A green industrial revolution?

The Prime Minister this week wrote an article setting out his plans for a green revolution. His immediate target is to help create 250,000 new jobs to go with the 450,000 jobs currently said to be involved with decarbonisation. The plans entail £12bn of public investment designed to lever in an additional £48bn of private sector cash. That’s under 1% of the total jobs in the economy.

There are some good ideas in the list. He wishes the UK to plan an additional 30,000 hectares year with trees, some 100m additional trees. Last year the UK added 13,000 hectares of new wood to the total, with the largest share in Scotland.

I would add to this ambition the rider that we should at the same time plant trees that can be harvested and replaced with others, so we remove the large amount of timber import we currently bring in. We should above all wish to eliminate the import of wood pellet for Drax power station and replace it with domestic output that needs much less fuel to transport.

We need to know how this investment is going to be raised. Are there going to be more tax incentives for people to put their money into timber? Will the UK public sector start buying domestic timber for its needs?

He wishes to extend the Green Homes Grant scheme. It needs simplifying to get it to take off. Offering people cash help to get their homes better insulated, with double glazing and good draught exclusion is a good idea.

He wishes to fund research and development into hydrogen powered systems for homes and vehicles, and wants to pump prime UK made batteries. It is worrying how the UK and the EU have let China establish a lead in these areas, and gain a dominant position in some of the rare earths and materials needed to make modern batteries, which places us at a current disadvantage.

The headline from the PM’s intervention was a negative. The UK wishes to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2030. The best way to cut the number of diesel and petrol cars is to produce new products which are better and better value than the cars we currently rely on. If the industry has done that by 2030 then moving on from diesels and petrol cars will be easy. If they have not, maybe the then government – which might just have some different Ministers around the table – will not want to end good products that people need.

There is need for more work on how all the electricity will be generated and how the cable network will be strengthened to take all the extra power. The UK is short of power and needs more reliable power as back up to wind farms. I will talk more about the policy of banning diesel and petrol cars and gas boilers tomorrow.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Ian Wilson
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    For some years there was a consensus (though I can’t quote chapter and verse) that every ‘green’ job created kills three jobs elsewhere. It may well be correct when we consider the jobs lost in industries crippled by high costs of uneconomical renewable energy (which are far from ‘green’ anyway)

    One of the few good parts of the statement (other parts of which prompted Lord Lawson to describe the Prime Minister as “economically illiterate”) was the planting of more trees, especially in Scotland where they might offset the 13.9 million felled to make room for wind farms.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Ian it was a piece called Worth The Candle written for Verso Economics about job losses in the Scottish renewables sector. They claim 3.7 jobs are lost in other sectors for every green job created. There was a similar finding in China.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      It was written by Richard Marsh and Tom Miers

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      How many trees were felled to make room for the offshore wind farms?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        More to the point, how many to maintain the grouse moors?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          😂😂 they are moors because trees don’t grow on them!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            Not quite, Lynn.

            The Pennines were once forests too.

        • Northern Monkey
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          How is that “more to the point”?

          It’s irrelevant class hatred, nothing more.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

            Hardly – if you’re for reforestation – as John is, -then boy, there’s plenty of land there.

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        Martin, A lot of trees were felled to make way for onshore Wind plants. Which is the point you deliberately missed.

        Meanwhile, Offshore may save most of the trees (some wood is used during manufacture and transportation of windmills), but is a lot more expensive. And is going to be even more expensive in the future due to the wind theft factor. And any Wind plant still needs near 100% back-up. Which doubles the costs.

        • DennisA
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          There is also the damage to the natural environment, above and below the water line, the destruction of beautiful seascapes off our coastal resorts and the incursion into the fishing grounds we wish to use for ourselves.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:23 am | Permalink

        None that I can think of but how many marine mammals will be adversly affected by pile driving and the vibrations caused by the constant movement of the blades and how many sea birds will get sliced in bad weather?

        • Dennis
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          ‘… think of but how many marine mammals will be adversly affected..’

          Not as many as were affected by WW1 And WW2 bombs, mines, exploding ships, torpedo explosions, atomic bomb tests over the seas, depth charges, oil leaks etc., etc.

          AFAIK no one has determined this damage to marine life.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Perhaps locals living near wind farms could collect all the thousands of raptor birds and bats that these wind farms kill each week and burn them for energy.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        L/L the locals don’t need to. The wind farm operators actually employ people for this. Other raptors and bats get taken by foxes etc.

        • Dennis
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Aren’t domestic cats doing more damage?

    • David Magauran
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      You are absolutely correct Ian. How many thousands of jobs are going to be destroyed so that a few hundred ‘green’ jobs can be created out of taxation?

      • Dennis
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        DM – yes more reason to reduce the UK population. What won’t this solve?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Economically illiterate, scientifically illiterate and no understanding of business, engineering, transport or energy systems. With these proposals politically illiterate too. The final straw will be a Brino Brexit he has planned any day now.

      But thanks for saving us from the appalling Corbyn /SNP.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Also the government (and their “experts”) are it seems illiterate on the analysis in relation to the virus and vaccine. This as if they were they would have worked out that this latest shutdown is clearly doing far more harm than good and we would not now be shutdown.

        Also they would have worked out and published the false positive rates for the two CV tests bing used (a huge difference in these it seems) So home many of the reported CV deaths are not actually?

        Also the plonkers have not yet worked out that the vaccine (once is it proved to be sufficiently safe which is a rather large hurdle) should be given to men at a younger age than woman in the early priority order. This as men of a given age are nearly twice as likely to die or suffer badly form the virus. Yet the priorities they dopes publish do not do this.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        The transport secretary (and I assume the department’s experts) seem to be so ill informed on transport that they think electric cars are “zero emission” and that they save CO2 emissions. In general after manufacturing etc. they do no such thing.

        He read business and finance course at Manchester Polytechnic.

        • Hope
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          How many electric cars do the Dept. of Transport own compared to diesel and petrol?

          Will it destroy caravan industry as well?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Almost all green initiatives previously and now require manufacturers to locate elsewhere that do not live in dreamland, then return the finished item to the UK having produced all the pollution elsewhere. Classic removal of wealth from one country to another just to punish those that have to pay twice – higher taxes, no jobs, no future for the masses.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Quite, if this is to be done properly (and it should not be done at all) then it is carbon consumption per individual and country that should be calculated not use.

        That would really set the cat among the sliced up pigeons in the wind farm.

    • Hope
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Read what Brown said in 2009 and it is a virtual carbon copy! Anyone would think the civil service did a straight copy from Brown’s industrial green revolution nonsense speech.

      Moreover, it demonstrates quite clearly no difference between New Labour and Fake Tories. Johnson does not appear to know his views will lead to jobs going abroad, destroy what is left of manufacturing, import energy- like Drax, Eu inter connectors etc- so it is claimed no carbon came from here! An utter and complete thoughtless idiot.

      JR, prove this is wrong.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Three jobs or rather more I would have though. It renders whole industries uncompetitive in the UK as does the huge over taxation of the UK. So 3+ jobs and perhaps one frozen pensioner per green job created.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 2:37 am | Permalink

        Probably more like 20 frozen pensioners per green job.

        • Hope
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          Where doe she get his cement for the mass house building for his mass immigration policy?

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Ian, The main problem with Boris’s green dream is his unwillingness to face up to the technical and economic facts. It’s really quite simple – if windmills, battery cars, etc, etc, make sense people will adopt them anyway, without government coercion. If they don’t make sense then the government is wasting our money and creating future disasters.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Did the government have to mandate smart phones and large screen TVs? Did they offer subsidies outside of the benefits system?

  2. SM
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Could someone with the actual technical know-how explain why most domestic and industrial rubbish cannot – with suitable filtration – be incinerated as fuel for places such as Drax?

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      My local HWRC has an on-site generating station feeding into the grid. It makes much more sense than the Drax lunacy. The station is about the same size as one of the bigger convenience stores. Although it’s less than half a mile from my home, I can’t hear or smell the activity there.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      They do it in Sweden.
      Apparently 4 tons of rubbish = 1 ton of oil = 1.6 tons of coal = 5 tons of waste wood.
      Seems like a no brainer.
      Too simple for here..they’d start squawking about air pollution and keep on sending the rubbish to Malaysia.

    • Stred
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      It is burned at an incinerator in London and generstes a small amount of electricity. As usual, the Chinese have bought it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Perfectly safe to do so so long as you can be sure certain chemicals are not in the fuel mix. Not always that easy to ensure this.

    • Iain gill
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      It does get burnt in some parts of the country, we just waste the energy produced mostly.

      • Iain gill
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Waste is burnt in Coventry and the heat produced pumped to buildings in the city centre.

    • DaveK
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      This appears to be another of the environmentalists unintended consequences moments (DDT, Biofuels etc). Banned incinerators led to burying rubbish in holes led to ferrying rubbish to far flung places led to pollution problems of rivers and the oceans. It’s ironic that they are doing the same with transport and energy systems creating problems elsewhere on the planet. However we now have incinerators that burn waste, efficiently filter combustion products, generate electricity and produce a waste heating system. Sadly (in my view) these are designed and built mainly by Germany. Instead of allowing innovation (see Matt Ridley) our government seems to stifle it. For example Loughborough University have designed a system similar to AdBlu, to eliminate NOX from diesel vehicles which is smaller and operates at a reduced temperature. This could have been fitted to every future diesel vehicle and made a fortune. Sir John, in previous posts you have mentioned the destructive effect of the diesel policy. How will this pan out with the car industry?

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      No problem just laziness. I might not be completely correct on this but some of the power is now being generated from imported wood chips

    • agricola
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      In Japan there is a pilot plant doing just that to produce hydrogen which in turn runs a hotel or vehicles. See Japan Blue Energy Company.

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink


      Therein lies the problem. For decades the number of members of Westminster with actual technical know how hands on experience are very conspicuous by their absence. Not just in the energy field but every arena the government operates.

      One day eventually the main parties will have that eureka moment when they realise that the way they think, operate and the selection of candidates is still in the dark ages. Too many critical decisions are made by so called experts and advisors nearly all each with their own agendas as to what is best.. if the ministers or the members do not understand the process it all goes through on a wink and a nod. The Climate Change Act? I rest my case.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Suffolk has this. The admirable efforts by an exceptional team means recycling works and the power from waste part of the system provides power to the Grid. China now refuses to take waste and this has meant some adjustments — when I left the council in 2017 there were plans for the recovered plastic to be sent to other Far Eastern countries which is worrying. Unless we monitor what happens to the stuff it could end up being simply dumped.

      My guess has always been that it would probably be better to abandon plastic recycling and just turn it into electricity as it’s really just oil.


    • a-tracy
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      SM good question – why can’t we use the recycled plastics we’ve been encouraged to buy with large plastic milk bottles and drinks cartons to make new energy?

      Google reveals – “It’s possible to convert all plastics directly into useful forms of energy and chemicals for industry, using a process called “cold plasma pyrolysis”. Surely this is cheaper than landfill, or shipping overseas which seems to end up in the oceans and then burning trees.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Domestic waste IS often incinerated to make power or heat.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        other places it creates methane from the landfill. Competition for the cows.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      SM, Heat from waste plants already exist and more are being built – for example the Viridor 33MW plant in Bristol being built by a French firm using mainly German equipment (turbine, gearbox, etc) and much foreign labour.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Why, when we have many of the top universities in the World can’t we invent these things and create the equipment and advancements within the UK?

        We never seem to hear what our Universities are inventing.

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          A-tracy, None of the power from waste processes are new. So it’s not a matter of invention, it’s a matter of selling off our businesses and importing foreign labour (rather than training our own young people) – all policies of our establishment LibLabCon parties for reasons they fail to explain.

    • Dee
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      It can be and Councils like Wolverhampton have been doing so since the 60s. It is used to heat water that then is pumped to peoples homes for underfloor heating and what is more, the Establishment is slam bang in the middle of the City. They have no pollution problems and the residue that remains is turned into potting compost and given away free or at a token price to the residents. The only problem they envisage is getting enough rubbish.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        But the BBC told us ‘30 Sept 2019 — How much of the UK’s rubbish is sent abroad? Roughly two-thirds of plastic waste in the UK is sent overseas to be recycled’

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


      not answering your question and you are probably aware, but there is a list of UK incinerators including energy from waste and energy recovery facilities on wikipedia.


      (if Sir John can permit link).

  3. Mark B
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    So the government imports pellets to burn to make electricity, yet is seeking to ban home fires.

    Bonkers !

    • SM
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I am sure that all the ships transporting these pellets across the Atlantic are powered solely by wind power (sail), which is wonderful news for the canvass manufacturing industry and chandlers generally.

      • Dennis
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        SM -you haven’t told us how much fossil fuels are needed to make a sail!

        Could be a scandal.

    • acorn
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Have a read at Vox “Europe’s renewable energy policy is built on burning American trees” Carbon accounting isn’t done on what comes out of Drax flues; it’s done where they chop the trees down. It’s a big con.

      • acorn
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Talking of cons, beware the big push of Hydrogen mostly by the Oil & Gas industry. The only current way to manufacture Hydrogen in large quantities, is by stripping it out of Natural Gas (Methane) with high temperature steam. The Carbon left behind as CO2 goes into the atmosphere. Until they can develop a giga scale CO2 storage system in old Oil Wells, you can forget it. Electrolyzing water to create H2 is currently, a very energy expensive process.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 21, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          The gasification by distillation of timber leaves a residue of near pure solid carbon – charcoal – and produces a gas with similar properties to methane, along with other useful products.

          If the charcoal were compressed and tipped in the sea, then it would absorb pollutants as well as being taken out of the atmosphere.

          Why this is not being done on a large scale I don’t know.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Bonkers indeed. All done just so they can claim that x% of electricity comes from “low carbon sources”. They do not count the CO2 used to manufacture, install, maintain wind farms, solar cells or make electric car batteries.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      and where I live there are numerous residents (and sometimes tradesmen) burning damp garden waste….billowing foul smoke. The public have to burn aged, dry wood in domestic wood-burners yet are not educated to stop bonfires!

    • Hope
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Many articles today about whether Johnson is shallow in thought or mad. here is one view:

      Dr John Constable, GWPF energy editor, said: ‘These over-reaching proposals are technically absurd, economically deluded and politically disastrous. Does the Prime Minister have any competent advisers? One wonders.’

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Mark B, It is truly bonkers. It is also bonkers to deprive new homes of gas fired home heating which is about 90% efficient. That compares with a good CCGT on baseload of c60% thermal efficiency (in turn much better thermally than Coal, Wind, or Nuclear).

      The government does not seem to realise that 40GW of Wind needs 40GW of back-up for when the wind doesn’t blow. Plus 40GW is nowhere near enough. To eliminate natural fuels requires the current consumption of c140 Mtoe to be all available from electricity. Which is at least 250GW installed capacity, or four times our existing 70GW. Or about 60 Hinckley Cs within the next 30 years Truly bonkers.

    • Dee
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I live close to Drax and not only does the Gov allow Drax to burn pellets, but also pays £1 Billion a year to them in subsidies AND they are USA owned. So America sells £Billions of pellets to an American Drax in England who also get paid £1Billion a year by the English taxpayer. Who then get charged for the electricity they have already paid for?

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        I don’t believe the taxpayer Subsidise Shell or ESSO

        • Mark
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          These days Shell are busy touting for subsidies for green projects. They are for example a lead player in the planned hydrogen industrial complex on the Humber, which will depend entirely on subsidies and rigged markets for success.

          • glen cullen
            Posted November 20, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            That a tender opportunity not a working subsidy

      • Old Salt
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Madness, sheer madness. Who in their right mind dreamt that one up?

        If Sir John will permit the link which details the massive amount of relatively recent investment work upgrading the site only to be converted to biomass.


  4. DOM
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    There is nothing good, proper and decent about these proposals.

    Lawson was wrong about Johnson. He isn’t ‘economically illiterate’ but deliberately destructive.. He knows exactly what he is doing and he knows it doesn’t ‘add up’. He’s not in control of events. He’s not even in control of himself. Like most dependents, he’s become a mere slave

    ‘The UK wishes to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2030’. Wrong. Symonds and Johnson wishes to ban these items that we the people depend upon for cheap and reliable personal transport.

    It’s all irrelevant of course. Johnson won’t even be around in 5 years never mind by 2030. This PM’s betrayed every single voter that idiotically put a cross next to Tory.

    This issue is an irrelevance compared to the fundamental problem the UK faces. The destruction being caused to the people of my country by a parasitic, Marxist political class that now governs by bigotry and decree and which emanate from both main parties operating a convenient, self-perpetuating gangster duopoly

    Mr Redwood composes his articles in a restrained and encumbered style which suggests all is well with the world but he knows and we know that this political class are operating according to rules that have no place in the UK

    Johnson doesn’t give a toss about the environment. He’s never once mentioned such an issue over his years in politics. It is the lack of sincerity that I find offensive. If Johnson was Caroline Lucas then fine, the sincerity to destroy would be acceptable but Johnson’s an empty vessel pandering to internal and external forces

    Get on with it Johnson and harm the nation so maybe then the voter will wake up and kick your fat backside into obscurity

    • ian@barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Ahmen to that!

  5. Stephen Priest
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The Green Agenda is a new form of Socialism.

    Tax the poor to help the rich with subsidies for expensive electric cars. Of course all the batteries will be Made in China with energy from coal fire powered stations.

    Most of the Green Zealots seem to be very rich with a lot of large houses and private aircraft.

    Prince Charles comes to mind.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink


    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      You’ve just lost the next election.
      Telling people their second biggest asset is going to be worthless will destroy the remnants of the car industry and put thousands out of work.
      Green initiatives create job opportunities abroad.
      Bonkers the lot of you.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed I am also reminded of Emma Thompson who flew 5,400 miles to attend the Extinction Rebellion protest in Central London. Needless to say not in economy thus wasting even more energy.

      Boris proposals will destroy and export jobs not create them. It will make no significant differences to CO2 output and will push up inflation and the cost of energy. So the poor and elderly will often have will freeze. And CO2 plant food is not really that much of a problem anyway.

      Allister Heath today in the Telegraph is exactly right.

      This rushed electric car revolution will backfire disastrously on Boris
      Innovation is our best hope of saving capitalism from hard-Left eco radicals, but this is a gamble too far.

      Though he does not go quite far enough.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        If the government really cared about CO2 they would ban all flights other than economy ones, ones that are not at least 95% full and all private jets and helicopters! That might easily cut CO2 from aircraft by 30% or so at a stoke for the same number of air-miles travelled.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          But of course they are not really interested in doing this.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink


    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      To appease the agenda will need more control. The primary aim will see more of the UK’s wealth being removed to furnish foreign domains that are not that dumb. Everything in this dream is geared to greater imports without any focus on UK self sufficiency and its own wealth creation.

      Name one battery/electric car usable in the mass market that comes from UK production? Even Jaguar Land Rover (the Indian owned manufacturer) imports these vehicles

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Their,vusually unstated, agenda is to get rid of most private cars for most people. People are to be denied the freedom to travel that private cars have offered for the past 100+ years.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Often large houses on the seafront – so clearly not too worried about sea levels.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      “In England last year 1% of people took nearly one fifth of all flights abroad.” Guardian

      Don’t lecture the rest of us you super-flyers.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        That does not stack up as a statistic

        You require at least 1 of that 1 % to be on each flight from the UK.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget off road parking – a requirement for electric car charging

    • eat cake
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Prince Charles comes to mind.

      here he is, pushing a world wide green/red revolution……

      Prince Charles comes to mind.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      But he’s not rich because he is green.

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        But is he green because he’s a lizard??

    • steve
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Priest

      “Of course all the batteries will be Made in China”


      And with Lithium from Afghanistan. Penny dropped ?

  6. matthu
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Create new jobs by paying yellow-jackets to monitor and enforce people’s loss of freedom.

    Create more new jobs by replacing every statue in all of our once great cities with one of our current cabinet or one of the members of SAGE. Let them be a lasting testament to the people who destroyed our economy, destroyed more people years than Covid-19.

  7. Simeon
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Yes, let’s take away people’s money, then make them apply to get it back so it can be used in the way government likes. Good idea. Never mind the green jobs, let’s have more public sector jobs. Great idea! Let’s co-opt the people into supporting the government’s agenda, indistinguishable from the globalist’s agenda. Marvellous!

    This ‘green crap’, to use the technical term, is largely idiotic, as you have previously implied. But you are still a champion of state interference. ‘Small government’ for you is a relative term. As with the national debt, so with government – small compared to what it would be with the other lot. An Indian elephant is smaller than an African elephant, but when it sits on you, the result is the same. This is metaphorical. In actuality, the Indian elephant appears to have evolved such that it is now indistinguishable from the African size-wise, though no doubt you will protest that the African still has bigger ears…

  8. BeebTax
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I wonder if there will be any net increase in jobs, or improvement in our individual wellbeing here.

    It’s all very well to blow a big trumpet about creating X number of jobs, but what if Y number of jobs are lost as a result because both businesses (and households) face greater regulations and costs?

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Do you honestly expect the shocked, demotivated and frankly damaged electorate to embrace any of this now? What? After 9 months of fascist rule?
    People who had a nice little business destroyed for NO REASON.
    Anyway. It is all rubbish. All nonsense and hot air.
    Like everything else spouted by politicians.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      And if you over-insulate in a bog standard house you get MOULD.
      And if you wash at low temperatures you get MOTH and MITES.
      Remember when the EU made the NHS drop the infection policy? And suddenly there was MRSA and other intractable infections.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear!
      I didn’t mean the article is rubbish..just the Greencrap policies.

  10. David Peddy
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I am in favour of planting many more trees to reduce our carbon output and if it can reduce imports as well so much the better
    If we therefore need to plant quick growing trees does this then imply conifers or am I showing my complete ignorance of arboriculture and forestry ?
    We cannot grow Teak, Mahogany or Utile here ? So some imports will have to continue

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Mahogany is banned, so of no value so SAmerica simply burned them where they stood. Every green policy ‘keeps on giving’ as dear Margaret would say.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Compared with the agility of capitalism, the government is like a huge blindfolded giant stumbling round trying to fix things it doesn’t understand. Putting up your own personal money (and house?) is one thing. Putting up other people’s money is quite another.

    How removing people’s cars (I can’t afford £20,000 for an electric one!), electricity (what happens when the wind stops?) and planting trees is not going to make the Red Wall that happy is it. Luckily the Labour Party are mired in Mr Corbyn’s mistakes at the moment. When a new Tony Blair emerges, though, Boris will simply be swept away in the north.

  12. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    ‘Offering people cash help to get their homes better insulated, with double glazing and good draught exclusion is a good idea.’ Hmm, I’m not so sure. Double-glazing is eye-wateringly expensive and Government cash-incentives won’t do much to bring down prices. A better, and cheaper, course for government would be to mandate tougher ‘Green’ standards for NEW homes. The housebuilders will prove better able to get a good price for ‘Green’ products than a house-buyer flashing the Treasury’s cash.
    P.S. BTW, I’ve just handed over £72 for an EHIC certificate, so I can sell a house that is already warm and cosy. This is too much and contrasts badly with the MOT fee. And I’d be surprised if the barely-skilled ‘consultant’ doing the work wasn’t able to do six ‘inspections’ a day while incurring very few expenses.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      EPIC Certificate? We had to do none of that and very little form filling to sell our home in Scotland. When I saw what our vendors had to answer I was shocked. Selling in England is a nightmare now and solicitors are not as efficient or professional as they used to be.

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Like the curate’s egg, it’s good in parts. If fully enacted, it looks like the PM’s plan will generate jobs and reduce our CO2 emissions. I particularly like the plan to plant more trees, to phase out petrol/diesel vehicles and invest in battery R&D

    I’m not sure about the hydrogen economy, unless we use our renewable energy to electrolyse seawater to generate it. I would prefer to see investment in grid-scale energy storage.

    The problem Johnson now has is to overcome the dinosaurs in the party, who will squawk endlessly about the problems, without having the vision to look beyond the transistion and see the advantages.

    Doubtless, the usual suspects who contribute to the blog will have much to say about Johnson’s conversion to “greencrap”. As ever, i look forward to reading their point of view.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Sakara, How about the Remain dinosaurs who have squawked endlessly about the problems, without having the vision to look beyond the transition and see the advantages of Leave. You being one of them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        It’s almost a blessing that Leave won.

        Having just seen what happens when such lunatics lose in the US, we can only assume that the same utterly unwarranted and reprehensible attacks on democracy would have happened here had that been the case – probably funded by some of the same people too.

        So now we know what Farage meant by “not finished business by any means”.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 21, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          You using politically incorrect language is surprising to me Martin.
          Calling 70 million Americans and by implication, 17 million UK voters “lunatics” for just having a different view to you is typical of the intolerant left.

          You need to get with the programme.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    At the moment we have enough electricity. Carrie wants us to use Green Energy instead. We are told this will create thousands of extra jobs So consumers will have to pay for those extra jobs. Electricity prices will go up.

    I wasn’t aware I’d voted for the Green Party at the last election, those pages must have been missing in my copy of the manifesto. It strikes me as a very middle-class agenda for the likes of privileged old Greta-worshippers like Andy. London is the only place in the country where you could reasonably rely on public transport (assuming there is any left after the Government’s lockdown has destroyed it).

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Let the market decide

    If there is an appetite or a future for any of these initiatives then private money will fund them and they will be adopted incrementally.

    I don’t recall the government mandating large screen TVs or smart phones. (Although they do heavily fund them through the benefits system, maybe that is the way forward.)

    • ian@barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink


  16. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    How many more times do I have to say it – the Government hasn’t GOT any money to spend, rather the reverse.

    Until such time as the PM and Chancellor produce a budget to the end of 2022, I’m not going to take a single word of what they say seriously.

    For the sake of my sanity, I’m going to find out more about the Reform Party and UKIP offers. All the main parties are stark, staring bonkers.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Of course there is a magic money tree which governments alway use – it’s called ‘the taxpayer’.

  17. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The countries benefiting most ftom renewables are those that make them. Germany, Denmark and China. The developers don’t employ many UK workers in installation and the jobs created afterwards are minimal. Thanks to politicians the subsidies are eyewaterIng.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Fedup, Very true. My son is helping to build a power from waste plant in the UK. He is one of the few British workers on site.

  18. Everhopeful
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Or as ian@Barkham posted yesterday..Lord Lawson takes a very dim view of all this saying….
    “Boris’s “Green Industrial Revolution” is Economic Lockdown, for ever…”
    And of course he is right.

    But then..if I remember rightly, he was happy to see all our real industry go..in order to embrace the City as our future. That worked out well!

    Maybe the truth is that politicians should just butt out of our lives. Let us trade and flourish. Stop leeching off our successes. Stop plotting and planning. We all only get one life ..so just STOP.

    • ian@barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      +1 but they fear the people, so its control and more control

  19. Cynic
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Boris’s plan sounds like a curates egg.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      where are the good bits?

  20. Newmania
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Greenwashed squander and debt , a nightmare tax for car owners and as for reinventing the post war forestry commission words fail me …well not quite
    We do not need more vile conifer infestations which is not more than way to hide a bung to farmers – again paid for with debt .
    More and more and more debt , more meddling more incompetence and if they think they have fooled anyone with their Christmas Covid present think again – this is not wanted and not needed –

    This is the worst government of my lifetime and I can remember the 70s vaguely

    • Richard1
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      You seem to want the leftists they’d be even worse

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Really ???

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Newmania, These are all policies that you Green/Remain technically illiterate types have demanded. When did you criticise Saint Greta?

      • Newmania
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        I am not particularly Green I am not interested in some little girl`s girl`s views on anything.
        By technically illiterate you presumably , does not drive a van for a living.
        I`m so tired of people who don`t do anything and know anything

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    So we will be increasing our costs so that China, Germany can reduce theirs by burning the coal which we don’t. Level playing field is the phrase which springs to mind.

    • ian@barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink


      So very true, only the UK will destroy its wealth and return to the stone age while the rest of the world moves on

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      Sir Joe, Even worse, most of the equipment will be bought from China and Germany.

  22. Richard1
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The basic numbers are: 20% of UK energy consumption comes from the electricity grid, between 40% & 50% of which is generated by wind. So like most developed countries we are about 80% reliant on fossil fuels. Boris talks about quadrupling wind. That will get us to 25-30% of total energy from wind. So we’ll need back-up to that as it’s intermittent. If the backup needs to be zero carbon that needs to come from nuclear. There aren’t any other options based on current technology. Is the green blob still opposed to nuclear? What about the 70% or so of energy which won’t come from wind-generated electricity?

    It would be good if politicians, instead of concentrating on polishing their halos by talking about how concerned they are about climate change, would focus on rigorous and dispassionate analysis and debate of the facts. There would be more chance of rational decisions.

    Much of Boris’s list seems to be R&D based moon shots like hydrogen and nuclear fusion. That’s fine & probably sensible. But it will not of course deliver ‘net zero’ (unless they turn out to work).

    • ian@barkham
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      It will be net zero in the UK, as the pollution and the jobs will be elsewhere. That will ensure foreign production will be cheaper.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      Richard1, Unfortunately Nuclear cannot be used as back-up for Wind. Nuclear cannot be switched on and off anything like quickly enough to suit the intermittency of Wind. Only CCGT (probably idling in GT mode) can do that. There is nothing else available with the capacity required.

      • Stred
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        The American SMR uses a molten salt heat reservoir to make it more flexible and able to support wind but obviously not for long lulls.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The sooner you Conservative MPs dismiss this man the better before he destroys the economy completely – something he was well on the way to achieving before his latest ill-thought out announcement.

  24. Stred
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The choice of the EPR French reactor at Sizewell is a another cockup by the energy and business dept. The original one at Flsmainville has been a disaster because of the over complex design. The one in Finland is many years overdue and costs have ballooned. The one at Hinckley is being built with s guaranteed inflation proofed price higher than anywhere else in the world. There are other designs being built all over the world which are simpler and approved to the latest safety standards. The Korean company was looking for partners when theirs was not approved by the green prime minister. The Japanese just wanted a guarantee of payment similar to the EDF deal at Hinckley. The UK should choose a design and adopt the safety procedures already cleared abroad and then offer a contact for ten of these on the existing sites. We would then have cheaper standardised power stations to replace the existing stations which are to be closed after 2030.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Stred, It would be better to use the Rolls-Royce modular small Nuclear reactors – UK built and able to be “mass” produced. It would be best of all to frack natural gas and use efficient non-polluting CCGT.

      • Stred
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        We need both. The total needed if the plan to electrify transport, heating, industry etc would need another 30 total Hinckley points or 300 SMRs.

  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The banning of sales perfectly efficient diesel and petrol powered vehicles by 2030 has not been thought through properly has it JR.
    Please advise why that date in particular has been chosen and why it has been bought forward by 10 years, it science based, or is it a whim.?

    Yes of course we would all like any polluting vehicles, factories or other manufacturing/generation plant to be as less polluting as possible, but that can only be done with research and ongoing development, at the moment new cars are the least polluting and most efficient they have ever been, with better reliability and more miles per gallon at the same time.

    You need to be careful you do not throw the baby out with the bathwater in the rush to “Clean Up”
    The law of unintended consequences has a habit of making a nonsense of some decisions.
    How many fuel garages will go out of business before that chosen cut off date?

    • Old Salt
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      “Please advise why that date in particular has been chosen and why it has been bought forward by 10 years, it science based, or is it a whim.?”

      Could it be that is when the remaining oil becomes really scarce?

      Just a thought. It can’t last for ever, can it?

      • Mark
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        No. Proven reserves are around 50 years. That doesn’t mean the oil will run out in 50 years. In 1980, proved reserves were under 30 years against a rather lower level of global demand. We’ve found a lot more, and we will continue to do so. Production techniques have improved, making oil that was previously not possible to exploit economically now profitable to exploit. That process will also continue.

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:57 am | Permalink

        Old Salt, We have at least 50 years of known reserves of oil and gas; and over a century of coal. More can almost certainly be found.

  26. Timaction
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    ……………..and soon Boris will be turning water into wine. Green power baloney will never be efficient or effective. We all agree with improving the environment but windmills will never work as a strategy if there is no…………..wind!
    Lets be frank, Boris will not be in office in 2024. He has let us all down.

  27. James Freeman
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The government will lose £40 billion pounds a year in tax revenue from the move to electric vehicles. So, bringing this forward 10 years will cost £400 billion. This is more than for Covid and makes this £12 billion investment insignificant. How will you make up the shortfall? How much will it cost to upgrade the electricity grid? How will voters without their own parking spaces recharge their electric cars?

    Best of luck finding out and telling us all tomorrow!

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      They’re already talking about pay (tax) as you drive – the government will not lose a penny in revenue

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Not exactly joined up thinking is it….? To0 many big gaps between wishful thinking and reality.

    No doubt Boris will continue on the same path with making us all green as he has with everything else, in a dictatorial fashion – even if we disagree with his childish notions about climate change, on past history he will impose his will.

    I have no time for blinkered politicians that simply accept the establishment view on everything and refuse to even consider other possibilities.

  29. Nivek
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    A video has recently circulated on the Internet showing Justin Trudeau apparently addressing the UN with the following words:
    “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like…climate change.”
    I completely disagree with this sentiment: a public health crisis should be a non-partisan matter, and the power held by the governing party must be exercised accordingly.

    Meanwhile, earlier this year, in Greenwich, Mr. Trudeau’s counterpart in this country made the following remark (with emphasis added):
    “[O]n…perhaps the greatest issue facing humanity, Britain was the first major economy in the world…to place upon our own shoulders a legal obligation to be carbon neutral by 2050. That will put huge strains on our system…but we know we can do it”.
    Now you write that Mr. Johnson is setting out his plans for a green revolution that aims to create 250,000 “new” jobs. This occurs at practically the same time as he has imposed an English national “lockdown”; and you have written that lockdowns “ban many from working at all”.

    I believe that Mr. Johnson is obliged to satisfy the public that he is not using “lockdown” – a supposed urgent pandemic response measure – to put into effect the “huge strains on our system” he apparently believes are necessary to achieve his long-term environmental policy target of “carbon neutrality”.

  30. ukretired123
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Lunacy by virtue signalling western group-think non technical arty-tarty types instead of tackling China India and the other coal-fired wasters on an industrial scale. Send XR rebellious to “Pollution Central” China aka polltion maximus!

  31. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    In part to repeat a contribution I made yesterday and add having an aspiration without a solid plan is just day-dreaming. None of which can materialize without first having a dynamic thriving economy. Least we forget this government likes the gesture of spending money from the under privalaged struggling taxpayer and rewarding those that otherwise can afford the PM’s dream. Who is he speaking to? its not the people of the UK that pay his wages.

    From Conservative Woman

    Lord Lawson criticises Prime Minister Johnson for being ‘economically illiterate’
    Date: 18/11/20

    In a statement on Boris Johnson’s plans for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution,’ Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “If the Government were trying to damage the economy they couldn’t be doing it better.”

    Moreover, the job creation mantra is economically illiterate. A programme to erect statues of Boris in every town and village in the land would also ‘create jobs’ but that doesn’t make it a sensible thing to do.”

    Boris’s “Green Industrial Revolution” is Economic Lockdown, for ever…

    Date: 18/11/20 – Global Warming Policy Forum

    The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) today described the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ as shallow gesture politics, but a gesture with severely negative economic implications from day one into the foreseeable future.
    And we know that this will happen because all previous attempts to create a viable green economy have failed.

    In March 2009, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his Labour government’s ‘industrial strategy,’ a term the Conservatives have also adopted, promising to create 400,000 jobs. Brown’s words are strangely reminiscent of today’s announcement:

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink


  32. adenwellssmith
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    More laws. More control. More money wasted.

    What’s interesting is that you talk about investment. So what’s your track record in Westminster on investment?

    Where are the accounts? Money invested, return on investment. Where’s the information for each project? That excludes the usual sop, that if we invest we get more taxes. More taxes make people poorer.

    Borrow more to tax more is not investment

    Second. If you think its a great idea then you will put your money in. However its not, so you forced people to “invest” in these mad schemes.

    Well John, I’ve had enough of this clap trap. I’ve resigned from the Conservatives. No more money for the Tories, its going to go to reform, and I’m going to increase that payment.

    To quote Ann Widdicombe, I’m off.

  33. agricola
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Green is not producing noxious gases and particulate from the use of fuel to keep us warm and to propel us from A to B. It would be a mistake to ignore fossil fuels that with the application of science and engineering can be made noxious and particulate free. It would also be a mistake to think that electricity is the answer to everything. Electricity can be stored in very none green batteries or in water reservoirs or in the form of hydrogen.

    Japan has decided that hydrogen is the way to go. Its virtue is that it can be produced using renewable energy, solar and wind, but unlike electricity it can be stored. Having stored it, it can then be used as required. Directly burnt for domestic heating and vehicle propulsion, producing only water as a biproduct. Alternatively it can be used to feed fuel cells to make electricity to propel vehicles. The practicalities of taking on board an hydrogen fill up compared to an electrical recharge should not require explanation.

    For solar hydrogen production we only need to choose partners with secure sunshine and political stability. Maybe it is an option for those currently producing fossil fuel. You choose, Israel, Gozo, Spain, S Africa, the Canaries. How about a raft at sea away from the hurricane band. My wild thoughts apart, take a good hard look at what is going on in Japan at the moment before going off on impractical expensive tangents like electric cars.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Agricola. A brilliant post.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Agricola – Why have the big motor manufacturers given up hydrogen cars as impracticable?

  34. Iain Moore
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    In all the many thousands of hours of discussions on our response to global warming I have never ever heard our immigration driven population expansion questioned. Never heard a BBC presenter cut in on a Minister and say…’but Minster how do you square that with net 300k immigration per year?’ It is the monstrous pachyderm sitting in the corner no one ever refers to.

    The privations which Boris Johnson is intending to inflict on our country with his deindustrialisation , otherwise known as the Green industrial revolution, is directly at odds with his mass immigration policies, like 3 million people from Hong Kong. It is such an massively obvious contradiction it is hard to believe it has been overlooked. If not then it begs the question what is the connecting logic between the two?

    Well when you strip away the green wash from environmentalism it is about control , limiting our freedoms and choices, marshalling populations according to the wishes of the comrades, and mass immigration? About fracturing the identity of the nation states , make them incapable of responding to the wishes of their people, something the globalists hanker after. Of course it could also be explained away by the sheer incompetence and cowardice of our political class.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      correct, well said

    • Dennis
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, hear, hear.

      In an episode of ‘Inside the Factory’ at Kelloggs, twice it was mentioned that one of the additives was sugar. The presenter never asked why put in sugar? Not permitted in the TV contract? The same with salted potato crisps – unsalted not longer available, just the salted kind.

      Sugar and salt we are supposed to be wary of so why add these when if wanted can be added at home – do they think we don’t have these ingredients at home to use if wanted? And by not using them in manufacture would be cheaper, no? I feel a conspiracy coming on.

  35. beresford
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    End mass immigration and land will be available for the forests you want instead of being concreted over to provide houses and roads for the non-productive newcomers. The other problems you have mentioned recently such as food and power shortages will also recede.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      JR doesn’t care a jot about the massive overpopulation of the UK. I have been mentioning it for years here but he never has an intelligent word to say about it. All he ever says is , ‘I favour less immigration…’.

      Reply I agree we need to curb migration and have often discussed with the government how they should do this.

  36. Kenneth
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The only environmental policies that will work are those where the needs of the economy and ecology are aligned.

    That means conservation.

    We also need to develop robotics so that labour costs are a much smaller price element and we will be able to revive industries that were lost years ago and reduce “product miles”.

  37. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “It is worrying how the UK and the EU have let China establish a lead in these areas” yet Cornwall sits on top of good quality Lithium resources. I would guess this Government is waiting for a foreign buyer to jump in and remove this wealth creator from the UK as well.

  38. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Well this is how it’s being received in a Tory family and social group:

    The Tories want to price us off the roads. They want to make driving the preserve of the wealthy only.

    It’s gone down like a cup of cold sick in this pandemic, when we’re all worried to death about our jobs. Why now ???

  39. Wil Pretty
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Why do we need to plant trees?
    The forests of the UK that were in place when humans arrived after the last ice age were not planted.
    Plants devote considerable energy to create seeds that ensure the continuity of their species.
    To plant other species of trees is blatant species discrimination.
    All trees need is soil, water and CO2 to grow.
    The more the CO2 the easier it is for them to thrive.
    To ‘Green’ our plantlife the best we can do is to cease (ineffectually thank goodness) to throttle back on their food supply.

  40. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Can we have a re-run of the 2019 General Election please ?

    It is very clear that the Tories stood on a false prospectus and would be prosecuted under the Trade Description Act if they were operating in the commercial market.

    In what way is this a Tory government ?


    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink


  41. Caterpillar
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for presenting a more critical view of the green agenda. The, fairly recently departed, New Zealand politician Mike Moore wrote a piece for the FT back in 2009 in which he observed,

    “What was silly is becoming sinister. Green ideology is becoming a theology. This new religion has many apostles, especially in the non-profit sector and the soft media. It is right and proper that politicians and businesspeople face a sceptical media who scrutinise them, hold them to account, and expose their flaws and contradictions. The same should apply to the green agenda, which is all too often accepted at face value because it claims to have the planet’s interests at heart, unlike grubby politicians and greedy businesspeople. There needs to be scepticism, everywhere, and much more of it.”

    Freedom for scepticism and rational appraisal needs to be rediscovered in the U.K. (and other countries).

    Specifically on batteries, alongside the gigafactories there would need to be more of a circular economy, not simply end of life processing to create disposal jobs. Over what timescales will UKBIC produce solutions showing batteries and EVs are indeed green?

  42. oldtimer
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Johnson’s green agenda is a mixture of industrial vandalism, green idiocy and wishful thinking. Consider his heat pump idea to replace gas boilers. That will be hugely expensive. A few years ago I seriously evaluated a heat pump as an alternative to a new gas boiler. Although I have the benefit of a c 0.75 acres plot, I was advised there was not enough space to lay the tubes needed to support a viable system. I was advised not to bother looking at drilling down deep enough to support a heat pump solution. The same issue applies to BEVs. Battery technology is very expensive. The distribution network in the UK is unable to support widespread adoption of BEVs. A large proportion of the car owning community will be forced out of private car ownership by government decree and taxation. The UK needs a new political party to defend their interests. They have been taken for fools, and taxation, for too long.

  43. Iain Moore
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    A thought to scare us all, we are getting the Green loony economy crippling gestures now, yet we are still a year out from the Glasgow COP21. What damage can Boris Johnson inflict on our economy until then? You can be sure he will be coming up with some more Green impoverishing edicts to ingratiate himself with the UN climate change zealots.

  44. a-tracy
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    There are lots of large dead trees, couldn’t you organise to cut them all up and use them in the power station and plant new trees in place of them once the ground has been treated more suitable to their roadside position, every storm more branches drop off onto passing cars or blocking the roads.

    Perhaps you could have a Premium Green investment like the Premium bonds.

    His green car transport is terrifying working-class people, they are worried they’re being forced off the road and back on their bikes while the rich can flaunt around in their Tesla and German big brands. If Boris is intent on pushing this through genuinely for everyone he needs the brands like Kia on side ‘to build in Britain’ for less than £10,000 cars without all the fancy functions on or speeds people can’t go up to anyway, all the technology for town driving.

  45. Julian Flood
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Hydrogen is explosive over a large range of air/hydrogen mixes. It’s an ideal terrorist gas.


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      But we don’t have any of those in this country do we? Government doing it’s job keeping us safe?

  46. Bootsy
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I forecast that Britain will become like Cuba with lots of patched up 2010 cars on the roads!

    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      cars will be like long distance coaches now.

      since expensive disabled lifts were mandated on all new coaches, the coach industry has just been refurbishing old coaches with no such lifts. indeed some real radical refurbishments where often there is little left of the original coach except the bit of steel with the VIN number on it. this is exactly what will happen to cars. so not so much like Cuba, more like the coach industry with its immortal VIN number plates.

  47. Everhopeful
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    So why is Boris “isolating”…( ! more stupid language)?
    He has HAD covid.
    AND he himself says he is “bursting with antibodies”.
    Does he know what an antibody is?
    Does anyone even know what a covid antibody looks like?

  48. Andy
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Electric cars are better than petrol cars. They last a lot longer. They are significantly cheaper to run. They have far fewer maintenance problems than petrol/diesel cars. And they are better for the planet and our children. As well as cutting back on actual pollution they cut back on noise pollution too. Over their lifetime they cost no more than petrol/diesel cars but the upfront cost is currently much bigger. This is why government help is needed right now.

    For most drivers most of the time an electric car is a perfectly sensible option. The exceptions being if you regularly drive very long distances.

    In any case what the British government does or says is irrelevant. Most major car manufacturers won’t make petrol and diesel cars for long anyway – and they certain won’t make them just for us. Their major markets – US, EU/EEA, China, Japan – will all go all electric before long.. As a relatively insignificant market the UK will simply get modified versions of products manufactured for the main markets.

    Being a small isolated island off the coast of Europe has benefits for defence – nobody is interested in attacking us. But it has economic costs because no significant manufacturer cares enough about making specific products just for the U.K. Remember the big countries will soon include Indonesia, Egypt, Brazil, India, Nigeria. All will be significantly more important economically than us – so it’ll be down to their governments to decide whether or not petrol cars will still even be made. Thanks to Brexit places like Jakarta and Cairo and Manila will make decisions which will affect us. Tory decisions will make no difference.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:05 am | Permalink

      Andy, Petrol cars are better than battery electric cars. Batteries have a shorter life than petrol engines, and are not repairable. BEVs are significantly more expensive to own when taxes are evened out. They have far more maintenance problems than petrol/diesel cars because they are more complicated. And they are much worse for the planet and our children because both the batteries and the magnets are extremely toxic.

  49. Christine
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    How many trees and green spaces are being lost to the ever-expanding house building projects to accommodate this Government’s 700,000 a year new residents? We live on a small island. We don’t have the space for these fanciful ideas. Pay for all these trees in Scotland then they gain their independence and they are lost to the UK. Next, he will be ploughing ahead with his bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland with his border post in the middle.

    With these madcap policies proposed by Boris, or is that Carrie, the Conservatives have no chance of re-election.

    If people had wanted to get rid of their cars and gas boilers, they would have voted for The Green Party or done it voluntarily. The Government is supposed to be running the country not micro-managing every aspect of our lives.

    Dominic Cummings obviously tried and failed to steer him away from these ideas, as he knew how badly they would be received outside the London liberal bubble.

    Time for the backbenchers to oust this Conservative imposter squatting in Number 10 before he does more damage.

  50. Fred H
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    While the UK is at roughly 1% of the ‘problem’ why are we killing our economy and future when the guilty carry on ‘no holds barred”?
    Ridiculous obsession.

  51. glen cullen
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve read the conservative manifesto 2019 (64 pages) this morning

    ‘’’We will consult on the earliest date by which we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel car’’’

    That’s it – absolutely no mention of a ‘green industrial revolution’ 99.9% of manifesto is about getting Brexit done

    I would suggest that this government hasn’t the mandate nor a moral position implementing green policies when the last general election was a one issue event

    Boris needs to go back to the people to pursue this new green agenda

    • dixie
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

      2019 GE manifesto – Page 2, guarantee #5;
      “Reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.”

      Page 7;
      “We will also prioritise the environment in the next Budget, investing in the
      infrastructure, science and research that will deliver economic growth, not just
      through the 2020s, but for decades to come.”

      I do not agree with the steamroller approach by ignorant politicians and activists that invents catastrophe to frighten everyone but people need to stop pretending there is no mandate. If you voted for the conservatives in 2019 then recognise that they have taken that as a mandate .

      The issue is whether this is all seen as threat or opportunity and people must decide because the competition will and leave us no choices at all.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        64 pages and you quote 2 sentences – vague sentences

        Thats not a mandate – the whole manifesto was a single issue ”get brexit done”

        The whole general election was a single issue

        • dixie
          Posted November 21, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          Not just a small sentance tucked away – One of his 6 headline guarantees.

  52. J Bush
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I remember the ‘winter of discontent’ very well. I did manual work in a factory and used public transport to and from work. On the way home, if the street lights were off along a certain stretch I knew there would be no electric at home.

    However, compared to some I was lucky, I had a gas cooker and gas fires. I double lagged the electric immersion heater and when the electric was on I would switch it on. This meant when I came home from work I could bathe in hot water, eat a hot meal and sit in a warm room. I also had a collection of oil lamps and a stock of candles, so I could read in the evening.

    I have, where I could, maintained that principle, multiple heat and lighting sources. I have an electric oven, a gas hob, gas fired central heating (though it does rely on an electric switch) and a mult-fuel burner and of course I still have my oil lamps and stock of candles. All very useful when there is a power cut.

    However, Johnson wants to ban all these options, ban petrol and diesel cars and give us only the intermittent wind power to meet the needs of an ever growing population! Of course it won’t be able to do this. Conservative Woman have some very good articles today detailing why Johnson is at best naive, or perhaps mad, to consider this as the only viable option.

    I am so frustrated with the direction he is blithely following. So much so that I, like a growing number of others, are starting to question what ‘rewards’ has he been promised, to destroy our economy, our freedoms and our right to self determination.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      shh…. Once Carrie latches on to fumes from burning candles they will be banned too.

  53. Ed M
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Trees in general is a no brainer (let’s really get behind it)

    – Soaking up CO2 / pollutants in the air

    But we also need far more trees in city:

    – To soak up the CO2 / pollutants in the air …

    – The green in the leaves of trees stimulate happy chemicals
    1) Just making people happier in general which is good for health, work and relationships
    2) Diminishing clinical depression
    3) Reducing stress which can lower crime

    – The aesthetic beauty of trees makes people feel more creative – which can positively affect them in their work and relationships. Also so many animals live in trees – above all birds. What would you prefer outside your house in London, say, a leafy tree with a blackbird singing in it or an empty, grey pavement.

    – More trees boosts the attractiveness of a city to live and work in as well as visit as a tourist

  54. ED
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    What are we going to do for power on a cold, dark, still winter’s night?

  55. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “The plans entail £12bn of public investment ” why is it every time government talks about investment they are actually just donating taxpayer money.

    If every ‘investment’ the government makes by taking taxpayer money was a real investment with a real return, we would be in a position that the returns get fund future projects. As it stands the Government is just stealing from the taxpayer to GIVE money to those that can afford it in the first place.

    I was never one who believed the Conservative Party was a party of the rich and privalaged and had no interest in the UK as a whole. But, this Government seems to be practicing that ideology in bucket loads.

  56. Mockbeggar
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    With regard to batteries, we potentially have a world lead in the development of an alternative to conventional batteries which can be charged in seconds and don’t use rare earth metals. Have a look at either Bristol or Surrey Universities websites for supercapacitors.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Don’t get too excited. City spivs and government will ensure that they whole development and technology is sold off to a foreign buyer in double qick time.

  57. NickC
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    JR, Boris’ recipe is an appalling mess of gesture politics, virtue signalling, CAGW religion, and top-down socialist ten-year-planning. It is economically illiterate as Lord Lawson says. It relies on windmills which are notoriously intermittent. Without providing any significant back-up. It provides insufficient electricity and infrastructure to power the homes and cars it envisages will be dependent on the Grid. It will continue the destruction of our economy.

    It is a shambles – a total disaster in the making. That, or the conspiracy theorists are right – that it is planned deliberately to deprive the peasants (us) of cars, heating, homes, livelihoods, and freedom. Boris Symonds has to go – and don’t make the mistake again of hanging on to him as the Tory party clung to Theresa the Appeaser.

  58. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Analysing Johnson’s proposals as has been done on CW today very effectively by people who can add and subtract, is cruel. It’s like laughing at the afflicted.
    I called for Johnson to be sectioned in March when he insisted on closing Britain for the flu. Now from all sides the words ‘lunatic’ ‘mad’ ‘insanity’ abound.
    I have bitterly opposed previous PMs, many of us thought them wrong, incompetent even evil. But this is the first PM we are all concluding, is completely around the bend.
    He must go! Where is the 1922?

    • miami.mode
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps, Lynn, there have been crisis meetings going on all day, as possibly explained by our host’s late moderation of contributions.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Sadly Agree

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      Lynn, That is true, Boris seems to have completely lost it. Photos of him being harangued by the Princess show him looking haggard and lost. Boris has to go.

    • bill brown
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson

      Very sensible contirbution.

      thank you

  59. Dave Ward
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    “The UK wishes to ban new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2030”

    NO – the UK Government wishes. The bulk of the population does NOT, and we’ve been given no choice in any case…

    • Mark
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      I find it astonishing that we seem to chunter and accept these diktats. Or perhaps we don’t? This time, will people be motivated enough at least to sign a petition against it in large numbers?

      What do we have to guard against? I suspect it will be rather more than just the ban on sales – it will be the extra taxes and restrictions that are being dreamt up by those who think that the general public should not possess their own means of transport. I think we made need to hire Matthew Elliott to champion a campaign of good sense.

  60. ferdi
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    The tasks confronting the government are enormous if it tries to force the market. Electric cars are pleasant but underdeveloped as is the infrastructure. How do you charge a car when you are flat owner ? It takes two minutes to completely refuel a petrol or diesel car but 40 minutes or more for an electric vehicle. So you will need 20 times as many charging points for a similar level of use. The list of major problems is endless as well as management of the consequences. The market should decide all these issues which will be the least disruptive and at least cost.

  61. RichardP
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Wow, 250,000 jobs!
    It is reported today that one in seven UK companies are at risk of collapse, the green job dividend won’t go far in offsetting that.
    Boris fiddles while the UK burns.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      That’s 200.000 jobs directly employed by local council or national government and the other 50,000 jobs supplying only into the local council or national government – at the expense of estimated 5,000,000 jobs

    • Fred H
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      and a new generation taught green skills – -you know …..basket weaving, erecting solar panels, digging out land on beauty spots for pouring concrete for wind farms, mending bicycle punctured inner-tubes, planting potatoes in raised beds on your lawn.

  62. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John. 25 year’s ago whoever was in government issued a similar statement about expanding English Forest. One area which was marked by an enormous sign was on the east side of the M42 between the A5 and Donnington Park. Drive along today and the only growth you will see is in new industrial parks.
    Do PM”s just make these statements thinking no one will ever notice whether it is achieved or not as it certainly seems that way.

  63. PB
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Another thoughtful piece. You remind me of a lecture Dieter Helm gave to the IET a few years ago in which, to paraphrase, the only green thing about Drax wood chips was the Gulf Stream bringing the ships to the UK ~ never mind how they went the other way.

    In the same lecture he said the renewable generators should have been made to bid full power to the grid not just when they were able i.e., they had to be prepared to supply power to the grid 24/7 by negotiating with those capable of doing so when they were not.

  64. JohnK
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The world king has lost the plot, and unless they get rid of him, will take the Conservative Party down with him.

    He is planning nothing more than the “Green New Deal” which the extreme left US Democrats want, and which was all hatched at the World Economic Forum at Davos. When do we get a say?

    I was hearing on the radio that it costs £15,000 to replace a gas boiler with a heat pump. Even the BBC presenter was flabbergasted at this. A gas boiler is a tenth of the price.

    Electric cars are expensive and have a short life. They last as long as the battery. You will never get an EV with 100,000 miles on the clock. ICE cars last that and more with a bit of care and maintenance. They provide cheap motoring for the ordinary people (also known as voters). This is what the Green Industrial Revolution is designed to end. Not without a fight.

    We had a referendum on leaving the EU. That is a comparatively small matter compared to what Boris the Buffoon is now proposing. Either get rid of the madman, or let the people have their say. This is crunch time for the Conservatives. One year after a stunning election victory, Boris has brought them to the brink of disaster. Get rid of him!

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      JohnK, I agree completely.

  65. Bootsy
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Sir, is this bullying and corrupt government going to get away with their fraud and continue to waste taxpayers money after what has been revealed this week , £200 million to a middle man! How does that comply with the tender rules I used to have to obey when spending public money in the MOD a few years back.

  66. miami.mode
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Why would the PM worry about the consequences of his decisions? Just like Ed Miliband and Chris Huhne, he will not be around when we have to pay the price.

  67. turboterrier
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Very good article on the 10 flaws in BJs plans for energy in the Spectator.

    Sadly for the country he is it seems only listening to one person, and she is not ever been elected.

    When and where are the people who are going to bring common sense to the table?

    • John Waugh
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      “where are the people ”
      The people needed are the Professional Engineers .
      All these ideas need to be looked at by experienced engineers – only then can a way forward be developed.
      The Royal Academy of Engineering – harnesses the power of engineering to build a sustainable society . I noticed on their website a letter to Boris offering support in engineering matters.
      A powerful Engineering Advisory Group is needed to help direct forward planning.
      Otherwise we proceed with flaky ideas and no amount of gushing positivity will alter the outcome .

      • dixie
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        Utter waste of time, engineering and scientific “sense” are always overwhelmed by the spivs, activists and politicos.

        But then again, the general consumer is no better either, just keep buying the cheap imports because the world owes them everything and don’t think about consequences.

        Who’d have thought that buying cheap imports would result in whole industries closing down, jobs moving offshore, redundancies and dropping down the value chain. Engineers and technologists as well as small businesses have been pointing this out for decades. But all this actually making stuff is far too complicated, so much easier to listen to the unilateral free marketeers (if you are “conservative”) or let’s save the world (if you are liberal/labour).

        • John Waugh
          Posted November 20, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          i think you have summed it up pretty well .it is depressing.

          • dixie
            Posted November 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            It could be depressing if you think you are powerless. We can each take individual action, individual responsibility, achieve some measure of control.

  68. ferdi
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    What is most concerning is the appalling ignorance of most people about what is meant by the Climate issue. Even MPs are sadly unaware of most facts yet repeat the current mantra without any qualms. They need to come up to the bar to explain their stance. Of course MPs are not scientists but Boris is only listening the to the Greens (lefties) The issue is enormous and rushed policies will be disastrous, and , as usual, it will be the poor who suffer most.

  69. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Why won’t the Government just come clean with the public ?

    We are going to be in rolling lockdowns until at least spring 2022.

    They are following wiki on what happened in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic – except CV-19 doesn’t kill young people or others indiscriminately, it is nothing close to it.

    There is going to be nothing left after this.

  70. Polly
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    If the ”Daily Mail” is right, it looks that many deaths in England might have been wrongly attributed to C-19. Possibly because it was easier for clinicians, and because autopsy could frequently be avoided…………


    If that is so, then surely SAGE should long ago have picked up on the anomalies?


  71. John Hatfield
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The Prime Minister would appear to be off his trolley. Can we please have him replaced by a sane and preferably conservative one.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


  72. Remington Norman
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    First, stop concreting over swathes of our beautiful country. Slash immigration to reduce the need for low cost housing.

    Second, stop building roads and improve the public transport system in accessibility, frequency, punctuality and cost.

    Third, bin the zero carbon emissions target. If the UK ceased using fuel for an entire year it would make negligible difference (0.02% I believe ) to worldwide CO2 emissions. China’s Belt and Road scheme will commission 700 new coal-fired power stations in the coming years which makes anything we do pointless. Drastic CO2 reduction will damage our economy.

    Fourth, get out of the Paris Climate agreement. Britain is one of only a handful of countries paying what they signed up to; the others subscribed as virtue-signalling but do not contribute. Humanity cannot stop or alter the way climate changes. Research suggests that there is a new solar minimum on the way; like those of the past it produced significant cold spells.

    FIfth, reverse the ‘electric’ only car target. As things stand, the massive electricity requirement will be generated by gas or coal.

    Sixth, commission new nuclear generation capacity for a 50 year cycle.

    Seventh, stop subsidising wind power; it is costly and inadequate. As it is our central power agency has signalled more than once that our generating capacity is on the edge of failing to meet demand. The only way to deal with this is to reduce or cut off supply to large users – ie factories etc.

    The government must cease its silly knee-bending to the green movement and look reality in the eye.

  73. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    If you Sir John have swallowed the green BS then we are truly lost!

    It’s time to give up

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Agree – it really is time to stand up and be counted

  74. Remington Norman
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink
    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      ”’Since September, France has relighted four coal-fired power stations with high CO2 emissions to partially offset the shutdown at Fessenheim and the lack of wind for the wind turbines. Since September EDF has also had to occasionally import gas and coal-generated electricity from Germany at a very high cost”’

  75. JohnE
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    On the bright side we do have two world leading UK firms in the fuel cell industry. Ceres Power in Surrey is enjoying great success in licensing their solid oxide fuel cell technology to the likes of Bosch in Germany and Weichai in China.
    And ITM Power in Yorkshire specialise in electrolysers used to produce green hydrogen. They are nearing completion of the world’s largest electrolyser plant, in Sheffield.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

      JohnE, Well, I hope that Ceres has their technology patented from here to the Moon, because both the Germans and Chinese will copy it.

  76. glen cullen
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Currently watching paint dry – listening to international men’s day debate in the HoC’s……has it really came to this, that MPs would rather discuss made-up topics than debate the state of our nation

  77. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    News today of another 2000 homes likely to be built on Kentish agricultural land, at Westgate. Is that ‘Green’?

  78. John McDonald
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    The first cars were electric but the petrol engine was more practical. Not much has changed and we should look to hydrogen to fuel vehicles. Batteries are not environmentally friendly in production and disposal.

    Not sure where to plant the trees if we keep on building ? But totally agree the more trees the better.
    The power industry has been run down after privatisation. There are no studies to prove the price of electricity has come down. The profits go aboard. EDF is the French Nationalise Power Company so we are keeping electricity prices down in France. Why are some people paying more for their Electricity then others in the UK ? Why have to change supplier each year?
    We will need skilled people to make full use of the “green” opportunity.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 21, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I thought the big German car makers, at least, have abandoned hydrogen power.

  79. margaret howard
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink


    “The Prime Minister this week wrote an article setting out his plans for a green revolution.”

    Did Carrie write it for him?

  80. Ginty
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    “Is Boris Johnson mad ?”

    From Conservative Woman, on wind power.


    He’s killing the country, Sir John.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


      Interesting article, thanks for highlighting. I think it is worth quoting the final conclusion,

      “But unlike industrial revolutions of the past, the net zero agenda will not make things cheaper and more abundant to allow people to take control of their lives. The Green Revolution will instead force people to reorganise their lives around unpredictable cycles of scarcity, the weather and price signals. If Boris Johnson believes that is a good thing, he’s mad. Really, really mad.”

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink


  81. Fred H
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    from BBC website.
    China has strongly rebuked the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after being accused of a concerted effort to silence critics in Hong Kong.
    The countries, which form the Five Eyes alliance, criticised China’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong. They urged Beijing to reverse course.
    A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman warned countries to stay out of China’s affairs saying: “They should be careful or their eyes will be plucked out.”
    Last week, Hong Kong expelled four pro-democracy lawmakers from its legislature after Beijing passed a resolution allowing the city’s government to dismiss politicians deemed a threat to national security.
    In response, all of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers announced their resignation. For the first time since the UK handed the territory back to China in 1997, the body has almost no dissenting voices.

    Martin’s friends getting rattled when democracy questioned over Hong Kong.

  82. Ginty
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    This will be the first industrial revolution in which the desire has been to make things more expensive and life more difficult.

    This on top of the (I estimate) 40% drop in standard of living that this PM has inflicted upon us through his shambolic mishandling of CV-19.

    This fall in our standard of living will become obvious in the New Year and what will also be obvious is that it is permanent.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      I agree – most revolutions have a desire to project people forward, however this green revolution has the opposite desire to bring the working people back to the dark-ages

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Ginty, You are quite right. Lockdowns have seriously damaged both the health of the majority and the economic well-being of the nation to a disastrous extent. Most people seem to have their heads in the sand about these two factors. It’s frankly amazing. There will be hell to pay when people finally wake up to the twin calamities.

  83. Colin B
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, a question if I may.

    A research institute, The Faraday Institute, has announced funding of £55 million from the UK govt towards research into the production of batteries. It appears that the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and St Andrew’s are likely recipients of this funding.

    So how does this work ?

    Certain professors receive quaranteed work , possibly increased salaries and departmental funding for their research and the university gets a goodly amount of quedos.
    Who owns the rights to this research – individual professors, the university, etc.
    What does the British tax payer receive on their investment – 5 or 10 or 20% or more of its value in the open market ( of course not all research has a successful outcome )
    Is the Govt acting in a similar way to Dragons Den ? Probably not, so why not.
    Do the professors set up companies and receive all of the rewards when successful ?
    What guarantees are there that successful products are not sold abroad.

    A case in point might be the Uni of Oxford and research into a Covid vaccine. From memory the Uni of Oxford were quick to emphasize at an early stage that if this vaccine was successful it was for the world. Good but niaive sentiments. Who paid for the research, the UK govt ( the UK has been more than generous in funding for research to find a vaccine ) ? Is Astra Zeneca getting a 20% return on their investment from distribution ? Can we expect the UK govt to achieve a small return to at least cover its funding contributions including funding for unsuccessful research. Doesn’t the Govt have a say on who will receive supplies of the vaccines rather than the University ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      The taxpayer / government paid for all the R&D at Manchester University for the invention and development of ‘graphene’ the worlds wonder material but hasn’t and will not get a penny in return

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        indeed that is my understanding as well

      • Colin B
        Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Glen, thanks for your comment.

        Outrageous. A small royalty would not go amiss. We don’t want to be greedy but we are, to my mind, quite generous in many areas. We still appear to be clinging to the idea that we are extremely wealthy and that we must act as the sole benefactor to the World. Given our govt debts, poverty in certain UK regions / cities and our inability to fund certain cancer drugs for our own citizens then a little balancing of the books would help. Rishi could then consider not putting a pay freeze on the public sector. Charity begins at home. No other country will help us when the chips are down and we might fall on hard times.

        Sir John, I do think we need a policy change in this area. Is it something you might feel able to promote.

  84. Dee
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Boris says this, Boris says that etc. All Boris is doing is carrying out his girlfriends orders. The man is under the thumb, browbeaten, he only sacked Cummings and Caine because she ordered him too. She is making the man a buffoon with her ‘woke’ orders and it is time Boris stood his ground and gave her the boot otherwise it can only end up with the Cons losing everything. Things are looking ripe for either Lawrence or Nigel to step in and take ground and Boris is doing all he can to help them. It is a shame, I had great faith in him but look how he has kept us dangling on a hook over Brexit! His hashup of the Covid flu. The HS2 debacle. I’m afraid he does not have a lot going for him.

  85. steve
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


    “His [Johnson /Symonds] immediate target is to help create 250,000 new jobs to go with the 450,000 jobs currently said to be involved with decarbonisation.


    Not in my opinion JR. I believe the aim here is not so much jobs but rather force crappy electric cars on everyone. Cars that can be remotely immobilised if the owner is deemed guilty of non compliance, or paid the freedom ransom. Cars that are basically useless i.e. will only deliver 200 mile range if driven at snail speed. Above all, useless cars that are of no value whatsoever when the batteries die. Jobs doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s all about making life shit for the common man.

    “The best way to cut the number of diesel and petrol cars….etc ”

    Why cut them in this country? surely the green argument should be taken to countries which are the worst offenders, like China for example. Oh don’t tell me…the green wets and Boris Johnson don’t have the guts. Easier to crap – up our lifestyles and freedoms, eh.

    Good diary article as always JR, but on this one; take the green crap to China and India. we’re not buying it, but just as with concessions to the EU to get a trade deal we didn’t vote for…..this green lunacy will also get the conservatives kicked out for good.

    Boris Johnson has no mandate to do any of this head in the clouds fairy minded rubbish, and if the conservatives want another term then their best chance is to throw this day dreaming megalomaniac out on his backside before he does anymore damage to this country.

    Get him out now, reverse all the green crap policy and close the door on the EU, or it will be the end of the conservative party.

    Blunt…yes, but that’s the way it is. We mean it.

  86. Hat man
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    So Johnson is going back to writing newspaper articles. Uh-huh. But who is actually governing the country?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Well nobody, literally no body, is preferable to Boris governing!

  87. L Jones
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    This has not been debated. This was not in the Conservative manifesto. If it had been, I would most DEFINITELY not voted for this party or Boris Johnson.
    We are being cheated and insulted.
    If I thought your party, Sir John, would ever allow us to have another General Election, then I can say without any hesitation that I would NOT be voting Conservative.

    • steve
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      L Jones

      Agreed, Johnson has no mandate, we didn’t vote for what he’s doing now. Who the hell does he think he is ?

  88. forthurst
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Should Arts graduates foist massive changes on our economy whose ramifications they do not have the training to understand? An economy driven by renewables is a third world economy; the modern world demands large amounts of reliable energy to power it at and an economic price.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Two large reasons for industrial revolution location were (i) limited therefore expensive labour encouraging capital investment and (ii) availability cheap energy. It does seem that UK is running this in reverse, wanting mass low income labour and expensive energy.

  89. Helen Smith
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Boris really needs someone like you in his cabinet Sir John.

      Posted November 19, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Boris really needs someone like you in his cabinet Sir John.


      I asked for thaf

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Who would be in. Boris cabinet, taking joint responsibility for these ‘decisions’?on,y the desperate and the mad.

  90. Fred H
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Have the Tory MPs recognised yet that Boris will be unelectable at the next GE. Corbyn killed Labour – learn the lesson.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink


    • steve
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      Fred H

      I think the penny is starting to drop, this is why JR writes and invites comment on these matters.

  91. ian@barkham
    Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Without wealth creation that is competitive on the world stage, these pronouncements are dreams by dreamers. Or for the people of the UK their worst nightmare.

    Not once has team Boris said how these dreams will be paid for, he has no money! So far it has been take the taxpayers money send it abroad so as others get to undercut the UK in the marketplace

  92. XY
    Posted November 20, 2020 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Creating jobs by government intervention, eh? Socialism on steroids.

    Has anyone noticed how our “service economy” is based on people doing a whole lot of jobs that don’t really need to be done at all? Jobs whose work product is basically, non-essential.

    Think of recruitment. Companies outsource to an agency. The successful candidate then goes through another vetting agency. A contract is produced which has been created by a legal team (designed to be contentious, since lawyers don;t make money when people agree).

    So the contract is then reviewed by some insurer against, say, IR35. Or it’s outside IR35 so an umbrella company are hired just to run a payroll.

    All those companies,all those people, all that effort -= ultimately, a complete waste of everyone’s time who’s involved.

    These are non-jobs. These are vulture services picking away at the body of a real service – the engineer, IT person or whatever person who is providing a “real” service like building a bridge or a computer that people get real benefit from using.

    It is this red tape / regulation that we need to cut. It will lose jobs in “pointless” businesses initially, then it will make business more efficient, more profitable which results in more jobs and more tax take.

    We all know ow it works in conservative land, but with the left of the Tory party in the ascendancy for the last few decades, don;t hold your breath for the voice of reason to prevail.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 20, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      I’m under the impression it doesn’t seem to matter what job you do. Any old job will do. As long as you work and pay tax – what does it matter if you spend all day ‘recruiting’ someone or sit there writing code or making a car. Surely our economy has proved it doesn’t all have to be about production of goods. If a thousand people lived on an island and five hundred of them could produce the food, clothes and energy that the thousand needed – who cares if the other 500 polish each other’s nails or cut each other’s grass?

  93. Lifelogic
    Posted November 20, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Exactly right. So many jobs now are non jobs essentially pointless & parasitic jobs.

  94. XY
    Posted November 20, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps they don’t wait for comparably popular products because they realise that it won’t happen.

    It will be a long time before electric cars are on a par with current petrol/diesel technology.

    If we compare the original motor cars from circa 1910 to the petrol/diesel models of today then electric cars are about where the 1910 cars were in terms of range, services support etc.

    The government and other proponents know that what comes next will be a retrograde step and that the only way people will take it is if they are forced to do so.

  95. Dennis
    Posted November 21, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Reply to reply – as I noted JR does not consider the UK is overpopulated as even reduced immigration will increase population. Is the idea that automation will reduce the number of available jobs no longer right or that the UK will not go for automation?

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page