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‘Green tax’ now costs every British household £149 a year, British Gas says as it blames government meddling for price hike

August 2, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

 

British Gas announced an increase in electricity prices yesterday, which inevitably attracted the ire of hypocritical politicians, even though the rise only matched those already announced by the other big energy companies a few months ago.

Regardless of the merits of this particular increase, government policies are now directly responsible for a significant chunk of electricity bills. Yet having sat through ITV News last night, the BBC’s Today programme, and read a pathetic article in yesterday’s Telegraph by the increasingly biased Jillian Ambrose, I found no mention of that fact at all.

Thankfully, today the Telegraph’s Deputy Political Editor, Steven Swinford, puts the record straight:

image

 

 

Green taxes will cost households almost £150 from next year, British Gas has claimed as it blamed the Government for a huge rise in electricity bills for three million of its customers.

 

Britain’s biggest supplier announced that from September electricity prices will increase by 12.5 per cent, adding £76 to the typical annual bill.

The company said that the cost of green subsidies levied on bills has created “significant pressures” and suggested that it had no choice but to respond by raising prices.

However the ministers last night hit back by suggesting that the price rises are unjustified as it told the regulator to do more to safeguard vulnerable customers.

Government sources highlighted the fact that British Gas is also axing a £15 dual fuel discount currently enjoyed by 3.1 million of its customers from September.

 

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Ministers claimed they have not ruled out imposing an energy price cap, although the measure appeared to have been abandoned after the Tories disastrous performance in the General Election.

The announcement by British Gas also added to mounting tensions in the Conservative Party over the current push for renewable energy.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has signalled that more wind farms may need to be built to power a new generation of electric cars under Government plans to ban the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles.

His plans are opposed by some Tory MPs, who accused the Government of punishing hard-working families with green taxes.

Owen Paterson, a Tory MP and former Environment Secretary, said: “It is the most regressive form of taxation since the Sherriff of Nottingham, transferring money from those who are the least well off to wealthy landowners and businesses. It’s robbing the poor to pay the rich.

“We are getting less and less competitive with countries like America, where lower energy prices mean that whole industries are coming back.

“We are going in the opposite direction. We should have a free market in technology. It would be very much mistaken to continue increasing subsidies to failed forms of renewables like wind.”

British Gas forecast that the cost of the subsidies, which are used to fund renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, will hit £149 next year having risen by by two-thirds since 2014.

The Office for Budget responsibility, the fiscal watchdog, has forecast that environmental levies will rise from £4.6billion in 2015-16 to £13.5billion by 2022.

British Gas also said that the cost of delivering energy to people’s homes will have increased by £25, equivalent to almost a fifth, by 2018. One senior Tory claimed that transmission costs have increased partly because wind farms and other renewable energy sources are located so far from where people live.

Ian Conn, the chief executive of British Gas’s parent company Centrica, said: “We have seen our wholesale costs fall by about £36 on the typical bill since the beginning of 2014 and that is not the driver. It is transmission and distribution of electricity to the home and government policy costs that are driving our price increase.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “We don’t recognise these figures put out by British Gas. A number of independent reports have shown energy policy costs make up a relatively small proportion of household energy bills.

“The Business and Energy Secretary has written to Ofgem asking what action the regulator intends to take to safeguard customers on the poorest value tariffs and the future of the standard variable tariff. We want to see rapid progress on this commitment and are ruling nothing out.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/01/british-gas-says-green-taxes-will-cost-households-149-year-blames/

 

Yet the BEIS are still in denial!

We don’t recognise these figures put out by British Gas”

Does this mean they don’t believe the OBR either?

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http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/efo/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2017/

 

Let’s break the numbers down then for them.

  • Cost of environmental levies next year – £10.7bn
  • 36% of electricity goes to domestic users
  • There are about 26 million households
  • Therefore green subsidies will account for £148pa on domestic electricity bills next year.

And this does not account for all of the extra costs that will be imposed as a result of government policy.

The roll out of smart meters will cost about £11bn. Spread over five years, this will add another £84 a year for each household.

Billions are also being spent on upgrading transmission lines and infrastructure, to cater for remote wind farms, which British Gas estimates will amount to £25 per household. This would imply an annual cost of around £2bn, assuming domestic users only pay their share.

 

 

In the fake story written by Jillian Ambrose yesterday, she reported:

A Government spokesman said it was concerned that the price rise would hit many people already on poor-value tariffs.

“Government policy costs make up a relatively small proportion of household energy bills. Wholesale prices are the bigger portion of household bills and are coming down,” the spokesman said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/01/british-gas-hikes-electricity-prices-125pc/

 

When will this ridiculous woman actually check the facts, instead of just repeating propaganda from the government and her friends in the renewable lobby?

If she did, she would know that wholesale prices have actually risen by 6% in the last 12 months.

image

http://www.catalyst-commercial.co.uk/reports/127/business-energy-market-brief—jul17/

 

 

Politicians across the board have, of course, rushed to condemn the wicked capitalists at British Gas, in order to deflect attention from their part in the saga.

Such bare faced hypocrisy ignores the fact that British Gas have not increased prices for gas, despite higher wholesale prices this year.

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49 Comments
  1. Ian Magness permalink
    August 2, 2017 10:39 am

    Great article Paul. The government pretends that it’s not causing the price rises and wants to blame those crooks in the Big 6. The stupid MSM – as clearly evidenced by Centrica’s toasting on both the BBC and Sky News yesterday, just lap up the cross-party line and fall for it hook, line and sinker.
    Utilities are like banks – we may not like them but they are a crucial part of running the country and, as independent companies we can only abuse them so far before they pack it all in. Little wonder that the corporate football-in-chief (Centrica) won’t invest in nuclear power – they’d never recoup their losses, the government commitments would be worthless, and they’d just get kicking after kicking from whoever was in power at the time.

    And all this before the real cost of “green” energy hits the public and their energy bills on a few years’ time. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  2. Robert Fairless permalink
    August 2, 2017 10:47 am

    How can we exclude ignorant, mad or foolish politicians from interfering in business. Everything they touch they make a mess of it and it always involves squandering our money. The Climate Change Act is a classic example; a folly beyond measure. Perfectly good power stations closed down and changed to burning wood pellets which are obtained by destroying countless thousands of acres of forest in North America. And of course the huge subsidies paid to owners of wind turbines whether or not they produce electricity; they receive compensation for when the wind does not blow or it blows too much or the electricity is not needed and all the generators paid for stand-by in case everything else fails. It is madness beyond the ken of even Alice in Wonderland. All of it supervised and controlled by supposedly educated men who somehow have loss their reason and cannot even recognise their folly. How much does it cost? They don’t dare tell us!
    In the meantime the poor, helpless taxpaying public suffers with no chance of recompense.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 2, 2017 12:54 pm

      Politicians are locked in a world of their own where nothing like information can make it through. A lot of business groups – those that do have a clue on Brexit – have given up bothering to try to talk to the government as they are not capable of listening and learning. Michael O’Leary is meeting Grayling today as the clock is ticking for air travel since flight programmes are booked months in advance and it is hard to schedule flights in the absence of the ability to fly in, out or over the UK as it currently stands. South Australia received a boost when Holden closed down the factory – just 13500 jobs sacrificed – so reducing electricity demand. But on the other hand this took away daytime demand which would help traditional generation demand to control grid frequency stability.

      • Tim Hammond permalink
        August 2, 2017 1:46 pm

        That’s a total red herring. Ryanair assumes that a deal isn’t done, which is utterly preposterous since the EU needs to fly to the UK just as much as the UK needs to fly to the EU. O’Leary is not even a UK citizen yet is trying to get the result of the referendum overturned using scare tactics. The DFT is well aware of the issue, it just doesn’t need to shout using a megaphone every minute of the day. Similarly with the US the default is to revert to Bermuda II if necessary – no US politician is going to stop the most lucrative and important air services the US has – it’s perfectly possible just to keep flying provided nobody challenges what it happening, and non-one would.

        And flying over the UK or the EU is not a problem, since it’s covered by different, standard agreements that do not require negotiation if it ever came to that.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 3, 2017 12:58 pm

        Oh dear, Tim, not the ‘they need us’ EU mantra again. Sadly that is the government’s negotiating plan too as they believe the right at the end the EU will crack a smile and say, ‘Only bluffing – you can have everything you had as member when you leave.’ Except they won’t and we can’t and there is very little time left. And your comic ‘it’s perfectly possible just to keep flying provided nobody challenges’ had me splitting my sides. Straight out the Tory ‘Ultra Brexiteer’ story book. And your knowledge of international aviation agreements is very limited. Read and learn http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86486

    • Rowland H permalink
      August 2, 2017 2:28 pm

      And also supposedly educated women – my MP is Claire Perry who has now been elevated to Climate Change Minister. She is totally wedded to the new religion and is frightfully proud of the wonderful policies she is promoting without any consideration of the financial burden she is placing on the average or lower paid person. I am trying to re-educate her but it’s an uphill struggle!

      • August 3, 2017 11:07 am

        Keep at it, Rowland. It’s the only way.

        Why not go and have a look at Gosselin’s NoTricksZone, do a count of the number of papers that he lists (peer-reviewed, of course) that conclude that CO2 is a (near-)irrelevance to climate and ask why she chooses not to pay attention to them?

        Or variations on this theme. One day we will get through to the politicians that we are all being comprehensively lied to so that they can pursue their anti-civilisation agenda and that they have infiltrated the relevant departments to the extent that ministers simply cannot trust them to provide objective, impartial advice. Everything they do is coloured (green, usually) by the obsession with what I call “unpicking the industrial revolution”.

        Derek Buxton—next time tell him we’re sitting on enough shale gas for us never to worry about “movements in international fossil fuel prices” because we will be the ones setting the price! That ought to shut him up for a minute or two anyway!

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      August 3, 2017 10:03 am

      Unfortunately all too true. I have several times commented on this and told my MP, who replied as follows, “decarbonising the UK’s energy supplies will reduce our exposure of our energy prices to movements in international fossil fuel prices. the Government has always been clear that this must be achieved at the lowest possible cost to consumers”. I am struggling to find an answer without using inappropriate language. He looks English, talk English but must be living on another planet to us all.

  3. Joe Public permalink
    August 2, 2017 10:51 am

    “Let’s break the numbers down then for them.

    Cost of environmental levies next year – £10.7bn
    36% of electricity goes to domestic users
    There are about 26 million households
    Therefore green subsidies will account for £148pa on domestic electricity bills next year.”

    Sorry Paul, that’s not correct; and Jillian Ambrose made the same error:

    Households bear the entire cost of £10.7bn *except* the small proportion of that borne by industry & commerce which the latter manage to pass on to their overseas customers in the form of price rises.

    Industry & commerce pass the rest of their increased overheads onto households in the form of price increases for their goods & services.

    • M/C DB permalink
      August 2, 2017 11:40 am

      Theoretically you are right JP, but it is only assuming that price elasticity is infinite, that is where the manufacturer or business is able to pass that cost on, in many cases goods and services are competing globally so if manufacturers have competition from outside the UK it will not be true. These costs are paid by business, yes, they may recoup some from increased sales prices, but other costs savings will have to be made otherwise these increases will just put businesses out of business.Hence the fact we have virtually no Steel or Aluminium smelters in the UK anymore.

      • Joe Public permalink
        August 2, 2017 4:44 pm

        M/C DB

        In practice I’m right.

        There’s *no one else* to pay those costs.

        “…. we have virtually no Steel or Aluminium smelters in the UK anymore.” because our energy costs & environmental costs are so high & stringent, that those processes have been off-shored to countries with lower costs & laxer enviro regs.

        Other cost savings ( via efficiency-gains etc) are irrelevant in this context.

    • August 2, 2017 12:33 pm

      That’s what’s so insidious about ‘free, green energy’. The overall cost to a nation’s economy will never be acknowledged by the ‘suckers’ in power who fell for all of this green hype !

      Just added the comment below to the Telegraph article and maybe you should add your tuppence-worth too !

      Energy is the lifeblood of the economy.

      “…The primary objective of the energy sector is to supply cost-effective energy to the broader economy, allowing it to grow and increase the standard of living of its citizens.

      Artificially pumping up employment in the energy sector per se – and thereby driving down productivity, while driving up costs to the broader economy – is counterproductive to overall net job creation and economic growth.

      It is a sign of increased efficiency if more energy can be produced and delivered with fewer workers, because this expands the overall output potential of the economy…”

      Search for: “wind and solar power drain the lifeblood”

    • Tim Hammond permalink
      August 2, 2017 1:48 pm

      Exactly right, unless they cut jobs or don’t increase wages as much as they otherwise would etc etc. In the end, the only people who can pay for anything are the people. There just isn;t any other group on the planet!

    • August 2, 2017 2:01 pm

      Dead right, Joe

      But £148pa is the cost on domestic energy bills, as British Gas have said

      • richard verney permalink
        August 3, 2017 12:22 am

        Paul

        See my comment below.

        It may be possible to search Bishophill to obtain further details on the interview that I mention. It is extremely relevant to the misinformation being pushed by Government (Ed Davy at the time was arguing that the cost was only some £10 or £20. Complete rubbish).

    • richard verney permalink
      August 3, 2017 12:19 am

      It is much worse than you suggest.

      About 5 years ago the outgoing chairman (or financial director) of SSE was interviewed by the BBC on Hardtalk. Bishophill carried an article on this interview on which I commented following my listening to the interview (on iplayer).

      The guy from SSE explained that the electricity bill is made up of 3 components, namely 50% covers the cost of supply, 25% covers new infrastructure investment (coupling windfarms to the grid and balancing), and 25% is the green levy, green initiatives (eg., subsiding loft insulation double glazing, cavity wall insulation, boiler replacement) and help to those in fuel poverty (due to the high cost of energy those in fuel poverty are growing year on end).

      So right at the outset one can see that 50% of the electricity bill is made up by green policy initiatives (the push towards renewables, and sustainability). But in addition of the 50% that represents the costs of supply, this is far higher than it would be but for green policies.

      Within the 50% that goes towards the cost of supply, there is the carbon floor tax, the fact that the energy company has to pay the high strike rate for wind and solar, and the compensation paid to windfarms when the grid cannot take the wind energy etc.

      Thus about 60% of the electric bill is directly referable to green policies. The guy from SSE said that the position with respect to gas bills was not as high since there was little infrastructure investment in the gas pipelines/distribution .

      So don’t be fooled, everyone is already paying approximately £400 pa and this is increasing year on end.,

  4. Dung permalink
    August 2, 2017 11:18 am

    And as usual nobody mentions that the increase in costs of the network maintenance is almost totally about coping with renewables

    • Athelstan permalink
      August 2, 2017 11:31 am

      A very inconvenient fact.

  5. Athelstan permalink
    August 2, 2017 11:29 am

    As usual Paul, your analysis is easy to digest and even for the average punter like me, that is why you’re contribution is so vital – honestly.

    This quote:

    When will this ridiculous woman actually check the facts, instead of just repeating propaganda from the government and her friends in the renewable lobby?

    Would that it were only Ms Ambrose but out of the media not just in the UK but worldwide, “repeating propaganda from the government and her friends in the renewable lobby” isn’t that just what they do, act as an echo chamber for the green totalitarians?

    Only CB is left, JD occasionally has an article printed in the DM. David Rose maybe but see the greenmentals and enviromorons having a go at him – he Rose is the most gentle critic of the great scam.

    Is it that the meejah only plump for the quiet life, or are they all worshippers at the altar of green – or simple just too thick and or investigation has just been dropped by this modern generation of ‘cut and paste’ merchants?

    Supine jerks or mindless autobots – your choice is no choice.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 2, 2017 12:47 pm

      Witness the Mail’s offering today where it has a table in the article showing a breakdown of the costs clearly showing how much the government adds through its stupidity and yet has a comment that wails about the evil energy companies. Richard North suggests that the journalists don’t even read their own paper to see the contradictions.

      • Athelstan permalink
        August 2, 2017 11:08 pm

        Here, I have to agree with Northy, clearly the DM hacks don’t.

    • August 3, 2017 11:39 am

      Athelstan

      As one who was for a couple of decades one of these meejah-wallahs, albeit at a very low level, I can assure you that responsible competent journalism is dying on its feet.

      The last bastion was the genuinely local press now subsumed into two or three conglomerates whose house style is visible right across the UK from the Littlehampton Gazette to the Fraseburgh Herald. The principle of not annoying your advertisers has been raised to an art form and not telling your readers things that might upset them is the order of the day.

      When I was working, the default destination for press releases was the round file. If we decided it might be worth something we would phone the contact number and ask a few questions. This often did not go down well. I learnt a valuable lesson when I was told that if it was good enough for national media it was good enough for us. “Who did we thnk we were ,,,” etc,

      National press journalists, with a few honourable exceptions, are hacks. I suggest this as an experiment. Pick a straightforward headline from any of today’s papers (exclusives and current affairs largely excluded) and google that headline. It may take a couple of goes but pretty soon you will find one where at least the first four or five pages of hits show that exact headline and word for word the story under it.

      Enjoy!

  6. August 2, 2017 12:49 pm

    Consumers should demand a proper breakdown of utility bills, OK reasonably happy to spend 10% on maintaining the network, OK with 60% on paying for fuels, but what do I get for 20% spent on environmental levies. Precisely what effect has my 20% had on the environment?

  7. keith permalink
    August 2, 2017 1:06 pm

    Good article in The Times by Matt Ridley explaining the buggers muddle the Government has made of our energy policy. Available on GWPF website. As Paul says our Government are showing themselves to be complete idiots. How long can they carry on like this? Somebody must challenge them.

    It would be good if Sky took to their senses and took the opposite view to BBC on the whole energy issue, then we may see some debate and challenging of the idiot path our Government is taking.

    • Tim Hammond permalink
      August 2, 2017 1:51 pm

      It will never happen because the people who work at Sky firmly believe that CO2 is evil and businesses are just as bad. Like their BBC brethren (e.g. Linekar), they are happy to take home pay that puts them into the top 1% of earners, and then lecture the rest of society about how they have to pay more.

      • roger permalink
        August 2, 2017 2:33 pm

        If you are astonished by the wage Lineker earns for analysis of matches already played and broadcasted live hours before by the people at Sky who believe that business is bad, then download Mobdro to your android and enjoy for free the live matches, safe in the knowledge that neither Lineker nor Sky will profit from your action.
        Your hand in their pockets will go a long way to redressing their wholehearted approval of regressive green hands in yours.

      • Athelstan permalink
        August 2, 2017 11:17 pm

        tee hee Roger and so right mate!

        btw football got stupid now even more stoopid with Neymar’s bonkers transfer deal to PSG it is reckoned the overall package to be worth £400 million give or take a few squids. My father could remember getting on the bus and some of the first team were travellers with him down to the ground, where he would pay to watch them……………how times change – eh?

        Even in Lineker’s day, can you imagine the poor darlings faces if the 1st team coach turned to them and said, due to circumstances way beyond – “we’ll have to catch the charabanc to Walsall!”

  8. August 2, 2017 1:08 pm

    It is quite obvious that the energy companies are being forced to act as tax collectors. I am surprised that they have not reacted to this by making this tax element totally transparent in their invoices and bills.
    It is time we took the stealth out of this highly regressive stealth tax.

    • Tim Hammond permalink
      August 2, 2017 1:53 pm

      There’s nothing businesses like more than opacity around what they are charging. It makes comparisons very difficult, and makes it hard to know whether you are getting value or not, and what you are actually paying for.

      What is so hypocritical is that the government pushes businesses to be more transparent (rightly so) but when it comes to the costs of government policy are utterly against transparency.

  9. CheshireRed permalink
    August 2, 2017 1:09 pm

    * How much for interconnects linking wind and solar farms with the National Grid?
    * How much did STOR cost to install and maintain, and how much for its stand-by energy?
    * How much does the carbon floor tax raise?
    * How much is the total back-up for ALL our ‘renewables’ tech’? This is usually overlooked but imo if renewables are so unreliable as to require back-up – and they are, then why isn’t the cost of that all that back-up included as a legitimate cost component of a renewables policy?
    * How much is the cost of lost opportunity? Namely we’re using electricity that’s far more expensive than it needs to be and alternative electricity would save the nation untold £billions. That would mean more orders and contracts, better profits and so on. Almost an impossible calculation to make, I’d suggest.
    * What is the cost of running DECC (or whatever it’s called these days) plus all other ‘green’ NGO’s?
    * What other accounting tricks are being deployed to hide the real costs?

    I fear our entire governing class has completely lost the plot.

    • richard verney permalink
      August 3, 2017 12:29 am

      See my comment above for a bit of an insight into all of that direct from one of the largest suppliers of energy in the UK.

  10. Dung permalink
    August 2, 2017 1:41 pm

    It took the British public 40 years (plus) to fully realise the problems of the EU and vote to get us out. If it takes that long for them to figure out what is happening with climate change and renewable energy then I will be long gone before we get any progress.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 3, 2017 1:05 pm

      The changing climate might be bringing a rude awakening much sooner than that looking around the globe at the cold weather that is making the real news as opposed to the legacy media fake news. After all, we were told that the warming was back, albeit without mentioning it was due to a big El Nino, so surely it can only get warmer right? And now wholesale fiddling of data is emerging from Australia, and with fiddling elsewhere, how much global cooling is actually being hidden?

  11. Green Sand permalink
    August 2, 2017 2:26 pm

    Paul, apologies for some OT content but the following is worthy of as wide an audience as possible:-

    ‘If I Wanted Britain to Fail’

    If I wanted Britain to fail …To follow, not lead; to decline, not prosper; to despair, not dream. I would start with sovereignty. Even after the vote to leave, I’d continue to cede all law making to the unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels. In return for this I would pay an exit fee of £100 billion and remain within the protectionst Single Market, ignoring the open possibilities for trade agreements with the US and Anglo spere nations. I’d police myself ruthlessly to ensure that I continue to comply with all EU laws and pay vast fines if I break rules whilst other members continue to flaunt the rules with impunity. I’d give up any remaining judicial authority that I have and look to the European Court of Justice to arbitrate in all our affairs I’d show the world how selfless I am by keeping our borders open to the vast Muslim hordes who have accepted Frau Merkel’s open invitation to come and live in Europe.

    If I wanted Britain to fail…I’d cover up any Muslim attacks on our society with claims of lone wolf, no link to terrorism claims, quickly burying the news with fake stories about president Trump, President Assad or President Putin. I would demonise any perpetrator of a revenge attack as being part of a right wing, hate group that has to be eliminated. I would direct the police to stamp out any questioning of the multicultural message. I would effectively kettle the likes of Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage and others to ensure their awkward messages are never given the oxygen of publicity by the mainstream media. I would introduce legislation to shut down websites like Going Postal and Breitbart to keep the public in ignorance. I would ensure talented, pragmatists such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, Owen Patterson and John Redwood are never elevated to positions of power.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I’d ban any mention of Christianity in our schools, I’d segregate classes into boys and girls and allow the wearing of hijabs or burkas. I would also ban crucifixes so that no offence would be given to our burgeoning Muslim population. I’d ensure young children are taught about the benefits of diverse sexual orientation and encourage them to explore and experiment with their sexuality. I would focus science education on manmade climate change and ensure that they were aware that we never had named storms before 2015 and worse weather would come unless they changed their lifestyles. I’d ensure that more and more children take out large loans to take University courses in subjects that add no value but provides an opportunity to extensively expose them to the thinking of the liberal intellectuals who have pervaded all our institutions.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I would create countless new regulations and make the old ones more draconian. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance – I’d give generous tax breaks to Google, Apple, Facebook, Goldman Sachs and others to ensure they help spread the right message, restrict the bloggosphere and reward the favoured elites. I’d force manufacturers to shut down production of successful British brands such as the Landrover Discovery and high performance Dyson vacuum cleaners for failing to meet EU safety and environmental regulations. Meanwhile I’ll allow German manufacturers like VW and Bosch to mislead the British public with exaggerated claims for their products without penalty.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I’d be the only country in Europe to enshrine impossible CO2 reduction targets in law. I’d take more than my share of the greenhouse emissions reduction targets and give others countries a free ride because of it. I’d make everyone feel guilty for using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers the economy. I’d make cheap energy like gas and coal expensive, so that expensive energy like wind and solar would seem cheap. I would all-but-outlaw Britain’s most abundant sources of energy. I’d shut down our existing nuclear and coal and make shale gas so difficult and costly it wouldn’t be worth doing. I’d announce a ban on diesel and petrol cars so that we would lose what is left of our car industry and only the elite would be able to have their own cars in the future. I’d turn a blind eye to Germany building new coal fired electricity generating stations. I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our global economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost billions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … For every concern, I’d invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I’d invent a bogeyman. I’d encourage the EU to expand into the Russian sphere of influence. I’d run down our own defences but support the creation of a European Army to stare down Putin. I’d bomb the allies of Assad even though they are the only ones fighting IS on the ground. I’d try and get Turkey into the EU so that we might have more workers willing to accept very low pay to come to the UK to prop up the Ponzi scheme that is our economy for a little longer. I’d bestow £12 billion a year in foreign aid ensuring it goes on rewarding placemen, crony executives, reducing carbon footprints and into the hands of the local despots – I’d seek to bring about regime change where strong leaders do not share my world view on human rights.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, fishermen to fish, miners to mine, builders to build and driller to drill. And because I don’t believe in free markets, I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them on imaginary markets. I’d raise prices and disguise this as a subsidy to prop up uneconomic green industries. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy. I’d make it easier to stop industry than start it – easier to kill jobs than create them I’d make it impossible to fire the lazy or incompetent. I’d completely open our borders and incentivise economic migrants with the promise of generous benefits and free health care paid for by ever increasing taxes levied on the few. I’d ensure that I could buy the votes by making beneficiaries of the handouts and plethora of public sector jobs greater in number than those actually creating real value. I’d put my like thinking cronies in highly paid executive positions of publicly funded charities and NGO’s. I’d encourage them to lobby the government to do my bidding.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I would prey on the goodness and decency of the ordinary people.
    I would only need the BBC, the MSM, schools and the civil service to convince them that by fully leaving the EU would be to enter a dystopian world where there would be no jobs, no security, migrant camps, no future – a Britain unable to determine its destiny or be successful in a terrifying world of uncertainty and change.

    If I wanted Britain to fail … I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing. Theresa May and her pathetic cabinet of lapdogs are doing an excellent job.

    http://www.going-postal.net/2017/08/if-i-wanted-britain-to-fail.html

    • Dung permalink
      August 2, 2017 9:40 pm

      One of the best, if not the best blog post I ever read! Thank you Green Sand.

      • Athelstan permalink
        August 2, 2017 11:26 pm

        seconded, a rip roaring polemic.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      August 3, 2017 10:17 am

      Great article, must copy it for posterity. Although it would seem that we are very close to to achieving the ends you so well explain. The May person appears to be right on track!!!!

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      August 3, 2017 11:19 am

      I though that I’d written this: wish I had. Tragically true.

    • August 3, 2017 12:04 pm

      I stopped reading that when I discovered its author doesn’t know the difference between “flaunt” and “flout”.

      Is there nowhere left where we can hold civilised discussions without dragging Brexit into it? Or do I have to give up posting here as well?

  12. Tim Hammond permalink
    August 2, 2017 2:31 pm

    I’m just relieved David Cameron’s not very well off father gets so much money for having wind farms on the land that was given to him. I can also sleep easy tonight in the knowledge he also likely benefits from constraint payments as well. Bills are only going to go one way and several companies today will not be with us in 2018.

  13. August 2, 2017 5:30 pm

    Paul for a full discussion of the costs of ‘green energy’ please see Peter Lilley’s report:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2016/12/CCACost-Dec16.pdf

  14. August 2, 2017 6:04 pm

    Jo Nova’s blog has a recent report: ‘Australians paying $600 per household to subsidize wind and solar’.

    Not sure what the Oz dollar is worth, but it sounds like a lot of subsidy.

    • dave permalink
      August 3, 2017 7:05 am

      You ain’t see nothin yet!

      When the Government starts pushing hydrogen through the gas pipes they will discover that they have broken the entire network by embrittlement, and the lot will have to be dug up and replaced with high grade specialist steels.

      £Trillions of waste to come!!

  15. August 3, 2017 7:42 am

    There is no reasoning with the disciples of AGW. We need to be saved from ourselves and pay the price. It’s virtually a cult!

    • Athelstan permalink
      August 3, 2017 8:16 am

      those sparkling vacant eyes, that formidable implacable self belief, the forceful unending argumentative haranguing and all back up with “we’re here to save you Brother…………or here life departs from your body”………..

      Remind you of any sort of cult?

  16. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 3, 2017 8:54 am

    Paul, I expect you’ve seen this article about smart meters in the Telegraph.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/six-reasons-say-no-smart-meter/

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      August 3, 2017 8:57 am

      I also notice that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has a piece claiming that they’re close to zero cost CCS, but that’s in the premium section.

  17. Europeanonion permalink
    August 3, 2017 9:04 am

    Am I right in thinking that there are two costs against the household? One is the direct increase in costs as highlighted by the Centrica bubble, the £149? The second, the inestimable costs added to manufactures and services which the consumer will be presented with? I don’t know how many people within the UK are actually sold on the idea of AGW but it is a certain fact that there are but a few eco-warriors that seem capable of holding the rest of the population hostage. I believe that this can only be achieved with the government’s complicity. There seems to be this rather turgid balancing act in play. That the government seeks to placate those with concerns about climate while allowing (and seemingly not encouraging) fossil fuel exploration. By doing so they lend equal weight to the few protesters ranged against the majority of consumers and the impoverished which they accept as being inequitable.

    We bang-on about the sacredness of the vote, the very thing that is the bedrock of our Brexit stance zealously promoted by the government. Yet that vote seems to be something which can be largely ignored in regard to the generality of issues especially when politics attempts to be all things to all men. How can austerity and the hours of debate as to its nature and origins be deemed pertinent in some quarters when the means of decreasing or annulling that imposition are contested so manically by the same clique? If those suffering most through government saving were asked to allow ‘fracking’ what would they say? Which issue is of most important to them? The cost of goods and services, the comfort of home life at this instant or some supposition of future existence yet ill-defined? It is as though we are on the cusp of a Mr Benz exhibiting his car or, prior, Stephenson’s exhibiting of his locomotive and the government encouraging a horse breeding program. Yet the hopelessness of our cause is the thing which gains primacy over the unexpected positives that man conjures with.

    Our politics is conducted as much through the newsrooms of the leading broadcasters as through Parliament. The daily grind of our parlousness played-out in ‘not’ news, daily contrivances of all the worst aspects of our being juggled as though they were runes. Happiness has almost become impossible, it is the snake eating its tail, as the news insists that no one can know joy without someone suffering or being squashed. Instead we are treated to the harrowing details of existence to the extent that, on any given day, a death outside the normal expectation can be found and interrogated for every scintilla of emotion. Someone can be found to be suffering as a result of life and others can be discovered who are not rich and not thriving. We are never entitled to know how such people contributed to their situations and commonality. The most unfathomable aspects of human life represented as a given. Romantic commentary is free with its emotions and if nothing stirring can be found that plays on livid sensibilities then presenters, seemingly, will be seen to have failed. But they are but a dramatic evocation which will, by necessity, fall on necromancy, lack of candour, undue focus and the coercion of circumstances. Global Warning is an ideal topic for the media of today especially as the jury is still out and fanciful wilfulness can intrude.

  18. Jack Broughton permalink
    August 3, 2017 12:30 pm

    Another excellent, straightforward review that cuts through the bullshit that the BBC etc inundate us with.

    It occurs to me that we are paying overseas suppliers and developers very handsomely for our follies. Apparently we generate about 55 TWh from wind and solar and have imported all of the plant and pay overseas developers about £ 100 / MWh. That amounts to £ 5.5 b / year of trade-gap.

    It seems that we have about 15 GWe of unreliables installed at a cost of something less than £15b. What a fantastic return on capital, even allowing for taxes and the cut that has to be paid to wealthy land-owners. Even though these are back-of envelope calcs, these “capital imports” have to be paid for ultimately be exporting more …. expensive power of course stops that: See Green Sand above for the consequences.

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