James Miller


Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Saving the Planet

The two best things you can do to save the planet are :-

1. Work at home.
2. Buy a car that does a lot more miles per gallon.

I've done the first since 1972 and have created two world class businesses in that time. We also live on a racehorse stud, which we own. We have no 4wd vehicles as we don't live in Chelsea. We use efficient little tractors for all the stud work.

It's not difficult, unless you have a large ego.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Energy Saving Light Bulbs

I find they never last as long as the manufacturers say.

Also they can be very difficult to obtain. Recently, I tried about six shops to get a curly fluorescent fitting.

But I have changed all my bulbs.

What we need is CHP boilers!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006



With all this talk of homœopathy in the papers, everyone seems to be missing something.

The diphthong!

My father, a real letterpress printer, would be horrified.


Management Information for Government

I’ve programmed management information systems since about 1970.

Recently, I’ve taken a disparate group of internal databases in a company and produced a series of on-line management reports. The outcome was that we got a seven percent improvement in the company’s performance.

It wasn’t easy to put together, but the sort of systems the government needs are not difficult to create by real computer professionals, not the usual bunch of dubious suspects. The trouble is that although the system would not be expensive, the individuals who put their neck on the block would each earn a lot. Too much for Civil Servants?

Perhaps they don’t want the efficiency improvements a decent system would produce, as we all know a Civil Servant’s first loyalty is to job security for him/her and all their mates.

All the databases should also be desensitised and put on-line, so we can all make our own real conclusions.


Availability of Knives

In the 1950s my mother had one small kitchen knife and a carving knife.

In our kitchen, we have a block with a couple of assorted small knives, a medium sized knife and a carving knife.

Our children, who are in their mid-30s have designer sets of kitchen knives in their houses.

How many household knives are used in crime? The poor special constable in London was I believe killed with her own kitchen knife.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


What John Reid Should Do First

Abolish ID Cards. They won’t work and will be the biggest government disaster ever.

There are much better ways of achieving the same ends, by spending the money on more police and giving them better technology and intelligence.

A simple example, is that as an instrument engineer, I believe that technology exists to check people for knives, guns and bombs without arresting or searching them. Properly deployed this would help to stop attacks like those of July 7th last year and mistakes like the tragic shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.


Alternative Therapies

We’re actually having the wrong debate here.

One common thread that goes through all disease is that four complimentary therapies are often pushed into the background and sometimes forgotten :-

1. Detection – Do we spend enough money detecting disease?
2. Surgery – Do we spend enough money on making our surgeons superb?
3. Diet – How many illnesses are diet related?
4. Exercise – How many diseases can be improved by exercise?

And all we do is go on about drugs, whether homeopathic or conventional.

The problem is that drugs are one budget that is eating the NHS, that are powerfully backed by vested interests and the others are just backed by professionals.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

There are strong arguments for allowing an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

1. It would be interesting to know how much we spend on trying to track them down and deport them. However much it costs, it doesn’t seem to be good value.

2. We would have to have a proper process for applying, so that anybody with a serious criminal record would be deported. Also, anybody who didn’t have a job, would not be allowed benefits.

3. But how much would we recover in tax from those who stayed.

I speak as someone whose family came here from Germany and France in the 1840s. They worked hard and were successful and helped to make this country, the rich and highly-developed country that it is.

Many who came in the 1960s have further increased that wealth.

It’s a difficult choice, but on balance immigrants make life better for us all.


CO2 Figures

In the FT yesterday, they published a list of CO2 emissions for EU countries. In 1995 industry in the UK emitted 242M tonnes, Germany 474M tonnes and France 131M tonnes.

Germany is not twice our size, but it does not have many nuclear power stations, but France which is the same size as the UK has many and generates a lot less CO2.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Moaning Scots

So according to the Daily Telegraph, Scots will not be supporting England in the World Cup, as the BBC has chosen a piece of Handel as theme music for their coverage. It just happens to glorify the Duke of Cumberland.

Get a life!

The Scots have got their funny wee parliament, that we, in England, paid the bulk of and we've got a government riddled with Scots.

So perhaps they can understand, why I always support any team playing the Scots.

Incidentally, while I'm complaining about the small-minded Scots, Rangers played Ipswich in a pre-season friendly last year. We certainly don't want them and their silly, out-of-date, religious filth in any English league.

The sooner they have independence the better.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


What is the North For?

Yet again a report blames London and the South East for the problems of the North.

The real problem with the North is that it doesn't create jobs. It just expects us here in the South to provide them for them. They're still moaning about the closing of the coal mines. Remember, coal is the worst producer of greenhouse gases.

Take hi-tech companies. Of the top new 100 hi-tech companies in the country, only one, Sage, started in the north.

If you look at the North-East for example, around 70 % of GDP is government spending, whereas here in the south-east and East Anglia the figure is less than 35 %.

This explains why such towns as Hastings and Great Yarmouth are such bad transport and job black spots as all our money is spent trying to breath life into other areas of the country, where it seems to make little difference. The North has been moaning about London for years.

So perhaps a better solution, would be to spend more money where wealth is created, so that the North uses its own devices to improve. It certainly shows none of that instinct now.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I Was There

Sunday was one of those "I Was There" moments at Newmarket. The 1,000 Guineas was won by Speciosa, trained by Pam Sly at Peterborough. Not the usual winner of a Classic race, but a very good horse.

In years to come, many more will claim they were there.

I was there last year in Trafalgar Square on July 6th, when the Olympics were announced for London. I was also at Old Trafford, when Dave Mackay broke his leg and Spurs attacked only to go down fighting in the Cup Winners Cup in 1963. And I was there when Lester Piggott won his last Guineas at nearly 60.

Such are moments that define our lives.

But I wasn't one of the 80,000 who claim they were there when Llanelli beat the All Blacks in the 1960's.