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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Met Office's spanking new HQ

  Yesterday I said we should sell off the Met Office which gets £170 million annually from the taxpayer. Lets assume about £20 million of that would have to be paid by government departments, particularly the MoD where that budget is currently buried, thereby keeping it safe from scrutiny & making our defence spending look higher than it actually is. I suspect that is not a low figure since buying satelite pictures is not exactly expensive. I will also assume that the amount raised from selling will be negligible, though if I am wrong about them not providing value for money one would expect selling it off to raise about £1 bn.

   This leaves us with an extra £150 million a year. Incidentally this might be a useful reform - that ministers who come up with a suggestion of some other department that can be cut get to keep a proportion for some new project they support - that might concentrate ministerial minds wonderfully.

   So what should we do with that money?

   I have previously said how to cut the deficit to zero and how to fund the world's best space programme. Onward.

   I would put most of it, about £120 million into a Prize foundation for non-space technology. We know that Prizes are from  33 to 0( times more effective than normal government grant giving at inspiring innovation.

    In particular I would have them set up prizes for research into aging {the M-Prize of £1 million for life extension of a mouse is an example which can be massively scaled up}. I would also like to see similar prizes for development of drugs or other methods of increasing IQ. I believe there is considerable potential for this and the fact that there are various hereditary neurological diseases and imbalances in the Jewish community may be a pointer to researchers.

Finally I would provide voluntary summer schools for the top 1% of schoolchildren. On that summer they should be taught everything expected in the next year of schooling and those that pass could move up a year. The top 1% of the countries brains (perhaps less than that) are our greatest national resource and should be encouraged not wasted. 1% of schoolkids would be about 10,000. Assuming 2/3rds accept the offer & that it costs about £5,000 per head (normal costs for state schooling over a year do probably a considerable over estimate) we get about £33 million annually

Now does anybody, outside the warming alarmist movement, not think that would do more for the country than the Mwet office?

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