Reduce government interference in energy

 

One subsidy leads to another. One windfall tax soon becomes several permanent tax rises on overtaxed energy. One price distortion tempts Regulators to do more. Instead of pursuing the three aims of security of supply, affordable power, and environmental requirements we end up with energy which is too dear and a growing dependency on imports and the goodwill of foreigners.

The boost to oil and gas prices caused by the decision to get Russian oil and gas out of our supply chains in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine was used as an opportunity to increase taxes on oil and gas. It was called a windfall tax  though the government did not specify what element of the price/profit was windfall, nor did it promise to cancel the tax when oil prices fell back. This then caused super profits for older renewable electricity investments so they too were put under a windfall tax. Subsequently new investment in renewables was exempted .  All this reinforced dearer energy, so then the government decided to spend a fortune on subsidies to domestic consumers. The government introduced a price cap on domestic energy bills. As prices fell so the price cap held costs up until the next review point. All these interventions were backed by the Opposition parties who usually wanted them to go further, last longer and tax and subsidise more.

This is a wasteful and worrying model for energy. It has meant higher public sector spending and borrowing. It has deterred investment in  new capacity through the higher and unpredictable taxes. It has helped close factories in the UK thanks to high energy prices, increased energy imports, and increased the imports of energy intensive goods.

The same thing is happening with energy using products. It is wrong to  tax car producers for selling too many petrol vehicles that people want to buy, and for  selling too few battery cars which people do not want to buy. It would be wrong to tax gas boiler manufacturers or to ban their product if people do not want to buy heat pumps. Government did not need to step in to ban blackberries in  order to promote smart phones, or to boost computer pads by taxing home desktops. There was no subsidy to promote mobile phones or internet services. Good products sell because people want them.

 

141 Comments

  1. Will
    April 7, 2024

    The decision that was legitimately within government remit has been the one repeatedly kicked into the long grass, namely get building nuclear power stations for baseload electricity supply. Had that decision been taken 20 or 15 years ago we would now have secure and affordable electricity, as have the French. We see it with the failure to kick-start the SMR programme, why hasn’t that been up and running for a couple of years by now?

    Reply I believe because there is no up and running proven and licensed SMR to buy off the shelf. A model has first to be approved and then tested.

    1. Ian wragg
      April 7, 2024

      Rolls Royce has been building small Reactors for the past 60 years without incident. We all know that Fishy would sooner give the work overseas because any manufacturing in Britain is contrary to nut zero targets.
      We now have the lowest oil and gas production in decades as companies shy away from investment. No doubt intentional to reduce carbon emissions and rely on spot price imports.
      We are Importing 20% of our electricity which will be used to blackmail us into letting france and Spain rape our fishing grounds. Your government is a disgrace Jihn, I don’t know why you stick with them.

      Reply Yes RR has. The so called small reactors for grid supply would be much bigger than the mini ones put in submarines, so it does need a new design.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 7, 2024

        Small modular reactor will be less cheap and less efficient than large nuclear. Or rather large nuclear should be far cheaper and better (and would be if only the government could choose the right types of reactors, the right construction contracts and clear all the legal and planning obstacles). But this government is an appalling contractor as we see with the sick joke HS2 racket. Crony capitalism rules it seems.

        1. Original Richard
          April 7, 2024

          LL :

          SMRs are already cheaper than large-scale nuclear reactors and will become even cheaper.

          Firstly, because, as you say, the government, necessary for large-scale nuclear, is an “appalling contractor” whilst SMRs, because much smaller and cheaper, will be developed through private enterprise competition. Secondly because they can be repeatedly made on a production line in a factory with critical operations, such as welding, carried out more accurately and more quickly without interference from poor weather.

          To give an example as to where the SMR technology is heading, Dr. Fox of MoltexFLEX was brave enough at a recent ES&NZ Select Committee meeting to give prices of £28/MWhr electrical and £8/MWhr thermal for the 2030s. They were even able to provide dispatchable power. This compares with £128/MWhr for our Chinese funded EDF EPR at Hinkey Point C although the Finnish version, without Chinese funding, is supplying electricity at £50/MWhr. The next renewables auction later this year (AR6) will price unreliable fixed offshore wind at £100/MWhr and floating wind at £242/MWhr (2023 prices).

          1. Lifelogic
            April 7, 2024

            If you can make a small modular reactor producing X GW for £Y it is hard to believe you cannot build one that produces 2X GW for less than £2Y and to make that larger one rather more efficient than two small ones. Some savings and efficiencies are bound to be possible. Engineering is almost invariably thus.

            The only reason, if what you say is true, will not be real engineering ones but irrational, political and legal obstacles.

          2. Mark
            April 7, 2024

            Indeed there are several ways in which less elaborate safety systems will be needed for SMRs, which can result in a substantial cost saving. The need to engineer very costly containment systems that are difficult to weld (see EPRs) is much reduced. Production line modular construction offers other big savings. By and large we no longer construct massive supercomputers either – an array of small workstations is a much cheaper solution.

            For similar sorts of engineering reasons there are practical and economic limits on the size of aircraft or ships or trucks.

          3. Original Richard
            April 7, 2024

            LL :

            You are correct that large scale nuclear, because government is involved, will always be subject to “irrational, political and legal obstacles”. These obstacles should be reduced for mass produced SMRs as opposed to special large-scale one-offs. SMRs also require a much smaller footprint and are more flexible for sites which do not require a large 3 GW power plants or for sparsely populated countries where the cost of transmitting the power would be prohibitively expensive.

            But the real saving will be the production line processes possible with SMRs instead of special one-offs for large nuclear which need ports, concrete factories etc. to be built just for one single project. Also, as I have said, critical operations such as welding can be performed more accurately indoors in a controlled environment and with no delays due to inclement weather. So no delays particularly in winter saving money and time.

        2. Lifelogic
          April 7, 2024

          The Times yesterday leads by attacking Junior Doctors to encourage them to settle. They should quite rightly tell the Health Sec. (who seem to have no health qualifications or experience and is paid circa £160K) to get lost.

          My relative a doctor in Central London gets about £2,400 PCM take home for a demanding 40+ hour PW job (often a dangerous one too) plus about 10 hours commuting time on top. After rent on a small room in a shared rental flat, interest for his student loan for his 6 years of university training, council tax, gas, electricity, commuting, professional fees he has less than zero left for food, fun, lunches, clothes, holidays, insurance, trips home, dental treatment, prescriptions, hair cuts, shaving gear, soap, washing powder, tv licence… even if he got a 35% increase he would still only have about £20 a day left free for all of these.

          Victoria Atkins a lawyer get over 5 times as much salary plus she gets her commuting paid on top (tax free) and subsidised restaurants, bars, creche, free parking at work… and seems to have virtually no medical background or other relevant skills at all. The doctors get none of these benefits.

          So get lost please Ms Atkins you rather foolish & insulting Health Secretary under Training! Most do not want to have to go overseas but perhaps they will have to do so if they ever want to buy a home, have a family or be treated remotely properly. Clearly the dire NHS has no intentions of doing this.

          Does Ms Atkins like Sunak think or lie that the vaccines were “unequivocally safe” or is she keeping her mouth closed or have her department just not looked? About 500 extra cases just of Guillain-Barre syndrome post the UK vaccine roll out it seems. This on top of the circa 100K+ excess all cause deaths, plus hundreds of thousands of heart arrhythmias, myocarditis, blood clots…

          1. Narrow Shoulders
            April 7, 2024

            Those are my taxes you are spending @Lifelogic.

            The job pays what it pays and they get a fortune later in their careers.

          2. Lifelogic
            April 7, 2024

            Sadly the death and injury figures are up in each and every age group.

          3. Everhopeful
            April 7, 2024

            Back to Marxist theory again.
            They are not fond of Drs because Drs diagnose illness as being caused by bodily malfunction rather than by poverty and inequality.
            So presumably, as with the police the whip holders just want to get rid of them.
            Probably the real reason behind so few places at med school?
            The far, extreme left were also at one time outraged by the fact that a GP could hand his practice on to his son.
            How many years have we been ruled by these rarely aired fantastical notions?
            How much more would I prefer to have a local GP whose grandfather had treated mine?
            A lot.

          4. Everhopeful
            April 7, 2024

            Like the “special bodies of armed men,” Drs are viewed as a cornerstone of capiltalism.

          5. Paula
            April 7, 2024

            £200 a month additional ‘tax’ for that 90k student loan, Lifelogic.

            So.

            Off to Australia my doctor son, his doctor fiancee and many of his cohort go.

            We – the parents – are left alone to fend for ourselves in crime hole Britain having done everything right.

            Why does having a kid go through med school feel like one almighty mistake ?

          6. Paula
            April 7, 2024

            @ Narrow Shoulders

            Around 5 years of mortgageable earnings are lost taking a medical degree over an apprenticeship.

            The top consultancy pay on the NHS is 126k but this is after 16 years in consultancy post (not general medical post – 16 years on top of that.)

            An NHS consultant is a globally acknowledged specialist and research position. The pinnacle of professionalism. Never ending betterment and study.

          7. Paula
            April 7, 2024

            @ Narrow Shoulders

            When my boy started his medical degree he was promised remuneration much higher than it turned out to be. His loss is around 25%.

            They don’t mention the days he effectively works for free when he takes a strike day.

            And NO neither we nor he are Leftist agitators.

            We are conservatives who raised a doctor.

          8. Donna
            April 8, 2024

            Prof Angus Dalgleish, expert Oncologist, is also reporting a huge increase in aggressive cancers, particularly amongst the young, which have occurred since the jabs were rolled out. He has called for the mRNA jabs to be banned.

          9. Narrow Shoulders
            April 8, 2024

            @paula.

            Then your son and his cohort off to Australia need to stop defending the NHS delivery model which they happily eschew in Australia.

            I don’t want to pay more tax for health delivery so if your son wants more money then he needs to strike for reform of the NHS.

      2. Ian wragg
        April 7, 2024

        Reply to Reply. R R already have a design, I did my apprenticeship with them and have many friends working there. The government is dragging its heels over approval preferring to pass the work overseas as usual. The green revolution which will promote thousands of well paid jobs only you never specified they will all be overseas.

        1. Original Richard
          April 7, 2024

          IW :

          Correct. Orders for RR SMR were expected to be given this year but the fifth column communists in Parliament and the Civil Swrvice decided to delay the building of reliable energy by opening SMRs to a competition not decided until 2029. I have no problem with the holding of a competition as we will need more than one SMR supplier but RR SMRs should have been ordered in the meantime.

        2. Mark
          April 7, 2024

          Today David Turver has a useful review of the (lack of) progress with SMR approvals here

          https://davidturver.substack.com/p/uk-nuclear-smr-competition/

      3. Ian wragg
        April 7, 2024

        You selected the French EPR2 reactor for Hinckley which was unproven. The only one completed at the time was in Chin and shutdown due to corrosion. The Finish one had to draft in RR to sort out the instrumentation but still you drag your heels.

      4. The Prangwizard
        April 7, 2024

        No-one with any sense should put any faith in your party’s governing and leadership over the creation of SMR’s or any other similar progress to protect this country. There has been enough time to decide on them but your leader has firstly no understanding, nor has any belief that we should have such independence. He and his supplicants are quite happy to destroy us for ‘greenery’ – they are not interested in our security. He talks but never acts, and has no wish.

      5. Dave Andrews
        April 7, 2024

        Currently we are exporting power. That’s because the price is negative and National Grid has a policy of buy high, sell low.

      6. Mark
        April 7, 2024

        Rolls Royce started work on their SMR design in 2015 when they saw the impending disaster at Hinkley Point. By 2018 they were looking to build an FOAK prototype, with the design worked out. It’s now 2024, and the ONR and BEIS/DESNZ and ministers have done nothing but procrastinate.

    2. Mark B
      April 7, 2024

      Reply to reply.

      Many countries have nuclear power stations. Few, other than the French, wish to keep reinventing the wheel. We once had a nuclear industry that was a world leader. But we sold it off.

      1. Bryan Harris
        April 7, 2024

        Indeed – but it’s all part of the strategy to execute the great reset

    3. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      Get fracking then (and mining, drilling or coal importing), no shortage of excellent and proven methane tech. here and loads of suitable UK sites to frack & keep us going for many years until we finally sort practical controlled fusion power.

      1. glen cullen
        April 7, 2024

        Correct – the gold is under our feet …lets get it

    4. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Reply – the former UK owned Westinghouse company has such an SMR ready to go, “October 2, 2023 – Westinghouse Electric Company today announced our AP300™ small modular reactor (SMR), the only SMR based on a licensed, operating nuclear reactor, has been selected for the next phase of Great British Nuclear’s competitive technology”
      “Westinghouse has signed an agreement with Community Nuclear Power Limited (CNP) for the construction of four AP300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in the North Teesside region of northeast England. It would be the UK’s first privately-financed SMR fleet.”
      The funding(privately-financed) is in-place for the provision of 4 of these units as above – this Conservative Government is the ones not playing ball they wont grant permission for them to go ahead. Is it because it upsets their agreement to use UK Taxes to fund French Nationalized Industry?
      I should also add the RR version of these SMR’s are based on procurement from Westinghouse, using their(WH) approved license.
      Gordon Brown & Labour got rid of Westinghouse in a desperate bid to fund their finance industry fiasco and failures, saying at the time there is no place for Nuclear Power in the UK. The Tories, this Conservative Government knew the problem that created 14 years ago and have done nothing other than promise the French President the UK will fund their Nationalized Industry.
      Its the Conservative Governments version of ensuring the UK’s resilience, keeping it safe and secure but controlled by the political whims of foreign governments – that is the ‘BLOCK’ to the UK moving forward

    5. Mark
      April 7, 2024

      We have had a large number of ministers who were anti nuclear going back to David Miliband 20 years ago. Even when there has been a minister not actively against nuclear they have has to contend with very poor advice from a Department that had built in an anti nuclear prejudice and a regulator of the same mind, adding cost and delay at every turn. Add in the idea that overpaying for nuclear could be used to try to procure more favourable treatment by the French and Chinese, and you get Hinkley Point.

      I see no sign of an attempt to reform the ONR or DESNZ to enable sensible and faster and more sensible decision taking in the nuclear sphere. In the 1950s we built Calder Hall in just 3 years. The French built their fleet in the 70s and 80s not much slower. The Koreans completed the first unit at Barakah, UAE before there had been time to assemble and train a workforce to run it.

      Instead we close down steelworks essential to nuclear plant manufacture, converting a potential export industry to import dependency. We could opt to speed the process of type approval and get on with it. If we did, we might even get a new working reactor by the end of 2030.

    6. Peter
      April 7, 2024

      W,
      Fine as long as you don’t live next to the nuclear power station. Especially after Chernobyl and the Japanese Fukushima disaster.

      We did actually visit Windscale and ate in their restaurant. No harm done but I would not want it in the vicinity of my house.

      1. Peter
        April 7, 2024

        Our government would probably let the private sector run the nuclear site on the cheap. Put some numpty in charge of regulating them.

        You know what happens next.

  2. Everhopeful
    April 7, 2024

    Oh!
    I thought that all the taxes, price hikes etc. were all about achieving NZ?
    Dissuading people from exuding carbon.
    Using The War as an excuse.

    Basically making our lives as miserable as possible!

    1. Donna
      April 7, 2024

      Correct.

    2. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Everhopeful – mind manipulation by coercion. Punitive punishment of the people rather than submit the Country to good management from its Government. They cant manage their own departments, their own spend so they go to lets deflect and punish for the grooming of our own personal self esteem.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 7, 2024

        We are being heated, melted and poured into their steel moulds.
        A bit like lead soldiers?

  3. Everhopeful
    April 7, 2024

    I’m with the early Icelandic farmers who simply laid their own pipelines from the geysers.
    Nothing we do should be any concern of the govt.
    It has vastly overstepped the mark recently!
    Yet it does not fulfil its basic functions.

    1. Bloke
      April 7, 2024

      If Icelandic or Swiss politicians were seeking asylum in the UK, any number of them would be welcome and needed. However, sensible folk who run their own countries properly are happiest where they are.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 7, 2024

        +++
        Just imagine things being run properly!

        1. Timaction
          April 7, 2024

          Perhaps we could import some Norwegian Politicos as ours are useless!

      2. Dave Andrews
        April 7, 2024

        Sensible folk who run successful businesses don’t want to leave them to become MPs in this country either.

        1. Everhopeful
          April 7, 2024

          +++
          Lol
          Very true!

    2. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Everhopeful + 1 – and by some margin

      1. Everhopeful
        April 7, 2024

        +++

  4. Lynn Atkinson
    April 7, 2024

    The political class no longer knows what it’s for. It does not understand it’s remit. It has become like the employees of corporations who have a short term interest and are just functionaries. There is no ‘ownership’ attitude.

    At last somebody in the Press has understood that Mrs Thatcher would not be accepted by Conservative Central Office as a candidate. Instead they want William Wrggs and plenty of them. Any MP who can be coerced in any way is a liability to Democracy, and Selection Committees were careful to ensure that all shortlisted candidates were bomb-proof. Sometimes they were duped, but overall we got solid Parliaments – on both sides of the House.

    Now in addition to the useless and expensive heat-pumps, EVs (does that stand for ‘exploding vehicles?) and wars-that-we-can’t-win, we have a political class that we don’t want.
    This has to be rectified or we are on the road to hell.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      Indeed the Tory party is stuffed with dire net zero pushing Libdims or worse. The deluded May even managed to get the ruinously expensive and damaging net zero lunacy nodded through without even a vote in her last act of insane vandalism. Ed Milibands moronic climate change act only had a handful of MPs who failed to vote for this insanity including JR, Peter Lilley, Ann Widecombe Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Andrew Tyrie.

      Free to Choose by Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman still perhaps explains best the economic and other damage done by government market rigging.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2024

        I’m very proud that Milton Friedman recommended one of my husbands political economy books. We hear Friedman updated and applied to daily politics from JR.

      2. Lifelogic
        April 7, 2024

        The BBC elections presenter back in 1980 Robert Mckenzie introduces the Free to Choose videos with the words “some of you may be appalled by his ideas”. Why would anyone sensible be remotely appalled?

        Why would anyone sensible even suggest this “BBC think” introductory slant?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          April 7, 2024

          There are many people who are ‘followers’, institutionalised and have no ability to paddle their own canoe. Look at Downing Street for examples. They are horrified at the thought that they can propose, enact, amend and repeal laws! It’s too much for them, that’s why they will ‘devolve’ power to anybody at all.

      3. Lifelogic
        April 7, 2024

        Lynn you might as well tell us the name of this book?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          April 7, 2024

          Out of print atm. ‘The Moral basis of Monetarism’ 1980-something.
          It’s the big argument that all who understand political economy should have spent their lives arguing. I Instead it’s just JR still standing as far as I can see. Rodney was diverted by the Sovereignty disaster, which took until 2016 to win.
          Anyway I’ll add a couple of relevant comments because JR needs all the help he can get arguing for monetarism, and all these eminent people add weight to his lone stand, so he may allow them.

          “Excellent, fascinating” Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman

          “Thanks for Europe’s Full Circle. You are making a point that much needs making. The only downside to the military defeat of fascism was that people thought that it’s ideas had gone away. I stand corrected on ‘private enterprise’ – ‘Corporatist capitalism’ shall be part of my lexicon henceforth.” P J O’Rourke

          “In the UK Gas market as in other areas Rodney Atkinson has proved to be a visionary.” Sir James MacKinnon, Director General, Office of Gas Supply.

          “I am very much in agreement.” Sir Alan Walters, Advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

          “Atkinson’s latest box of intellectual fireworks” Lord Harris of High Cross

          1. Lifelogic
            April 8, 2024

            Government Against the People: The Economics of Political Exploitation Hardcover – 12 Jun. 1986
            by Rodney Atkinson (Author)

            Sounds rather relevant to today too!

          2. Mitchel
            April 8, 2024

            Marshal Georgy Zhukov:

            “We have liberated Europe from fascism,but they will never forgive us for it.”

    2. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      Heat pumps are not always useless. They are good for heating swimming pools in summer (as only a small temp increase is needed), for cooling fridges and freezers, for air conditioning and for some new build housing that has no gas grid supply. Generally better than using electricity to heat just with heaters.

      But if we did all switch to them winter demand for extra electricity might mean the grid and generating capacity needs to have up to 20x current capacity. With this capacity largely wasted most of the year. A vast waste of capital for just a few winter days.

      But then if they really believe in the climate emergency delusion they clearly should not be heating swimming pools at all. Rishi strengthened his electricity grid up north to heat his little used I assume swimming pool. Do as I say not as I do is the message.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        April 7, 2024

        LIfe logic

        You make an excellent point ref heat pumps being good at simply “warm” temperatures.
        The villa we rent for our holiday in the South of France has a heat pump for the swimming pool, and it seems to work very well at keeping the the temperature of the pool nice and warm in the off peak seasons, and at a sensible cost I am informed by the owner.
        Not good enough for an efficient heating system in the typical house in the UK in the Winter though.

        1. Lifelogic
          April 7, 2024

          It is all about how far in degrees you have to pump the heat. From 20C to 30C rather efficient from -10C outside to 60C for piping hot water not so clever. See COPs and Carnot Efficiency. Hence with large tepid radiators they are more efficient than with smaller hotter (cheaper and less obtrusive) ones. Matt black rads better too but not very popular!

    3. Donna
      April 7, 2024

      They effectively ARE employees of corporations. They are delivering the WEF’s policies.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2024

        Spot on. That’s the whole problem with corporations whose shareholders don’t take an active part (because they don’t know or care that their pension fund has invested) is that the short-term functionaries strip the company. However the Universities Super-annuation Fund is the second biggest investor in Thames Water 😂🤣 so these cosseted academics might have to engage their brains – for once!
        Tucker Carlson has cottoned on at last. He was saying that now the Corporations are as dangerous to civilians as is the Government. Well Tucker, it’s called Corporatism and was beloved by that little strutting German who wanted to destroy ‘the English System’ (capitalism and democracy).

    4. Mickey Taking
      April 7, 2024

      EV= expensive vehicle.

    5. Mickey Taking
      April 7, 2024

      For many years now Conservative Central Office select as a candidate those who don’t have opinions, they want sheep who like the CV entry after a term supporting whatever form of government foisted on us.

    6. glen cullen
      April 7, 2024

      Agree – We need to ‘rethink’ what our government is for

  5. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2024

    Indeed free and fair competition, no market rigging and no net zero religious war on CO2.

    We also need free and fair competition in housing (why do some get social housing and others not), transport (why is rail hugely subsidised and road vastly over taxed), healthcare why is the NHS “free” at the point of delivery rendering us a virtual state monopoly for many (as they have paid already and so cannot afford private provision, even though it might cost less than the NHS in reality), same for private schools, university degrees, net zero energy lunacy, the expensive and rather poor justice system, bank overdrafts fixed at circa 40%… The state sector market rigging is endless and a total disaster for both the economy and the public.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      “Reduce government interference in energy” and almost everything else please.

    2. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Lifelogic +1 – you are suggesting how to solve the Nations and Society woes. But, how does that play with our corrupt political class getting to address their own perceived personal esteem?

  6. Mark B
    April 7, 2024

    Good morning.

    The reason why those items you list are tax or subsidies is because they are part of a wider agenda. Those items you list later on that are not subject to taxes or subsidies matter little as they are not part of a wider agenda.

    The problem is far deeper and more complex that that which can be covered in a single post, or indeed many. But it clear to me that we are not masters of our own destiny and, that all the negative stuff we see and hear is aimed at the West and exclusively at the West. This much is obvious, but alas, not to those we elect.

    Things are going to have to get much, much worse before we can get any better, assuming that we can.

    1. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Mark B – could it be that those that have infiltrated our political system and establishment are disciples of Klaus Schwab. They certainly follow his teachings, have his attitude to democracy, the rule of law and freedoms. Even more insulting we pay for these disciples to attending his evangelical cult meetings out of our taxation without ever being asked

  7. Javelin
    April 7, 2024

    I don’t think most politicians realise how precarious our energy safety is.

    I’m a supporter of Israel. So my question is how will they defend themselves if Muslim political pressure in the West forces them to be abandoned. As a last resort they have nukes but the question is what options do they have between trying to eliminate Hamas and nuking Tehran.

    One option is to stimulate a wider war in the middle east that will reduce the amount of oil coming through Suez. This should invoke the West to come to their aid to prevent a recession. However it will stimulate the rise of middle eastern protests, conflict and terrorism in the West. So the West now has the option of recession or terrorism.

    This raises another strategic problem for the West. Do they continue migrating Muslims into a country when Muslims are mostly strongly anti Israel. In the DT today 75% of Muslims don’t even believe the atrocities last year took place. According to a YouGov survey British people won’t join an army to fight in the Middle East because of the wealth disparity brought about by immigration, US imported woke mental health or favourment of immigrants. The Government are effectively locking the country into a permanent energy recession driven by NetZero and hatred of Israel.

    Whilst I firmly believe NetZero is complete nonsense and based on fraudulent science, I do believe the UK can and should be energy independent. However EV cars just swap dependency on the middle eastern oil with dependency on China and Taiwan for rare earth metals which is even less manageable.

    So I think the UK needs to develop nuclear fuel and alternative fuels such as hydrogen. Until then the UK needs to direct all its energy on gas and fracking.

    1. dixie
      April 9, 2024

      I agree with your last statement and our host needs to be asking urgent, searching questions about the process and decisions on nuclear power in the UK.
      The issue with rare earth minerals and China is not that the minerals are rare but that China is prepared to process them and currently it can do that, and manufacture stuff, cheaply.
      The West is dependent on electricity and technologies, not just cars, dependent on Asia because your vaunted consumers won’t pay the cost of more secure production in the West.
      As an individual there aren’t a lot of options – I chose to get solar panels and an EV since that allows me to general my own energy and have transport independent of imported fuel.

  8. David Andrews
    April 7, 2024

    Your post demonstrates why there needs to be a clear out of the current, useless, generation of MPs. The UK is being driven into the ground and third world status by muddled thinking and bungling incompetence.

    1. MFD
      April 7, 2024

      Agreed David, a lot of our politicians are really nasty, treating the public as their slaves. So my vote is going to Nigel James, my local Reform UK PC, an honest and great guy. Lets hope old nasty of the labour party gets a shock!

    2. dixie
      April 9, 2024

      There are three arms of government, more if you include “charities” and lobbyists, it is wrong to focus on MPs as the sole cause of rubbish decisions and policies when the civil service and the lords carry so much more responsibility.

  9. dixie
    April 7, 2024

    No subsidy to promote mobile or internet services? Really?

    From the UK gov business and industry (communications and telecomms) website ..
    22-Feb-2024 “More than one million homes, businesses and public buildings can now access the best internet speeds on the market as a result of the UK government’s rollout of faster, more reliable broadband – showing our plan to connect hard-to-reach communities is working.
    For over a decade the UK government has been investing in the construction of ‘gigabit-capable’ networks in areas that are too difficult or expensive for broadband suppliers to reach as part of their commercial plans.”

    11-March-2021 “Government breakthrough on £500 million support package to boost rural mobile coverage”

    6-Feb-2024 “UK Government has signed £1 billion in contracts to connect around 677,000 rural homes and businesses to lightning-fast full fibre”

    Reply Yes, sone small subsidies with ckaw back clauses for remote places. Huge private investment

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2024

      And this ONLY because the Government thought it had specified Fibre to the Premises only to find that they had specified Fibre to the Cabinet, that means your computer data comes and goes at donkey pace on copper cable from you house to the cabinet. They speed it goes from there is irrelevant to your experience.
      So it’s being done AGAIN and AGAIN the computer industry has fleeced the Govt.
      I’m thinking that all Govt departments should be banned from employing computers. It’s too complicated for them. And they are mesmerised by the new ‘magic bullet’ AI. It’s a bullet all right!

      1. Mark
        April 7, 2024

        FTTP doesn’t cure all ills. While I can get some very fast large file downloads I still find that connections to particular websites can be rather slow – and not just those in say Australia either. Some sites with lots of advertising can also be very slow to load at times, whether you are running an ad blocker or not.

    2. Peter Gardner
      April 8, 2024

      There is a distinction to be made between investment in national infrastructure and subsidy. The former is not a subsidy.

  10. DOM
    April 7, 2024

    ‘environmental requirements’. This is government interference and code for Net Zero. It seems our kind and esteemed hosts just cannot distance himself fully from the crazed Net Zero agenda which is a shame as I suspect that he’s a captured soul desperate to scream out loud his defiant opposition to the wet ( people ed)than control his party

    Reply I am not captured

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      There certainly are environmental issues with all sorts of energy extraction bird and bat chomping wind farms, chopping down forests to burn at Drax and solar farms with huge fields of plastic panels being some of the worst offenders.

      The conflation for environmental with a bit more CO2 “pollution” as they like to call it – the harmless and beneficial gas of life and essential tree, crop and plant food is however the evil lie they push.

      They alarmists usually illustrate this CO2 pollution with another large deception. This by using water, looking like “smoke” rising out of huge arrays of harmless cooling towers.

    2. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @DOM – and why is it 95% of the Worlds population is not subjected to this evangelical Conservative Government punitive control and punishment. In fact they the other 95% of the World get rewarded by this Conservative Governments crass off-shoring of UK Industry and Wealth. All the time the UK’s 1% contributions to World emissions is doubled by China each month opening more fossil fuel powered power stations – just to help feed the UK’s consumer needs. You get to ask who is the Conservative Government working for, it is certainly not the UK.

      1. dixie
        April 9, 2024

        I suspect the government is solely focused on transactional returns – easier to take the tax on the money flow than actually create and sustain making stuff to generate the wealth. For example, the oil and gas reserves in UK terrotory is not seen as a strategic asset for the UK and it’s people, rather it is a means to attract companies who pay taxes and salaries in it’s extraction. What happens to to the extracted oil and gas afterwards doesn’t really matter a damn.
        Hence the focus on the city, lack of concern with industries being foreign owned and lost, money and effort wasted on vanity projects.

  11. BOF
    April 7, 2024

    No mention Sir John of the insane NZ and CC policies behind it plus the war on the gas of life, CO2.

    Any government that had the UK interests at heart would never have fallen for the fraudulent scam in the first place.

    I repeat. Everyone should watch CLIMATE – THE MOVIE then vote out every supporter of current policy.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      +1

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2024

      Maybe just Sunak needs to watch the film? The rest of us know.

      1. glen cullen
        April 7, 2024

        +1

      2. Lifelogic
        April 7, 2024

        +1. Sunak could also do with educating about the vast Covid Vaccine harms too. This so he stops making such an unequivocally damn fool of himself.

    3. Sharon
      April 7, 2024

      BOF +1

    4. Timaction
      April 7, 2024

      +1

  12. dixie
    April 7, 2024

    The questions you should be asking is how much of those subsidies are going to foreign companies and interests rather than truly UK companies and industry.

    1. Dave Andrews
      April 7, 2024

      None. Government policy is to subsidise foreign companies and interests, and tax UK companies and industry to pay for it.

  13. Donna
    April 7, 2024

    The energy windfall taxes, deliberate price increases, price caps, subsidies and before much longer, energy rationing are all part of the CONTROL agenda.

    There’s nothing Conservative about this constant interference in the energy market or the authoritarian policies they promote to micro-manage people’s lives.

    The Westminster Uni-Party are creating a Command and Control society for their masters in the WEF.
    Mussolini famously said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

    If you control the supply of food, water and energy you can control the people. You can check out the WEF’s Agenda and the policies they are “encouraging” on its website. They don’t bother hiding it.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2024

      +1

  14. Bloke
    April 7, 2024

    Energy allows people output to move effectively.
    This government generates laws of resistance as if Georg Ohm was in charge as Chancellor, forced to stifle British output.

  15. Berkshire Alan
    April 7, 2024

    Once a tax always a tax, it leads to lazy government, and lazy departments, who are then continually being subsidised because that is much easier than getting them to work efficiently, or at all.
    Good grief we cannot even get them to turn up at the office any more, but still pay London weighting allowance.
    Much much easier to tax people and businesses more, than sort out a problem.
    Unfortunately ever higher taxes kills the goose that lays the golden eggs, so eventually the goose fly’s away to pastures anew, which is usually abroad, and the tax take reduces !.
    Politicians and easy short term thinking and solutions are the problem.

    1. Ian B
      April 7, 2024

      @Berkshire Alan +1 100% agreed. It is something that we knew to expect from Labour, its in their Socialist blood. That is why we now say with confidence that we have a Socialist Government in power. This WEF Socialist Sunak/Hunt cabal rather than manage prefers to out do Labour in its lazy approach to the economy – control and punish the nation is not even government, that is bully boys exerting retribution to blind side people into excepting Socialist Doctrine

  16. boffin
    April 7, 2024

    Last week another major solar farm in Texas – some 3300 acres – was destroyed by a single hailstorm. The published images of shattered panels are quite breathtaking.

    Hail insurance, anyone?

    I have no plans to invest in solar panels.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 7, 2024

      😂🤣 the insurance industry might save us yet. They have to know the facts to work out their pricing. So their actuaries know the truth about the Covid shot, EV’s and much else.

  17. Bloke
    April 7, 2024

    Lagging copper plumbing across flat floors seems pointless, as its ‘waste’ heat enters the room even before the radiator warms up. However, if pipes are at risk of freezing, lagging is a very efficient insurance prevention policy.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    April 7, 2024

    You only needed the first three words in today’s headline Sir John.

    I will be voting for the party that offers much smaller government or spouling my paper if that is not on offer.

  19. Roy Grainger
    April 7, 2024

    In these posts you always blame “the government”. It would aid clarity if in future you replaced this with “the Conservatives”.

    1. Mark
      April 7, 2024

      These days the government seems to be mainly the civil service and the quangos and the judiciary who decide which policies are actually pursued.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    April 7, 2024

    If your government insists on interfering why hasn’t it introduced price differentials to the consumer.

    Some Posters on here say renewables are free so why can’t I contract to buy them at massively reduced rates.

  21. Original Richard
    April 7, 2024

    It is pointless for anyone to protest about government interference in energy and net zero products once they have accepted we have CAGW. This is because the argument from the Marxists driving this scam will always be that no price is too high for the West (not China) to pay to save the planet.

    Government interference has only just started and will extend into all aspects of our lives. We’re on the path to impoverishment and totalitarianism using CGAW and the implementation of Net Zero as the excuse. The ECHR, of which we are a member, is about to declare next week that human rights will be breached if governments fail to protect their people from the harmful effects of climate change. This ruling will not apply to China of course.

    The government funded UK FIRES Absolute Zero report describes how the government intends us to be living by 2050 :

    https://ukfires.org/impact/publications/reports/absolute-zero/

    Remember that it is intended we will be totally electrified, so controlled by smart meters, and our energy will come from unreliable, insecure, chaotically intermittent renewables with no grid-scale back-up.

    The reason why the climate activists have no issues with China’s CO2 emissions is because China is already an authoritarian state.

  22. Sharon
    April 7, 2024

    “Good products sell because people want them.”

    This no longer seems to be the case. It seems we are told to buy what the government wants us to have… and if we don’t buy them, we (and manufacturers) get fined or taxed as punishment!

    Fortunately, many people are deciding for themselves, regardless!

  23. Keith Murray-Jenkins
    April 7, 2024

    One is always riveted by the sheer detail of your observation and analysis, Sir John. (Do always bear in mind, please, it comes through you, not of you. Otherwise you fall into the same category as ‘a lot of ’em’. This would never do). And this is why so many of us avidly read what you have to say. You make us aware that there is ever constant ‘tinkering’ within government and no bold seizing of the reins to establish ‘good policies’ which will serve us well. It makes us also aware that ‘The Country Needs You’ in a position not to comment but to work out and implement such policies…It must be as frustrating for yourself as it is for many of your Readers that the children’s playground of government – as it’s become – now needs at least one serious and caring instructor who know what good economics is and what it can help achieve for us. How do we get you in to the relevant high post? Any ideas you are aware of?!

  24. Mike Wilson
    April 7, 2024

    Westinghouse have signed a deal to provide 4 of their AP300 SMRs to Community Nuclear Power in the North of England. Each reactor generates 225 Mgw and the 4 of them will provide enough power for 2 million homes.
    Looks like the RR SMR is not happening.

  25. Sakara Gold
    April 7, 2024

    One of the nice things about the time difference when travelling in the Far East is that you can easily monitor renewables generation overnight in the UK. There is now very little wind farm curtailment, last night wind and nuclear were generating about 85% of demand; we were exporting 15% of generation via the Netherlands into the EU grid. CCGT was generating less than 10% and inexplicably, we were running a coal fired plant all night.

    The onerous Electricity Generation Levy imposed on our renewables producers by Hunt in 2022 (following relentless lobbying by the fossil fuel industry) is a tax of 45% on “exceptional” receipts that groups realise from electricity generation in the UK (including Renewable Energy Zones) from renewables, waste and nuclear. This single stupid tax has killed off any further investment in UK renewables, to the absolute delight of Big Oil and their cartel. And of course, it is artificially making energy consumers bills much higher.

    Rock on Rishi, a lucrative directorship doubtless awaits you

    1. Mark
      April 7, 2024

      The basic arrangement for future renewables investment is via a CFD that guarantees an inflation linked price, and any plant operating via a CFD is completely exempt from the generator levy, whatever the strike price of their CFD. The Ynnir Lleuad tidal stream project will be entitled to an untaxed revenue of £277.65/MWh if it starts up this year, and some wind farms are getting as much as £210.22/MWh.

      Looking at the recent updates from the Low Carbon Contracts Company I see in February they have terminated over 2GW of CFDs awarded in the AR4 round (about 19% of the total awarded), including the Norfolk Boreas project, and several onshore windfarms and solar farms and an energy from waste project. These were mainly the result of companies withdrawing having bid too low a price. The Norfolk Boreas project has been sold to RWE, who will doubtless enter it into the AR6 bidding round at around twice the price that Vattenfall had agreed to. With this mechanism for re-pricing now established we can expect further terminations of too cheap CFDs to be replaced by more expensive ones. Since the government are now running behind on capacity building schedules they will have little choice but to accept the higher prices demanded. Meanwhile, payment of generator levy has stopped because wholesale prices have been below the £75/MWh minimum above which it applies.

      The windfall tax on the North Sea threatens to do serious damage to our future oil and gas production, with further impositions for high cost powering of platforms via renewables. This will leave us importing more oil and gas, reducing our energy security and adding to our balance of payments deficit.

  26. Bryan Harris
    April 7, 2024

    Doesn’t this show just how absurd HMG energy policies are – they produce nothing but chaos…. and of course any excuse for a new tax.

    It was Blair’s government that failed to put things in place so that the future would mean we had adequate energy at a reasonable price, but this government has only made it worse.

    Why are we being starved of cheap energy, which has plenty to do with the alleged great reset — if we are all going to be living in small villages, with travel banned, eating insects and rationed on every possible resource, then the actions of HMG make perfect sense!

    So, it’s back to the Middle Ages for us then.

  27. glen cullen
    April 7, 2024

    SirJ I congratulate you on one of your best diary articles, it’s also the first article in a decade, from any Tory MP that’s ‘conservative’ in theme and content …..I just wish your highlighted points where policy

    1. glen cullen
      April 7, 2024

      I can’t believe that I’m still enthusiastic that the Tories will ‘turn-it-around’ before the next election – I enjoy this diary but than I listen to Sunak & Hunt; it’s a 180 degree

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 7, 2024

        That’s because Sunak and Hunt are not Tories.
        We are all enthusiastic about Conservatism. It’s our ONLY salvation.
        We need to bust a gut to support the Conservatives, the Spartans.

  28. paul
    April 7, 2024

    The US Navy has always said that its nuclear aircraft carrier can generate power for a small city in the US, not a town. How do you explain that John.

    Reply I was talking about a small RR power plant for a sub

  29. hefner
    April 7, 2024

    Interesting, but apples and oranges come to mind: changing from a BlackBerry to an iPhone or from a desktop to a tablet was at most a £1k expense. Changing a heating system or a car is an expense of several tens of k£. Is it surprising that the demand could be different?

  30. Ian B
    April 7, 2024

    Sir John
    To much in the way or taxation generally becomes ‘mind’ manipulation, that once the door is opened is used by all and sundry for personal agendas. It gets worse once those agendas are not explicit and in detail manifestos, it just become punishment issued to satisfy personal self-esteem.
    To me good government is about, good management. The right taxation is just the tax that is needed to carryout explicit funding for explicitly detailed delivery.
    We used to have the ‘road fund license’ – where are the roads. Now we have the nutters talking of road usage taxation, when there is already a high load of tax (Fuel duty + VAT) on auto fuel supplies that does just that. Over £1 per liter goes into government coffers. So, the more you travel the more you pay and still no roads. Then there is the odd ball buy a basic new car specify basic safety measures and the care gets called a luxury item so has to pay more each year to go on the road.
    What we lack is honesty from Government, it starts with them maliciously refusing to manage expenditure. So rather than get their own house in order, do the job they are empowered and paid to do they look for more revenue from higher taxation. Who do they think has to pay windfall taxes?

  31. Richard1
    April 7, 2024

    The important point here in an election year is all this sort of thing would be even worse with Labour.

  32. Keith from Leeds
    April 7, 2024

    Cheap reliable energy is the basic requirement of a successful economy! Lower taxes produce more income and stimulate growth!
    So why have most Conservative MPs gone along with the exact opposite? Are they thick, too lazy to do some research, or such low calibre that they don’t understand what the UK needs to be successful?
    Sadly, Labour MPs are just as bad. A day of reckoning is coming, which will be painful for the people of the UK, and it does not matter who is in power. If Labour win the next GE, as forecast, I suspect people will hate them just as much as this Government within 6 months!

  33. J.A.+Burdon-Cooper
    April 7, 2024

    I am so horified by nearly all the actions of this so called Conservative Government that I am in despair. REports in the Telegraph yesterday that potential conservative candidates are being rejected if too traditionalist or BREXIT fans. See Alison Pearson too! At the same time our government is failing to spend on defence, refusing to honour the promise to reduce or abolish IHT, ignoring thev problem of frozen tax levels, etc, etc, the list is endliess. I dont see any way an intelligent conservative could vote for the current government and foinancial policies. are we to be forced to Reform because there is no other sensible oiption??

    1. Peter Gardner
      April 8, 2024

      The Government isn’t ignoring the problem of frozen tax levels. It is using fiscal drag quite aggessively.

  34. David
    April 7, 2024

    You are talking a lot of sense John but I don’t understand how you continue to take the Conservative whip

    1. Peter Gardner
      April 8, 2024

      I would like to see the Party split and true conservatives regroup perhaps with Reform UK but doing so would require the combined leadership to be sorted out so perhaps it is not possible. However, the defection of Lee Anderson showed a split could be made to happen by individual choices in a matter of weeks.

  35. Ian B
    April 7, 2024

    Sir John
    All the things that are degrading society, causing pain, creating punitive punishment and taxes have their roots in the Conservative Government tied in with the establishment placing themselves as individuals as the people society must serve. Isn’t that the reverse of a free Sovereign Democracy?
    Its like they have gone back to 1066 where a whole Nation has been enslaved. Every citizen of this once free nation is treated as a slave, shackled by and forced to serve of a self-appointed master race.
    Democracy what’s that? Our masters define who even is selected to represent us, they even get to take our money to blackmail us to that effect. In a free society it is the people that get to choose. The Party System fights the People. This Government fight the People, the establishment fights to people.
    We now have secret Courts, that get to hand down judgments without challenge. Government says it is to save the Courts time. Then the sentencing body gets to suggest that ‘we are not equal’ in the eyes of the law and as such they get to chose different reference points for punishment. Even the HoC can’t challenge the establishment or government in particular on spending issues, they, the system infers it is too busy to allow transparency. The list is endlessly full of examples of how this Conservative Government is trashing what is left of our Society. The NHS, the Criminal Boat invaders, the BoE, OBR and many more all endlessly stealing our money with a refusal by government to manage their expenditure. This Conservative Government wont even allow our elected representatives to be in control and our legislators – they use the lame excuse that it is their foreign masters and courts that control and define how and what happens in the UK.
    This effort of mine is already too long, it would take a book just to highlight how this Conservative Government hates the UK and is determined to see its destruction – Labour is equally complicit. It would take another book to illustrate how we could get back to civilization.

  36. forthurst
    April 7, 2024

    In the DT today is an article “Why the death of North Sea oil is a disaster for Britain”, not a natural death and the Tory Party is exposed with a dagger dripping with the blood of a once thriving industry when one third of the reserves are still unexploited. Excessive taxation and net zero lunacy can potentially slaughter any industry while the demand for the that industry’s products remain strong. We are paying through the nose to the US for what we could obtain from our own resources.

    1. Donna
      April 8, 2024

      +1

  37. Cliff.. Wokingham.
    April 7, 2024

    Sir John,
    We need to separate the environment and climate change and have two separate debates. They are not the same thing but, the climate change brigade have joined the two things together because few people would want to ruin their environment.
    I suspect the net zero agenda has far less support, dispite the constant pressure from Al JaBeeba and Sky to push for it. Our education/indoctrination system teach it as fact to gullible children making many of them very anxious about dying from heat and weather. It is, in my opinion, child abuse.
    Let’s have a full and free public debate about the net zero and climate change agenda and alter course when we realise we’re being taken for mugs.

    1. Original Richard
      April 7, 2024

      Cliff.. Wokingham: “Let’s have a full and free public debate about the net zero and climate change agenda and alter course when we realise we’re being taken for mugs.”

      At the moment there is absolutely no chance of any public debate. No-one in Parliament, the Civil Service or the judiciary will allow it. The UN says it “owns the science” like a 17th century pope and the BBC has unilaterally made the decision to disallow any discussion of the topic even though a 2022 Nobel prize winner for physics has said he does not believe in the CAGW fraud.

      So delusional has become the CAGW belief that even the current Mongolian deep freeze is due to global warming according to The Telegraph and the BBC’s false propaganda is still believed even though it said in 2009 that there would be no summer Arctic ice by 2013.

      So what would cause a change of agenda when even cooling is warming?

      1. Mark
        April 8, 2024

        The level of state propaganda with heavy media backing (particularly from the BBC) ever since the 28 gate conference that decided that all programming should carry a climate change message has overwhelmed those immersed in it, making rational debate hard to conduct. It is very reminiscent of the saturation levels of propaganda in the Soviet Union, where few dared to challenge the orthodoxy until it reached the point of collapse, and then the challenge came mainly from within the ruling elite.

        The lack of any experience or thought about how to manage things other than as dictated by the state led to very uncertain and troubled times in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet regime. I suspect that if we do not start correcting our own regime soon the period following its inevitable downfall will be similarly chaotic, because all institutional memory of how to do things better will have been lost.

  38. Original Richard
    April 7, 2024

    War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, intermittent energy is secure and Net Zero is prosperity.

    1. glen cullen
      April 7, 2024

      Mayoral election is Democracy; Police Commissioners election is Safer Streets

  39. Derek
    April 7, 2024

    Upon reflection, it seems inconceivable and totally irrational that we should continue to deal with the leader of a country who assassinates his opponents with deadly radio active, polonium 210, in OUR own capital city in 2016. It’s obvious he was not deterred, because he repeated the same two years later, in 2018, in Salisbury. Yet, the EU continued to buy up huge volumes of gas and oil from this despot. We took some too.
    Is it any wonder he felt immune to any counter action from western Europe?
    If these are not good reason why we MUST develop our own in house energy resources rather than have to rely upon the vagaries of foreign States, what are?
    For once, can our Government at least pretend they really are Conservatives and open up our own oil and gas fields and fracking facilities ashore, so that we can become ‘energy secure’ rather than pander to the net-zero activists, who refuse to see the clear and present dangers of such their OTT policies?

  40. John Downes
    April 7, 2024

    North Sea oil/gas is a long way from being fully extracted. All that stands in the way of it are the Chancellor’s confiscatory tax regime and the nut zero agenda.
    Fracking would also provide vast quantities of gas and is easily exploitable. Matt Ridley (whom I trust on these matters) says that our reserves of frackable gas are more easily extracted than those of the USA.
    I’m in favour of nuclear energy, however it is quite clear from all the delays at Hinckley (not to mention the HS2 and Crossrail fiascos) that this country lacks the ability to complete such projects on time and within budget. Perhaps this should the subject matter of a public enquiry, a real one this time (unlike the ongoing Covid whitewash).

  41. Mickey Taking
    April 7, 2024

    off topic.
    I read Rishi Sunak has denied he is eyeing his next job heading up an investment fund to develop artificial intelligence amid ongoing speculation that he is preparing for life after the election. Reports over the weekend claimed the Prime Minister was involved in plans to set up a venture capital fund in AI, potentially in the US, once he has left Parliament.

    He might be quite good at it, after all he heads up a Government that appears to be artificial.

    1. Peter Gardner
      April 8, 2024

      Au contraire. AI would do a better job.

  42. Ray Warman
    April 8, 2024

    So sensible but whistling in the wind I’m afraid?

  43. Dave Ceely
    April 8, 2024

    This socialist government has done nothing but harm to the country and to it’s people. We are offered no choice in the political system. We get a command economy that looks more and more like 1960’s Eastern Europe every day and we get it no matter which flavour of political BS we vote for. Nobody will fight for the ruling class anymore. I hope before long that everybody will fight against it, if not we face a terrible future.

  44. glen cullen
    April 8, 2024

    smart-meters – enough said
    carbon trading – enough said

  45. Peter Gardner
    April 8, 2024

    SIr John, you may be interested in a draft paper by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) entitled ‘Picking Winners’. The title refers to a key characteristic of government interference. In the case of Net Zero it decided on the problem and the technological solution to the problem. My favourite example is the flourescent light bulb, foisted on us by Green policies. The technology had a life time of a year or so before fourescent bulbs were replaced by far superior LEDs. Obviously wrongly picking winners in Net Zero has far more serious consequences.
    The GWPF paper is open for peer review and it is written in the context of Net Zero. It also uses HS2 and Concorde as case studies. There is a section on Covid but that may be removed before publication. I have submitted my comments to Dr Benny Peiser.

    1. Mark
      April 8, 2024

      Thanks for the reminder. I read it, and need to assemble and send in my comments. There are a few inaccuracies that need attention.

    2. dixie
      April 9, 2024

      That paper carefully picks it’s examples to support it’s agenda – eg suggests mobile phones as a winner due to minimal government involvement but ignores the elephant in the room which was the massive contributions by NASA space programmes – ie national prestige projects that enabled the technologies. What of semiconductors, integrated circuits, radar, the jet engine to name a few. The laptop originated from the space programme and that drove the foundation technologies for computing and mobile/smart phones.
      The penultimate paragraph then complains the main beneficiary is China using this as a disadvantage but this can also be seen as a lack of gumption and investment by western governments and companies to compete.
      There are reasons why government involvement should be restrained but also good reasons why non-commercial support is needed to start things off and maintain an infrastructure.

    3. Dave
      April 11, 2024

      Belated reply … compact fluorescent lamps CFLs were launched in *1980*. Yes, LEDs became superior after many decades but not before a lot of trashy LEDs had also been sold.

      I bought some Osram CFLs in 1982. They were used in the main rooms of the house until 2007, by when they had dimmed a bit and needed replacing. For 25 years they worked well and saved a small fortune on electricity.

      The manufacturing quality of CFLs declined when the factories making them moved from Europe to Asia. LEDs sold today are no better made than the later CFLs, i.e. pretty trashy. Buy with care.

      I will look at the GWPF paper and may replicate these comments (!)

  46. Mark
    April 8, 2024

    I read that The Pensions Regulator has an elaborate plan to achieve Net Zero in its operations by 2030, complete with obeisance to the Paris Treaty and every green buzzword. Is there any chance it might regulate pensions?

    On second thoughts, it would probably be better disbanded, since it will likely try to force pensions to be invested in heavily loss making green businesses, destroying the invested capital.

Comments are closed.