Should we limit everyone’s bread as well as water?

I could scarce believe my ears when I heard there is talk of a limit being placed on  how much water each one of us should be invited to use. Water is the staff of life. It is difficult to predict how much water you need for cleaning or cooking. I thought it was agreed that as water is so fundamental special care is taken to ensure we all have access to a good supply in our homes and places of work.

No-one argues  that with strong growth in our population we could run out of bread in a few years time. They do not  point out that baking more bread and putting in more ovens will entail burning more fuel and creating more emissions. They do not advocate   a bread allowance, to ensure we control the total and at the same time allow fair shares for all.

We do not do so for a very good reason. The market can take care of future demand. There is no need to interrupt individual choice. I do not eat a loaf of bread at the expense of my neighbour. There are enough loaves at affordable prices for both of us. Bread supply expands to fill the shopping baskets available.

The same should be true of water. Water is a resource in massive supply. Much of the surface area of our planet is taken up by huge quantities of water. You do not destroy the water by using it, but return it to the water cycle after use for reuse. It is the ultimate renewable. If we allowed full competition to supply domestic water as we now allow for commercial water, supply would expand to meet the demand. Let’s do just that.

Water is a good growth product. Let’s clean, store and use more of it. If we need an additional reservoir, put it in. If mending leaking pipes is cheaper, do that. There is  no need to ration.

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146 Comments

  1. TL
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    John,

    I did chuckle upon reading this.

    All I can see is kids on bikes with carrier bags; “want some water mate? Just a fiver, it’s good stuff; the bottles clean”.

  2. Prigger
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I thought it was April 1st on first sight of this JR.

    To be sure Authorities are well on their way to water limits via home water meters. It might make sense in a desert oasis. Yet the UK is famous for its rain and we still joke about the British rain dance of cricket which prompts the heavens to open in minutes of play or merely advertising the date of a match on a billboard which can be seen from the heavens.
    We should have less babies. All that font water at baptism will be the thirsty end of us.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      well one midlands town was only kept going recently by the water company running tankers full of water to refill a reservoir

      so in many cases there really is no spare capacity

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    I’m sorry but water is not the issue of the day; the evidence given by Ms. Braverman to the Exiting EU committee yesterday is more important. She said, after a number of attempts to obfuscate, that there is no conditionality to the obligation to pay the EU the ‘exit charge’ following the passage of the ‘leaving the EU’ bill into law. As we know, there will be no FTA in force until after we leave the EU, and in fact any trade agreement will still require further negotiating to complete after 30-03-19.
    What is the Government thinking?
    First, why has the government decided conditionality is not necessary, and
    second, why is the government attempting to hide this obvious requirement?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      The government is thinking how to frustrate the outcome of the referendum while pretending to uphold it, and how to get the public to accept that betrayal.

      • Alison
        Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        I agree with Denis and so many others. I would just add that the government will not get most of the public to accept that betrayal. I think that what the government – or at least the core negotiating team (Mrs May’s bunch) – is trying to do is to drag things out, dribble out dribs and drabs of betrayal, and avoid at all costs a single catalyzing acknowledgement of the betrayal.
        That’s a difficult tactic to confront. (Actually, I fear the right word is combat.)
        But not impossible. Urgent though. I do have a few ideas.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood, I was surprised that the absence of conditionality was unknown to the committee and made news headlines in the media. David Davis made it perfectly clear to a select committee (I think it was this one but it might have been the EU Scrutiny Cttee) several months ago (December?) when it discussed the transition plan, that the ‘divorce bill’ payments would be made during the transition and therefore were not dependent on a trade deal being agreed. The budget papers contained a graph showing the bulk of the bill being paid during transition with a thin tail extending several decades.
      the Statement that ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ in the EU Withdrawal agreement is not worth the paper it is written on. Once paid the mooney would never be returned short of WW3.
      I am also surprised that Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is normally punctiliously correct on his facts, still repeats that ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. It is and it has been and Mrs May has given away all the UK’s best negotiating cards.

  4. oldtimer
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    That you find it necessary to post this comment is an indictment of the muddled thinking that seems to pervade public life these days. Or perhaps it is another manifestation of Project Fear that is intended to control all we do and think.

  5. Andy
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The market has failed. The privatised suppliers do not fix pipes. They do not give a good service. They basically operate as monopolies with guaranteed profits. If a bread maker was guaranteed to sell bread and had no local competitors for bread it would have no incentives to make its bread better. This is the state our water industry is in.

    • Aquarius Enabler
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Are you digging a well or just going to buy French water at the supermarket? My water still comes through the taps. I am lucky. Children on their way to school buy bottles of it from me to take back home for their Mummies and Daddies. They call it “taking the water” or something like that.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      For once I agree with you Andy. Round my local market town they are building 3500 new houses and no new reservoirs. These are all being connected to the current supply which runs past the top of my country lane. They pocket all the extra cash from each house and tell the rest of us to use less. The stuff of life should never have been privatised for a few bob which was then p****d up the wall and who can point to anything the money provided for us?

    • Sam Duncan
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      “The market has failed.”

      “They basically operate as monopolies with guaranteed profits.”

      These statements do not belong together.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      there need to be better financial incentives

      every time a consumer has a supply disruption the water company should be deducting pro rata amounts from the bill

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Well, they’ve gradually replaced all the mains pipes around here. Not just fixed leaks but completely renewed the whole mains system for the town.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:28 am | Permalink

      Might it be a dastardly French plot?

  6. Mark B
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    For a nation surrounded by water one can weep at the sheer and utter incompetence. Or is it ?

    I read somewhere that if you deliberately make something scarce you can control demand through price increases. This is being done through the hoax of climate change with our energy.

    Rather than build more just make people use less. So the idea of rationing is probably not so daft in this context.

    It is good that our kind host is at last being honest with the root cause even if he chooses to ignore the obvious solution. 😉

    • graham1946
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Not incompetence – profiteering.

  7. Andy
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Incidentally – to avoid us becoming like Cape Town we need government to invest billions in new reservoirs and desalination plants. We need these now to secure our future.

    Perhaps the Tory Brexiteers could find the cash on their magic money tree which gave £1bn to the DUP and has a spare £20bn a year for Brexit customs arrangements. (What happened to the less bureaucracy promise?)

    • Aquarius Enabler
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Do you live in this country? Underground?It’s been siling it down all winter day and night and didn’t stop until last week. Rain is on the cards for tomorrow. Go outside and open your mouth!

    • graham1946
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      We don’t need de-salination plants which is an expensive way of providing water and is harmful to the environment. There is plenty of water, just in the wrong place. We need a national water grid – if it was oil it would already have been done, but because they won’t be able to get anything extra out of it, the private companies won’t do it. No doubt the state will do it eventually and hand it over for private profit to be made or the public will be forced to pay extra for it just like Hinckley Point.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Labour and then the Lib Dems blocked investment in new reservoirs.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      We’ve got enough water from remainer tears to keep us going for 100 years

    • getahead
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Remainers keep blaming those who voted for Brexit for the Brexit process not going well. You can include the DUP £1bn in this because Tory Remainers produced a defeatist manifesto and were obliged to approach the DUP to maintain a parliamentary majority. It is not Leavers who are in charge of the failed “negotiations”.
      Incidentally, £20bn a year is a good price to pay if it gets us out of the EU cesspit. And probably cheaper than EU membership in the long run.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      we dont need desalination plants here, we have plenty of fresh water. what is needed is a basic network of pipes to join reservoirs together so that it can be moved from places with too much to places that have too little. together with radical action to tackle the leaks in the systems we already have.

  8. JimS
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Politicians thought that forcing water meters on us would control consumption and at first it did.

    Then some people realised that as they were being charged for what they used and they could afford to pay for it why shouldn’t they use more? So they did. I think there is a lesson there.

    Maybe we should use the market to ‘solve’ immigration, all immigrants should face an infrastructure charge, as should any child that they produce. The schools that I was taught in were effectively paid for by my grandparents and, put that way, they no doubt would have willingly paid their taxes. A higher tax rate for immigrants might sort out the doctors from The Big Issue sellers.

    • GilesB
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      The current replacement value of U.K. infrastructure is about £1,000,000 per head.

      Population increase drives demand for investment in additional public infrastructure, which competes with demand for investment in business productivity.

      As the rate of population increase is currently greater than the rate of technological progress, productivity and hence living standards are in decline.

      To increase living standards, the rate of growth of population needs to be lower than the rate of technological progress.

  9. agricola
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Ribbon cutting on HS2 is infinitely more attractive than having a national water grid. We have had one for aviation fuel since the 50s, why not water. The problem is a logistical one not a supply one, so get on with it.

  10. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    There is plenty of water in Scotland John. Why not pipe it down? I’m sure Sturgeon would love to charge you a ridiculous rate. Some areas of the country get more than others. Its just a matter of distribution. There will be a shortage of power too if the government insists on going down the route of all electric vehicles and banning gas and oil boilers etc.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Dear Fedup–Not long ago I posted here the idea of sucking up fresh river water from near where the river otherwise empties in to the sea and piping said water back up the river (perhaps in a pipe along the river bed) to where it is is needed upstream. Job done. I claim no credit for this idea whivh has been around some time. The only response I received was that it sounded like a perpetual motion machine, which it of course is not. How could it not work?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Postcript–Or of course in to a suitably located reservoir–And, please, no ‘think tank’ baloney about how expensive pumping is, else nothing at all will get done.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Indeed you just charge for it and let people use what they choose too – then you make sure you can supply the demand. There is no shortage in the wet UK. The South East was totally water logged only a couple of weeks back when I walked round Kent.

    Meanwhile more drivel from this government about the NHS, the Police and from HMRC (with government approval one assumes) on the costs of Brexit, another rape trial outrage.

    Totally rudderless and breathtakingly incompetent despite the vast expenditure and tax levels.

    PM apparently is going to announce more money for the NHS to waste according to the Spectator. The way to get more money into health is to charge and to encourage more to go privately and sort out the basket case NHS.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      Our hospital is so behind with appointments I am going to see a neurologist this Sunday!!!!

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    BBC tax “expert” just now says UK has relatively low tax rates! Certainly not relative to most successful economies. We have the highest taxes and 40 years, appalling tax complexity, over regulation of everything, greencrap expensive energy and fairly dreadful public services as well.

    Where do the BBC find these “experts”?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      It seems he is another Oxford PPE graduate! What sort of duff Economics do the teach them?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I read that that the IFS is funded from a range of sources. The largest proportion of the IFS’ income comes from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The IFS also receives funding from the European Union, UK government departments.

      Why do the BBC not use someone sensible and independent! Not essentially a government funded propaganda outfit for ever higher taxes. Or at least explain where their “expert” is coming from.

      • Andy
        Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        The IFS is independent. Paul Johnson from the IFS is always happy to explain where its funding comes from – and a negligible amount is from the EU.

        The trouble with Brexiteers is that so many of you have become so completely irrational that you cry foul whenever anyone dare disagree with you. And woe betide anyone who produces a fact which proves you wrong – they must be a traitor.

        It’s pretty pathetic really. But then that sums up the Brexit catastrophe. A group of irrational fact deniers refusing to accept the bleeding obvious.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 25, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

          It is not the “denying of facts” as you claim Andy.
          It is pointing out how many of the very pessimistic predictions made by remain supporting individuals and organisations have not come true.

        • David Price
          Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          No-one in the public sector is independent.

          The bulk (£3.1m) of the 2016 IFS funding came from the ESRC and they got over £700k from the EU – not a negligible amount.

          The ESRC council is made up of university professors and therefore by your own measure must all be leavers.

  13. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    It is much quicker, simpler and cheaper for a bureaucrat to assume the supply remains constant and adjust the per capita allowance to meet the resource available.

    We can’t possibly stop population increase-obviously anybody who wants to turn up here can and should be able to. Their water supply has to come from somewhere, and clearly they wouldn’t want to put the effort in themselves to build new reservoirs etc., so where is the resource going to come from?

    This is just the precursor of more to come. Resource =x, population = y, individual allowance = x/y. Y increases constantly but x never does, somehow. A bit like land.

  14. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right, these statist bureaucracies with their apocryphal scaremongering are absurd. Labour of course are calling for renationalisation of water and so a return to even worse statist monopolism such as we used to have.

    Meanwhile the IFS has said we all need to pay “much more tax” to pay for the NHS. All around the world taxes are coming down and being simplified, with the US the most prominent case. But In the UK we have the threat of a bunch of Marxists sending us the way of Venezuela and all these supposedly neutral but actual highly statist bodies pushing always for more government, more tax, more regulation etc.

  15. Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Suggestons of limiting water supply are just another example of how far down the marxist path we have been driven – yet another oppressive measure, like personal taxation, that can be used to control us and ensure we are good citizens.
    Any water shortages are down to government inaction along with water companies lack of provision. I suggest that in future, any hose pipe bans or complete water shortages should mean a large fine imposed on the water comapanies – it really isn’t an acceptable situation to run low on water. Especially when so many water supplying pipes are leaking, it becomes imperative that the government makes the water companies use some of their vast pofits to provide a cure.

  16. eeyore
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Water itself may be a limitless renewable but its extraction, cleaning, supply and removal is not. Like clean air and firewood, which JR addressed yesterday, it’s the work done to it that makes it useful to man.

    Is it wise in principle to treat a resource, however abundant, as limitless? Doesn’t it imply a lack of respect for the bounty of nature on which we all depend, and doesn’t lack of respect give licence to abuse? When something is branded as free for all there is a danger it will become just that, a free-for-all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Water is not a resource “used up” it just goes down the rivers into the sea whether it has been “used” or not! Then it comes back again as rain! In the UK there is not shortage at all just a lack of facilities to store, process and distribute it. The water companies should be trying to sell more of it to us with discounts if you have a swimming pool or water your garden alot!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Yep
      Tax air next.

    • getahead
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      eeyore, is that not why we pay for it? We have both the technology and the resources.
      There is no reason that water or water shortage should be used as a tool to control the plebeians.

      • Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        ..but unfortunately this is the way we are moving… the socialist establishment has decided that taxes are a good means of controlling people – but of course they will deny following the agenda of marx, which is what they are doing …

        I really wish we had a real conservative governmnet – this one is loaded with socialists…

  17. alan jutson
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Yes once again the control freaks want to increase their power by being Lazy.

    The more people living in the Country, the more the services need to expand, same as anything else.

    Water is no different from increasing the road capacity, car parking, food, health, education, employment, power supply, etc etc.

    Are we really using more water per person than we did 30 years ago. ?

  18. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The government is quite willing to hand over billions to the EU just to trade but think of what this money could do at home. We could sort out the atrocious conditions of our roads, sort out the NHS, sort out the railways and help the water authorities tackle the vast waste of water because of leaks in pipes instead of charging the poor old customer extortionate water rates. Is this too much to ask?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

      How much has “she” given away upfront without any agreement in place?

      And before the Remainders mention it, of course there is the £350+ million per week that COULD go to the NHS after 29th March 2019.

  19. Phil
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Absolutely spot on. If you build thousands of houses a year you need the water infrastructure to cope with it. I suspect our Politicians have not even thought about it but instead left it to water companies to cry water rationing and/ or drought if we have no rain for a couple of weeks so as to avoid providing it. This Country has not got the slightest excuse for ever running out of H20. Scotland and Wales are wringing wet so why have we not piped any of their vast surpluses to England where the shortages are?

  20. tick tock
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    There was a discernible lighter tone in Parliament yesterday. The verbal fencing match between Mr Hunt Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Labour’s Shadow Jon Ashworth had its jocular moments especially when Labour tried to ignore its own privatisations of Health provision. One wonders whether Labour has secretly at last accepted we are leaving the EU.
    Only ten more months to go before we leave. The Lords must know that if they are planning another grandchild then the child would be born to an unemployed grandparent if they succeed in stopping our departure.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      There’ll be an even lighter tone next session-Boris and Alan Duncan have just been had by a couple of Russian DJ pranksters pretending they were the new PM of Armenia!

  21. IwasGnarth
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    ‘Much of the surface area of our planet is taken up by huge quantities of water.’

    That is self evidently true but I am led to believe that only 3% of that water is fresh and in a liquid state. While graphene membrane developments may improve the situation at some point in the future, desalination can at present only make a small contribution, and by consuming copious amounts of energy.

  22. GilesB
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of …

    ‘This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time’ Aneurin Bevan

    Replace ‘organising genius’ with ‘meddling EU technocrat’. Of course the continental EU members need coordinated management of shared water basins. But Great Britain, as an island does not.

    Will they introduce a hard border on the rivers of the island of Ireland? Like a dam! I don’t think so

  23. hefner
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    See https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html to possibly get a somewhat more scientific view on the problem.
    consider the energy and price of desalinization or of transporting water from the North of Britain.
    Ask private water companies, Thames Water around here, to work on the leaks.

    About 30% of the water is wasted in this country, 3bn liters per day. And what does TW do? Promote its electronic water meter that could potentially help it to modulate the tariffs according to consumption, time of day, day of year.
    But a couple of years ago, I had to repeatedly call TW and write several times to finally get a meter outside my property. It was installed in about two hours, and since has decreased my water invoices by 40% as I pay for actual use of water within the household and not according to some rating (similar to what is used for local tax?). Thanks to that mechanical device, I hope I’ll be able to escape the electronic water meter craze.

  24. Turboterrier.
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The W word screams of of off today’s posting. WASTE

    Working in the industry for over 55 years regarding the use of water nothing much has changed.

    Properties are still being built with excessively long hot water draw offs.

    Toilets laundry/dish washing machines could be supplied from the water allowed to go to soak away from our roofs. This could also be used to water the garden, clean the cars even
    fill the kids paddling pool.

    The old timers as the development of housing exploded all predicted that there was not enough infrastructure to meet the demands be made upon it. In the old days there was only one potable tap at the kitchen the remainder of the water came from water storage cisterns to feed bathrooms and utility rooms etc. Everything today seems to be mains pressure hot and cold fed always having a pull on the water infrastructure. Large storage cisterns replaced the water being used at a much slower rate.

    Normal disease of this country, plan and build and then worry about how to service and maintain it. The infrastructure has to come first. Developers should not allowed to build new properties that do not have depositors for storage of water for all non potable.
    purposes.

    We have to totally rethink how we go about new projects be it water, energy, high speed trains or new airports. Totally useless to go from A to B quicker then sit in the destination trying to get out, build both commercial and domestic properties and then try to ration the water or energy usage. This is the politics of stuff and nonsense.It causes more problems than it solves.

    There must be enough data to ensure that the rainfall can be collected from the
    wettest areas and these are the first places you consider putting in depositors to collect it to at least trial it. It will not come without a cost but when you realise how many billions have been wasted on renewable energy and it is still in a mess as politicians in the majority do not understand about base loads then the investment for such a trial will be but a insignificant and far more important as we can survive without renewable energy but with out water we do not survive.

    Of course the problems being presented have nothing to do with too many people living on a very small island!!!

  25. Nig l
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Ofwat has published its report into opening up the domestic sector which over a 30 year period looks profit positive. What is HMG doing about it?

    Equally a fifth of all water abstracted is lost through leaks, Ofwat funded by the industry, so not truly independent, reports to various parts of Government, why aren’t you hammering them for their failure to both sort this out and making certain supply was increased to match the obvious growth in demand.

  26. Adam
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Much of what is heard in talk is not worth listening to, & careless talk costs lives.

    We should avoid excessive waste when using water. We often find there is too much water, yet in the wrong place. Rationing is simply acting with reason, but the notion of limiting each person’s use signals incompetence drowning in stupidity.

  27. Peter
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    So now we have a shortage of water to add to our shortage of houses, schools, hospitals, surgeries, roadspace, energy generation etc. Could it possibly be that there is a common factor here – like an ever increasing number of people trying to cram themselves into this overcrowded little island?

    • Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Hello,

      We have a lot of Peters on here.

      The comment above has not been posted by me though I do post as “Peter”.

    • Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Please excuse my repeating myself, Peter. I can’t help it – it’s a sort of Pavlovian response.

      Housing crisis + NHS crisis + traffic crisis + education crisis + car parking crisis + pollution crisis + energy crisis
      = POPULATION CRISIS

      • E Justice
        Posted May 28, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Population crisis says it all .of course they can blame the old folk for living to long.

  28. mancunius
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The Environmental Agency is an arm of government, and its current CEO (who made these absurd fearmongering generalisations and demands) was appointed by the government in 2015.

    The Conservative government seems indistinguishable in its soft-left nanny-statism from the Labour government. Instead of earning their salaries by solving basic problems, ministers and civil servants now spend their time telling us how to live our lives.

    It is risible that the Chancellor should be telling the CBI one day that the government is committed to a world-class infrastructure, and the next day the CEO of the EA announces that there are so many leaks that we nobody can be allowed to have a bath.

    In 2009 Hugo Chavez told Bolivians they should to restrict their shower time to three minutes, and not to prolong it by singing in the shower. How long before Theresa May does the same? (It does sound rather like something she’d do…)

    • mancunius
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      so many leaks that nobody can be allowed etc
      told Bolivians they should restrict etc

  29. Stephen Priest
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    “I could scarcely believe my ears . . . ” Sadly we are hearing this sort of thing daily from either a government agency, a think thank, a former Conservative shadow minister who once had two brains, a former Government minister who was caught looking at pornography on his laptop, and worst still current Government ministers.

  30. hefner
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    For any one interested in these watery matters, there is a wealth of MOOC courses, usually over 4 to 7 weeks, 3/4 hours/week:
    – Water Management (edX)
    – Drinking Water Treatment (edX)
    – Water Supply and Sanitation (Coursera)
    – Introduction to Water and Climate (edX)
    – Introduction to Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (Coursera)
    … and others sometimes more related to developing countries.

    One can even think that taking one (or several) of these courses might be more fruitful and bring more relevant information than reading the “hear, hear”or similar vacuous comments on this web.

    Well, I know I am under no obligation to read them but some are so stupidly funny… a nice way to start the day or to help go to sleep in the evening.

  31. margaret
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    We know water is wasted. We cannot understand why others do not get the fact that this valuable resource is fundamental to earthly life. The buffoons laugh when we talk about saving more water and discuss methods to do so. They will put a counter argument to all possible methods of making water services more effective, not least of all money. They will try and ridicule solutions ( possibly not aware of how ridiculous they themselves are being) .

    You make a point which Mrs Beeton documented in her recipe books and we were taught in domestic science which is ; when taking into consideration the cost of buying ingredients, it is essential to add the time and amount of fuel to use the ovens , any waste products and time to buy/ collect ingredients. It is only with the whole scientific process that we can judge what is economical.

  32. Stephen Berry
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I had vaguely supposed that in the UK the water supply had been privatized. Evidently not, as there is all this idiotic Green chatter about controlling and limiting water. We need to let the water companies, operating in a market and responding to supply and demand, take care of it, quietly and automatically.

    I don’t want set a hare running, but if we leave the Customs Union will the arrival of rainfall in the UK be held up at our ports, I wonder?

    • Beecee
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Do you really think we are leaving the Customs Union?

      The Remain Connivance orchestrated by No. 10 using the unaccountable Civil Service via Mr Robbins have us at game, set and match.

      The English Taxpayer, the one who votes to put the Conservatives in power, is being stabbed in the back yet again!

    • graham1946
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Will the rainfall stop at the ports?

      No, no more than the pollution which comes over from France and sometimes we are told to keep our windows shut in the South East. This morning my car was covered in sand from the Sahara presumably and took a bit of effort to get off. As we are talking about wood burners, are any plans afoot to fine France for sending their pollution over here? Didn’t think so.

  33. Iain Moore
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As there is only one set of water infrastructure it makes it a problem to introduce market competition . In addition water is a low value item that is heavy , a cubic meter weighs a ton, so moving it around costs, which is why we have regional water companies. Finally though the world is covered in water, most of it is sea water, and if you want to use that you have to use some expensive desalination plants.

    Sorry I don’t see that market forces can help here in a meaningful way . The real problem is that the British establishment are pursing a population growth strategy that is over loading our resources, a policy which most of us don’t want.

  34. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Water is particularly in massive supply in Britain. I have only just got onto a bodywork job on my car that I’ve been meaning to do since November. Either snow or rain prevented me from doing it.

    When will politicians get it ?

    We can’t just keep building houses. There need to be the services and infrastructure to go with them.

  35. They Work for Us?
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I expect the ultimate aim is to mimic the science fiction world of “Dune” where the watery contents of our body are seen to belong to the tribe or state and are on loan to us only for the duration of short state servile lives.
    We need actual conservatives not socialists in the Conservative party and government to put an end to this drivel. Build more reservoirs and greatly limit immigration to reduce the load.

  36. Iain Gill
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Well we have state rationed and allocated healthcare, and the political elite plan to throw more money at it without giving the patients any more choice or control. Not a single MP is prepared to say the NHS emperor has no clothes, and suggest we copy from one of the many developed countries that do healthcare (for all socio-economic groups) far better than we do in the UK.

    We have state rationed and allocated schools, where the parents often have little choice, and where dictats are handed down and there is no competitive pressure to appeal to parents.

    May as well go the full way and start forcing all car showrooms to sell Trabants.

  37. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    According to the Envirionment Agency’s own figures, the potential future water shortage is primarily caused by treated, potable water leaking from antiquated pipes – mostly located beneath the road network – to the tune of 3 billion litres each day. Water supply was privatised many years ago, the water companies have no incentive to reduce profits by repairing the distribution network and are mostly owned by foreigners anyway. Labour will gain many votes with its proposal to privatise the nation’s water supply. We have had many years of Ofwat “regulation” and, typically for a quango, they have failed to enforce water leakage reduction targets.

    Trying to solve a distribution network infrastructure issue by taking productive land out of use and building new reservoirs is not an efficient use of a limited resource.

    Introducing competition into domestic water supply would add another complicated privatised layer into what is effectively a public service. In Scotland, water supply is still part of the domestic rates system. In my view, thats where it should have stayed here.

  38. Lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “Should we limit everyone’s bread as well as water?”

    Well we have a (very stupid) sugar tax from Hammond already and bread turns very rapidly to glucose when eaten and most people (even children) are certainly rather too fat.

  39. Bob
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    “I could scarcely believe my ears”

    I have the same feeling virtually every day when I listen to the Toady program on Radio 4.

    This morning it was Secretary of State for Justice’s new wheeze about releasing criminals from prison on “licence” to undertake work experience. This from the same person who lamely sat back and did nothing while rape victims fought against the early release of the Black Cab Rapist. Even Mayor Khan had the political nous to back their cause.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the word “gauke” found it’s way into the dictionary as a noun alternative for maladroit

  40. Simon C
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I think you do yourself and your reads a dis-service arguing by false analogy.

    Arguing that purified, fresh, clean drinking water supplied on demand and in as high a volume as you want is the same as the water all around us in rivers, the oceans and falling from the sky is exactly like arguing that the perfectly fresh loaf of bread at the supermarket is exactly the same as the wild wheat growing on the road verges.

    Note, I’m not saying anything about the merits of otherwise of fixing pipes vs more capacity, or deregulating the supply etc. Just that as an argument your water-bread analogy is fundamentally flawed, and I expected better of you.

    • Bob
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      @Simon
      Mr Redwood is pointing out that we have no shortage of either commodity.
      If demand increases, be it bread or water, then increase the supply to meet the increased demand.

      why would you ration one and not the other?

  41. MickN
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    More nanny state stuff from this so called “tory” government. Meanwhile we are allowing the south east to be concreted over and houses built for many thousands more users of water. Meanwhile Mrs May is off virtual signalling to more minority groups. I sympathise with you for as much as it frustrates us it is being done by your leaders in your name. Oh what I wouldn’t give for real leadership for our country.

  42. sm
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Hey, limit the water supplies and those in charge will truly be able to call the rest of us ‘the great unwashed’.

    What will be coming next – sumptuary laws?

  43. David L
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    There is a rippling stream of clean, pure water being admired by myself and my neighbours locally. It is issuing from a hole in the road outside the library in Wokingham and has been flowing for over a week. Workmen come and go but the stream stays constant. It’s a bit galling as I have recently had a water meter installed. Legally, could I fill my watering cans from the leak, or would that be theft?

  44. Mitchel
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Everything must be planned.Everything must be codified.Everything must be controlled.Everything must be monitored.

    As some of us have long believed “the West”is morphing into the Soviet Union.

    (Eventually you become the thing you profess to hate!)

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Its the only way to make their over population strategy work. Control and ration , which is probably why the left loves mass immigration, as does the hard core capitalists, who see profit in shortages. It also explains the creation of such totalitarian crimes, such as ‘hate crimes’ , for having created such an unstable society with multiculturalism, someone speaking their mind can no longer be tolerated.

    • Posted May 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      The more overcrowded a country becomes, the more the people need to be controlled. Perhaps?

    • Prigger
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      The West always was the USSR but with more food and industry to start off. The slightest threat to food or water supply and socialists emerge from the ground like miner bees and pedal their hate philosophy

  45. NigelE
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Googling “water loss from pipes UK” shows articles that estimate that 20% of water is lost before it reaches the customer. Or rather, directly returned to nature, perhaps?

    Fix the leaks and we could increase the UK population by a further 10-12 million.

    Alternatively, perhaps the govt will encourage us to put water capture tanks on our roofs in place of solar panels ….

  46. Chris
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    We are still under the influence of the EU Water Framework Directive which “encourages” such measures as metering and standpipes rather than investing in large projects such as reservoirs, or pipelines from water surplus regions to water deficit regions. These large scale projects are to be regarded as last resort even though that will entail putting the population under strict measures and in some cases hardship.

    It is imperative that people should understand that the UK overall is NOT a water deficit region, but rather a water surplus region. Within the UK there are surplus and deficit areas. The simple answer is to construct pipelines, and reservoirs. Years ago Thirlmere in the LD was engineered to provide the water supply for a burgeoning Manchester. When we are in charge of our own policies again, the government can establish a sensible water framework policy which actually meets the needs of our population and which uses the resources available responsibly. There is no question that we can’t have a responsible water framework policy. People are on the whole very aware of the need to use water carefully and that it is a valued resource. However, with careful planning and investment in our infrastructure the problems of water deficit within the UK can be solved and governed by a policy which is sensible, science based and not ( Think of the fiasco of the Somerset floods due entirely to following the Water Framework Directive which was apparently focusing on returning river valleys to their natural state with active flood plains, and which made dredging of channels prohibitively expensive by classifying the sludge as the equivalent of toxic waste which had to be specially treated.

    The elephant in the room on all of this is too much pressure on infrastructure, including water supplies, by unlimited and unplanned for mass immigration. This has to be controlled in order for the UK to be able to calculate the resources necessary to support immigration, and to identify the point at which the demand on resources such as water is unsustainable.

  47. Edward2
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    In a normal business the more you sell the more money you make.
    In a monopoly there no incentive to increase supply as there is always the option to increase prices to ensure the revenues remain the same.
    Which is what utility companies are doing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Exacty and in the NHS they just try to deter people with delays, rationing and general incompetence, to save them money.

      Customers are just a damn nuisance to them as they have their money already.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Why don’t we leave it to the EU to make the decisions?

    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/index_en.htm

    After all it is obvious that across both Houses of Parliament most of its members do not want the UK government and Parliament to govern the country, they may like the status and perhaps the money of being in Parliament but they would much prefer to leave the governance of the UK to the proto-federal EU authorities.

    And it is now also obvious that in particular not only the Prime Minister but also the Chancellor of the Exchequer have no intention of ever allowing us to escape from EU supreme rule even if for a time we may no longer be formally in the EU.

    • Chris
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      I have tried to post about the conditions imposed by the EU Water Framework Directive but it has apparently not passed moderation.

      I agree with what you have posted on the EU and also May, and am hugely concerned about Theresa May now apparently wanting to extend transition even further. This, coupled with the revelation about Soros’s £6 billion war chest to help overturn the referendum result in 6 months, gives the strongest indication that we have to have a bold and decisive new leader and PM, utterly committed to Brexit. May has had her chance, and she has predictably blown it, in my view. Tory Brexiters please act now. You owe it to the country.

      • Alison
        Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Chris. Bold and decisive leader, and firm.

      • Bob
        Posted May 25, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        @Chris
        Agreed, wealthy foreigners should not be allowed to undermine our democracy.

  49. Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    This is the problem with a monopoly. Why should we spend money on improving the supply of our goods when if there is a shortage we can simply put up the price and make even more money? With bread someone else would enter the market if there was a shortage, but no-one else can come along an offer us a water supply. I’m very much against privatised monopolies, there is no incentive to make any improvements to their service. At least with a state run monopoly, one can apply pressure via one’s MP.

  50. acorn
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    JR, I think your diary has finally “Jumped the Shark” as they say in TV series land. SWL sums it up on his mainly macro blog, “Brexiter nonsense and policy entrepreneurs”.

  51. Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    “If we allowed full competition to supply domestic water as we now allow for commercial water, supply would expand to meet the demand. Let’s do just that.”

    I don’t think so!

    The water infrastructure requires massive investment – regardless of whether it is privately or publicly owned.

    Privatised water companies have demonstrated that they are just not up the job. People in central London left without water for days. Constant leaks.

    Privatised companies – many foreign-owned – have demonstrated they are very good at making a profit from their monopolies, but not so good at maintaining a properly functioning and reliable pipe and sewer network.

  52. Hope
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    JR, your govt allowed this. Spellman was Environment Secretary in 2010 and she made the point that the EU would not allow the build of reservoirs in the south east where it is desperately needed. The EU wanted to focus on leaks. Your govt mass immigration policy, once again, at the heart of this stupidity.

    Good article in Guido highlighting Cummings points on Brexit failures.

    Separately we read May ready to announce another extension to at least 2023! I think it is safe to say your party has signed its death warrant. Retainers publicly stated they would prefer Labour to leaving the EU. While you and leavers sit on your hands allowing this to unfold. If this transpires the Govt has no democratic legitimacy and needs to be brought down by whatever means. The purpose of elections becomes null and void. Even a geography graduate should be be able to work that out. May wants the UK to be a vassal state of the EU that has become clear. The people will not be happy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      But who was in a sufficiently powerful position to prevent the Tory party signing its own death warrant, and had strong enough reason to try to stop it? There are almost always other opportunities for retired politicians, there are honours and peerages and non-executive directorships and consultancies etc etc. Maybe Ken Livingstone will prove to be an exception that proves the rule, but only a rare exception.

  53. bigneil
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Limit bread and water? ?? and with talk on the radio this morning of taxes going up to fund the NHS partly due to a “growing population”, can you tell us when we officially become a Third World country. We may as well be, because the govt is importing them by the thousands a month, all getting their lives on our taxes. Unsustainable madness. Mrs May has agreed to take in “more” – a non number without a limit – -and the EU says mass immigration WILL continue. A working class numpty can see it CANNOT work – -why can’t our supposedly intelligent politicians?

  54. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    You make much sense Mr Redwood.

    However if immigration driven population explosion is such a good this why would there be downsides such as water ( or other) shortages. Surely our government has planned for infrastructure and not just increased the market size for business.

  55. Ian wragg
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Encouraging half a million immigrants yearly. All needing accommodation sanitation and everything else that makes up our society plus the wasteful rituals performed daily by certain sections of society. No wonder we have a water shortage.
    Cancelling all new reservoir as per Brussels was a master stroke.

  56. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I agree with you and you should check out the beautiful, Arabian-Nights-like Alhambra Palace and Gardens in Granada Spain, built by the Arabs 1000 years ago or whenever. The architecture and gardens incredible – but the centre of it all—water. Fountains. Ponds. Gently, trickling streams everywhere with extraordinary engineering to get the water up the steep hill. Not forgetting, Granada can be incredibly hot in summer like the desert.

    My point: to the Arabs, water is sacred gold – both materially and spiritually. And it should be for us as well.

  57. libertarian
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Just looking for another thing to ban and another thing to tax.

    I am so sick of politicians, government and the total void in innovative leadership

    • John
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Here here

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I see Dominic Cummings blog saying the things you should be saying John.

    He gets it all correct, apart from the NHS (where public sympathy is wearing thin, and lack of patient buying power is unsustainable), and skilled immigration where I dont think there is any public support for ongoing open doors.

    What do you think?

  59. ChrisK
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Many people are already on water-meters. Many more use grey water for watering plants, along with collected rainwater (as I do); some folk even flush their loos with it. What more is required of us? that we bathe in an inch of water or shower only for fifteen seconds? Reduce the amount we drink? ban the car-wash? ban aquariums? ban garden ponds? I do not know who has suggested we use less water but the worry is that some nutjob in Parliament will think it a great idea and heave with all their might to push it into law. Looking around me, I see no shortage of water right now; this is about punishing the population, pure and simple.

  60. ian
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Bankers and their parasites never cease to amaze me

  61. Tabulazero
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Funny that you would speak of bread and water rather than the astronomical cost British businesses will have to bear under the Brexiters’ max-fac plan.

    £20bn excluding any additional staff they may have to hire or custom duties.

    Didn’t think this one through, did you ?

    • Beecee
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Check out the Port of Felixtowe, a huge container port, and which essentially operates a form of Max-fac, shipping to Europe and the rest of the World.

      The way, and means, exist!

    • Edward2
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s just more project fear nonsense.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero

      Thats brilliant news….. Thats a saving of £13 billion per year then even if your figures are true

    • Helen Smith
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      That figure is a nonsense, as you well know, but if it were true it would be a one off set up cost that the government could always refund through the tariffs we would collect and keep here instead of sending to Brussels.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Strangely, Mr Redwood never talks to business, though he claims to be a businessman and an MP of the supposed party of business. His hatred of the EU overrides all concern for business.

      Reply What a lie

  62. rose
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    “There is no need to ration.2

    There is always a desire to ration when the powers that be are socialists.

    Billeting will be next.

  63. John Payne
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    John you don’t want to hear this but water should be a National asset and not privatised.

    If the Country owned our own National water system we could start linking all districts in order for water to be pumped from one area to the next, as needed.
    We could manager rivers better to ensure we don’t send excess fresh water back into the sea, and build more reservoirs

    I am not against privatisation but water must be classed as National asset in the same way we own our owned defence forces.

  64. Newmania
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Water is the staff of life.

    I see so just as a man may lean on his staff, so the personification of life itself leans upon water or do you mean the office of life?
    Without staff the “office of life” could not function , it must be staffed with nutrient and lubrication . They sit at the desks of life and play with the internet of life probably

    Thrilling and radical use of English must be encouraged

    • libertarian
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      More ignorance from you then.

      Google it

  65. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Mr Thompson the head of HMRC has “dramatically” intervened in the customs union debate to say that the max fac option “could” cost busines £20bn pa. This is because each of 200m consignments will cost an extra £32.50. (I make that about £6bn but never mind).

    MPs must request urgently to meet Mr Thompson and request a detailed explanation of his calculations. In the public interest I suggest this is televised. If he is right we must of course take this dramatic new information seriously. If it turns out it will just require an extra keystroke or two once the systems are set up, costing so little incremental work it can’t sensibly be estimated & the 200m x £32.50 x ?3 figure has been pulled out of thin air, then he should be fired for abusing a senior public office to try to influence an important political decision.

  66. Richard1
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    apologies I misread it – Iditarod £32.50 x 200m all for U.K. businesses it will be £20bn pa!

  67. lojolondon
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, you are absolutely correct in what you say. Unfortunately I saw this coming years ago. Remember in 2012 we experienced what the pundits referred to as a ‘sustained drought’? We were informed by the ‘Environment Agency’ that even if we had heavy rain for several years it would sake several years for the drought to break and decades for the water table to replenish itself.
    Worst of all was the government and utilities response, which, as usual, was that the only way to have enough water for British people would be to substantially increase the cost of water. A sustained campaign from the utilities, lots of scaremongering by the MSM and outspoken support for MP’s and ‘experts’ on every side completely prepared the way.
    Then, as we know that all changed in one week, there were widespread country-wide floods and the main struggle was to stay dry and to house people who’s homes were devastated by the deluge.
    Since then, to my knowledge, there has been ZERO investment in our water supply systems, no new dams built, no new pipelines, and no new control systems, so we all knew the exact same problem would soon arise, and here it is.

    By the way, whenever the UK is short of NHS services, teachers, houses, water, power, transport facilities, police or any other resource that is taken for granted in modern Western democracies, the politicians, media, various experts, utilities etc. are united in their studious avoidance of any mention of the 600,000 people who come to our small country every year. That is unless they make a statement to the effect that ‘this has nothing to do with immigration’. But we all know the truth, it does, directly and profoundly.

  68. libertarian
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic

    Hope you’ve read Dominic Cummins report into your governments Brexit failure

    He’s right and the Tories will not get elected a third time just because they aren’t Labour.

    May goes and someone takes over who implements very quickly an exit plan or the Conservative Party is finished… for good

    • Helen Smith
      Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I won’t vote Tory next time unless we leave properly. I don’t think I have ever been so disgusted with politicians, Mr Redwood and his fellow Brexiteers excepted, than I am today, might as well let Corbyn negotiate leaving, at least we won’t have to have a ‘peoples vote’ that way.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        Helen, its all very well admiring John, JRM etcbut what have any of them done to try and oust Mrs May?

  69. Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, Brexit developments suggest May has the measure of genuine Brexiteers in her party. I refer to power politics rather than the merits of the case for and against.

    Rees-Mogg will express dissatisfaction at regular intervals but he will not move to unseat the Prime Minister. So she can string the process out for longer. “May has chosen to let the EU border become a monster. It need not have happened, but she has seen the advantages. It can be used as an excuse when the shocking details come out. ” (Peter Divey Comment Central)

    The recent defeatist comments from Mr. Rees-Mogg are tantamount to an admission the game is up:-
    “ For the Government to be preparing for failure two-and-a-half years before the point at which they ought to be ready is just weak.”

  70. nigel seymour
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Viv Garfield was on am tv and seems a capable girl. By her own admission she talks very fast which reminded me of Jonathan Powell. She said that water charges are good value at less than a pound per day, so 365 x 99p = 361 pa…thankfully my bill is 132 pa on a meter. Can I look forward to a huge increase in my charges because I’m a careful user of the most important thing on the planet?

  71. Blue and Gold
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Having a water meter must be mandatory ie. pay for what each household actually uses.

    Water is every living persons right to have, so should be nationalised and not be in private hands.

  72. Helen Smith
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I live in the crowded South East, new houses going up everywhere, but not a single new reservoir. Instead we have been forced to go on a water metre (rationing by any other name).

  73. Michael
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    No need to ration bread we can import shiploads of wheat..water is a different thing because of the population size..it will have to be carefully managed..water is free at source but has to be stored and treated and thereafter delivered..to do this without waste or leaking through broken pipelines is the challenge..water like fresh air are the two absolute necessities for human and animal life..neither should be privitised ever, to allow for profit taking by private consortiums or PLCs

    Just listening to Macron and Putin speaking in St Petersburg on Euro news and can’t help thinking how lucky the French are to have such a charismatic and clear speaking clear thinking young leader..can’t help wondering but it looks very like to me that the ground is being prepared for future Russian inclusion to the EU..some commentators think this could be the case over ten twenty years or so with fast tracking..some say there is a vacancy there at the table now with UK leaving..interesting times ahead

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Macron delivered a very deftly composed speech,his “love letter to Russia”(Boris take note!) but it’s much more likely the wreckage of the EU will be absorbed into an expanding Eurasian Union than Russia enters the EU.

      At a later seminar with Macron,Shinzo Abe,the Chinese deputy PM and the fragrant (but curiously rather frail-looking) Christine Lagarde,Mr Putin offered to look after European security so those troublesome Americans can be sent home!

  74. John
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    all I can see is us taking on the poor populated countries population.

    That means more energy, more building etc etc. Then we get fined for pollution, we get fined for delays, we get fined for using water.

    Someone bring sense to the world and let us manage our borders.

    I do not want 1 million more homes. I don’t want loads more reservoirs.

    When have you been asked John to build 100 thousand more flats and flood that valley and village?

  75. VotedOut
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Water is a resource that everyone needs.

    The more people you have here the less resource there is available.

    Unrestricted immigration will result in fewer resources for everyone. This is not being racist – its being sensible.

    The UK population is projected to grow by 500,000 a year, or roughly a city the size of Liverpool every year. This is the fastest rate in nearly a century.

    A vote to leave the EU and return control to the UK on immigration and other matters was passed 700 days ago.

    Since then not a lot has happened, apart from offering to pay the EU billions because we have ‘obligations’. Well, Germany had an obligation to pay the UK £3.6trillion for WWII reparations that were written off by the UK. According to all this, we British must pay, but the Germans enjoy debt right-off. Why is it that I cannot understand this?

  76. Simon Coleman
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    The market is your equivalent of a religion…a way of believing, thinking, acting. All from one perspective only. But while a religion has (potentially) the capacity to guide human life in the face of different challenges, the market can only do one thing: fix supply and demand problems. But there’s just one difficulty with this: it doesn’t fix them! Gas, electricity, rail…we’ve been down this road of failure many times. Privatised companies cut corners and don’t invest for the long term. And as for accountability to customers – zero. You are completely bankrupt of ideas. Have you ever wondered why the market-obsessed Tory right can never put forward a credible candidate to be Prime Minister (unless you count that great unrealised talent, Ian Duncan-Smith!)? Because your ideas don’t work in the real world. Why don’t you go back to the obscure economics lecture halls from where you emanated and leave politics to sensible, non-fanatics with knowledge of the real world.

    Reply How is Venezuela getting on by not believing in markets?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      It’s a belief which runs all the way through the EU treaties, at least ostensibly …

  77. Prigger
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    BBC Question Time did the usual broken record “Customs Union, Single Market, Control of Borders, the reasoning and outcome of this which was decided and written in stone 23rd June 2016.

    Bizarre ideas that a university or workplace should be “re-pre-sent-ative” of something other than persons with the highest exam results and those able to do the best job.

    The brightest moment was when a member of the audience rhetorically asked if it would be electoral suicide if a Party said they would increase taxes for the NHS. Well of course it would. The general public will virtue-signal to a door-to-door canvasser that they would support it. But they wouldn’t. I wouldn’t. I won’t.

    They thought a cross party solution had to be found for financing for the long term. This was echoed in “This Week” which I survived watching for just four minutes. It gets worse.

    No government can make a long-term solution. It does not know our projected population levels, regional variations, our national income, or our employments…heavy industry with injuries or financial world with terrible stress levels. Local Government increase in incompetence and vast wastage of money is however a known.

  78. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 25, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    @Libertarian,

    People been thinking the same since Adam and Eve!

    Look at how God blessed Egypt – through Joseph, a Jew and Vizier of all Egypt, the most powerful politician in the world at the time. Whether Joseph existed or not, the Christian God is sending us a very clear message through the Bible, about how He will bless us, in extraordinary ways, if we follow His Rules / Spirit, instead of our own.

    The biggest statue outside Parliament should really be of Joseph, Vizier of Egypt, in his multi-coloured coat (and the second biggest statue, that of Winston Churchill)! Imagine how amazing, incredible the UK would be if we did that (instead of each generation making the same – and different – mistakes, again and again and again – predictable and humdrum).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      So our political leaders couldn’t have better role models than the Jewish Vizier of Ancient Egypt, Joseph, and the Christian Chancellor of Germany, Adenauer (and Winston Churchill as a wartime leader).

  79. Peter Davies
    Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    And we have the means to move water from one side of the country to the other if we wanted – canals……..

    • Brit
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Canals…we must be careful after we leave the EU, there will be many a remoaner depressed and glum as the Chancellor seeking out deep water to make a quick trip to the furnaces below to meet their mentor. RIP

  80. John Barneby
    Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The proposal that water should be rationed is a symptom of Central Government reluctance build the infrastructure needed to cope with the huge increase in population in the South East. Houses are being built ( a good thing if they are where they are needed) but roads are not being upgraded. Western Oxfordshire houses are being built without connections to sewerage, new schools will only be built after the increase in population has happened and all roads are overcrowded with no public transport available in many villages. The changes in planning should not be to allow developers to make a quick buck but to produce homes in which people can live in civilized surroundings.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Why is it a ‘good thing’ that houses are being built. Building ore homes just stimulates more demand in areas that are already overcrowded making life miserable for people already living there. Demand is insatiable – the way we are going it will only fall when the south east becomes such a concrete ridden hellhole nobody wants to live there anymore. Sadly that’s the best we can hope for looking at our current crop of Conservative ‘leaders’.

      The greenies used to say building more roads just fuels demand but that logic is never applied to houses

  81. John S
    Posted May 25, 2018 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I remember some silly girl on a TV programme saying that water is the new oil. Her remarks went unchallenged of course.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      According to a 2017 interview with Sergei Ivanov,Mr Putin’s ecology adviser(and former chief of staff),there are some economists who believe that at some future stage Russia,with it’s vast,replenishable reserves of fresh water, will earn more from this source than from oil.

    • hefner
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Considering the situation in the Middle East, with the water disputes over the rivers Jordan (Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine), Tigris, Euphrates (Turkey, Syria, Iraq), the tensions existing between India and Bengladesh around dams on the Brahmaputra, and the problems around the Nile between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, the Indus between India and Pakistan, I wonder who is sillier: the TV programme girl or the distinguished participant to this blog.

  82. Ken Moore
    Posted May 25, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    ‘If we need an additional reservoir, put it in’.

    Where are these extra reservoirs going to be sited Dr Redwood ? ….we already need to make space for millions of new homes and ‘garden cities’ because the idiots in charge failed to prevent an easily foreseeable problem with mass immigration. Then we need to work out where the extra schools, hospitals , factories etc. are going?. I’m sure it can be done if we throw away our childrens birthright and make life here almost unbearable. How are we going to pay for this infrastructure when we can barely afford to maintain our existing roads and provide an acceptable healthcare system.

    Perhaps bread will be rationed soon – it won’t be a bank that fails when the General financial crisis part 2 hits us it could be our currency. Mired in debt with dwindling energy reserves and an economy based towards low value adding service jobs we are in a dangerous position.

  83. Mark
    Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Your colleague Mr Heappey seems to think we should ration food. Speaking recently in a debate on the Helm report on energy he said:

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is doing great things on waste. I accept the criticism of Professor Helm and others in this place that agriculture has been lagging behind. Representing a farming constituency, I know exactly why that is the case. It will be very challenging when we have to start telling people that they need to reduce their consumption of meat, milk, cheese and everything else in the interest of decarbonisation, but that conversation is surely coming.

    Which party is he really in?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. 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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