Committee elections


        Yesterday the Conservative party chose new people to fill Select Committee vacancies, following the reshuffle.  The party elected a global warming sceptic, Peter Lilley, to the Climate Change and energy committee, a fierce  opponent of Quantitative Easing to the Treasury Committee, Brooks Newmark, and a strong critic of the Common Fisheries policy, Sheryll Murray, to the Environment committee. This could make for some interesting sessions.

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  1. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Is the tide turning? Hope so. Keep on keepin’ on!

  2. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    JR: “This could make for some interesting sessions.”
    Good, but I doubt it will make the slightest difference to your government’s policies.

    • David
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink


      What is lacking for a start is leadership.

      The next thing is major structural reform of the civil service.

      It just ain’t going to happen, unless JR, Carswell and DH are the new strategic leaders.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Indeed is the Climate Change and energy committee chairman still to be Tim Yeo? Will he be giving up any of his outside interests in the green industry I wonder.

  3. Horatio McSherry
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink


    Each of those are excellent news. Added to Michael Gove’s call for an In/Out referendum and Theresa May’s extraordinary popularity-raising two weeks, has someone at the top finally caught up with the British public? …or are there some political manouverings of a diferent kind in the wind?

    • James Sutherland
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      I suspect the key thing here is that this is NOT “the top”, ie party leadership, but more democratic: backbench MPs (apparently Ministers don’t vote on this at all, but PPSs can) electing those they feel best suited.

      Sounds like 3 bits of good news there, anyway! Did any of them have manifestos or speeches we could see, or is the process behind closed doors? From the brief descriptions here I’d approve.

      Talking of votes, apparently Barack Obama voted early in the US then said he couldn’t reveal how he voted since it’s a secret ballot – a disturbing misunderstanding, in that case. (You have the *right* to keep your vote secret, not an obligation to do so!) From the post’s wording, I am wondering if there is some convention or rule against MPs revealing how they voted in these elections? I can imagine it could be awkward in some cases, for example if our host had voted against somebody he later has to deal with.

      Reply MPs are free to campaign as they wish, with or without a manifesto. We know our colleagues’ views pretty well in many cases anyway. The ballot is secret but some MPs do say who they voted for.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Barack Obama’s miss-understanding/confusion regarding “rights” and “obligations” is rather Blair’s (convenient) confusion when he would not say what legal advice he was given on the counter productive pointless and costly wars.

        • zorro
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

          ‘Barack Obama….couldn’t reveal how he voted’…..LOL, he suddenly had an attack of conscience and thought that he could only vote for a valid candidate……No comment…..


  4. Jerry
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    All very good, but will anyone be listening, are there any light still on in Downing Street, sorry to say but I’m starting to think not…

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Well even if there dim light in government. Cameron has saddled the party with the Libdems (due to his socialist, green, pro EU campaign at the election). So any lights at all will be extinguished, and very quickly by Ed Davey types.

  5. RDM
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to listen to Peter take on the Green Brigade, can I book a seat? But I think he will need to be constructive and balanced, not just critical, especially between the two areas:

    Theoretical: The shrinking Artic, and compensating expansion of Antarctica, see resent report of Sky.

    Practical: The need for Economic growth, cheaper energy prices, and what GB can afford to contribute, compared to the growth in Coal fired power stations in Germany, China, India, SA, etc…




    • uanime5
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      You shouldn’t mark major environmental problems as theoretical or economic problems as practical. It just shows that you don’t understand either of these problems.

      • RDM
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink


        I clearly meant; Peter will have to gain a clear theoretical perspective… Theoretical here means measuring, modelling, and building an understanding of what is going on. A basis for the ongoing discussions.

        And a cost (to as all) is nothing but a Practical matter, we have to pay for it! So, who’s Economic theory are you going to use then?

        The starting point for all fascism is someone imposing their rubbish on other People! If you what a consensus, you will need to build it, considering it’s theoretical basis, and it’s Practical implications!

        And I can’t think of a better placed, better educated, and sincere bloke to do it! So, I’ll take a back seat, too watch and learn, unlike you (uanime5)!


        The old luditte!

        • uanime5
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          So RDM because you’re trying to force your belief that global warming isn’t real onto people you’re a fascist?

          In any case your practical matters were biased in favour of your own preference without any theoretical analysis to back them up. You really should have included the theoretical need to analyse the UK’s economy to if there is a practical way to increase growth, rather than assume that additional growth is possible.

          • Vanessa
            Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

            uanime5 – you should have a look at the website “watts up with that” written by one of the most respected climate scientists in the world – Anthony Watts.

          • RDM
            Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            No, I’m not forcing anything! I want a clear statement about what we believe is going on! Either way! A basis for futher arguments, Balanced and Clear! A starting point for futher decision making!

            It’s the Greens (even some Scientists) that refuse to take a step back, and discuss what they are asking us to accept. And even if we do (a lot don’t), there will be a need to be balance between the cost and benefit. i.e GB Energy cost. Meaning GB can’t do it on your own, when China, India, Germay, SA, etc… all have large coal power stations building programmes.


  6. Neil Craig
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    A good start. Peter Lilley is not only a warming sceptic but an informed and deeply inteligent one. The ecofasckists are in for some serious questioning at last & as we are proving in Scotland, they, virtually without exception, are personallt so fully aware that it is a fraud, that not one of them is willing to debate the matter in any open forum.. It is even possible the rest of the committee will insist on some of them being answered.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      It will be interesting to see what scientific studies Peter Lilley uses to support his position. After all it would be very embarrassing if one of the scientists that was invited to give advice to this committee completely destroyed Lilley’s argument.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        There are scientists on all sides of this debate. Observed temperatures have not risen as predicted by the models – upon which public policy in this area (taxes, subsidies etc) is based. surely therefore the apocalyptic predictions of warming, and the policies enacted to counter it, should be re-visited?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Regardless of how quickly or slowly the average temperature rises the “apocalyptic” effects will occur when the temperature rises to a certain level. So until the average temperature starts falling back to pre-industrial levels the policies to counter this rise are required.

          • Richard1
            Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            Why is a temparature 0.75C below today’s optimal? It was at least as warm as today, possibly warmer, during medieval times & during Roman times. The IPCC’s estimate of the effect of warming is that the balance is positive up until a rise of 2C. Dissenting scientists argue that a rise above 1C is very unlikely, meaning we will never see apocolpytic effects of warming. To pursue policy aimed at reducing gobal temperatures by 0.75C is ludicrous as clearly impossible. Not even the most fanatical greens are arguing for that!

      • Mark
        Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        Given that the Committee has been wont to rely on outdated information in order to protect its uninformed views, I suspect that Peter Lillee will manage to educate them. For example, the Committee were proudly proclaiming that there was only a few Tcf of shale gas in the UK long after a series of discoveries were publicly announced totalling more than 50 times as much. We see much the same thing on climate change data, where the most recently released HADCRUT 4 data are ignored because they don’t fit the narrative of a warming planet.

        Perhaps too the fact that OFGEM are so frightened by the prospect of power shortages that they publicly stated the risk was now severe might cause some to think carefully before indulging in more dithering and grandstanding and imposing of needless cost on households and businesses. It’s frightened Ed Davey enough to mean he has decided at rather short notice to sanction 20 new CCGT power stations.

        As I showed here recently, he may already be too late.

        Scroll down to the 2-14 day ahead “surplus”, and note that it is 5464MW on November 1st, or about the same as the total capacity of wind generation (5066MW). These numbers assume that wind will operate at 100%. If the wind doesn’t blow, or demand is slightly higher than currently forecast, there will be a shortage. Some industrial customers will be asked to stop their processes.

        • Alan Wheatley
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          Thanks Mark.

          I would encourage those in government who are advocates of more growth to recognise the consequential impact of power shortages on industrial production.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Regarding the level of shale gas in the UK the Committee relied on the proven amount of shale gas that the fracking companies said they would be able to extract, not the overly optimistic predictions made before anyone even checked how much shale gas was present in the UK.

          The HADCRUT 4 data did show that the planet was getting warmer.

          It’s more likely that the 20 new CCGT power stations are to replaced the 5 coal power stations that are closing and to account for the predicted growth in the UK’s electricity demands over the next few decades.

          • Mark
            Posted October 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, but I know what I am talking about. The Select Committee relied on a report submitted to DECC and published by them in 2010, based on work done in 2008 by the British Geological Survey estimating possible reserves (which were based purely on their assessment of the geology, and not on any exploration drilling). They wilfully ignored the announcements of Tamboran, IGas and Cuadrilla that were based on real data from wells drilled.

            HADCRUT 4 data show a trend that is statistically not different from zero: indeed, on a null hypothesis the data are consistent with mild cooling. Check the analysis here:


      • zorro
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        Dream on….


        • uanime5
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          So no rebuttal of anything I said. Typical Zorro.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Lilly is quite right, they will not destroy his arguments as these are clearly on the side of reason. The Gore types do not use scientific arguments at all they are religious TV evangelists and scaremongers. They just appeal to childish irrational emotion.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          Given that all the real scientists have shown that global warming is occurring it’s clear that Lilly doesn’t have reason or evidence on his side.

          • Richard1
            Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

            This is a meaningless post. Many (certainly not “all”) scientists have asserted that global warming is occuring. What is certainly not agreed upon is how much the warming is due to man-made factors, and whether or not we face catastrophic warming in the future. That is the issue here.

  7. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  8. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr R with a Belgian MEP speaking out and saying Britain could leave the EU without damage to its self, and these appointments, things are moving the right way. However, putting people in place is OK but what we need is change of attitude right at the top. Cameron is the stumbling block. When you have a PM who’s intent of keeping the nation within a club we hate, we have difficulties. How long can Mr C keep this up? How long can the Conservative party allow him to continue with this attitude unchallenged? How long will the 100 MPs who have desent within parliament, continue to support Mr C without challenging him head on?
    Will these new appontments really make much difference, or will they be decimated by Lib Dems who won’t agree to change? Will the blackmail still continue?
    So many unanswered questions. The jury is out.

    Reply: The 100 rebels on the EU are not about to challenge Mr Cameron’s leadership, but they will keep pushing for less EU. There are 304 Conservative MPs. The aim is to demonstrate that many more than 100 want the Uk to stand up to the EU on the budget, on powers and the need for a new relationship.

    • zorro
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

      You have enough active voices to force the issue…..


      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        It’s the wrong issue! The voices are calling for a new relationship WITHIN the EU.

  9. David Price
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Sounds good – I particularly liked Peter Lillie’s rebutal of the Stern review. Hope they all have the chance to make a tangible difference.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      The Stern report was a disgrace. Clearly just a political indoctrination document.

  10. David Langley
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Do you agree with the foreign secretary ‘s brief to examine all the EU competencies and report on them by the next election? Do you agree with the proposition that we will be able to reject any competencies that we do not want. Do you think that we will be able to do that without compromising on any other area of EU project requirements like budget approvals?
    In other words do you think we could get back the UK fishing rights we enjoyed once? Do you think we could stop paying into the CAP? Do we have any chance at all of doing anything without Exercising our right to withdraw?

    Reply: I want them to get on with negotiaiting a new relationship now, and then put that to a referendum – stay in on new terms or leave.

  11. RDM
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Can I ask; What has this government got against Contractors? Especially with the growth of Employment being taken up by Parttime roles and the Self employed (including Contractors).

    • RDM
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Or is it Vince Cable who pushing this?

      I can understand the need for reform within the Public sector, but the Civil Services needs complete reform, it needs to be done without destroying a very flexible Project (Technology Development) sector.

  12. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Shocking! How can PR Slippery Dave allow Conservatives to destroy his work destroying the Tory party? Rumblings in the back benched; or a steady drumbeat: U-K-I-P.

  13. Andrew fair foul
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    You’ll have to do better than that, the Conservative party are only making these moves because they are running scared of the non stop rise of the fastest growing party in the uk UKIP.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      @merlin: The only election UKIP are going to win is that for a Labour Government, vote UKIP, get Labour. Membership numbers is no proof of electability, 100% of zero is still zero…

  14. Andrew Johnson
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    The appointments are good news. All we need now is a Conservative to be elected prime minister. Now that would indeed be progress!

  15. Jon
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Some of the Labour committee members especially on the financial ones are an embarrassment and frankly pointless some being there for what they attempt to contribute. It only serves to question the credibility.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      @Jon: I’m sure that many Labour supporters thinks exactly the same of Tory members…

  16. uanime5
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how effective these committees will be now they contain people who oppose what these committees are doing. I can’t help but feel this may lead to shouting matches.

    • Jerry
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      @uanime5: Do feel free to find out what these select committees actually do, not what you think they do…

      • uanime5
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        What do they do when they suddenly have a person added to them that opposes everything the committee is currently doing?

        • Jerry
          Posted October 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: You really do not understand what select committees do, their aim is to ask question of witnesses to get to the truth of the issue, then write a report. A good select committee actually welcomes opposite opinions between its members!

  17. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I’d be interested to know more on Sheryll Murray’s views on the CFP. Is she going to work with the activist who are desperately trying to reform it to improve fish stocks or is she going to try and abolish it so there is chaos and overfishing or does she have another plan?

    Reply: If the UK came out of the CFP we could have our own home grown conservation policy, and could ban industrial trawlers from other Eu countries where they do damage to the sea bed and have too large a bi-catch.

    • Mark
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      You may not know her husband was a fisherman based at Looe, Cornwall who lost his life in a tragic fishing accident only last year while fishing alone. She has since campaigned for better safety devices on fishing boats, and I would think has a good knowledge of the consequences of overfishing. One reason her husband was fishing alone was because catches were inadequate to finance a crewmate.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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