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Tories’ Energy Dilemma

May 19, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public




We looked at the Labour manifesto pledge on climate policy the other day.

Above is the key section from the Tory one.

One does not have to be a genius to point out that ensuring UK energy costs are as low as possible is not compatible with meeting our 2050 carbon reduction objective!


As for having the lowest energy costs in Europe, good luck with that one:




  1. May 19, 2017 10:44 am

    You mean the old carbon offset scam.
    The Global Warming Green Energy Muli-Agency Conspiracy. Let’s hope not.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    May 19, 2017 10:48 am

    Totally delusional and clueless. The conservatives clearly have no interest in studying the facts – they just want to pander to the leftish minorities (including the greens) in order to scrape the odd extra vote at any cost to taxpayers and indeed their members and voters. May is simply no better on this than was Camoron.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 19, 2017 2:29 pm

      In one Mr. I. Magness.

  3. Dung permalink
    May 19, 2017 10:54 am

    May’s method of making policy appears to work as follows:

    Think through an issue alone or with her husband.
    express her opinion to her inner circle of advisors and modify.
    Express her views publically.
    Receive input from Conservative party including cabinet and modify.

    Personally I think she needs to discuss more widely before she talks publically
    She has said that fixed ideology is dangerous and that is a perfect description of the CO2 emissions policy.

    • Athelstan permalink
      May 19, 2017 2:30 pm

      A 1000 recommends for that.

    • Derek Buxtonle conservative permalink
      May 21, 2017 1:52 pm

      All too true. I have yet to find a sensible conservative policy from her. At times she seems almost to the left of Corbin. Her energy policy is a disgrace and ill founded. We are carbon based life form and our green land is due to the CO2 in the atmosphere, too low and all the green will disappear.

  4. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 19, 2017 11:09 am

    Does anyone have a way of getting to her husband and talking sense?

  5. May 19, 2017 11:12 am

    strange how the price given for France doesn’t resemble the price i see on my bill in France. If i divide the total bill by the kw/h i end up at 12 cent per kw/h including ecoterrortax and VAT.
    Must be a different France in the chart i guess

  6. May 19, 2017 11:23 am

    Very odd that in the graphs the UK does not appear to impose any green levies or taxes; but merely VAT. Stealth tax strikes again! The devil is often in the definitions.
    Pleased to see that the energy section in the manifesto leaves all options open; but I have my fingers crossed.

    • HotScot permalink
      May 19, 2017 12:10 pm

      That was the first thing I noticed.

  7. Soren Nielsen permalink
    May 19, 2017 11:24 am

    Hi Paul,

    I am sure you have already seen this fantastic Dilbert?


    Dilbert Comic Strip on 2017-05-14 | Dilbert by Scott Adams The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animation, mashups and more starring Dilbert, Dogbert, Wally, The Pointy Haired Boss, Alice, Asok …


    Soren Nielsen


  8. Tim Hammond permalink
    May 19, 2017 11:44 am

    Having just read the manifesto, it is all very disappointing. For every good idea, there is a bad one, and it is full of contradictions – for example, the government will not “pick winners” but it then describes what it will do which is…pick winners.

    The energy section also says that it will make our energy costs low by making us pay for smart meters. Somehow, in modern Conservative land, making things more costly is making them cheaper.

    And bizarrely it says the Tories will make buying a home cheaper by reforming the process, when the biggest cost by far is Stamp Tax. And the section on trade doesn’t mention imports a single time – despite the whole point of trade being what you get (imports) not what you give!

    Just a mish-mash of bad ideas, lazy and superficial thinking and ignorance.

    • HotScot permalink
      May 19, 2017 12:20 pm

      How can any government justify austerity, which I’m happy to participate in by the way, when it’s wasting £9Bn a year on imaginary AGW?

      The 2016 NHS deficit was, I believe, £2.6Bn. Now, whilst we all know the NHS would consume any amount of money given to it, and more, sorting out a service which actually delivers some value, is surely a better use of the cash.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        May 19, 2017 8:07 pm

        “when it’s wasting £9Bn a year on imaginary AGW?”

        And wasting £12Bn per year on “Foreign Aid”, given to such noble causes as North Korea, Argentina and Zimbabwe too.

        So that’s an extra £21Bn added to our annual borrowing…

      • HotScot permalink
        May 19, 2017 10:26 pm


        Agreed. And the solution might be, for regions other than N.Korea, perhaps for the moment, is simply to provide them access to cheap, fossil fuel derived energy.

        Reduced poverty and famine, self sufficiency and massively increased trade and wealth generation.

        The short term answer, which has been going on for generations now, is to apply the sticking plaster of foreign aid.

        It’s not worked so far and it wont work into the future.

        However, I accept the political landscape relative to foreign aid is much more complicated than the simplistic science of AGW.

  9. Mike Jackson permalink
    May 19, 2017 12:25 pm

    I see a chink of light here!

    Since, as Paul says, the objectives are fundamentally incompatible and May strikes me as being at least moderately open-minded, certainly more so than Cameron was, and her advisors are on record with adverse opinions of the Climate Change Act, there is an opportunity here for a breakthrough in thinking.

    The danger of course is that the green blob in Whitehall will make sure that any Inquiry is loaded with the “right” people and how we poor bloggers get round that is a tricky one. If we could persuade Deben to embark on a two-year fact finding mission to the Falklands it would be a start but what is really needed is someone who can convincingly produce the hard evidence that the claims made for renewables are at best exaggerated and at worst simply rubbish and that on the climate aspect the science has moved on — and even if it hadn’t current energy policy is impoverishing the UK to no measurable climatic benefit at all.

    It will be hard row to hoe but it does look as if May has at least opened the gate into the field!

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    May 19, 2017 1:20 pm

    Mother Theresa has got herself a special dictionary with the word ‘impossible’ removed so therefore anything is possible. As Paul has shown, having the cheapest energy in Europe and signing up to the climate change science fiction can’t be done. On Brexit she is also off with the fairies in a very dangerous way by insisting that trade talks will be concurrent with the succession treaty talks including the payments the UK will have to make. The EU have said quite clearly in their negotiating stance, that is not going to happen. If she sticks to that the talks will be over very quickly and we drop out and off the cliff to bring ourselves the biggest economic crisis in nearly a century.

    • HotScot permalink
      May 19, 2017 1:49 pm


      The UK represents around 20% of the EU’s GDP. France 20% and Germany 30%, the remainder is shared between the other 25 countries. Assuming Italy is contributing no more than the rest (but it very likely is) that’s 30% of GDP spread amongst the 25 which France and Germany are required to fund.

      Any business losing 20% of turnover overnight would be in real trouble, the EU is no different.

      If you don’t think May is walking into negotiations with a big stick, you are very much mistaken. We retain 100% of our 20%.

      And if you also believe deals aren’t already being done with other trading blocs because the EU tell us we’re not allowed to under the 2 year terms of article 50, you are also very much mistaken.

    • richard verney permalink
      May 19, 2017 3:49 pm

      The UK could walk away tomorrow with no deal, and nothing at all with trade would change, simply because there is no infrastructure to accommodate change. Politicians are ignorant of the practicalities.

      Europe would be brought to a grinding halt if one had to check the contents of containers and lorries. There are major arterial highways around all the major container ports, Hamburg Bremmenhaven, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and lesser extent those in France. If you have ever driven along those roads you will know that it is chaos, at the best of times. There are no facilities in the ports or the approaches to the ports that would be necessary to carry out custom checks etc. Much of the cargoes going to Europort are not destined for Europe at all. It is impossible to check all these cargoes and where they are going. Who is going to pay the carriers/shipowners whilst loading/discharge is delayed checking the legitimacy of trade and whether custom duties should be levied? Are shipowners going to be made responsible for infringements as are airlines?

      if we were to walk away, nothing would be done, and it would be an issue that Europe would need to address, but like all issues Europe would kick the can down the road/into the long grass. After a couple of years of having done nothing, laisez faire would continue for ever more.

      Likewise, the City will not lose its business, because its business is based upon the English language, and to a lesser extent due to English law. The vast majority of international trade is conducted in the English language and subject to English law and jurisdiction. English law is highly regarded as clear, sophisticated and fair. Whether that reputation is well founded is a different matter, but that is how it is perceived and so foreigners pick it as the choice of law/forum. As a consequence a side industry of finance, insurance and expertise has developed. all the big commercial exchanges are in London. In commercial matters there are trading deals, charters, joint ventures etc already signed spanning and committing to the next 10, 20 or even more years. There is no prospect of the City losing any significant trade, and nothing would happen should the UK walk away from Europe tomorrow with no deal.

      There is no prospect that Spain (or France) will kick out 1/2 million Brits. It would be absolutely impossible. Countries cannot deport terr0rists, or criminals, what chance has a country got of repatriating 1/2 million or more people? The European Court would be ground to a halt with 1/2 million claims involving aggrieved people claiming that they have a right to a family life in Spain/France etc. It is just not possible for any country to remove/kick out hundreds of thousands of people, and it would destroy the Spanish economy should it try to do so.

      All of this is just posturing since everything is so deeply embedded, there is no practical way that anything could quickly change. .

      My own view is that we should have accepted the demand made by Europe (insisting on an upfront payment of £85 billion, and not discussing trade until other issues resolved) as repudiatory, and we should have accepted that repudiation as bring an end to the negotiations, and simply to have walked away, with immediate effect saying that whilst we have gone, we are always open to sensible discussions should Europe have anything sensible to say.

      We would simply stop paying into Europe. there would be a lot of screams but in practice nothing could be done. the bloc will just carry on trading as it has before. We then just get on with introducing a sensible immigration policy, and decide at our leisure which European laws we wish to keep, and which we should ditch. In the interim, we just pay directly to vested interest groups (scientists, farmers, the Welsh etc) whatever sum they get back from Europe, and then over the next few years review these payment to see whether they represent value for money or whether there are better uses of resources. .

      • A C Osborn permalink
        May 19, 2017 4:07 pm

        We shouldn’t pay £85 let alone £85Billion.
        Just walk away.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        May 19, 2017 6:56 pm

        The vision that Merkel was conjuring up (as was Booker in a couple of his articles — and there is no way you can call him other than the severest of Eurosceptics) was of queues of lorries on this side of the Channel.

        I’m sorry, Richard, but I think you have caught the wishful thinking bug. There would be nothing simpler than for the EU to embargo all unchecked freight traffic through Eurotunnel and any of the Channel ports leaving a dedicated route for sealed containers only into Rotterdam. I’m not saying it would happen but to say it can’t happen is wrong.

        And there are 101 other ways the EU can be bloody-minded if we choose to be bloody-minded. The Open Skies Agreement would be a good starting point. And there is no need to deport anyone. Once the UK leaves without an agreement my right to live in France ceases as (quite probably) do reciprocal health arrangements, tax arrangements, you name it.

        I’m not saying any of these things will necessarily come to pass but simply to declare that they can’t is not, in my view, making May’s job any easier and (also in my view) increases the chances that some of them will come to pass because we would be caught unprepared for them.

        Rather like governments being so obsessed with global warming that they are making no contingency plans for the possible coming cooling. Same set of blinkers!

      • richard verney permalink
        May 20, 2017 2:27 am


        All these ports have developed, these past 40/50 years, as freeports and there is no infrastructure to deal with the issues that an embargo would raise.

        If you block exports from say Felxstowe, or from the UK through the channel tunnel, it has a knock on effect and causes backups from the continent into Felixstowe or from the continent through the channel tunnel. This cripples ports and roads in Europe, as nothing flows. If there is an accident on one side of the motorway, there is usually a slow up on the other side, and that is so even when there is no direct causal link. But with trade everything is deeply embedded.

        If the EU embargoed goods from the UK as you suggest, then all European hauliers would have a huge number of their lorries stuck in the UK (with back haul cargoes). This would cripple the European hauliers since they would not have their rigs available on the continent for the next pick up in Europe. These rigs are committed 24/7 365 days a week. They cannot be stuck in the UK because Europe is placing an embargo on goods exported from the UK..

        Ditto with containers; there would suddenly be a container shortage. Look at the owners/operators of containers such as Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg Sud, CMA CGM (MSC which is Swiss but no doubt would be caught up as part of EFTA). etc. What would these companies do with all these boxes stuck in the UK? How will they transport there next shipment say from Antwerp to HongKong, or the US when their containers they were going to use for the next shipment are stuck in the UK? These container firms either own or operate ships, and who is going to compensate them for delay? Will Denmark bail out Maersk?

        If the open skies was rescinded then no businessman could travel to or from the UK. Given that about 90% of all European international trade is governed by UK law and jurisdiction, and given that there is so much UK consultancy work, that would be a disaster for European business. This would prevent businesses meeting their lawyers, or their lawyers meeting their clients. According to Wikipedia, of the top 100 international law firms by revenue, only 1 is European (Messrs Fidal which is French coming in at number 100 on the list). Further, there are a lot of large companies like Shell (Anglo Dutch) which would be placed in an impossible position of their staff cannot travel between their offices.

        And don’t forget that Germany sells about £100 billion per year to the UK, whereas the UK only sells about £15 billion per year to Germany. Our trade deficit with Germany is about £7 billion per month. The last thing Germany can afford at this stage is to risk that trade.

        Embargoes as you suggest, are the nuclear war option where there are no winners. Europe is teetering on the brink of recession, the last thing it needs is to commit suicide by crippling its trade. As it is thrown into turmoil, there will never be consensus as to what action Europe should take since each country will face different issues and self interest will emerge.

        I am not saying that theoretically nothing can be done, just that the practical realities are such that nothing could be done quickly. The practicalities are such that if we were to walk away tomorrow, everything would go on as it does today since there are no systems/infrastructure in place that could accommodate change anytime soon.

        The last thing one wants is politicians negotiating since they have no real world experience, and appear to lack all commonsense.

      • May 20, 2017 1:04 pm

        WTO rules may not be the easy option some imagine.

        ‘Trucks waiting to cross the Channel at Dover will be backed up the motorway all the way to London.’

      • catweazle666 permalink
        May 20, 2017 1:21 pm

        “‘Trucks waiting to cross the Channel at Dover will be backed up the motorway all the way to London.’”

        So what?

        By the same token, ‘trucks waiting to cross the Channel at Calais will be backed up the motorway all the way to Paris.’

        All this doom and gloom entirely ignores that for all their posturing and bluster the EU is not about to make trade difficult with their biggest trading partner, the German automakers, the French farmers and the Spanish tourist trade – to name but three factions – will not stand for it,

        Then there are matters such as the Airbuses on the line at Toulouse, waiting for their wings, engines, undercarriages and avionics, all of which are predominantly sourced from the UK, not to mention the spares and service contracts that are necessary to keep all those Tornados and Typhoons in the EU air forces airborne.

        We don’t need to officially embargo the export of such components, a few “lost” pieces of paperwork will do the job very nicely.

        I am astonished at the number of apparently intelligent, well-informed commenters who appear unable to grasp that the EU stands to lose a crippling amount of trade itself if it gets too heavy with the UK, the EU stands to lose a comparable amount of trade to the UK, and what is more, much of our imports from the EU – especially in areas like food – can be readily replaced with imports from our old Commonwealth friends, something the EU will not be able to do with most of their imports from the UK, technology in particular. Don’t forget even the Germans pay us to build their Formula One Silver Arrows, as do many other European F1 teams.

        It just isn’t going to happen.

  11. May 19, 2017 2:26 pm

    I had hoped that fear of losing votes to UKIP would have driven the Tories towards their energy policy, but UKIP are now toast.

    Here is my energy policy, a guaranteed vote winner with all but the uber-green metro public sector income brigade: Set a cap of around 5% of electricity bills that can be used to pay for “improvements” to the system, the govt of the day can decide what an improvement is, such as “smart” meters or renewable subsidies. What fun it would be to watch the various “green” factions fight it out for some of this 5%.

  12. May 19, 2017 2:44 pm

    Reblogged this on Counter Factual and commented:
    Energy prices? So that would include road fuel? A massive reduction in fuel duties is on the way?!

  13. A C Osborn permalink
    May 19, 2017 4:04 pm

    They can make any promises they like, especially about 2050 as they will not be held accountable for any of them.
    It is just like Labour’s wish list, they don’t expect to actually win, so they don’t need to cost any of it.

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