Ofgem wants industry to cut back its electricity use next winter

So it’s official. Those of us who have been warning we do not have enough power for the future thanks to the EU’s mass closure programme of our power stations have now been vindicated  by Ofgem’s deeds. They say there could be a shortage next winter, so they will pay large industrial users of power not to use so much in the late afternoon and early evening when demand is often highest. They also say they will try to keep older oil plants available on stand-by.

      Why don’t they admit this is all the result of an EU policy that is backfiring badly? Why don’t they help make the case to the EU that we should not close old stations until we have  new ones to replace them with? We want a sustainable industrial recovery in the UK. It does not send the right message if industry is to be asked to use less power as there is a shortage.

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54 Comments

  1. Posted December 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Admit they are wrong is this a dream?

  2. A different Simon
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Blaming this all on the EU is getting a bit old John .

    Lord Deben had a perfect opportunity to admit that Westminster had got it’s CO2 reduction targets wrong but didn’t and The Common’s is in denial that it (The Commons) made a mistake .

    Your Govt could have got 2008 Climate Change Act limits raised from 380 g/mWh to 770/mWh to enable a roll out of new coal as Germany has done and also of in situ coal gasification .

    Your govt continues to waste money of the deliberately misnamed CCS (when it is CO2CS at best or O2CS when compared with the job trees do) , an idea which could only appeal to politicians .

    Freezing (and starving) the vulnerable to death is no longer an accident . It is intentional cross-party policy .

    The Elites have turned on the people . Don’t be surprised if the people retaliate .

    Reply The Coalition government has a Lib Dem pro EU Energy Secretary who receives copious advice that the policies you recite are required by EU law which makes it difficult or impossible to alter such policies with our current government system in coalition.

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      “with our current government system in coalition” – and why do we have a coalition, because Cameron push pro EU green tosh, ratted on his Cast Iron promise pre election, gave Clegg equal TV billing and failed to put the case for lower taxes and less government.

      In short because he is simply not a Tory.

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Rubbish JR. Cameron was doing his pro green ever government before the election and the coalition agreement demonstrates his total lack of negotiation skills, even the Lib Dems claimed at the time they could not believe the concessions made. The solar industry recently claimed it was paid 10 percent more than it asked for, once more who negotiated. How come the Lib Dems can veto Tory proposals but it cannot be done the othe way around? Utter rubbish. Thre is a lot of denial on the part of the Tories here, whether it be the EU ie it can change treaties but the UK cannot fail to meet every obligation? The Tories have insulted their supporters, financially penalised them, built one very piece of our countryside for immigrants or wind farms and not acted in the conservative philosophy of family, personal responsibility, etc. this excuse of not me gov it is the other lot, whether be Labour the Lib Dems or the EU no longer washes. They are seen for what they are excuses. Grab a headline and fail to deliver Dave is toast.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      This is foreshadowed in the Carbon Plan, personally signed by Cameron, Clegg and Huhne at the start of the coalition government. There it is talked up as Negawatts, as if it is some triumph of industrial planning to pay businesses to shut down their factories.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Industrial vandalism inspired by the green religion, and a desire to divert tax payers money to land owners and “consultants”.

        Still at least Huhne and Yeo have gone but we still have Ed Davey and countless others.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      The EU large scale combustion directive was meant to encourage operators of coal power stations to upgrade/replace in order to minimise the toxins being discharged .

      Companies would have willingly done this in the UK but no , Westminster had to set a UK WIDE limit on non-toxic CO2 emissions of new generation of 380 g CO2 per mWh , half what a modern German coal powerstation produces .

      Westminster made a policy decision that coal was not part of it’s electricity generating future . Germany made the opposite decision .

      Rather ironic given that over several centuries the revenue from taxation on coal has directly funded building projects in London .

      Almost all energy investment in the UK is based on Govt policy . So far the investments in UK shale have been pitiful . American’s like Chris Faulkner are stating that only half the govt is interested in shale and will not invest money here .

      In Poland United Oilfield Services has just invested 250 million dollars in one set of hydraulic fracturing pump lorry’s (60,000 hydraulic horsepower) . They believe the Govt over there is serious .

      Believe it or not , energy companies consider the political risk in Argentina to be lower than the UK and the rest of the EU .

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I read that Angela Merkel has a different perspective. SpiegelOnline reports her first speech to the Bundestag lower house after her re-election as follows:

      “She said she would fight an EU probe announced on Wednesday into exemptions from a green energy surcharge for some 2,000 German companies. The European Commission is examining whether the exemptions, totalling some €5 billion and granted to heavy energy users like the steel industry, were unfair and should be repaid.

      The German government would not tolerate a weakening of German industry or job losses, she said. “Germany wants to remain a strong industrial location, we need competitive companies,” she said. “This is about companies and when it’s about companies, it’s about jobs.”

      She said Germany’s new Economy and Energy Minister, Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel, would make this very clear to the European Commission. “As long as there are countries in Europe where electricity is cheaper for industry than it is in Germany, I cannot see how we are distorting competition.”

      What a pity we do not have a government as committed to a supply of secure and less expensive energy as Germany has. Instead we shut it down!

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      So what are we paying you for John. I hope that when people start dying of cold that the government is sued under the “umanrites” act for wilfully destroying our power generation system.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Well let us see what the (defective compass) Cameron said on this issue: “When I became prime minister I said I would aim to have the greenest government ever and this is exactly what we have, he claimed he “passionately believed” the growth of renewable energy was vital to the UK’s future, “I believe renewable energy can be among our cheapest energy sources within years not decades,”. But he warned: “We need to make it financially sustainable.”

    Financially sustainable, in the sense of costing about 3 times the price of UK gas generated electricity and being intermittent too (so not on demand) thus worth perhaps half as much as gas generated electricity. Gas in the US also being about 1/3 of UK price too. So all in all perhaps as much as 18 times the price of US gas generated on demand electricity. But still Cameron believes “renewable energy can be among our cheapest energy sources within years”. Either he is a complete fool and he just has not looked at the numbers. Perhaps he should get an honest, impartial engineer to explain it to him. It would take about 10 minutes.

    Do they not do basic arithmetic at Eton College and Oxford PPE? Has he heard of ” a competitive advantage” in his Oxford PPE course?

    Why on earth did the Tory party elect a leader who is so wrong on green crap, wrong on the EU, wrong on “tax borrow and piss down the drain”, wrong on over regulation, wrong on HS2, wrong on the size of the state sector, wrong on IHT, wrong on totally uncontrolled immigration and wrong on Heathwick. What is he actually right on?

    Well I suppose he is finally coming round on Heathwick and the Green Crap but about 5 years too late.

    Reply He leads a government which has taken many people out of Income Tax altogether, has cut inward migration and intends to reduce it further, has cut the public sector deficit, vetoed an EU Treaty, cut the EU budget etc. If you only ever see the things you do not like you will have a miserable life. Which party would offer to do everything you want, get elected and then do it? UKIP wanted high speed trains last time I seem to remember.

    • Hope
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Spot on Lifelogic. What a derisory reply. Income tax was the idea of the Lib Dems, that is what is disappointing. Cameron has instigated over 300 tax rises. Remember Osborne saying he had no plans to raise VAT. Immigration is a total farcical claim, no one has a reliable measure to count people in or out, JR has pointed out so often how spending is increasing in real terms, EU budget was increased this by £1 billion, more into e autumn statement, the alleged veto that never was, Cameron claimed as the second part that he would prevent Eurozone countries from using EU institutions, name one JR, if not accept he did fulfil the veto claim you make it was partial at best. You name it he has failed to deliver obit with the accept ion of gay marriage which was not in any manifesto, Queen speech or int he public interest. He made a three line whip to prevent an EU referendum taking place. After his total support for the EU and pledge. To to take the UK out of it! you and he want us to believe him!

      Reply Income tax cuts are central to Conservative thinking, and a Conservative Chancellor implemented the threshold increases.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        The income tax cuts are largely not real. This as higher earners have the person allowances removed at 100K, child benefits cut off at 50K now and the 40% threshold has been lowered a lot too. For low earners with children the tax cuts are largely offset by similar benefits cuts anyway.

        They thus benefit rather few people (such as the few working on low wages and not on benefits or tax credits) perhaps a few with no children & still living at the parental home. Better than nothing but almost nothing.

        The 299+ tax increases also eat this away somewhat, even for these few.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Does not address that it was a LibDem idea. Even you have previously agreed that Osborne’s 80/20 split in spending and taxation was 100 percent tax rises. That is a Tory chancellor who heads the tax increases and the one who instigated another tax rise in the autumn statement. Which also increases tax on pensions. The same one who preferred to be on a jolly in the president’s plane than sort out the UK budget in 2012. You know, the pasty fiasco and caravan tax episode. The same one who allows the UK to throw away 0.7 percent of our tax on overseas aid and 15 percent of that is wasted by the EU. Therefore any increase in the percentage of GPD for overseas aid increases the amount the EU can waste, and on some causes the UK does not agree with! Only a Tory chancellor could be so wasteful with our taxes. As pointed out today by a Kommisar, the countries are legally bound to pay the EU bills whether they agree with the spending or not.

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      But Cameron is broadly wrong on every main issue (the EU, the size of the state, 299 tax increases, green tosh, expensive energy, uncontrolled immigration, HS2) he may be less wrong than Labour and Libdems but he is so close to them it makes no odds.

      I have a very happy life not miserable at all thanks, outside the UK now for nearly 6 years but would like to see the UK do far better than it does as it could so easily do with less and better regulation and fewer government and other parasites.

      I have given the coalition credit for their few positives. Closing the M4 bus lane, tiny reductions in corporation tax, the anti squatting law, some minor movements on benefit cuts and some tiny reductions in the some areas of the state sector, and the EU veto (if it was a veto).

      Just not very many positives there and all hugely out balanced by 299 tax increases, the gender neutral insurance tosh, government waste in all directions, expensive energy by green design, HS2, the appointment of Lord Patten, BBC think twits all over the place, the uncontrolled immigration, daft employment laws, dis-functional banking, the reappointment of David Laws, paternity leave ……..

      • Hope
        Posted December 21, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        As Tory MP Connors Burns pointed out recently, it is likely taking three months longer to die. The Tories have basically enacted Darlings economic plan had he still been chancellor. The Tories pledged to match Labour’s spending and they basically have. JR has pointed out on countless occasions how spending has gone up in real terms. Osborne and Cameron were not listening but content for a false picture to be presented in the MSM that cuts were too deep too fast to allow the public to think they were actually doing something different,when in reality they did diddly squat about spending cuts because most change comes from tax rises. They were disguising the tax increases to make a slight reduction in the deficit. Once again, JR mentioned previously and left out in his reply to you about the deficit reduction. Why did JR not point out his previous comments that any reduction in the deficit was through tax rises? Most would view this as not providing a straight reply on the facts.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      No he hasn’t cut inward migration. It is still running at 500,000 per year. Net migration is a statistical farce and lets face it with the flawed passenger survey you haven’t a clue as to the definitive number.

      • Hope
        Posted December 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        In 2012 it increased and it is forecast to have increased last year and to increase next year as well. The conciliation is that there is no accurate way to count people in and out of the country. Nearly four years in office and no proper system in place, I wonder why?

  4. APL
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Why don’t they admit this is all the result of an EU policy that is backfiring badly?”

    But but,…. the EU doesn’t sell on the doorstep!

  5. Alan
    Posted December 19, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    We are all going to hell in a hand cart with Drax generating biomass power at double the going rate for coal making our industry uncompetitive. The referendum aint going to happen. The ability to leave after 14 Nov 2014 becomes subject to eu majority voting. They will do whatever it takes to keep the UK in. They need us more than we need them.

    • stred
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      As Mark’s post later shows, Mr Greg Barker says one of his achievements is starting the Green Bank, which is government owned and funded and is lending large amounts to Drax and others in order to close down coal and convert to burning mainly American wood pellets. Drax has invested heavily in the US to built pellet plants. But, in addition to Drax, other companies have or are doing the same conversion. Tilbury, Ironbridge,Lynemouth and Rugely power stations have been or are about to use wood.

      DECC have doubled their subsidy for this to a ROC. (renewable energy certificate) The EU requires us to generate using 20% renewables by 2020 and we are behind, especially with offshore wind being abandoned. Interestingly, it is estimated that 23 million tons of pellets will be required by the UK to fire these generators and present world production is 14 m tons. The pellets are supposed to be made from tree offcuts, with the trunks used for something else, and only from slow growing trees where in converted stations. Let’s hope the Americans continue to let us burn their forests and need plenty of trunks. ( See biofuelwatch and Drax sites for info)

      Also, the EU Energy committee advise that the accounting for CO2 saving is highly likely to be wrong, in which case the UK will not even save the miniscule amount of World production anyway.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      “The ability to leave after 14 Nov 2014 becomes subject to eu majority voting.”

      That is simply not correct.

      I’m not going to spend time explaining why it is not correct, AGAIN, I will just leave it to you to say why you think it is correct.

  6. miami.mode
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    …”they (Ofgem) will pay”- I think you mean that we will pay!

    If the lights start going out then doubtless David Cameron will be blamed. Remember Ted Heath and the TV being curtailed at 10.30 each evening – it all builds resentment and there were not that many freezers around then.

  7. Brian Taylor
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    This closing of Coal fired power stations is a double whammy, first we close the cheapest form of generation and trying to replace it with the most expensive!!!
    We now have to rely on imported Gas until we get Fracked Gas and have hundreds of Diesel generators on standby and at what cost?

  8. Mark B
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Oh come on. It isn’t as if we could not have seen this coming. And if not, why wasn’t the Conservative Party screaming at the then, Labour government, to do something. Like build some nuclear power stations. No, we just built a load of windmills instead.

    And when, as you suggest, that there could be shortages, how will our brand new shinny electric High Speed Railway trains run. Will they be reduced to asking the passengers to get out and push ?

    • stred
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      If they need to ask the railway industry to save energy, they could ask HS2 to slow down to normal express train speed and save three quarters. One half of the government is telling us to save it while the other half is finding ways of using much more.

  9. Acorn
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    “The availability of cheap coal on world markets means that, in the UK, it is now more profitable to generate electricity from coal than from gas. As a result, power companies have begun to retire gas-fired plant, either permanently or temporarily, the latter known as ‘mothballing’.

    At the same time, coal- and oil-fired plants are affected by the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), which limits emissions of pollutants from all power plants. Those plants that have chosen to ‘opt out’ of the implementation of the required technologies to meet the emissions standards of the directive must close once they have operated for a maximum of 20,000 hours from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2015. By the end of 2015, 11.5 GW of coal and oil plant will have closed as a result of the LCPD, with 7.3 GW having already closed by mid-2013.”
    http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publications/list/reports/RAEng_GB_Electricity_capacity_margin_report.pdf .

    • stred
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      The Americans were glad they mothballed their nuclear stations after 3 mile Island instead of closing them. They have been able to reopen them and avoid the delays and cost overruns of building new ones.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “Why don’t they admit this is all the result of an EU policy that is backfiring badly? Why don’t they help make the case to the EU that we should not close old stations until we have new ones to replace them with?”
    Why doesn’t the coalition government do those things? Better still why doesn’t it just do what it is paid to do and look after its own people and ignore the EU dictatorship? Why don’t MPs do something? The answer is that the EU rules, most ministers and MPs like it that way and the British people can go hang.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    If this is as bad as you say, then why is the Minister in charge not being asked questions in Parliament, or are all of the other 600 odd Mp’s not interested or bothered.

    Not trying to minimise your concerns John, I share them, as many do, but for heavans sake the writing has been on the wall for decades now.

    If the Minister in charge has no government support for his policies, then he should be sacked, coalition or no coalition.

    Indeed the word and solution is in the name.

    COALition.

    How can any sensible government think we can manage on the same usage of power when the population is growing, let alone even thinking of generating less.

    Its is just plain daft thinking.

  12. Edward 2
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    A friend who is retiring early from the energy energy industry has said power cuts are inevitable.
    He has advised me to invest a stand by generator for my home.
    He tells me it will be his first major purchase when his generous pension lump sum gets paid to him.

  13. alastair harris
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    “make the case to the EU”? Doh. Make the decision, implement it, and tell the EU to myob off. If they are unpopular now think how unpopular they are going to become when the lights actually do go off.

  14. Chris S
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Perhaps I don’t understand how this particular cabinet government works ?

    There are a majority of Conservative members round the table. I assume most would not want to see the lights go out and they know we are at a substantial strategic risk if the country runs out of power.

    Can the cabinet not hold a simple vote and then order Davey to keep several coal powered stations open until the problem is solved ?

    If the LibDems don’t like it they can resign, after all the vast majority or the electorate will without doubt support the move and the Conservative would gain a few percentage points for being decisive.

    If the EU takes us to court because we acted to keep the lights on, it will just turn more undecided voters into Eurosceptics.

    It seems to be straightforward and simple : if the PM won’t do it it surely tells us where he really stands ? Or are there other factors at work ?

    If there are, I’m sure all who enjoy your blog would be very grateful if you could explain them to us, John.

    Reply The main decisions are taken by the Quad – Cameron,Clegg, Osborne, Alexander.The Lib dems have a veto over items that were not in the Coalition Agreement, whatever the majority view in Cabinet.All Cabinet members will be advised to obey EU law by the Attorney.

    • Mark
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Greg Barker is supposed to be a Conservative Energy Minister:

      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/12/greg-barker-interview-green-crap-was-a-curmudgeonly-thing-to-say/

      Perhaps he should be honest, and admit he has switched sides.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Can the cabinet not hold a simple vote and then order Davey to keep several coal powered stations open until the problem is solved ?

      Since it would be against several laws to keep the coal powered stations open the cabinet cannot force Davey to accept this. The cabinet would need the approval of Parliament, which they are unlikely to get.

      If the EU takes us to court because we acted to keep the lights on, it will just turn more undecided voters into Eurosceptics.

      It will also make many more undecided voters hostile to the government for acting in an autocratic way. People don’t like it when the government uses their lack of planning as an excuse to break the law.

    • Chris S
      Posted December 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the explanation of how Coalition government works.
      The “veto” is obviously not enshrined in law because we already have an example of the LibDems breaching Coalition policy ( electoral reform ). They were allowed to get away with it despite that fact that their failure to support coalition policy is very likely to have devastating consequences for the Conservatives in 2015

      Where we are talking about such an important issue as keeping the lights and heating on for the population and industry, I see no reason why the PM cannot simply invite a private member to put a bill before the house to keep coal fired stations open for, say, a further five years and invite the house to support it.

      Miliband and Clegg will be in a very difficult position if they vote against it.

      We can then tell the EU that we have done this for strategic reasons and it has the support of both sides of the House. HE can then invite them to do nothing or face the court of public opinion.

      If Brussels ignores the invitation to do nothing, they will probably be taking us to court around the time of the referendum. That will look good !

  15. Vanessa
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Why indeed ? Do they not tell the truth about why they are going to run out of electricity ! Bit like politicians who refuse to tell us the truth as to why HS2 is being rammed through and – as you say – why we will not have enough electricity.

    The EU is, kindly, legislating AGAINST fracking now the UK has such a vast supply. Nice club if you can get the subscription !!!

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      We cannot afford the subscription!

  16. Atlas
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Yes John, this is indeed increasingly feeling like a re-run of 1973, except this time it is the EU and not the miners causing misery. Heath got kicked out because of it – so will Cameron unless he wades in and sorts out the Lib-Dems monopoly on lunacy.

    “Who governs Britain” Heath asked – and the voters replied “Not you mate”.

  17. Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    People will put up with power cuts because of strikes and natural disasters.
    What they will not do is to put up with them due to government incompetence, and should we have any due to the “green” decommissioning and lack of new build, it will be fair and squarely government incompetence. If this happens, the Tories will lose the next election if only as punishment for the inconvenience caused.

  18. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The main decisions are taken by the Quad – Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Alexander. The Lib Dems have a veto over items that were not in the Coalition Agreement, whatever the majority view in Cabinet.

    Cameron has a Quad split 50/50 Conservative/Libdem. And Cameron agreed to the above? And he is going to be our negotiator to get concessions from the EU!

  19. Mark
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    OFGEM is prohibited by law (Miliband’s 2010 Energy Act, rushed through ahead of the election) from criticising energy policy or acting in consumer/customer interest where green interest is in conflict with it.

    Yesterday Ed Davey was trumpeting to his supposed choir at LibDemVoice that he had converted his Energy Bill into an Act.

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/ed-davey-mp-writes-energy-act-will-create-200000-green-jobs-37557.html

    Many of the comments hint it is an act of stupidity. It isn’t transplanting EU law. As Davey writes it is “creating the world’s first ever low carbon electricity market” and investing ” in offshore and onshore wind, biomass, solar and other renewables.” In other words, it’s about making energy expensive. He claims it will result in a reduction of 20 mtCO2 emissions, while ignoring that emissions have fallen by 75mtCO2 in the recession – primarily because of lower oil use, and secondly because of lower gas use, mainly in industry and power generation, although also through less home heating as thermostats are turned down in response to prices. He seems proud of shutting down almost all our coal capacity that provides cheap power.

    Meanwhile in Germany, the EU threatens to undermine Merkel’s subsidies for power consuming industry, throwing yet another spanner in the works of the Energiewende that continues to unwind as they invest in new coal capacity and consider requiring intermittent sources of power to invest in their own backups – something that would kill off further investment in windmills and solar altogether, and result in disinvestment in renewables generally. The Germans seem belatedly to be seeing the way forward, while we plough on into a mad expensive energy policy.

  20. Dennis
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Why do we need all this power and even more? It’s so simple.

    No one including Mr Redwood, seems to realise that it’s because of our massive population and the policy of increasing its size needing it.

    How can we need immigration (even from white middle class, Einstein, Picasso, Mozart, Brunel genius type people) from anywhere one can mention for a country of 60+ million? Why should we be the best, richest, cleverest people on Earth?

    We do have a superb, efficient and clever export that really works and that is in the capability of making enemies. Is any country in say, Latin American, quaking in its boots from attack that it needs a nuclear deterrent?

    Our stupidity is making all our problems.

  21. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    It is fortunate, therefore, that HM Government proposes to issue fracking licenses for 40% of UK land. In the US, fracking has resulted in CO2 emissions going down because much of the fracking gas has replaced coal. Germany, mighty burner of polluting lignite coal, are you listening?

  22. Sue
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron is actually going to go ahead and allow our economy to be sabotaged by those numbskulls at the EU?

    Oh for a REAL LEADER, SOMEBODY WHO WILL STAND UP FOR BRITAIN!

    You should stand for PM Mr Redwood, the Conservatives would probably win then.

  23. Mark
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Finally some better news on shale gas:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/eu-environment-shalegas-idUSL6N0JZ3JT20131220

    I believe Owen Paterson is the Minister responsible for fending off the EU on this one. Well done!

  24. uanime5
    Posted December 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t they admit this is all the result of an EU policy that is backfiring badly? Why don’t they help make the case to the EU that we should not close old stations until we have new ones to replace them with?

    The UK has know for decades that these power plants would have to close because we opted them out of the EU rules, yet we didn’t build anything to replace them with or try to upgrade them to meet EU standards. This is the fault of the UK and no one else.

    Reply Unusual for you to criticise the last Labour government like this – interesting that if you have to choose between defending Labour or the EU you choose the EU

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 21, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Well spotted, JR.

      Unfortunately uanime5 is not the only one whose primary loyalty is to the EU, the House of Commons is replete with such persons.

  25. Atlas
    Posted December 21, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many people have thought through the disruption of the electricity supply will cause to our present economy and ways of doing things; clearly the Lib-Dem MPs and their supporters have not.

    Consider just how much computers are used now compared to 1973, let alone the Internet that did not exist then.For example:
    1) Supermarkets using bar-codes and electronic tills and card readers. No power no business.
    2) Internet commerce. No power to access the Internet so no commerce.
    3) Domestic web-use on battery powered lap-tops – fine except that all the Routers are mains only powered, so no internet access, no cloud usage, no internet radio or music available.
    4) Businesses using cashless mobile telephone systems; again no base station no transaction.
    5) Domestic central heating systems; no electricity so no pump so no heating into the house.

    I could go on with this ‘Crtitical Path Analysis’, but I think you get the point. Osborne’s recovery will go into reverse – fast.

    I cannot see the elctorate being forgiving of such a self inflicted wound. Cameron has a real problem of his own making.

  26. Posted December 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    reply to Reply to Chris S at 9.18:

    “Reply The main decisions are taken by the Quad – Cameron,Clegg, Osborne, Alexander.The Lib dems have a veto over items that were not in the Coalition Agreement, whatever the majority view in Cabinet.All Cabinet members will be advised to obey EU law by the Attorney.

    This says it all! We are governed by traitors who abide by laws contrary to our constitution.

    When will you and your fellow parliamentarians stop arguing about the details of the crime and instead, return the country which you claim to represent to the Rule of Law – English Law, Common Law, which has been in default for far too long.

    John Wrake.

    Reply When will you voters elect a Parliament with enough MPs so that when Bill Cash and I table proposals to restore UK sovereignty they pass?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      To put it bluntly, JR, that’ll be either:

      1. When the three old parties offer candidates who believe in UK sovereignty; or

      2. When enough of the voters spurn those candidates and vote in UKIP MPs.

      Reply The argument I thought we’d been having for years is can we make faster progress by voting in Eurosceptic Conservatives or UKIP? I think the former – and now there are 100 Eurosceptic voting MP Conservatives in the Commons who defy the whip to be more Eurosceptic than the Coalition government and another 205 who vote for a more Eurosceptic approach than Lab/Lib Dem on the whip – you probably think the latter, where there are still none! Whose winning? How would a Labour government help?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 22, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Yes, there may be about 100 Tory MPs who are prepared to defy the party whips and vote in general favour of UK sovereignty on certain occasions, but that still means that two thirds of Tory MPs have so little commitment to UK sovereignty that they will do the opposite because that is what they are told to do by the party whips on behalf of the party leaders.

        And if it comes to a vote on an unambiguous statement such as:

        “The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.”

        the number of Tory MPs who will defy the party leaders and vote in favour shrinks down to a few dozen, just 29 in that particular case even including the two tellers for the “ayes”.

        On the other hand I’m quite sure that if there had been 303 UKIP MPs then all of them would have voted for that amendment, and more, through their naturally strong commitment to UK sovereignty which is absent from most of the Tory MPs as well as the Labour and LibDem MPs.

        And as I have mentioned previously whenever the ConservativeHome site runs an article about Tory aspirants for the next election, and I simply ask about their commitment to the sovereignty of the Parliament which they hope to join, there is never any answer; that is treated as an irrelevant and even rude question and provokes personal abuse.

        Reply Some of us are entirely committed to UK sovereignty. The issue is why are there not 303 or 326 UKIP MPs if the cause is as right and popular as you maintain. Could it be UKIP are making it more difficult for us to restore sovereignty rather than helping?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          I don’t doubt your commitment to UK sovereignty, nor that of some of your Tory colleagues, but only a small number; and indeed there are a small number of Labour MPs who are also entirely committed to UK sovereignty. Unfortunately all three of the main parties keep selecting parliamentary candidates who in general do not share that view on the fundamental importance of UK sovereignty or in some cases are actively hostile towards it, and that pattern is repeated for one electoral cycle after another and little changes. Hence the need for a new party whose candidates can be guaranteed to be totally committed to it, and although it will take time to make progress – multiples of the electoral cycle – there is no alternative to ploughing on for as long as it takes.

  27. helen
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    The power shortage could be easily solved if they paid a sensible feed in tarriff for solar panels
    manybpeople would be only too happy yo install them if the figures added up but sadly they dont because they are a very long term investment with a poor payback

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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