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Daily Express’ Green Revolution!

February 11, 2021

By Paul Homewood


John Junor must be turning in his grave!

 Six ways Britain can be greener

The newly woke Daily Express has launched its campaign for a Green Britain, much to the disgust of most of its loyal readership it seems.

On Monday it announced:

The Daily Express is today launching a revolutionary campaign to help save Britain’s environment and give a £21billion boost to the economy.

Along with green entrepreneur Dale Vince we are calling on the Government to scrap VAT on green products and to make more space for nature.

An exclusive poll commissioned by the Daily Express shows we are tapping into a new national mood with 66 percent of adults worried by the state of the planet, climate change and the decline of wildlife and nature. And there is a majority in favour changing the tax laws to encourage a greener approach and to make polluters pay.

The Daily Express is calling on Boris Johnson to show world leadership on the issue in the run-up to the G7 summit in Cornwall in June and the crunch Cop 26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

Our “Green Britain Needs You” campaign has already won the backing of the bosses of the biggest green groups who between them represent well over eight million members.

Even allowing for people who are members of more than one group, this constituency is far bigger than the one million members of the UK’s political parties.

The supporters include the National Trust, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, WWF, Greenpeace Friends of the Earth, the British Trust for Ornithology plus industry bodies such as Solar Energy UK and the Federation of Master Builders.

As a starting point we want a shake-up of the tax system so that products that help fight climate change by pumping out zero or close to zero emissions pay zero VAT.

The Zero for Zero campaign has been triggered by tax contradictions such as electric cars – which are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – paying the same 20 percent VAT as petrol and diesel vehicles.

Solar panels can carry 20 percent VAT whereas burning coal or gas at home carries just 5 percent VAT.

Refurbishing or insulating your home incurs 20 percent VAT whereas building a new one is zero-rated.

The chief executive of the Energy Systems Catapult, Philip New, said: “With only thirty years to go before we must reach Net Zero emissions, the incentives to reduce carbon across the economy are a mess.

“Where strong incentives are in place, they have helped drive coal off the electricity system and reduced waste going to landfill. In other areas, such as domestic heating, aviation, and agriculture we are effectively subsidising pollution.”

Last year a report by Green Econometrics predicted a 0.8 percent boost to GDP – about £21billion – from a “modest” package of green measures and a cut in VAT of just 5 percent.

A study for the Federation of Master Builders forecast a £15billion boost to the economy from a cut in VAT on housing renovation and repair work from 20 percent to 5 percent.

Brexit has given the Government the perfect opportunity to reform VAT. Previously it claimed that EU rules stopped it from unilaterally lowering VAT but Brexit means Britain now has a free hand.

Mr Vince, the founder of green energy company Ecotricity which supplies 200,000 customers, writes in his book Manifesto: “We need to use the tax system to encourage people to do the right thing.

“For instance, green energy bizarrely pays a carbon tax, even though it produces none. Large energy users are exempt from the same tax, even though they use fossil fuels. Green energy and energy-efficient equipment should be zero-rated for VAT.

“We spend £50billion a year bringing fossil fuels to Britain just so we can burn them. Yet renewable energy is universally available and will never run out.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The UK’s 28 million homes are responsible for a fifth of our carbon emissions.

“So if the Government is committed to net zero, it should be making it easier for everyone to make their homes greener.

“We know that VAT costs put off almost a quarter of people from improving their homes, and builders tell us a VAT cut is the single biggest change the Government could make to help boost their businesses and protect jobs.”

The British Property Federation, which represents a £115billion industry, went further and called for maintenance, repairs and refurbishments to be zero-rated for VAT to help Britain get to Net Zero carbon emissions.

The fact that the campaign is backed by a veritable army of pigs at the trough, such as renewable energy suppliers, builders and of course Dale Vince obviously has nothing to do with the matter! Even though they stand to benefit massively as a result.

What the newly woke Express forgot to tell its readership is that all of this green nonsense is already heavily subsidised. Electric cars, for instance, are subsidised to the tune of more than £10,000 over their lifetime, while renewable energy gets £12 billion a year, courtesy of bill payers.

They highlight a poll claiming that 66% are worried by the state of the planet, climate change and the decline of wildlife and nature. No doubt most people will always say they are concerned about the environment generally, but I suspect very few are bothered about climate change, which is of course what the new campaign is really aimed at.

And there is the same old rubbish about green jobs, and a 0.8% boost to GDP. Maybe the bright sparks at the Express might care to explain just who will pay for all of this proposed largesse?

The clue to this damascene conversion lies with the choice of the new editor, Gary Jones, who was appointed three years ago after the Express was taken over by the Mirror Group. As the Press Gazette report today, Jones is yet another leftie, determined to change society:


With another left wing PC remainer in charge of the Mail, and the Telegraph unabashedly going after Guardian readers, what hope is there for a balanced media coverage?

  1. Gerry, England permalink
    February 11, 2021 12:04 pm

    If by balanced you mean in one publication then we haven’t had that for decades. But it does seem that there is no longer a conservative outlook publication as the last couple go woke. All that is likely is that circulations will drop as readers don’t like the new direction and the lefties will not be tempted either. Chasing Guardian readers seems a bad idea as the numbers there have been dropping for years. Overall the legacy media fails appallingly to deliver to the public which is ultimately not a good situation. Their current struggles with the supposed shellfish ban is a good example. The real story is that the EU forgot to create the form that needs to be used and also made a mess of legislation that should have seen the UK listed.

    • James Neill permalink
      February 11, 2021 12:45 pm

      Gerry, a very interesting observation concerning the EU paperwork! Have you got any references I can dig up and read. A pretty good example of the EU pushing the responsibility away from themselves.

      • patrick healy permalink
        February 11, 2021 3:58 pm

        Just go over to and read yesterdays article about the Scottish shell fish conundrum – it more or less tells you all you need to know,.

    • Dan permalink
      February 11, 2021 1:12 pm


      I doubt you have any proof for this claim? In either case it is the exporters responsibility to have the forms in order, including the correct forms. The EU had their recieving forms and requirements in order. Both sides had the required legislation so a specific example?

      The big problem is that the chief system that we have to use is obsolete and does not communicate properly with the new additional systems. The chief system was highlighted as being a problem under Brown and maybe even Blair.

      Of course, big companies are used to working around such things. It costs us time and money, which we pass on. Smaller companies are having a torrid time.

      • dennisambler permalink
        February 11, 2021 2:46 pm

        On matters EU, there is none so well informed as Richard North:

        “Given that all the criteria so far are satisfied – and UK producers have not cavilled at meeting them – then the next hurdle is the mandatory health certification for each consignment. And it is here that the system is coming unstuck. Producers can’t use any old form. Formats must comply with the model certificates set out in EU regulations.

        For Class A LBM, there is a form, set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/628, and for Class B farmed LBM, with or without depuration, there is a form set out in Part A of Annex IV to Commission Regulation (EC) 1251/2008.

        Those exports that are naturally grown are known as “wild”. When depurated, it seems they can be exported under cover of the certificate set out in 2019/628. Some consignments have been rejected, but this is put down to inexperienced vets, or documentation faults. But, for the unpurified product, there is no model certificate available.

        This is where the problem lies. Without a model certificate, the provisions of Regulations 853/2004 and 2017/625 cannot be satisfied, and the products cannot be exported. Although there is no actual ban, the absence of a certificate has the same effect as a ban. That is a nuance which the media seems to be incapable of understanding.”

  2. February 11, 2021 12:36 pm

    “Our “Green Britain Needs You” campaign has already won the backing of the bosses of the biggest green groups who between them represent well over eight million members.”
    Of course, if you look at it the other way around, given that the adult population is about 45 million, that actually means that 37 million don’t really give a fiddler’s fart.

    • Penda100 permalink
      February 11, 2021 6:36 pm

      Membership of the National Trust and RSPB does not automatically mean acceptance of the Green Crap so even less than the 8 million headline figure.

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        February 12, 2021 10:28 am

        Your point is well made. My wife and I are NT members. We don’t support Green Crap.

    • Dan permalink
      February 12, 2021 11:44 am

      “This is where the problem lies. Without a model certificate, the provisions of Regulations 853/2004 and 2017/625 cannot be satisfied, and the products cannot be exported. ”

      Indeed. A model certificate that complies with the regulations, is needed. This is a standard exporting consignment form and something for the exporter. So a UK side issues.

      these issues and requirements were pointed out prior to the border being implemented. Now, after wading through the rhetoric and often abusive language in those links, the main critism that comes out is a complaint that a qualified expert is required to sign off the consignment and that it meets the required regulations. Those regulations are identified on the form. When that signature is incorrect or missing, the consignment is rejected. That is the basis exporting.

      It’s also the basis for engineering design whereby I would, in the past, sign off a burner management system compliant with bsen746, NFPA86. Some of your links are advocating for me to not be signing off against such standards.

  3. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 11, 2021 12:37 pm

    They might as well have shut the shop altogether. Which was probably the original intention of MGN when they bought it. The output from the Express was of enormously variable quality, ranging from analyses and stories that were hard to find elsewhere, yet drew attention to important matters, through conspiracy theories and nonsense that probably came straight from the National Enquirer. They were on Planet Nabiru far too often. Now it seems that will be permanent.

    The gap in the market for sensible news reporting is now gargantuan. We can only hope that Andrew Neil’s new venture GB news provides an anchor for others to build around. But it is one thing to have a relatively high brow offering (as was the FT over 20 years ago before it became solid pink in outlook, and as perhaps offerings like Unherd are now), and quite another to pitch to a more mass market. That takes highly skilled journalism of the calibre of say David Rose, who knows his topics inside out and has the skill to put them across to non specialist audiences.

  4. ianprsy permalink
    February 11, 2021 12:41 pm

    I like the idea of reduced or zero VAT on building upgrades, whether green or not.

    On Dale Vince, in a survey of charging infrastructure, his product was bottom.

  5. February 11, 2021 12:43 pm

    As soon as I saw Dale’s name I gave up. I once lived in the village next to his and we exchanged emails in 2015 (long after I moved to Scotland) during which he said to me “I would say though that we pursue a strict ‘good neighbour policy’ (where we pull out of projects at the planning stage if we can’t be sure they will be good neighbours to people and wildlife for the lifetime of the machines) ” and I replied “over and over again you continue to pursue applications despite local protests”. He continued to insist they were good neighbours and “Our focus is on making sure there are no objective impacts, noise and so on.” Doubt very much whether there are any windfarms near Rodborough Fort so he knows nothing about noise etc.

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 11, 2021 12:53 pm

    The only outcome is they’ll lose their readership. Newspapers attract their reader demographic because readers agree with the papers’ editorial line (like I do with this blog)
    If the paper shifts its position their readers will go elsewhere. Simple as that.

  7. Jackington permalink
    February 11, 2021 12:55 pm

    A more positive force for good indeed? With a manifesto like this it’s a force for the ruin of the UK. John Bull will be turning in his grave.

  8. February 11, 2021 1:14 pm

    Make more space for nature and cover the land with wind turbines hardly seem to be compatible goals.

  9. Dan permalink
    February 11, 2021 1:16 pm

    Point 1, maybe depends.
    Point 2 and 5 are the same and have the same problem. How does it work and how is it rolled out, from cradle to grave.
    Point 3, 4 and 5 are essentially pollution control/nature preservation techniques. They are the same thing.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 11, 2021 1:33 pm

    MSM is having another coordinated PM air pollution push of wildly dishonest claims again today. As usual implying private cars are to blame.

    As we saw during the first proper lockdown with empty roads, PMs actually mostly increased (the MSM claims of cleansed air ignored this and focused on NOx and even that was highly dubious).

    PMs of all sizes are a natural component of air from plants and meteorology and environment. How do you stop nature – when you categorize it as toxic pollution!

  11. Dave Gardner permalink
    February 11, 2021 2:46 pm

    I think the argument for having full 20% VAT on Green products is that more well-off people tend to be more Green-leaning, so they can afford it.

    It isn’t difficult to find evidence that affluent people are more likely to be Green-leaning. After the 2017 General Election, the highest average house prices in parliamentary constituencies occurred for the Green party and the Lib Dems:

  12. GeoffB permalink
    February 11, 2021 5:04 pm

    Dale Vince…….say no more…its a not going to work.

  13. REM permalink
    February 11, 2021 6:46 pm

    Perhaps there should be a full 20% VAT on newspapers. They aren’t essential any more and trees have to be felled to produce them. I would also be very interested to know what the Daily Express and MGN contingency arrangements are for whenever there is a power outage at their print centres.

  14. avro607 permalink
    February 11, 2021 7:09 pm

    There are many points in the article to pick upon,and as one lengthy letter would be too long for the Express to publish,Ithink a constant drip of letters over the coming weeks may get some attention.
    I did note that yesterday,I think,they published a letter from a reader that supported the Cumbria mine.So perhaps all is not lost.

  15. Sam Duncan permalink
    February 11, 2021 11:03 pm

    Remember when the Express went all-in for NewLabour? Clearly nobody at the Express does.

  16. I don't believe it! permalink
    February 12, 2021 12:48 am

    Eve Pollard was editor I think!

  17. Vernon E permalink
    February 12, 2021 1:55 pm

    Be interesting if the Sunday Express has to fall in line. With Nick Ferrari and Julia among its feature writers it seems unlikely that sister papers can conutinue holding diametrically opposite editorial views.

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