Dear energy fuels de industrialisation in the UK

Much of industry needs plentiful supplies of low cost energy. Industry is about transforming basic materials taken from the earth into materials, and then cutting, shaping and assembling these into manufactured goods. Transformation of silica into glass or iron ore into steel or oil into plastic requires very large amounts of heat energy. Creating components and final products from materials requires substantial energy to cut, shape, bend, bolt, glue and assemble.

The UK following EU rules and guidance has decided on a dear energy policy. Unsurprisingly this has triggered de industrialisation. The government says it has an industrial strategy, but its energy policy makes it more and more likely that industry will gravitate to  cheap energy USA or lower cost China than stay at home. In the name of decarbonising our industry we will end up importing more industrial products from countries that burn as much or more carbon per unit of output but at cheaper prices. We have already lost most of our aluminium industry from this problem, and seen a  big reduction in  our steel industry and petrochemical capacity.

Let’s take the current case of the steel industry.

 

British Steel made a profit of £92m to March 2017, and a loss of £29m to March 2018. Losses have probably  got worse since March 2018. Turnover rose in the year 2017-18. The main problems were

 

  1. The crippling costs of the EU carbon permits scheme. BSC had to find more than 10% of turnover for this item alone, leading to a UK government loan to cover the £120 m carbon tax.
  2. Dear energy costs, with UK electricity  substantially dearer than  US electricity thanks to the EU/UK energy policy
  3. Intense competition lowering steel prices in Europe, as countries like China diverted steel away from the US market following tariff impositions there. Prices fell around 15%.
  4. High cost of debt finance introduced by rescue company Greybull who took the company  over for £1 in 2016

 

The business is being offered for sale in whole or parts by the Receiver with bids closing 12 June.

 

Possible solutions

The business needs cheaper energy one way or another. It needs assistance to counter the high costs of the carbon tax, if we are to use energy here to make steel instead of import it. There will be some kind of refinancing with a probable reduction in debt service costs as a result of the Administration. It can work at more sales of specialist steels with higher value added, as they seek to do, and can ask for more sensible help in gaining UK domestic orders for the their rail and construction steel products. Many of the solutions needed to help them require permissions within EU rules over contracts, competition, and subsidies, or are simply illegal.

 

The single biggest cause of the financial collapse of this business is the huge energy bill from dear energy combined with carbon permits. I have always urged the EU and UK government to understand dear energy means de industrialisation, but they refuse to listen.

 

The company owns some crucial plants – 4 blast furnaces, a Basic Oxygen facility, 4 casters and 3 mills.

I used to be responsible for Darlington Simpson rolling mills (not a BSC facility)) to make long and flat product so I have past working knowledge of part of the industry.

 

 

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197 Comments

  1. Martyn G
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    There is no doubt that you are absolutely correct in your assessment and I suspect that the government has no real interest in doing anything about extraordinarily high energy costs, because they are in thrall to the ‘green blob’, who seem intent on taking the UK back to the stone age. Ably supported by all those MP and Ministers who want the UK to become totally carbon free – an insane, idiotic and probably unachievable policy that will complete the ruination of our nation.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Zero emissions is the latest article of belief for the Green religion. This new religion is an extraordinary set of arrogant beliefs. It claims that it not only knows that (1) CO2 levels are the cause of climate change (2) it is able to control global temperatures and therefore the climate by controlling CO2 and (3) measures can be devised to achieve this. Yet this is the world inflicted on us by a group of extreme and extremely motivated campaigners since c1990 if not earlier. I heard one them, the first man to be appointed head of the IPPC in the early 1990s arguing the case for reducing carbon emissions and also arguing that there was nothing like putting the frighteners on the population as an instrument of persuasion – a version of what we now know as Project Fear, clearly a principal tool of persuasion adopted by the political class. The propagandists then took control, ignoring the scientific advice in a c2002/3 IPCC report that the global climate was a chaotic system and as such not capable of full comprehension let alone control. It would appear that several candidates for the Conservative party leadership were too stoned at the time to notice.

      • Elli Ron
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        The rationalists have lost the argument with the green lobby about human causes of the global warming (if even that it true).
        What we need to fight is the insane trajectory the government is taking “net zero” etc.
        I’m not against this in principle, reducing CO2 will reduce pollution, but the completely insane policy of impoverishing the UK for no reason, is beyond me.
        The UK produces about 1% of global CO2, while 90% is produced by countries who are refusing to reduce their carbon production.
        China is opening two coal power stations per week, they are supporting $700bn projects all over the world of building new coal power stations.

        This trajectory is leading to massive fuel poverty in the population, it will lead to most industry to move elsewhere.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      In the last PMQs Long Bailey switched from complaining about the Government’s lack of action over climate change, to complaining that Government wasn’t saving British steel, and then going back to her greenery agenda and she didn’t get jeered out of Parliament. It shows what a rotten Parliament this is, they are so full of their virtue signalling that they either don’t know or don’t care that it takes almost a ton of coal to make a ton of steel.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        She is extraordinarily ignorant. Like most MPs on the left, and unfortunately many on the right, she does not understand what the term ‘debt’ means. Eg She thinks, like McDonnell, that issuing bonds directly to the owners of expropriated businesses is somehow different from paying in cash. She clearly has no grasp at all of the magnitude or feasibility (or legality) of the intended programme of expropriation, nationalisation and other seizures. And probably no ability to make a mental connection between green policies, costs in industry and competitiveness.

        I don’t suppose these people will actually get elected, but it does give pause for thought that our political structures allow people like Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and long bailey to be a theoretical alternative govt.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

          Of course they will get elected. The Tory Party is about to crown another Remainer (Boris will not be in the final two) and the Brexit Party will take enough of their votes to give us a Labour government.

      • Hope
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        They all herald wind farms but fail to mention STOR diesel powered generators are used as the back up when wind machines are not working! Hammond then goes on to hammer diesel cars.

        Tory govt is costing us jobs, industry, national security based on our ability to make industrial products. All their stupid brainless policies are forcing jobs abroad without any impact whatsoever on the world emissions. That is why sensible Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement, it transfer jobs and industries to our competitors to give China and the likes an unfair advantage.

        Meanwhile Tory govt transfixed to a sixteen year old girl. Complete idiots not fit for purpose.

        Now the Tory candidates to BECOME PM are all trying to out beat each other claiming how they took drugs! Cut police numbers by 20,000 prevent stop and search. Given the worst record in forty years on knife crime and murder you would think they would recuse themselves from putting themselves forward and resign from public office for being complicit in the wider criminality drugs cause, not try legalising them. That includes Johnson, Gove, Stewart, Leadsom. These were intelligent considered choices to break the law not mistakes. Consider the plight of prostitutes, sex slave trade, gun crime, child abuse, knife crime. These candidates have no shame or sense of responsibility. They should never be a PM, in cabinet or an MP.

        Certain jobs specifically exclude people with conviction for drugs, i.e. Doctors, nurses and teachers. The latter introduced by one Michael Gove MP! Hypocrisy does not begin to to fairly state the position that those who participate in drugs should not be law makers.

        • Hope
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Come to think of it, is this why Charlie Gove wants a ban on plastic straws as it gives him temptation? Presumably has has firm white lines instead of Mayhabs red ones?

          • Hope
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Is it any wonder the Tories are soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime and soft on sentencing.

            Gove needs to taking to task on his answers to Marr today. How could he be deemed fit to hold any public office. I do not believe any of his answers. Including how he thinks everyone deserves a second chance when it is clear he banned teachers for life! He could not remember if he claimed on his US visa application whether he declared he took illegal drugs!

            From what he said he will continue with Mayhabs servitude plan and extend without a date for departure. He could only say before the next election! Six years after the referendum! You cannot believe a word he says. Perhaps his faulty memory due to the concoction of mind changing substances. No wonder remainers are pledging for him.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      MP seem more interested in advice from children like Greta Thunberg (nobel prize nominee) with her group “Fridays For Future” awarded Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience 2019.

      Why bother listening to real scientist and energy engineers when we have these brilliant children to help us? Next let these children help us design cars, aircraft, space ships, rockets …… who need these experienced scientist and engineers when green belief systems and childish emotions & religion is so much simpler and an excellent excuse for higher taxes and more government?

      • Hope
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the Tory government ought to listen to the public more and be in tune to public opinion. For example, as Conservative Woman points out the majority do not want their 4 year old children taught about LGBT relationships. It is not for Nick Gibb or Hinds to force the public to accept their low standards in morals or value and in life. Nor is it for them to go against people’s teaching in religion whether Jew, Christian or Muslim.

        If one considers the Children and Young Persons Act 1989 introduced by Tories it could be viewed as child abuse to cause emotional abuse of children brought up in families vehemently opposed to such lifestyles brought up in devout religious households.

        This sort of issue needs public consent not forced upon society like gay marriage without a manifesto or Queens speech. If Tories want to introduce such measures to support vocal minority lobby groups put it to the test of the majority. That is democracy.

        • hefner
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          “The majority do not want their 4 year old taught about LGBT relationships”.
          Absolutely no problem as from 2020 relationships, sex and health education will become compulsory in all SECONDARY schools. As for primary schools, only health and relationships will be on the program.

          One must have be stoned to believe that 4-year olds will be taught about LGBT relationships.

          • Hope
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            I read letters in papers from relatives appalled how their five year olds were asking why boys want to be girls. Quite disgusting.

            In light of all the self confessed drug taking by MPs. Routine testing need to be brought in.

          • rose
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            This is the legacy of Harriet Harman and her time bomb legislation on Equality. It reaches into everywhere, costing, confusing, clogging, as it goes. There will be no end to the damage it will do or the numbers of commisars it will require to enforce.

      • Norman
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        “And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” (Isaiah 3:4 – see negative context!)

    • Mark B
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      This carbon free nonsense is just that, nonsense ! Even if we abolish all manufacturing we would still need to import goods that were produced using fossil fuels.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        MarkB
        Totally agree with you
        And in reply to your remark t’other day…I did not come third …I came a disappointing second!!!!
        Assuming that’s what you meant🤔

        • Mark B
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Apologies.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            MarkB
            Thanks!🌸

    • Richard
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      The green obsession hurts consumers even more than it is destroying EU manufacturing competitiveness:
      “The third release of the EU Commission’s periodic study of global electricity and gas prices for the first time compares the EU 28 with the whole of the G20 for the period 2008 to 2016. EU 28 household electricity prices are now more than double those in the G20, while industrial electricity prices are now nearly 50% higher.” https://www.thegwpf.com/eu-commission-study-reveals-international-competitive-disadvantage-of-climate-policies/ https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/energy_prices_and_costs_-final_report-v12.3.pdf

  2. /IKH
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    There is nothing in this post I disagree with. But there is much left out. The key issues are around ‘Global Warming’ or the more politically correct term ‘Climate Change’. Is Carbon Dioxide the big lever of ‘Global Warming’ or is it just a minor adjuster.

    I am a computer scientist and software engineer and have taken a strong interest in the science and Maths of man made ‘Global Warming’. If ‘man made CO2 was a big lever of ‘Global Warming’ then it might be a reason for CO2 pricing and higher energy costs.

    The reality is that it is very most likely that CO2 is a small adjuster of ‘Global Warming’ . Probably around 1 degree C for each doubling of CO2. Not the IPCC’s figure of 3.2 degrees C per doubling.

    There are many scientists who support this view but they are silenced by the MSM ( Main Stream Media ) including the BBC.

    Before you can get a sensible discussion on energy pricing you have to fix the problem of the left environmentalists, fixing the discussion on ‘man made Global Warming’.

    /ikh

    • agricola
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Before we get carried away with dubious politically led theory we should consider fact.

      The sun is the driver of climate and has been since the Earth was created. Way before the iron age, the begining of industrial polution/revolution, we suffered extreme climate changes. Ice ages and sub tropical periods were the norm in the UK. Mitigation is our only course of sensible action. If for example Venice is becoming increasingly vulnerable and is worth saving, we build sea defences to ensure it’s survival. However do not leave it to a totally corrupt Italy.

      We have made a basic mistake of allowing climate change to be tied into the environment. The environment is man made and it’s correction is in mans hands. From slaughtering elephants and rhinos for their body parts to dumping all our rubbish in the sea, we the human species are in control and to date 100% guilty. Highly desirable though it is to halt the rape of the environment, even if achieved I doubt it would effect climate one iota. Other benefits in health for instance would be measurable.

      The great unwashed of Westminster Bridge are just disciples of Canute in their desire to battle the reality of the Sun.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        /IKH, Agricola

        As a non scientist my view is “it’s the sun stupid” and the stupid human race.

        Over population and our housekeeping of the planet are outrageous, CO2 is a red herring. It doesn’t help to have academic dreamers fantasising about human space travel and colonies. They should be using their brainpower on e.g. cold fusion.

        It’s June our central heating has been on the last few days!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Indeed but King Canute was setting out to demonstrate that the tide would come in regardless of his kingly powers.

        • agricola
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Then he was on a no brainer. I always thought he was trying to demonstrate his power to stop the tide. The tide being yet another demonstration of the power of the sun with a little help from the moon and current air pressure. Thanks for the correction.

    • Andy
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Your problem is simple.

      There discussion about man made climate change is ‘fixed’ for the same reason that discussion about whether the world is flat is ‘fixed’.

      Because the science is settled and the world has moved on.

      You are still having an argument that you lost 20 years ago.

      Incidentally, some people still think the world is flat. The MSM – as you describe non-conspiracy theorist proper journalists still occasional speak to flat Earthers. And Lord Lawson still gets a staggering amount of airtime for a man who knows less about climate science than an average teenager.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        That is a calumny. Lord Lawson was a highly successful energy secretary in his time. His foundation has the support of and is advised by a number of distinguished scientists, so there are experts on both sides.

        But Lord Lawson does not hold himself out as an expert, he simply observes that the predicted warming and extreme weather events which the climate models have predicted the last 40 years havent come about. That being the case, we should pause for thought before we rush through policies such as those which have led to the bankruptcy of British Steel – or the poisoning of children with diesel fumes. Seems reasonable enough doesn’t it?

      • Richard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        The science is far from settled: https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/10/climate-change-no-its-not-97-percent-consensus-ian-tuttle/

        31,487 American Scientists signed a petition supporting a Summary of Peer-Reviewed Research in 2008, concluding that: “Human use of coal, oil, and natural gas has not harmfully warmed the Earth, and the extrapolation of current trends shows that it will not do so in the foreseeable future. The CO2 produced does, however, accelerate the growth rates of plants and also permits plants to grow in drier regions… [ceteris parabus] the diversity of plant and animal life is increased.” http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php

      • Richard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        “In 2006 the BBC held a secret meeting in which it decided to block climate skeptics from appearing on the national broadcaster based on the views of the “best scientific experts.” But …only two climate scientists attended and the other 26 members included BBC’s head of comedy, Greenpeace activists, charity fundraisers and lobbyists for environmental groups. Since then the BBC relied on the findings of the meeting to block airtime to dissenters of global warming alarmism.” https://principia-scientific.org/28-gate-bbc-crisis-deepens-in-exposure-of-rigged-and-unlawful-climate-policy/

      • libertarian
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        20 years ago the same scientists were predicting we would all die from acid rain, turned out to be complete cobblers .

        I see that the Glacier National Park Quietly Removes Its ‘Gone by 2020’ Signs

        You seem to believe anything youre told by anyone who claims to be a self appointed expert

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

        Nothing you say alters the fact we hove outsourced the manufacture of goods to countries with cheap, coal-fired energy.

    • Peter Miller
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I agree almost entirely, except the effect on global temperature of doubling the level of CO2 is 1.15 degrees C, that’s called CO2 forcing. Just about everyone agrees on this figure.

      Where the pseudo-science comes in is with CO2 feedback, which is the effect of what happens when the temperature increases by 1.15 degreees C. The satellites and geological record say “not much at all, if anything”, while the IPCC and lefty politicians say “lots.” To be fair, the trend in scientific papers on CO2 feedback is in a downward trend, 15 years ago it was about 3 degrees C (mildly scary), now it is around 1 degree C (much less scary).

      Maybe in another decade or two, this trend should/could approach zero (not scary at all).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        There will almost certainly be negative feedbacks making it less of a problem and not positive ones making matters far worse – the science suggests this quite clearly.

        Interestingly some BBC climate reporters and presenters are so completely ignorant of science that they do not understand what “positive feedback” is in the engineering sense! Thinking it to be a good thing like someone saying “well done sir” perhaps (in some reporting of the issue)! They also often confuse “power” with “energy” yet again showing total scientific ignorance.

        Roger Harrabin is the BBC’s Environment “Analyst” and alarmist in chief is a Cambridge English Graduate.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Rises in CO2 lag behind the rise in temperature. The opposite of what the alarmists claim. Water vapour is the most potent greenhouse gas, far more effective than CO2 or Methane. I covered this phenomenon at Uni in the mid 1970’s. At that time, the ‘consensus’ was that another ice age was well overdue and the world should prepare for that eventuality.

        • hefner
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Jagman84, Indeed H2O is much more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 or CH4, but one has also to account for the timescales. The total amount of water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere is “recycled” typically over five days through evaporation/precipitation. A molecule of Methane has a lifetime of around 10 years, one of carbon dioxide of around 200 years.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        The pseudoscience comes in as soon as the fact that the sun controls the ocean temperatures which affects the partial pressure of dissolved CO2 which is exchanged with atmospheric CO2 to maintain pressure equilibrium, thereby controlling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and not the other way round, is conveniently ignored. CO2 is as vital to marine life as it is to the rest of the planet.

      • Richard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Professor Richard Lindzen on ‘the Iris Effect’: “we found that the areal coverage of tropical cirrus …does decrease with temperature, and that this effect was sufficient to more than cancel the commonly assumed water vapor feedback which is essential to predictions of high climate sensitivity.
        There immediately followed a series of papers that criticized our work. Each of these criticisms was easy to dismiss, and we did so in published responses. However, subsequent papers inevitably referred to our paper as ‘discredited,’ and never referred to our responses to the criticism. However, the fact that upper level tropical cirrus shrinks with increasing surface temperature has been confirmed in several subsequent papers.” https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/06/18/a-conversation-with-prof-richard-lindzen/
        The 243 Peer-reviewed publications on Climate Science that Prof. R Lindzen co-authored 1965-2016 are referenced at the bottom of that article.
        Here is his 2018 lecture:
        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6259555/Climate-scientist-says-climate-claims-nonsense-coral-reefs-not-danger.html

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed the climate is not at all that sensitive to CO2 as is very clear from the science. Millions of other variables some known and many unknown and unknowable. It is not science it is politics and a new fiery hell religion.

      Anyway slightly warm is a good thing on balance as is more CO2 in the atmosphere as it greens the planet and increases crop yields.

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        CO2 is essential to plant life. I understand that below c150ppm plant life is not supported.. Tomatoes grow very well in a greenhouse where CO2 increases to c900ppm. My question is this. Do the vegan advocates of zero emissions and carbon capture know what they wish for? Or is their opinion of human beings such that we all deserve to die?

        PS the maximum level considered supportable in US submarines, which remain under water for months on end, is 5000ppm.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Same in UK boats. During the 60s we kept CO2 higher to make the crew less likely to be a nuisance.
          I see Mark Harper is telling Boris Johnson exactly the opposite of what’s needed. Telling him to scrap October deadline for leaving the EU. If it goes beyond that the Tories are a busted flush.

      • Richard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        In the Ordovician Period, 400 Mya there was an Ice Age despite CO2 concentrations that were c4400 ppm- 11 times higher than now. http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/05/04/more-trees-please/#comment-1018305

        • hefner
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          Ordovician: O2 at 13.5% vol, CO2 4200 ppm, 2C above present temperature, sea level 120 to 180 m above present level, different distribution of the continents. A perfect comparison to 2019?

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      /IKH, I agree with your post, particularly your last two sentences.

      If the government does not fund scientific research to disprove as well as to confirm the IPCC views on climate change then environmental science has become a religion and we are in danger of becoming no better than the established authorities of the 17th century who continued to believe that the earth was the centre of the universe despite the work of Copernicus and Galileo.

      Belief in AGW has all the aspects of a religion including the “no-platforming” of opposing views by our state broadcaster, the BBC, and the ultimate threat of hellfire and damnation – only this time coming in our lifetime and not after death.

  3. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    The key would appear to be outside the EU and their industry destroying carbon tax. We also need to exploit shale gas with no more pussy footing with the Nimby/Luddite element who given half a chance would halt all progress. I liken the level of decision making and required leadership to that needed in wartime. I have yet to see this level of resolution emerging from the collection of leadership hopefuls we have to date been presented with. I hope you know them better when you come to making a decision.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Agricola

      “no more pussy footing with the Nimby/Luddite element who given half a chance would halt all progress.”

      To be honest they have such a chip on their shoulder that left wing activism is the only thing that gets them out of the house. They also get to show off their latest multi coloured knitwear, which they created at home instead of being out doing an honest day’s graft.

      They love it when the cameras are on them when the police try to restore order – theatrical performances of the act of dying and being victims of non existent police brutality etc.

  4. Peter
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    If the issue of the cheaper energy was addressed the UK steel industry would still have to deal with cheaper foreign labour costs. This may not matter for speciality steels but it does matter for standard steel. There will always be cheaper labour somewhere overseas.

    So something else needs to be done to address foreign competition.

    This is crucial as steel has a strategic importance as well as an economic one.

    Reply. This is a heavily capital and energy intensive industry. Employment cost is not the problem

    • Peter
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Reply. This is a heavily capital and energy intensive industry. Employment cost is not the problem

      It is not just energy costs though.

      You do not address the issue of steel dumping when there is worldwide overcapacity in the industry. Look at the USA in the Reagan era :-

      On Sept. 22, 1984, President Reagan took to the airwaves to denounce “predatory practices” that had made America a “steel dump for the rest of the world.” “That simply isn’t acceptable,” said Reagan, as he pledged “swift, effective action.” He was true to his word.

      “Voluntary export restraints” were imposed on steel dumpers who had grabbed 26.4 percent of US market. Imports were rolled back to 18.5 percent. With the U.S. market cordoned off for U.S. steel, $22 billion in investment capital poured into the industry. Productivity soared.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      In Brexit they now think they have the perfect get-out for the coming poverty in the UK.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        There are strategic and economic reasons for using home labour – the costs of an unemployed steel workers do not go away.

        The mining communities are still there – they don’t mine any more but they are still there and their ‘wages’ cost the taxpayer more than ever. In fact the unemployed families live a higher standard than the miners ever aspired to and there are also the huge costs of the Jeremy Kyle problems that come with dispossessed communities and men without pride.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        We have the lowest unemployment in a generation at 3.8% and falling , there are currently 840,000 unfilled full time jobs

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          But try finding a job with a pension and a wage that will pay a mortgage.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            Anon

            Average wage in UK is £29009

            I can find you 1000’s of jobs . You seem unaware that every single job whether full or part time has now by law a pension with it. Try googling workplace pensions

    • Ian terry
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Peter

      So something else needs to be done to address foreign competition.

      Build into the design specification and contracts British Steel only. Totally justified when you take in the carbon footprint and costs of importing all the foreign steel.

  5. Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Roger Helmer was saying this even before the referendum.
    Nobody listened then either.
    So thousands of men are laid off, their families impoverished, local businesses ruined and the Green Lunacy smiles all the way to the Vegan Restaurant.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      “…and the Green Lunacy smiles all the way to the Vegan Restaurant.”

      But probably gets a slap or two before arriving.

  6. Know-Dice
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Isn’t there an issue with the EU suspending free carbon credits to British Steel?

    If so, why hasn’t the UK taken the EU to the ECJ?

    Why doesn’t the UK suspend it’s participation in the EU carbon trading scheme?

    • jerry
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      @Know-Dice; But its cheaper to buy steel from our once competitors….

      Here in the UK we seem to know the price of everything but the worth of nothing. 🙁

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Then pretend we have cut CO2 output by exporting the jobs and industry and have probably in reality increase it.

        • jerry
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          @LL; Same will happen with EVs, as happened with Catalytic converters, clean air here in the UK but pollution caused elsewhere due to mining of raw memorials or production of finished components.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Agreed, I understand that the EU is no longer issuing carbon credits to us, even though May has agreed we remain part of the EU carbon trading scheme until 2020, and our politicians remain silent, they probably think it would be xenophobic or racist to champion our own nation’s interests.

  7. Kevin
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Try as I might, I cannot imagine you being allowed to make this argument
    on television. Admittedly, in the aftermath of the referendum, I gave up on that
    medium. This post, however, is brief and lucidly written. If all MPs had to
    make their case in this way, we would see who is capable of responding to
    you, as distinct from the types that shake their heads as you speak on camera.

  8. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Because you have been in the industry, you know. because most politicians have not, they do not.

    That is the problem, not just with this situation, but with so many others as well.

    There is no substitute for actual working experience.

    That is why we must stop career Mp’s following the academic bag carrying route to power.

    I wonder how many past trawlermen/lorry drivers/mechanics/product designers/engineers/construction workers/civil engineers/electricians/scientists and the like, are at the moment in Parliament

    • Nigl
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      And cradle to grave civil servants, probably more of a problem

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Beyond the grave – we have many dynasties Kinnocks, Gummers, Benns, Johnsons, Mandelsons ……

    • Fred H
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Alan….you wonder ‘how many past trawlermen/lorry drivers/mechanics/product designers/engineers/construction workers/civil engineers/electricians/scientists and the like, are at the moment in Parliament?’ No doubt some, BUT the ruling few who are listened to are the privileged, Eton schooled ‘do as I say’ fools who are clueless as to the real world and its driving forces.

      • Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Fred H – Do you mean the type of people that The Brexit Party are recruiting?

    • bigneil
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      ” I wonder how many past trawlermen/lorry drivers/mechanics/product designers/engineers/construction workers/civil engineers/electricians/scientists and the like, are at the moment in Parliament ” – very true Alan. Maybe those who have made the tv program “Rich Kids Go Skint” should make one taking MPs who have never done any manual work, out into the real world to try living in the world they are actually creating for the rest of us. The excuses for not taking part would be mind-boggling.
      We used to have a manager at our factory ( very nice person ) who actually got to his mid-thirties without knowing that people who worked nights actually went to sleep during the day. Then I asked him to spend a weekend ( 3x12hr night shifts ) with us. It nearly killed him, and he wasn’t even working.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed the politicians do not understand what happens at the coal face or in business or in normal people’s lives. They seems to be mainly lawyers, PPE types with a few idiotic geography and English graduates thrown it.

      Decisions should clearly be take as close the coal face, business or family as possible. A government know best, one size fits all command economy spewing red tape, employment laws and green lunacy endlessly is never efficient and will always a disaster. That is why the ‘bureaucrats know best’ one size fits all EUSSR is such a complete and utter disaster.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      “…we must stop career Mp’s following the academic bag carrying route to power.”

      Yes I agree entirely.

      I’d say we need a governing class made up of those who have experience. Men from the military, qualified engineers, those with experience of running successful
      business. People with balls of steel. The kind of people you’d look up to.

      Political Correctness, climate alarmism, liberalism, and every trace of Blair’s racist anti-English client state needs to be totally eradicated.

      Future Westminster politicians should, in my opinion, be thoroughly vetted and any trace of gaelic or European origin should bar them from English public office. The risk of them making decisions biased against this country is simply too great.

      May / Brazier (fr) says it all really.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Maybe we should give Mr Farage a courtesy call? However, I do not believe that it is so cut and dried as that.

    • Norman
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.” (Isaiah 3:1-3: there’s a pattern, see vv. 8-11.)

    • David in Kent
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      People with industry experience have much less fear of WTO Brexit than those who do not.
      In my case I can really see no reason why we should run short of insulin as was threatened. Our insulin comes mainly from France, Denmark and USA. If Sanofi don’t want to sell it from France and NovoNordisk are not allowed to sell it from Denmark; it can always be shipped from there to Norway and then on to UK. That’s always assuming we have some objection to importing it from USA.

  9. Mark B
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . I have past working knowledge of part of the industry.

    And that, Sir John is what we need in Parliament. People who understand industry, commerce, science, engineering and so on. Not touchy feely mother Gaia nonsense !

    May I suggest a possible, but not short term solution. Order from Rolls Royce some small modular reactors (see link below if our kind host allows). Put them on site and use them to power the steel and aluminium plants. Work with the companies to find ways to recycle wasted energy and put it back either into the grid and / or, the plant itself.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      MarkB

      That is a bloody good idea !

      Since it makes good economic sense to get your house off grid as much as possible, it follows that for example a steel plant working off grid would be highly profitable – no electric bill.

      There is also the advantage that the power doesn’t have to be commuted very far.

      Industry not held to ransom by greedy energy suppliers, yes I like that.

  10. Nigl
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Whenever I read about these problems with our heavy/manufacturing industries I always think, how does Germany cope?

    Looking at their white goods recently in a department store they were eye wateringly expensive, of very high quality as everything is, much higher than here and made in Germany and the Germans pay the prices.

    Historically we have devalued our way to competitiveness , the Germans stayed successful with an appreciating currency and now seem to be able to do the same with other threats to their economy.

    • DaveK
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      They build 28 coal fired power stations that burn the dirtiest coal lignite, which provides 35.3% of their energy. They have though promised to close them down by 2038. That was probably to coincide with the final destruction of the US and UK economies.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Do you not think that massive industrial renewal, post WW2, combined with a lack of the war debt that the U.K. was burdened with til Aug 2006, had some influence on our respective fortunes?

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        We had more Marshall Aid help than anyone else but blew it on the welfare state and maintaining the pretence we were still a global/ imperial power.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Nig1

      “Looking at their white goods recently in a department store they were eye wateringly expensive, of very high quality”

      German consumer goods are no longer of high quality, they used to be at one time but not now. They’re no better than Chinese goods. Nowadays they’re rebadged Chinese goods, same as here.

      There’s good reason I don’t own a BMW….I don’t buy into the hype, and German gearboxes are poor quality, and I speak from personal experience of Getrag and ZF.

      Consumerism at it’s best…….despite the bull crap about superior quality, it still breaks and people are stupid enough to buy another one.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Steve

        Really? I’m now on my 9th Mercedes and 4th Porsche and I’ve never had a gearbox problem , or indeed any other problem

        I also owned a race car team for 10 years and our german gearboxes ( vw) won us 2 British Championships

        Maybe its just you?

        • Steve
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Libertarian

          I got two here, one’s a getrag from Mercedes Vito with naff syncros , the other is a ZF 6HP26 from a Jag which has the worst oil pan design I think I’ve ever seen on an auto.

          They are certainly not the first bad ones to come my way either.

          The upside is that thankfully they’re easy to swap out.

  11. Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    An excellent synopsis of what is wrong with EU energy policy, and the lemming like way our government follows without question…
    From the ‘Factories for the world’ we have been reduced to an importer of whatever we can afford – God knows what this is all doing to our balance of payments deficit.
    If we take this de-industrialistion further, what will it mean…. At some point we will not be able to afford the raw materials – jobs will be lost – we will shrink in our capacity to produce goods that other countries want – we will become more and more impoverished as a nation.
    Yet this surely is the long term plan of the UN and others – They push de-industrialisation to ‘save the planet’, caring not a jot what happens to us.

  12. Dominic
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The power of political activism covering issues such human rights and the environment and its success in persuading, some would say forcing, weak-kneed politicians in many western governments to adopt policies that are obviously flawed is the one of the phenomena’s of the 21st Century

    The combination of a virtue-signalling politician and a mendacious, manipulative political activist is a very dangerous one. Aided and abetted by a sympathetic State and its allies and we have a recipe for a subtle form of authoritarianism

    So called Human rights (immigration and ethnic politics) and environmental issues are two of the main areas in which activism and a compliant political class have achieved stellar success in imposing economic cost, loss of general freedoms and a general diminution of our way of life and the values we uphold

    In the recent Australian GE which was aptly titled the Climate change election the incumbent coalition under Morrison was returned to office by focusing on common sense issues and countering Labour’s message that essentially bending to the will of the environmental lobby was in fact good policy. Labour lost the election in humiliating fashion.

    The message is simple. Focus on basic, fundamental issues that appeal to the silent majority rather than pandering to the vocal, noisy activist. The public can sniff a scam a mile away so why politicians running for office choose to pander to activists is beyond reason.

    Maybe western governments have decided social control is the order of the day which may explain why they embrace their authoritarian ideas

  13. J Bush
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    50 years ago I left school. There were lots of factories on Wirral peninsular and of course there was Cammell Laird shipbuilders at its tip in Birkenhead, which, in its heyday employed somewhere in the region of 27,000 people. Nearly everyone both sides of the Mersey had at least one member of the family who worked there. My uncle was a draughtsman. There were factories all along the river Mersey down to the Manchester Ship Canal with its oil refineries. My Dad worked at Octel.

    Now, nearly all the factories have gone, replaced by huge retail parks and Cammell Laird now employs about 650 people.

    Following EU directives has destroyed our industrial base.

    And EU fanatic SJW May wants to ram through a 0% emissions by 2050 bill before she leaves No 10. It would appear if she can’t get her own way she wants to implement a scorched earth policy to destroy what is left of this country’s ability to make anything.

    People like her have destroyed the job opportunities of millions. And yes this destruction makes me angry.

  14. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct, once again.
    Depressingly, every one of the leadership contenders has fallen for the climate change scam, several including Boris Johnson supporting the economically suicidal and utterly impracticable zero carbon idea. Even Dominic Raab, who I thought might impart some sense, is praising how we are leaders in decarbonising – yeah, that’s because we have shut down so much of our industry and because no other countries are so stupid.
    That leaves Nigel Farage as the only senior politician speaking sense on climate and energy. Whatever his faults he will surely mop up a fair proportion of voters fed up with the eco-loons and politicians who listen to schoolgirls and noisy rabbles rather than qualified scientists.

  15. javelin
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    On an opitimistic note the green-left is so extreme that it is possible to fill a manifesto with voter friendly green-right policies.

    While the green left is green-nihilism. Basically tax energy to death. Carbon Tax, Consumer tax.

    The green-right is green-consumerism. Basically clean air and water. Protecting nature. Nature Reserves, Anti-Pollution laws.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Re open the coal mines? Still plenty there I understand.
    Germany mines and burns very dirty coal.
    I am certain that poverty kills more surely than CO2.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Everhopeful. Yes, poverty and the cold kill more people than CO2. There are many people in Germany who now find themselves not only in fuel poverty but in fuel debt meaning they have no power at all as it’s been switched off. All the consequences of green energy were forecast many years ago and lo and behold we are seeing job losses and people pushed into fuel poverty with energy bills rising like never before. Nobody in government listens until it’s too late. I am sick of politicians spouting such crap before considering the consequences for jobs and families. It’s ok for them as they are cushioned with good wages and often from very wealthy backgrounds but that isn’t the case for most of our population.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful

      “Germany mines and burns very dirty coal.”

      Not surprising since all EU laws are devised for the advantage of France and Germany.

      “I am certain that poverty kills more surely than CO2”

      I’d wager the tax man causes more deaths via suicides than the number killed by CO2.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      @ everhopeful

      And….it might surprise you to know that China creates vast artificial coal mines and fills them with as much coal as they can import. Been going on for years and no one asks why.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Exactly right in all the above. But we have idiots in Parliament (all but a tiny handful of whom) voted for Ed Miliband’s moronic climate change act and support the Paris Climate Accord lunacy. Also almost not of them have any understanding of energy economics, energy engineering, business, physics, being competitive and the likes. Virtue signalling scientifically ignorant, idiots in the main. Put Peter Lilly in charge of energy please.

    We also have the Climate Change Committee quango coming out with even more idiotic suggestions almost every week all reported unquestioningly by the absurdly biased and scientifically illiterate BBC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Something more real and rather sooner to worry about than climate alarmism:- An asteroid, known as 2006 QV89, with a diameter wider than a football field has a roughly one in 7,000 chance of hitting the Earth later this year.

      Given this how can they predict the climate this year let alone next? Or perhaps the climate alarmists know where and if this will hit or not! They have big expensive computers after all these soothsayers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        On 9th September this year to be more precise.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic…..oh dear – I’ve booked a holiday after that. Wonder if I can use that as an excuse to cancel it?

        • hefner
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          ESA has 870 such extraterrestrial objects on its risk list. It has a so-called Palermo rating of -3.63. According to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies, anything with a score lower than -2 is unlikely to be of consequence as it is expected to pass 4.26×10^6 miles away from Earth. And BTW 2006 QV89 passed the Earth in the 50s, 60s, 70s and twice in the 80s. It should be back in 2032.
          No sweat then.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            Past performance is no guide to the future as they say. 1/7000 just for that one object is still rather worrying odds.

            1/45,000,000 to win the national lottery.

          • hefner
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Given your (almost) daily claim on knowledge in game theory, I am sure you have taken all relevant measures.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Would you bet on it ?

        The fact is this though. It is industrialisation which brought us the knowledge of that asteroid. It is industrialisation that will most likely save the planet from an extinction asteroid – or at very least create an Arc to protect a variety of special DNA from it.

        Will our copy book be unblotted because of this ?

      • Steve
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Brexit caused this asteroid, eh Andy ?

  18. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    There is another solution to this problem, which is to amend WTO rules. Base the level of tariffs on each country’s exports on two criteria (and no others):
    – How dirty the country’s production methods are (in terms of carbon)
    – Anti-dumping so that a country does not subsidise its exports

  19. jerry
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    “Much of industry needs plentiful supplies of low cost energy.”

    So why did Thatcher govt all but close the UK coal industry, why didn’t Cameron announce [1] major state funding for Nuclear Energy, rather rather than saddle us with high cost PFI options…

    Stop trying to blame everything on the EU, funny how Germany carries on burning coal, and very much lower quality coal that was abandoned here in the UK, it has been govt. miss management over the last 40 years that has been the problem, and much of the climate cr*p came about because Mrs T wanted to find a excuse to close the coal (much of the) UK industry..

    [1] even if blocked in 2010 by the LDs he could have announced in 2015 that the govt was talking such projects in house, and expanding on them

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      This is why the Thatcher Government closed down coal mines….

      Wilson’s Labour government published a new Plan for Coal which predicted an increase in production from 110 million tonnes to 135 million tonnes a year by 1985. This was never achieved.

      Margaret Thatcher’s government inherited a coal industry which had seen productivity collapse by 6 percent in five years. Nevertheless, it made attempts to rescue it. In 1981 a subsidy of £50 million was given to industries which switched from cheap oil to expensive British coal. We were paying people to use British coal.
      The Thatcher government injected a further £200 million into the industry. Companies who had gone abroad to buy coal, such as the Central Electricity Generating Board, were banned from bringing it in and 3 million tonnes of coal piled up at Rotterdam at a cost to the British taxpayer of £30 million per year.
      By now the industry was losing £1.2 million per day. Its interest payments amounted to £467 million for the year and the National Coal Board needed a grant of £875 million from the taxpayer.
      The Monopolies and Mergers Commission found that 75 percent of British pits were losing money. The reason was obvious it cost £44 to mine a ton of British coal. America, Australia, and South Africa were selling it on the world market for £32 a metric ton.

      • jerry
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Moore; What price national energy security now? More than £12 a metric ton that’s for sure, a damned sight more, judging by the cost of PFI nuclear power stations.

        As I said further up, the UK knows the price of everything but the worth of nothing.

      • jerry
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        @Iain Moore; It would have cost more than £12 per metric to transport coal from America, Australia or South Africa to the UK, making their coal more expensive!

      • Steve
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Iain / jerry

        FYI:

        A ton is Imperial

        A tonne is metric. Abbreviated Te.

        There is no such thing as a metric ton.

        Also a US ton is less than an imperial ton, and sometimes referred to as a short ton.

        Australia and South Africa used the imperial ton.

  20. Pat
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Dear energy policies are hurting Europe as a whole, as do all the so called environmental policies. Since China and India refuse to countenance similar policies, the net result is that those countries’ industries get an advantage. And since both their power generation and manufacturing tend to be less efficient than ours the effect is that more pollution is produced worldwide than if we simply went for a cheap energy policy.
    In short our current approach is an expensive way of making the world worse.

  21. hefner
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Given his inside knowledge of the industry, what is Sir John’s take on last week (not sure of the exact date) Business Select Committee (BEIS) meeting where high cost of energy for industry appears to have been linked to the unclear links of various partners (Babcock, BAE, Rolls Royce) in Defence and civil nuclear activities? According to him, what is the future of Small Modular Reactors in improving the situation? At what cost to the tax payer given that the same companies will likely be involved in the future?

  22. Shieldsman
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Remainers commenting here claim leaving the EU will make them poorer, but ignore the impact of EU policies on manufacturing and trading. If we cease to be a free trading Nation how will we pay for our vital imports. Borrowing and printing money ends in poverty.
    If you have high energy costs in isolation you go out of business.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Shieldsman

      “Remainers commenting here claim leaving the EU will make them poorer”

      Yes because that’s all they care about, the rest of the country can go to hell as far as they’re concerned.

    • Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Andy will probably be able to tell you.
      Over to you, Andy…..

  23. Know-Dice
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    And Mr Gove wants to replace VAT!!!

    So how much more will that cost businesses that have just spend thousands on MTD?

    Don’t replace VAT just reduce the rate…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry too much, because although Michael Gove is absolutely determined that the referendum will be respected we would only leave “at the earliest opportunity” if he became the new Prime Minister, which would probably mean that we never left and so VAT was never abolished.

  24. acorn
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Worth having a read of https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/epc_report_final_1.pdf

    You will see that UK electricity prices are a UK problem not EU. Note also the UK level of fossil fuel subsidie.

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The cruel irony is that the climate change virtue signallers in government are driving out such manufacturing industry to countries which are increasing their “carbon emissions”, burning coal and exporting products to the UK with an increase in its “carbon footprint” as a consequence of extra transportation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

    • outsider
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes Brian, manufacturing the steel in China or India would emit more carbon than it does now and transporting it to the UK by sea would emit another load more. So, oddly enough, to use “every tool at our disposal” to retain this rump of the UK steel industry would be a thoroughly green policy and should be presented as such.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Brian

      I’d call it hypocrisy.

  26. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    There are a few other considerations:

    -is steel a strategic product? If so, then we should in any event be maintaining the facility for now by government intervention and adding these carbon costs to the £350m a week we save by leaving the EU

    -if steel isn’t a strategic product, can we offer alternative and better productive uses for the capital and labour which is presently employed at BSC?

    -can we develop indigenous lower cost energy which also undercuts the pollutive effect of the low cost steel competition (China), thereby “saving” the planet in a relative sense?

  27. Guy Liardet
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation’s press release of 5 May sets out how my grandchildren are to be impoverished by Lord Gummer’s ignorant, leftist, unscientific Climate Change Committee and its ‘decarbonisation’ . A Must Read.
    There is no climate emergency. CO2 is not the control knob. There have been no extreme weather events. Arctic ice is where it was in 1935 and the September minimum has been above 4 million sq km for 12 years. Sea level rise continues at a terrifying 7 inches a century and is not accelerating. Polar bears c8500 in 1950s when we used to hunt them – c25,000 now. No change in hurricanes,floods,droughts,wildfires, precipitation. 40 years of untampered satellite temperatures show entirely beneficial warming of 1.3degsC a century. Antarctica is frozen solid, Greenland is accreting.
    Typical BBC was the TV programme ‘Climate – Change the Facts’ which inter alia trashed the reputation of lovable David Attenborough. Featured Michael Mann of Pennsylvania U, the most discredited scientist and ‘a disgrace to the profession’ (Mark Steyn’s 100 world class witnesses). Remember the lies, gatekeeping and intimidation of Climategate? That the Beeb taxpayers should be treated to such a farrago is disgraceful. A torrent of complaint I’m told. Remove the licence fee.

    • hefner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      What a relief it must be to live in your version of the world.

    • hefner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      “Arctic ice is where it was in 1935”: you might want to tell the Russians about that as they appear to have opened a number of ports in Northern Siberia to take advantage of the several ice-free months a year North East passage. Please also tell all these cruise companies which offer a cruise from the US East coast or Reykjavik to Anchorage via the North West passage with stops in Nuuk, Ilulissat, Pond Inlet, Cambridge Bay, Barrow, Nome.
      Someone must certainly be ac-cretin-g here.

    • hefner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Finally, remember 1 April 1960, that was date of the launch of the very first polar-orbiting satellite, TIROS-1 (for Television InfraRed Observing Satellite). Before that, the actual ice cover of the poles was only guessed at year after year from the few in-situ expeditions in those areas. So where do you get your claim from?

  28. Richard1
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Sensible points. Unfortunately green crap has taken on quasi-religious status and all politicians are required to pay obeisance to it. Michael Gove has felt obliged to pat st Greta on the head. Andrea Leadsom (not a serious candidate admittedly) has said she would immediately declare a ‘climate emergency’. I’m afraid climate hysteria will have to run its course before we see the end of these policies.

    • Norman
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Sorry – almost ‘none’ of them …

  30. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Here’s another solution.
    Abandon high energy consumption industries in the UK, and leave these to regions of the world that can generate large amounts of cheap energy. I’m thinking hydroelectric installations, which the UK doesn’t have in any significant quantity.
    Perhaps we might consider keeping some plants running in the interest of national security, but then we may find it necessary to open up the coal mines again. Politically unacceptable at present, but no doubt the mood will change when the lights start going out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Most hydroelectricity is already spoken for (and locations suitable for more hydro are rather limited).

      Also hydro is about 5 times more deadly than Nuclear or Gas produced energy (in deaths per TWH of energy produced) so they are not a safe option in general.

      Dams can be very deadly indeed and have environmental issues too. In 1975 the failure of the Banqiao Reservoir Dam and other dams in Henan Province, China killed an estimated 171,000 people and 11 million people lost their homes.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Coking coal is not just an energy source, its a constituent part of making steel, its part of the chemical process.

  31. Christopher Hudson
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove has come out with an economic statement this morning, sounds to me as though he thinks he might not get the top job

    Please God whoever becomes PM I hope they give the important jobs to the people with the necessary experience

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      “Michael Gove has come out with an economic statement this morning”

      No, absolutely not. Don’t believe it……fake news.

    • Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      There are few enough of those, it seems. (Present company excepted.)

      Anyway – they’ve always got their civil serpents to rely upon. And oodles of money to spend on ”advisers” and ”experts” and ”consultants”.

      After all – why keep a dog and bark yourself?

  32. rose
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You seem to be having some impact on the candidates where tax is concerned so perhaps they will listen to you over this.

  33. Steve
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Good item, JR

    I think it’s about time someone had the guts to tackle rip off energy in this country.

    Bizarre really when you stop and think this country has farming land other countries would give their right arm for, coal and oil reserves (did have) the best engineers and universities on the planet…..and we’re an island.

    Looking at where we are now……all I can say is some people have a hell of a lot to answer for, unfortunately most are probably dead now.

    Example being that when North Sea oil was discovered, Politicians sold it off, yet kept the country dependent on arab oil. They gave the pathetic excuse that petrol could not be distilled from North Sea crude.

    Same with coal – they said it was a dirty fuel and if we in our small island continued to use it their would be global mass extinction.

    Sod ’em…..I don’t buy into all this climate crap. If climate change was a man made issue then the biggest polluters i.e China and India with combined populations of >2bn should be made to clean the place up, or be shut down.

    I burn combination of waste wood and logs to heat the house, but sometimes burn brown coal.

    Consequently I am not entirely dependent on energy companies. Though my heart goes out to small and medium sized businesses who have absolutely staggering energy bills.

  34. A different Simon
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Quote “I have always urged the EU and UK government to understand dear energy means de industrialisation, but they refuse to listen.”

    You must have worked it out by now J.R.

    The U.K. political establishment WANTS TO CLOSE INDUSTRY DOWN !

    The Victorian middle class was made up of members of protected professions , administrators and bureaucrats who looked down on industry and talked about people being “in trade” as a derogatory term .

    Some of the folks in the E.U. may want industry on their soil but the U.K. establishment is only to ready to have it disappear – forever .

    Maybe they feel threatened because industry is a meritocracy ?

  35. anon
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    How do we get cheaper energy?

    Look at Iceland and its smelters.Maybe we should talk with them? Fly in Fly out workers.

    I suggest mass deployment of renewable energy. I believe it is cheapest longrun and if im wrong the resultant excess capacity will depress energy prices in any case. Allow more permits to produce and store.

    The fuel is zero (sun and wind) and if in the event of a restructure any excess onerous costs would be shed.

    Particularly with grid scale gigawatt hour storage via scalable batteries and liquid air. Renewable energy overcapcacity could lead to exciting solutions of fuel poverty and independence.

    Compare future Hinckley base costs as indexed. with new renewables wind or solar . Also include all other state guarantees and funding of eventual clean up costs after production ceases and the shareholders evaporate.

    Note HS2 costs and EU costs and Overseas aid costs. Perhaps going carbon zero, just for the tech?, is the best thing we can do for the planet. Overseas aid ?

    In the US, China and the ROW including many petro states are turning to cheap renewable solar and wind.

    The issue seems to be the cost of solar and wind is cheaper in the US than in the UK, why is this?

    BS should be allowed to certify their product as being made from x% CO2 free electricity. An import duty based on a countries CO2 footprint should be introduced.

    All defense and taxpayer funded steel purchases must take into account
    1) UK national security issues of supply & defense.and a minimum economic capability in the UK.
    2) embedded carbon costs e.g. from coal bad from renewable good

    Fracking for gas in a densely populated UK with high clean water needs is not a good idea, and should be considered only as in an emergency. Maybe out at sea.

  36. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Well Jeremy Hunt seems to have little comprehension of the possible ways of leaving the EU. Sophie Ridge on Sunday Sky. Voting for him is voting for the unknown and hoping for the best. No doubt a very nice chap and useful minister in the right place. However as PM, in an exceedingly difficult situation, I judge that he is not hard nosed enough for the current situation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      At Health for years he was very elegant at apologising for the endless incompetence, delays deaths and gross negligence of the NHS. Alas he did little or nothing to stop all these avoidable deaths, suffering, delays and general gross incompetence which was rather more important to patients and their grieving relatives.

  37. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Well Jeremy Hunt seems to have little comprehension of the possible ways of leaving the EU. Sophie Ridge on Sunday Sky. Voting for him is voting for the unknown and hoping for the best. No doubt a very nice chap and useful minister in the right place. However as PM, in an exceedingly difficult situation, I judge that he is not hard nosed enough for the current situation….

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      She failed to mention that the EU has stated categorically that there can be no fresh negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement. So there would be nobody on the other side of the table when Jeremy Hunt went along to get a new deal which he could get through Parliament, or when Michael Gove appeared with his “smart” negotiating team, or even when Sajid Javid turned up seeking changes to the backstop.

      • rose
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        As soon as Hunt mentioned “Brexit purists” one knew he couldn’t possibly believe in winning back our independence. Even worse than when he spoke last time of “the cliff edge”.

  38. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    You really must stop this crazy Captcha saying it has failed only then to claim it is a duplicate posting. I thought computers were binary. Perhaps it is a female computer maintaining her right to change her mind.

    • hefner
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      If you were to submit the exact same post, the second would not be accepted. So accept that you added a few full stops and don’t blame the Captcha or the computer for your @&£€$€¥!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Press “post comment” then wait a bit not post again it is just delay in the system.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Or a male computer that identifies as a female ? Such is the way these days.

      😉

  39. Iain Moore
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The best way to halt this global warming cult that has captured our Parliament would be to demand all these politicians who voted for a climate emergency show us how to live a carbon zero existence, audited by an independent organisation , and itemise their carbon free existence on line to show all us plebs how to do it. After all it should be dead easy for them to shows us how to achieve this carbon free nirvana for unlike the rest of us they don’t have to show their economic worth. You could also include the BBC on this , for there is another organisation who doesn’t have to show its economic worth , yet preaches the Climate Change religion to us, while its staff flit across the world on long haul flights.

  40. ian
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Only by getting rid of the old parties in parliament and bringing in new politicians will things change, the old parties are too far gone to change.

    They know full well, shutting down industry and production in the UK can only lead to more pollution than now in the world as more factories open in the Far East and more cargo ships need to be built to ship the goods back, the same with meat which they wish to cut in half from being farmed in the UK.

    Then you have the question of the balance of payments, all imports and no exports with the population growing faster than at any time in the country history.

    If you believe in climate change as an MP then you should know that you should not be building on flood plains and not be importing millions of people into this country to their deaths because you know already that nearly half on the UK will be under water while you yourselves are speeding it up by your own policies, it is obvious by MPs actions that they do not believe in climate change.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      The big growth area is and will continue to be rail across the Eurasian land bridge.Trans-Eurasian trade is already bigger than either trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific.

  41. Bob
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    On the subject of Global Warming and the EU, you will find no objectivity from the state or it’s official broadcaster.

    And under our electoral system Peterborough has replaced a criminal with an anti Semite for to represent them in the HoC based on winning 30% of the vote.

    Co-incidentally, the combined ratio between Labour and Brexit party votes was 52/48%, but alas we’ve heard no calls from the usual suspects for a 2nd vote.

  42. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    A bullying Marr failed to daunt Esther McVey however he tried or interupted. I think she has the bottle to get us out by the 31st October.

    When Marr was asked what he believed his only response was that he worked for the BBC. Do we take from that that he is the epitome of BBC think. I must admitt I always thought he was.

    Result of interview, Esther McVey is in contention, and has the bottle to pull it off.

    • Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Ms McVey might be the only one with any credibility so far as Ms May’s ”surrender treaty” is concerned. I think I recall an article in the D Telegraph when she said she would vote for the treaty at its THIRD appearance, saying something like ”with a heavy heart”.
      If memory serves me correctly – then she is the only wobbler who has actually tried to explain her wobble.

  43. ian
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I don’t care who leads the con party at the next election, it has no chance of winning anything, it dead as a dodo.

    They’re a good laugh with BJ leading and good actors as well but that about it.

    • Steve
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      ian

      Yes I tend to agree the Conservatives are likely finished. However of the candidates I’d like to see Ester McVey get the job.

      Boris ? well he’s got character and charisma…but they are attributes best suited to other roles.

      Hunt ? Put simply; his name rhymes and I don’t trust him.

      Gove? Not the man. Says one thing and does the opposite.

  44. Andy
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I am delighted that you have all, finally, decided to embrace the green agenda.

    Energy costs are indeed very high – both for businesses and households. So how do you lower them?

    Firstly, you design energy efficiency into products and places. The EU has done an excellent job in requiring manufacturers to make their products more efficient. Fridges, toasters, kettles, hoovers, hairdryers all use much less power than before.

    Lightbulbs are a revelation. LED has slashed energy consumption. And the techniques used in all these products – which the Tory right moaned about for decades in their complaint rags of choice (Mail, Sun and Express) – are then learned and shared improving efficiency elsewhere too, including in heavy industry.

    Secondly, we can have permanent virtually free power – if we ever get politicians with the foresight to embrace it. Wind, solar, wave, tides can power all of our energy needs. Yes, there is an upfront cost of building the infrastructure but then the power is virtually free. We are wasting £50bn or more on a Chinese controlled nuclear power station. Putting that £50bn into renewables instead would transform energy provision in the UK.

    Renewables look after the planet and are ultimately cheaper than any other form of energy. Conservative opposition to them has thus always baffled me. Perhaps many of you have financial interests in polluting power companies.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      A remarkable post. LED technology was not mandated by the EU – it was developed in Asia (mainly) while the EU was busy forcing through, wholly unnecessarily, expensive low energy bulbs. At huge economic cost, and probably unspecified health cost also. If only they had trusted to the market and waited for a solution to come along though free market capitalism!

      Even after over $2tr of subsidies wind solar and tidal power account for less than 1% of global energy production.

      Could I suggest a little research before you post?

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      To build a wind turbine you need 350 tons of steel, 5 tons of copper, and 1200 tons of concrete.

      • Andy
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        And to build a nuclear power station I guess you need nothing but air and fairy dust?

  45. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    One thing is clear from the comments on this post – there are many people who do not fall for the climate hysteria. Politicians who ignore them and listen exclusively to the green blob do so at their peril.

    The Australian election was fought in large part on climate issues, Greenpeace calling it ‘the climate change election’. Voters rejected the climate hysteria.

    Leadership candidates please note.

    • rose
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Look how stupid the sensible Germans turned out to be after the Japanese earthquake and tidal wave: they abandoned their clean nuclear power and are now digging up their ancient forests for open cast mining of the dirtiest form of brown coal. This has happened because of electoral pressure not bureaucratic preference. How on earth was a 30 foot tidal wave going to come up the Rhine as a consequence of an earthquake?

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        rose

        “They abandoned their clean nuclear power…?

        Really?

        “Germany has been called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy”. Renewable energy in Germany is mainly based on wind, solar and biomass. Germany had the world’s largest photovoltaic installed capacity until 2014, and as of 2016, it is third with 40 GW. It is also the world’s third country by installed wind power capacity, at 50 GW, and second for offshore wind, with over 4 GW.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          So why does Germany have massive contracts for Russian gas.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          MH

          FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A government-appointed commission recommended on Saturday that Germany shut its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest and proposed at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid for the affected regions.

          Germany depends on coal, which produces high levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, for 38 percent of its power needs.

          Below are details of utilities and their coal plants:

          RWE (RWEG.DE)

          RWE produces most of its electricity from brown coal, also called lignite. In Germany, it has lignite-powered plants with 10.3 gigawatts (GW) capacity and 3 GW of hard coal plants.

          Lignite is mined and burned for power at locations such as Hambach, Garzweiler and Inden.

  46. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    And don’t talk to me about getting cars off the roads and using public transport. It stinks! I travelled to Oxford on Friday and came back Saturday night. The train going there was late and I only just managed to get my connection with about 30secs to spare. The train coming back was so late I missed my connection and had to wait for the last train home. My friend who was travelling south should have gone to Southampton to pick up her connection but instead, had to travel to Reading, change and pick up the train to Gatwick, change and then get the last train to Worthing. All very unsatisfactory. No wonder people don’t want to get rid of their cars or be stuck charging them up on motorways or trying to find charging points if they don’t want to drive the motorways. This government and all the others don’t have a clue.

  47. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Gove’s plans are vague, but basically I couldn’t trust the man. He still retains the smell of “Et tu brute” and one senses he is as slippery as a bucket of eels. Some might argue that these are ideal attributes for a PM, but not for me.

  48. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Did Michael Gove lie regarding his ESTA visa application on The Andrew Marr show this morning?

  49. Alex
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The whole carbon dioxide scare is an absolute fraud and scandal. Climate is not driven by Co2 and real scientists know it. What we have is a coalition of politicians, eco groups and pseudo scientists getting rich off the backs of everyone else based on bad science, distorted facts and flat out lies. It is’t just industry but all of us that suffer because of it.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Invisible Carbon dioxide was invented by the ancient Carbon family to explain the phenomenon of dead bloated cows and loose cowpats, and is a corruption of the mediaeval words ‘die’ and ‘ox hide’.

      Very clever people have recently discovered that this was just a story to show how stupid gullible people are, since the settled science now shows the phenomenon only relates to bulls, and is in any event controlled by the Climate Spirits.

      Luckily we have very devout followers of the Bebies Orthodoxy, like Amun-ra-bin, to intercede on our behalf, thus ensuring Climate Spirits slow their natural attrition by a factor of millions.

      Phew!

  50. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    It is puzzling. Climate alarmists like Andy of this parish on the one hand want reduced CO2 levels but on the other hand think shutting down the UK car and steel industries is a bad thing. Why aren’t they celebrating it ? Why aren’t they also celebrating Thatcher closing the coal mines ? In retrospect she did far more for climate change in UK than that poor little 16-year-old schoolgirl ever will.

  51. Dominic
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    McVey kicked Marr’s scrawny, scraggy etc ed into next week. Good on her. A proper Tory prepared to stand up for decency and morality

    It’s about time we had an anti-Left politician having the guts and the courage to confront the virus of the left that’s infected most of our public institutions

    Thanks to most London-centric Tory MPs for turning a blind eye to Labour’s politicisation of our nation and its Gramsci march through our publicly funded institutions

  52. margaret howard
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    JR

    So nothing to do with British Steel having been flogged to a hedge fund, along with so much of our industry?

    I just googled ‘German Steel Industry’ for a comparison and got the following result:

    ” As a result of its innovative capabilities and high-quality products, the German steel industry has established itself as a leading producer in the European Union.”

    So how can others manage but we can’t?

    • libertarian
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      MH

      German energy is heavily subsidised to manufacturing businesses unlike the UK

      Germany has handed over 40 times more in energy subsidies to heavy industry since 2013 than the UK, highlighting one reason why British steelmakers are in such trouble.

      https://www.ft.com/content/d91c122c-f828-11e5-96db-fc683b5e52db

      Greybull isnt a Hedge Fund its a venture capital company, entirely different things

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        libertarian

        “Greybull isn’t a Hedge Fund”

        The Guardian did an article on the company regarding British Steel which carried the headline:

        “Greybull Capital: rescuer of distressed firms or vulture fund?”

        • libertarian
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          MH

          Yes exactly

          No comment from you though of the answer to your question I see

          So what are your thoughts now that you know that Germany subsidises massively its steel industry contrary to EU regulations ?

  53. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I agree we need cheap energy and note that our energy use is far cleaner than the third world like China.

    I also wonder how we can save the planet when our carbon output is such a small fraction, so if carbon was an issue we would be slapping tariffs on China and India, we aren’t.

    I would like to see these climate change advocates asked how they plan to stop rain forest deforestation, or reduce the number of creatures going extinct every year. These are real problems that are totally ignored.

    I believe resource constraints will likely make us all “carbon neutral” long before the green shell games, I remember just a few years ago when oil used to be $10 a barrel, it is not getting cheaper.

    With British steel the carbon tax and dumping from China seem to be the biggest issues, the natural tariffs we have the option to place after brexit and brexit itself seem the first things we can do to preserve a vital industry.

  54. BR
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    One has to wonder how a degree in PPE and a little experience in an MP’s office gets us ‘leaders’ who can understand these matters.

    In fact, many people have been saying this for some time but have been ignored. Voters need to take responsibility for their actions; simply electing the donkey with the red/blue rosette leads to us being led by donkeys.

    I’d be interested to see your series on May’s premiership end with an analysis if where that leaves us and where we go from here. The only solution seems to be WTO and I don’t believe that it’s not possible. All a PM has to do is to something similar to what May did and then… do nothing on the final day. Right up to the 29th March we had no idea if we’d be leaving or not.

    She could even have gone to ask for an extension and put a case so poor that it was not granted – for example, by saying that she wanted the extra time to completely re-negotiate the WA.

    And there are other ways a WTO-minded PM could make it happen. I’d be interested to hear your views since I firmly believe that a WTO exit is now the only way that voters will return to the Conservative party.

    • Posted June 9, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      But they don’t ”understand these matters”. They rely upon civil servants to explain it all to them. And no doubt they believe everything they’re told.

      The flies in all the ointments are the civil servants.
      They are doubtless arch manipulators, those at the top of their tree. And they’ve always been one step ahead. It’ll need very clever MPs to outwit and out-manoeuvre them – not career politicians, but people who were at the top of THEIR own trees in the Real World.

      The sort of people that the Brexit Party is recruiting, maybe?

  55. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    If businesses are compensated and given help to pay the carbon tax bill then is that going to be passed down to the domestic consumer? Electricity in particular is very high and when gas boilers are to be banned I can’t see some people being able to heat their homes. Governments have made a right mess of our energy provisions in this country. What a load of idiots.

  56. NearlyDead
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Its should be allowed to die. This sort of interference in market dynamics is protectionism. Buy from the world, no need to prop up a dying company.

  57. DaveK
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    When Ottmar Edenhofer, the UN IPCC official was quoted as saying

    ” Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War”.

    And

    “First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole”.

    What do UK politicians think he meant?

    When a huge company such as (named ed) buy up our industries and then close them down and gets funding for virtue signalling due to reducing CARBON (a propaganda term if I ever heard one) meanwhile providing the product from a much less clean environment in (a developing country ed).

    What do UK politicians think about that behaviour.

    Answer….. Nothing, as all bar five voted for it to happen.

    Look at the way the President is castigated for leaving the Paris Accord scam. Developed countries are meant to de-industrialise themselves and the developing ones are to be supported and do not have to make any contributions til 2035. Would any business, not affected by politicians, ruin themselves to allow a competitor free rein for 16 years?

  58. ukretired123
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Sir John has hit a key driver of the economy – Energy.
    As someone who has assisted engineers in raising the productivity and efficiency and safety of the coal-fired steam generators nationwide via computerisation to some of the best worldwide over 15 years then see apprentice Ed Miliband ditch it is economic vandalism.
    Energy is the area of engineers just like transport but politicians cannot resist interfering and usually get it so wrong.
    Unfortunately no one is learning from their disastrous policies and the fact we have 200 years coal reserves and enormous fracking potential is treated like red flags to bulls instead of how can we intelligence use it with new cleaning technologies where we can also excel.
    Luddite-thinking once again strangles our progress just like the proverbial barnacles thereon due to shallow amateur interference that prevailed before computers were accepted as useful!

  59. forthurst
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Crocodile tears over the continuation of Tory policy, begun under Thatcher when productive industry was deliberately choked by cutting off its money supply, of converting the whole UK economy to service based ie thieving London based banksterism and its multifarious support services. Let’s face it all these people who have not had jobs for decades and those more recent victims of Tory policy are simple English folk so who cares about them, certainly not the Tories and their spiv backers?

  60. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, Home Secretary Sajid Javid seems a decent enough chap, but I am afraid he is wide of the mark with his idea that we should offer to reimburse the Irish government for the costs of any changes they needed to make to address the largely fabricated problem of their land border with Northern Ireland.

    Because the uncooperative, in fact obstructive, attitude of Leo Varadkar’s government is not driven by the prospect of incurring such costs, but by the strategic aim of protecting the Republic’s economy by keeping the UK under the economic thumb of the EU in perpetuity even after we have left the EU.

    That became very clear in the autumn of 2017, for example:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ireland-border-brexit-latest-theresa-may-customs-union-phil-hogan-northern-a8076271.html

    “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

    In 2018 the GDP of the Irish Republic was $376 billion:

    https://countryeconomy.com/gdp/ireland

    and according to this German study:

    https://www.ifo.de/DocDL/sd-2019-04-felbermayr-hard-but-smart-brexit-2019-02-21.pdf

    they could stand to lose about 8% of that if the UK left the EU on WTO terms.

    So that would be about $30 billion, or about £24 billion.

    That is what really worries the Irish government; not an imaginary threat to peace on the island of Ireland, not an exaggerated risk that “chlorinated chicken” and other contraband goods might get across the border and contaminate the EU Single Market, and also not the cost of making whatever changes might be deemed necessary to keep the border as open as now, which are unlikely to come to anything like £24 billion either as a one-off or as an annually recurring expense.

    And that is why even if Sajid Javid made his generous offer the Irish government would still be insisting that even if the UK cannot be kept in the EU, as they would very much prefer, then at least Northern Ireland, and preferably the whole of the UK, must be kept under swathes of EU customs union and EU single market rules.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Oh, according to this:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7120105/Sajid-Javid-says-Britain-moral-duty-pay-Ireland-break-Brexit-deadlock.html

      he would offer £500 million “to break the Brexit deadlock over the Northern Ireland backstop”, a one-off payment which would be about 2% of what the Irish economy might lose each year if the UK left the EU on WTO terms.

      It would be a gesture, but I couldn’t see it cutting much ice in Dublin.

    • Matt
      Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Denis..don’t be too concerned about Ireland..whatever happens we are prepared and have it all factored in

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        I am not concerned about Ireland, I am concerned about our politicians failing to call out the Irish politicians for their duplicity and instead agreeing to keep us under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity.

  61. Fuddy Duddy
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    There is no such thing as cheap energy with a world population of 7+ billion and rising
    needing it.

    Supply and demand – ever heard of it?

  62. Ian McDougall
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    The amount of Co2 on planet earth is the same as it has always been it cannot be increased or decreased.

    Plant life is dependent on it.

    The bit were we humans come into the equation is we have found ways to unlock from one source and leak it into another. Logic therefore is we need to release it for energy production, we should recapture it once it’s job is done. Simples!

  63. Trumpeteer
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    The Parker Solar Probe successfully completed its second close approach to the Sun. On 4th April, 2019, the craft went within 15 million miles of the sun, never before done.
    We never seem to get the days , weeks, and months of information given to us by space exploration but just enough flowery words to fit on the back of a matchbox to make us feel bright as a match.
    But Trump will know all the important info if any of it is secret. A month after 4th April 2019 he was at two rallies making fun of Climate Change and vowing America will invest even more in fossil fuels. to Make America Great Again. I’ll buy that.
    He was not covering up in his body language, I was watching every second in the many hours he was in front of thousands in close-up. If he was covering something up then he deserves a contract with Hollywood, Bollywood and all their stars employed can rest and then look for some other job.

  64. Mark
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    It was depressing to see Boris Johnson and other leadership candidates pronouncing their intention to pursue the zero carbon climate goal with no thought for the consequences. At least Labour appear to have given it some thought, concluding that we must not work more than ten hours a week and pay must be slashed by 75%. How anyone can think that that is a mandate for election rather than revolution is beyond belief. Still, it does rather put Project Fear projections in the shade – and it demonstrates how utterly out of touch with reality the main parties are.

  65. outsider
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, Thank you for your very welcome post. I can accept man-made climate change and accept that advanced countries should make more than their fair share of effort to moderate carbon emissions. But courageous politicians such as yourself need to realise and make plain that the Medusa headed “environmental” movement has developed into an essentially political and cultural campaign. It uses environmental-type arguments as a weapon to fight its real enemies: consumer spending by families, big business in general and American multinationals in particular.

    Hence, for instance, campaigns against sugary soft drinks aimed at Coca-Cola and Pepsico morphed seamlessly into campaigns against any form of packaging as soon as they removed the sugar.
    Promoting diesel engines to cut carbon emissions soon encounters a new campaign against particulates. Cutting carbon emissions from electricity by switching to nuclear, as in France, revives a virulent campaign against atomic power. You cannot win because all sources of power, from solar to hydro, create environmental costs.
    Transferring energy-intensive industries to places with more carbon-intensive energy and then importing it back clearly makes no logical sense.
    The argument for saving the rump of the UK steel industry goes much further. Closure would damage steel users by losing that much-quoted just-in-time supply and will add enormously to our current account deficit, which is already our most chronic economic problem.
    I guess you will not agree but, given the possibility of some post-Brexit tax relief and much lower capital costs, we taxpayers should step in this week as the buyers of last resort.

  66. BillM
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    So it all boils down to the simple fact. If we want to produce our own Steel – we must go our own way in the world. That means removing the debilitating shackles of the EU and their OTT Green policies that damage our manufacturing companies and their employees and GO OUR OWN WAY.
    Let us fully utilise our own Natural Resources to stop our high costing imported energy and cut the outrageously high costs of the EU inspired policies.
    Our future lies with the Rest of the World with this Nation independent of Brussels control. There is no alternative to a brighter future for the British people.

  67. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Well and good but look around, how many of our few remaining manufacturing is home owned? When ( IF) we get out of the EU just how sovereign are we going to be anyway when planning is in the hands of foreign owners? The answer is not difficult to define.

    The policy of selling everything for short-term foreign money is stupidity. But then City spivs have many friends in government and parliament. Who else does the same thing with such enthusiasm.

    It does not seem we are to see any change of viewpoint. Continuity May will no doubt tell us how beneficial it is, and when there’s nothing left to sell we invite competitor powers to build our infrastructure, even when it is likely to undermine our security.

    We need new thinking, not more of the same. We need people who will put our country first. Government hasn’t done that for decades. We’ll not get it with the present Tory heirarchy.

    • outsider
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      Spot on Prangwizard.

  68. javelin
    Posted June 9, 2019 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    There is one method by which a new PM could get the UK out of the EU and that is by withdrawing the Crown defence of Robin Tilbrook’s case in the High Court that we left the EU on 29 March as May did not have the authority to unilaterally extend the Article 50 period. Withdraw the defence and the High Court will find in favour of Tilbrook and the UK will have already left the EU Messy but effectively gets round the arithmetic in Westminster and the fault can be laid at May’s door.

  69. Stability
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Mr Rees-Mogg may not get the Tory Party elected. He is not standing for PM. A pity for the Tory Party. But unless we hear something which alters the public perception of him as a stiff upper lip, with aristocratic carriage and footmen, Percy -Perfect clean then he may fail but keep intact the essence of the Tory Party. He is what is required.
    The Tory Party is going to fail. He can save the Tory Party. The “peasants”, some criminal, with many other flaws do not wish a peasant-criminal like themselves to rule them . They wish something BETTER than themselves. If the Tory Party does not understand basic human psychology then it deserves the defeat it will get. Laughy-Jokey Boris is fine by me but Corbyn will still win for he is an honest fool. The Tory Party leadership lacks compass. and hopefully will lose. It has let us down. One cannot have unpunished criminals at the helm of the UK.

    • rose
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Corbyn an honest fool? I remember his making a speech in favour of staying in the EU during the referendum campaign which was masterly. He didn’t believe in it, and neither did I, but he was almost winning me over. No-one else on the Remain side had that effect.

  • 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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