Let’s create higher environmental standards

I am grateful to Owen Paterson for pointing out in recent speeches that the EU’s environmental policy which we have to adopt has in several crucial ways let us down badly. It is a myth that the EU has created high environmental standards that we would not have created for ourselves, and a myth that all the EU’s environmental decisions have raised those standards.

Indeed, the UK was a pioneer of higher environmental standards before joining the EU, and an author and enthusiast of some of the better environmental measures the EU did introduce. The UK was early into the crucial business of cleaning up the water courses and containing and processing sewage, with large Victorian schemes to segregate fluids and to eliminate disease carrying water from our tanks and taps.

In more recent years the UK pioneered clean air acts to reduce the burden of dirty smoke, particulates and harmful chemicals coming from factories and commercial premises, and from the domestic fireplace.

The UK pre the EU was good at public open spaces, parks and National Parks to preserve some of the rural landscape in or near to built up areas.

The EU has forced us into environmental damage in several important respects. It has decided that burning biomass – wood to you and me – is good because it lowers CO2 output and recommends it for power stations. That leaves us with a problem with the smoke and particulates.

It pushed diesel cars as another good answer to CO2 issues. Now people are worried about the impact so many older diesel cars have on Nox and Sox and particulates in the air around our busier roads.

It now pushes electric vehicles without exploring the full impact of battery production and disposal on the environment, or considering the ways in which the electricity will be generated to sustain this extra demand. In a country like Germany present policies rely on burning a lot of coal in power stations.

Out of the EU we can have a more positive environmental policy. It might include concreting over fewer acres of countryside for houses, once we have in place a new migration policy. It would definitely include a fishing policy that lands all fish caught, instead of returning many of them dead to the ocean.

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  1. Ian wragg
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    But May wants to sign up to keeping EU rules on environmental policies together with everything else.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      So now Raab saying we will pay the £39billion whether we get a deal or not.
      Can this be done without Parliament approving it.
      You certainly have a death wish.

      Reply No it will need legislation to approve. Why would MPs vote for that?

      • Gary C
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        The referendum was clear the country voted to leave, nobody voted to give away £39 billion and nobody voted for TM’s continued capitulation.

        It should not be a question of “why would MPs vote for that?” simply put it should be made clear we are not paying anything at all.

        • Hope
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          JR, May is dishonest. She has done nothing to c nsure correct or explain the dishonest Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU. Today she lied again to say chequers plan kept faith with Brexit vote. If she had an ounce of integrity she would realise from her own words in the !ancaster speech, the twelve points and her comments after that half in and half out and keeping bits of the EU is not leaving.

          To have a non regression clause on EU policy issues including environment is not keeping faith with he referendum, your manifesto or Brexit vote. The more she says it the more dishonest she sounds.

          Raab was beyond pathetic yesterday. Has he no honour or conviction to what he stood to be elected on? Has he forgotten since becoming Robbins’s spokesperson?

          The Withdrawal Agreement is awful and the chequers plan a betrayal of the nation. The way May conducted the chequeqers meeting was disgusting and against the Nolan standards in public life. Anyone in civil street would be sacked without question.

          Her behaviour in South Africa is an utter disgrace. White farmers murdered raped and tortured with furthe threats that land will be taken without payment to the owners. May (doesnt speak out?ed) Moreover she now thinks giving £4 billion of our hard earned taxes will be used to stop immigration from Nigeria! How many times have we heard this lie when we all know immigration numbers are at historic highs under her watch both inside and outside the EU!

          What does she have to do or say to be sacked or held to account? Still no action against Hammond for breaking collective responsibility that May claimed was imposed after chequers. Or did she mean only leavers?

          I detest everything this PM stands for. She is the worst PM in living memory.

        • Turboterrier.Gary
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          Gary C

          Absolutely spot on.

          Talk about don’t piss down my neck and tell me its raining, She has not got a clue to what a embarrassment she is to this country.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        You tell us John. Everything we predicted is happening. May want to stay in the Single Market and customs union and concede to free movement all be it dressed up as something else.
        Nothing what has happened to date leads me to believe we will accept Vassal status.
        Read Ambrose Evan – Prichard in the Telegraph today. He has it spot on

        • Hope
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Changing the name is not changing the status of remaining in the EU with minimal alterations. With May’s education you would have thought she understood this when giving key note speeches like Lancaster and the white paper that followed it and was referenced in her manifesto.

          Perhaps her MPs could contrast her previous white paper following Lancaster to the latest capitulation. Why is she still signing agreements and making additional payments to the EU?

          May has no mandate to govern on her current plans. She must go or be forced out. The public have a democratic right to electoral democracy based on collegiate cabinet. We do not have a president, dictator or tyrant no matter how much that appeals to May.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        Yes I read the same and Mr. Raab’s waffling, imprecise responses… from a highly qualified lawyer…. I smell a rat!

        • Hope
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          I am still waiting for the UK, Gove and Hammond to take action against Germany for the densely emmission scandals. To date the EU has done nothing, why?

          JR why has Hammond and Gove publicly attacked diesel cars in statements to damage our economy but have taken no action to protect our health consumers, public and our country from German cars?

          The EU took action against the UK over CJD. Why no action? The scandal has increased to other German made cars not just VW, Porche and Mercedes.

          May is advocating a non regression clause on EU enviorment, why has she not protected us? When will German cars be banned from the UK? Trump has taken action to fine VW, get cars replaced etc. How come he can take action but May does nothing?

        • Turboterrier.Gary
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Peter Wood

          You are not alone there

      • Gordon Nottingham
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        There is NO WAY we should pay this £39B

        • L Jones
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Money in the interests of trade = bribery.

        • Hope
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Merkel has transferred her climate footprint by buying gas from Russia! Germany is reliant (50-70 percent) on Russian gas yet meant to be showing solidarity against Russia!

          JR, please be explain to us is the a fiddle of the figures by Germany and its co footprint? What has May done? May gave £330 million to help Merkel immigration problem from a Turkey. Currently mass protests across Germay again not her mass immigration and her minister trying to justify why germans are in a minority in some of their main cities! May once again on the wrong side.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Out of terror of the cliff edge

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:-

        “Why would MPs vote for that?”

        Because it’s only taxpayers’ money and most of them are EU loving appeasers after all.

        • Stred
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          The first response should have been that the population of the EU is reducing by 67/500 and their expenditure should reduce accordingly. Instead, May offered money up front plus military support and off the books project participation. Then they increased the total to pay for bungs to new members and setting up their army and central command. The civil service and no 10+21 must be working for the Commission.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        ‘Why would MP’s vote for that?’

        Because they will be told to.

      • eeyore
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: the motives of MPs, like the mercy of God, are beyond mortal understanding. Even so, they may be influenced.

        The £39bn (aka £600 each) will have strong traction with the public. MPs must be made aware that the electorate is watching them. Before the key vote constituents should let their MP know their feelings. They should write to newspapers too.

        Leading Leave campaigners must also make sure there is plenty of coverage and debate, possibly seeking advice from professional publicists. Stunts should not be beneath them. And the inimitable Boris must be made to perform.

        • Stred
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          How about setting up collection boxes all over the UK outside Westminster and con clubs as a charity called Junker Aid and using unpaid chuggers to pester the public for £600 each. Cameras on lapels for the internet and papers.

          • Helen Smith
            Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            I like that!

          • Turboterrier.
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

            @ Stred

            What a great idea, if it is good enough for Alec Salmond it must be good enough for us

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        According to this:


        Dominic Raab has not said that we will pay £39 billion regardless.

        I’m actually getting very fed up with this constant, in some cases obviously deliberate, failure to distinguish between the UK walking out of negotiations and just leaving with no deal at all on anything at all, and the UK leaving with a deal on many things but not including a new trade deal to improve on the basic WTO treaties which we already have anyway.

        The Times is supposed to be a high class newspaper of record, but look at the internally inconsistent and confusing rubbish it is producing:

        “No Brexit divorce bill without a trade deal, Dominic Raab tells peers”

        “Dominic Raab told peers it would be “peculiar” for Britain to pay £40 billion if no trade deal was agreed”

        Right, that’s clear, so just a failure to agree on a special or preferential trade deal would be enough to call those payments into question, even if there was a comprehensive deal on every other matter.

        But oh no, wait, according to the next sentences it would only be a failure to agree any kind of deal at all, with negotiations having come to a halt, which would have that effect:

        “The UK will withhold part of its Brexit divorce bill if it leaves the EU without a deal, Dominic Raab has warned.”

        “The Brexit secretary said it would be “peculiar” for the UK to part with the £40 billion financial settlement, which Theresa May agreed with the EU last year, if negotiations came to a halt.”

        In my view it is one thing to express continuing goodwill to our neighbours by agreeing to a final financial settlement which may be a bit more generous to them than is strictly necessary as a matter of law, in the expectation that they will then be more inclined to co-operate in smoothing our departure, but it is another thing to try to buy a more favourable trade deal for after we have left, which some say would contravene the WTO treaties.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        I’m sorry can’t see that 🙁

        If you can’t get enough MP’s together to oust Weak & Wobbly, I don’t think you will get enough to NOT vote against giving the EU £39 Billion.

        This will only happen [vote against £39 Billion] if Labour smells blood and come on board for their own selfish party reasons…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Why would MPs vote for John Major or May as PM, vote for the ERM, HS2, the counterproductive war on a lie, the EU treaties and all the other idiotic regulation and laws they have voted for? Because either they are fools or they have vested interests or other agendas that are against those of the public who pay them.

        Patterson is exactly right and he is sound on climate alarmism and much else too. We need far more of this type in the house.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: because the other MPs understand that these sums represent past commitments the UK has willingly entered into and that paying your debts is the hallmark of a serious country.

        You do not expect the Europeans to have to pay for the relocation of the various EU agencies that have to leave the UK, don’t you ?

    • Fishknife
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      “But May wants to sign up to keeping EU rules on environmental policies together with everything else.”

      Yesterday’s Brexit Central


      on defence has me twitching.
      have I been wrong to give Mrs. May the benefit of doubt?

      • L Jones
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Scary stuff. For so long I was prepared to believe Mrs May was playing the long game.
        She isn’t, is she, Dr Redwood?

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        @ Fishknife


    • Peter
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile May is in Africa trying to appear like a world leader.

      Unfortunately, she agreed to a TV interview with Michael Crick. While I cannot stand the sight of her, I have now watched this after it was reported to be car crash TV. Her discomfort was obvious. Looking daggers at the interviewer provided no respite. I assume Crick had a brief about what topics could and could not be covered but he obviously surprised her and her fallback (repeat mantra) response was futile. Who knew Nelson Mandela questions would cause a problem? Obviously Crick or Channel4 will not get another crack at her – but she might be gone soon anyway.

      She should have stuck with Marr. She knows he never goes for the jugular – provided he has exclusive access. Suits both parties.

  2. Mark B
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning


    I replied to you yesterday. It is waiting moderation. I was not ignoring you. Cheers.

    The Big Stink ! That was the name given to the event that lead to parliament passing legislation to clean up the Thames. The thing is, it did so without the threat of a Supranational body like the EU or UN telling, and in some cases, fining us. This fining us shows that we are a supplicant nation. The EU, like all continental bodies, like to fine people as that is a way of raising cash. That is why it likes so much regulation.

    Outside the EU proper we could govern ourselves and not be bound like Gulliver by little EU Lillipudlians.

    • rose
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      What I also object to in the EU fining us is that they foisted the pollution on us in the first place: with their over-sized lorries which were illegal here; with their diesel; and most of all with their enforced overpopulation.

  3. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Dont worry. The Germans are only burning coal to provide “baseload” electricity as they have closed down their fleet of nuclear power stations. They produce a large proportion of their electricity from renewable resources and are investing in British vanadium flow battery storage technology (from RedT plc) to exploit renewables to their full potential, which is environmentally clean and produces no waste

    Lithium batteries for electric vehicles are easily recyclable and the Germans (as we do) have a well established scrap metal recycling industry.

    I have a vision of breathing clean air in Oxford Street as super quiet and clean EV buses and taxis drive by, utilising our cheap renewable electricity – and I can charge my electric town car from my solar panels, using the battery in the car at night when i’m not driving for lighting and running my A++ efficient flat screen TV.

    We could build grid-scale battery storage in the UK twice over for what we are paying for May’s fleet of new nuclear stations.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Large scale grid storage for anything but about 30 minutes is a pipe dream and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
      Batteries are only good enough to level out transient peaks and troughs.

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Tesla have put a (smallish) grid scale lithium system into Western Australia – the Hornsdale Power Reserve – which is capable of charging at a rate of 80 megawatts and discharging at 100 megawatts. The storage capacity is 129 megawatt hours. That means it could operate for about 75 minutes at full capacity with current demand. They plan to install a further 1000 mWh shortly – its a start.

        The Germans have bought a RedT Gen3 storage machine this year to evaluate the efficiency and to test the technology, so have Anglian Water. Grid scale energy storage systems are on the way, when that happens our windfarm and solar park energy harvesters will come into their own.

        All this information is searchable on Google if you care to look

        • Edward2
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          As you illustrate yourself, these schemes cost many millions and provide storage for a small area, for a limited time and after a few years the batteries will need replacing.
          They are pioneers and it is a start but…..

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        @ Ian Wragg

        As you know only too well it is all smoke and mirrors. How many of our politicians let alone within the EU have yet got their heads around the next environmental disaster just waiting to happen, the disposal of the turbine blades and solar PV panels?

    • Stred
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Utter bollocks on all points. Pollution measures will only extend lifespan by days over 80 years. Lithium batteries would cost far more than nukes plus windmills and there is not enough lithium for world use of electric cars, let alone the grid, which would have to be doubled for heating and transport. Germany has increased Co2 emissions, unlike the UK and US. The UK has reduced it by cheating when burning trees but mainly by using gas instead of coal. When the changes from diesel to petrol are completed, Co2 emissions will go up .

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      They are not out of nuclear just yet-according to a Bloomberg article yesterday (“Why coal is Merkel’s biggest challege”) nuclear accounted for 11-12% of electricity in 2017,with full phase out planned by 2022.Natural gas exceeded nuclear for the first time in 2017.

      Coal accounted for 36% that year,with targets to reduce it by half by 2030 and to zero by 2050.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Germany has demanded on health and safety grounds that Belgium closes its nuclear power stations.There have been NO deaths , injuries or problems with Belgium’s nuclear service, meanwhile 3,000 people have died in various problems with Germanies dirty ( lignite) coal power stations.

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          “meanwhile 3,000 people have died in various problems with Germanies dirty ( lignite) coal power stations”

          Could you give us some details to substantiate your claim?

    • dennisambler
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      We need primary power sources, not secondary. Batteries have to be charged, the sun doesn’t always shine, especially at night and wind turbines don’t always turn.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Currently grid scale battery storage technology would need areas the size of towns and after a few years the batteries would be worn out and need replacing.
      One day maybe.

    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    We need higher political standards. At present we have to suffer the indignity of our PM parading her virtues across the nation’s television screens in a vain attempt to ‘detoxify the Tories.’

    Pray, how much longer do we have to suffer this liberal left, virtue signalling fool with her obsessions about race and gender infecting all aspects of British life?

    We need to clean up politics not the environment

    • Hope
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      But it is not detoxifying anything. I have not spoke to anyone from all political affiliations who trust her. Quite the reverse they think she is acting like a dictator saying what we can think, say, eat and is overwhelmingly acting to the disadvantage of the majority for futile virtue signalling that the majority are against! Loathsome toxic underhand lying woman. She is giving women a bad name and will make it harder for deserving women to get top jobs.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      @ Duncan

      Sadly praying is all about that’s left

  5. Dave , Spencers Wood
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    So John, what is your position on climate change?

    Do you think that human activity adding more carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere adversely affects the climate and environment?

    Or is it a big con job by scientists wanting to get research grants?

    • eeyore
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      For all energy and climate questions the best introduction by far is David JC Mackay’s Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air (UIT Cambridge).

      • Stred
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        Free on the net

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Climate change can be measured over time.
      Whether it is due to human activity is another matter. Currently, it looks like purely speculation.
      If you are worried, cycling to work is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint and waistline. It might also be a good precaution to bar the movement of people from low consumption to high consumption regions, for example Africa and the Middle East to the UK.

    • sm
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Dr Robert Giegengack, University of Pennsylvania, 2014: “None of the strategies that have been offered by the US Government or the EPA or anyone else has the smallest chance of altering the climate, if it is controlled by carbon dioxide.”

      I’m all in favour of caring for the world’s environment and its occupants, but far too many – if not the majority – of ‘green’ proposals just seem to benefit the pockets of big companies and the scientists and politicians who benefit from the attendant largesse.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        @ sm

        Correct on all counts

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Dave Spencers Wood

      My own position on climate change is that we have two options:

      1) Get poorer and cede global power

      2) Accept that emerging nations are energising apace and that option 1 is futile.

      Option 1 is going to be super tough whilst increasing our nation’s population at these rates. We are effectively in rationing on services, soon to reach food.

    • jasg
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Climate policy is very open to discussion whether you accept the science or not. Just ask yourself does it give value for money, does it achieve what it set out to do, is it making life better or worse for the poorest in our community, is there a better way?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Not open to discussion on the appalling anti-science BBC. The science is settled even if the climate predictions of the alarmists have proved to be consistently wrong. It is lefty loon politics not science.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      @ Dave. Spencers Wood

      Or is it a big con job by scientists wanting to get research grants?

      That’s the one always has been from day one ably supported by the BBC and incompetent politicians.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Much EU environmental policy is the result of the excessive influence of single issue pressure groups. Often they have persuaded to Commission to grant funds to support propaganda campaigns. The EU itself has funded pressure groups to call for regulations it, the Commission, wants in order to influence public opinion. Past UK governments have been active participants in such programmes, notably by funding campaigns leading up to the Climate Change Act. The BBC was, and remains, fully on board with such programmes. Removal of Commission influence and greater scrutiny by Parliament are essential to achieving better environmental policies.

    The push for diesel engines in cars to get round CO2 emission regulations, is the most egregious example. (refs to VW deleted ed)

  7. Richard1
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Good points. The reason the EU is inclined to come up with terrible policies such as the promotion of diesel isn’t that it’s ill-intentioned – its the lack of democracy. There is no better way to ensure generally good and robust policy is open public debate and proper rigorous parliamentary and other scrutiny. We don’t see this in the EU, where polices are made in closed meetings as a result of trade offs, the bureaucracy at the Commission is the only body initiating legislation unlike in a democracy, and the process is very open to lobbying from favoured established industries and pressure groups such as the free blob.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Green blob

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I can never quite understand the antithesis towards modern diesel-powered cars. On a 90-mile run, I can guarantee to get 75 miles per gallon which equates to far less Co2 than an equivalent petrol-engined car that would struggle to do half that. It also has a modern Euro 6 rated engine with an additive called ‘Ad-blue’s that reduces other products of combustion.

      I have worked on some big diesels in the past that really did deserve the accolade ‘dirty’ but modern engines are a vast improvement. Until we get something totally clean (if that is ever wholly achievable anyway), they make a good intermediate solution.

      Call me cynical, but I think the policy reversal towards diesel cars in recent times has more to do with a loss of tax revenue. Cars that use less fuel are bound to provide less money to a Chancellor who can’t find enough ways to serve his policy of tax and waste.

      Tad Davison


      • Know-Dice
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


        On a 90 mile run great 75 miles to the gallon, but too many are being used on a 5 mile school run and especially in winter not getting up to temperature and certainly not 75 miles to the gallon. And you are not going to get a DPF regen on these short runs either.

        Maybe diesel plugin hybrid so battery power for around town and diesel on the long runs…but who is going to buy in to that 🙁

        • Tad Davison
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Valid points, but it’s horses for courses. My circumstances are such that my driving is mixed. The engine is modern and is designed to get up to operating temperature very quickly. Rarely are journeys so short that the engine is still cold upon reaching my destination. Had most of my driving been at peak times in heavy traffic, I might have considered a plug-in hybrid myself.

          The vehicle is used efficiently, but it seems little consideration was given by the chancellor to these circumstances when formulating his tax policy.


      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


        Agree with your last paragraph, its all about the tax collection sums.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        In my family we also converted to diesel cars in the early 2000s & allowed ourselves a sanctimonious pat on the back for being green as well as enjoying the significant fuel savings, which as you say are close to 2x. But now we read that diesel is filling the air with noxious particles which – reportedly – are causing thousands of unnecessary and premature deaths – although they are reducing CO2 emissions. This seems to me a case study in bad Govt as a result of policy rushed through under lobbying.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink


          I don’t doubt that older diesel vehicles weren’t that clean, and if one were to look at some of the badly-maintained diesels still on our roads today, it is clear some are anything but well-maintained. Even buses, taxis and HGVs which are supposed to be kept to the highest standards, but there is legislation to deal with these with the issue of an immediate prohibition notice for things like making smoke.

          A while back, I watched a television interview where a professor from Southampton University gave his take on premature deaths caused by diesel pollution. He said the environmental lobby calculate how many minutes a single person’s life ‘might’ be reduced, then multiply it by the entire population. They then divide that figure by the average life expectancy to give the number of deaths. In his words, that is creative accounting.

          If my memory serves me correctly, Andrew Neil also took an environmentalist to task for using the same spurious metric to calculate premature deaths said to be due to diesel particulates.

          I’m all for clean air, but I’m all for honesty too.


      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        @ Tad Davison

        Well said Tad as usual

  8. Nig l
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    No chance. Barniers comments yesterday, first indications of massive PR exercise to cover red line fudge equals U.K. sell out.

    • Gary C
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      It’s certainly looking like that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      The headline in CityAM today is:

      “Barnier says UK will get a bespoke deal”

      It was always the case that if the UK left the EU with any kind of deal then it would be a bespoke deal. Some existing deal between the EU and a “third country” outside the EU could perhaps be used as a basis or a template, but necessarily there would always be a lot of details to change throughout. For example it is a false concept to suppose that it would only be necessary to move the name of the United Kingdom from the list of the EU group of parties to the existing EEA Agreement, down to the list of the EFTA group of parties, and the job would be done.

      “We are prepared to offer Britain a partnership such as there never has been with any other third country.”

      Has it really taken more than two years for Michel Barnier and his bosses on the European Council (minus the UK) to suss out that simple point? It’s always been obvious that there will not be any other third country with anything like the same circumstances as the UK once it has left the EU, it will be a unique situation in so many different ways, and did these nitwits ever really believe otherwise?

      Michel Barnier has always had the benefit of EU loyalist allies both inside the UK government and civil service and elsewhere in UK society, and that is one reason why he has been allowed to get away with spouting so much nonsense.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        “Pound about to go to zero” says one hysterical spam.

        Britain cannot become a black hole without taking the EU with it.

        • acorn
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Mr Barnier has more influence on Sterling’s exchange value than the BoE. It is a worrying time for FX punters like me; do I go short or long in Sterling? Perhaps it would be safer to go back to betting on Horses and Greyhounds.

          Did you know that all the currency exchange required for real socio-economic purposes; that is, international trading in Goods and Services, can be achieved in just four business days on the FX market.

          The other 256 business days are purely currency punters gambling in the global FX casino, rather than on Horses; Greyhounds and Camels.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Thanks, Acorn.

            We may disagree at times but I always respect your manner and your knowledge.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink


            On the spot market yes but on the Forward and futures market too ? Also the greatest amount of Forex transactions are conducted via the interbank market

      • margaret howard
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        ” anything like the same circumstances as the UK once it has left the EU, it will be a unique situation in so many different ways..”

        Like it was before we begged to join the EU?

        We were called the ‘Sick man of Europe’ and were on the verge of collapse before we joined the EU.

        Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. We had food, fuel and power shortages and a steadily growing balance of payments deficit. The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise Britain, the highest ever figure.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          For one year only since 1973 has the UK taken out more than it has paid in…

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          I recall travelling the M1 London to Newcastle frequently (Father Cockney, mother Geordie) and seeing vast amounts of industry.

          The roll call of sold off industries is depressing. How much we had and how much went in short time.

          We had bankrupted ourselves saving Europe from the Germans… I mean Nazis, the returning troops had demanded their homes for heroes and the wages to go with them and had imbued their sons with a sense of entitlement (unionism) and overstepped the mark.

          Oddly, what they wanted for a working wage is modest compared to the lifestyle that can be lived on the dole nowadays.

          It was Thatcherite reforms which brought us from ‘sick man’ to becoming an EU powerhouse, and her standing up to the EU on rebates.

          For the vast majority of our membership we have been net contributors.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            “Sick man of Europe”

            Having bankrupted ourselves saving France in WW2 the only “sick” thing is the insult and lack of gratitude.

        • Mark B
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          No. The Winter of Discontent was sometime AFTER we joined. Mrs.T created the situation through economic, social and union reform.

          Reply The winter of discontent was after we joined the EEC and under a Labour government! Winter of 1978-9

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            Mark B

            You sure? The Winter of discontent was under a Labour government , one that had been shutting coal mines and shipyards.

            The factors that provoked the widespread stoppage of work by thousands of British workers in the winter of 1978-79 began with the Labour government of James Callaghan’s attempt to enforce limits on pay rises to curb inflation. Inflation had reached a height of nearly 26.9% in August 1975.

            Thatcher was elected as an antidote to this on 3rd May 1979

            This rewriting of history by left wingers is tedious

        • KZB
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Margaret I think your time lines are a bit confused. We joined in 1973. The well-publicised problems of the 1970’s did not start until AFTER this. Until 1974 we were chugging along quite steadily. The high inflation peaked in 1976 and the root cause could be the imposition of higher EEC food prices.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            I suspect it was the Americans (to whom we were heavily financially indebted) who nudged us towards the Common Market.

            We could not have done it without their say so.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          And that unhappy state of affairs continued for at least the first six years of our EEC membership. Then we got the radical transformative – and eurosceptic – Govt of Margaret Thatcher, from when the turnaround in U.K. fortunes actually dates.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          Hmm interesting rewrite of history Margaret.
          I was there in the 70s and 80s
          Nothing like your statement.

          Thatcher soon sorted it all out post 1979
          The EU just got in the way.
          Bear in mind the UK has always put in more that It takes out of the EU

          • margaret howard
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            “Thatcher soon sorted it all out post 1979”

            With the help of EU membership.

            Thatcher’s 1975 referendum speech:

            * The Community gives us peace and security in a free society denied to the past two generations

            * gives us access to secure sources of food supplies. This is vital to us, a country which has to import half of what we need

            * does more trade and gives more aid than any group in the world

            * The Community gives us the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth in Europe. The Commonwealth want us to stay in and has said so. The Community wants us.

            So keen was she that she was dressed in a jumper which had all the EU country flags on it.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Every year bar one since 1973 the UK has paid in far more than it ever received back.
            A cost not a benefit in cash terms.
            Money we could have spent on ourselves in our own way.
            I didn’t claim Lady Thatcher was anti EEC, as it was called back then, so I don’t see how your post is relevant
            It is tragic that the original aims of the Common Market and the EEC have been altered so much into the EU we see today.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          No doubt it was helpful that the EEC gave us back some of our own money as regional aid. There has only been one year when we have got back more than we put in, and that happened to be 1975, the year of the previous referendum. Table 2 on page 9 in this report:


          But I’m sure you already knew that.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          margaret howard

          Oh dear , give up, step away from the keyboard

          We joined the EEC in 1973, the winter of discontent with closures of mines, shipyards, 98% marginal tax rates etc ALL took place while we were members of EEC and under a Labour government in the mid/late 1970’s . We were saved by Mrs Thatcher

          Thanks for reminding us how much damage the EEC/EU has done to this country in the 40 years we’ve been members

      • Mark B
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes. It is called EU-LITE.

        You have been warned – repeatedly.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Dennis Cooper

        Michel Barnier has always had the benefit of EU loyalist allies both inside the UK government and civil service and elsewhere in UK society, and that is one reason why he has been allowed to get away with spouting so much nonsense.

        There can be no argument against that Denis well said

    • MPC
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Yes according to Barnier suddenly we are to get a better deal than any other 3rd Country – no doubt based on Chequers, £39 bn, continuing payments and ever increasing ‘common rules’ . Easy to move from that onto an even ‘deeper and special partnership’ under a future government.

      • Stred
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        A very special sell out, with huge payments and submission to EU law, unlike the Canadians, Korean’s and Japanese. Well done May and Robbins.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Yes, they will take Chequers as the UK Government’s red lines and push [pull] it even further towards EU control.

      It’s a grand sell out, we [the UK] need a completely free hand to go in whatever direction is best for the UK.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The EU have to date played a weak hand well thanks to our appalling PM and Chancellor, among others, some of whom should know better. We shouldn’t be “negotiating” at all, the inevitable COULD be happening, the reality of the commercial impact of our leaving is much greater on the EU than the UK and that message is seeping up to Barnier and Co. It was up to the EU to make the running and for us to accept or reject, not the reverse. Contingency arrangements should have been the priority from day one not these futile meetings with the politburo. Regrettably unless May and Hammond go we will continue to be the patsy.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        @ A. Sedgwick

        Regrettably unless May and Hammond go we will continue to be the patsy.

        Who is going to replace them? Hopefully we might see things being put in place at conference. But time is running out and the natives are getting restless.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Yes, you’ve got Raab saying he thinks the UK will pay £39bn whatever the outcome of the negotiations, you’ve got May out of the Country having an awful interview with Crick (why any Conservative even agrees to talk with this openly biased man I will never know, just do a Corbyn and say you’re too busy!) She didn’t defend Thatcher and the previous Tory government against his attacks which Guido provided for her helpfully yesterday. Get a grip, Theresa, because you need more of a spine when dealing with the EU who are used to getting their own way and the French and Germans who have taken the biggest advantages out of the group.

      I’ve personally not got a problem with free movement of workers and contributors, its more a free movement of tax credits, benefits and housing given to immigrants over us with many people having to live with parents into their 30’s due to being unable to afford to move on and no chance of social housing in London that is being soaked up by people who make themselves homeless.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        It’s a nuisance that transcripts of committee proceedings take so long to emerge, unlike the Hansard records of the proceedings of the whole Houses where you can quickly go through and check what was actually said within some hours rather than days or weeks.

        In this case there’s a video of the committee proceedings here:


        which runs for 1 hour 42 minutes, and buried somewhere in there will be the words that he actually spoke.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          From 31 minutes in he said that both the total sum and the timing could be affected if there was no withdrawal agreement.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        @ a-tracy

        Yes, you’ve got Raab saying he thinks the UK will pay £39bn whatever the outcome of the negotiations,

        Sadly he is not meeting the peoples expectations, maybe he too has his arms tied up and he is nothing more than a mouth piece

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Dennis Cooper

        Michel Barnier has always had the benefit of EU loyalist allies both inside the UK government and civil service and elsewhere in UK society, and that is one reason why he has been allowed to get away with spouting so much nonsense.

        There can be no argument against that Denis well said

    • Peter
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Exactly. No details yet of course. Carefully coordinated and timed for critical September October period.

      The final wording will be imprecise and open to interpretation. Only a fool would believe it will be of benefit to the UK.

    • Nornoreast
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Not good, not good at all..we’re gonna end up in the half way stage half in and half out but with no say at all on how things ard done…when all of Mrs Mays red lines will turn into a fùdge…the unwritten plan is that all will be ready to fully absorb us back in again at a different time..because they realize a population of 65 million is still needed, apart from trade.., but to fill the ranks of the new EU army😅 hence the ban on super rich sugary drinks that make our kids fat..we have to get them to slim down ready for the army!

  9. 37/6
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Bad choices are being made because Electric=Good, Fossil Fuel = Bad.

    The Western region of our railway has been forced to use bi-modal diesel electric trains. The worst of both worlds for performance and inefficiency.

    The biggest obstacle to improving our carbon footprint is the EU requirement that we are not allowed to control our population levels.

    • 37/6
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      “The Western region of our railway has been forced to use bi-modal diesel electric trains.”

      In a botched attempt at electrification which was unsuitable for the Victorian infrastructure.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      ” The biggest obstacle to improving our carbon footprint is the EU requirement that we are not allowed to control our population levels. ”
      Agreed, though, being working class, I would have used terms that our host wouldn’t like. etc ed

  10. L Jones
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    A new environmental policy ”MIGHT include concreting over fewer acres of countryside” – let’s hope it WILL mean that. And a new migration policy – our village is becoming unrecognisable, and still we have only one school and one doctor’s surgery. The local city hospital is inundated, with no extra capacity to cope with the increased population in every other village in the county. The farmland between the villages is disappearing, yet the brownfield sites within the city remain untouched. It is truly depressing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      5000 new homes have been tacked on to our town. No extra services. Cuts in fact.

      It”s not locals moving into them.

      GRIDLOCK !

      I propose that Beaconsfield and Lewes are hit next. Perhaps there may be two fewer Remainers.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Building going on everywhere around the Country for the benefit of ………………..mass migrants. Health, education and public service provision both in quality and quantity reducing. We are noticing and the politicos are doing nothing. The message about EU negotiations and everything else screams of political incompetence!
      Just what is Raabit up to. He’s not negotiating anything as we know Therolly are capitulating behind the scenes!

      • Dennis
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Has anybody read Monbiot’s piece in the Guardian a few days ago about the plans, behind closed doors, of the construction of a super highway between Cambridge and Oxford with a surrounding of 1 million (yes that’s right!) houses to be built. Extra facilities to service this to be worked out later if at all.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Yes I did. He made the valid point that this massive policy decision has been taken without any public debate.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink


  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Concentric circles around the Eurozone, eh?
    Is that taking back control of our money, laws and borders?

  12. Edward2
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The UK has led Europe in environmental legislation
    1952 Clean Air Act and the 1968 Clean Air Act caused huge improvements in urban air quality.
    The Environmental Protection Act of 1990 three years before the EU was created had a huge impact and our Climate Change Act led Europe into a cleaner continent.
    There a dozens more pieces of legislation that predate the EU, from laws about treatment of animals to clean water to litter and the disposal of refuse.

    If you look at nations not in the EU, like Australia or America or Canada you see similar strict standards and laws controlling these areas.
    The EU just plays catch up.

  13. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink


    Should we not start looking at what we would like to get out of the negotiations instead as it looks like some compromise will be found according to the comments from around Europe today?

    Reply Ive done that. A Free Trade Agreement and no financial contributions after we have left.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink


      thank you for your feedback, you know that the EU is not able to offer exactly that to a none member as the WTO rules stand for the moment

      • Know-Dice
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Strange how the EU can offer a range of tariff free trading to a number of African countries, yet doesn’t have to offer it to all and sundry, so can be done.

  14. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    We need many fast armed coastguard or Naval ships to protect our fishing grounds urgently. And ‘ribs’ will not do.

    It’s no good imagining that the French, Dutch and Spanish will be all nicey nice as many foolishly believe they will. The officers and crews will need to be able to act quickly and robustly on their own initiative to see off any incursions and be firmly supported in what they choose to do, but tragically as usual with this government appeasement will be the order of the day, especially under the abysmal May. No doubt she will think, as will others, that Danegeld is the solution while our fishermen continue to be attacked, as they will be in and near our waters and elsewhere. They will know they will be able to get away with it in the face of the inevitable weakness our leadership will show.

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink


      “We need many fast armed coastguard or Naval ships to protect our fishing grounds urgently”

      Hope we do better than the last time we were challenged!

      “The Cod Wars were a series of confrontations between the United Kingdom and Iceland on fishing rights in the North Atlantic. Each of the disputes ended with an Icelandic victory.

      The Third Cod War concluded in 1976, with a highly favourable agreement for Iceland; the United Kingdom conceded to a 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometre) Icelandic exclusive fishery zone.”

  15. Adam
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Owen Paterson is a high-quality performer contributing substantively to the betterment of the UK, in team with other distinctive Brexiteers.

    The UK would make more sensible decisions without EU interference. If other nations want to proceed wrong ways into muddled cul de sacs, that is a matter for them. We shall direct our own choices toward greater improvements.

  16. DaveK
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink


    To the layperson it seems politicians first reaction is to increase tax or ban things (depending on the lobbyists agenda). It astounds me that they listen to these “advisers” rather than get a spread of opinion. With respect to the diesel cars situation I would suggest using a search engine to read about AdBlue and the work of Loughborough University. If successful this technology could be added to all diesel vehicles of any make and be very profitable for this country. Instead it appears virtue signalling is the order of the day.

  17. Original Richard
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Our environment will continue to worsen until we curb mass immigration.

    The biggest danger the world faces is not overheating through CO2 but overpopulation.

    • Stred
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Overpopulation in the UK could be solved by making everyone ride bikes in cities, while making all vehicles electric and silent.

    • Adam
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Rapidly adding new people from elsewhere produces less stable neighbourhoods, which may also outnumber the voting capability of the indigenous folks’ wishes for their own future.

      Population growth should be gradual & gentle for proper assimilation. Sudden stark changes may cause discomfort for all. Strong & steady communities care for their own environment & live happier.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Do we ever talk about crime on this site ? We’ve had nearly ten years of Tory government and crime has gone utterly mad in the UK in that time.

    Are we pretending it’s not happening ?

    Are we pretending it’s just a side issue and not an issue integral to our economic and social survival ?

    • Andy
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      It is not a hard equation. Cut government spending on things like young people, social services, problem families, drug and alcohol addiction services and crime goes up. The current increase in violent crime is directly link to Tory austerity.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Clearly rubbish. It fell consistently for years in spite of ‘austerity’ (the period during which public spending rose a bit slower than had been expected and planned under Labour but was never actually cut – want to see what real austerity looks like, check out Greece). It has risen in recent years probably mainly due to the out of control situation on drugs

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          The lack of will to come down hard on criminality and feckless fathering.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        So old people are guilty as sin and acid throwers/stabbers can be excused in the Wonderful World of Andy.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I’d go along with that Anon. Crime drastically affects the quality of life of every single inhabitant of these islands just as much as any environmental issue, if not more.

      The approach of the political class has been consistently proven to be totally inadequate and not up to the task. Yet they are so arrogant and detached, they think their liberal philosophy is the only way. That is the very philosophy that has delivered this mess in the first place. I find it hard to contain my contempt for them. They’re absolute out-of-touch Muppets undeserving of our support.

      Give me a free hand for just three months and I’d sort it, no problem at all! The nation would be a peaceful place and criminal dross would never want to chance their arm again. That is why I can confidently say the politicians we have are utterly disengaged, gutless, and clueless!


      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 1, 2018 at 1:08 am | Permalink

        Jailing people costs taxpayers a lot of money but we need to deter crime through punishment. Why not bring back ‘cruel and unusual’ punishments at the lower end of the scale? I am referring to the stocks and the cat-o-nine-tails, not the rack, the oubliette or public hanging. The stocks would be a suitable punishment for the soon to be criminalised practice of up-skirting. Imagine all those outraged females pelting the culprits with rotten eggs and tomatoes.

        We need more imaginative and logical punishment for burglaries. Fines should be double the replacement value of the goods stolen, to include full compensation to the victim. Those unable to pay the fine would work in a prison workshop until they have produced goods to the required value.

        And how about electric shock treatment as a punishment for electronic crime?

    • bigneil
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Anon – Not only are the govt ignoring it – they are making cuts to the Police numbers etc to divert the cash so the criminals the govt is actively importing can be housed, given benefits and treated for free on the NHS. It is plainly clear whose side the govt are on – and it’s not ours.

    • acorn
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      A Laissez-faire, neo-liberal, Conservative government, will do what it is ideologically programmed to do. It will “let the market decide”.

      For them, there will always be a “clearing level” of crime, acceptable to market factors like insurance premiums and policing costs. If there is no excessive impact on profits, there is no crime problem.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        I must have missed the laissez faire neo liberal letting the market decide government acorn
        All I’ve seen in the last few decades is the complete opposite.

        • acorn
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Ask yourself how did the PPI selling scandal arise and be allowed to go on doing damage for so long. Why were MFIs (Monetary Financial Institutions) allowed sell high risk derivatives, like Credit Default Swaps, to mug punters, to the extent that a cascade collapse became inevitable.

  19. Iain Gill
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Pointless ramping up expensive anti pollution measures in factories here only to push the multi nationals to move production to India, China, and south America. It does nothing to improve net world pollution. It’s mostly just virtue signalling.

  20. Pete Else
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I have yet to meet any ordinary person that is worried by older diesel cars. What I have seen over the years is a long history of one “environmental” fix being sold as the answer to all our problems only to be suddenly decried as the worst thing ever. These reversals strangely always seem to arrive when some industry has a new product to foist on us. they get the corporate media to start shouting about the imagined problem which is followed by the tame politicians calling for regulation or taxation. They wanted to sell us diesel cars so they reduced tax and talked about improved mpg. Now they want to flog us overpriced, overrated and actually environmentally disastrous hybrids and electric cars so they scream about Nox and Sox and particulates in the air. A twenty year old diesel is far more eco friendly than a new hybrid with all it’s noxious battery chemicals and manufacturing costs being shipped to and fro across the planet. Anyone that’s been around long enough should be able to see the same tired old tactics used again and again on every product possible.

    • Stred
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      They estimate a reduced lifespan for the average person, based on US old data with different roads and engines. Then this. figure is multiplied by the whole population, giving a notional number of deaths caused by pollution in an area. They then present this as real people who have died because of PM or NoX.No ortopsy has ever diagnosed death from this cause.

      • hefner
        Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        It is a bit more sophisticated than that, but I would agree it is a tough question:
        There have been over the years studies showing an increase in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, some of them (it has been quantified) linked to an increase in premature deaths, relative to some averages for similar areas over a ten or twenty year span before.
        Rather independently, there have been measurements of the levels of pollution by various constituents (dust, NOx, SOx, …, noise level, …). Then some statistical methods are used, the easiest to understand is the “correlation”, a number between -1 and 1. With -1, pollution would be essential to a good health, at 0 there is no impact whatsoever of pollution on health, with 1 pollution would be a direct and rapid cause of death.
        Depending on areas in various countries, on the age group of the studied population, such correlation between pollution and premature death can be as high as 0.7 (for example in some areas of China where people tend to stay for very long periods before being able to go back to less polluted areas). Some studies show areas of heavy pollution in the UK (e.g., Oxford St. in London) but the impact on transient people is much more difficult to pinpoint.

        An example of a recent such study (26/12/2017) is on medicalxpress.com
        “Short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution linked to premature death among US seniors”.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          The shame is that alarmist spun headlines have been 40,000 deaths a year due to UK dirty air.
          When you look at the data it is an estimated computer model of premature deaths and then premature by maybe up to a few months.
          Yet the headlines hold the attention and now are directly influencing some major policy decisions costing hundreds of millions.
          All caused by the CO2 focussed EU with a sudden pro diesel policy.

          • hefner
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            Now the question should be asked: which titles make a big fuss with huge titles and which try to give a more measured report?
            Looking daily at titles of the U.K. Press (on the BBC website early in the morning) one can find which newspapers are always on the brink of hysteria.
            (Unfortunately) there are commenters on this blog who seem very keen on quoting the hysterics.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Similar to the great tv sales when wide screen tv’s were pushed as the old frequencies were sold off. How much did the govt make out of the VAT and other related taxes on the millions of new sets that people were virtually forced into having if they wanted to watch. And as the BBC becomes a smaller and smaller portion of the tv broadcasts – we are STILL forced to pay for the license, even if we never watch the Biased Broadcasting Company.

  21. a-tracy
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The EU complain about chlorinated chicken (that don’t seem to be killing or making too many Americans sick) to protect their chicken industries but they didn’t do proper checks on the pork industry from the EU with doctors and the health agency now warning us about eating too much bacon and sausages causing cancer and thousands getting ill from meat imported with viruses from the Netherlands.

    We’ve had flood risk land left untreated because of dredging rules from the EU in the Water Framework Directive from 2000 in the UK causing major problems around England, but as long as London isn’t too badly affected the rest of the UK can whistle.

    I suspected the smart motorways directive are EU led, no thought to the delays and loss of productivity to the UK especially with the M6 taking over five years, with everyone doing 50mph having crash after crash because the road is so dangerous and entrance and exits from the motorway so short and bad to manoeuvre in busy traffic, people constantly driving too close and risking their licences with minor infringements. I just googled it and sure enough ‘EU Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Directive.76’ 20/10/40 EU- there is nothing smart and intelligent in giving a couple of people with a computer the speed limits on empty motorways forcing people to travel at 50mph when there are no road workers and virtually empty motorways. How does this help the environment, journeys are taking longer to do, more cars driving close to the exhaust pipes of other vehicles, the same emissions but over a longer period of time. John, they say the speed limits between J19 and J16 of the M6 are there for safety could you or your transport minister ask how many more accidents and incidents there have been since Dec 2015? Why block off so many junctions at the same time when progress is slow? Why start a new set of works at J15 before you finish this project – we’ve had enough of it.

  22. Newmania
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    There are two distinct views of Brexit . One is the Thatcherite view for which JR is a spokesman. The other , and numerically vastly more important group, is culturally and economcally protecionsist. ( There is also an eccentric Bennite notion of the EU as an evil capitalist conspiracy , but lets ignore it )
    Neither “right wing” group have much interest in the environment ( almost anyone who does did not vote for Brexit) . For the former however, the logic of an Atlantic Tiger economy is directly opposed to environmentalism. The costs have frequently been presented as deadening pointless imposition.

    Vague expressions of concern, such as this, can be ignored .

    Reply What nonsense. My views are as described here, not summed up in your odd comment

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I expect my carbon footprint is a lot lower than yours, Newmania.

      Arrogant as ever with your haughty presumptions about what we think.

      You’re the reason why we voted Brexit so stop bitching about it. (Look to Germany for a real Right Wing on the march. )

  23. dennisambler
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    If only CO2 were responsible for all the evils claimed for it. If it were so bad we should stop breathing it out.

    The main drain on our economy pre and post Brexit is the Climate Change Act, a monumental folly.

  24. Derek Henry
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    We can pay workers as little as we like – Let’s call that a freeedom

    We can attack any currency we like – Let’s call that a freedom

    We can privatise the profits and socialise the losses – Let’s call that a freedom

    We can introduce structural reforms that wipes 20% off GDP takes a quarter off wages and a half off pensions and steal assets and the new owners can charge what they like for providing a public service that was once free. Along with interest for the bondholders and the banks that fund it and also charge anything we want for management fees -Let’s call that a Freedom

    We’ll say that they can’t spend more than 3% of GDP or have a debt to GDP ratio higher than 60% to stop countres from ” saving” – Let’s call that a freedom

    We’ll get them all to use a foreign currency and we’ll call it the Euro – Let’s call that a freedom.

    We’ll take monetary policy off them and hand it to a bunch of unelected technocratic neoliberal globalist bankers – Let’s call that a freedom.

    We’ll set the bond markets up in such a way that if we don’t get the government we like we can attack them until they become neoliberal globalists – Let’s call that a freedom

    We’ll get the sheep to wave flags and get them to sing ode to Joy whilst they do it and Let’s call that another freedom and just for fun we will also call it a democracy and laugh our arses off while we do it.

  25. L Jones
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Regarding damage to the environment – quite by accident yesterday I found a website ”stopthesethings.com” which (among many other things) gives details of how much CO2 is emitted in the production of one wind turbine.

    It seems people who advocate the use of more of these monstrosities really SHOULD do a bit of research.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


      I’ve been reading this blog for years. They really do have some interesting facts. But as usual, who’s listening?

  26. Jiminyjim
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    You haven’t mentioned, JR, the enormous quantity of Oil Seed Rape that our country grows, a lot of which goes to Germany for bio-fuels, to enable them to claim that they are meeting their carbon fuel targets. Why don’t they grow their own Oil Seed Rape? A farming friend tells me it’s because OSR is very ecologically unfriendly, requiring vast quantities of extremely nasty chemicals, in particular to prevent it from re-seeding, so the Germans prefer to sub-contract this problem to us. This needs dealing with post-Brexit, Mr Redwood!

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      “requiring vast quantities of extremely nasty chemicals, in particular to prevent it from re-seeding, so the Germans prefer to sub-contract this problem to us”

      Who can blame them! They care for their environment. Nobody forces us to poison our land.

      My farming friends here in East Anglia grow things that bring them the most profit – mostly feedstuffs for horses in rich Arab countries.

      No patriotism where money is concerned. Their wives’ 4x4s need updating and there are hefty school fees to pay.

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, the EU did give us a nudge to clean up our beaches and to stop discharging sewage by pipe out to sea, but no doubt we would have got round to it.

    If we want a climate change agreement that works in terms of limiting CO2 emissions, the only coal to be burnt should be clean (decarbonised) coal. Decarbonisation is expensive, so that power generated from clean coal is roughly as expensive as nuclear power. Clean coal within a 10 year implementation period should be the absolute goal, with no carbon trading to fudge the issue.

    Never mind old diesel cars. In London, the fleet of diesel buses generate double the amount of particulates. We should be looking at clean fuels for buses.

  28. Den
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Is short, the EU is a con. There is nothing the EU can do for us that we cannot do better for ourselves. So we need to get outta there and press forward to re-establishing Britain as an independent World Power. Without delay.
    Back in the 1970’s we were conned by the duplicitous Ted Heath into voting for the Common Market, surreptitiously the launch pad for the EU but we were never permitted a second referendum after that. Even when we really did not know what we were voting for.
    And again we have been conned, by the EU who seek to take credit for anything and everything. I trust the Government, once free of the Brussels chains holding them back, can remove the extra Green energy taxation levied upon all British people over the highly dubious claims made over carbon emissions. So, on top of the reduction in food costs, I hope to see a reduction in my energy bill too.
    However, I am disgusted that Mrs May has agreed the false premise that CO2 is bad for the planet (Under the Paris Agreement). Especially when plant life cannot survive without it and without it Earth would die. Also that it represents just 0.04% of the atmosphere. A meagre Four hundred Millionths of One per cent. Common sense should tell us this mico quantity has nothing to do with Climate Change and certainly not Global Warming.
    We do not need to cut carbon emissions but we must cut the outlandish derivatives trading surrounding the “Carbon Credits” which have benefited no one but the speculators who have made a killing from them, while industry has to suffer. Be gone, all of you.

    • Den
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – Should be 0.0004 of 1 percent NOT 0.04%.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, so today on the one hand we have an American chap long steeped in matters of international trade warning that:

    “The Chequers proposal would prevent the UK regaining an independent trade policy”


    while on the other hand we have that Tory weasel David Lidington telling the EU that the only alternative to the Chequers proposal would be no deal at all:


    “EU must choose between Chequers plan and no deal Brexit”

    and so why then is Theresa May wasting her time and our taxpayers’ money touring Africa talking about the trade deals she would like to do after we have left the EU?

    Is that because she is now secretly counting on no deal with the EU? And if so does she see that as meaning just no special or preferential trade deal, or more widely no deal at all on anything, not even to continue or replicate minor administrative agreements?

    David Lidington dismisses each of what he claims are the only possible alternatives to the Chequers plan – trying to stay in the EEA in some way, or trying to stay in the/a customs union in some way, or trying to negotiate a special deal like CETA – but he doesn’t even mention the obvious alternative of defaulting to the general trading rights that we enjoy under the existing WTO treaties which are already in force, and even though his boss has just distanced herself from her Chancellor’s lies about how awful that would be.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I’ve just googled for [“theresa may””work in progress”] and eleven pages of hits came up, starting with the many recent links to her dismissing Philip Hammond’s dire predictions of what would happen if we defaulted to WTO terms, and adding in at least one instance which I recalled:


      “I said it was a work in progress in January.”

      Which particularly interested me because I had no memory of her saying anything like that in January, and nor does google produce any evidence that she ever made any public statement to that effect.

      Nor do I remember her saying anything else to call into question the reliability of the forecasts, but on the contrary I do remember media reports that she had given prior approval to an orchestrated attempt to show that Brexit would be damaging to the economy under all scenarios, but especially under the WTO scenario.

  30. Mick
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Just goes to show you cannot trust the bloody Eu , let’s just leave with no deal and spend the £39 billion on the people of this great country

  31. margaret howard
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Britain was dubbed “the dirty man of Europe” after it joined the EU in 1973 because it was the only country in western Europe that failed to control pollution from cars, power stations and farming, tried to undermine European pesticide controls, and evaded nitrate regulations and bathing water directives. Legal pressure and the threat of unlimited fines forced it to clean up its act.

    ““Britons have the EU to thank for [many of the] protections we have in place. It’s EU standards on air pollution that are forcing the government to clean up its act and key EU rules on healthy rivers, clean beaches and wildlife conservation have had a very positive effect,”
    Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP

    • L Jones
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes! That was in the days (which continued well into the 90s) when we couldn’t drink the water even in France, our near neighbour, for fear it was contaminated. Perhaps you should do a bit of research, Margaret (and no, not Facebook stuff) to see how things actually were in those days. Think ”reality” – not some wishful thinking in the minds of Europhiles who even then were trying to paint our country as being in some way inferior to those backward countries in Europe who had always had us to thank for their very existence, let alone their hygiene concepts.

      The very fact that you quote Cal Lucas rather discredits your argument.

      • margaret howard
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        L Jones

        “. Perhaps you should do a bit of research, Margaret (and no, not Facebook stuff) to see how things actually were in those days.”

        No need to. I lived in France for quite some time. Ditto in Germany and Denmark. I don’t need Facebook to know that Caroline Lucas is right in everything she writes here.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      It is the EU which has promoted diesel which is filling the air with noxious particles

      It is the EU which, without any scientific justification, bans GM crops, as a result of which farmers soak the countryside in pesticide.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      @Margaret Howard. Oh, yes and lets’ not forget the Volkeswagon cars spewing out pollution onto our streets. The lack of dredging of our rivers which cause problems for many species but especially humans when they flood. The poor standards in animal husbandry which I have seen first hand in Spain. The poor way that domestic animals are treated and left abandoned on the motorways or in the mountains. The lack of clean drinking water on many housing estates in Spain. Oh, yes, the EU is good at preaching but not good at implementing it. They can buy antibiotics over the counter like smarties. Nobody takes any notice of health and safety rules on building sites. I wish people would stop going on about high standards within the EU. It’s a load of tosh.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Since each EU country measures its own pollution I simply don’t believe “we’re the dirty man of Europe”.

      More likely we’re the “honest man of Europe”.

      Remember it is Germany who gave us the massive diesel emissions testing fraud and who are currently building new coal fired power stations using the dirtiest of coals, lignite.

      Of course we could have done more to improve our environment if we were not giving other EU countries £10bn/year to improve theirs and were not members of such a biased organisation that we have a trading deficit of $80bn+ each year.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      the only country in western Europe that failed to control……that is complete nonsense
      In 1973 we had laws in place on clean air, smokeless coal, MOT tests on cars which failed if their engines smoked, laws on disposal of refuse and clean water.
      Chemicals and pesticides were controlled by strict regulations.
      Blue beach scheme was good forcing lazy councils to act.

    • Steve
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      @ Caroline Lucas

      “Britons have the EU to thank for [many of the] protections we have in place.”

      Like for example the ban on mercury, totally unnecessary since the UK had the lowest discharge of all developed nations.

      Virtually all EU environmental policy is due to corporate lobbying to ultimately screw over the consumer in some way or other.

      Because of the EU and it’s stool pigeons the greens, we can’t even buy bloody creosote, but hey never mind – we can just replace shed and fence with new ones, ignoring the fact that more tree was felled to produce the replacements.

      Maybe you should ask yourself why your party of meddlers is a fringe party.

      However there is hope ! After the next general election your party can at least brag more popularity than the tories since they won’t be surviving the electoral punishment that awaits them.

  32. Prigger
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Frank Field ( Labour ) has resigned (the ed) Whip. He considers the Labour Leadership as not condemning one form of racism in his party. There could be many more numbers over the number one, which the Labour HQ takes an internal vote on. But only ever gets a result of One. I used to be poor at counting… too.

  33. Kitty
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May has held another Press Conference. She refused to answer the first question about whether at this moment she would vote for Brexit.

    She said ” Why do people always ask the same question they know the answer to?” Quite!
    Aren’t we glad she is on OUR side? Forgive me, yes I know your answer..You are “glad indeed” with as much glad as finding your cat dead

    • Kitty
      Posted August 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      I am half way through writing a book, one of many. Even if it were to be a masterpiece, it would probably not get past the first paragraph of reading, if I’m lucky, by a publishing house’s clerk with a pile of others up to the ceiling….each day 🙂
      A drop in the ocean even if published and I were a star footballer.
      Also with such dilution of what I wish to convey for the mass market that…well ,you know.
      Well I’ll do it. A possible drop in the ocean is better than no drop I guess. V …_

  34. jack Snell
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s not looking good for anyone- this new half in half out deal

  35. V iewer
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    No joke. It is time TV media went off the air. Their air is far too much and their graces zero. A few days for them to get their act together.
    They show a uninformed understanding of the nature of what I may call “The General Politic” which the vast majority, possibly, in our Country are for good reasons unaware.

  36. V iewer
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    And PPS
    Given in reality, I personally do not have an education with paper or skilled trade qualifications,….. if I can hear what possibly TV journalists might think is their over my and everyone else’s head their journalist to journalist quips, then they are not sufficiently high enough in their “learning to talk” as they think.

  37. margaret
    Posted August 30, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I remember the smogs of my childhood.No one outside of this era would understand. I believe that the Thames is now being cleaned up.
    I would like to see more attention paid to the very good idea and practice of re cycling. The use of different coloured dustbins differs from area to area within the towns. I don’t know why a said poorer area should dump take away packages, beer cans and all manner of litter more than a more affluent area as all have the same coloured dustbins.

  38. adam
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    how about pioneering high scientific standards

    there is no such thing as environmental

    physics is the study of the natural world, why not ask them what they would want

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 1, 2018 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Producing a new car uses a tremendous amount of energy, which can contribute to global warming. So we need to keep the production of new vehicles to a reasonable level. I’m all for the elimination of vehicles that become rust buckets within 5 years – does anyone remember the Vauxhall Cresta and some of the early Fiats?

    Lest we forget, safety features in modern cars – side impact bars, reinforced fuel tanks, airbags and larger dimensions – all contribute to increased weight and higher fuel consumption. It’s the same with safe, heavy, air conditioned modern railway coaches; they consume a lot of fuel / energy at the power station.

  40. jasg
    Posted September 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    We can certainly thank the EU for the large combustion directive which forced SO2 limits on coal plants to limit an acid rain threat which was later found to be grossly overhyped. It is typical that when the science is properly done and says a policy based on enviro-panic is now wrong the EU never bothers to change or repeal it it because they are totally unaccountable for their many job-killing and poverty-increasing mistakes.

    Meantime many coal plants have had to either shut down, install very costly SO2 scrubbers or convert to burning trees instead in order to prevent the fake threat. The combined effect of which is that the lights will go out any minute in the UK. Good old EU eh!

    No doubt the greens are indeed very happy since they ran on a ticket of growth reduction. Everybody gets what nobody wants or needs.

  41. Tabulazero
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The EU has amongst the highest environmental and safety standards in the world, thus limiting the access to its Single-Market to third countries.

    As the UK will desperately try to renegotiate in a limited amount of time the 60 FTA it currently enjoys through the EU and which it will loose comes March 2019, other countries will request that it opens up its market by lowering standards in order to roll the said FTA.

    The Former US Trade Secretary has explicitly stated this to the delight of the powerful and well connected US farm lobby.

    There is as much chance of seeing the UK raise standards even further than there is to see a happy Brexit.

  • 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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