The Green squeeze

 

Europe has a problem. Dear energy makes European industry much less competitive, at a time when Asia is challenging and the USA has opted for cheap gas. Dear energy squeezes the budgets of individuals and families, at exactly the point where wage growth is also being cut by the rigours of the Euro and the pressures of global competition.

Politicians have assumd that most people in the EU agree with global warming theory. They have assumed that people will therefore buy into the “solution”, burning less fossil fuel. The politicians who believe that this crusade is the most important task modern humanity faces, have been altogether quieter about explaining that their policy means dear energy, which in turn means lower living standards.

Now the EU is seeing the consequences of its dearer energy policies, the political mood is turning against this approach. Far from people congratulating their politicians for the courage they have shown in pushing European energy prices up to new highs to get people to use less energy, there is now a poltical backlash. Dear energy means fewer jobs. Dearer energy means more inflation. Dearer energy means people are worse off. That is not what most voters had in mind.

The UK has got there first in wanting cheaper energy. The problem is the main forces leading to dear energy are in EU law. By EU law we have to generate more and more power from very expensive windfarms. By EU law we have to close our cheaper fossil fuel burning power stations. The battle of energy will have to become a battle within the EU. For Eurosceptics, it is one of the  best reasons alongside the need to control our own borders and have our own system of justice, to require a big change to our relationship.

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70 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    It is impossible to have a lower opinion of the EU than I have but on fossil fuel it is the UK left wing green loonies who are causing the biggest problems. This is unarguable because a glance at Germany proves that it is possible to use lots more coal, which would be a tremendous boost because we have essentially unlimited supplies of it. And it is not just coal being used as it comes out of the mines to be considered: there is underground coal gasification not to mention a return to Town, Water and Producer Gas. These are expensive so it is said but I doubt they come close to the expense and sheer uselessness of wind turbines. Besides we managed well enough with primitive technology and gas holders not too long ago so we could do so again. Some people seem to have gone psychotic on the subject of fossil fuels. I for one hope that the Liberals are eradicated from the face of the Earth at the next election–it is nothing short of ridiculous that we have a Liberal Energy Secretary apparently giving vent at every turn to some kind of personal guilt complex doing the Country down.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Postscript–Should have also mentioned Clean Coal technology

      • APL
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Leslie Singleton: “Should have also mentioned Clean Coal technology”

        I don’t believe ‘clean coal technology does anything to address the amount of CO2 produced when carbon is oxidized.

        Clean coal technology addresses the other components of coal that are oxidized Sulphur, sulphates, Nitrates and so on.

        So it’s lucky sensible people don’t care about CO2.

    • BobE
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Lib Dems are toast

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      Unless the UK can generate coal at the same rate we use it our supply of coal is not unlimited.

      Also underground coal gasification is more expensive than wind farms because wind farm need far fewer employees

  2. Richard1
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The big issues for EU membership in the UK are coming down to 2 things: how can we insulate ourselves from the costs of the restructuring of the eurozone which must come, and how can we get out of the expensive energy policies mandated by the EU?. These, as well as the various returns of powers are what Cameron’s renegotiation will have to achieve for a Yes. The Conservatives have got to put some clear blue water between themselves and Lib-lab by the election. The goal is wide open.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Richard,

      I’ve been saying the same for ages. The fact that it’s crystal clear to anyone who takes the time to properly evalute the problem, tells us much about the calibre of those we elect to do our bidding for us. They exasperate me. They are either wholly incompetent, or they’ve got a hidden agenda and are just not letting on what that is. Either way, we’ve got to lose them and put sanity back into the system. People are suffering massively because of this, but there are those who stand to gain whichever way the dice fall. I make no apologies for saying that I’m for the poor, the dispossessd, and the disenfrachised every time.

      Tad

  3. Richard1
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    We will have to challenge the underlying catastrophic global warming theory, its no good just complaining about the costs. I caught the back end of an interview on the BBC with someone from the World Bank. unless I misheard, this guy was saying: the Philippines disaster is due to global warming and we shouldn’t discuss it, Bangkok could be under water by 2030. This being the BBC these assertions were not challenged. He was not asked why there has been no increase of such events in the Philippines, or indeed in global extreme weather events during the period of global warming. he was not asked how a sea level rise of c. 2mm pa will swamp a City 1.5m above sea level in 17 years.

    the absurdities of global warming alarmism must be challenged first, only then can there be a consensus on removing damaging dear energy policies.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      We will have to challenge the underlying catastrophic global warming theory

      To challenge global warming you’ll need scientific evidence; something you have constantly failed to provide, despite claiming that there’s a vast amount of it.

      unless I misheard, this guy was saying: the Philippines disaster is due to global warming

      Global Warming has been shown to make hurricanes more violent because it makes the ocean warmer.

      He was not asked why there has been no increase of such events in the Philippines

      Global warming doesn’t make hurricanes more frequent, though it does make them more violent.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Amazing the effect of less than half of one degree increase in the last hundred years of global average sea temperatures is said to be causing Uni.
        You might think everything that goes wrong is being blamed on global warming.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        The facts – sorry to be boring – are that there is no evidence for any of: more extreme weather events during the global warming of recent decades; more violent weather events when they happen; or more hurricanes / typhoones in the Philippines. Extreme weather events is an area where the forecasts of global warming alarmists such as you have not been borne out by events. The fact that people such as this world bank guy are able to use such events to argue unchallenged for particular policies, without supporting evidence, is a cause for concern.

      • Ken Adams
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Describing the estimated wind speeds UK Met Office said “However, this is likely to make Haiyan ONE of the most intense tropical cyclones to make landfall in history.”

        Please note the “ONE”

        Earlier cyclones with similar estimated speeds was Camille in 1969 another Hurricane Allen in 1980 where was Global warming then ??

        There is plenty of scientific evidence to “challenge the underlying catastrophic global warming theory”

      • APL
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “To challenge global warming you’ll need scientific evidence; something you have constantly failed to provide, despite claiming that there’s a vast amount of it.”

        Would you kindly provide the plot of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere between 1913 – 1958, please. We can then establish the veracity of your claim that CO2 has doubled in the last 100 years.

  4. Narrow shoulders
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    One of the main drivers of the “need” for green measure is our high demand due to our overly large population density. This could be effectively mitigated by reducing the population increase business demands we import and susidise.

    To compensate for Asia being able to produce energy cheaper than Europe, assuming EU will not reverse its carbon dictats, we should increase tariffs but an appropriate amount. This will raise prices but at least it will level the playing field. On the subject of tariffs if government insists on paying tax credits to make business more competitive this could be subsidised by increased tariffs on goods from those areas whose pay levels we can not compete with. The short term pain of this measure is worth paying to buy industry time to become competitive once more.

  5. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Jeff Randall on Sky interviewed Lord ? last evening about fracking. He and his committee have been looking at it for six weeks apparently. It seems he has got no-where yet. He spoke in answer but from what I could tell told us nothing, I am non the wiser. It seemed like classic waffle. Why? What’s the big secret?
    There’s no wonder we are falling behind the rest of the world in almost everything. We have anti-business hysteria in the media about energy. We have government dithering, fiddling while Rome burns – well more like freezes I guess, should there be a bad winter. But no doubt the big solar farm down in Dorset on land owned by Richard Drax MP will do us all the world of good.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    This was all so predictable and has been so stated here many times. Politicians have much to answer for. No doubt many thought they had found eldorado with so-called green taxes which would they believed would be popular. Your leader even extolled the virtues of having more green taxes. As for the EU the only “big change to our relationship” we need is to leave this anti-democratic foreign organisation as soon as possible. Forget about renegotiation to keep us in, which is what Cameron offers and you are supporting, just negotiate our exit.

    • H Ward
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      You seem to have missed the fact that Roger is now a UKIP MEP and I can assure you that neither his leader, Nigel Farage, nor Roger support green taxes or EU renegotiation.

      • H Ward
        Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Apologies and please ignore the previous comment – I was skipping too quickly between websites.

  7. Mark B
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    John Redwood said,
    “By EU law we have to close our cheaper fossil fuel burning power stations. The battle of energy will have to become a battle within the EU. For Eurosceptics, it is one of the best reasons alongside the need to control our own borders and have our own system of justice, to require a big change to our relationship.”

    At last we get an admission that the EU runs our lives and makes our laws.

    What we cannot blame the EU for though, is the Climate Change Act which gold plates and adds much more to fuel bills than the political class, with the exception of our kind host, have all voted for. Repeal that bill and the overt and covert costs os green energy may start to fall. But the government have signed up to so many deals, over such a long period of time, that I fear we will be paying for their green madness for quite sometime.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Mark B ,

      The loss of coal generation capacity shows that the problem in this case is not the EU but self inflicted UK’ 2008 Climate Change act .

      – the EU large scale combustion directive essentially outlaws old coal power stations which kick out too much sulphur , mercury etc .

      – the UK 2008 Climate Change only allows new fossil fuel generation stations if they produce less than 380g CO2/kWh . *

      * new build German coal power stations produce 770g CO2/kWh burning brown German lignite .

      Thus it is UK law and not EU law which prevents operators replacing old coal generation plant with more efficient coal generation plant .

      I don’t suppose it matters to the political set that the health of electorate plebs and their children living near coal power stations might be improved if operators were allowed to invest in more modern replacements .

  8. lifelogic
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Indeed expensive energy by government design and for no scientific reason whatsoever. Economic suicide by the EU and Cameron decree. Yet only three sensible Tories voted against (and a few abstentions) the ruinous climate change act.

    The problem now is that the three main parties, the BBC, the school books, school teachers, exam syllabuses, charities and the usual lefty, arty, liberal, loons have invested so much in the catastrophic global warming religion that it is hard for them to turn round without looking like the complete idiots they are. Rather like Major and his idiotic ERM still no apology from him (and the rest of the guilty) for destroying the economy & burying the Tories for 17+ years so far. Indeed the same people are now desperate to avoid any fair EU referendum. Heseltine is even still pushing the idiotic HS2 too.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Heseltine’s Golden Calf (the Millenium Dome) was only about 400% over budget .

      It should be well within his grasp to turn the HS2 white elephant into a £100m vanity project .

      Major was only there to prevent Heseltine getting the job by default .

      • A different Simon
        Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        typo : 1oo BILLION

    • Bazman
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      How does your absurd view of science fit in? If it does not fit your beliefs, bigotry and prejudices it is not scientific? A religious view of science no less with the audacity to criticise others. Proper religious belief then. How can you be ever convinced of anything scientific, when as in train electrification theory, you seem to think if you want it to be that way it is. Global warming with your beliefs? Ram it?

      • Edward2
        Posted November 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Baz definitions:- “absurd” “bigotry” deluded” “prejudices”
        Equals:- Any political opinion Baz does not agree with

        Aim :- to close down debate until only one opinion is the allowed opinion.
        As seen:- in every socialist state ever created.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          He invents his own facts and then calls others non sceintific. Has bigoted views on woman and has absurd deluded prejudices on a large number of subjects of which he cannot defend in the open. This is not politics or debate. Its the views of a rich (person ed) who no doubt just got lucky and is now trying to defend his position. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            In your opinion.
            Which is the point you always fail to understand.

            Freedom of speech contains in it the realisation that some other people’s opinions may offend you.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 24, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            You need to understand the difference between fact and opinion. If I were to state the sun will rise tomorrow would that be a fact or an opinion edward? You cannot invent your own facts and bigotry is not an opinion as it cannot be defended or are you defending bigotry? As I pointed out in most cases he cannot defend his ideas and opinions and when scientific facts are presented just goes silent and tells us to be scientific, but still believes in them despite this. What does that tell you? He is robust in his convictions or a fool?

  9. matthu
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “For Eurosceptics, it is one of the best reasons alongside the need to control our own borders and have our own system of justice, to require a big change to our relationship.”

    Very well summarised.

    You could of course add that it also highlights the breakdown in democratic process in our country since we are relatively powerless to affect the changes required.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Amen to that! But they’ll still try to con us that we are still in control of our own destiny, when that is patent nonsense.

      Tad

  10. stred
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The NAO office spokeswoman on R4 Today said that the Government had made no assessment of the total cost of re-engineering the power supply or the effect on customers ability to pay for it. She also accepted that their office and other commentators did not question the need for of this expense.

    However, the UK could easily follow the German example and take away the tax grab of the additional carbon tax and then build similar more efficient coal stations on existing sites. Then there would be no need to use American wood or fiddle the carbon accounting. The power lines would not have to be built to connect remote wind turbines.

    Similarly, we could abandon the very expensive Hinkley point stitch up and await the new small nuclear stations, which are built with tried engineering and have reactors which are factory made and put underground. These could be ready in less time, cost much less and be put on or near existing power lines.

    And we could tax the ‘windfall’ subsidies enjoyed by windfarm owners and use the money to build cheaper generation. So, how about the NAO coming up with some ideas to prevent the huge rises instead of collaborating with the big green business and government dictats?

    • Mark
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      The cost of ancillary investment such as doubling the grid to handle not only the connection of windfarms, but also the consequent grid instability, is conveniently excluded from reckonings of the cost of green energy as calculated by OFGEM – it is just treated as a cost of distribution, for which little or no comparative historical cost data are easily available, even when you burrow into previous accounts for the National Grid. National Grid’s charges appear to have doubled. There is also a rather disingenuous process of disguising the real cost of power from renewables.

    • Nash Point
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Far too sensible Mr Stred. And as to your last point, imagine the situation where Baronet Sheffield is immediately on the phone to his daughter, his tax demand shaking in his hands. Now dave would really be for it!

  11. Ken Adams
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    We do not need a new relationship we need to leave and regain our sovereignty.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    You say: “The UK has got there first in wanting cheaper energy. The problem is the main forces leading to dear energy are in EU law.”

    The reality is that UK climate scientists and politicians were among those leading the charge in the promotion of the CAGW hypothesis and the consequent legislation from the early 1990s onwards. Professor Houghton, then head of the Met Office, was appointed as the first head of the IPCC. Apart from political support from Conservative MPs like John Gummer, Labour MPs were enthusiastic supporters too (IIRC through Socialists for Science). The Blair/Brown governments embraced this thinking, even recruiting people from the Green movement to help draft the legislation (such as Bryony, now Baroness, Worthington) that is embedded in the Climate Change Act. Only three MPs voted against it!

    The present reality is that the UK political and scientific establishment is hell bent on maintaining the legislative status quo. That is obvious from statements by ministers (such as Mr Davey and Mr Clegg), Mr Miliband and others, the Royal Society, the Government Chief Scientist and representatives on the various bodies set up by the Act. In addition, those interests that benefit financially from the numerous grants and subsidies available because of the Act have no desire to see their gravy train derailed – useless though these grants and subsidies are in actually dealing with the asserted problem of CAGW.

    It seems to me that this situation can and only will be changed when enough voters recognise the utter futility of what they are being taxed for and, in consequence, are sufficiently enraged to exercise their will to vote to overturn this baleful legislation through the ballot box. This is what has just happened in Australia.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:31 am | Permalink

      The present reality is that the UK political and scientific establishment is hell bent on maintaining the legislative status quo.

      Actually they’re interested in making reports based on scientific study, rather than ideology.

      In addition, those interests that benefit financially from the numerous grants and subsidies available because of the Act have no desire to see their gravy train derailed

      Care to name any of these numerous grants and subsidies that scientists are benefiting from. Make sure you explain why the Government would repeatedly pay scientists to investigate what has already been proven.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        If you actually were to read the scientific chapters of the various IPCC reports you will find they are full of uncertainties and qualifications, some of which I have quoted before.

        All the wind farm and solar energy investments depend on subsidies. That is why billions of pounds will be required to make them happen! The national Audit Office drew attention to this the other day. Most of the so-called climate science research effort in the UK is funded by the taxpayer.

  13. Bert Young
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right to focus on this unwanted , unnecessary , costly , and ill-judged tax . The opportunity exists to rid ourselves of it and tackle the problems of over-high energy bills across the board . The public are up in arms against the recent hike in their bills and want and need the government to stop dragging their heels over it . The boost in the economy would be immediate . I commend you for bringing this matter forward .

  14. Hope
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    No battle required for energy, ECHR, banking, migration etc. just leave the EU and these stupid ideological problems disappear. This will not happen under Cameron, so what will you and othe like minded MPs do? Lobbying is not doing the job, the pay roll increases so he negates your view.

  15. Atlas
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Agreed, John.

  16. Timaction
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    This means our pretend leaders in Westminster can do nothing to change this policy. The LibLabCons are all in favour of a federal Europe and EU rule. Therefore we need to consider our voting habits in the future if we want real change, control and the return of our stolen sovereign democracy.

  17. ian wragg
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Just another5 reason if one was necessary as to why we should leave this latter day Soviet State. No one asked us about these policies except the idiots running the show and as usual they are 100% wrong. But its other peoples cash, jobs and lifestyle so that’s alright then.

  18. Mark
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Ed Davey getting his retaliation in first by lambasting the energy industry for implementing the policy he and his predecessors have designed in the past 15 years really doesn’t help matters.

    If we take the Treasury estimate that the policy requires some £310bn of investment, that works out at around £12,000 per household. Of course, the reality is that the bill will be higher still, since the investment will be part funded by debt rather than retained earnings, and so there will be interest charges to pay on top which could easily add 50% to the figure given the long term nature of utility borrowing – and then there is doubtless inflation to add in on top – perhaps taking the cash figure to over £25,000 per household.

    The questions that should be asked are, do voters support spending on this scale? Do they support offshore wind at £155/MWh, nuclear at £92.50/MWh, tidal/barrage power at £305/MWh, or £105/MWh for wood pellets to fuel Drax when the marginal cost of power from coal is so low?

    US coal (price from Argus/McCloskey API2 for those who want to check for themselves) is now around $80/tonne c.i.f. Europe – or about £50/tonne. The standard quality contains about 7MWh/tonne (6,000 kcal/kg), which on a low efficiency of 35% (partly allowing for the cost of train freight inland), is 50/(7×35%), or £20.4/MWh – before adding in green levies that by 2016 would
    double that cost just on carbon alone.

    Nick Grealy of NoHotAir has a nice illustrative post comparing energy and emissions in China and the UK (based on BP’s World Energy Review). As he points out, reducing Chinese coal use by just 1% would be equivalent to cutting out all the UK’s use of gas in reducing global emissions.

    http://www.nohotair.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3088:china-coal-uk-gas-and-c02&catid=199&Itemid=417

    Ed Davey needs to take a slow boat to China. So do our parliamentarians, who have voted for Ed Davey’s Energy Bill by 396 to 8 in the Commons, and then embellished it in the Lords to ban the use of coal power for base load generation – forcing bills still higher.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

      Given the high levels of air pollution in China due to all the coal power plants don’t expect a trip to China to convince anyone to support coal.

      • Mark
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        As usual you miss the point entirely. China consumes half the entire world coal output. If you really think that reducing coal burn is important you should start there, where it can make a real difference. That’s before you take account of the coal smogs that affect many parts of China – something we tackled over 50 years ago with the Clean Air Act.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Pollution in China is not due to coal powered power stations as you claim, but due more to billions of people burning coal and wood to heat their homes and commercial properties.

  19. alan jutson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Yes, the pigeons eventually come home to roost.

    Use whatever phrase you like, the fact is you cannot stop using energy, so even the most efficent person or business pays more.

    Sensible cost effective insulation, and education on frugal usage, is by far the best policy to adopt.
    Once again we have manufacturers making ever more efficient appliances, cars, airplanes, ships, etc only for governments to cancel it all out, with ever higher taxation.

    Once again it is politicians who are the problem, not the solution.

    Will they ever learn ????

    Stupid question given we have layers and layers of them, both here and in the EU !!!

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Where we have taken to more energy efficient cars and avoided high road tax politicians now seek to set up road tolls to make up the shortfall.

      What is this really all about.

  20. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I think, as a starter for ten, every MP should have a fracking well put on their own land.

    • Mark
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Why? Do you think they all deserve £100,000 bonuses? Or is it that you want them all to be subjected to Green encampments?

  21. Tad Davison
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    ‘Dearer energy means people are worse off. That is not what most voters had in mind.’

    That applies to most thing to do with the EU. It’s not what people had in mind. It’s certainly not the vision that was sold to them. Pro-EU politicians like Heath, Major, Clarke, Howe, Heseltine, Blair, Brown, Miliband, and Clegg told of a magnificent Utopia where all our problems would end, and not be magnified, if we only trusted their judgement and joined it fully. A High Street trader would be prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act had they conned the public in the same way.

    Andrew Neil made an interesting point (or two) on The Daily Politics Show a few weeks ago regarding Germany’s energy. Germany, the powerhouse that holds it all together. They are now generating 6 gigawatts of electricity from lignite, the most unclean type of coal there is, and that figure is rising. He went on to say that 300,000 German households had actually been cut off last year, because they could no longer afford to pay.

    There is something inherently wrong with this push towards a federal Europe. Something that its proponents aren’t telling us. Why the hell would they want to push us ever closer to a failing institution, by using the underhand and dubious methods typically shown last night in the House of Commons, or that which Denis Cooper kindly brought to our attention recently?

    When after all these years, a staggering 300,000 homes from the most affluent country in the EU are experiencing fuel poverty, it is pretty safe to say, the EU clearly isn’t delivering, and won’t ever deliver. We need to get back to the concept of the nation state, with free trade, and friendly co-operation in areas of mutual interest. But there will always be those who refuse to take off the blinkers and see what is actually going on about them. They will still come back with the tired old hollow arguments, and outline their unattainable pro-EU dream. Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do. etc edTad Davison

    Cambridge

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Tad ,

      Tens of thousands of Germans have to be relocated due to the spread of open cast lignite mining .

      Loads of towns are planned to be bulldozed to enable this to continue yet the EU has as much to say about Canadian tar Sands .

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

      Firstly the UK has far more people in fuel poverty than Germany.

      Secondly just because you dislike the EU doesn’t mean that other EU countries dislike the EU.

      Thirdly after WW1 free trade greatly declined and it started to increase mainly because of the EU’s common market.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        More often than not, you’re just a waste of our time. You’re just a wind-up merchant. You never listen to what people tell you. Your ideas are set in stone. I call it intransigence.

        You must be trembling sometimes with trepidation when you write your posts, because you must surely know somebody is going to blow your words out of the water.

        Tell us how many homes in the UK have been cut off in the last year?

        If other people from the EU are content to suffer the economic disaster now being visited upon them (oh please tell me that is isn’t!), that’s a matter for them. It isn’t as if they weren’t warned of the social consequences beforehand.

        Yet in a strange twist of irony, it seems I actually care more for their plight than you do. I actually want the people of Europe to prosper. I don’t let some fanciful, Utopian idea of a politically and financially integrated Europe blind me to the obvious diminution of people’s living standards right across the continent. The EU isn’t working – what could be more self-evident than that?

        You see, I dislike any system where its supporters keep telling us that it is going to be fantastic, but then delivers poverty and misery for its people on a massive scale. I dislike even more, those in high office who sold them the dream that turned into a living nightmare. Yet it was entirely predictable. We sceptics knew the truth behind the myth, and that the EU edifice was founded upon sand. It was unsustainable. The disaster had to come one day – and it ain’t over yet by a long way, however much you lovers of it try to tell us we are climbing out of it, and the sun is beginning to shine once again. Come back to me with the figures on each country’s debt, and a strategy for them to reduce it.

        And you talk about free trade and a common market – not sure how old you are, but somebody ought to just give you a friendly nudge to say, that’s the very thing the British people voted for, not full matriculation by stealth.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          Very well said Tad.
          Like you I would be enthusiastic about the EU if it was improving the prosperity of its citizens and making trading easier for small and medium sized businesses.
          However it is doing the opposite.

  22. con
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Look no further than energy to realise why the EU is doomed to failure.
    A bunch of unelected green zealots have pushed through a policy which nobody would have voted for if they understood the extent of its stupidity.
    In one fell swoop we are making our economies uncompetitive, pushing up inflation and reducing living standards.
    While the EU is playing ‘boy scout’ ‘saving the planet’, the USA and China are getting on with business as usual.
    But all is not lost. Calamity Clegg and faceless Davey are really keen on it. Great.

  23. Antisthenes
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    The energy policies fiasco is just another example of how left wing thinking, policies and practices have such devastating effects on economies and societies. Those on the right can also be castigated for not putting up a more vigorous fight in opposing the madness some even aiding and abetting this travesty. I believe Mr Redwood was one of only a few who did oppose vigorously and is now being proved right. However while we have central planning and control and those running it believe they know what is best for us this sort of nonsense will be continued until we are so impoverished and fed up we will take power away from them but by then it may be to late and the damage will be irreversible.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      “Those on the right can also be castigated for not putting up a more vigorous fight in opposing the madness some even aiding and abetting this travesty.”3 tor

      Vigorous fight? Only three Tories voted against the climate change act. Hardly much vigour in evidence.

  24. pheduph
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    John, you say we have to close our coal generation by EU law then how are the Germans able to build more while closing their nuclear while we build more. It doesn’t make sense to me but neither does crazy Davy and his cohorts.

  25. Bazman
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Still no mention of profiteering by energy companies raising costs. Is this not happening in the fantasists dream world?
    It’s not just the size of our energy bills that annoys us – its the lack of trust in the how the big energy companies make their money. That’s the conclusion of a group of MPs, who said that consumers want reassurance that the Big Six energy firms aren’t making “excessive” profits. And they called on the energy regulator – Ofgem – to “use its teeth” more often.
    Six energy companies acting in a cartel like manner. When one puts up prices as sure as night follows day, the rest do. When has any of them undercut the other? You think this has no effect on prices and it’s all down to tax. How about the profit tax from the big six.
    What we will start to see in the future is people just not switching on their heating, electricity is more difficult to switch off, in both cases though, mass non payment might be the result. Interesting to see what will happen then?
    In Russia the government is telling the population that gas is to cheap. Most have no meter like water here and pay a set tariff. Many would like a meter to reduce costs, but cannot afford the fee. The state is in fear of raising the prices as mass non payment will be the most likely result and in a country where the natural resources are plundered for a the benefit of an elite few, none of the population actually believe they should have to pay more. See the similarities? A rich country like Britain forcing massive price rises on the population to fund profits for a few will only be tolerated so far and this green story will only be believed up to a point. MP’s getting free energy for their stables and energy bosses building games rooms as big as the average house presumably the same to heat will be found out.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 16, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Don’t you know Baz, our leaders believe highnenergy prices are a good thing as it forces us peasants to reduce our use as well as encouraging our industry to rellocate abroad and therefore reduces our CO2 output in line with undertakings given to the EU.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Have you watched the Channel 4 dispatches episode on energy prices yet? Is wrestling fixed?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Yes I saw it when it was originally aired.
          It makes numerous allegations without sufficient proof to interest the authorities that they are acting in any way illegally.
          Yes we need more competition in the energy industry.
          But at the heart of the problem is Governments lack of planning for decades on our energy generation capacity, and of course the Climate Change Act which is adding large sums onto our bills.

  26. Bazman
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Mabey what is laughably called competition maybe to blame too.
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02701/energy_2701617c.jpg
    If this dogma is costing so much lets just get rid of all these so called companies and just have one supplier.

  27. ian wragg
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Today on Jeremy Vine show he was trying hard to follow the BBC agenda supporting climate change aided by that Guardian reporter who’s name sounds like idiot.
    Most listeners concluded that the climate has and always will change and some pointed out that leading institutions had stated that there had been non statistical change to weather incidents in the past 50 years.
    One lady even read an 18th century chronicle which described cluster of extreme weather events each century.
    Vine was reduced to begging people to call in who supported the recent events in Asia as being due to climate change but there were few takers.

  28. uanime5
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Politicians have assumd that most people in the EU agree with global warming theory.

    Well it has been scientifically proven.

    The politicians who believe that this crusade is the most important task modern humanity faces, have been altogether quieter about explaining that their policy means dear energy, which in turn means lower living standards.

    Given that the world is currently running out of fossil fuels we will need to replace them sooner rather than later. Also the main reason for price rises in the UK seems to be profiteering by energy companies as the price of gas has been stable for several years.

    Now the EU is seeing the consequences of its dearer energy policies, the political mood is turning against this approach.

    In which EU countries is this happening? In the UK the mood seems to be against the energy companies for failing to explain why they need above inflation increases every year at a time when the price of gas and green levies aren’t increasing.

    Dear energy means fewer jobs. Dearer energy means more inflation. Dearer energy means people are worse off. That is not what most voters had in mind.

    Care to explain why this isn’t happening in Germany which has far higher energy prices, a larger percentage of the population in employment, less inflation, and a better standard of living.

    By EU law we have to generate more and more power from very expensive windfarms. By EU law we have to close our cheaper fossil fuel burning power stations.

    Actually EU law just says we have to reduce our CO2 emissions, the UK government is free to chose which way they accomplish this. So far they’ve chosen to make energy generation greener by imposing higher tariffs on carbon based fuels than other EU countries.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Fossil fuels are not running out uanime5. You play into their hands with this idea. They are getting to expensive due to easily recoverable and usable sources becoming more scarce or even just more difficult to discover. Russia has enough oil and gas to last decades, but which fool will strike a deal with them? So politics play a large part too. This combined with emissions, not just CO2 makes alternatives worthwhile.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Some amazing nonsenses in this post Uni.
      Global warming has not been proven it is just a theory.
      The world is not running out of fossil fuels, this left wing peak oil myth has been shown to be falae after previous doomsday years have already passed.
      EU green energy policies are adding to the costs of energy. Are you denying this fact?
      Germany does not have far higher energy prices than the UK
      Come on check your propaganda.

  29. peter davies
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    “By EU law we have to generate more and more power from very expensive windfarms.”

    Do any of our policy makers note down the outputs from windfarms? Its quite easy we normally see around 2.5 GW against a total demands of circa 40GW. Even a swivel eyed loon should be able to work out that there is something seriously wrong with this strategy.

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    In North East Hampshire, we have just selected our Conservative parliamentary candidate to succeed James Arbuthnot. On Saturday 16th, we interviewed 12 contestants and on Sunday 17th there was an Open Primary at Sherfield School to choose from the final 4.

    On both days, one of the standard questions was about energy policy. Nuclear energy was favoured. One candidate was against on shore wind farms which are expensive and noisy, but in favour of off shore wind farms, which are even more expensive but quiet – so there is more than one definition of ‘environmentally friendly’.

    I got the chance to ask one candidate about fracking and tidal power. He was enthusiastic about tidal power, although the Pentland Firth contract let by the Scottish government in September is the first on a commercial scale. However, he was cautious about fracking, citing the common dangers of subsidence and water pollution. If these dangers are imaginary, the fracking industry needs to say so loudly.

  • 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.

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