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is seeking permission for a large waste plant at Pinkham Way - part of the North Circular Road. On 19th July 2011, and after considerable local opposition, Haringey Council 'put the plan on hold' because NLWA had failed to provide enough detail on the proposals. The decision was then probably to be taken in April 2012.
"Update, June 2012: the decision process is now in disarray as an independent inspector has asked for evidence that the NLWA have consulted adequately with other affected councils, e.g. Herts, which is due to be the recipient of the Pinkham Way plant's 'product' - and doesn't like the idea! It's looking like 'back to the drawing-board'."

2011 Meeting report
by Mike Shaughnessy (Haringey Green Party)

"Colin Parish, founder of The Pinkham Way Alliance, said: 'This factory will be seventy five feet high, with a chimney almost double that size. The plan is for over one thousand vehicle movements a day. This is [already] the worst traffic junction in London and these plans will make this situation even worse'.

"Darren Johnson, a Green party member of the Greater London Assembly said: 'Local residents are a force to be reckoned with, and this had had an effect on Haringey Council's action in delaying a decision. The politics is also important, the Mayor of London can decide whether this plant is built, and this makes it a big issue at the Mayoral and GLA elections in May next year. This plan is based on the low levels of recycling which we have in London but we could be achieving over 80% recycling, like they do in many countries in Europe.'

"Quentin Given, Coordinator of Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth, also spoke. The meeting resolved to continue the fight against this massive plant.

"Jean Robertson-Molloy adds: 'It took EGP's Laura Davenport to point out in a typically forthright speech that a bunch of people who can produce a Plan seventy-five pages long for waste disposal (did they really want us all to read it?) ought to have the ability to produce at least a simple integrated plan to co-ordinate the reduction and reycling of waste throughout London, thus eliminating the need for this monster site. She convinced me. I shall certainly be whole-heartedly supporting the Pinkham Way Alliance from now on.'

New York Times: "The Olympic Spirit, British Style: When Will This Nightmare End?"

Link to New York Times

"LONDON — While the world’s athletes limber up at the Olympic Park, Londoners are practicing some of their own favorite sports: complaining, expecting the worst, and cursing the authorities. 

"Asked 'What do you feel about the Olympics?' the other day, a random sampling of people here gave answers that included bitter laughter; the words 'fiasco,' 'disaster' and 'police state'; and detailed explanations of how they usually get to work, how that is no longer possible, and how very unhappy that makes them.

"... Meanwhile, The Daily Mail, whose unofficial motto appears to be 'What Fresh Hell Is This?' has published articles noting that hundreds of thousands of tickets are still unsold, that no one wants to watch women play soccer, and that some of the paths for the mountain bike competition will not be finished in time."

Friday, 20 July 2012

King's Lynn Incinerator: Politicians at War

Link to Eastern Daily Press

"The leader of Norfolk County Council was behind an email which appeared to undermine the leader of another council in the midst of controversy over the King’s Lynn incinerator, an investigation has revealed.

"The damning conclusion of an independent probe was that county council leader Derrick Murphy had asked his publicly-funded political assistant to suggest questions BBC Radio Norfolk might want to put to West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney, a fellow Conservative.

"An email sent by Conservative political assistant Kevin Vaughan stated that Mr Daubney was facing a leadership challenge, and was struggling to come up with an alternative technology to the proposed waste plant at Saddlebow."

Thursday, 19 July 2012

LAST FEW DAYS! Don't confuse the Ninky Nonk with the proposed Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion, from Hammy Sonn.

This is the NINKY NONK.
Link to
(can book tickets there as well)

(Extended east along the North Circular Road corridor,
maybe to a Crossrail-2 station at Alexandra Palace?)
 Link to

This is the promised
Brent Cross 'LIVING BRIDGE'.
of shops, above the North Circular Road!
Early design from
Chapman Taylor
- traffic not shown.

Lets Recycle: "Government set to reduce consultation periods"

Link to web site

"Government consultations, including those of interest to the waste and recycling industry, could be open for as little as two weeks under plans announced by the Cabinet Office this week.

"At present, government consultations run for a minimum of 12 weeks, with extensions given where 'feasible and sensible'.

"The Cabinet Office yesterday (July 17) issued guidance on ‘Consultation Principles’ which says that consultations may vary from two to 12 weeks depending on the complexity of the issue."

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

BBC: "Police end 'ClimateGate' inquiry"

Link to web site

"The police investigation into the so-called 'ClimateGate' affair is over.

"Norfolk Constabulary says there is no realistic prospect of finding the culprit within the statutory time limit of three years since the 2009 offence.

"The theft and release of e-mails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit provoked a huge furore over the integrity of climate science.

"...Prof Edward Acton, the university's vice-chancellor, said he was disappointed that the perpetrators had not been caught:
"The misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating following the publication of the stolen emails - including the theory that the hacker was a disgruntled UEA employee - did real harm to public perceptions about the dangers of climate change.

The results of the independent inquiries and recent scientific studies have vindicated our scientists, who have returned to their important task of providing the best possible scientific information on this globally critical issue."

Pinkham Way Alliance: Pinkham Wood Village Green

Village Green reminder

Haringey's consultation on a local application to make Pinkham Way a 'Town or Village Green' ends this Friday 20 July.

If the application is successful, it will not be possible for anyone to build on the site.

Since our last newsletter on this subject, it has been confirmed that the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and co-owner of the land Barnet Council will be engaging an experienced legal team to fight the application.

Please help us to ensure that the case for preserving the land as open and accessible is as strong as it can possibly be.

If you haven't already, please respond before the end of Friday this week. The more adult members of every household who reply individually the better.

Follow this link for full details on how to respond to the consultation.

This page also includes background information about the application.

Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter, join the Facebook Group, and make a donation here.

Kind regards,
Bidesh Sarkar
Pinkham Way Alliance

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"Mrs Angry Goes Up To Town, and Meets the District Auditor; Mrs Angry Goes Up To Town, and Says What She Ain't Oughta"

Link to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet'
(click on HOME at the bottom, for all her postings)

"Mrs Angry stumbled as she entered the room.

"Looking up from behind her eyelashes, she could not help but notice the cool-eyed Barnet auditor Mr Paul Hughes smirking, and regarding her with cool amusement, as he sat at his desk, files wide open, frantically playing with his pens.

"Mrs Angry hardly knew where to look.

"He smirked again.

"Mrs Angry gasped: Yes - look: Was that ... in his lap, a 'One Barnet' invoice ... and the tell-tale signs of an enormous redaction.

" 'Oh, Mr Hughes. And we haven't even started!'

" 'I have some questions for you,' she whispered, shyly. Beside the desk, she noted, was a carrier bag containing a length of rope, some masking tape, a big bottle of Tippex, and a bonus multi-pack of black-marker felt tips. Aha ..."

Still no Electrification for Gospel Oak -to- Barking Line

Link to web site of Jennette Arnold,
London Assembly Member for North-East London

"I'm very disappointed. So are my local MP Jeremy Corbyn, life long transport campaigner Andrew Bosi, and members of the Barking-Gospel Oak Line Users Group.
"Along with many other stakeholders we read in the Department for Transport's (DfT) High Level Output Specification (HLOS) issued yesterday, that there is no direct mention of the proposed electrification of the Gospel Oak-Barking (GO-B, or GOBLIN) section of the North London Line.
"I can't begin to describe how many years of work has been done on the case for the electrification of this section of GO-B; and how much support there is for this to happen. For whatever reasons, the DfT are not listening. No surprise then, that I have quite rightly been inundated with concerns from my constituents."

London Overground map
(Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays opens December 2012)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Independent: "Einstein's theory is proved - and it is bad news if you own a penthouse "

Link to The Independent

"Einstein's theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. He suggested that the only true constant, the speed of light, meant that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling.

"Now scientists have demonstrated the true nature of Einstein's theory for the first time with an incredibly accurate atomic clock that is able to keep time to within one second in about 3.7 billion years – roughly the same length of time that life has existed on Earth.

"...  What's really remarkable is that these studies show these incredibly small effects of relativity over such short distances. They have demonstrated graphically that, although we think of relativity as an esoteric theory of no relevance to everyday life, we can in fact show that it is really true that you will grow old marginally faster, if you stand just one step higher on a staircase."

The Independent: "Britain and banking: Back to the 1830s"

Link to The Independent

"Unparalleled levels of imprudent lending; corrupt banking practices; soaring inflation and rising unemployment; government bank bailouts and an economy dependent on increasing levels of debt to sustain growth.

"Sound familiar? It would have done to Britons in the 1830s.

"The fact is that we have been in a remarkably similar economic crisis before, and the reasons for it could be almost identical."

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Barnet (and points north) Times: "Scratchwood Open Space blighted by - flytippers"

Link to web site

"The back entrance of Scratchwood Open Space, in Barnet Lane, sits on the cusp of the Borehamwood and Barnet borders.

"The area, also known as the London Loop, has been described by Borehamwood resident Karen Warren as a 'beautiful' spot.

"But for the last month, refuse from a bath, door keys, floorboards and carpet cuttings have been dumped at the edge of the footpath in three instalments, turning the area into an eyesore."

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

BBC: "St Dennis incinerator protesters lose Supreme Court appeal"

Link to BBC web site
"People campaigning against a new incinerator in Cornwall will not be able to take their fight to the highest court in the UK.

"The controversial £117m waste-to-energy plant at St Dennis was given the green light in March by the Court of Appeal.

"But the protesters - Cornwall Waste Forum - challenged the ruling which upheld the government's decision to grant planning permission.

The NLWP man is on holiday, so "Higgs? Done. What's the next Big Bang?"

Link to The Independent

"This week's announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson – the so-called God particle – was hailed as one of the great breakthroughs of the 21st century, explaining some of the fundamental physics of the universe.

"Yet in many ways. the achievement has only highlighted how much we still do not know. The coming years will see humankind embark on new missions that will seek to advance our understanding: both into the limitless depths of space and the subatomic world within. Here are four questions that still vex science."

Monday, 9 July 2012

[Reposted] "50 Years On: The Night of the Long Knives"

Link to BBC web site

"It was the most brutal cabinet reshuffle in British political history. Fifty years ago Prime Minister Harold Macmillan shocked the nation by sacking seven ministers, in what became known as the 'Night of the Long Knives'. But does the legend give the full story, and are there parallels with today?

" 'What happened in 1962 is off the scale of all ministerial changes under virtually any prime minister, because it's a third of the cabinet,' according to Peter Caterall, editor of Macmillan's private diaries."

And the birth of satire...

'That Was The Week That Was'

Daily Telegraph: "Winston Churchill at the controls of the most dangerous flight of the second world war"

(Until the NLWP writes back to the Planning Inspector, not much is happening) 

Link to web site

"A collection of photographs showing Winston Churchill on board a transatlantic flight that was hunted by the Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force have been discovered.

"The archive has emerged from the family of the man who was detailed to take photos on the Prime Minister's return journey from the United States, in January 1942.

"Flight Officer Ron Buck kept back his own pictures from the trip, that was later described as the 'Most Daring Flight of the Whole War'."

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Daily Telegraph: "Man, 32, has conversation with his 12-year-old self"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Jeremiah McDonald appears to have a conversation with his 12-year-old self, by using footage that he shot 20 years ago.

"In a cleverly edited piece, film-maker Mr McDonald asks and answers questions to his younger self, about careers, old pets and hobbies.

"The video begins with Mr McDonald's 12-year-old self saying, 'I think I'd like to talk to myself in the future, yes, that's something that I'll do.'

"Posted on YouTube on July 5, the video has gone viral on the internet and has amassed over three million views."

Saturday, 7 July 2012

[Reposted] Sun 8 July: Pinkham Way Alliance fundraiser

"Formed by Ken Ichinose, cellist of the Galitzin Quartet, and violinist Shana Douglas, the versatile Galitzin Chamber Ensemble draws its musicians from a pool of world-class artists, most of whom are based in the Muswell Hill area. The members of the ensemble are all avid and seasoned chamber musicians, having performed with such renowned artists as Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, and Kim Kashkashian, and in venues such as the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall. The string players of the ensemble are also experienced orchestral musicians, and between them, they have appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, among others.

"For this concert, in aid of the Pinkham Way Alliance, the group of musicians is particularly close-knit, as Ken Ichinose has invited his two siblings, brother-in-law, and other friends to present a unique and diverse programme, which includes pieces written for ensemble sizes ranging from two to seven players."

Refreshments will be available in the interval, and after the performance.
Location: N10 2DD


Piano Quintet in A Major Op.114 'The Trout' D667
Franz Schubert
Allegro Vivace
Scherzo (Presto)
Theme and Variations (Andantino, Allegretto)
Finale (Allegro giusto)
It's a trout.

Duo for Violin and Cello Op.7
Zoltan Kodaly
Allegro serioso, non troppo
Maestoso e largemente, ma non troppo lento-Presto

Metamorphosen for String Septet (arr. Leopold)
Richard Strauss

Purchase tickets

Mon 9 July: 'Transition Highgate' Film: The Economics of Happiness

"Join us on Monday 9th July at 7pm for our weekly Film Screening and Social upstairs at The Bull. This week we’ll be watching a ‘The Economics of Happiness’ a documentary about the worldwide movement for economic localization.

"“Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work."

Transition Highgate Film Screening and Social
Film: The Economics of Happiness
Monday 9th July, 7pm @ The Bull, Highgate
13 North Hill, London N6 4AB

Talk and Discussion: 
The Spirit Level
HiCAN & Muswell Hill Sustainability Group joint event
Thursday 12th July, 8pm-10pm
Royal British Legion, Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG

Transition Highgate, HICAN and the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group invite you to hear Martin Wilkinson talk about the book his brother wrote, on the corrosive effects of inequality in society.

Film Screening & Social:
Geoff Lawton's
'Introduction to Permaculture Design'
Monday 16th July, 7.00pm
Upstairs at The Bull, 13 North Hill N6 4AB

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Independent: "Four hundred million more plastic bags handed out in supermarkets last year"

"Four hundred million more plastic bags were handed out by supermarkets last year, as the campaign to reduce their use went backwards, official figures from the waste reduction body Wrap showed today.

"Shoppers in the UK used 7.96 billion single-use bags in 2011, a rise of 5.4 per cent on the previous year - with each person taking 10 throwaway carriers a month.

"Plastic bag use rose steeply across most of the UK but in Wales, which introduced a 5p charge per bag last October, it fell by 22 per cent."