Average incomes and growth rates

I do find it extraordinary that people write in to complain about me citing World Bank figures for GDP and Incomes per head for the EU, UK and USA. They complain I am attacking the EU because it shows  the EU with the lowest figures of the three.  I am merely stating the facts as set out by an international body these correspondents are usually keen to praise. I have no reason to doubt their past statistics, though I do not always agree with their forecasts.

As we prepare for full departure from the EU it is most important we look at what works. What does the USA get right to promote prosperity, freedom and happiness for the greatest number, and what does the EU get right? What do we wish to change, because we are currently following the EU model, and what do we wish to keep because it is good?

One of the big differences which will be contentious with some is the different approach to energy. The USA is increasing its output of oil and gas from onshore deposits. The EU is against further exploitation of oil and gas deposits and shale reservoirs at home, but is wedded to importing more gas from Russia. It is busy constructing a new large pipeline to increase its dependency on Russian gas. If you wish to promote higher incomes and more jobs at home you need to accept more domestically produced gas and oil. If you wish to be greener you need to reduce reliance on  Russian gas and find alternatives that meet your green requirements.

The USA has increased its oil output by more than fifty percent, taking it up to 13 million barrels a day this year. This big expansion in recent years has been an important boost to incomes and jobs. Meanwhile  Germany imports 90million tonnes of oil a year, and burns its way through 66 million tonnes of coal a year to keep the wheels of its car factories and other industrial activity turning. Burning so much coal is not a good idea in  the leading industrial economy in  the EU which claims it is a world leader in  removing fossil fuels.  The EU is a large user of coal but  is of course dwarfed by China which consumes 4 billion tonnes of coal a year. None of these industrial economies is yet able to rein in their use of fossil fuels in the way the Green movement would like.

The UK needs to move back to energy self sufficiency, without coal in  the mix. This may well require more UK gas to replace imports as well as further renewable electrical power.

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220 Comments

  1. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Absolutely – the surrender to the Green Mafia in killing fracking on the spurious grounds of tremors was deplorable. In my book a drilling rig in an area the size of a football field is far less environmentally damaging than thousands of wind turbines needing destruction of trees (13.9 million trees in Scotland alone for wind farms), killing birds and bats on an industrial scale, harming peatlands and inflating energy costs for business and homes alike.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Ian Wilson

      And filling the ground with tonnes of concrete which is left behind when the turbines are no longer required, don’t forget!

      And does concrete even rot down?

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Not just concrete. The massive blades have to go into landfill also when they need replacing after about 25 years as they cannot be recycled

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        It can be broken up for hard-core, can’t it?

      • Dennis
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Making a ton of concrete makes how much CO2 – a lot I have read – but how much?

        • Wes
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

          It used to be ton per ton but recent developments report lower figures due to alterations in cement production. Don’t know what the new ratio is.

        • hefner
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          35,000 cubic yards of reinforced concrete for the hall and related culvert system at Hinkley Point nuclear station, that’s about 87,000 metric tonnes.
          Now 800 metric tonnes of concrete per wind turbine.
          One now has to compare the energy potentially produced …

          Dennis, one tonne of CO2 per tonne of cement.
          So all in all one cubic meter of concrete, with a weight of 2.4 tonne (2,400 kg) and depending on the exact process “includes” between 100 and 300 kg of CO2.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        And how much carbon dioxide is produced when making the concrete in the first place?

    • Andy
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Research from the US found that wind turbines were responsible for around 0.1% of unnatural bird deaths. Which suggests your industrial scale claim is plain wrong. What evidence do you have beyond having read it from a bloke on Facebook?

      • oldtimer
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        What evidence do you have that he “read it from a bloke on Facebook”?

        I have read that the RSPB is concerned about bird deaths caused by wind turbines. Are they making it up too?

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          oldtimer

          “I have read that the RSPB is concerned about bird deaths caused by wind turbines. Are they making it up too?”

          “Notably the RSPB – once a vehement opponent of wind power – put up its first turbine earlier this summer after consultation on finding an appropriate site”

          Guardian

          • Edward2
            Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

            A site where there are few birds presumably.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Your US research from a hillbilly on the vast plains is more reliable? Unless you compare the local geography as to where birds live or migrate it is pointless condemning one or the other. Turbines offshore compared to others in green hillsides will likely offer quite different bird death results.

      • Libertarian
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        8 days since Brexit

        There’s grounded planes, chaos in the streets, unpaid workers, crippling strikes, a faltering economy, a buffoon in charge, petrol bombs, riot police, snipers on rooftops and civil unrest

        But enough about France

        Here in the UK record employment, record investment, rising wages and a growing economy

        Sadly Andy is STILL spouting his nonsense and drivel

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          Libertarian

          Since you are obviously au fait with all the so called latest disasters hitting France how many fatal stabbing have there been in Paris in the last year?

          As for having a baffoon in charge – at least he is an elegant baffoon unlike our own model who is a deserved laughing stock across the globe.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            Interesting to see MH carefully ignoring Libertarion’s list of predictions of doom made by remainers Project Fear 2.0 which have not come true.

          • Libertarian
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Hiya Mags

            As you didn’t ask so far there have been 11 deaths in France during the more than a year of weekly riots , the London stabbings are an abomination and the Mayor should be fixing the problem rather than ranting about remaining in the EU Still at least London’s police and firefighters aren’t fighting each other on the streets . I’ve been working in France for last couple of weeks , the mood is ugly Frexit is on the agenda

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Not only that but digging up large ancient peat bogs in the process too. The water courses are altered and more rain ends up at lower levels causing flooding. It used to happen near us and wasn’t a great experience for those affected. Drinking water has also been affected in Scotland because of carelessness when erected wind turbines. The developers actually advertise for people to pick up the carcasses of bats and birds around the turbines on the large developments. There are plenty of these in Scotland..

    • Alison
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      There are chemicals used in the fracking process which are harmful to health. It is not just the tremors. There is solid evidence, sadly, and evidence-based research on this. I don’t want to look what people think is a gift-horse in a mouth. But it is not.

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Alison, “Fracking” for gas is completely different to fracking for oil in terms of the chemicals and pressures used. Gas fracking uses mainly water and sand. Are you sure you know what you’re talking about if you don’t even distinguish between the two?

      • DaveK
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        In the United Kingdom, the environmental regulator permits only chemical additives which are classed as non hazardous to groundwater for fracturing fluids. Operators are required to disclose the content of hydraulic fracturing fluids to the relevant environment agency while the composition must be disclosed if the regulator demands it.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        So how many people have been affected by chemicals used in the fracking process?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Banning domestic cats would do the song bird population of the UK a thousand times more good than ending wind generation of electricity.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Couldn’t agree more. Freedom to shoot pigeons, crows and magpies would also help.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        And think of the saving in CO2
        Maybe ban all other pets too.
        You lefties love a good ban.

        • libertarian
          Posted February 10, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Actually if Marty and his friends get into power we will be eating our pets not taxing or banning them

  2. Ian@Barkham
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    You hit on an important point when referencing so called green credentials in consumer products. If they are manufactured and delivered to market in the most poluting way- why do we permit any claim of being ‘green’ ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Why, if the government is so concerned about being green and saving energy why do they allow:-

      Bonfires and bonfire night, fire work shows, bottled water to be shipped round the world, private jets, private helicopters, half empty aircraft flying around, first class seats on aircraft, electric fans heaters blowing hot air out of shop doors, huge cars like Rolls Royces, huge private yachts, wasteful outdoor lighting, outdoor patio heaters, wasteful outdoor lighting and light pollution, Prince Charles’s annual travel arrangements, fire baskets flames outside restaurants and hotels ……..

      I heroically do my best to keep my family energy use to about 0.1% of Prince Charles but until they do they about I will assume the government do not believe a word of the climate alarmist claptrap they and the BBC come out with.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Tax increases of 2% on income tax discussed on the BBC to replace the green energy levy (tax). We already have the highest taxes for 40 years. Tax need to come down not go up. Boris and Javid seem to be yet more, tax borrow and piss down the drain merchants so far. I how I am wrong but it seems not.

  3. GilesB
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Politicians, and policy analysts, need to pay much more attention to asset productivity.

    The UK keeps investing in housing, schools and hospitals that do not enable higher levels of Asset Productivity (Return on Investment) or Labour productivity (Earnings per hour).

    The claims that ‘immigrants contribute more in taxes than they claim in benefits’ may or may not be true. But what is certain is that they have diluted the UK’s investment in industry.

    We used to have about £1m in public infrastructure per capita. It is now substantially less.

    The squeeze on industry and commerce has been severe. Look at the modern tools and robots available to a Chinese worker, let alone a German or US worker. No wonder our productivity (value created per labour hour) is abysmal and getting worse.

    We need to encourage the private sector to invest more. Whether through lower taxes on returns on capital and capital gains or direct grants and subsidies.

    More importantly politicians need to appreciate, and communicate, the massive impact on productivity, and hence standard of living, of an increasing population. Look at the impact on dilution of asset per worker, not the simple comparison of taxes in benefits out

    • Dennis
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      The claims that ‘immigrants contribute more in taxes than they claim in benefits’ may or may not be true.’

      If true when they are working and paying taxes what is the position when they retire and no longer pay earnings taxes and live to their 80/90s?

  4. DOMINIC
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Putin has both hands firmly around the throat of the German economy. It is no exaggeration to say that if Putin wanted to he could bring Germany to its industrial knees by a simple turn of the spigot. If you’re looking for an explanation for the horrors we have witnessed since 2012 then look no further than Berlin and Washington. Trump’s a pussycat compared to the previous POTUS and the incumbent German President

    • Fred H
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      It is not just the German economy being readied for an energy standstill, it is the majority of the EU output and possible complete lack of retaliation to Russian aggression.

      • Hope
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Dominic, and who has the carbon footprint, Russia or Germany? Same for electric supply from France? Does Russia care?

        Has the EU totaled all carbon from the energy Germany uses? Is it in breach of its rules?

        Tory govt. Virtue signaling is an act of self harm. Watch Teumps state of union address. It was fantastic. Family, God and country first, whilst recogning other faiths and countries. Honoured those who serve or sacrificed for the country. Not a conveyor belt for corrupt dishonest MPs acting against the public will or patronage to the PM.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Aleksandr Dugin,Eurasianist philosopher,sometimes (probably erroneously) described as Putin’s Rasputin :”The task of Moscow is to tear Europe away from the control of the US,to assist European unification and to strengthen her ties with central Europe under the aegis of the fundamental external axis – Moscow-Berlin.”Quote taken from his “Foundation of Geopolitics” which is apparently required reading at Russian military academies.

        Mr Trump’s sanctions policies are working well….for Russia!Their Finance Ministry reported last week that,as a result of sanctions on Venezuela,Russia oil sales to the USA increased 3.1x in 2019 and as a result of sanctions on Iran sales to Turkey rose 4.5x.

        Dominic Raab announced last week that “the UK has been at the forefront of EU sanctions against Russia.”Dominic,old love,as they have been spectacularly unsuccessful,I’d keep quiet about that if I were you!

      • margaret howard
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        ” complete lack of retaliation to Russian aggression”

        Russian aggression? Where? US illegal Iraq war has set the whole Middle East on fire causing millions of their citizens to flee for their lives. All this with our active collaboration.

        And then they shut their borders and let the Europeans deal with the horrendous fallout.

        The usual American hit an run tactics to keep the folks back home happy to imagine they rule the world as the last super power.

        • Fred H
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Russian aggression = Georgia, Abkhazia, Transnistria, North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya, Dagestan, North Caucasus, Ukraine, Crimea, Syria.

          That’ll do for now.
          Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway getting nervous…..

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            Fred H

            And Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

            PS Have the Russians built walls around any of them a la US/Mexico?

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      The largest gas field in the EU(once the 10th largest in the world)-Groningen in the Netherlands-is going to be closed down prematurely.Mark Rutte,Dutch PM,announced last September production would cease in 2022 rather than the previously expected 2030.Subsidence and quakes are cited as the reason.Possibly low lying Holland feels particularly vulnerable to subsidence!

  5. Frances Truscott
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    It needs to be new green forms of energy. For instance shale gas production in the south where we rely on aquifers is crazy. There is only one plant in the entire usa capable of fully cleaning shale gas waste water. We need a mix of different and new types of energy such as using waste, as well as importing from Norway and possibly geo from Iceland. We cannot risk permanently ruining land to make a few people richer.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Frances We cannot risk permanently ruining land to make a few people richer.

      This is exactly what has been done with the erection of wind farms involving thousands of acres of land to the detriment of many residents and certainly the wildlife.

      • Frances Truscott
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        fracking would be much worse since fracking waste water cannot be cleaned and returned to the water cycle.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Germany gets Russian gas at a preferential rate so of course it doesn’t want us producing our own because it would be cheaper.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Ian

      Why should that bother them? After all we are not in the EU any longer so what we do is of little interest to them now.

      • NickC
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Margaret H, We have only left the previous EU treaties; the UK is still controlled by the EU using the WA treaty.

  7. Ian@Barkham
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Energy is the key, and while we try to avoid the subject nuclear is still the only viable option around.

    The UK is hampered in this in that Gordon Brown sold off our capabilities and now we have to rely on the French and pay their government for the privilege.

    Rather than the large expensive and vulnerable installations maybe we should look at the Rolls Royce proposal for a grid of mini generators

    This should have been the first proposal from Government before the push to electric cars. As yet there are no plans and no way this UK Government can supply the power for its decreed plans of electric cars.

    Yet again Goverment is putting out a cart before the horse proclamation just for a headline and be seen to be part of the ‘me-to’ cult.

    Doesn’t the UK deserve a serious Government with joined up thinking? It is looking like we the electorate has been succered into the same-old same-old cult of look at me prima-dona government with washy idealism that takes us know where.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Might I suggest investing money in nuclear power research a better option than HS2? It’s no good having a fancy electric railway without the power to drive it.
      It seems no one actually knows how much nuclear energy costs, because no one can build a reactor to budget. I think we should find out why, and UK based competence would be a good idea.

      • glen cullen
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        HS2 is not electric it will have diesel trains

        • Fred H
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Hybrid – like GWR ‘ELECTRIFICATION’.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Rolls Royce proposals suggest they are ‘confident that mini reactors can compete on price with low-cost renewables such as offshore wind.’

        These units can be mass produced in the way they(RR) already does for submarines

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        I saw an article recently that suggested Rolls Royce’s new SMR could generate power at £55 per something or other, which is about half the price of the trons coming out of the new Hinkley Point and is comparable to wind-turbine trons. Can’t provide a reference though.

        • dixie
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          World Nuclear News, Sept 25th 2019 gives the Hinkley Point C guaranteed price as £92.5 per MWh while Nuclear Energy Insider January 30th 2019 give the RR SMR as £60 per MWh after the 5th unit.

          You’d need around 8 SMRs @ 440MW for £1.8b each to match Hinkley Point C @ 3.2GW for £22.5b.

          On balance a fleet of SMRs looks much cheaper.

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Based on Johnson’s ill-judged intention to destroy what is left of the UK car industry we should not look to his government for common sense on the matter. There was a revealing article on Conservative Home yesterday by one of the co- authors of the recent Conservative Manifesto with the headline “Achieving net zero will involve massive changes to our lives – when is anyone going to tell voters?”

      Note the use of the word “tell”. We are not being asked, we are being told what we can and cannot do without so much as a by your leave. This will turn out to be jackboot politics, rammed through by a government with a big majority and feeble opposition. Some group on the Tory back benches needs to wise up fast before irreparable damage is caused by these foolish policies. It is time the ERG should rethink its name and it’s purpose. Otherwise it is time again for an extra parliamentary revolt to bring the Tory party back to its senses.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        The ruling Elite always perceive it is more productive to ‘tell’ others how to live, then steel from their wallets to pay for it.

        We now have a Conservative Party down in the gutter with the others and forgetting that Democracy is not how they interpret it to stay in power – but how it engages with the People.

      • DaveK
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Energy Research Group.

      • DavidJ
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Good comment.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    And there it is. All nations using more fossil fuels than ever before and yet the narrative of climate change Armageddon continues to accelerate. I wonder why the political class and their allies in the west embrace this most oppressive and manipulative narrative? Is it because it allows them even more reason to INTERVENE in our lives? Is it because this specious, corrosive and deeply flawed narrative affords them the pretext to dictate our behaviour?

    We have a duty to protect our planet from harm and yes, we must do all we can to ensure environments and habitats are protected but those of us who care to see are aware that many of these issues are being deliberately politicised to assert control over our lives. The same strategy applies to physical differences between human beings. The western political paradigm is now one of control over human behaviour and what better way of doing that then invoking the potential destruction of the planet.

    We are living through a period a western history that in time will be viewed with horror by libertarians and democrats. The left have embraced a most dangerous form of politics and western governments have also embraced a similar mindset. It won’t end well

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • Andy
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Who controls your behaviour other than you?

      What types of behaviour are you banned from that you’d like to do?

      I’m genuinely interested because many of you lot think there is some huge malevolent force stopping you from doing stuff.

      But you can never explain who or what it stops you from doing. So what do you want to do?

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Frack for gas locally.

      • Dennis
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Andy – ‘What types of behaviour are you banned from that you’d like to do?’

        What is posited now is what we will not be allowed in the near future – gas boilers, only electric heating/ cooking in homes, no petrol/diesel cars, must have electric cars, not many flights, smart meters compulsory, etc. Not a ban exactly but higher taxes on things to stop most accessing choices. The very rich won’t mind that much of course – keeps the riff raff out so roads etc. will be clearer for them.

        None of this would be necessary if the world population was perhaps about 1 billion.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Not banned yet but the green police are active…

        1. Eat and enjoy eating as much meat as I want to Andy without the lectures 🙂

        2. Use our petrol and diesel cars until there is a suitable replacement in place and functional.

        3. I’m not bothered about flying around but there are people that are and to be lectured from the real flight guzzlers and told to stop is patronising and ridiculous.

        There are more but you don’t like to listen, Andy, just lecture.

        • Andy
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          So you are not actually stopped from doing anything. You just feel uncomfortable about doing some of them. Thank you for proving my point.

          • a-tracy
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            its Your attitude that makes people feel the way we do, freedom means being able to do things we like to do that are illegal without the backlash from trolls.

            Why do you think people go silent Andy? People who constantly badger other people aren’t the majority they just like the sound of their own voice, you don’t want to listen and you’re not willing to accept you may be wrong and nothing I’ve ever read from you on this site changes my opinion of that. Trying to impose your view of the world on everyone else is sensorship.

            You’d think I’d you read say twitter that 99% of the public wanted to remain, people were so attacked for holding the opposite view that they just went silent until they got their vote.

          • a-tracy
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            Things we like to do that AREN’T illegal !🙂

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Fred H
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      What about the unsustainable population on China, India, S.America and some other Asian countries? Plus the horror of digging up vast areas of the natural world and burning the fossil fuels plundered. Just the West being blamed? Really? What planet are you on (boom boom)?.

    • cynic
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Most politicians probably don’t believe that Global Warming will destroy our planet. They are just stupid enough to think that the rest of us are stupid enough to believe it.

    • DavidJ
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      It is absolutely about more interference or, more correctly, control. They might not believe it but they are taking full advantage of it. It needs to be stopped and a good way to confirm that they have stopped would be to cease all funding of the UN and its destructive Agendas 21 / 2030.

  9. Mick
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7973483/More-40-migrants-intercepted-patrols-English-Channel-brought-Dover.html
    Why aren’t these people taken straight back to France and not being aloud to step foot on British soil , this government is taking the people for idiots who’s to say who’s landing here , it’s about time it stop and stop being a soft touch, what was the point of coming out of the Eu if we aren’t stopping (illegals Ed) sneaking into our country

    • Helena
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Mick, international law requires that we take in these people. If you voted us out of the EU because you wanted to ignore the rest of the world, you have a lot of shocks in store. Don’t blame me – blame the charlatans who sold you the totally false “taking back control” nonsense

      • Edward2
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        International law doesn’t say we have to take these people.
        The law says the nearest place of safety from where they originally lived.
        France is a safe haven.

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Helena, International law does not require that we take these people in. International law says that refugees must stay in the first safe country they come to. There is no international law that requires any nation to accept economic migrants.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Why do they want to come here Helena when they’re already living in your land of milk and honey?

        Is it perhaps our housing benefits system, asylum allowances, access to free healthcare, disability benefits, child benefits, free schooling etc. are better and they don’t have to live in tents in the dirt, or live begging under motorway girders and overpasses as they do in Paris?

        A lot of leavers Helena just wanted the changes David Cameron asked for, the EU dug its heels in – end of story.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Then you have to ask why are so many people risking their lives to escape from the wonderful all providing safe haven of the EU?

    • Andy
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Um – we’ve always been able to stop illegals. They are here illegally. The name sort of gives it away.

      Under international law we have a duty to rescue people in trouble at sea and to bring them ashore. If they are rescued by British boats they will be brought here.

      The Brexiteers have repeatedly made clear their hostility to France. The French have no need to help.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        ‘The Brexiteers have repeatedly made clear their hostility to France. The French have no need to help.’

        Oh for God’s sake!! You get worse.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Let me explain.

        To escape a perfectly safe and civilised country to claim asylum in a freebie giving country one must do this:

        – get in an unseaworthy boat

        – launch yourself into a helpless situation

        – appeal for rescue

        We know what the UK establishment is up to. Brexit was a rebellion against them and not the EU. Much the same as the vote for Trump being a vote against the liberal establishment rather than a vote for Trump.

        At least he refugees have more respect for Brexit voters than you do. They come here to live among us safe in the knowledge that we are, in fact, not racists at all.

        We know for a fact that you’ve done your best to keep you and your family away from them.

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The EU (and French) governments do not have a legal right to dump their problems onto us. They should look to their own borders. As we can now.

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          NickC

          Aiding and abetting the US in their illegal wars and invasions starting with Iraq has made us responsible for the millions of refugees these wars have produced.

          The US then closed its borders and let Europe deal with the crisis.

          The huge refugee numbers from the Middle East make a mockery of the relatively few who want to come here from France.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            It is the ongoing Sunni v Shia civil wars that are destabilising the Middle East.

            America trying to reduce illegal immigration through its Southern border has had no impact on increasing European immigration.

            Refugees should go to the nearest safe haven not travel thousands of miles across numerous safe countries to get to the UK.
            Once in Tfance they should ask forcadylum there.
            Or are you claiming EU member nation France is unsafe?

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Which specific Brexiteers have repeatedly made clear their hostility to France? I would like to google your allegations.

        The EU often got the blame for the failings on behalf of the British government to remove illegals fast and efficiently and perhaps our courts and lawyers had a lot to answer to, maybe using EU rules? I’m not sure.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes, now what did Johnson call the French?

        Remind us, Fred?

        • Fred H
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Thankfully I cannot read your mind – so you had better tell us.

      • dixie
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Provide the reference to the specific international law that requires people rescued in the channel, even by British boats, to be landed in the UK

        • steve
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          dixie

          It might be the law of the sea. If they’re closer to French shores they should in theory be disembarked there.

          • dixie
            Posted February 10, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            “next port of call” is undefined in international law, so my understanding is that it does not require even nearest landfall but is determined largely at the master’s discretion.

            The flag state also has no bearing.

            The Non-refoulement rule (article 33, 1951 Convention) does not apply to migrants coming from the EU.

            So we do not have a duty to bring them to UK shore and Andy cannot give a reference because there isn’t one and isn’t bothered to find stuff out anyway.

      • steve
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “Under international law we have a duty to rescue people in trouble at sea and to bring them ashore.”

        That is indeed so, even if those concerned were responsible for their own predicament.

        Rescue is the right and honourable thing to do, as is providing them with medical assistance especially where children might be involved.

        I get quite annoyed when I hear people saying we should turn their dinghies around, sink them etc. We are not savages, we are not heartless, and we are a seafaring nation.

        However concerns arise because the French are deliberately shifting these people on to the UK, despite EU law which requires them to be facilitated to country of origin.

        In my opinion we should assist these people, see that they’re medically fit, give them some food, dry clothes etc, let them rest up…..then put them on the Eurostar back to France.

        • dixie
          Posted February 10, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          International law does not specify even UK flagged vessels must disembark rescued migrants on UK shores.

          I suspect you will find the French people are as fed up with these illegal migrants as we are.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      They come here because the government has no intention or desire to stop them. There is no political will to do anything at all about this problem; quite why, I fail to understand, as do many millions of us.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Nor do they intend to return us to real policing as it is being reported that people are no longer bothering to tell the police about crime.

      • ian terry
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Chris Dark
        There is no political will to do anything at all about this problem;

        Correct.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      The arrivals yesterday didn’t exactly sneek into the country. After crossing what is supposed to be the most watched, radar covered and busy waterways on the planet, AND SOMEHOW GOING UNDETECTED? some just ring 999 and wait for the taxpayer funded rescue service to spring into action. After being “rescued” from the position THEY put themselves in, they laugh their heads off as a work free life, with everything provided, beckons.

    • hefner
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Because those people are more likely to have a bit of English than a bit of Spanish, Italian, French … or Greek; because they know that once in the UK where there is no need for identity documents 99% of the time, they will be able to disappear melting into the landscape. The 2006 attempt at establishing identity card (Identity Cards Act 2006 (c15)) was repealed after the 2010 GE.

  10. Ian@Barkham
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Perversely coal could work with the appropriate CO2 scrubber in place.

    Not forgetting CO2 itself can be used to produce hydrogen, the effective power source for the electric cars.

    • Shirley
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I have heard that burning coal produces less CO2 than burning the wood pellets that are imported from half way across the world at great cost to the environment. If true, then why are we burning wood pellets instead of coal, which is basically fossilised wood. Maybe the ‘green’ agenda isn’t about ‘greenness’ at all?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Exactly burning gas or coal in the UK make far more sense than burning wood imported on diesel ships. If they (foolishly) want to save C02 then use the wood to build houses or bury it!

        If we want to increase living standards then start to cull all the pointless and essentially parasitic jobs in government and in compliance with daft government laws and absurdly complex tax laws. Millions of these in HR, law, tax collection, health and safely, tv licensing, planning, green crap building control laws, the green lunacy in general …….

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Shirley at it’s heart the green agenda has never been about being green but about money and some are making shed loads out of it. One in particular springs to mind. David Cameron’s father in law with his large wind farms on his land. We were surrounded by farmers who were clamouring to be approached to have wind turbines on their land. The sums involved are vast for the land owners but even larger for the developers most of whom are foreign and receive more money to switch off than to run the damn things.

        • turboterrier
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          F U S

          even larger for the developers most of whom are foreign and receive more money to switch off than to run the damn things.

          £610K last year for Scottish turbines alone. The perception is that the position of their heads are firmly being blocked from the sun shine, They do not have a clue and the rest of the UK are paying big time.

      • glen cullen
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        correct

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Shirley, Self styled “greens” are usually not technically or scientifically literate. So you get Ed Davey claiming that we can charge battery cars overnight with the “spare” electricity. Actually the existing difference between night and day demand will allow about 2 million cars to be charged, not the 32 million cars on UK roads.

        I do not know a single “green” technology initiative that has worked. Bio-fuels? Wind? Battery cars? Recycling? Closing Nuclear power (Germany)? Offshoring manufacturing to worse polluters? Every one a fail, with either more pollution, greater cost, or simply not working at all – or any combination.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      We do not need the odourless, colourless C02 to be removed at all. It is costly and energy inefficient to do so. CO2 is largely harmless tree and plant food and on balance the evidence suggest a little more in the atmosphere has a net positive effect.

      Certainly we should clean the nasty pollutants out of the post combustion gases where possible however. Coal is, after all, just old biofuel.

      • Shirley
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        +1

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Germany gets Russian gas at a preferential rate so of course it doesn’t want us producing our own because it would be cheaper.
    That’s what the EU means by a level playing field.
    Tilted to their advantage.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Ian

      But we aren’t in the EU any longer so it doesn’t apply to us.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Of course it applies to us.
        Boris has signed up to the level playing in the WA. No doubt you haven’t read it.

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Field.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        ” aren’t in the EU any longer” – – but still handing them £55m a DAY for the privilege. Council tax will go up again in a few weeks and services will be cut. Queues will get longer ( for us) in the NHS, but no doubt those 90 new arrivals yesterday will have already been seen by the health service WE pay for. They will have already cost us close to a £million and will soon be housed at our expense. Of course they could all be top flight scientists and engineers, somehow I doubt it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          bigneil

          “, but no doubt those 90 new arrivals yesterday will have already been seen by the health service WE pay for. ”

          Good luck to them! Because in our neck of the woods you would be lucky to get to see a doctor after weeks of waiting. By which time your body will probably have cured itself (which no doubt is the intention in the first place)

          • Edward2
            Posted February 9, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            You make no connection between the two things you mention Margaret?

            10 million new arrivals into the UK since 1997 added to a rise in population since that time.
            It is no wonder NHS GPs are struggling to cope.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        That is not what the EU is saying.

      • NickC
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Margaret H, It’s nothing to do with being in (or out) of the EU – it’s the EU trying to prevent the UK from being competitive. Trust you to support our EU enemy.

        • bill brown
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Nick C

          the enemy is only in your mind or where else?

  12. agricola
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Yes Germany is something of a cotradiction. Their lobby for Russian gas and home grown coal must be stronger than the Green lobby. Can they control the noxious effect of these fuels or is the money speaking loudest.

    The knee jerk future the UK is employing to energy production is far from logical. A dependency on European energy because we do not produce enough of our own. A proliferation of unreliable windmills because anyone with a few spare acres can earn a few bob. Unreliable when there is no wind. A very expensive French/Chinese nuclear plant of doubtful outcome and very expensive energy if it works. A fracking ban due to EU opposition and our bowing to the Nimby and protest culture , home grown. Going for imported Canadian wood pellets and home extracted or imported gas.

    Iwould say on reflection that our energy policy is a shambles to none existent. Utterly bizarre when you combine it with the precipitate drive to electrify everything including transport, so doubling our requirement for electricity.

    Government needs to get a grip now, ignoring dictats from the EU and protests from Nimbies. We need an interim energy policy that answers our needs until the Holy Grail of Fusion Energy is a reality. I would like to see some serious thought put into Hydrogen production as an alternative fuel for transport. A useful employment of electricity from wind. When you burn Hydrogen you end up with water and it works in the internal combustion engine.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      When Angela Merkel closed down the nuclear power stations in Germany after the last Japanese disaster, they had to import a lot of electricity from France, most of which is made, of course, by…nuclear power.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        classic NIMBY

  13. Newmania
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    The EU contains Nations which in my lifetime, were members of the Eastern Block . Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and of course East Germany, whose unification was peacefully accepted by France only within the EU. Spain was ruled by Franco until 75..my my wouldnt` he have loved Brexit. The EU is a club not a country , there is no comparison to make
    The point of this absurd discussion is to suggest that the low employment environmental high carbon poor services US model is economically more dynamic than the centrist EU model. That argument rather falls flat when we notice that Germany and Scandinavia are wealthier than the UK but its an argument at least .
    This Singapore on Thames model, is , of course the one that Leave campaigners unanimously and repeatedly denied they wished to inflict on the UK outside the EU but is now openly part of the Brexit Sates`s aims … duh
    I try not to call Brexit voters stupid but why on earth did they think the right wished to free of EU standards..to set higher ones ? Sorry but you are morons and if we cannot say so then we cannot tell the truth

    • Edward2
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Firstly
      You call the USA “high carbon” when you mean carbon dioxide. USA has been reducing its emissions
      But even that is wrong USA has reduced its emissions by over 40% since 2000.
      Unlike several EU nations.

      Secondly it is about the UK being independent not reducing our employment rights or environmental standards.
      This is just your made up irrational Project Fear.
      The Government has repeatedly said it will not weaken the laws in these areas.

      Thirdly
      You end your arguments with dreadful generalised personal abuse of millions of people.
      Which proves your post to be poorly set out and flimsy in its content.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      And the last time our people had had a vote on this situation was in 1975.

      If they had been told in 1975 that we would be sharing with the Eastern Bloc no way would they have voted for it.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      The EU not a country? Why has it go so many presidents, a High Representative whose previous encumbency was involved in starting a war between Ukraine and Russia? Being able to start a war is a sure sign of nationhood. Of course, like all Ruritanian countries, it has an army. It has a parliament. It is a joke; however, that is not to suggest that the innate intelligence and engineering skills of the Germans and Scandinavians still create wealth. That they would be better off as sovereign nations again goes without saying and that also applies to all those weaker countries whose economies are hamstrung by the Euro and pointless and costly rules inflicted on them by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels.

    • NickC
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, There’s nothing magic about the quantity of “EU standards”, or the level they’re set to. We could have more, or fewer. At a higher level, or lower, or the same. You are the moron for pretending that only the EU can have standards that are perfect, or even just the best.

      Three years ago I realised that if one inverts what a Remain claims, then the result is more likely to be true than the original Remain view. You demonstrate the validity of my thought almost every day.

  14. Richard1
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It’s quite alarming that what we are getting so far from Boris Johnson is a whole lot of virtue signalling green crap – ban petrol vehicles with no idea of an alternative, spend £100bn on HS2 etc – but no coherent energy policy at all. in the absence of some magic new zero carbon source of energy the best thing would be a big expansion of small local nuclear power stations which, contrary to green propaganda, are quite safe, and of shale gas which has 1/2 the emissions of coal and slightly over 1/2 of oil. Otherwise it’s all just talk and humbug, as eg in Germany and China.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Exactly this government seems just as full of anti-scientific, virtue signalling green lunacy as Major, Bliar, Brown, Cameron and May (and indeed of tax increasing zeal). What damn fools they nearly all are. Then we have the foolish Claire Perry (Geography Oxon like May) telling them off for not being even more stupid and full of green lunacy than they already are.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        LL
        Plus one!

      • steve
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        “What damn fools they nearly all are.”

        Actually no. If you think about it we’ve given the wrong answer in a referendum, meaning that they will no longer have the privilege of a fat pension for doing nothing more than rubber stamping EU laws.

        Now they will have to work for a living, and take responsibility for their actions. The days of simply blaming the EU are over.

        So, their cosy number is buggered, by us……and it is us they will punish.

        Boris has already screwed up many a happy retirement by announcing laws to effectively immobilise our cars.

        They are not fools, far from it. They have it all worked out, and will make us pay dearly.

        Extremely dangerous, yes. Foolish ? no.

    • NickC
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Exactly right. Boris’s fad for battery cars is an example. Road vehicles use around 453TWh where the existing electricity production is c335TWh. That means doubling our power stations, grid capacity and street cabling. All in 15 years. Theresa May said by 2040. Come back Theresa, you had more sense than Boris!!!

    • ian terry
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1

      Well said. Proper development of hydrogen use would help a great deal, another plausible alternative to wind and solar. It can meet the demands of industry and domestic use and power all types of vehicles.

  15. DOMINIC
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    German industrial production falling off a cliff. No wonder they’re desperate to keep the UK inside the EU’s cobweb. If we had a PM who wasn’t wedded to the idea EU alignment and EU loyalty and look westwards to the US that really would petrify Berlin

    Why for example do we never see US cars on UK roads?

    I have no doubt that Johnson will not open our borders to tariff-free US imports of cars and other consumables choosing instead to hammer US vehicles etc with high tariffs to protect German car exports to the UK. The UK doesn’t exist to provide a market for the German car industry.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      DOMINIC

      “German industrial production falling off a cliff”

      “That meant that, for the full year, exports rose just 0.8% — compared with 3% the previous year and 6.2% in 2017. Imports were up 1.4%, down from 5.6% in 2018 and 8% in 2017.
      Germany’s economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year’s 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. Fourth-quarter figures haven’t yet been released, but officials estimated last month that the economy grew slightly compared with the previous quarter”

      Fallen off a cliff? Not even a stumble. Just your usual love of hyperbole?

      And who wants American cars? People buy what they like.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        BERLIN (Reuters) – German industrial output fell more than expected in September, data showed on Thursday, pointing to ongoing weakness in the sector and indicating that Europe’s largest economy most probably slipped into recession in the third quarter.
        Industrial output dropped by 0.6% on the month, figures released by the Economy Ministry showed. A Reuters poll had pointed to a fall of 0.4%. “It’s not a nice number. The decline in industrial production in September makes a technical recession almost official now,” said Thomas Gitzel, economist at VP Bank.

      • Libertarian
        Posted February 10, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Maggs

        Take off your rose tinted specs and see what is ACTUALLY happening in Germany

        Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known as ‘AKK’, intends to step down from her post as the leader of Angela Merkel’s conservative party CDU. And she will not become the party’s candidate for the Chancellery.
        AKK’s standing badly hurt by events in German state of Thuringia last week, when little-known politician was elected PM with CDU votes and far-right Alternative for Germany. First time in Germany’s postwar history that PM had been elected into office with votes of extreme right.

        Auto Makers News

        America’s automakers hit rock bottom with the public when their executives went to Washington in 2008 to beg for a bailout — in corporate jets.

        Now it’s the German car industry’s turn to suffer an image crisis and, as with General Motors and Chrysler a decade ago, it could not be happening at a less auspicious moment.

        Amid trade wars and plunging China sales, the number of cars rolling off Germany’s production lines has dropped by 12 percent this year and exports by 14 percent.

        European sales fell 9 percent in the same period.

        With demand expected to remain weak for a couple of years, the German supplier Continental is not ruling out cuts to working hours and jobs.

        International Banker

        Problems have continued to mount for the German banking sector in 2019. According to Ronit Ghose, the global head of banks research at Citibank, German lenders are in a much worse position than their European counterparts—and that even includes Italy when it comes to profitability. “The Italian banks have done some clean-up on their balance sheets, like the Spanish banks. The Germans next year are going to make 2-3% return on equity (ROE), and this year will be even worse,” Ghose recently observed.

    • MWB
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Because most USA made cars are terrible, and no one who has ever owned an Audi/Mercedes/BMW/VW would ever go near one.

      • a-tracy
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        I disagree MWB, we owned a Chrysler Voyager for many years to safely transport our family around, a super car, very reliable, the only reason we didn’t replace it with another Voyager was due to EU demands it became underpowered for its size. We’ve owned a Porsche, several BMWs and Mercedes.

        Ford are still American owned aren’t they?

        • MWB
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Ford are American owned, but European Fords are not American made.

          • Libertarian
            Posted February 10, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            MWB

            Yes well BMW’s biggest factory is in Sharpsville USA , so not really sure what point you are trying to make

    • steve
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      DOMINIC

      “Why for example do we never see US cars on UK roads?”

      We do. Dodge, Chevrolet & Ford to name a few. Actually I’m sure I saw a newish Bewick the other day, although that would be GM I suppose.

  16. Mark B
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Thanks to hydrocarbons mankind is where it is today. If those who wish to save the planet would like to show us all how we can all live in s fossil fuel free world I’d be more inclined to listen to them.

    The latest pronouncements from government as to how we shall all be living is of grave concern. It seems that we will all be moving over to electric and hoping that the wind keeps blowing. Sooner or later that ship of fools, parliament, is going to find that revolutions are not just some quaint European thing, they happen here too ! You can only push people do far and, as we are beginning to see with all the other drivel coming from our elected representatives, people are fighting back.

    • Richard416
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      And yet as far as I am aware there is not a single trolleybus scheme in any city in the country.

    • NickC
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, You are right. Boris has only so much good will. He’s squandered most of it already. Going for battery electric road vehicles (£3trn of generators and infrastructure??) makes the money we wasted on the EU look trivial.

    • ian terry
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      You can only push people do far and, as we are beginning to see with all the other drivel coming from our elected representatives, people are fighting back.

      It will only happen whenthe greens are seen as what they really are . Like the water melon , Green on the outside and bright red in the middle. In some ways more dangerous that Labour . At the moment they are the tail wagging the dog.

  17. Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The UK needs to move back to energy self sufficiency…. Full Stop.

    If we don’t then we will never achieve all the possibilities Brexit could give us because our factories will not be supplied with the required energy to do what they need, and home lights will go out.
    Current energy planning will see us on a 3 day week as coal and gas are phased out.
    Unless we suddenly find a natural energy source, we are unlikely to see incomes where they should be, because wind power and solar panels are just not up to the job.

    The Green lobby is emulating Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. The government should have more sense.

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris
      Plus one!

      Utter and complete stupidity from Boris Johnson

      • Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Yes – it really is time the government stopped depending on those groups and companies that rely on funding for climate change research, for advice
        on climate change.
        Time there was a real assessment of the case against man made CC.

        Perhaps if we described the climate change scam in Latin it would become clearer to Boris.
        politica ineptias

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    We should stop all subsidies for renewable and energy market manipulations. Let them compete fairly if and when they are able to. All we need if far less government, far less tax, far less red tape and cheap on demand energy. But clearly Javid is planning even more tax increases from the absurdly overtax position we already have.

    Clearly the housing minister is another socialist idiot. Why should some house buyers subsidise others in this idiotic way? Reported in the Telegraph today. Just relax planning and sort out some real competition in banking.

    First-timers buyers to be given 30% off the cost of new house. First Homes scheme could help first-time owners purchase property in their local area, with possible discount of £94,000 FIRST-TIME buyers will be given a discount of 30 per cent on the price of some new-build homes under a scheme being announced by ministers today. The First Homes scheme could slash the cost of the average eligible new-build home by £94,000.

  19. Peter van LEEUWEN
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised that the moderator cancelled my yesterday contribution!
    It is really a matter of how one wants to look at statistics. Why should the UK be proud than its GDP per capita is higher than that of e.g. Bulgaria (= EU)?. I advise readers just to look in wikipedia (gpd per capita) and see for themselves.

    Most importantly, the UK has some of the poorest regions in the northern part of the EU and should do something about that. More than ever, that is a national issue.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Peter

      So what are you saying, after 47 years in the EU it did not work for the northern areas of the UK !

      Perhaps that is one of the reasons they voted to leave in great numbers !

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson: I’d suggest that national policies were to blame, but we’ll see in say five years whether these regions will do much better.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      ‘Most importantly, the UK has some of the poorest regions in the northern part of the EU ‘ often caused by the EU policies!

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        @Fred H: I’d suggest that national policies were to blame, but we’ll see in say five years whether these regions will do much better.

      • MWB
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        But usually caused by the useless UK governments.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      PvL:

      “Most importantly, the UK has some of the poorest regions in the northern part of the EU and should do something about that.

      True, but why when we were (and still are) a major contributor to the EU budget doesn’t some of that net contribution come back to those areas?

      • Peter van LEEUWEN
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: Surely some of the contribution came back to these regions. Question now is if the UK government will help these regions more than happened in the past. Your Mr Johnson spoke, I believe, of votes lent to him this time, so maybe he will follow that with actual deeds. For these regions I hope so. We will see it during the next five years.

      • Andy
        Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        It did. But then you voted to leave. Indeed the EU budget was set up specifically so that investment went into the very poorest communities.

        • NickC
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Andy, One of the reasons we voted Leave was because the EU had helped to make those regions poor, just like the EU made southern EU a wasteland for jobs for young people.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          It clearly didn’t Andy, otherwise we would not be paying the EU at least £10Billion net…

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Would those regions be as poor if we had not given the EU north of £200 bn?

    • James
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      The old folks homes are creaking at the hinges and the EU helpers are about to decamp- and if anyone thinks living on the sixth floor of a council building and having to wind down the concrete stairs because the lifts are out of order? if anyone thinks that this is acceptable housing for old people who in their time did their best for the country is acceptable- especially those that endured during it’s darkest hours? So no wonder people were so disillusioned in 2016 and voted like they did- but Sir John knows all about it- he’s a politician and like the rest of them the Daily Express included, they milked the system brainwashed the people that their unfortunate circumstance was mainly the fault of the EU so that now we have a truly divided society- Sir John- It’s not only about the incomes and growth- it should be more about dignity and respect.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely true Peter and after nearly 50 years in the EU this is why I was repeatedly told Northern Britain was so absolutely fed up of seeing their jobs exported, funding chosen to be spent by the EU elsewhere, our infrastructure left to slow down productivity and performance. Then as the South and South East of England particularly London started to fill up with energetic self-starters looking to make a good living the UK government decided to displace lots of the weaker EU members who wanted to come and live on benefits out to the regions and other big Northern and Midland cities exacerbating a problem with housing and British kids stuck on housing lists.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I am concerned about Boris.

    Huawei

    Now the green crap. Which is all sticks and not one carrot. What next ?

    • graham1946
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      It is the mystery, as yet unidentified mind altering ray which seems to exist in 10 Downing Street. Just about all new PM’s go in with many good ideas and intentions and within a short while (even shorter in Boris’s case) have their minds altered to the usual, accepted number 10 way of doing things. Thus it is that all governments fail.

      • Fred H
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        you could be right. Something strange happens when publicly popular MPs walk into ‘no 10’. Delusions of grandeur, ivory tower, won this now do what I like? All very odd – but sure to be remembered next GE.

  21. Newmania
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Yup , thats what you get when foolish people have put you in an impossibly weak position dealing with people you have spent years insulting

    Good plan brains

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Says the man who helped cause Brexit by insulting people and even made the national press doing so once.

    • NickC
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Indeed true – the EU has spent decades insulting us and taking us for granted. From stealing our fish, our money, our industry, and our democracy to finally making us their colony. But that’s why we voted Leave.

      • bill brown
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:38 am | Permalink

        NickC

        Empire, colony and now stealing our money , although lots of countries pay more per head. Please, do your research before you keeping writing all this nonsense

  22. margaret howard
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    JR

    “What does the USA get right to promote prosperity, freedom and happiness for the greatest number, and what does the EU get right? What do we wish to change, because we are currently following the EU model, and what do we wish to keep because it is good?”

    Strange then that these USA advantages don’t seem to filter down to the ‘man in the street’.

    According to the United Nations “World Happiness Report” for 2019 five countries in the top 10 are EU countries with America coming in at only No 19 (we manage No 15).

    Which tells me that overall the EU gets more right in that most important of all human needs, namely happiness and contentment as against the naked capitalism of the US.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      UN world happiness report !
      More nonsense from this over funded , unelected super quango.
      Despite America being the biggest funder the UN continues to be anti America.
      No wonder Trump has cut the money he sends to the UN.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Exactly the good old United Nations!

        A United Nations poverty “expert” warned that Britain’s social safety net has been badly damaged by the government’s austerity program and compared the country’s welfare overhauls to a version of a Victorian workhouse. In a scathing report on the impact of budget cuts on human rights in Britain, Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur for extreme poverty, concluded that cuts to public services since 2010 have resulted in “tragic social consequences.”

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          What austerity? The UK government are taxing at the higher rates for 40+ years and still pissing more than ever down the drain on idiocies all over the place.

    • Peter van LEEUWEN
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      @margaret howard:
      And all these 5 EU countries (including mine) manage higher GDP per capita as well compared with the UK.
      The EU contains rich and poor countries, higher and lower growth rates. It remains a political project for forging peace and stability of which the economic dimension (like single market) is only a part.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        So does London and much of England – if you take NI, Wales, Northern England and Scotland out.

    • NickC
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Margaret H, Yeah I can see that the French are really contented. I suppose you think their wearing of yellow vests is a sign of contentment? Likewise the Swedes, Dutch, Germans, Spanish, Italians and Greeks. A bit like the youth in southern EU – they’re ecstatic. It must be why so many of them come here.

      • bill brown
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        NickC
        Again typical example of more nonsense and very few or no facts, when do you learn?

        • NickC
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Bill B, Again typical example of more nonsense and no facts, when do you learn?

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        NickC, you’re right, the French on average are not particularly happy, with the planned tax on petrol (gilets jaunes) and the modifications presently discussed to overhaul their pension system.

        Contrary to what some people here write almost daily they do not feel they have a “socialist” or left-wing government but rather a very right wing one favouring the upper classes. This (despite/because of) a median salary at €57,200 (jan’20), a minimum wage rate at €10.03/hour (€1,521/month) based on a 35-hour working week (most people in work are more likely to do 38-39 hours).

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    We need to get fracking. Listening to the green brigade and talk of earthquakes is ridiculous. The tremors felt are no more dangerous than those that occur everyday in normal life. When emissions go down in the UK it is not down to renewables but to expanded use of gas. For goodness sake what is the point of relying on Russia for gas when we could be self sufficient and not have the worry of security of supply from a foreign country and one that is not particularly high on the friendship list? Lets get real in this country. It would help our economy and our manufacturing industry enormously.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      F U S

      Totally correct.

      If the government for once had that line in the sand moment and totally backed fracking and hydrogen production a lot of the problems facing us in the very near future will slowly but surely disappear.

    • DennisA
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. All Brexit advantages will be lost with the suicidal pandering to the UN climate agenda and the green folly, which will not only cost us dear, but damage the environment they claim to be saving.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Help some shivering OAPs who cannot afford to heat their homes too.

  24. ChrisS
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’m not interested in comparing our GDP with that of the EU : it’s irrelevant as it is dragged down by the 18 member states whose GDP combined is smaller than ours.

    The real comparison should be between the UK, and the largest economies in Europe : Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. The economies of these countries are much more relevant than that of the EU as a whole. Here our GDP per Capita is behind – particularly compared with Germany and the Netherlands : Figures from Wikipedia :

    Netherlands $56,903
    Germany : $53,276
    France : $46,903
    UK : $45,217
    Italy : $37,232
    Spain : $34,282

    We are predicted to overtake France within a decade after the initial impact of leaving the EU, but we need to set our sights on re-shaping our economy to enable us to match the output of Germany.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Chris Well we are not going to do that with our current energy policy!

    • agricola
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Even more important are the cost comparisons between countries of a loaf of bread, a litre of milk, a litre of diesel, the rates on property, road tax and then the quality of life comparisons which are very specific. After all that you decide where you would prefer to live, mostly after you have retired.

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Agricola, indeed that’s called GDP per person at Purchasing Power Parity. If such a figure is produced together with the median income AND median wealth, one could start making meaningful comparisons between countries on how their various people might enjoy life there.
        So Sir John, whenever you want.

  25. Bob
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Philip Hammond has been nominated by Boris for a peerage.
    After his appalling behaviour in trying to subvert the referendum decision?
    Don’t they have enough Remoaners in the Lords?
    I would have thought that some re balancing would be in order.
    Nigel Farage comes to mind, at least he might inject some fresh perspective into the moribund chamber.

    • glen cullen
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Utter contempt for the people

    • James
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      You still don’t get it Bob- you have to have a certain decorum or class about you to be elevated- Farage doesn’t quite fit the bill- he has a nice suit ok but his loud mouth and beer sipping image together with cigarettes no no it will not do- not exactly lordship material

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        James, oh really? What about John Prescott or Two Jags? Hardly any better than Farage. What have looks or appearance got to do with anything?

        • Fred H
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          exactly…

    • MWB
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Why do we need ANY more so called lords. Clear them all out and elect some people for an upper house, like they do in grown up countries such as Germany.

  26. ukretired123
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Ed Balls was stunned into silence on his BBC trip to Euroland yesterday.
    He kept very quiet about his last employment and Labour’s support of EU.

    Southern EU has high unemployment and Beckham skimmed the surface of the major failing of the Euro.

    France is more divided racially than Britain.
    Slavini says the EU is a nightmare.

    • Bob
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Interestingly this was never reported by our craven MSM:
      AfD co-leader speech on Brexit in Bundestag, Alice Weidel, English subtitles, 21.03.19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63IcW4eo4uM

    • Andy
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry old chap. The EU is going nowhere. Because, for all the EU’s many faults, the alternatives are worse.

      • NickC
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Oh, so the EU does have faults, then, Andy? Now you tell us.

        • bill brown
          Posted February 9, 2020 at 2:54 am | Permalink

          NIckC
          Pathetic feed back

  27. ukretired123
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    My tablet added a word Beckham by mistake!

  28. DOMINIC
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Wanted. A proper Tory party to confront the scourge and poison of identity politics and authoritarian feminism

    And now the unions and Labour are telling us that we must not work outside of normal working hours.

    Excuse Mr McCluskey, can I have your permission to read my work emails at 5.05pm?

    What is happening to this nation?

    The forces of the Left must be exposed by this government. That’s why you were given another 5 years to sort out Labour’s client State Spider’s Web. You’re failing

  29. glen cullen
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Ref your last para

    What about a strategic nuclear power network across the whole UK

    We where once world leaders in this industry

  30. Atlas
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    John, you would agree that it should be incumbent on us to make full use of the present electricity infrastructure. That is, we should make the most of the cabling that is already in the ground. We can do this in one move that will increase our electrical carrying capacity – needed for the extra strain all these electric cars and electric heating is going to eventually impose upon us – and secondly increase our energy efficiency by reducing power losses in the cables. This move is simply to return our mains electricity voltage back to 240 volts from the 230 volts it has been reduced to.

    The reason for the reduction was part of EU harmonization, but as seen back in the 1980s. It was justified then through the cover story of harmonizing domestic goods. No consideration was given to cabling capacity or energy efficiency. Well, in our changed energy circumstances, we need to prioritize capacity and efficiency. Hence the suggestion.

    Incidentally it would take little effort to effect the change as it is merely a matter of changing the connections on sub-station transformers back to where they were. This is a no-brainer move that, now we are out of the EU, is entirely under our control.

    • Mark the Engineer
      Posted February 9, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      In the vast majority of cases, the mains voltage is unchanged at 240V. Harmonisation was just a paperwork exercise so instead of 240V +6%/-6% we called it 230V +10%/-6% without any physical change (our supply tending to be 4% high but still within tolerance). In some cases new installations have been set to 230V nominal but most of us still have 240V at the sockets.

  31. Richard416
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Surely we will need to produce more of everything we consume, not just energy, important though it is. We import far too many manufactured goods that we used to make ourselves.

  32. Fred H
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.

    How safe is air travel with these irresponsible deployments of air defence missiles sold to increasingly excited and nervous wannabe heroes?

    A passenger plane in Syria was forced to re-route after it was almost hit by the country’s missile defence system, Russia’s defence ministry says. According to a statement quoted by Russian media, the plane was about to land in Damascus when Syrian anti-aircraft fire responded to an alleged Israeli attack early on Thursday. The Airbus 320 then diverted to the Russian airbase of Hmeimim in north-western Syria, the ministry said.
    More than 172 people were on board.

    • Fred H
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      from BBC website

  33. bill brown
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    I do not understand why they would criticise you for stating obvious facts, that does not make sense.

    My look at you conclusions is more what you sometimes drew from theses facts , which concerns me the most. Yes, for example Germany is still burning too much coal, but they have also got a set deadline to finish all coal production and burnings as well. (2035).

    Of course the EU figures are lower when you have 10 member countries that have ben under communist/socialist rule for 50 years and are trying to catch up, so it ives a lower average.

    So, yes it is not the facts that are wrong, it is some of your conclusions that sometimes seem rather modified to your own purposes like any politician

    • NickC
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Bill B,
      Again typical example of more nonsense and very few or no facts, when do you learn?

      • bill brown
        Posted February 9, 2020 at 2:53 am | Permalink

        NickC

        Why, do you keep talking about your own contributions?

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      According to a report in Business New Europe this week,the 16 coal-fired power stations in the former Yugoslav fragments of Bosnia,N Macedonia,Montenegro,Kosovo and Serbia emit more SOx than all the EU’s remaining 250 coal-fired plants combined.

  34. ChrisS
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Several contributors above have mentioned Nuclear power generation because that is the only green energy available that can operate in all weathers, day and night.

    Why we are persisting with the horrendously difficult, untried and expensive Hinkley Point-type of nuclear station ? The cost per Kw is inevitably going to be totally uncompetitive.

    On the other side of the channel, France has 58 nuclear stations of which almost all are to one single design but will need replacing over a generation.

    The French are looking towards replacing their ageing stations but are avoiding the money pit which is the Hinkley Point design. They have settled on a new design, EPR2, that is simpler to build and comes with a very significant reduction in unit costs. The design is due to be finalised this year.

    Why are we not planning on building a version of these stations under licence here ?
    With up to fifty being required in France alone over the next 25 years, the economies of scale would be enormous.

    Using the new French design, we could easily add the capacity necessary for the proposed electric car fleet or, better still, the power needed to generate the Hydrogen for a switch to the superior technology of Hydrogen Fuel Cell power for both trains and road vehicles.

    • kzb
      Posted February 10, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      The Rolls Royce Small Modular Reactor is British, pre-fabricated in factories and assembled under cover on site. That could be the way to go.

      It’s possible to use nuclear power directly to convert H2O to hydrogen without going through the inefficient electricity generation stage first. This is what we should be persuing not battery cars.

  35. Ian Wilson
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Sharon Jagger
    Valid point about concrete needed for wind turbines. According to the WSJ a large turbine needs 2,500 tons, then all the lorries to transport it and diggers for foundations. Professor Gordon Hughes calculates overall they save no CO2 at all.

    Andy
    Asks for evidence of bird casualties. The last census I have seen is 133 deaths fer turbine pa but probably an underestimate as some will end up some distance away. Some species are killed disproportionately. Census at one wind farm showed 42 pairs of golden plover before construction, one pair afterwards. Bats are impossible to quantify.

    Allison
    Much has been made by the Green Mafia about water contamination but I believe such claims have never been proven. Most were in areas where water was already contaminated. Forget the fake pictures of flaming taps.

  36. kzb
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Fracking: there is massive gas reserve under Oxfordshire. Why don’t you prove how safe it is there, before inflicting it on Lancashire?

    GDP per head: it’s a miracle anything at all gets done in this country. People can’t get to work for the manufactured traffic congestion and dysfunctional public transport.

  37. Sharon Jagger
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Just reading the opinion articles in the Telegraph…a lot of people are not happy with Boris!

    Summed up well by Stuart Reed – Telegraph reader.

    “We saw the political establishment entirely on the wrong side of public opinion over brexit and I fear that they have called it wrong over climate change, electric cars, HS2, wokeness, the fascination with mental health, gender dysmorphia, easy on Islam, easy on offenders, silent on knife crime, weak on early release of dangerous prisoners, slow to act on the BBC, impotent in the face of divisive identity politics, peerages for Hammond and Clark (bercow will be next, no doubt) and so on. We are a conservative nation and it would be refreshing if a conservative party took a Conservative position, it is what the ‘red wall’ expected and those Surrey villages have been waiting patiently for some time. Come on Boris, you are not Mayor of London any longer.”

    • Bob
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Quite so Sharon.

    • K Jig
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      Wow! I agree every word!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:36 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

  38. steve
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “The UK needs to move back to energy self sufficiency, without coal in the mix.”

    Agreed, but why no coal ?

    You may not be aware JR but China has for years been digging massive artificial coal mines and storing in them as much coal as they can lay their hands on.

    There’s only 60 million us, compared to well over 1 billion of them. Can you explain to us why we should be expected to compromise our ability to be energy self sufficient, while China and India combined stink the planet out, and no one says a damn thing about it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 2:37 am | Permalink

      Coal is just old biofuel.

      • hefner
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Indeed, stored about 250 million years ago and releasing its CO2 today. So you cannot see the difference with, say, hydroelectricity? What’s the point of having several BScs from U.Cambridge to tell us such things. Or are you joking, second-degree clever spin? Unfortunately I doubt it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 8, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          There is little difference in burning new bio fuel or old coal in terms of CO2 output. If you really want to capture C02 one should chop down existing old trees, bury them and grow new ones in their place!

          • hefner
            Posted February 8, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

            New trees when growing do capture CO2, present day CO2. Coal represents CO2 captured some millions of years ago. Using biofuels from present day vegetation can be seen as belonging to the present carbon cycle. Using coal is introducing million years-old carbon as an outside source to our present carbon cycle.
            Can’t you see that? Mamma mia.

  39. Ken Moore
    Posted February 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    JR ‘The USA has increased its oil output by more than fifty percent, taking it up to 13 million barrels a day this year. This big expansion in recent years has been an important boost to incomes and jobs’

    Why ?. US shale oil companies rely on cheap credit to fund the ‘drilling treadmill’. The value of the gas and oil is less than production costs. Because of money printing and low interest rates it’s a viable operation. Mr Trump loves to boast about this.

    Has John Redwood thought about the proportion of GDP that is attributed to the spending of borrowed money – is this really a useful yardstick.

    Most of the ‘growth’ post 2008 can be attributed to low interest rates and central bank expansion in the supply of money. How much expansion has there been in the real economy of internationally marketable goods and services ?..not the proxy economy of finance and debt..

    Has he looked at the current account deficit lately ?. Love to hear John’s thoughts on how he thinks a capitalist system can function in a world that doesn’t offer any returns on money through interest rates. A world that rewards speculators and punishes savers. A world that misallocates resources to zombie shale oil and tech companies that make no profit but use cheap money to buy back their own stock?. This is not sustainable in my view.

    Furthermore the inflated price of homes (courtesy of no interest rates) is included in GDP measurements – notional value only as the homes can only be sold back to the people occupying them.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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