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Billions, Schmillions!

April 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood



h/t Joe Public, who dug this out of the archives:




It tells us a couple of things (apart from the fact that Jesse Norman is an idiot!):

1) When these sort of numbers trip off politicians’ tongues, it is no more than gobbledegook to them. They have no appreciation of how the sums are calculated, or what they represent.

£47 million? £47 billion? £47 trillion? Who knows? Who cares? They are just numbers on a piece of paper to them.

2) The cost of the smart meter, even at an optimistic £11bn, works out at over £400 per household.

At £47 per year, it will take a decade for the savings to recoup the initial cost, even assuming that they save anything at all.

If proof were needed that the smart meter programme is a scandalous waste of money, Jesse Norman has provided it!

  1. April 13, 2018 6:08 pm

    It’s other peoples’ money, so politicians don’t care how much they are wasting or how much they are giving away to their chums. For politicians, controlling our money, it’s a case of “I’m all right Jack” as they give themselves big salaries, big perks and big pensions.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 14, 2018 2:03 pm

      By some corporate levels their salary is not big – although there is a good argument that given their ignorance and stupidity they are vastly overpaid – but their perks of cheap bar and food, and their best pension scheme in the country is a disgrace. And then members of the governing party grovel and brown-nose to get ministerial roles so that they can then get lucrative jobs outside parliament. I always wonder at why businesses fawn over themselves to pay ex-ministers big money for what is usually very little work given that they are so stupid. But then Brexit is currently exposing how stupid the business community is and how little they understand what will hit them when we become a ‘third country’ at the end of the transition period. The EU have now produced 62 notices to stakeholders that sets out our future but nobody in industry, government or the legacy media has bothered to read them.

  2. perkscan permalink
    April 13, 2018 6:25 pm

    It’s standard practice for Ministers in Parliament to give wrong answers to formal question, if the right answer is known to be embarrassing or shows the Minister’s Department in a bad light. They get away with it because they know they can change the answer after the event by slipping a correction out later, via Hansard, thereby covering themselves against the charge of “misleading Parliament”. By then the potential problems or difficult matters arising from the right answer have been avoided.

    • Thomas Donoghue permalink
      April 14, 2018 4:49 pm

      Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock of Bedwellty, his wife Lady Kinnock of Holyhead and son Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon, have all been busy banging the gravy train. Notably in relation to the European Union; highly paid, publicly funded jobs followed by mega-pensions(their daughter Rachel has also enjoyed the fruits of the public purse). Leaving Ministerial pay to one side, MPs claim expenses adding up to almost £80 million a year, the equivalent of £118,000 each. Poor Politicians I’ll send them a donation !!

  3. Athelstan permalink
    April 13, 2018 6:40 pm

    As a quick rule of thumb, if the government are recommending it, then avoid it like the plague.

    • Bill permalink
      April 13, 2018 7:40 pm

      Too true.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    April 13, 2018 8:03 pm

    “At £47 per year, it will take a decade for the savings to recoup the initial cost, ….. ”

    The correction was:

    “It will save £47 per year on a household’s energy bill by 2030.”

    Jesse Norman’s statement remains true even if there are increased costs for the next decade, then, just a single year with a £47 saving!

    Perhaps that’s why that particular set of words was chosen?

    • Bill permalink
      April 13, 2018 8:46 pm

      It’s that magic future which is where everything good arrives as long as the pain is suffered in that tiny slot between future and past which only exists in mp/media crystal balls.

  5. Andrew permalink
    April 13, 2018 10:04 pm

    I try to live my life in such a way that things like truth, honesty and integrity matter. Maybe I don’t always succeed but at least I try. I find it deeply disturbing and depressing that our politicians behave in such a way. The Perry ‘energy costs are all down to the suppliers’ and this and a lot of what you see them do are scandalous. How did we end up with such a dishonest and useless bunch in charge? I’ve read the posts recently about change, the libertarians, scars on backs etc and I can’t wait for a proper choice at an election, but how did we let it get to where we are? I remember when the green blob started and I shrugged my shoulders and thought that their madness couldn’t possibly take in enough people to matter but it did. So maybe it was general complacency like mine that got us here? Sadly I don’t think that the UK political system now will allow a Trump-like leader to reach power.

    • Athelstan permalink
      April 13, 2018 11:25 pm

      Maomentum sense an opportunity.

      Perhaps, in order and to effect real change, first, the situation, the political landscape has to collapse into anarchy, the only problem with that, if you look to the lands of the Russians, history circa 1917 and what it precipitated, necessarily what rises, crawls out of the ashes of chaos, ain’t what one might describe as, an improvement.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 14, 2018 1:57 pm

      The UK system is broken in that the people still take part but have no power. Andrew is correct that with our system the PM is the leader of the governing party and there is no national vote on that. Further to that, to stand as a leader of the party you have to be an MP, you have to get through a selection system governed by MPs, before the members of that party get their vote. Any US citizen can try to become the President. The Harrogate Agenda is a proposal for introducing democracy back into the UK and separating the role of parliament and governing so that all MPs are there to scrutinise the executive on behalf of the electorate.

  6. April 14, 2018 12:11 am

    Looking at his wikipedia entry “a future Tory Leader” no less.

    • dave permalink
      April 14, 2018 7:00 am

      “…wikipedia entry…

      I see that he wrote (or it was ghost-written for him) a book in 2006, which the Sunday Times described as “a guidebook to Cameronism.”

      ‘Nuff said.

      Meanwhile, there is more sea-ice floating around in the Arctic than for several previous years:

      Just saying; in case you missed the announcement of this every ten minutes on the BBC’s channels.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 14, 2018 2:07 pm

      Is that the sound of a barrel being scraped I can hear? The lack of any credible alternative is the only reason May is still in the job. And that poses a problem when she is finally removed in a year’s time as to who can take over and do anything to stop the jew-haters winning a landslide in 2022.

  7. Gray permalink
    April 14, 2018 6:12 am

    Millions / Billions.
    Constantly mixed up, especially on the BBC.
    How long to count up to a million in seconds?
    It would take 12 Days.
    How long to count to a billion?
    A year ?
    Five years?
    Ten years?
    Thirty three years?

    • April 14, 2018 8:05 am

      A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money – as the saying goes.

  8. Phoenix44r permalink
    April 14, 2018 8:16 am

    It will save £47 because by then they will have made energy so expensive we will be desperate to turn anything off we can.

    No business would approve this investment. The numbers are just fantasy. Quite how governments that keep complaining about energy bills can decide to increase those bills in this way is beyond me.

  9. Bloke down the pub permalink
    April 14, 2018 1:15 pm

    A good friend of mine had a smart meter fitted and he took pleasure in telling me that he got free electric on Sundays for a year as part of the deal. In return, I’d send him links to articles about the problems with smart meters. It turns out that his meter has not been working for the last two months and he’s now changed supplier.

    • Athelstan permalink
      April 14, 2018 1:51 pm

      “free electric on a Sunday”?

      Apart from properly scrutinizing his previous year’s payments and usage, and thus comparing the sum to, the ‘Sunday free lecky’ day annualized, and then, subtracting the biannual tariff increases, how would he ever know?

      • Bloke down the pub permalink
        April 14, 2018 4:58 pm

        In theory because its a smart meter the bill is itemised, when it works.

    • Joe Public permalink
      April 14, 2018 7:34 pm

      The ‘free’ electricity for just one of the two weekend days (?limited hours or the entire 24??) was a British Gas marketing ploy.

      Weekend power is dirt cheap; their prices were generally over 15% more than the smaller competitors; so not a ‘real’ ‘bargain’

  10. John189 permalink
    April 14, 2018 2:04 pm

    I use the electirity and gas necessary for cooking, heating, lighting, entertainment, the computer, and general household tasks. I don’t leave lights on unnecessarily, heat the house to tropical levels or display the front elevation of the house in floodlit glory. So, am I missing something about the advantages of smart meters? It seems to me that the only way I could save money would be by having breakfast at 3am, lunch at 10.30, supper at midnight – but then if everyone does the same, consumption would dictate a change in the time structure of tariffs….

    Conclusion? Smart Meters have to be first and only about control by energy providers. Control for consumers, especially those with fixed patterns of working life, is a chimera. And anyone who needs a smart meter to tell them that keeping appliances switched on unnecessarily costs money should first consider acquiring a brain.

    Furthermore I agree with the comment by Phoenix and others that the “saving of £47” is relative to any given level of pricing and does not mean a reduction in what we pay now – a piece of sophistry unworthy of any Minister. Rant over!

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