My interventions in the Opposition Day debate on the cost of living

I read that last the U.K. government is encouraging more domestic oil and gas from the North Sea to ease the  squeeze, cut CO 2 in gas use and generate a lot more tax revenue. As the exchanges beneath reveal it is still hard work getting Opposition MPs to want us to produce our own with all the obvious benefits that brings. Why do so many MPs want to stop th3 U.K. prospering?

 

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): Most of my constituents still have gas boilers. Renewables will work one day, but the immediate crisis is that we are short of gas. Do we have our own or do we have foreign gas? If we have our own, we get tax revenue.

Stephen Flynn: Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy): It is interesting to hear that we are short of gas when I regularly hear the opposite from the Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change. That is the important point: Government Members can try to disagree with their own Government on these matters, but in real terms we are self-sufficient. Scotland is self-sufficient when it comes to oil and gas, but we can and must go so much further on renewables. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to hang around, he will hear me speak about that in due course.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): Would the spokesman and his party now agree that we need to get a lot more gas and oil out of the North sea, which would generate tax revenue that the Treasury could use to ease the squeeze, instead of paying huge sums of money to Qatar and Russia for liquefied natural gas?

Stephen Flynn: Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy):

The right hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point. Of course, he will be cognisant of the fact that when the oil and gas comes out of the ground it goes into the hands of multinational countries. Do we want to be in a situation in which that gas benefits us here, rather than those abroad? Absolutely. Should we be importing from Russia? Absolutely not, and the Government have been right to take action on that. Nevertheless, what I want to see from his Government, which he should want too, is a turbocharging of investment in renewables. When are they going to come forward with their energy security strategy? I have heard talk about it in the paper, but there has been no clarity whatsoever. I shall come back to that later in my speech.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): Over the last year, the economy has grown a lot faster because the Treasury did not hike tax rates but instead went for growth. That was a great policy, so why reverse it? Is there not a danger that these tax rises and massive increases in energy prices will slow the economy down too much? If that happens, the Government will have a revenue problem.

Helen Whately, the Exchequer Secretary: If my right hon. Friend will give me a little time, I will come on to the importance of growth to our economy, which is the right answer for the longer term in ensuring that we improve people’s standard of living.

Pressures on household finances are not generally the consequence of one single price rise; they are typically affected by an amalgam of different factors. Remedying the pressure on households therefore requires taking action on a range of fronts, not just on energy bills. Again and again, that is what this Government have done and are doing. We are acting in dozens of ways to support working families. For instance, over the winter, the £500 million household support fund has helped vulnerable households with the cost of essentials such as food, clothing and utilities. Local authorities in England have allocated the lion’s share of that funding to ensuring that it reached those who needed it most, with 50% ring-fenced for households with children. Additional funding was allocated to the devolved Administrations, including the Scottish Government, in the usual way.

We have also reduced the universal credit taper rate and increased universal credit work allowances by £500 to ensure that work pays. This is essentially a £2 billion tax cut for the lowest paid in society. It is helping around 2 million households to keep an average of an extra £1,000 per annum in their pocket. Next month, the national living wage is increasing by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour, again benefiting more than 2 million workers and meaning an increase of over £1,000 in the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the national living wage. And we are committed to going further, so the national living wage will reach two thirds of median earnings for those over 21 by 2024, provided that economic conditions allow. We have supported working families in other ways too: doubling free childcare for eligible parents, which is worth around £5,000 per child every year, and introducing tax-free childcare, which will provide working parents with 20% support on childcare costs up to £10,000.

173 Comments

  1. Mark B
    March 20, 2022

    Good morning.

    it is still hard work getting Opposition MPs to want us to produce our own . . .

    That is because they want you to fail. It is the only realistic chance of them getting into power. They will do it even if it harms the people because you are the party that is in power yet, your leader behaves if he is working for, or at least to please, them ! Stop it !

    As for the SNP, they are hanging on to power by their finger tips thanks to the Greens. Enough said.

    Remedying the pressure on households therefore requires taking action on a range of fronts, not just on energy bills.

    I just got my Council Tax through the door. It reads as follows :

    My Local council Tax – a rise of 1.99%
    Adult Social Care – a rise of 1%
    Greater London Authority (Mayor Khan) – a rise of 8.8%

    The above average’s to 4.12%

    The first two are in line with expectations. The last (Mayor Khan) is frankly taking the piss ! This is on top of last years 4.5% rise by him. How long will it take before government takes action ? The finances are a disgrace.

    Helen Whately MP goes further but ! What she fails to realise is, that all these benefits have outcomes and, one of those outcomes is the cost to others. For example. The minimum wage, which is increasing by 6.6%, makes employing people much more expensive. This will lead to employers employing fewer people and the government getting less in tax revenue via Corporation Tax. Another outcome is that people are less likely to get off their arses and work as :

    a) they would lose the benefit
    b) would have less for doing more.

    Benefits dis -incentivises people.

    Government virtue signalling is proving rather expensive.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      March 20, 2022

      Indeed, increasing benefits and the minimum wage without productivity increases just pushes up costs for anyone not receiving those and just pushes up inflation generally. We’re approaching the situation we had 50 years ago, with naive people (then unions, now government people like the lady here) trying to persuade us that feeding free money to people helps them. In the end, it doesn’t.

      1. Hope
        March 20, 2022

        Guido points out no one under forty has seen an overall tax cutting govt since Nigel Lawson. The consocialists being in power the majority of time.

        Compare this against repeated false claims by JRs party and govt that it is for low taxes despite a 75 year historic high in taxes and an historic squeeze on disposal incomes since 1950! Sunak trying to blame Covid! It was their policy choices not an inanimate object. He still claims he is for low taxes while hiking them up! His first budget was before the lockdown. Is his memory that bad? HS2 was before covid, insane climate change act before covid, shutting down drilling for gas before covid, preventing fracking before covid. Buying Russian coal before, during and after covid laockdown.

        Lord Agnew resigned because of school boy errors from his department to allow fraud of £5 billion where Sunak was not prepared for these claims to be investigated. NHS procurement of PPE now being destroyed according to Rachel Reeves on TV doing the rounds today! Add waste of multiple billions on test and trace, £37 billion for a failed NHS computer system. Another £12 billion to be raised in taxes through NIC for Johnson and Sunak to waste on NHS!

        One area where the consocialists excel in procurement is mass immigration, while lying to say otherwise. Now Patel hiding the figures.

        Of course we can all recall Cameron having perfectly good brand new Nymrods being destroyed by diggers behind screens to prevent us seeing them being destroyed.

      2. Hope
        March 20, 2022

        Ed Miliband in 2008 added “green taxes” to increase our energy bills by about 25%.

        12 years of consocialists chancellors like Osborne, Hammond, Javid, Sunak only built on his tax legacy! Not open or transparent to the taxpayer or consumer. All of which were hidden as obligation to environment!

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 20, 2022

      Hanging onto power by their fingertips?

      At least they didn’t spend over a billion of the taxpayers’ money buying the support of a dozen-or-so pre-Enlightenment fruit loops to do so, did they?

    3. turboterrier
      March 20, 2022

      Mark B
      Well done with that entry pal, you are exactly correct in your line of thought.

      For me the problem can be identified within our political classes. Politicians we have a plenty. How many are what we knew as Statesman in the truest sense of the word? I struggle but can think of two maybe three. Change has been a long time coming and it still hasn’t arrived.

    4. BOF
      March 20, 2022

      +1 Mark B.
      ‘Benefits have outcomes’. Exactly!

    5. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2022

      Blocking all those roads & paying tube drivers three+ times what junior doctors earn and his other evil diversity and misogyny agenda lunacies must cost us all a fortune. Plus another fortune in wasted Londoner’s time in the traffic jams. But Londoners voted for this appalling fool. Son of a bus driver it seems did he mention that?

  2. Mickey Taking
    March 20, 2022

    As the ruling party will discover in May, and almost certainly in the next GE, the across the board excessive rises in the make-up of the cost of living will hit hard and voters will turn their backs.
    Complacency will break the ruling party majority.

    1. Ian Wragg
      March 20, 2022

      Certainly the government needs a good thrashing at local and general elections.
      Almost 25% of our energy bills goes to subsidise foreign consumers (EDF owned generators) and rich land owners.
      We sit on years worth of fossil fuels but the government wants to turbocharge renewable. Still they don’t understand that they don’t work when the sun isn’t shining and the wind doesn’t blow.
      Scoundrels the lot of them.

      1. Ian Wragg
        March 20, 2022

        So an EU diplomat has admitted that the EU wouldn’t have confronted Russia if it hadn’t been for the UK lead. He said it only happened because we are nimble after Brexit.
        Who’d have thought….

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          March 20, 2022

          You are confusing the institutions of the European Union with its nations yet again. Dealing with wars are not really part of the first’s limited brief.

          The latter have been prompt, resolute, and energetic in their response on the other hand.

          More relevantly, you are accepting just one man’s opinion

          1. Sir Joe Soap
            March 20, 2022

            The Germans have been neither prompt nor resolute. I seem to recall they were preventing the UK from overflying their territory to deliver weapons to fire at their Russian business partners.

          2. Sir Joe Soap
            March 20, 2022

            The UK sent Ukraine anti-tank weapons for self-defense in case Russia invades, MP Ben Wallace said.
            Royal Air Force planes carrying the weapons flew around German airspace to get there, data showed.
            Germany had declined to send military support to Ukraine and blocked NATO shipments to Kyiv.
            (Can’t be bothered to counter the codswallop you type any longer.)

          3. Nottingham Lad Himself
            March 21, 2022

            I’m writing about the response of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania etc. to the refugees as much as anything.

            Germany is one of twenty-seven.

            It has also markedly changed from its initial position.

            It’s a pity that some of Putin’s lackeys behind brexit and Trump haven’t.

            Whatever, the UK’s supply of weaponry and training has been excellent, and perhaps crucial, and I commend it unreservedly.

          4. Nottingham Lad Himself
            March 21, 2022

            Germany the Russians’ business partners?

            Well, certainly, like many countries, they are or were.

            However, I’d be interested indeed, to see a complete analysis of the comparative value of Germany’s, and the UK’s services in accommodating Russian kleptocrats asset investments.

            I’d also like to see the extent to which Russia has financed any political party in Germany – if such a thing were even possible.

        2. Nottingham Lad Himself
          March 20, 2022

          The report comes in the Daily Express.

          It does not name the diplomat, nor does it state when and where this “private briefing” took place.

          So it is impossible to verify whether it even happened at all, let alone to outline the context in which the remarks were made.

        3. Hope
          March 20, 2022

          Ian,
          Do not hold your breath remainer Truss when interviewed would not rule out or give a direct answer whether UK would join defence and security pact with EU.

    2. turboterrier
      March 20, 2022

      Mickey Taking
      Well said. Governments don’t win elections they lose them.

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 20, 2022

        If they actually did what they said they would do, and the Electorate expects, then they would have no problem being re-elected. The other way is of course, ensuring the standing MPs appear to be supporting their constituents, while in fact voting with the ruling party.

    3. Peter
      March 20, 2022

      MT,

      Let’s hope so.

    4. Paul Cuthbertson
      March 20, 2022

      MT- Regardless of which candidates are voted in, NOTHING will change. They are all part of the “club” and we ain’t in it . Do you really think your government cares about you?

  3. Everhopeful
    March 20, 2022

    Presumably the Opposition ( which never opposes much) wants to see the dire Brexit prognostications come true so folk can be bamboozled into rejoining the EU?
    Why does the Exchequer Sec. twine on about mitigation rather than avoidance? In our much maligned and now corrupted history we were self sufficient in everything ( we could even grow pineapples and out of season delicacies) so how come their wonderful, oh so modern policies can’t provide similar?
    How does she know that the tax payer money, an attempt to put right govt machinations is spent sensibly. I guarantee that kids still go to bed hungry. You can’t eat a hot tub!

    1. Peter Wood
      March 20, 2022

      We have wildly out of control inflation because our government, along with so many others, have been printing money since 2008. It was deliberate, the effects are in the texr books and the result was known. The question is why did they do it. Civil unrest is coming down the pike, so watch out.

      PS, I think a reduction in CO2 is coming, and its because there be a lot less breathing going on.

      1. Everhopeful
        March 20, 2022

        + many
        Yup! 2008 never seemed like an accident to me!
        Crash the economy with all of the above plus an overburdened welfare system which will also crash and they have a nice base of chaos for whatever regime they fancy ( commie?).
        Civil unrest ( which is part of the agenda) would help by adding to the chaos and allow the imposition of totalitarian measures …martial law?
        Agree a lot more space and less oxygen consumption. All on the cards.

  4. Everhopeful
    March 20, 2022

    “Had we but world enough and time,” ( Marvell)
    Govt has had PLENTY of time.
    She doesn’t instantly know the importance of growth? She really believes that the govt is great and good for yattering on about the harm they have caused and planning another money go round?
    Speaking of harm..the online harms Bill looks likely to put an end to chatting about this horrendous “government”.
    Will anyone vote against it? Is it a done deal?

  5. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2022

    JR you say – “Renewables will work one day – well perhaps but not cost effectively. Too expensive to store with current battery/storage technology and impractical. I suspect gas and fracking/coal and oil is the short term future then nuclear will be the longer term future with fusion at which point renewables will largely be redundant. Their intermit nature, their very low energy density and storage issue makes them expensive. Plus they need high land use and use loads of fossil fuels to manufacture, install and maintain anyway.

    It seems clear to me that no ministers nor any the shadow ministers have a clue about energy, climate, science or energy economics. The climate change act and the dreadful May’s net zero are insane policies. Not only that the solutions being pushed EVs, wind, solar, heat pumps, hydrogen… will not even work certainly not in world agreement terms nor even in CO2 terms. Plus CO2 is not a serious problem anyway.

    1. Andy
      March 20, 2022

      Renewables work perfectly well today and are perfectly cost effect.

      The issue with renewables is simply that the cost is heavily frontloaded. The same as with electric cars.

      They cost more upfront but are cheaper in the long term.

      This is easily solved with sensible government policy. But we don’t have a sensible government.

      1. Original Richard
        March 20, 2022

        Renewables will never be able to work on their own as their intermittency means they are unable to stabilise the grid where supply and demand must always match.

        Hence the need right now for fossil fuel generators to provide grid stability and for backup when the wind isn’t blowing.

        To provide this grid stability and backup using green hydrogen fuel produced by wind powered electrolysis will require at least 4 times more installed windmill capacity than the eventual quantity of reliable energy required.

        This is why the recent CfD prices were false indications of renewable energy prices and in fact windmills are uneconomic, unless the plan is to accept volatile energy prices and rolling blackouts controlled by smart meters.

      2. Lifelogic
        March 20, 2022

        You think exploration & drilling in the north sea or nuclear power is not heavily front loaded?

        How do we feed the 20 million or so gas boilers and the expensive gas distribution network we have without gas? How do we store electricity at reasonable cost and without wasting much of it?

        Run a new electric car for it circa 100,000 miles (say eight years useful lifetime) with finance costs, depreciation, electricity, maintenance, insurance… it will be about £100,000 or £1 a miles and with very little of this being tax (until they start taxing them soon). Keep your old small car cost for £100,000 miles cost will be more like £20,000 or 20p a mile. An of that 50% is pure taxation. So yes up front cost and about 10 times the total cost before tax. Does not even save CO2 – the reverse in fact!

        Please go and mug up and get real – start with the excellent “Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air by David MacKay” (who was essentially on your side of the argument but being a Cambridge Physicist/Mathematician (as I once was) actually knows what he is talking about. Free online too and accessible to non scientists or even to energy ministers like Kwateng! Little of substance has changed much since he wrote it.

        1. Hope
          March 20, 2022

          LL,

          Sunak has raised taxes more in two years than Brown did in ten years! Bearing in mind the crash that the consocialists blamed on Labour! Now if we accept his word that he is a low tax Tory what does a high one look like!

          1. Lifelogic
            March 21, 2022

            +1 and raised from an absurdly high level before he even started – and very second rate and incompetent public services too. The NHS is often absolutely appalling.

      3. BOF
        March 20, 2022

        What will you say about your ev being long term cost effective when you have to replace the battery pack!

      4. Mickey Taking
        March 20, 2022

        line 1 – no they don’t work well.
        line 2 – expensive their whole life, you never talk about recycling, do you?
        line 3 – until we get to ‘long term’ we don’t know how recycling, maintenance, using up more rare earth materials etc will play out.
        line 4 – no government can solve the energy source transition without continuing use of existing until replacement methods prove effective. But agreed we don’t have a sensible government.

      5. Stred
        March 20, 2022

        Do you mean that when offshore turbines and rotors have to be renewed after 20 years and deteriorate before then, they will be less expensive than the present ones, which are costing 3-4 times the recent gas price?

      6. No Longer Anonymous
        March 20, 2022

        No Andy. They aren’t cheaper in the long run. Show us the figures.

        Are you planning on keeping your electric car for 20 years ? How else are you going to recoup the extra 30% in upfront cost on average mileage ?

        It take a Nissan Leaf 176km to break even over its ICE sister Note.

        I have never EVER had a car of the sort of mileages you need to ‘make things cheaper’.

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          March 20, 2022

          176 THOUSAND km !

        2. Andy
          March 20, 2022

          Well, your Brexit has massively increased the price of petrol. So when you are filling you car up it’ll cost you at least £50. It costs about a fiver to recharge an electric car.

          I can afford this stuff. I don’t really care if you can’t. You voted to be poorer and you are.

          1. Peter2
            March 20, 2022

            So why has petrol gone up considerably in America then young andy?

          2. No Longer Anonymous
            March 21, 2022

            Andy

            Around 75% of the fuel price is tax.

            Correction. Around 300% of the refinery price is added in tax. That is being used to pay for the massive Covid overreaction – nothing to do with Brexit.

      7. anon
        March 20, 2022

        How much would 10*1 GW London Arrays cost v Hinkley (1.6GW*2) work-in progress)? Wind costs curves falling , Nuclear costs rising, never mind the costs & risks not included.

        It also not just the cost but the slow delivery of new plant which is the problem, and the completely insane policy of closing perfectly good plant in the interim, leaving potential problem gaps in winter.

        Our “EU” rejoin Energy policy was being used to create dependence and force a EU re-entry, because we voted the wrong way. Our foreign policy seems pretty similar, in supporting an expansionist EU. We should prefer self reliance and independence.

        US policy has always wanted us in the EU. Ably helped by the BRINO’s and re-joiners.

        1. Mark
          March 20, 2022

          If we used a cost competitive nuclear design we could almost halve the cost of Hinkley Point for a start. The EPR was chosen on political grounds -a case of “bad shopping” by the government. The wind farms might not be so different in initial cost of themselves, but they would have to be replaced every 20 years, whereas the nuclear plant could be expected to last 40 years, perhaps more with more modern design. There would have to be a substantial investment in additional grid capacity to be able to handle the output from the wind farms, whereas the nuclear plants would simply be replacing sites that are closing, and already have the necessary transmission capacity. Then there would have to be investment in capacity to back up the wind farms for when the wind doesn’t blow. This is fast becoming a very serious problem, as recent analysis by industry consultant Timera has shown: wind adds very little reliability and yet we are faced with substantial closures of reliable gas, nuclear and coal capacity, and an expectation of higher levels of demand through electrification. Their chart illustrates the problem

          https://timera-energy.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/chart1-4.png

          Add in that a large chunk of the output from the extra wind farms would end up being curtailed (see my post below) and the result is that wind is by a large margin the much more expensive option.

        2. ChrisS
          March 20, 2022

          “US policy has always wanted us in the EU”.

          – Not Donald Trump, please note !

          All his criticisms of the EU and the policies of mainland European leaders have been proved to be true. As an example, just look at how little is left of the reputation of Merkel.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            March 21, 2022

            Trump wanted whatever Putin wanted.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            March 21, 2022

            It seems plain that but for the covid19 pandemic, Putin would have invaded Ukraine under Trump’s presidency, and may well even have been supported by him.

          3. Peter2
            March 21, 2022

            Ridiculous smear yet again about Trump

          4. hefner
            March 22, 2022

            18/03/2015 DJT about Putin to Daily Mail ‘The relationship is great, and it would be great if I had the position I should have’.
            16/06/2015 DJT about Russians ‘You can get along with those people and get along with them well. You can make deals with those people. Obama can’t’.
            December 2015, DJT calls Putin ‘a strong leader’.
            17/02/2016 DJT ‘I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius’.
            08/09/2016 DJT asked about Putin ‘I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll accept the compliment’.

            06/01/2017 ‘Background to ‘Assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections’: the analytic process and cyber incident attribution’, Intelligence Community Assessment, National Intelligence Council, 25 pp. (that’s CIA, FBI and NSA independent research put together).

            11/01/2017 DJT about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 ‘I think it was Russia. (Putin) won’t be doing it. Russia will have much better respect for our country when I am leading it than when other people have led it’.

            15/07/2021 ‘Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House’, Luke Harding et al., Guardian website about a 22/01/2016 meeting of the heads of the Russian security services.

            02/03/2022 ‘That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace alright. Here’s a guy who is very savvy. I know him very well, very very well’ (clayandbuck.com, About Putin, DJT interview with Clay Travis & Buck Sexton).

            ‘Ridiculous smear from NLH’, and obvious ignorance from others?

          5. Peter2
            March 23, 2022

            Similar quotes prising Putin can be found from EU leaders and the heads of European governments.

            Your post doesn’t prove what NHL claimed that ” Trump wanted whatever Putin wanted”.
            Or that Trump would have supported Putin in invading Ukraine

            Both are ridiculous unsubstantiated smears.

      8. Mark
        March 20, 2022

        Renewables become more expensive in the long term and the more we rely on them. The evidence is that maintenance costs increase significantly with age, and rise to the point where it becomes necessary to replace the original turbines and solar panels after a relatively short life, giving rise to considerable waste disposal problems with graveyards of non degradable, non recyclable waste. Moreover, as renewables penetration increases we see more and more output has to be curtailed, which increases the cost of the useful element of generation, while doing little to reduce the need for backup.

        I ran some simple calculations looking at the hourly output for December 2021, looking at what quadrupling offshore wind would have achieved. Before adding in the extra wind, there was already some 345GWh of curtailment in the month. I found that the total curtailment would have increased to 4,778GWh, or an average of 6.4GW. The maximum CCGT generation required dropped from 24.5GW to 22.5GW, so the saving in gas capacity would have been quite small. On average, wind could have replaced 6.9GW of gas generation, but effectively at almost twice the cost you might assume because of the curtailment.

        1. hefner
          March 25, 2022

          P2, would you care providing quotes from EU leaders and heads of government praising Putin? Thanks in advance.

      9. Original Richard
        March 20, 2022

        Andy : “They [renewables – windmills?] cost more upfront but are cheaper in the long term.”

        Long term? Windmills have a useful life of only 15 years.

        Furthermore opex costs are found to be rising and approximately 50% of offshore windmills experience failures [drop in capacity below 50% of its peers] within 5 years. Some windmill failures can be fixed quickly and cheaply but, in many cases, an extended period of low output and expensive repairs are required.

        Note also that the more renewables on the grid the worse the intermittency problem becomes. Take a grid with a demand of 40GW and with 10GW of renewables on the system. When the wind drops so that the renewables can only provide 20% of their installed capacity then the grid operator needs to find 8GW from either fossil fuel generators or by constraining demand or both. But if the grid has 40GW of wind (Government plan for offshore wind by 2030) and the windmill power drops to 20% the grid operator then needs to find a whopping 32GW from somewhere…

    2. Dave Andrews
      March 20, 2022

      “no ministers nor any the shadow ministers have a clue about energy, climate, science or energy economics”
      Well these are the numpties the country has elected to office. No good bleating about it.

    3. R.Grange
      March 20, 2022

      You say ministers haven’t a clue about the net zero issue, LL. I think it’s worse than that. I think they know very well how bad things are but also where their political interests lie. If you listen to Richard Tice’s latest interview on GBN, you’ll hear what happens to people like him, who try to open a public debate on net zero. Threats of violence, cancellation of venues, pressure put on anyone speaking in favour of a referendum. The power of the renewables lobby will come down on any attempt to do that. ‘All of Westminster’, he says, is opposed to a referendum on net zero. So that’s a red line no minister or shadow minister wants to cross.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        March 20, 2022

        R GRANGE. Of course they don’t want a referendum. They know they would lose it.

    4. Original Richard
      March 20, 2022

      Lifelogic :

      Everything you say is correct.

      Although the ministers may not understand the science the Civil Servants certainly do and are planning for intermittent and expensive energy with “volatile” pricing controlled by smart meters as renewables require demand to match supply and not vice versa as exists at present.

      Total energy usage is to be halved or more and we have already been informed by a transport minister not to expect to own a car.

      Man-made CO2 emissions is just a device to be able to introduce the CCC and the Net Zero Strategy designed to level down the UK through a lack of affordable and reliable energy.

    5. Paul Cuthbertson
      March 20, 2022

      LL – Spot on but NOBODY is listening as it is not part of the “plan”.

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    March 20, 2022

    We are in this mess purely because we cannot rely on renewables. As usual ministers want us to pay for more of what fails. I see the planning restricons are to be eased in England to allow our country to be trashed like Scotland with useless wind turbines. Germany has tried this and look where it’s got them. Same with Oz and the USA. This will not be a vote winner John. Best start mapping put where MP’S live close to hills because we know wind farms won’t be erected near them unless of course it’s either on their land or that of their parents as in the case of Cameron. There will be a lot of already rich landowners clamour in to get planning to become richer overnight and we can look forward to power shortages and higher bills. Oh yes, that’s the way to do it.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2022

      +1 – total scientific, economic and even political insanity. Another mad and deluded religion doing huge damage with the BBC propaganda unit pushing it endlessly of course.

    2. Andy
      March 20, 2022

      We can rely on renewables.

      We are in this mess because we can’t rely on gas.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        March 20, 2022

        Andy. Yet another totally wrong and totally stupid schoolboy comment from you. Do you ever think before you post or are you attention seeking again?

      2. Amelia
        March 20, 2022

        That’s right Andy. You can rely on renewables when there’s no wind and no sun to provide no electricity.

        1. Andy
          March 20, 2022

          Solar works on light, not on Sun. So it generates power every single day of the year in the UK. Obviously solar generates more on bright long sunny summer days. But solar works on dull winter days too.

          I have had solar panels on my last two houses. I have used them for a decade. Please don’t make stuff up when you don’t know what you are talking about.

      3. Lifelogic
        March 20, 2022

        Well we can certainly rely on “renewables” (they are not renewable really) to be intermittent, unreliable, not on demand, very expensive, to require expensive (and very energy wasteful) back up and to require loads of fossil fuels to construct, install and maintain certainly that is true. Also to be fairly useless for heating houses with gas boilers, fuelling aircraft, ships, boats, trucks, buses, cars, diesel trains…

        1. hefner
          March 20, 2022

          ‘They are not renewable really’: Whereas I agree that strictly speaking solar energy is not renewable as the nuclear fusion reactions going on inside the Sun are likely to disappear within some billions of years and the winds might even disappear sooner when the Earth is engulfed by the expanding Red Sun, I would question your understanding that solar and wind energies are ‘not renewable’ in the near future, in the next thousands of centuries.
          Was planetary physics not taught properly in Cambridge or did you not attend the relevant tutoring sessions? Or is it that you write things without thinking them first?

          1. Lifelogic
            March 21, 2022

            They are “long lasting” or very long lasting perhaps but not “renewable”. Nor is tidal driven by the earth moon rotation which is slowed slightly by it. Not waves drivel by fusion on the sun and earth rotation.

            Would you say nuclear fusion or fission on earth is renewable or just long lasting?

          2. hefner
            March 21, 2022

            They are very very very long lasting, not strictly speaking renewable, the same for tidal energy (as much before the Red Sun, most oceans are likely to have disappeared). Nuclear fusion would not be eternal either as when all Sun’s hydrogen is transformed in helium.

            But given the time scales involved for all these processes it takes a rather confused mind to be saying that the current ‘renewables’ do not make sense.

            You are much better making an argument based in economics, not on physics.

      4. Lifelogic
        March 20, 2022

        We have at least 100 years of natural gas under the ground just in the UK. But the deluded green loons and virtue signalling MPs amd Ministers are absurdly preventing us from extracting it – for idiotic religious reasons.

        1. acorn
          March 20, 2022

          There are about 3 years worth of economically recoverable natural gas left in the UKCS. Based on UK yearly consumption of 70 billion cubic meters. There are yet no proven, recoverable, fracking projects that a Bank would lend money on; particularly with the risk of ending up with a “frozen asset” caused by net-zero politicians.

          Interesting that at 16:58 today, the UK was exporting 64 million cubic meters a day (mscm) to the EU, while taking 10.5 mscm out of the UK’s low storage levels. Gas flows to the hub where the price is highest (8.2 pence / kWh today). Which is where all these new North Sea projects will send their gas. They are not going to be selling it for 1.5 pence / kWh that was average wholesale price prior to 2021 to UK households. https://mip-prd-web.azurewebsites.net/

          1. Mark
            March 20, 2022

            It should not be a surprise to see exports of gas on a warm day with low demand when we have just had several tankers discharging LNG. This is part of using the Continent as offshore storage, with imports back to the UK on high demand days, and of acting as an offshore LNG terminal for the Continent. Storage is being run down because the output can be sold at spot price, and replacement gas for later delivery purchased for a lower price without having to keep it in store. It is perfectly normal to run down storage as spring approaches, and to stock up again in summer when hopefully prices are lower.

        2. hefner
          March 21, 2022

          ‘At least 100 years of natural gas under the ground in the UK’, maybe, but as acorn pointed out what is the economically recoverable natural gas (ERNG)? Three years?

          I found strange that Sir John has not (up to now) brought a somewhat reliable estimate of this ERNG in his previous posts on energy. Up to what level of subsidies would he be willing to go for companies that would want to go ahead on this gas-retrieving project?

          1. Peter2
            March 21, 2022

            Has your quote allowed for the recent doubling of gas prices?

          2. hefner
            March 23, 2022

            Yes, P2, the question is not the total quantity of gas, but the economically profitable/cost-effective amount of recoverable gas. And Sir John remains astonishingly silent on that question. Could it be that for companies to be interested they would ask for sizeable subsidies that would not make the gas as cheap to the consumer as advertised by various people not connected with the industry?

            reply No , that’s nonsense

          3. hefner
            March 24, 2022

            You saying it’s nonsense is as believable as P2 saying it’s irrelevant. Where is a proper estimate of the economical extractable amount of gas?
            Does the report on gas production to 2030 published in September 2021 by the Oil and Gas Authority make sense or not? If not, what is your reference to the contrary?

      5. No Longer Anonymous
        March 20, 2022

        We ARE in a mess. We are in agreement.

        We shut down coal power stations BEFORE their replacements were ready.

        Just like the EU “The problem ? Not enough EU !” energy “The problem ? Not enough renewables.”

        You have to travel 50,000 miles to break even in an average electric car over its ‘up front’ cost over a petrol equivalent.

        The type of person buying an EV ditches their car at three years. And builds a new house by demolishing a perfectly good one.

        What did you do with the solar panels of the old house before you demolished it Andy ? Did they reach break even point in use ? (Which I calculated to be 20 years last time I considered it… so bought an energy efficient boiler and car instead.)

      6. Hope
        March 20, 2022

        Better to have coal, we have an abundance of it. Better than going cold under Johnson and his party of wretched Green followers.

      7. Mark
        March 20, 2022

        We are in this mess because we thought we could rely on renewables. It turns out that we needed dispatchable power and the option that we had previously to switch from gas to coal for power generation to preserve gas for direct consumption that we have removed by destroying coal fired power stations. It turns out also that renewables have done nothing to reduce gas consumption for electricity generation – we are using more than we did in 1997! They have crowded out coal and nuclear generation, leaving us exposed to unreliable supply. Please see this chart, which shows how switching to coal in the aftermath of the Fukushima earthquake that led to high LNG prices and demand in Asia allowed a substantial reduction in gas generation, but that rising wind output has done nothing to curtail gas use after we shut the coal capacity. Instead it has led to capacity shortages at times of low wind, and sky high prices because of that.

        https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-b0284ba4-60a0-4ad0-97ab-9afe9b82779b

      8. Julian Flood
        March 20, 2022

        Renewables can be relied on? Yes, of course they can, they can be relied on to let you down.

        JF

    3. turboterrier
      March 20, 2022

      F U S
      Because they are unable to provide reliable, on demand power there will always be alternative fuelled power station ticking over for when the wind drops,blows too hard or the sun disappears to take up the drop of Renewable output. Rocket science it is not.
      All the opposition parties will demand more RE knowing its limitations because they want it to fail for when it does the governing have failed and it will be down to them. Is it not time to stop playing politics regarding our energy requirements and infrastructure? Stuff all the hype and new religion put this country and its people first.

      1. turboterrier
        March 20, 2022

        Not!!
        Should have read now time to stop playing politics……

      2. Andy
        March 20, 2022

        Renewables can and do provide reliable power.

        Solar panels work every day in the UK. The wind blows every day. Water flows every day. Tides ebb and glow, waves crash, geothermal will work as long as the Earth is hot.

        I have had solar panels on my last two homes. They produce electricity and hot water every single day of the year. Sure, they produce more in the summer but they work in the dead of winter too.

        I appreciate many of you are luddites but to claim proven technology doesn’t work really is beyond imbecilic. We will be net zero by 2050. You can either help or you can be ignored because the vast majority of us are doing it anyway – whatever the Brexit pensioners think.

        1. agricola
          March 20, 2022

          Andy, no they don’t. Your first sentence is to say the least missleading.
          I have solar panels for domestic water in Spain where I get all the hot water I need year round. I have a separate system for the pool which ensures 28°c water from mid May to early October. I do not have them for electricity because the national supplier will not pay for any surplus created. An electric would make sense with a solar charging system if they were not so range limited and did not cost so much, a VW Golf at around £50,000. Whatever pleases you, leasing makes sense until the market decides on the way forward.
          I think you should take medical advice on your Brexit/Pensioner fixation, it could do you long term harm.

        2. Mark
          March 20, 2022

          Did you take your homes off grid, or did you rely on it to keep your lights on? Use any gas?

        3. Donna
          March 20, 2022

          No, the vast majority AREN’T doing it. The vast majority can’t afford the lunacy you’re peddling.

          1. Andy
            March 20, 2022

            On the contrary. We can’t afford the lunacy you’re peddling. Going net zero is expensive. Not doing it will ultimately cost more. Maybe it’ll be your house underwater next.

        4. Original Richard
          March 20, 2022

          Andy :

          Thanks for this interesting and useful information. It sounds like you don’t need the power supplied by windmills anyway.

          I would definitely like to learn more about your solar energy installation and would therefore be very grateful if you would please advise us your latitude, the number/rating of your panels and the type/size of your storage.

          Thank you.

        5. Barbara
          March 20, 2022

          Andy

          Anecdote is not data, which you would know if you had any scientific training at all.

        6. ChrisS
          March 20, 2022

          Andy, you are being very “selective with the actualité”

          We have a 4kW solar array, installed under Gordon Brown’s most generous feed-in tariff.

          The output in the summer is pretty good at up to 3.7kW, but on a short, sunny winter day, when we need it most, it is often no more than 500w-1kW. Not enough to power a Heat pump during the few hours of daylight. This is because the sun is very low in the sky and the sunlight has to pass through much more of the atmosphere to reach the panels.

          Our installation is as good as it gets : We live 4 miles from the sea on the south coast and the panels are at the optimum inclination and face due south.

          Like Wind Turbines, Solar panels can be no more than a minor contribution towards meeting our energy needs.

        7. Mickey Taking
          March 20, 2022

          We recently (March 1st) drove up to just south of Glasgow for a wedding. Along M6 onto M74 are possibly hundreds of windmills – it was amazing NO WIND – totally still windmills. That evening we met others for a meal in the hotel – we had a POWER CUT. No lights, no food – by torch and candlelight they found us packets of crisps and a bottle for over an hour before a sort of normal service resumed. So much for reliable renewables.

          1. Fedupsoutherner
            March 20, 2022

            Mickey. I used to live near those wind farms. It was amazing how often they weren’t spinning and yet we were paying millions for nothing. Perhaps Andy likes handing over money for nothing but I don’t.

        8. Mickey Taking
          March 21, 2022

          Do you write this fantasy stuff for Extinction Rebels?

    4. anon
      March 20, 2022

      Why does the state not just compulsory purchase the land the turbine needs at say 125% of agricultural value. Then give operating leases to the operator inline with the expected useful life. It would aid transparency and reduce shady dealings.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    March 20, 2022

    Your opening intervention reminds me of the exchange between Hitler and Rommel (played by James Mason), in ‘The Desert Fox’. Hitler rambles on about wonder-weapons in R&D, while Rommel is rather more concerned about what help he might receive today, tomorrow or next week to deal with the Allied armies pouring out of Normandy. There are parallels with what is going on today, in the Commons. The government is still too attached to a failed policy.

    1. Mark B
      March 20, 2022

      Crisis ! What crisis ?

      /sarc

      1. Hope
        March 20, 2022

        Johnson and his wife can always jet off, as they did previously, to warmer climates like his mates Goldsmith’s house! While hypocritically preaching to us about false causes of climate change as the elderly worry to death how to afford to live.

  8. oldtimer
    March 20, 2022

    There was much waffle in Those answers were a lot of waffle. What matters to people today is inflation. In the past few days I have received letters advising me of colossal increases in the prices of electricity, gas and council tax I must pay starting in April, a week’s time. Listening to MPs, and Johnson yesterday, we are in fiddling while Rome burns territory. What is needed is action not words.

    1. oldtimer
      March 20, 2022

      I have messed up my opening sentence about waffle. There is just too much of it about.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      March 20, 2022

      Old-timer. Correct. Those people who were literally just coping financially – and there are many- just won’t be able to manage the latest increases. And still Boris does nothing to solve what is essentially a long term problem. If we hadn’t had such stupid energy policy brought about by all 3 useless paris then much of what we are experiencing now could have been avoided. Nobody listened, they’re not listening now, perhaps they never will. I often wish we were as politically motivated as the French who have the courage to vote for something different. In that respect we are as hopeless as the government. Always propping up failure.

  9. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2022

    Ross Clark is right in the Telegraph today. “The Government’s absurd commitment to net zero is impoverishing the nation”.

    Boris has had two excellent excuses/reasons to ditch the insane climate change act and his/May’s net zero lunacy. Both this appalling war and the Covid pandemic. Why is he still dithering so pathetically the policy never made any sense whatsoever. Alas so many MPs (nearly all deluded art graduates) are believers in this mad fashionable CO2 devil gas religion perhaps convinced by the dire BBC propoganda. It is actually just plant, crop and tree food and essential for nearly all life.

    1. mickc
      March 20, 2022

      It’s a right Carrie on!

    2. Timaction
      March 20, 2022

      …..and essential for nearly all life…… CO2 is plant food. If it drops below 0.015% all plant life would cease to exist. Therefore all animal life would also cease to exist. So the devil gas supports all life on Earth. Common sense, which doesn’t exist in MSM or the establishment should be asking how CO2 which makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere truly drives our climate? Water vapour has a bigger impact.

      1. Barbara
        March 20, 2022

        And the majority of that 0.04 is naturally-occurring, ie not caused by humans.

      2. hefner
        March 20, 2022

        TA, Please tell me when was the CO2 concentration lower than 0.015% (150 ppm)?
        For what I could find, even going back 40m years, the minimum appears to have been at least 180-200 ppm, with values in the previous hundreds of million years much bigger than 1,000 ppm.

        Given that this figure of 150 ppm is now very often used in some cycles, you must certainly have the proper reference of some distinguished scientists to justify your comment.
        Could you direct me to such a reference? Thanks a lot in advance.

        1. hefner
          March 20, 2022

          Sorry: Not ‘cycles’, but ‘circles’

        2. Peter2
          March 20, 2022

          Timeaction never said it had dropped to below that level.

          1. hefner
            March 21, 2022

            TA has written ‘if it drops below 0.015% all plant life would cease to exist. Therefore all animal life would also cease to exist’.
            I’m just asking him when he thinks such a situation has ever happened. Is that so difficult to understand? or could it be that you are trolling again, P2?

          2. hefner
            March 21, 2022

            To help you, P2: If such a drop has never happened, why is 150 ppm such a risk worth fussing about, specially when the concentration is over 400 ppm right now?
            Please explain why you feel so concerned about my comment, I’d love to get some understanding of how you people ‘are functioning’.

          3. Peter2
            March 21, 2022

            You asked Timeaction “please tell me when it was below….”
            Timeaction never claimed that it was ever below that level in the original post.
            You are a stickler for accuracy so I thought it best to point out your error.
            PS
            Sad you resort to the T word when shown up hef.
            As Billy says you are better than that.

          4. hefner
            March 25, 2022

            TA wrote ‘if it drops below 0.015%’. It appears it has never been below 0.018% over hundreds of millions of years. The present CO2 concentration is much higher than that. What is wrong asking TA why he used that figure as an argument?
            I note that your ‘intervention’ (whether T or not T) might have prevented TA from answering? Oh well.

    3. BOF
      March 20, 2022

      +1 Lifelogic
      Most likely not allowed to ditch the insanity. Neither on the home front, nor the Davos/WEF front, I would postulate.

    4. Julian Flood
      March 20, 2022

      Arts graduates? Come now, too harsh! The real dorks are all PPE.

      JF

  10. DOM
    March 20, 2022

    A captured Tory party is destroying this nation. There is now no opposition to the woke agenda that crosses all policy areas including energy. Even our kind host plays the green card knowing its trash. Don’t support Green, condemn it before it undermines economic productivity

    The public do not support Green and renewables. It’s a party obsession no doubt driven from Davos leeches

    There is a cancer at the heart of British party politics and that cancer is woke. There is now zero opposition to this poison.

    Well, if the Tories are woke then have the decency and honesty to say so in public rather than sneakily pushing through its poison hoping no one will notice

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      March 20, 2022

      Indeed. Only one view allowed on so many things.

    2. Hope
      March 20, 2022

      +1
      While making utterly false claims.

    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 20, 2022

      Poor old Dom…

  11. The Prangwizard
    March 20, 2022

    Sir John is as usual refusing to acknowledge the words of Boris who has just said it is essential to double down on his winmill policy and belief as the most important action that should be taken adding an unconvincung comment that we do need gas and oil.

    My comment the other day on weakness and complicity was not published. Here again Sir John out of total loyalty to his leader and party is trying to give the impression Boris is acting on oil and gas when he isn’t.

    I dare say Sir John also fully supports the dangerous buffoon who this thinks he fought for Brexit. He didn’t fight and he is only deceiving that we got free.

    1. Donna
      March 20, 2022

      There is a very effective treatment for the Net Zero lunacy and “not listening” which becomes available on 5 May ’22. Commonly known as The Local Elections, it is very important NOT to vote for any of the Establishment Parties which support the so-called green lunacy. The treatment is applied by putting your X in the box which says Reform UK.

      Since the infection is deep-rooted in the Establishment Parties, subsequent treatments may well be needed to destroy it.

    2. Hope
      March 20, 2022

      +1
      Alan,
      When the on line safety bill becomes law your comments could be banned for being anti govt.!

  12. alan jutson
    March 20, 2022

    They simply do not get it John do they !
    By they, I mean most of our Mp’s in the House of Commons.
    Renewables are part of the problem, not the solution to a steady flow of cost effective energy.
    They have a part to play in the mix, but that is it really, only a part.

    Lets face it, China, Russia, and India are not that bothered with Net Zero are they, America is not far behind, so why are we so intent on destroying industry and living standards here, in making a futile effort to try and save the World, when the really big polluters do not seem bothered.

    1. Amelia
      March 20, 2022

      There is no point having renewables if you have a number of small reactors.

    2. graham1946
      March 20, 2022

      Those big polluters are governments so they have all the latest and best environmental information available, which to me proves the whole thing is a scam. If they really thought the world was going to end tomorrow or in 50 tears, do we really think they would carry on building more coal fired stations, even on our own doorstep in Germany with lignite, the most filthy fuel in the world? It’s all a great big con and we are to pay while the rich get richer and the MP’s cheer them on hoping for a free ride on the gravy train.

    3. Mickey Taking
      March 20, 2022

      you mention the guilty parties above. We are about 1% or less of the problem, but slowly destroying our economy and hence future living standards.

    4. agricola
      March 20, 2022

      The Nett Zero was ths last stab in the heart of the UK people when they voted down May’s monsterous policy of everlasting serfdom to the EU. Parliament did not even vote for it. It was left like the rotting kipper in the piano by a disgruntelled party goer. Get rid.

  13. Donna
    March 20, 2022

    We already know that the SNP are socialists, devoted to leeching off English taxpayers so there was nothing to learn there.

    But the response from Helen Whately, the Exchequer Secretary, supposedly a Conservative, demonstrated that my comment yesterday was correct. After a brief nod to the need for “growth” there wasn’t a conservative word in her comments, it was straight out of the Socialist lexicon. She didn’t make any proposals which would actually lead to growth, it was all socialist:

    * Government subsidies
    * Local authority support funds
    * allocation to those most in need (as chosen by “the authorities)
    * reduced the universal credit taper / increased work allowances (no tax cuts of course).
    * “free” childcare (NOTHING is free, what she meant was taxpayer-funded childcare)

    The Not-a-Conservative-Party has adopted the language, objectives, agenda and policies of the Left (including now the left-wing Greens) as Ms Wately made absolutely clear in her response. She proudly reeled off policies which will stifle or prevent growth and expected to be praised for the Government’s generosity with other peoples’ hard-earned money.

    1. Original Richard
      March 20, 2022

      Donna,

      I don’t even think the Treasury wants “growth” if it means increases in our territorial CO2 emissions.

      Perhaps growth of the population provided the GDP/capita or CO2 emissions/capita falls to compensate.

  14. James1
    March 20, 2022

    The electorate is not as stupid as some politicians appear to believe. I believe enough of the electorate recognise virtue signalling and political posturing, not to mention being incandescent about the climate lunacy. It is too late to prevent the Consocialist party from suffering a major shellacking at the elections in May.

  15. Nig l
    March 20, 2022

    Helen Whateley displaying hers and the Governments socialist credentials. Nothing there for the wealth creators who they are bleeding dry the very people they are relying upon to spread their largesses.

  16. Dave Andrews
    March 20, 2022

    Helen Whately gives tribute to growth. Then she trumpets about the national living wage increase. Well, that’s good, but can business enjoy the tax reduction to pay for it? On the contrary, the government is planning to raise taxes.
    No dear, there will be no growth whilst the government makes British industry internationally uncompetitive with higher tax bills.

    1. Hope
      March 20, 2022

      By growth she presumably means mass immigration.

    2. Mike Wilson
      March 21, 2022

      No dear, there will be no growth …

      No, dear! Good to see patronising the little woman is still alive and well.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    March 20, 2022

    Has the calibre of MPs ever been lower? I doubt it.

    1. MWB
      March 20, 2022

      Has the calibre of the electorate ever been lower ? I doubt that as well.

      1. Paul Cuthbertson
        March 20, 2022

        And they will still vote for the same old ,same old. That is how the system works and the globalist UK Establishment know it.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          March 22, 2022

          How come they were so “smart” to vote Leave then?

    2. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2022

      I think only about 50-80 MP (~ 10% of them) at best are sensible, honest and have genuine motives to do their best for the country and the voters.

    3. Mickey Taking
      March 20, 2022

      or the Ministers? And that takes me further to the Opposition – what a bunch of foul-mouthed incompetents. Just when we need proper arguments about policy, we get SNP, Trade unionists, dream world socialism, fighting Irish, career opportunists…..

    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      March 20, 2022

      Leave the other parties out of it.

    5. X-Tory
      March 20, 2022

      One of the (many) reasons for supporting Brexit is that membership of the EU has infantilised our politicians. Not having any genuine responsibility, and being able to always simply follow the directions of their Brussels masters, they no longer needed to make decisions. Indeed, decision-making was actively disapproved of, as it created conflict with the EU. So we have useless, stupid and spineless MPs (our host is obviously one of the exceptions!) who have no experience of making decisions, or prioritising the needs and interests of the UK. I hope that, in time, this will correct itself and we will have more assertive, patriotic and competent MPs. We shall see!

      1. alan jutson
        March 20, 2022

        Thought the same as you for decades, so easy to just blame someone else all the time.

      2. Mickey Taking
        March 21, 2022

        …over to Conservative Central Office ‘guiding’ local choice of PPC.
        For a long time they seem to have decided on ‘is the candidate going to think, we’d rather they just said ‘yes Chief Whip’.,

  18. Bryan Harris
    March 20, 2022

    Sorry to be off-topic – but why isn’t the Government’s Online Safety Bill being talked about?

    It should come as no surprise, with our parliament packed with left-thinking MPs, that here we see yet another attack on our civil liberties and freedoms.

    The bill, (when it becomes law), grants the Government vast powers to force the censorship of lawful expression, encourages IDs for the internet and criminalises speech that is deemed to be “distressing”. It continues to live up to its reputation as the censor’s charter.
    The Government should focus on protecting people from crime online – but instead, we have legislation that rips up the rule book when it comes to freedom of speech and actually entrenches the power of Silicon Valley as speech police.

    The intent is criminal.
    So what is it all about.?

    1. The government fear we may learn things they don’t want us to know about.
    2. In future there will only be one version of the ‘truth’ – supplied by HMG.
    3. With online outlets censored, we would never get to find out what is really going on:
         –  How Trudeau froze bank accounts to beat the Truckers;
         –  The real details of issues with CV vaccines;
         –  Various reviews showing how HMG have deceived us, over too many things.
         –   Events the MSM will never publish.  

    In other words, in future all views must conform. Attempts at providing information that the government can so easily describe as misleading will be punished. This is not what a freedom loving country does!

    The level of censorship this bill creates has nothing to do with ‘keeping us safe’ – It is about controlling our thoughts and actions, moulding us into obedient servants of the state. 
    Censorship already encourages our host to delete posts that contain information or links from banned sites, but such sites are a darn sight more honest that those approved by HMG.

    Parliament continues to fail us, for I cannot see them serving our needs with this bill which is expected to be passed very easily. This is just one of the many regulations that will work against us.  It seems that our Human Rights are not worth the paper they are written on – as they are also due to be written off completely!

  19. Bryan Harris
    March 20, 2022

    Well that is novel – My post gets removed even before it gets moderated.

    Are you trying to tell me something?

    1. Bryan Harris
      March 20, 2022

      Ahh, good – It’s back again

    2. SM
      March 20, 2022

      My posts are still generally not appearing under the ‘awaiting moderation’ byline (nor are my details being saved) but they are published.

      Perhaps it’s something to do with unreliable renewables???

  20. Original Richard
    March 20, 2022

    The treasury’s plan for very high taxation coupled with endless give-aways sounds to me like communism where experience informs us we will not have a life just an existence.

  21. turboterrier
    March 20, 2022

    March 2021: Not allowed to travel 5 miles.

    March 2022: Cannot afford to travel 5 miles.

    Doing the rounds on the net. Does this government know how to shoot itself in the foot or what?
    Its all about peoples perception, in the end that is all there is.

  22. Nig l
    March 20, 2022

    You seem to be blaming the Opposition. I find it hard to differentiate their position from yours apart from the fact that in government it is you that have caused the problems.

  23. alastair harris
    March 20, 2022

    I couldn’t help but reflect on the quality of Stephen Flynn’s responses. You made the fairly obvious observation that the UK is facing a gas shortage. And we know this. We have restricted our own production and international markets are suffering a shortage as Russia is subject to sanctions. But Mr Flynn prefers to suggest that Greg Hands has said otherwise. I do wonder if this is actually true? And then he says that Scotland is self-sufficient in oil and gas. Does he take us for fools? His central argument is that regardless of what we produce we have to pay world market prices.
    So then you ask him to consider whether it would be sensible for us to produce more oil from our own reserves rather than buy it from Russia and Quatar. Apart from his slip of the tongue (lets assume he meant multinational COMPANIES rather than countries), he did make a suggestion that increased production is more likely to go abroad, whilst failing to understand how the energy markets or contracts (or even government) actually works.
    But then he wants to “turbocharge” investment in renewables. The cry of rent seekers everywhere. But the question of the problem with renewables was what you referred to at the start. Essentially it is jam tomorrow, not today. Does he not listen? He can be sure that his constituents will, as they try and work out how to pay to keep their homes warm.
    Apologies for the length of this. But I do wonder if we get value for money from many of our MPs. What exactly are we paying for?

    1. Mark
      March 20, 2022

      Here’s a look at UK gas supply

      https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-c0ec86ce-5fbf-4518-867c-28cd12ee6650

      You can see that we moved from self-sufficiency with a small surplus exported mainly to Belgium and Ireland through to a period of pipeline sufficiency, when Norwegian pipeline imports were sufficient top-up to meet demand, later supplemented by some import from the Netherlands and some LNG, although that was mostly to support the exports to Ireland and Belgium. It’s of interest to note that we mostly managed to trim demand to about the level of pipeline supply during the period of more elevated gas prices for LNG after Fukushima by switching from gas to coal generation. Some contracted gas supply was evidently resold to the more lucrative Asian markets. More recently we have been needing LNG to meet our own demand at the margin, rather than just that of exports. However, the risks of falling pipeline supply are clear: more LNG imports would be required.

  24. BOF
    March 20, 2022

    I have never heard such delusional tosh about renewables. They don’t work and there is plenty of proof of that around the world. While our estimed? PM trots off to beg the Saudis to pump more oil and gas, so that UK can claim it is reducing their CO2 emmissions. How deceitful. I am also disappointed that our host seems to accept that CO2 is a problem. It would be so if the level fell too low for plantlife and us to survive!

    The aim of these woke people must be the destruction of our once successful societies. Minimum wage, living wage, levelling up, man made climate change and man made virus (probably). All deceit to impoverish all but the chosen few.

    I note that none of our green blob EVER mention how destructive wind turbines are to birdlife, bats and insects, killing them by the millions, or perhaps even billions! The dirty secret of wind turbines.

    1. hefner
      March 21, 2022

      BOF, I hope you realise that the 150 ppm CO2 concentration (0.015%) you were quoting the other day, at which ‘the level is too low for plant life and us to survive’ has never happened. The minimum minimorum had been about 180 ppm during the last two million years of the Carboniferous period (about 300 m years ago) during which the ‘Carboniferous rainforest collapse’ and glaciation occurred but both plant and animal life (mainly reptiles, nothing like ‘us’) survived.

      And I guess you have never been through the Altamont or the Palm Springs Passes wind farms (and others), which have been producing wind-based electricity for California since the mid’80s.

      As for the billions of birds, bats and insects killed by wind turbines, from the walks I have taken near wind turbines in the South of Massif Central, I would think all these animals must have learned where these dangerous blades are, as the carnage you are reporting does not seem to be as great as what your overheated imagination makes it to be.

  25. George Brooks.
    March 20, 2022

    Off topic

    Congratulations to the PM and his comment on Brexit yesterday. It shook the ‘Remainer tree’ and quite a lot of rotten apples fell out, not the least of which was the leader of the Dorset Remainers who rushed to get on the air waves.

    The quicker those Remainers in the Westminster bubble understand the meaning of democracy the better and the fast we will grow and prosper.

  26. William Long
    March 20, 2022

    They just do not get it, do they? It seems pretty clear to me from these exchanges, that the people answering your questions would really be more at home on the benches opposite them.

  27. agricola
    March 20, 2022

    Thank you for keeping the pressure on. I will reserve judgement until I hear what the Chancellor has to say, and of course a detailed explanation of what Boris’s grand plan is on energy, its sources and the cost implication for the electorate.

  28. Christine
    March 20, 2022

    So Scotland is self sufficient in oil and gas. Sounds like they want this to continue as a selling point for independence. Keep Scottish oil and gas in the ground until they get independence then it is all theirs. Seems like the SNP think what is in Scottish waters is theirs but they also want a share of any English assets.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      March 20, 2022

      When I was patrolling English and Welsh fishing grounds there were always a great many Scottish boats to be seen.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      March 20, 2022

      Christine. Nothing changes. They even expect us to pay their pensions and knowing this bloody lot who are useless at just about everything we probably will.

    3. Mark
      March 20, 2022

      I note that of the order of 80% of oil production is exported, with UK refineries opting to run other crude oils from elsewhere for the most part. The US and Norway dominate our crude oil supplies. It rather makes their talk about keeping gas for ourselves look a little foolish, although the reality is that we can’t export much gas at all anyway, and effectively it is re-export to Ireland and perhaps Belgium. However, in the crude oil market it is fairly easy to trade on grade for another to better suit refinery operations and economics. We are of course dependent on imports of some oil products, particularly diesel and aviation fuel. Our big exposure to Russia is really our diesel imports. There is much less flexibility of supply sources for diesel, with few countries having a surplus.

  29. Fedupsoutherner
    March 20, 2022

    Well I thought I’d heard all the nonsense I could possibly take from this government but no, they haven’t stopped surpassing themselves. Ukrainians are a risk to national security! LMAO. What about all the illegals coming in with no papers and no ID? You know. All those men that we are putting up in nice hotels and giving food and free NHS services to. How many are infected with Covid let alone anything else? The Tory party together with the opposition who push for further nonsense have really got their heads implanted where the sun dont shine. Get out and get some vitamin D.

    1. Mark
      March 20, 2022

      I am sure that among those posing as Ukrainians there will be some we would rather didn’t come here, so I would support a suitable degree of caution to prevent that. That is not to deny that we would probably rather that almost all of the boat people didn’t come here. Those we might welcome are more likely to come via established migration routes with proper visas and identities.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        March 20, 2022

        Mark. Exactly.

  30. X-Tory
    March 20, 2022

    To reduce the cost of living we need to reduce the cost of energy and of food. And to do those we need to be more self-sufficient in both. I know this is the policy you support, but the government does not. Only now, with the Ukraine war, has Boris the Traitor been forced to consider increasing UK gas production. But still there is no government policy to increase our farm output. Why you continue to support such a moronic and treacherous PM is incomprehensible.

    The government has been proven wrong, and has failed, in every policy area: energy (lack of self-sufficiency and too expensive), immigration (uncontrolled), food (lack of support for increased output), fishing (betrayal of our fishermen and fish stocks), Brexit (betrayal of Northern Ireland and lack of diversification from EU policies), taxation (too high, and getting higher), Covid (excessive restrictions and costs), procurement (failure to support UK companies) …. there is not a single policy area where the government has been successful. We are governed by morons, traitors and cowards. I have nothing but contempt for this appalling government.

    1. BOF
      March 20, 2022

      X-Tory. I’m with you all the way.

  31. Ed M
    March 20, 2022

    I agree with the PM about Putin.
    But the Foreign Minister under Yeltsin said don’t over-analyse Putin either. Putin is essentially a thug who wants to hang on to power at all costs. In order to deal with the fact that Russia should be much more wealthy than it is and isn’t because of him so he’s had to create an enemy with which to blame for the woes of Russia and that war with Ukraine is all part of this.
    God bless Ukraine

    1. Mickey Taking
      March 21, 2022

      Putin ‘owns’ half the wealth of the oligarchs – so any failure of Russia to create wealth is down to him ‘overseeing’ their activities.

  32. Rhoddas
    March 20, 2022

    As-Is situation: We still consume gas/oil/coal fossil fuels and need reasonable prices to avoid recession; blinding obvious to drill/mine/frack at home, so we have security of energy supply, the jobs/revenue that flow from that and keep growth on track. Pretty much ignored until recently by HMG, but a glimmer of movement last week, we all need to keep pushing/pressing, thank you Sir J. Lolabour’s position on this is very unclear imho.

    To-Be situation: Decarbonisation of energy supply… new tech, many options, incl. nuclear.
    The BEIS emphasis appears to be solely on this brave new world, whereas the complexities of transformation programme need to get from a current As-Is position to some future To-Be are just not being addressed. BEIS responsibility is both and the transformation, with HMG accountable…. continuing to screw this up is an existential threat…. both to people and Tory re-election.

  33. XY
    March 20, 2022

    What is a “multinational country”?

    If he meant multinational company then he needs to be educated on how gas markets work – they are not global, most are localised markets. However, there is a spot price for gas in a global sense, but most gas is bought and distributed locally (relative to its point of extraction) under contract, not at spot prices.

    The failing of the regulator to see the mismanagement of many energy firms is telling. These companies should have been buying on long-term contracts and mitigating risk using the futures markets.

    1. Mark
      March 20, 2022

      Many of the companies that folded were far too small to be able to run any kind of hedging programme. Hedges require the posting of extensive collateral, particularly at times when markets are very volatile. That requires deep capitalisation. Moroever, for smaller firms the real exposures are to half hour pricing and peaks and troughs in demand: these are not really well catered for by hedging markets, and generators will be reluctant to offer guaranteed output ahead of time (especially wind farms, who might find that the wind died and they had to buy back commitments they had made at massive prices that would bankrupt them instead). Add in the cap on what they could sell for, and they were bound to get into trouble. It’s clear that OFGEM lacks the necessary expertise to evaluate this: there have been suggestions that the FCA should do it instead though whether they would understand commodity markets in enough detail is also an open question. OFGEM were heavily criticised by the Lords Committee that reported recently.

  34. XY
    March 20, 2022

    Just to add – one thing he may be right about is that multinational companies do indulge in profit-shifting.
    So although the gas is extracted here and initially sold here, the profit (and therefore the tax liability) may be shifted elsewhere.

    This is a long-term problem which should have been addressed by UK transaction taxes a long time ago – and his comments assume a corporate behaviour that’s not necessarily going to happen. It would go a long way towards solving the problem if our corp tax rate were not so high – and due to rise further in 2023.

    1. Mark
      March 20, 2022

      The Oil Taxation Office at HMRC has long set rules about the taxable basis for oil and gas: if a transaction is not clearly at arms’ length, they set their own idea of market price, which is usually a little disadvantageous, in order to protect the tax position.

  35. ChrisS
    March 20, 2022

    Nobody needs any lessons from the SNP on how to run a economy. The Scottish economy is a complete basket case, 100% reliant on money transferred from English taxpayers. To be fair to Scotland, that is no different than the situation with NI and Wales but at least their devolved administrations don’t follow Sturgeon’s policy of continually blaming England for her own catastrophic mismanagement in all sectors of her economy.

    The rise in energy prices is already costing households dear. Just today I filled up my 67 year old Rolls Royce which, thanks to the Government’s insane policy of insisting on E10 petrol, I now have to run on even more expensive Super-Unleaded. The cost of this is now £1.80 a litre. Luckily I don’t do many miles in the car but last time I filled my Audi with Diesel, that was £1.65 a litre. Poorer households just can’t afford these prices, let alone the cost of gas which is due to go up substantially from April.

    For at least the next 20 years we will need every drop of gas and oil we can get from UK waters but we must ensure it stays in the UK and is reasonably priced. The Government should legislate for this by increasing taxes on UK oil and gas that is exported, and proportionally reducing taxes charged on oil and gas that is produced and sold here, so that revenue to the treasury remains broadly neutral.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg note : This is a policy we can implement now that we are out of the EU.

    1. alan jutson
      March 21, 2022

      +1

      Diesel in Wokingham now £1.80 per litre at nearest garage to us !

      Like you I will be trying out the premium petrol on my 21 year old vehicle to see if it ups the miles per gallon which has shrunk by 20%, yes that is correct since using the diluted E10

  36. Mickey Taking
    March 20, 2022

    ‘we are a low taxation Party’ – – who said that?
    Suggestion, you could write that across the Party on the next voting slip.

  37. Narrow Shoulders
    March 21, 2022

    By doubling free childcare your government has increased demand and therefore the price so those who have to pay end up paying more.

    If a job doesn’t pay enough to cover child care then the parent should stay at home.

    I wish you’d stop intervening in markets. The energy market has been completely screwed by net zero diktats and your infernal price cap. Access to Work has give BSL interpreters licence to print money. Stop it.

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