View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wednesday 16 March

A fairly bright but quite breezy day, which has made it feel cold outside. In spite of the sun. It contrasts quite sharply with the weather in southern England, where the mercury has reached 17C or 18C over the past few days. You can take 10 degrees off that for our max today.

The UK Shipping Minister visited the Coastguard Station and Iolaire Memorial in Stornoway today. The visit to the latter was related to the on-going controversy about the revision of Coastguard services. On current plans, the station in Stornoway could be closed or downgraded. A vociferous local opposition is active, but restricted itself to the strategic placement of a banner along the access road to the station.

I am getting despondent regarding the situation in Libya. With a bit of bad luck, Gaddafi will manage to crush the rebellion in the east of the country, bearing in mind the sheer brutality he has been seen to be deploying so far. If he manages to recapture Benghazi, the focal point of the uprising, there will be a bloody purge of all those who dared to stand up to Gaddafi. I think the repression of opposition in Bahrain will have been inspired by Gaddafi's successes in recent times.

And the Japanese are now getting seriously worried, after their emperor appeared on television in relation to the nuclear emergency at Fukushima. If waterbombing using helicopters or watercannon is being considered, you can safely conclude that the nuclear plant is not under control, and we should expect the worst. People are beginning to flee Japan, and not just foreign nationals.