Free Speech

BBC to move to a subscription model?

It seems there is a push to scrap the mandatory BBC license and replace it with a subscription model like many in the private sector.

We last wrote about the BBC back in March 2018 when comparing it to our own ABC. We said,

On a global basis, the BBC generates GBP 4.954bn and employs 21,431 staff. 22.7% of those revenues are spent on salaries. Average salaries have grown 17% since 2007/8. The average income per employee at the BBC is now GBP236,852 (A$428,000) thanks to the generous mandatory licensing fees. Average salaries at the Beeb are now GBP 55,651 ($A100,728).

Since then the BBC notes the following in its annual report for 2018/19.

Revenue has tailed off to £4.89bn with staff numbers swelling to 22,401.

21.4 m pay the full license fee of £150.50, down 203,000 on the previous year.

Vy way of comparison, Netflix in the UK charges £8.99/mth (£107.88) for the standard package to £11.99/mth (£143.88) for the full Ultra HD experience. There are a whole host of other services from Sky, Virgin, Vodafone etc who are bundling mobile phone and home internet with TV.

An interesting tidbit reveals that one can sign up to a ‘monochrome’ BBC service for 1/3rd the current £150.50 subscription fee. 5,000 currently do. 4.6m over 75s pay nothing.

As ever, the BBC pushes supreme confidence in its delivery of media content. 91% of adult Brits consume it in TV, radio or written form according to Ipsos polling.

Sadly, 52% of UK adults think the BBC is effective at providing news and current affairs that is impartial. Half. 10 years ago, it was 57%.

Only 61% of parents think the Beeb is good for assisting children and teenagers with learning. It scored 65% for adults in this category. Both down on the year.

In terms of platform, BBC TV scored more or less flat on the previous year in terms of quality (72% -> 72%) and distinctiveness (68% -> 69%) but fell sharply for BBC Radio (81% -> 75%) & (77% -> 73%) and BBC Online (74% -> 69%) & (70% -> 64%) respectively.

The length of time Brits spend watching BBC TV fell from 8hrs and 16secs to 7:36 per week. People listening to BBC Radio fell from 10:03 to 9:33 per week. Usage of BBC Online by adults increased from 75% to 77% per week.

In a nutshell, people are watching and listening less to the BBC, view it increasingly as biased, question its offering and seemingly don’t want to pay for it.

Living off a never-ending taxpayer teat breeds complacency. A move to a subscription model would soon reveal how ‘in demand’ the ‘high-quality’ content services actually are. If the BBC truly possesses such a huge belief in its abilities to deliver, it should have absolutely no concerns to let the private market pay for its services.

Just like the ABC in Australia, BBC ratings keep falling and audience trust continues to wane. Ita Buttrose must be watching developments in the UK with a keen eye. Time for the ABC to be forced down a similar road of self-funding, driven by “true” market demand for services instead of junk like Q+A, ABC Kids programmes preaching white privilege or indigenous programs that play-act defecating on white people.

Put simply, the world has changed. There is no need to pay $1bn to the ABC and $400m to the SBS for services that almost anyone with a phone and an internet connection can consume from the source. That is right. We can stream German radio to our hotel room on our American business trip should we wish. We don’t need the government to divert tax dollars to provide services that exist at source in abundance. There is almost nothing at the ABC that can’t be consumed at The Guardian or Channel 10.

Global Coal-fired power statistics – Diary of a Wimpy Kid

What is it with the self-flagellation over coal-fired power? The announcement that the Morrison government intends underwriting “ONE” coal-fired power plant brings with it the hysteria of publicly force-feeding kindergarten kids with highly radioactive sludge at recess time. Naturally, none of this outrage is based on facts. It is all tokenism.

Here are the stats for coal-fired power stations globally:

Coal Capacity

Australia has only 2.5% of the coal-fired capacity of China. Versus our total of 58, China has almost 3,000 in service.

Coal Operation

Coal-fired plants that have been announced, are under construction, permitted and pre-permit stage around the globe total 1,046. Where are the climate activists in China, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Thailand, Malawi, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Egypt, Poland and South Africa?

New Coal

The mt CO2-e output of each country is as follows. Note China produces 36x more CO2.

Coal CO2

So China and India are responsible for 58% of coal-fired power generated emissions and will be 50% of all new capacity additions going forward.

Coal CO2 Contrib

China has 100x more coal-fired power on the drawing board than Australia yet we behave as though we are the biggest climate sinners on the planet! China and India have consistently been 70%+ of all new coal-fired plant capacity additions since 2006.

Coal Capa

So do Australian activists honestly think that canning one domestic new coal-fired power plant will have the slightest effect on global temperatures when our Asian and African neighbours are full speed ahead?

There have also been arguments made by activists that our coal exports should be counted against our totals in terms of emissions. Fine. Then by that logic, FNF Media expects the total emissions of every car sold in Australia (including fuel consumed) to be charged back to Japan, China, Korea, America and Europe. Every aircraft, every electronic device, every imported building material, crane, bulldozer, wind turbine, solar panel and truck that transports it. It would equal itself out pretty quickly.

Our global neighbours seem to be prioritizing national growth over climate alarmism. For it would appear they do not have the same level of brain-washed fanatics telling our kids that they have inherited a planet that will make them the last people on earth to survive.

The quickest route for Australia to end its prosperity is to cower to this insanity. To fall in line to the idea that renewables are cheaper (they aren’t) and more green is preposterous. Wind turbine blades are being put into landfill and solar panels are toxic to recycle and likely to end in the same place. Germany is giving us a great beta test case of how renewables are failing them. Indulge yourself here.

Coal-fired plants in Australia are forced to run sub-optimally to cater to the demands of the fluctuations in renewables which must be given priority to the grid. Ask anyone in large scale manufacturing how being forced to run at fluctuating levels destroys efficiency. It really is that simple.

Coal Price

Thermal coal prices are far from going out of control. So our power plant electricity generation isn’t becoming pricier due to input costs.

We have to stop becoming emotional about numbers and data and look at what they are telling us rather than build a narrative and reverse engineer the results. It always catches up to us in the end.

Our government needs to show some backbone and provide easy to understand data about reality. Rather than fold at the confected outrage which appears backed by crony capitalists.

Now that former PM Turnbull is weighing in on the debate (contradicting comments made while PM) saying that it is lunacy to pursue coal. Given his record of poor judgment, it stands to reason building cleaner coal-fired power plants is a sensible way to lower energy prices and remain a competitive global economy.

As FNF Media likes to say, the numbers will always be right in the end. Fiddle them at your peril.

Hollywoke. Oscars audience plunges to lowest ever

When Joaquin Phoenix lamented, “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” Hollywood hit peak woke. At the Golden Globes, he thought telling us he would be wearing only one tuxedo for the entire awards season while eating vegan would be a hit with mainstream Americans to highlight doing his bit for the planet. At the BAFTAs, Phoenix ran the “systemic racism” line. Yet he didn’t hand his gong to a person of colour that he believed was deserving of the award.

Hypocrisy sadly doesn’t resonate very well with mainstream Americans.

Essentially the Oscars has become a light-hearted entertainment version of the Democratic primary debates. The policy platform was all in there – speeches about feminism, gender equality, LGBTQI, climate change, healthcare and living with less. Basically, every “woke” politically correct subject got a mention, delivered by the very people who have zero place lecturing the rest of the world, as Ricky Gervais told them.

Celebrities, coming off the highs of the second-lowest audience total ever recorded in 2019 (after a 12% bump on 2018 which was 40% down on the prior 5 years), must have hoped that the 2020 Oscars ceremony would recover with more of the same social justice. Sadly 2020 was watched by the smallest audience ever.

23.6 million viewers watched (-20% or 6 million down). Among the 18-49 demographic, the audience plunged 31% vs 2019.

Joaquin Phoenix closed his speech by saying,

I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.

FNF Media would prefer Hollywood gave Phoenix a third chance to revert to type. Because this act isn’t fooling anyone.

Open letter to Michael Mann

Dear Professor Mann,

I saw your performance on ABC Q&A last week.

Unfortunately, you may not have been aware that this is one of Australia’s worst media platforms for balanced debate or reasoned argument. The show has been raked over the coals (excuse the pun) countless times for its shockingly poor standards whether it be inviting radical feminists hurling profanity while openly calling for the murder of men, giving platforms to convicted terrorists or allowing tweets that suggested the then sitting prime minister enjoys anal sex. Without knowing its dismal editorial history, you can be forgiven for heaping praise on the show. Don’t worry, the program has made countless promises that it will do better in the future. We’re still waiting. Forewarned is forearmed.

You said you enjoy “taking climate deniers to task” but I believe it is this type of attitude that creates the very problems that get in the way of convincing them.

While you might have found it necessary to appropriate the aphorism that “you should keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out,” why didn’t you just educate Senator Molan with a list of specific hard data points instead of resorting to the one size fits all ‘consensus’ line? As much as his gaffe will be replayed on a loop, I sincerely doubt those words came out as he intended.

On the subject of consensus over the science being settled, why do we still have such poor governance practices in the scientific community?

Let’s face it. There have been many controversies that have come from climatologists based on fraudulent data or lax governance in the peer-review process. Unfortunately with next to no risk of repercussions for falsifying/homogenizing data or ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours‘ endorsements, scientists can make outlandish claims at will with no lasting consequences.

Take this example.

A major scientific paper, which claimed to have found rapid warming in the oceans as a result of manmade global warming, was withdrawn after an amateur climate scientist found major errors in its statistical methodology.

The authors sheepishly said,

Shortly after publication, arising from comments from Nicholas Lewis, we realized that our reported uncertainties were underestimated owing to our treatment of certain systematic errors as random errors. In addition, we became aware of several smaller issues in our analysis of uncertainty. Although correcting these issues did not substantially change the central estimate of ocean warming, it led to a roughly fourfold increase in uncertainties, significantly weakening implications for an upward revision of ocean warming and climate sensitivity. Because of these weaker implications, the Nature editors asked for a Retraction, which we accept.”

It was pulled only because it was caught. Peer-reviewed? Have the people responsible for giving their blessing been struck off the list as gurus for future papers given the lazy approach to miss such basic errors? Surely to have the same names appear on future academic work risks diminishing potentially important content as sub-standard. There do not appear to be consistently high enough standards to ensure the studies are always top drawer, which they need to be if debt-ridden governments are to deploy more of our taxes effectively.

Nicholas Lewis said after the retraction that,

“This is just the latest example of climate scientists letting themselves down by using incorrect statistics. The climate field needs to get professional statisticians involved upfront if it is going to avoid this kind of embarrassment in future”.

At the very least, Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said

Climatology is littered with examples of bad statistics, going back to the infamous Hockey Stick graph and beyond. Peer review is failing and it is falling to amateurs to find the errors. Scientists in the field should be embarrassed”.

It would be much better if people who possess high profiles in the scientific community such as yourself to become much more active in criticizing these shortcomings.

Put it this way. I, like many others, would like to get to the truth in climate science but because of the actions of a few bad apples, the rest of the value-added that might come from the majority of the scientific community gets diluted in the process. Fraudulent behaviour is reprehensible on any level in any industry. Yet the public have little scope to make these determinations of which science passes muster until it is exposed for failing to be up to standard. Yet they won’t roll over and accept ‘settled science’ given the levels of crony capitalism in the system.

If the climate activist movement wants to win over climate sceptics (not deniers) without shutting down the debate, start by cleaning house first. Advocate for scientific bodies to come down hard on cheaters amongst your own flock. They need to be exposed so that such works are discredited which has the added effect of improving the pool of best-in-class data and research. It would be helpful if the media helped spread the message that such bad behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

Countless people who have been non-compliant in the financial industry have faced harsh punishment in terms of fines and jail sentences. Companies have lost trading licenses and faced fines in the billions of dollars. I have yet to see any scientists face such risks when caught out for highly unethical behaviour.

Perhaps we could get far more sensible outcomes in convincing sceptics were the bad apples prosecuted. Furthermore, whistleblower protections would accelerate a cleanout of the dodgy scientists that game the system and ruin it for the rest. It has worked very successfully in your homeland with financial sector prosecutions up 16x since whistleblower laws were introduced in 2011. Better still, honest scientists have nothing to fear because such legislation acts as an insurance policy which protects their hard work.

That is how you’ll bring trust to the table.

I would be highly surprised if most scientists haven’t seen or heard of unethical practices conducted in the field of climate science.

You also mentioned that, “My view is the view of the world scientific community, every scientific institution in the world that’s weighed in on this matter – climate change is real, it’s human-caused, it’s already leading to disastrous impacts here in Australia and around the rest of the world. And it will get much worse if we don’t act.

Every institution? Even if we were to take this as gospel, it is highly likely that the majority have distinctly different takes on the ‘extent’ of human impacts made more disperse by varying timelines. Some no doubt say there are very minuscule impacts to others that paint more extreme scenarios. Therefore to imply there is one united view seems a bit far fetched. Despite the position of more conservative scientists, the only view that is pedalled appears to be the alarmist one.

We constantly hear noise from the media, egged on by alarmists, that extreme weather events are becoming more widespread. However, the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes (with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) notes:

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods…low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoons…low confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidence in projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.”

Where is the scientific community’s transparency in pointing out that the probabilities and confidence levels about such ‘extreme weather’ claims remaining very low? Coming from a background in statistics, such low confidence levels smack more of ‘unsettled’ science. Yet the alarmists preach it as though the evidence is irrefutable when it statistically can not be. It gets worse.

Although the media never covered it, can you please explain why so many scientists trashed the IPCC for its governance practices? The public is constantly told that the UN IPCC climate bible is the gold standard which cannot be denied.

Did you see the UN Interacademy Council committee posted a questionnaire on its website and invited interested parties to respond to the processes at the IPCC? This is what they said;

some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” (p.16)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped,

The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.” (p.330)

Are climate deniers, as you label them, justified in questioning the validity of the processes which are relied upon to allocate $100s of billions in taxpayer money if the scientists themselves see deep flaws? This survey wasn’t conducted by a fossil-fuel lobby group but the UN itself. This is the home team exposing its own inadequacy but the media is deathly silent.

The above survey is an utter embarrassment and I would be interested to hear your response to those claims. It is alarming to know that government policy is being based on such sub-standard procedures. It would be nice for scientific bodies to come out in unison to call out these problems to ensure that properly vetted governance practices are introduced and enforced. We all win if this happens.

You said on the Q&A program that, “If we act, if we bring our carbon emissions down by a factor of two within the next 10 years, which we can do if all partners work together, then we can avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Do you honestly believe if Australia brings emissions from 1.3% to 0.65% that will have the slightest impact when we know that China has openly stated that its emissions (now at c.30%) won’t stop growing till at least 2030? Furthermore, Australia’s population grew by 10% since 2013. Reducing emissions in half with a growing population will mean that even more drastic measures would be required.

China will be growing an Australia every week by 2030 from every two weeks today. If we hit your target, China will still be steaming ahead at two Australia’s per week. Unfortunately, the economic pain inflicted to reach such targets is simply too steep in reality. Renewables have a very poor record in Australia despite our world-leading commitment per capita in introducing green energy.

You make the criticism about the stance taken by the Murdoch media on climate change. By that measure, The Guardian is conspicuous for its constant alarmism where it openly admits to sensationalising language.

I sincerely hope you join me in ways to close the gap between alarmists and sceptics. We live in a cancel culture society. The more this is accepted, the harder both sides dig in their heels. The only way to effectively find common ground is to tidy up the procedures, governance and practices whereby poor behaviour is summarily punished and outed so that people on all sides can have trust that investment decisions made reflect fact, not fiction.

With a heavy heart, the EU’s recent declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’ rejected revisions to the legislation which requested, “Recalls that climate change is one of the many challenges facing humanity and that all states and stakeholders worldwide must do their utmost to measure it scientifically so that policy, and especially spending, is based on observable facts and not on apocalyptic fearmongering or unreliable models; emphasises that there is no scientific consensus on what percentage of climate change is anthropogenic and what percentage is natural.”

Surely if we are to build a sensible united front, this is a shockingly poor start. Instead of taking sceptics to task, work to put their concerns to bed via cleaning up those that muddy the waters of those with a genuine message. Questioning bad behaviour doesn’t require an open mind. Ignoring it risks one’s brains falling out.

Yours sincerely,

M. Newman

 

Telstra’s CEO should close down operations to be on the right side of history

Telstra CEO Andy Penn has suggested that climate change will be the “defining challenge” of the decade but proclaims he doesn’t want to be drawn into the government policy debate. 

He has called for “more urgent action on climate as changing weather patterns deliver more frequent bushfires, floods, droughts and storms” at an American Chamber of Commerce lunch yesterday. 

What a pity that the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes (with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) contradicted Mr Penn:

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods…low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoons…low confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidence in projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.”

Never mind what the scientists ‘actually’ think. Just run the narrative of the activists instead to prevent Extinction Rebellion nutcases from super glueing themselves to the lobby entrance. FNF Media could indulge you on what the scientists actually think of the IPCC. For those interested please see the link here. Spoiler alert – it is exceedingly critical.

Mr Penn said that businesses and individuals should become aware of their carbon footprints. He admitted Telstra is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in the country as data storage needs explode by up to 50% per annum.

If it is such a massive concern, Penn should put Telstra’s shareholder money where its mouth is and charge customers extortionate fees for data storage and data usage such that he can force them to lighten their evil digital-driven carbon footprint. That way he can slow his electricity consumption. Then, Telstra can await all of those woke customers fleeing Vodafone and Optus in droves to sign up for inferior service for more money. Not quite sure what shareholders would think of that…

Even better he could suggest to the board that they close the business for good for the sake of the planet. After all, by going the whole hog he can sleep safe in the knowledge that his kids and grandkids will know he was on the right side of history (the standard alarmist playbook) before we’re swept away by the rising sea levels. Think of all that energy saved.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this vacuous corporate virtue signalling tokenism before. Who could forget the comments made by Josh Bayliss, the CEO of Virgin Group? He said,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Why didn’t he close down the airlines in the portfolio? Instead of waiting for his customers to grow a conscience via flight shaming and do the right thing why not force their choice? The obvious answer is that it’s hypocritical in the extreme.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has already positioned behind the flight shaming movement to do its bit for climate change. In a two page flyer, it covered the idea that we reckless passengers must consider our carbon footprint but at the same time help the U.N. raise $40bn in taxes, sorry ‘climate finance,’ between 2021 and 2035.

The Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is the vehicle which the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) intends to liberate us from our sins and help fund the waste so endemic in the NY based cabal. Wherever the UN is involved expect a sinister agenda behind the virtue.

All airlines have been required to monitor, report and verify their emissions on international flights since Jan 1, 2019. Operators will be required to buy “emissions units” from the UN. If one asked the UN would it prefer emissions to be cut or taxes to be raised, it would select the latter every time.

Still, the easiest way to gauge public fear on climate change is not via a biased think-tank poll but monitor individual consumption patterns. It isn’t just population growth, because it isn’t growing  at these rates. Three examples:

  1. Aircraft demand – In 2019, Boeing reported airlines will need around 44,000 new commercial aircraft worth $6.8 trillion by 2038, vs. 43,000 planes worth $6.49 trillion estimated in 2018. There are currently 25,830 commercial airliners in service.
  2. Smartphones – estimated that the number of global mobile subscriptions could be 13.8 billion in 2025 and 17.1 billion in 2030. The number of global mobile subscriptions has already reached 6.7 billion in 2013. Smartphones will grow from 6.3bn units in 2020 to 12.1 billion by 2030.
  3. Energy Consumption  – the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050. Energy consumed in the buildings sector (including residential and commercial structures), increases by 65% between 2018 and 2050, from 91 quadrillion to 139 quadrillion Btu. Rising income, urbanization, and increased access to electricity lead to rising demand for energy.

So good luck trying to get people to feel awkward about their individual carbon footprints. They’ll be to busy charging their mobile devices while booking the next overseas holiday to the Maldives.

Trump trounces the party of raw onion, lemon and chilli mouthwash in SOTU

Trump smashed the State Of The Union speech. Utterly exposed the Trump Derangement Syndrome within the Democrat’s ranks.

Trump has a glass jaw. This is well known. He made his feelings well known to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in his 2020 SOTU address. He snubbed her handshake and set the tone. It was juvenile and unpresidential to refuse Pelosi’s gesture but Trump wanted the optics. She was shocked. Then again their mutual hate is no surprise to anyone, especially given the impeachment farce.

Before he spoke, Trump was greeted by chants of “4 more years!

The sound of Pelosi’s applause was quieter than a one-handed clap.

Pelosi or the Democrats couldn’t raise one round of applause for record unemployment for blacks, Hispanics, veterans or disabled people. So much for identity politics, they bleat incessantly about.

Trump awarded stage 4 lung cancer sufferer Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Not even Pelosi could extend any warmth for his achievements, let alone his ailment.

You have to hand it to Trump for rallying American greatness. As a media man, he knew exactly how to win the crowd with his special guests.

He spoke of an 8th grader who wants to join the newly created Space Force. His great-grandfather is the 100yo Tuskegee Airman, Brigadier General Charles McGee. Americans love their war heroes. It was a powerful moment.

Even awarding a child of a single mother of colour, Stephanie and Janiyah Davis, with an education freedom scholarship couldn’t bring Democrats to applaud them.

He also spoke of his repudiation of illegal aliens and sanctuary cities. He spoke of Rocky Jones who was shot 8 times and killed at a gas station. He was murdered by an illegal immigrant who was released by a sanctuary city. Trump said he wants to pass legislation to allow victims to sue sanctuary cities for suffering such losses. He also stamped his disgust of giving free healthcare to illegal aliens.

He spoke of drug price transparency and introducing record numbers of generic drugs to lower the cost of medicines. Healthcare is far from perfect but steps are being made.

One of the most powerful moments was the surprise visit of Sgt Williams who was reunited with his family after a long deployment. Chants of “USA” as they embraced was one to pull at the heartstrings of a nation that is proud of its military. Probably the most exceptional moment of the SOTU speech.

Whatever bluster or fact-checking that will inevitably surface in the hateful mainstream media, much of his achievements will ultimately be weighed by the electorate come November.

During all of this, the fact was most Democrats swished a mix of raw onion, lemon and chilli mouthwash. Too bitter to accept the realities of a president that has kept a lot of promises. Staring down at their smartphones as he rattled off KPIs on the economy and the number of companies who are setting up in America. The mainstream media will talk of the handshake snub but the SOTU will be what is remembered by Americans for making them feel proud again.

On the back of the Iowa Caucus farce and his inevitable acquittal from impeachment this week, his coronation looks ever more certain after tonight.

Nancy Pelosi couldn’t wait for it to be over. She ripped his speech up in front of the audience, a terrible look especially given her bitterness. It is hilarious to think on so many issues the Democrats couldn’t celebrate successes of their own citizens.

Trump 1 Democrats 0.

NB – he didn’t mention Iowa or impeachment once.

WaPo wins prize for consistency

Gotta love journalists who stick to their core beliefs. WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin was all about Iowa mattering until it didn’t when her own team so badly stuffed up the vote count. As ever with the Left, it’s the side that matters, not the principle.