10 October 2015

9:00 AM

10 October 2015

9:00 AM

The death of Diesel

The Volkswagen scandal has brought into question the future of the diesel engine. A century ago its inventor, Rudolf Diesel, was himself the subject of scandal. On 29 September 1913 he disappeared from the steamship Dresden on its way from Antwerp to Harwich. He had retired to his cabin after dinner but had not changed into his bedclothes. His body was found off Norway ten days later. He was apparently on his way to discuss selling diesel engines to the Royal Navy for submarines, leading to suspicions that he had been murdered to prevent the technology falling into British hands. His financial situation, however, pointed to possible suicide. The Royal Navy went into the first world war with steam-powered submarines.

How the regions rate

George Osborne will let councils keep income from business rates. Total rateable value of business properties by region:



South-east £9bn
North-west £6bn
East £5.3bn
West Midlands £4.8bn
Yorks and Humberside £4.8bn
South-west £4.3bn
East Midlands £3.6bn
Wales £2.4bn
North-east £1.7bn

Source: IFS

Line of duty

A police officer was killed by a stolen vehicle in Liverpool. Is it becoming more dangerous to be a police officer?

Officers killed in violent acts
or in pursuit of criminals in Britain
1900s 25
1920s 12
1940s 17
1960s 22
1980s 50
2000s 20
2010s (so far) 6

Student politics

How do students vote? Most popular party at various universities:
Conservative Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Exeter, Imperial College London, LSE, Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham, Reading, Southampton, St Andrews
Labour Cambridge, Lancaster, Liverpool, King’s College London, University College London, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield
Green Edinburgh
SNP Glasgow, Strathclyde

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  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “The Royal Navy went into the first world war with steam-powered submarines”
    Steam-powered aeroplanes, did that idea ever get off the ground?

    • MikeH

      They probably met a similar fate as the lead zeppelin.

    • MikeF

      The Royal Navy did develop a class of submarines in the First World War – the K-Class – that used steam power when on the surface to give them the speed to keep up with surface warships. The idea was that they would be able to accompany the battle fleet and then submerge to deliver a first blow against enemy ships before a general surface action. They were a complete disaster and most Royal Navy submarines used diesel on the surface and electric propulsion below it as they did until the advent of nuclear propulsion.

  • Tellytubby

    Diesel’s financial situation pointed to suicide? Surely that’s why he was selling his technology to a foreign power? For you know….money? Seems like even more motive for foul play to me rather than suicide.

  • zanzamander

    Labour : Warwick and Durham. Both universities are hotbeds of (to various degrees) anti-israeli, Marxism and Pro-Islamist sentiments.

  • fenlandfox

    Ruston and Hornsby were building heavy oil,or diesel engines if you prefer, years before the Germans.never seem to get the credit though.

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