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Showing posts from February, 2011

From Farmers Weekly. The Environment agency stops modernisation in farming.

Nocton withdraws plans for super dairyJonathan Riley Wednesday 16 February 2011 13:20 Nocton Dairies has withdrawn its planning application for a 3770-cow dairy unit in Lincolnshire. The move marks an end to efforts to establish Britain's first super dairy. A statement from the company said: "We have written to North Kesteven District Council to formally withdraw our application for planning permission to build a 3770 cow dairy farm at Nocton Heath, Lincolnshire.

"The sole reason for this decision is the response of the Environment Agency, which has maintained its objection to the proposal.   "The Environment Agency’s grounds are lack of information about risks posed to the aquifer underlying the site and uncertainty about the extent of the benefits associated with the change in land use. 

"This precautionary stance and requests for new information reflect unfamiliarity with agriculture in general and the design of the modern dairy farm in particular. 


Western liberals fail to back democracy in Egypt

Talk like an EgyptianThursday February 10, 2011Is it any wonder that successive UK governments have been able to erode civil liberties so easily when liberal middle-class professionals fail to support democracy around the globe, asks Jason Smith People who are concerned about the erosion of civil liberties in Britain and are interested in seeing the extension of full democratic rights to all, wherever they are, should take heart from the protests in Egypt. The protests should also be a reminder or wake-up call that striving for what is best for society as a whole, for what is right, can mean taking matters into our own hands. The attacks on our civil liberties, perpetrated by New Labour and continued because of a lack of any other ideas, it seems, by the Coalition, are a serious issue, for one because British people have already gone through the process of fighting for and winning our liberty. It is worth asking ourselves if we would be prepared to take similar measures to the Egyptians…

Interesting background material for the next Birmingham Salon on Feb 24th

The original Lunar Society

Joseph Preistley and the Birmingham riots

Jan Bowman's book, 'This is Birmingham'.

The eighteenth century novel

Kenan Malik on the consumption of skills versus education.

How should universities be funded? As student numbers rise and government budgets are slashed, it is a question haunting many European nations.
Britain’s answer came recently in the form of the Browne report, a major inquiry into higher education. The report recommended the effective ending of public funding to universities which in future will be expected attract students as any business would, charging them for their products according to market principles. The inquiry was set up by the previous Labour government. Its recommendations have, however, proved highly appealing to the current government obsessed as it is with scything through public expenditure. The government proposes to treble university fees; students will be given loans to cover the fees, loans that will have to be paid back once they have graduated and their income has exceeded a set limit.
These proposals have generated considerable anger and opposition. Tens of thousands of students have marched through London in a s…

Various articles I like on the Egyptian people's struggle for democracy

Sean Collins, a New York based blogger argues against US interference in Egypt.

The protest express the aspirations of Egyptian people, not a triumph for twitter argues Nathalie Rothschild:

This is not another Iran 1979 argues Frank Furedi:

Brendan O'Neill exposes the anti-democratic instincts of liberal western commentators, in the Telegraph: