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Harrabin Making It Up As He Goes Along

August 17, 2015

By Paul Homewood




More propaganda from Harrabin.



The Automobile Association (AA) has joined green groups in warning that recent changes in energy policy will harm the climate.

A survey of motorists suggests they will be more likely to buy polluting cars following a Budget change.

Environment groups say in a letter to the prime minister this is one of many recent changes to taxes and incentives that will push up CO2 emissions.

The government said it aimed to keep its promises on cutting CO2.

However, it added that energy policy urgently needed revision.

The AA and the green groups are disturbed by a welter of announcements in past weeks on the environment and energy.

In his Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the nil Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) band for clean petrol cars would be restricted in future to electric vehicles.

This removes a tax break for clean petrol cars and hybrids, which will from 2017 attract the same VED as gas guzzlers.

The AA president Edmund King told BBC News: “If the government is serious about trying to get motorists to drive cleaner greener cars, this is really counter-productive.

“Drivers will not be given the same incentive to go for cleaner (petrol or hybrid) cars so there won’t be the same pressure on manufacturers to produce those cleaner models. We seem to be getting rid of an incentive that worked very well.”


When I saw the headline originally, my first reaction was why on earth are the AA getting involved in this nonsense. It turns out they aren’t.

Reader Black Pearl thought to contact the AA for their views, and received this reply:


"Please rest assured that Edmund King, AA president, has been back to Roger Harrabin at the BBC pointing out that the headline and introduction to his piece didn’t represent the AA view as we only commented on VED and what our members thought of the proposed changes.
We also pointed out that members, such as you, were unhappy with the coverage."


They have also emailed this clarification to me.


The AA has not sided with green groups (that was a BBC headline) but has raised members’ concerns from our latest AA-Populus poll about the new VED system.

We have pointed out that changes to VED in 2017 will remove the option of lower fixed annual motoring costs from a large number of car buyers who choose to buy a low CO2 emission vehicle.  The AA believes incentives are better than sanctions and that the scheme has been very popular but the government has now decided it wants to reverse declining tax revenues.


In other words, the AA have taken absolutely no stance at all on the government’s green policies. Their sole concern, perfectly naturally, is that some drivers will end up paying more car tax.

As the AA president has now been back to Harrabin, I wonder whether he will be issuing an apology?

  1. August 17, 2015 11:17 am

    Well done Black Pearl for his persistance. I note that his comment calling Harrabin a liar is the 348th of the 350 comments on the page as the BBC closed the comments 9 hours after opening them
    – You can also hear Harrabin speaking the AA claim in audio from the Today show from July 31st Direct link 1h17m35s to 1h21m45s

  2. 1saveenergy permalink
    August 17, 2015 11:17 am

    Horrid Harrabin has taken lessons from Herman –
    “If you tell a big enough lie, often enough, people will eventually believe it.” – Herman Goebbels

    • tim permalink
      August 17, 2015 3:16 pm

      Joseph, not Hermann

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        August 21, 2015 11:05 pm

        Tim, you are correct, these days I cant remember my own name let alone anyone else s (:-(()

    • August 17, 2015 6:01 pm

      It is even more successful if you stop all response and close the web-site comments when crits start. Goebbels could have learned from the BBC it seems!

  3. August 17, 2015 11:35 am

    Not a lot of people knew, before that Geo engineering and anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are the direct result of STALIN’S SCIENTISTS secretly agreeing in 1945: “Better Red Than Dead !

  4. August 17, 2015 4:00 pm

    The most you could say in Harrabin’s favour is that he’s not a very accomplished liar, but a liar nevertheless.

  5. Keith Willshaw permalink
    August 17, 2015 5:51 pm

    Dear Roger

    Repeat after me ‘electric cars are NOT clean’

    They use electricity generated at a typical thermal efficiency of 30% when you factor in transmission losses this gets even worse. As of this minute the breakdown of UK power production is as follows

    Coal 22%
    Nuclear 18%
    Gas 44%
    Hydro 1.3%
    Wind 1.7%
    Biomass 4.2% (mostly trees from clear felled US forests)
    Solar – less than 1% (Its cloudy)

    The rest is imported from France (Nuclear).

    This will get WORSE as we close the nuclear stations most of which have between 10 and 20 years of useful life remaining

    The great government strategy is to lease diesel generation sets, which are low efficiency, to fill the gap. We already have a looming power generation problem without replacing fossil fuelled transport with EV’s

    Modern turbo charged fuel injected cars have engines with efficiencies that lie in the range of 32% (petrol) to 44% (diesel).

    • August 17, 2015 6:05 pm

      True religious zealots will never be confused by the facts. Statistics and facts are only used in a one-sided way and downsides such as economics, science and dishonesty are regarded as fair-play.

    • Dodgy Geezer permalink
      August 18, 2015 3:47 pm

      …when you factor in transmission losses this gets even worse….

      No one seems to have considered the connection losses at the charging point. Connectors are notorious points of resistance in a circuit – I suspect that these lower total efficiency by a considerable amount…

  6. August 17, 2015 7:26 pm

    Reblogged this on Green Jihad.

  7. cheshirered permalink
    August 17, 2015 9:19 pm

    The bias isn’t restricted to Harrabin, either. Matt McGrath was up to the same tricks with this dreadful article last week, too. A complete joke.

  8. August 18, 2015 1:12 pm

    Does Harrabin have a boss, or is he just a loose cannon on the BBC payroll?

  9. john cooknell permalink
    August 18, 2015 8:42 pm

    Harrabin is always predictable and always inaccurate. Pointless complaining.

    Personally I waited all winter for the summer, it arrived late and departed quickly and will not be back. I am off to Spain, really had enough of this grim weather.

    The Met Office monthly forecast is now so generic as to be entirely useless, for instance the current one states that in mid September the weather will get cooler. Who would have thought it!


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