James Miller


Friday, November 30, 2007

Gillian Gibbons


I was reading on a serious Islamic web site last night and I found this from an engineer at Amman University in Jordan.

If we go back 30-40 years Sudan, Syria and other Islamic countries were far more developed than Korea !!!!

That is the real problem. The Muslim religion has completely failed its adherents and now to show how good it is, they pick on anything they can to show they have the moral high ground.

Poor Gillian was an unwilling victim.

In a way though, she may well have the last laugh, as I suspect the tabloids are queuing up to buy her story.

Learning to Read Early


I was taught to read very early in an unusual way.

My father was a letterpress printer and I had loads of poster letters with which to play and experiment from probably the age of about two. I was taught to spell by my grandmother and mother using these letters well before I went to school.

But they are of course backwards, so I had to reverse them in my mind to get it right. Or of course dip them in paint and print them.

Many people think I should have a problem, but I don’t and never have. However, I do have a very strong spatial awareness, which allows me to reverse images in my mind. I’ve done tests for this and always score very highly.

So perhaps teaching kids to read and write early is not a bad idea.

I suppose though, that teachers don’t want some of the kids to be behind others when they come to school.

Congestion Charge


I don’t pay it, as since I’ve got my Senior Railcard, trains are now affordable from deepest Suffolk. Parking for our Porsche, Lotus or Jaguar is also free at Dullingham.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007



My son is a criminal defence solicitor, who has dealt with lots of people like your examples. As my wife was a barrister, I’ve also got examples from judges, barristers and lots of other solicitors.

The fact is that deterrents may well work for those with some sort of brain, but they certainly don’t work with the vast majority of those who end up in prison, as they tend to be stupid, alcoholics or drug addicts. For many, the regularity of prison with three square meals a day is actually a better life than they have outside.

It has always been thus. I remember talking to an Assistant Governor of Walton Jail, whilst at Liverpool University in the 60s and he said exactly the same things.

We must completely change our attitude in society and especially to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

The first thing we must do is educate and train people properly, so that they have a worthwhile place in society. Perhaps, too, we should also educate people, so that they only have children that will be loved and brought up reasonably correctly in a household that knows the difference between right and wrong.

We have difficult choices to make.

But more and greater punishments is an expensive option that doesn’t work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Out of Competition Tests for Athletes


It strikes me that with modern technology such as automatic text messaging, that it should not be beyond the wit of the testers to devise a system, that makes sure that a test takes place.

A company I work with uses text messaging to make sure that people turn up for hospital appointments. It works well.

Getting a system that works well and means tests are not missed is in the country’s interest just as much as the athlete.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Northern Rock


Some years ago, I started a finance company. One of the things I did was to look at the pattern of lending, so that I could see what to do in a serious crisis.

By using extensive computer modelling, it became obvious that the way to maximise profits, was actually to shut the company down and just service the existing business. You have no sales costs, only the cost of making sure that everybody pays up on time, which just needs a good collection department.

I have no detailed knowledge of the Northern Rock problems, but I suspect that the way to make the maximum amount of money from the company would be to shut all branches, get rid of most of the staff and then just collect the money owed on its extensive mortgage book. Any new business and remorgaging would be put through another company.

So taking over Northern Rock should be very profitable for another banking or mortgage lender, but it will be absolutely dire for any of the existing employees.

Sorry to be so gloomy, but I spent a lot of time analysing the figures of a finance company, for such a scenario.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

An Ideal Phone


I have an ideal phone. It’s called a Nokia 6310i. Does everything except take pictures. Bought nearly ten years ago, I can even get it repaired in Cambridge.

Thursday, November 01, 2007



All of those people phoning up the radio and saying we’ve got too many immigrants are hypocrites at best and racists at worst.

Read Robert Winder’s excellent book, Bloody Foreigners, which is a scientifically correct history of immigration into the UK, and you will realise that for centuries it is the immigrants, that have put the Great into Great Britain.

My father’s family were Jews from Germany or Eastern Europe, who came to work in the fur trade at the beginning of the 19th century and my mother’s were Huguenots from France driven out by religious persecution a few decades earlier. Nearly all the British have strong immigrant strains in their background.

What many are doing now is a repeat of what has been done to immigrants for centuries. They are a simple target for all of the laziness and inefficiency that percolates through the Civil Service, Local Government and the NHS.