Germany and the UK – cars and banks

You would have thought the left and the Greens would be very hostile to the Germany economy in general and its car industry in particular. Germany burns a lot of coal and depends on manufacturing to a considerable extent. You might have thought that the EU, a well known leader in trying to curb carbon emissions and excess remuneration, would turn its full attack onto the car industry. After all, it has made its hostility to banks and bankers ever clearer, seeking to regulate their pay, stop some of their activites, and tax others. So much so that many in the UK now think the EU has been picking on its lead activity to do it harm.

The German car industry has been very successful at making large fast cars that appeal to rich people. Indeed, you have to be seriously rich to be able to afford the £100,000 for a top of the range BMW or Porsche, or the £165,000 for the S class Mercedes AMG. No, I am not thinking of buying one, as they are well beyond my budget for a car. I have never yearned for one. Nor am I jealous of those who like them and can afford them. That’s because I am no carbon campaigning green or an envious socialist.

If you do dislike people being too rich and think they ought to be taxed, then taxing luxury cars more heavily would surely be a good place to start. After all, it brings you two gains in your jealous universe. It hits the rich directly, and it may cut the number of high emission large engined cars sold.

In fairness to the EU, they have tried a bit of this. German lobbying and influence, however, has been most astute at ensuring the EU’s carbon attacks do not drive BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Audi out of business at the luxury end.

Motor manufacturers are also famous for paying their senior executives very high pay. This has not become such a big issue as bankers pay has become, again owing to excellent news management and lobbying. The CEO of VW earned $23m in his best year. Remuneration in excess of $10m a year is common at the top end of the industry. So far there have been no EU proposals to cut this pay.

It all goes to show being good at EU politics is important if you wish to keep these contentious industries and activities going and if your country stays in the EU.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Well noticed Mr Redwood!

    The fact is that mythology has nothing to do with logic. Bashing the bankers is easy to understand and, no doubt, goes down big “on the (rarely visited) doorsteps”. Bashing the car industry in Germany doesn’t.

    I shall try this argument out with my oh so clever green friends and see what they say!

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      The lefty/greens usually like to bash Lady Thatcher for closing the mines fir being uneconomic – but want them closed anyway now for the carbon religion. You might think she would be a hero.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Why – in 13 years of Nu Labour rule – weren’t the mines reopened ?

        • livelogic
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          To busy expanding the state sector, fighting pointless wars on a lie, giving over many powers to the EU, and making a pigs ear of bank regulation I suppose.

      • Peter Davies
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        I saw an article on Twitter at the weekend – (I don’t read the Mirror BTW) Lord Prescott tying to pin the blame on Mine closures on lack of investment by the Tories in the 50s thus ignoring the fact that Harold Wilson closed over twice as many as Thatcher ever did – you just couldn’t make it up.

        Labour came into office not long after the last tranche of closures, you would have thought the then Deputy PM would have had the clout to re open mines that would have only been closed for a few years at that stage and use his excellent business acumen to make them viable.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Well bankers did cause the 2008 financial crisis, while the car industry hasn’t caused any comparable crisis.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


      They know (the greens that is) what side their bread is buttered.

      The car industry pays good wages and employes a lot of people.

      The difference between banker bashing and insusrialist bashing.

      The bankers still get paid if they win, lose, draw or provide poor customer service, then when they fail they get bailed out by governments.

      No such luxury in the real world.
      You make poor products, you simply go broke.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    It almost sounds as though you are suggesting the EU is corrupt? Surely not!

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Leave the EU and let them get on with it. Without us hindering them they can the faster move to a single new country, ‘capital’ Brussels, with a single currency, whereupon we and Brussels can negotiate something akin to NAFTA, which works splendidly for Canada and America. Possibly one or two other countries might join us just like Mexico in NAFTA. If Brussels were not willing to do this we would have to re-assess whether the Continent is a friend or an enemy but Germany would be rational and likely to be amenable (Why wouldn’t they?) if only because they like selling us their lovely expensive cars. Given that we do not want to be part of this new country (and never did) why isn’t this the obvious thing to do, before we get sucked in more? Clearly Win-Win. Nobody in Canada worries about America having a different or single currency nor do Canadians lose sleep worrying about “lack of influence” over America. Such ideas would be laughed out of court over there. Hard to believe that the best our dopey limp-wristed government can do is offer a conditional referendum in half a decade’s time or that we are stuck with the present impertinent and intrusive treaties for all time as some say. What is it that makes the EUmaniacs want to label us, uniquely, as unable to stand on our own?

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink


      • Vanessa
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        But the corporate “elite” who earn these humungous salaries are very, very, very keen to stay IN the EU as our dear Richard Branson et al keep telling us.

        Why are they so ignorant that this country is being kept in a recession by the EU? They do not care one jot about Britain but only for their global businesses. Too big to fail – we’ll see about that!

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Clearly they have interest in many EU countries and wish to remain on good terms with all the EU governments to advance these. That is where their bread is buttered. The interests of taxpayers, voters and democracy is not their main concern.

    • Boudicca
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Why isn’t this the obvious thing to do?

      It is. But the Americans, Big Business and the British Establishment don’t want it …. and their lackeys in LibLabCON are only too happy to facilitate our absorption in the EU because its in their interests to do so.

    • Martin
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Nice to see a certain safe Conservative local authority in West London is spending its council tax payers money trying to block a third runway at Heathrow.

      Do you approve of this ? If not then should local government be abolished?

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Endless examples of government departments fighting other governments wasting vast sums of tax payers money on both sides.

        Local government should concentrate on dust bins, pot holes and unblocking all the road they have blocked.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          lifelogic–Don’t forget keeping the drains flowing

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            That is important too but do they have responsibility for that?

          • alan jutson
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


            “Don’t forget keeping the drains flowing”

            Difficult sometimes when so much money is poured down them, which probably causes them to block.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Postscript–And for those who forget it, because it gets nowhere near the attention it deserves, we would save the simply ginormous sums of money most of which we presently burn sending to Brussels. We could even consider getting rid of the very concept of VAT which at 20% and like so much else has become bloated and out of control.

      • uanime5
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        The UK’s contribution to the EU is £5-8 billion a year, while the UK is borrowing £10 billion every month. So the UK will save less than one months borrowing if leave the EU. Hardly an “enormous sum of money”.

        Also as long as the Government has a deficit don’t expect them to cut taxes in the hope that any extra tax revenues will eventually replace the losses.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Unanime–All your effort points up is that our borrowing is even more ginormous, but what does that prove? If we weren’t borrowing much (indeed or repaying) as should be the case then our payments to Brussels would be comparatively bigger which seems to be what you are referring to, though I am unsure why. As to the second para it doesn’t make sense to me and I am not even sure what “losses” you are referring to.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          More duff statistics from you Uni, as a quick search on the web shows the Guardian the lowest, saying the EU costs the UK over 11.3 billion euros per year and many other sites quoting even higher figures.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        VAT at 20%: that says it all. But the young Wally has no clue. The politicians special, the waiting game, kills us in the end. Keep banging away in the “tory” party, Mr. Redwood. Perhaps they will appoint you Official Historian of the obscure “Euroskeptic” disruptions in twenty years time.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Its funny how countries like Norway with a population of less than 5M and Iceland 1/3 Million can live happily without the EU yet the UK which is supposed to be a world player is no longer capable of deciding its own fate because most politicians in the HOC think that way.

      Indeed had Iceland been in the EU and locked into the EURO their economy would be worse than the PIGIS right now.

      Why can’t our political class see this? Why don’t they conclude that a medium sized country that runs a large trade deficit with a block actually has a good hand to play so should be calling the shots?

      • uanime5
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Iceland’s economy was only saved because they devalued, massively increased their national debt, and refused to guarantee bank accounts held by anyone who wasn’t from Iceland (100% tax on the bank accounts of foreigners).

        • Martyn G
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          And it worked.

          Massive pain for a relatively short period because, and only because, they were able to make their own decisions without deferring to the sclerotic and, if the absence of any audited accounts for a decade or more are anything to go by, in many areas a suspiciously corrupt organisation known as the EU. In short, Iceland retained its sovereinty, something that we and every other EU nation has abrogated to the EU Commission. Please do not offer the EU Parliament as a representative democracy, it is but an expensive joke – not much unlike the UK Parliament is these days, come to that….

        • Peter Davies
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          I know what they did Uni, even I’m not that stupid. The point I was making is that Iceland had the levers to do what it needed to do (whether you think it was right or wrong) to get out of their mess which they have done to effect.

          Had they been an EZ member they would not have had a cat in hells chance!

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Mr Davies: Because our ‘leaders’ are PIG IGNORANT. Never done a useful job in their lives. I despair. I only wish that I were young enough to try for Parliament… At 70+ – too old to give a tinker’s cuss. (A plague on -ed) ’em all.

        Go on, JR. Moderate me… But, this is how I really feel – and you should too.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      whereupon we and Brussels can negotiate something akin to NAFTA, which works splendidly for Canada and America.

      Why would they do that when they already have EEA arrangements? The EU isn’t going to give the UK special status.

      If Brussels were not willing to do this we would have to re-assess whether the Continent is a friend or an enemy but Germany would be rational and likely to be amenable (Why wouldn’t they?) if only because they like selling us their lovely expensive cars.

      Given that the UK is dependent on imports from other EU countries the UK will crack far before the EU does.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        unanime–It is my understanding (indeed it is half the problem) that the EEA is considerably less comprehensive and sophisticated than NAFTA. And I reckon it is just typical of you to set up “special status” so you can throw stones when what I seek is merely whatever makes most sense. Your referring to who might “crack” first is also of a piece and not a very clever way of putting it. Again it is half the problem that we are at present more dependent on imports from Europe than we should be. Mind you I would hazard a guess that Canada imports a fair bit from America.

      • Peter Davies
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        “Given that the UK is dependent on imports from other EU countries the UK will crack far before the EU does” – With respect uni, yet again you are talking complete nonsense.

        If the EU were stupid enough to stop selling the UK with something it needs then it simply goes elsewhere to source what it needs, like you would do in a shop on the high street. There is a world outside Europe, there are also much stronger WTO rules and there is that neglected organization which spans 1/3 of the world called the Commonwealth.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      They are all WET! Little davey suites this lot to a “Tory”. False promises are the “new normal” in the UK. “He who dares…” No danger of that! He who is content to wait five years, cue howling cackles of heseltine/ kenny, LOSES!!!

  4. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I too am very lucky in that I don’t envy and am happy with fairness ( although as you pointed out many attempt to deliberately damage rather than strive for excellence)

    Green issues are important and the big car companies ought to temper their emission output. In a modern world we should be acutely aware of these large cars on the road consuming far too much petrol. The status symbol the buyers require , however should be allowed to continue , if it makes them feel powerful and important , then this sales technique of appealing to self powerful ego works. Some would say cars are their hobby and you don’t have to look closely to see how much money is tipped into formula 1 racing for example.
    We need this snob value to continue and many strive to appeal to this side of their nature to ensure production of the large cars. In fact come to think of it I may sell up, buy a small cheap villa in Spain of an unfortunate bankrupt and whiz around , on my own in a porche , looking good…OMG waramess.1

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Margaret ,

      Perhaps those people with thirstier cars do less miles .

      What is more of an issue for fuel consumption is the millions of day to day cars which are extremely heavy because they are crammed full of luxury and safety gear and have an excessive frontal area due to their height (people carrier / 4X4 style) .

      If we want more economical cars we have to be prepared to give up some of the protection around us .

      This is not necessarily a bad thing .

      If people felt more vulnerable they might drive more responsibly and with more consideration for pedestrians and really vulnerable road users ; cyclists and motor cyclists .

      Taken to extremes , with a spike sticking out the steering wheel and child seats in the front bumper there would be very few crashes .

  5. lifelogic
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Indeed the green religion is very selective and irrational. There is nothing green about biomass or bio-fuels which are almost always absurd and damaging.

    Bicycles are fueled from the riders food intake. Steak, chips and a bottle of wine are a very inefficient fuel for transport. Yet bikes are endless pushed by government despite being perhaps up to 50 times more dangerous than cars and not even green.

    There is nothing green about photo voltaic house bling nor most wind farms when looked at rationally in the round. The government is subsidising pure nonsense with tax payers money – why are they doing this just for a fake political green veneer? We learn today that the UK carbon “cuts” have actually just been through exporting manufacturing and the emissions abroad.

    Then again they also pay for many nonsense medical treatments in the NHS. We see, with the man who made £55 million from fake bomb detectors yesterday, just how easily the governments around the world will buy clear non functioning nonsense. They simply do not care what they buy (or are simply bribed or corrupted in some cases).

    I shall stick to my two clapped out Volvo Estates, spending £100,000 on something that will be worth £30,000 after 3 years is not very appealing. I tend to prefer to buy things for £100,000 that will be worth £200,000 after a few years.

    If you invest sensibly (returning say 20% PA) then spending £100,000 on a depreciating car, will make you about £1.5M poorer after 15 years. If you buy one every three years perhaps as much as £4M poorer. Still you might feel good and impress some I suppose.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Trains and HS trains in particular are not green nor low carbon, when taken in the round either.

      So why are they pushing these with huge tax payer subsidies?

      • Pleb
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        And also the technology is out of date. If it gets built in the next 20 years it will be obsolete before its commisioned. The fuel use of a high speed train is directly proportional to its speed. Very expensive to run.

        • stred
          Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          Resistance to air and friction actually goes up faster than a straight proportion- something like the square- so HST 2 will use a lot more than twice the electricity that a normal express train does. Also, this one is planned to go a bit faster than a french HS train and will have to overcome ground sound barrier waves. All for a 20 minute saving. Has any study been made of the possibility of building the extra capacity as a slow freight line?

    • nicol sinclair
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic: Oh, how I agree…

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: Misplaced! And, also, your post above.

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Unlike in the financial sector, I see no casino element in the car industry. It is unlikely that the car industry could cause equal havoc on the economy.

    Reply If you believe in global warming theory, surely you are concerned about the impact all these luxury large engined vehicles are having.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Does anyone still, honestly, believe in the wild exaggerations of the global warming theorists and the state subsidised industry? Apart from a few like Chris Huhne and Ed Davey.

      Ed Davey:- climate change deniers ‘dogmatic and blinkered’
      Evidence for man-made global warming “screams out from decade upon decade of research” and people who still deny it are “dogmatic and blinkered”.

      No we are just rational and logical and not bitten by a daft exaggerated religion like you Ed. We do not deny mankind is one of very many influences on climate. We just do not trust the wild projections of the industry that have been proved so wildly wrong. We also know wind, trains, bikes and pv are a nonsense response anyway.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        It is quite concerning that public policy is being made without any rational debate and with politicians listening only to experts who promote the conclusions they want. The global warming debate is far too politicized. Hard evidence as well as rational discussion of policy choices have gone out the window. Language such as Ed Davey’s illustrates this.

        • lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Indeed but even if you accept at face value the “experts” carbon devil religion it is still very clear indeed, that the UK reducing emissions will not make any difference. Further that wind, pv, bike and trains will not help either.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            You have yet to quote any credible sources for this assertion. You write the samee thing all the time despite being challenged on this before without any credible answers. Is this the ‘ think’ you write about? Dubious web sites and scientists are not good enough. This does come from someone who believes that a push bike causes more emissions than a car and a heavy bike is no more difficult to power than a light one. Not a very physical man are you?

        • uanime5
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          politicians listening only to experts who promote the conclusions they want.

          Care to explain why climate change scientists kept proving that global warming was happening even when George W Bush was looking for any evidence that it wasn’t.

          Face it the science shows that global warming is real, which is why the deniers have never been able to prove any of their claims.

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Why is it not actually warming then for the last 15 years?

            Climates change, no one disputes that. What is absurd is the idea that the world with become a fiery unlivable hell if we do not cycle to work, hug a wind turbine and drive a Prius.
            No sensible scientist really thinks that.

            Governments are perhaps the most wasteful of all, judge them by their actions not their words. Does Cameron still cycle in to work each day or was it just once for the cameras?

          • Richard1
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            The phrase ‘global warming is real’ is meaningless. Its is accepted that there has been c. 0.7C of warming since the mid C19th, with mankind accepted as having played some role. What is not agreed upon by scientists is how much human activity is responsible, nor what the rate of future warming, if any, will be. Because there is so much uncertainty – with the warming standstill of the last 16 years not forecast (and those such as you unable to refute the standstill with evidence) – there is no justification for the economically ruinous taxes, subsidies and regulations which in the UK we are experiencing.

          • Peter Davies
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is real, it always has been and always will be, we know the ice caps have retreated.

            We also know the world has had several ice ages and mini ice ages, what has not been proven for the retreat of ice in this case are the reasons.

            It is also known that methane from decaying matter and from the sea bed has far greater warming properties than CO2, so large rain forests will naturally emit a certain amount of methane through plant decay – could it be there is more methane being emitted from the sea for some reason as well as cattle? Do we ban cows next and send milk production to China as well?

            Temperature variations are more than likely down to cyclical variations in the sun which science is a long way from understanding – after all we had much different temperatures before the industrial age started.

            Whichever way you look at it, we all know that we need to advance science so that we use less fossil fuels due to more people demanding more resources, the issue is how do we get there.

            The current approach (exporting industry and jobs by way of losing competitiveness) should be consigned to the loony bin. It is not going to reduce global emissions because they are intrinsically linked to economic activity so you are simply shifting that activity elsewhere

            When are the political classes, EU and the likes of the BBC going to get this into their thick skulls?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            Meaningless phrase alert again:- “global warming is real”
            You mean the less than one degree rise in the 20th century and hardly any measurable increase since 2000 Uni.
            Face it the game is up.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted April 25, 2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink

            In that case, why do spend so little time condemning the Germans, and the EU for letting them get away with it. Perhaps it’s a case of “All Member States are equal but some are more equal than others”.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            Notice that they cannot come up with any credible sources? Any sources they do come up with are easy to take down and liflogic has the bear faced cheek to write about religious quackery and think? Ram it.

      • Disaffected
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Look at every council website to see how the global warming scaremongers have indoctrinated every leading policy. They even have departments to write about such rubbish perpetuating it further. And we pay for it in our community charges.

        Mr Pickles, when are you going to get off your lardy and have boundary reviews for councils (the same size in population) making them all unitary authorities to save us poor taxpayers’ a fortune?We do not need multiple CEOs earning more than the PM (your party promised to stop this). You have increased our bills by useless police commissioners that add nothing other than EU propaganda for localism. Again, mergers could have occurred to save us money and make the police more efficient. 2 years to go (1 yr in reality because the last year is about campaigning for the next election) and no substantial improvement in any major policy heading….. I despair at the incompetence.

        • Vanessa
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Driven by the EU.

          If you look at a short video clip on www dot hiddenlocalissue dot co dot uk , you will see how the EU runs our local councils with ever more control and idiocy.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          If was not the EU who wanted elected police commissioners. It was a desire by the Conservatives to copy what the USA does, even though this increases the risk of corruption as police commissioners may be unwilling to investigate the crimes of their party or their party’s donors.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

            If you have proof of any wrondoing Im sure you can be trusted to hand your evidence over to the Police
            Or if not stop making unfounded alleagtions and unwarranted slurs.

      • nicol sinclair
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: Too true, how true.

    • GeoffM
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      PvW is living in a very blinkered and sheltered world if he thinks there is no “casino” in the motor industry!

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      New cars from most manufacturers, including the luxury car producers, provide much better fuel economy and lower emissions than earlier cars. The development and adoption of new technologies has seen to that. In particular hybrids will make a big difference.

      Of course some of these improvements flatter to deceive, like the all electric, battery powered, rechargeable vehicles. If you examine the total cost of such products, as opposed to just mpg or CO2 emissions, then a different outcome emerges, which is why electric vehicles only survive, if at all, on generous taxpayer funded subsidies. This is not unlike the situation with so much so-called green energy – it depends on the taxpayer subsidy.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Hybrids and electric cars are generally less energy efficient than current efficient internal combustion car are – and are more expensive and energy consuming to build and maintain.

        They just have grant and tax advantages, for some daft reasons to do with the fake green veneer – Cameron, Davy and Huhne types.

        • Pleb
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          The dust to dust carbon footprint of an electric car is twice that of a standard car.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          All evidence shows the opposite is true, with the fuel of electric cars being far cheaper than their internal combustion counterparts. If petrol vehicles were more efficient then electric trains wouldn’t have replaced their diesel counterparts.

          At present the only reason why electric vehicles are not used more widely is because of their short battery life, not their fuel efficiency.

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            The fuel is only cheaper because it is not taxed at about 400% as petrol is. It would be about 50p a gallon without tax.

            It is not actually cheaper, you burn gas, generate electricity, transmit it, convert the voltages, charge a battery, then discharge the battery. With losses in every single stage.

            Far less efficient than a conventional car. Not good in winter either no heating/light when the battery goes flat in a snow drift after an hour or so. Useless range in winter too.

          • Mark
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            The trouble is that batteries cost a lot of money. It’s like having to replace your fuel tank for £5-10,000 every few years. Also, the process of producing the battery is not very environmentally friendly. Furthermore, they are still of limited capacity and slow to charge, restricting range. You have to look at the total cost of ownership, which is very expensive for electric cars, and the total environmental impact, which is again a disadvantage. They only make sense for somewhere like Mexico City, surrounded by mountains that trap pollution that is higher than normal because of the altitude. Exporting the pollution outside of the city basin would make sense there.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            Ever thought through where the electric cars and electric trains fuel come from?
            Burning fossil fuels mainly, so not quite so green

          • stred
            Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            Why dont you read the book on the DECC site- Sustainable Energy. This shows that a factor showing the amount of CO2 generated from power stations and line losses has to be applied to electric cars. In this country it is 550 – in Germany higher and Denmark the wind place, even higher. The reason fuel is cheaper is because petrol is taxed very highly. Range of electric cars is not the only problem. Hybids have normal range. The replacement of the £3500 battery makes them more expensive than many cars, as well as first cost. The book is very easy to understand for anyone with GCSE maths and basic science.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

            unanime–Personally I do not like massive power stations in any form but if we have to have them indigenous fuel seems obviously best and that means coal. And electric trains are no unmitigated joy because it was their onset as much as anything else, requiring of course overhead electric power lines before trains could run, that destroyed our wonderful branch railway network throwing everything on to the roads. If electric trains had never been invented we could and would have maintained thousands more miles of rail lines, even if perhaps on a minimal maintenance basis. Ridiculous now to see those rights of way blocked by probably just one or two ghastly developments or other.

          • zorro
            Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            Taxes on US fuel are currently 48.8 cents a gallon and a gallon costs around US$3.30 per gallon…….so approximately just over 14% tax on the price says it all really…….50p per litre……if only…..


        • nicol sinclair
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Old Timer & Lifelogic: How true…

        • Bazman
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Sustainable energy is as you say unsustainable, that is the crux of the problem. Not investigating possible sources due to dogma is not an option as this is what the world wants and needs. Are you against clean energy for the same reasons? Clean meaning not having to breath in dirt.

    • Acorn
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Imagine you were running a casino car company in the style of a casino bankster.

      You would build the car with a tranche of good components which are unlikely to fail. A mezzanine tranche of slightly dodgy components which will probably have a short overstressed life cycle. Finally a bottom tranche of components sourced from some geezer in a backstreet , that read genuine, on the box.

      You sell it to some mug punter at a discount if he signs away his consumer rights and warranty. Then you take out insurance, that pays you out, if the car falls apart ten minutes after it leaves the showroom and before you can say, the carbon price floor (CPF), which will come into effect on 1 April 2013 with indicative rates rising to equivalent of £24.62 per tCO2 in 2017/18. Market price yesterday circa £2.50 tCO2. Oops, I think we are looking at another clanger just like the electric Feed-In-Tariff massive give-away scheme. You couldn’t make it up!

      • Acorn
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Crikey! the “red necks” are out in force today on this site. You wait, tomorrow they will be praising the coalition for suspending the Human Rights Act. Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do. Ask Aung San Suu Kyi how that sort of thinking ends with finding you are living in a place that we called Burma.

        Anyway JR, please allow the following link; yet another vain attempt to get red necks to understand how a fiat currency economy actually works. .

        I have a dream. I will get UKIP to adopt MMT as its economic policy foundation. Then you watch England swing like a pendulum do, Bobbies on bicycles, two by two, Westminster Abbey … you know the rest.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Can you recall those terrible years of slavery and oppression in the UK before we were all transformed by the Human Rights Act
          How did we manage to survive without it?
          It’s just money making ruse designed by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers

    • libertarian
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink


      Ha ha typical lefty response, one problem. You missed the attempted shorting of VW by Porsche a few years ago I take it? You remember surely

      So to answer your question the car industry like ALL other major industries uses the foreign exchange, derivatives and financial markets. After all thats why the products you laughingly call “casino” where set up in the first place

      • uanime5
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        According to this article it was the hedge fund managers who were short selling, while Porche was purchasing shares in VW. Perhaps you should have read your own article.

        • Mark
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          What cars did the hedge fund managers drive?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Nope try reading the whole thing again. It was the Hedge Funds which got taken to the cleaners by Prorsche

    • Richard1
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Peter van L, its all about subsidies. Subsidise any industry and it becomes a threat as it is removed and insulated from market checks and balances. The car industry was a threat in the UK in the 70s for this reason, as was the mining industry in the 70s and 80s until Margaret Thatcher lifted the threat of miltant unions forcing the UK to buy and subsidise uneconomic coal. So with finance. The banks caused trouble because due to subsidy – the ability to run highly leveraged balance sheets yet still borrow at low cost due to state guarantees and access to central bank cash. Any industry becomes a casino if the state removes the downside risk.

      • A different Simon
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        You prompt some interesting comparisons .

        As you say the banks have been suckling at the teet for so long they are looking like British Leyland and their products circa mid 1970’s even down to the doors falling off .

        The British motor industry became a complete failure under British Management but British car factories under foreign management have been a resounding success .

        Would British Banks be able to become successful and socially beneficial if they were transitioned to perhaps Japanese management ?

      • uanime5
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Firstly banks had problems because they either had too much bad debt, too little capital, were entirely dependent on selling mortgages as securities, or a combination of all three. It had nothing to do with the state guaranteeing the banks.

        Secondly even without this state guarantee these companies would have acted just as recklessly. The only difference would have been that ordinary people would have lost all their money when the banks collapsed.

        Thirdly you failed to provide any evidence that the German car industry is subsidised.

        • Richard1
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think I suggested the German car industry is subsidized?

          You have no evidence to say banks would have acted just as recklessly in a different environment. It leverage had not risen 2.5x under the Labour Govt’s useless regulatory regime they may well have been able to absorb losses and wouldn’t have had such large balance sheets full of bad loans.

          There were no banks which were ‘entirely’ dependent on selling mortgages as securities.

          The state guarantee of banks and the provision of liquidity by central banks was key to the whole system. Without it there would have been more realistic (market) pricing of capital and fewer bad loans.

          • Richard1
            Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

            It is also clear you have no understanding of this issue from your comment that ‘ordinary people would have lost all their money’ when the banks collapsed had there been no state guarantee. Shareholders would have done and maybe bondholders might have lost some. The losses were probably not big enough to touch depositors. I fear you are blogging on this issue by working backwards and fitting the ‘evidence’ to your desired conclusions.

        • Mark
          Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
      • Bazman
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Coal from abroad is not subsidised? how do you think they mine it so cheaply? By the latest technology and efficient mining techniques? What in Eastern Europe and China? Get real.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      John do you have any evidence that these luxury cars produce more CO2 than non-luxury cars? Were they to have a more efficient engine, be partially powered electricity (hyrbid), or have another feature that reduces CO2 emissions then per mile they will produce less CO2 than other cars.

      Reply Is there anythign I can write which you will not try to deny?

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Hybrid do not really help efficiency very much over all. Electric cars use more fuel than normal ones over their life time.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          You cannot dismiss electric cars completely. In some circumstances they would make sense. Why are such a large number of small forklifts and small vehicles electrically powered in industry. Emissions in a confined space could use propane, as many forf lifts do. This is not the answer.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Arguing the opposite of anything anyone says, is Uni’s hobby, Mr Redwood.
        The subject is completely unimportant.

      • Mark
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        A Porsche Cayenne does 25 mpg, at 270g CO2/mile according to the data I found.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          I bet it does a few mpg less than that…

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: Even if you proposed that the engines ran on yoghurt and the wheels were shod with sandals, uni would still not be satisfied.

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        All new cars produce less CO2 than their predecessors – the tax system sees to that. Smaller lighter cars are likely to produce less CO2 than heavier luxury cars. As VW figures in the discussions, it provides a clear example of the point made. The VW Polo at the bottom of the range offers a 1.6l engine producing 112g/km CO2. At the top of the VW range the VW Phaeton offers a V6 Tdi power unit producing 224g/km CO2. All data from the VW web site.

      • stred
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Refer to the cars chapter in Sustainable Energy on the DECC site.
        A Nissan hybrid Chelsea tractor, or should it be tank, produces far mor CO2 than most smaller conventional cars and is comparable with a big diesel car. In France and Sweden, which have lots of nukes electric cars work, but are still very expensive. Really easy and you could save wearing out your keyboard on this sort of stuff.

      • stred
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Uni. German industry has finally been able to convince their (politicians-ed) that their winmills and Pv cannot supply constant and sufficient electricity. This is why theyare building coal and gas stations in large numbers as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, our ones can’t get it an have just banned us from doing the same.

      • uanime5
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Well if you included some data to support your claims that would make me less prone to denying them. Regarding your current claims you just needed to provide some evidence that on average luxury cars produce more CO2 per kilometre than their non-luxury counterparts. I would also accept evidence showing on average that non-Germany luxury cars produce less CO2 than their German counterparts.

        • Edward2f
          Posted April 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

          If you want to do some research in your plainly excessive spare time then please feel free Uni.
          But it may have been forgotten by you that this is not your own site.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:23 am | Permalink

          unanime–Well one thing is for sure and that is that the total cojones that is carbon dioxide has got in to your soul

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Mr Redwood, you have got a point here, obviously, and I’m somewhat relieved to read this today (24-4-2013): The European Parliament’s Environment Committee on Wednesday approved a draft law setting out rules to reduce the CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU to 95g/km by 2020, from 130g today. Would you go further than that, e.g. forbid large luxury cars?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        There was a time when a German motor manufacturer was asked why he was not in favour of speed limits on German autobahns. “Because then we would produce cars like the Americans do”. No answer to that.

  7. Boudicca
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Germany lobbies for its industries; France lobbies for the CAP and anything which will benefit France.

    Meanwhile, our pathetic Mandarins and Ministers lay down and take every bit of xxxx (self moderated) that the Kommissars like to throw at this country.

    It isn’t in OUR interests to be in the EU.

    It IS in the interests of The British Establishment and Big Business ….. as we saw a couple of days ago when the British Business for Membership of the EU campaign was launched, in support of Cameron’s renegotiate/referendum pipe dream.

    The EU will not be satisfied until it has driven the UK to the status of Greece – and it appears The British Establishment is only too happy to help in the process.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Osborne is currently lobbying the courts to reject the tobin tax. I’d say the prospect of success is low.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        I agree Osborne IHT ratter is totally useless – any Tobin tax would be a disaster for the UK and London.

      • Graham C
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        No need to sound so smug about that.

        Clearly,as every time you post, you demonstrate your disdain for the UK and seem to hope for the worst and delight in failure.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        unanime–But I just read that some chap in Germany had started to wise up and is standing up to say that this tax is going to cost more than it brings in and to have the rest of the world laughing at us. Do you have evidence to the contrary? I very much doubt it. Some things (except in Europe which lives in a world of its own) are just obvious.

  8. Simon Jones
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    So called luxury cars are already heavily taxed. I bought a new Land Rover only to discover that on top of the VAT I had been scammed for over £1,000 for the first year’s road tax. By the time you take into account all the other taxes included in the price like corporation tax, business rates, fuel taxes at the factory etc etc I wouldn’t be surprised if the total wasn’t over 50% of the purchase price. Scam after scam is what we are getting and what do we get in return? Bureaucrats on £500,000 and all the other waste. There is a systematic transfer of wealth going on from us to the parasites in the public sector and still they want more and more.

  9. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Germany provides the wealth that is holding the Eurozone together. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  10. Gordon Riby
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    As Germany bankrolls it, the EU would not pursue a course of action that would lead to a de facto “budget cut”.

  11. Electro-Kevin
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The EU position is not unusual.

    There is much hatred of Britishness on both sides of the pond and in mainland Britain too. We are hated more than the Germans. Infact the Germans aren’t hated at all.

    But we most definitely are. Hollywood directing is most dishonest and spiteful in its depictions of us.

    Of course, by all accounts it wasn’t the Germans but the Nazis who committed the holocaust and started WW2. I’m not wishing to rekindle emnities but to state how kindly the historical re-writing can be in contrast to that afforded to us.

    What have we done to deserve it ?

  12. Richard1
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Excellent post! In a way its heartening. If the left and environmentalists really believed all the global warming hysteria they would not be arguing (as Ed Milliband does for example) that more manufacturing industry in the UK would be a good idea. Its more evidence that’s its really just anti-capitalist political posturing. There must be some ideas for negotiation for Mr Cameron here – he could threaten to wave a green flag and campaign against the car industry unless the French and Germans drop all the anti-UK financial industry taxes and wage controls. (If the French don’t play ball he could have a go at the wine industry on the grounds of its being elitist and bad for public health).

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      If the energy for manufacturing comes from energy sources that produce low levels of CO2 then you can be pro-manufacturing and pro-green. You really should think through your claims before making them.

      Also campaigning against the car industry won’t work as Germany is capable of producing cars with low CO2 emissions, unlike the UK. So such a campaign will harm the UK far more than Germany.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        This assume wrongly that CO2 is a problem. Also it is not true that they produce cars with a low carbon input.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Total nonsense again Uni
        There is no difference between the engineering technology of cars made in Germany in terms of their CO2 output, than cars made in the UK.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Energy sources which produce low levels of CO2 are much more expensive, that’s the big problem. Shale gas is a possible hope, but environmentalists are successfully preventing that in the UK. Energy is a key input in any manufacturing process and for the UK to be a manufacturing hub we need competitive energy sources. It is you who should think through your conclusions.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        But German made cars and trains are HEAVY so even with efficient engines or power generation, they still give rise to high CO2 emissions. When South West trains bought 180 German Desiro trains in order to phase out the old slam door, the power requirement jumped so that they had to be phased in over a period of years. Why don’t you campaign against heavy body work, side impact bars, air bags and other features that improve the safety of cars (German and otherwise) at the cost of higher weight? Why doesn’t rail transport pay high tax on the fuel or power it consumes?

        And another thing. The energy used in making a car is high. A very clever friend of mine in the Green Party has done the maths and reckons that the optimum strategy is to buy a small car, to run it as long as possible, then to replace with another small car using the most ‘green’ technology on offer.

        Rail transport is not particularly energy efficient overall because of all of those trains that are run nearly empty for social reasons. If your car carries two people or more, it is likely to be more energy efficient per passenger km than rail.

        So the obvious question is: how far are you prepared to take your fanaticism and how much are YOU PERSONALLY prepared to make sacrifices.

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        You say: ” Germany is capable of producing cars with low CO2 emissions, unlike the UK.”

        What is your evidence for this? I have just consulted the Jaguar website where it states that the Jaguar XJ 3l V6 275PS diesel produces just 159g/km CO2. The VW Phaeton with 3l V6 TDI 240PS produces 224g/l CO2. That sounds better to me, not worse. You really should check your data.

  13. Martin
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Let me point out to some who have replied that chunks of the car industry in the UK are owned by German companies (e.g. Mini). The car industry has not bankrupted any country recently.

    The reason bankers salary are in the spotlight is that folk see banks as being an up market version of Social Security. If the banks had not been bailed out then their employees would be on the dole rather than enjoying large state subsidised wages.

    I’d also point out that the car industry has cut the emissions of its products greatly. My present car pumps out a lot less lead, CO and CO2 than my first battered old Cortina did.

    The price of petrol is a powerful incentive to make cars more efficient. The free market has made cars and planes much greener (efficient to you) than in days of yore.
    Reply The US state had to bail out its car industry in the last recession. The UK state did so for many years in the 1970s.

    • sm
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Banking is not the same because of the nature of fractional reserve banking.

      I look forward to banks being unable to create money out of thin air, charge interest on it and then seek a subsidy when it goes wrong – and still make large non essential distributions.

      Does a car manufacturer create the car out of nothing? and then charge you for it?

      Production of cars is strictly controlled and laws are enforced.

      Sorry i think the comparison is invalid.

      However we should also look to improve aspects of CAP etc.

      Or we could just exit the EU and i think this helps us on the way. Lets face it what was or is still keeping us in?

  14. Bryan
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I read that the INCREASE in carbon emissions in 2011 in China over its emissions in 2010 was greater than the entire total of carbon emissions in the UK in 2011

    As sparrows and the Pacific come to mind, could somebody please explain why the government thinks that the high cost we are paying for renewables in this country will make any ‘green’ difference at all?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Posturing, lecturing and moralising is what matters. How many politicians have any knowledge of chemistry anyway?

      • Anthem
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        We just can’t seem to leave Mighty Maggie out of anything these days, can we?

    • Mark
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I see that the Climate Change Committee have finally twigged that shutting down industry in the UK leads to higher global CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, they are unable to assemble a logical argument about what to do about it, preferring to argue about how this should be measured instead, while studiously trying to avoid mentioning the reality of the collapse in industrial production under Labour’s daft energy policy.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Indeed governed by Donkeys.

  15. liz
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The German car industry – like all German exports – is subsidised by the weak Euro. Were she still with the DMark many of her exports would be unaffordable. Germany enjoys this subsidy, courtesy of the bankrupt Southern Euro members, whilst at the same time seeking to hobble our major industry – finance – through the Tobin tax. The capital of “Europe” would be Berlin not Brussels!
    Off topic – was it not strange that coverage of whether Scotland could keep the £ if independent was exclusively Scottish with not an English voice to be heard? Do the BBC and other broadcasters not think that there is an English interest there or do they all support independence for Scotland? This was a most unbalnced coverage of an important news story.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Expect a lot more of this over the next year and a half in the lead up to the referendum, when residents of Scotland will decide on the existence or dismemberment of the United Kingdom. The Tory Party don’t have the guts to counter the SNP properly and UKIP’s presence here (in Scotland) is very small at the moment. Why do you tolerate Scottish MPs voting on exclusively English matters? Wake up and do something about that. Separatism needs to be stamped on – very hard.

  16. Richard Jenkins
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    “Germany burns a lot of coal”. Yes indeed, and while the UK is closing coal-fired power stations, the web site “Watts Up With That” reported only yesterday: “Germany’s dash for coal continues apace. Following on the opening of two new coal power stations in 2012, six more are due to open this year, with a combined capacity of 5800MW, enough to provide 7% of Germany’s electricity needs. Including the plants coming on stream this year, there are 12 coal fired stations due to open by 2020. Along with the two opened last year in Neurath and Boxberg, they will be capable of supplying 19% of the country’s power.”

    When the UK finally faces power cuts affecting industry, homes and hospitals, as it will in the foreseeable future under present policies, will those currently responsible be brought to account?

    Why, Mr. Redwood, are you doomed to be such a lone voice on this issue in Parliament?

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Once the carbon cost of imported goods is taken into account the UK consumption is way ahead of Germany. We have simply exported our use by closing down our manufacturing industry. The Germans can at least control their CO2 production. We need to mover the UK to a position where it controls more closely the CO2 produced in manufacturing its imports.

      • Mark
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        If you want to control emissions it’s no use expecting you can impose that extra-territorially. Far better to have British industry doing a good job at sensible emissions levels than letting production go abroad where there is no control. Over-zealousness is counterproductive.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      The UK is closing coal power plants because they don’t comply with EU law. Germany is able to open coal power plants because they do comply with EU law.

      Germany has also been building new power plants to replace the ones that are going to close, unlike the UK.

      • Martyn G
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        And here, dear boy, you are for once quite correct. For decades past successive UK governments have utterly failed the nation in planning replacements for our ageing power stations and instead have concentrated on madcap schemes to power the nation with wind, PV panels and other solar sources.
        All of which demand real power stations to replace their output when the wind blows not and the sun doesn’t shine. We are governed by those who occupy a different time-space continuum than we ordinary folk. Those whom the gods and the EU would destroy, they first make mad….

      • Mark
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        UK law has once again been extended way beyond EU law to forbid new coal power stations of the kind the Germans are building.

      • matthu
        Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        The UK is closing coal power plants because they don’t comply with EU law. Germany is able to open coal power plants because they do comply with EU law.

        Which EU law would that be? I was not aware that Germany had commercialised carbon capture and storage, so you must be meaning something else.

        Care to tell us what law you are thinking about?

      • stred
        Posted April 25, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        German coal and gas is being built because their industry has persuaded government that wind and PV, promoted by their (politicians-ed), are not working. The UK has just passed a bill to prevent us doing the same.

  17. formula57
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    There is your answer – “The German car industry has been very successful at making large fast cars that appeal to rich people.”

    The market society (as academics would define it) that inter alia the EU has become demands that what the rich want is what happens.

  18. Atlas
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Indeed John, your item shows how ‘bent’ most of life actually is. No wonder the ASI (Adam Smith Institute), with its anti-cronyism stance, is such a lone voice in modern politics.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      The USA, under the current regime, is also undertaking the “great deformation” as the title of David Stockman’s (former Reagan budget director) recent book argues. Crony-“capitalism” is the foot in the door for Socialism in the Anglo-sphere. By any means necessary it must be rooted out…

  19. oldtimer
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The German car makers carry a lot of clout.

    A few facts about the VW Group (the most successful and best managed vehicle builder today?) reveals all. In 2012 the VW Group delivered 9.2 million vehicles (1175000 in Germany, 434000 in the UK, 596000 in the USA and 2812000 in China; Japan took just 82000). Of its production of 9255000 vehicles, 2321000 were built in Germany, the balance of 6934000 were built abroad. It employed 249500 people in Germany and 300300 abroad. Group sales were 192 billion euros and profit before tax was 25.5 billion euros. That is plenty of clout…and then there is Daimler Benz.

  20. forthurst
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “The CEO of VW earned $23m in his best year. Remuneration in excess of $10m a year is common at the top end of the industry. So far there have been no EU proposals to cut this pay.”

    According to the Commitee on Climate Change which has issued a new report entitled, “Reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and managing competitiveness risks”:

    “There is a growing need to cut imported as well as exported emissions due to increased imports to the UK. As incomes have grown, manufacturing has shifted to other countries as part of the broader globalisation process. Although the UK has reduced its domestic emissions, its carbon footprint has increased by 10% or more.”

    For some reason, paying German engineers excessively does not have the same effect of closing down their industry as paying British engineers far more modestly, as engineers are not as valued here as e.g. quangocrats whose superior intellectual ability enables their capacity for doublethink. Although, even here the capacity for doublethink is not immaculate; they are not maintaining that the deadly CO2 produced by the Chinese, somehow does not count as we import their goods. That must represent progress.

  21. con
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    And there you have it. Nobody attacks the German car industry and nobody seriously attacks CAP.

    I always think the problem with the UK in the EU is that we take it seriously, too seriously.

    For other ‘players’ especially Germany and France, they see it as an economic game from which to gain maximum advantage.

    Let’s face it, we attack our banking industry as much as anyone else.

    Did you see Miliband’s ‘policies’ yesterday? He says he’s going to tax bankers and reduce the importance of the banking sector. Not a single word about what he might replace banking with or how he would do it.

    Why not have banking AND something else? No, that requires imagination and ambition for the UK, not much in evidence from Miliband, Libdems, Greens et al. They have a strictly non financial idealogical agenda.

    This naive negativity will literally be the death of the UK unless someone with real conviction stands up and says NO! NO! NO! Some chance, now.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I am an admirer of things that work and are reliable , above all , of things automotive . The German car industry has done a first class job of producing models for the ordinary and for the very opulent buyer ; their products have stood in the face of fierce competition and have moved with the times . I don’t like the idea that Germany receives favourable treatment from the EU or the fact that it is its main driver . I detest the reality that Germany has achieved its aim of European dominance and is dictating what everyone else in the EU should do and behave . I regret very much that it has signed up to the Robin Hood tax , so , I will go along with your blog and support a special tax on gas guzzlers .

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Now you know what Nick Ridley meant when he called the EU a “German racket”. Because it was pretty obvious that Margaret Thatcher agreed with him, Nick had to resign in order to pretend that she didn’t. It was all to no avail. In the end she spoke the magic words “No, no, no!” and the pro-European assassins did for her. We need to purge the Conservative Party’s parliamentary candidates list of pro-Europeans in order to make sure that they never have the same destructive power again.

  24. Antisthenes
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The EU project was never really to do with what is good for all Europeans. It was just for what is best for France and Germany hence the the total mess it has got itself into. For Germany it was about a captive market for their goods and for France it was about protecting their businesses against foreign competition. The two objectives has lead to the euro crises and the raft of anticompetitive regulations that together are destroying wealth and the ability to create wealth. We are consistently told that the UK must remain in the EU so as to have a say at the top table. That is patently not the case as the top table only has two occupants neither of which is the UK. Inside the EU the UK dances to others tunes and is being economically and politically strangled to death to satisfy the needs of those others.

  25. muddyman
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    As the German attitude to AGW has changed- when do you think the penny will drop in the coalition camp?. (Two new coal power stations opened! and a further SIX in progress! ).

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m all in favour of a tax directed against the German car industry, and another tax directed against the French wine industry, and out of irritation with PvL’s attitude I’m tempted to also add a tax directed specifically against the Netherlands.

    Seriously, Open Europe has an interesting article about private reservations among even some of the governments publicly advocating the FTT:

    I believe that Osborne has made a mistake by going to the ECJ over this – despite now being supported by the Luxembourg government – because by doing so he has accepted that the ECJ can decide this matter, and the ECJ is unlikely to decide in his favour; and what would he do then, reject its judgement?

    He should have quietly said “I have no formal veto over this, thanks to that idiot Blair, but if you proceed then there will be all kinds of consequences when it comes to other matters where you need our agreement and we do have a veto”.

  27. uanime5
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    You might have thought that the EU, a well known leader in trying to curb carbon emissions and excess remuneration, would turn its full attack onto the car industry.

    All industries and residential properties in Germany use electricity so why would the EU specifically attack the car industry. Unless you have evidence that the car industry requires more power than other industries it seems that you have just chosen this industry because it is associated with Germany.

    If you’re referring to CO2 emissions then according to the DECC’s National Statistics Release 2012, table 2 in 2011 businesses were responsible for 16.6% of CO2 emissions, all forms of transportation were responsible for 24.4% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and electricity generation was responsible for 39.7% of CO2 emissions. So why exactly have you chosen the car industry rather than an industry that makes of forms of transport (lorries, buses, large construction machines).

    After all, it has made its hostility to banks and bankers ever clearer, seeking to regulate their pay, stop some of their activites, and tax others.

    The banks caused the 2008 financial crisis which is causing problems throughout the world. The car industry did not. Hence the difference in treatment.

    If you do dislike people being too rich and think they ought to be taxed, then taxing luxury cars more heavily would surely be a good place to start. … It hits the rich directly, and it may cut the number of high emission large engined cars sold.

    The Government already does this by charging a higher road tax on cars that produce the most pollution. These cars also pay higher congestion charges. So unless you’re proposing a higher rate of VAT on luxury goods there’s not any other way the Government can tax these cars more.

    German lobbying and influence, however, has been most astute at ensuring the EU’s carbon attacks do not drive BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Audi out of business at the luxury end.

    I suspect that’s because the more expensive luxury goods are the more desirable they become. Also these car makers have been creating versions of their cars that produce lower amounts of CO2.

    Motor manufacturers are also famous for paying their senior executives very high pay. This has not become such a big issue as bankers pay has become, again owing to excellent news management and lobbying.

    The pay limits on bankers mean that they can’t get a bonus worth more than twice their annual salary. Do you have any evidence that senior executives in car manufacturing companies get bonuses this high? If not then there’s no point in introducing a cap on their bonuses because it will have no effect on their salaries.

    Also I suspect the bonuses of car makers hasn’t become such a big issue because car makers didn’t cause the financial crisis in 2008.

    In other news here are some examples of what happens when you don’t have good media relations.

    It seems that the Government has introduced new rules that mean the Serious Fraud Office needs the chancellor’s permission before they can launch fraud inquiries. The chancellor can also keep his decisions to reject these enquiries secret to prevent his decision being subject to public scrutiny. So effectively the Government can prevent any investigation into frauds that may prove embarrassing for them. Expect this to explode into a major scandal sooner or later.

    Gove is paying staff on his academies programme £400-£1,000 per day (up to £250,000 per year) to encourage schools to become academies. These advisors are also paid through private companies so they can avoid paying income tax.

    Ian Duncan Smith has realised that 1 million unemployed people could be working and is planning to use private companies to help them into work; even though his Work Programme, which used private companies to help the unemployed into work, was proven to be less effective than not receiving any help. He also failed to explain where these 1 million jobs are going to come from.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 25, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Would you not be happier writing your own blog Uni, rather than trying to take this one over?
      You seem to want to write a lot and you obviously have loads of spare time on your hands.

  28. Credible
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    You say
    ‘That’s because I am no carbon campaigning green or an envious socialist.
    If you do dislike people being too rich and think they ought to be taxed, then taxing luxury cars more heavily would surely be a good place to start.’

    Firstly, there are people from all parts of the political spectrum who are not envious of people with expensive cars and that includes those on the left. I would suggest that actually it is people on the right who are more likely to be jealous of fast cars (but less hypocritical of course).

    How rich is too rich? I am sufficiently well off, not very rich by UK standards, but certainly rich by world standards. I am not jealous of those who are much richer than me, but I do question how much wealth someone needs. I wonder how much of the tax the very rich should pay they do pay. Of course it is generally legal avoidance, but would it really hurt for them to pay what they should? In contrast, I see extreme poverty in the world and poverty in the UK. People who can’t get enough to eat and I wonder how much wealth one person needs when many others are starving.
    Perhaps the wealthiest create wealth by being rich? There has been a 14% increase in billionaires in the UK according to The Times list. Despite that our economy is flatlining. Of course the numbers of people are very small ~100 so a correlation is perhaps not to be expected. It seems most of the very wealthy in the UK are foreign or have inherited wealth.
    Do the wealthiest spend much? No – they only need a few iphones and 3 meals a day. Do they invest in new enterprises? – perhaps, but they also strive to beat off competition from emerging companies. Do they innovate? Not as much as a small business trying to find a niche. Do they employ? Yes, but the trend is that they pay less and less and enrich themselves more and more. Many just have the benefit of inherited wealth and had to do no striving to get it.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 26, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      They do not create wealth anymore than squirrels invented evolution.

  29. Bazman
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    It rather depends on how you got rich. In the case of the bankers it was because they had been given executive powers as managers leading them to head insider companies run for a benefit of a few managers like themselves unlike the car industry. The car industry is not underwritten by the state very much either though some subsidy and handouts are given the scrappage scheme for example and other tax breaks. Large capacity engines are penalised under the present tax system which is what is implies by ‘luxury’. Smaller engines cars are becoming more luxurious as demand increases for frugal cars. As for green issues it is not the size of the engine that is a factor on the amount of pollution, but the number of engines of that capacity and type. The truth being that in this country large capacities are in the main a minority due to the penalising factors such as high fuel consumption. Though this is becoming less of a factor with taxes based on CO2 emissions which though is linked to capacity is not necessarily the only factor. The luxury sector also allows a susbsidy to the lower range model and testing of equipment and technology on those willing to pay. Neither can be said of banking when it is the poorest paying the most for the least as customers and taxpayers. Ram it.

  30. David Langley
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Tosh John, I own two Mercs and they are all going well, an S Class and an SLK, both clean and give good mileage if serviced well, and mine are. I earned the money through hard work and when I drive my S class I am comfortable, my wrecked back is supported and the car moves me effortlessly to Switzerland and back without the noise and struggle lesser motors would have inflicted on me.
    Regarding the latest EU employment news from Spain which will probably be mirrored by the rest sooner rather than later. Unemployment as recorded is up and now millions are registered as unemployed, I believe that most will now be working in the black economy and surviving on barter and back pocket deals. I have mentioned this before, it will deprive the Spanish government of their taxes at a stroke, jack up the cost of welfare and degrade public services. Rather than throw their EU loving government of probably corrupt politicians out and resort to more public demonstrations I believe the Spanish people are just opting out and doing their own thing.

  • About John Redwood

    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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page