Good Luck With That, Gwyneth

Gwyneth Dunwoody, the chairman of the committee, said: "The Government must stop this folly and endeavour to bring the European Commission to its senses.

"The EU now appears to be sleep-walking into a further vast financial commitment to Galileo which is likely to take the public funding for the project to £10 billion, without any realistic assessment of its costs and benefits.

"We must have independent and up-to-date evidence that proceeding with Galileo is worthwhile, and if it can be demonstrated that Galileo offers good value for tax-payers\’ money. Any decision on funding must be based on sound management of European Union budgets."

It\’s a political project dear: it\’s not amenable to standard cost benefit analysis. Big important people have their own GPS systems. The EU is big and important, thus it will have a GPS system. It\’s dick waving, not rational.

10 comments on “Good Luck With That, Gwyneth

  1. “It’s dick waving, not rational.”

    Yet food security, energy security, and military security are deemed rational. You wouldn’t rely entirely on food shipments from the US, entirely on electricity from the US, and entirely on the US military to defend you.

    So why rely on the US (over which we have palpably little influence) for what is rapidly becoming a critical part of our civilian infrastructure? It’s not dick waving, it is a fear of a rogue US. Imagine a forthcoming currency crisis, precipitating a vicious trade war. Do you think wise heads in Congress would necessarily prevail over calls to hit the EU by turning off SA over the continent?

  2. Yet food security, energy security, and military security are deemed rational. You wouldn’t rely entirely on food shipments from the EU, entirely on electricity from the EU, and entirely on the EU military to defend you.

    So why rely on the EU (over which we have palpably little influence) for what is rapidly becoming a critical part of our civilian infrastructure? It’s not dick waving, it is a fear of a rogue EU. Imagine a forthcoming currency crisis, precipitating a vicious trade war. Do you think wise heads in Brussels would necessarily prevail over calls to hit the UK by turning off SA over the British Isles?

    PS: Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  3. “So why rely on the EU (over which we have palpably little influence)”

    It’s an exaggeration, don’t you think? We have plenty of influence in the EU. Whereas even a WTO ruling isn’t enough to compel the US.

  4. Do you think wise heads in Congress would necessarily prevail over calls to hit the EU by turning off SA over the continent?

    A few points. First, you degrade GPS performance by turning SA on (not off). Second, turning SA on anywhere in the world would piss off a whole bunch of US airlines and shipping companies. Third, you can deny GPS capability much more easily and selectively with jammers. Finally, the SA function will slowly disappear from GPS.

  5. Galilleo is about constructing a Europe-Wide road pricing infrastructure. the free GPS service is not accurate enough for road pricing, therefore if you want to use satelite technology for this purpose you have to either pay the US the fee for access to the enhanced service or set up your own system.

    The EU doesn’t want to be beholden to the US for what they hope will prove to be a big money-spinner.

  6. It is likely to be more about the military uses of GPS. You don’t need your own unless you are planning to fight America.

    Not that Europe could with its 40,000 soldiers capable of real combat. But no doubt they like to dream. A chihuahua that thinks it is a wolf.

  7. “Not that Europe could with its 40,000 soldiers capable of real combat. But no doubt they like to dream. A chihuahua that thinks it is a wolf.”

    Now you’re being silly. We can be allies of the US militarily but want to avoid their economic leverage (ask the Canadians or the Antiguans about how the US Government follows WTO rulings).

    Am I the only one to find a sickening spectacle the sight of New Labour parliamentarians weeping crocodile tears about the cost (of which the UK would only pay a part). We could cancel the ID card programme and with the savings pay for two Galileo systems all for ourselves.

  8. “Not that Europe could with its 40,000 soldiers capable of real combat. But no doubt they like to dream. A chihuahua that thinks it is a wolf.”

    Take some paracetamol, brew a nice cup of herbal tea, and sit in a darkened room for an hour. You’ll feel much better.

  9. Sorry I even fiollowed up reading this controversy. Iwas tricked into it–thinking I was going to learn what was so irrational about dick-waving.

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