Author Archives: John Studholme

Stakeboarding to win!   

The farmers and the affluent retirees of this part of Cumbria have returned a Tory MP as long as anyone can remember.  Indeed a Tory MP seems as much a part of the natural order here as Wordsworth, lambs, lakes and Beatrix Potter.

The crop of lurid orange Lib Dem signs in the farmer’s fields, however suggests that the political climate is changing. “Lib Dems winning here!” the posters declare.  (The Times 22 April 2005.)

And so we did and the stakeboarding campaign was a major element in that success.

In 2005 we had 644 sites and by 2010 when Tim Farron’s majority was at its highest it was 1296 excluding those farmer’s fields. The latter amounted to over 50 sites.  On each of these sites we would erect at least 5 boards.

That may well be a record for any party for any election in the UK. Though someone will tell me they did better. I do not think we will reach that figure again in Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Vision 2021 – a radical manifesto for a changing world

As you grow older you see things differently. Way back in 2003 as the new Chair of Tim Farron’s Campaign Committee I thought that, before we started campaigning, we should set out a few areas like education, health and housing where we needed some clear thinking. Though Tim was reluctant, we pulled together a few sensible people and we talked the issues through.

It is probably a good time for some more clear thinking now.

Where to begin? Well let us start with the most pressing problem facing mankind – that of global warming. Last year I thought the problem was insoluble but now I believe it can and will be solved though there will be more casualties and unnecessary costs if we do not get on with it.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Woodhouse Mine, Whitehaven, West Cumbria


The Woodhouse issue should be treated on the facts. There is an AECOM report commissioned by West Cumbrian Mining which I am using for some facts below and facts I have googled from sound sources. viz. International Energy Agency.

In this document GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) cover all the carbon gases to be found in the mine. In calculating quantities these gases are quantified using their CO2 equivalents.

Facts

1. The world produced 18699.9m tonne of steel in 2019. A 3.4 % increase over 2018. World steel production increases every year unless there is a depression.

2. Every tonne of steel produced causes 1.85 tonne of CO2 to be released.

3. In 1875 the UK produced 47% of the world’s pig iron and 40% of our output went to the USA. In 1950 we produced 150m tonne of steel per annum. Today we produce 61.5m tonne or 0.033 % of the world total.  There is an enormous variation in the price of steel at present   Coking coal ranges in price between $195 and $218 per tonne depending on world conditions not where it comes from.

4. Woodhouse will be producing 3.1m tonne of coal which is .053% of the world’s total. This is a negligible amount and Woodhouse will have no effect whatsoever on the worldwide price of coking coal and subsequently the price of steel and global warming. The coking coal and steel we produce is less than 0.05% of the world market and will be substituted for it elsewhere in the world in any case.

5. The AECOM report points out in para 4.5 that:

“ Any CHG gas emissions at the steel works from the production of coal mined from the Proposed Development would not therefore be additional (to the world’s gas emissions) as these will occur whether or not the Proposed (Woodhouse) is permitted to operate.”

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 39 Comments
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