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Welcome To Basket Case Britain

April 1, 2023

By Paul Homewood


In their Gadarene rush to beat the rest of the world to a carbon-free future, ministers appear determined to turn Britain into an economic basket case.
Today was Green Day, when the preposterously titled Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, unveiled the Government’s latest madcap plans for making us colder and poorer.
Presumably, Shapps had no idea that Green Day is also the name of a popular American punk rock group, whose breakthrough hit was called Basket Case.
Come to think of it, though, what could be more appropriate. In their Gadarene rush to beat the rest of the world to a carbon-free future, ministers appear determined to turn Britain into an economic basket case.
While even the EU hits the pause button on plans to phase out fossil fuels, at least for motor vehicles, our Government has set the controls for the heart of the sun.
Shapps flatly refused even to consider that there might be an alternative to banning the sale of all internal combustion powered cars after 2030.
This is despite Europe having second thoughts following the development of so-called ‘e-fuels,’ which are a clean alternative to petrol and diesel. So while German manufacturers get an exemption for e-fuelled cars and vans, the British motor industry gets a kick in the teeth.
Britain’s ban on the sale of conventionally powered vehicles starts in 2030, five years before the rest of Europe. We’re even phasing out hybrids from 2035.
Shapps said: ‘We are not in Europe. We don’t have to do what Europe does on this stuff. We have always been more forward leaning on this stuff than the EU.’
No, we don’t have to copy Europe. But that doesn’t mean cutting off our nose to spite our face.
Forward leaning? More like falling head-first from a great height.
Already, BMW is moving some of its UK operations abroad. Others will follow suit if they are prevented from at least exploring whether e-fuels have a viable future.
Today, however, the Government doubled down on its deranged carbon-neutral agenda, with Rishi Sunak announcing that car makers will be forced to ensure that 22 per cent of all vehicles sold in Britain are all-electric by 2024, rising to 100 per cent in 2035 — even though the chances of there being enough reliable electricity generating capacity to charge them all are less than zero.
Sunak and Shapps seem hell-bent on doing more damage to our domestic motor industry than useless managements and union militants like British Leyland’s Red Robbo inflicted in the 1970s.
That should go down well in Red Wall seats in Derbyshire and Sunderland, where Toyota and Nissan employ tens of thousands. For now, anyway.
Of course, when it comes to leading the anti-car charge, XR poster boy Shapps has plenty of previous. During Covid, he bunged councils £250 million for ‘temporary’ measures to encourage cycling and walking.
At the time, some of us warned that these allegedly temporary measures would inevitably become permanent, even when the pandemic was over. And so it has come to pass.
In the name of saving the polar bears, local authorities across Britain have declared all-out war on motorists. Net Zero has become a convenient excuse for closing roads and imposing punitive fines and congestion charges. […]
Forgive me for repeating former deputy Labour leader Nye Bevan’s quote about ministerial incompetence in 1945: ‘This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organisational genius could produce a shortage of both coal and fish at the same time.’
Today, our island is sitting on half a century’s reserves of shale gas and billions of barrels of untapped oil and natural gas in the North Sea. Yet our modern organisational geniuses have managed to produce a home-grown shortage of both gas and oil, purely out of short-sighted political vanity.
As a result, we are forced increasingly to rely on forests of hideous, bird-shredding, onshore, War-Of-The-Worlds windmills and the promise of as-yet-untested mini nuclear reactors — which if the Government’s less- than-impressive record on public infrastructure projects (HS2 anyone?) is anything to go by, won’t be operational until way beyond 2050, if ever.
From what I can gather, the only new initiative announced today by Grant ‘Green Day’ Shapps was the launch of two new ‘carbon capture clusters’, whatever they are.
Still, I can certainly think of a word to describe the Government’s Net Zero energy policy. And it definitely begins with ‘cluster . . .’
Welcome to Basket Case Britain.

  1. johnbillscott permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:22 pm

    The solution to ministerial incompetence is to isolate them from their ignorant advisors and place then in a re-education facility and bombard them with facts until they see the light of sanity. The lunacy is embedded in the oxymoron Secretary of State for “Energy Security and Net Zero”. Having Climate Warming, Climate Change, and NetZero in any job title give artificial credibility to any person or Department ensures the busy bodies will work to make it happen -“just doing the job” no matter how stupid.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      April 1, 2023 3:45 pm

      Perhaps the old French technique used to encourager les autres would be easier, cheaper and more productive.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 1, 2023 4:06 pm

      John, I once raised an FOI on the BEIS – before it became DESNZ – to find out how many Green supporters worked there, which I guessed, were many. They refused on the grounds that it would be too costly to go through all the CVs of the CS working there even though I was sure that they were all on computer and could easily have been searched.
      C’est la vie – c’est la guerre.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        April 5, 2023 7:06 pm

        You should have asked them how many people who were sceptical of extreme climate change. They would have given you the answer immediately. Zero.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      April 1, 2023 4:59 pm

      There is only one fact that they need to understand: most of the world (the source of 75% of emissions has no plans to achieve net zero. Therefore it’s utterly absurd that we (the source of less than 1%) are being subjected to these ridiculous policies.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        April 1, 2023 6:56 pm

        Right! That it. I’m going to write to the DT until they publish that truism. There is a revolution going on – but not by the poor against the rich, but by the rich against the poor. We must get more publicity.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        April 1, 2023 7:24 pm

        OK…Letters sent to DT & DM. Wait and see….

      • catweazle666 permalink
        April 1, 2023 8:00 pm

        That’s because most of the World doesn’t believe in the AGW hoax.

      • April 2, 2023 8:41 am


        I complained to the Daily Telegraph regarding their article in which it claimed heat pumps were 280%n efficient, patently wrong.
        They responded rejecting my claim and quoted a report from what was the BEIS saying they were 290% efficient.
        No wonder government policy is in such a mess with such elementary ignorance from it’s advisors.
        Heat pumps are normally quoted with a Coefficient of Performance based on that of electrical resistance heating. It is not efficiency as it ignores the total energy input required for a unit of electricity.
        Elementary school physics teaches that nothing acheives 100% efficiency.

    • Sean permalink
      April 2, 2023 12:38 pm

      I strongly doubt that bombarding them with facts is going to make any sort of impact on them, even if you taped the facts to bricks first.

  2. Mike Jackson permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:25 pm

    The contrast with JR-M and his Nutter is delightful! What is the matter with these fools? I’m no scientist either but it doesn’t take a genius to see that these increasingly beyond reason ideas cannot possibly work (at least in the absence of technologies that are at their very best in their infancy and mostly only exist as a less-than-bright idea) and that even if they could they would represent a major step backward in human development and are totally unnecessary anyway!

    • watersider permalink
      April 1, 2023 8:36 pm

      Mike ‘a major step back in human develepoment’ is prescisely what the satanists wish to achieve,

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        April 2, 2023 7:27 am

        Oh no! Satanists are playing a much longer game than that.What they are after is your immortal soul (assuming there is such a thing, which I happen to believe there is). Everything else is sideshow.
        Though they will not be unhappy at the extent to which we have lost faith — not in God specifically but by implication in our apparent belief that we as a species are capable of wreaking total destruction on the planet.
        Such arrogance!

  3. Broadlands permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:27 pm

    “….was the launch of two new ‘carbon capture clusters’, whatever they are.”

    Carbon capture to affect the climate? An energy-intensive technology unable to store even one part-per-million by 2050 is a scam.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 1, 2023 4:13 pm

      I bet, if you put that in a letter to the DT – or even the DM – it would not be published. When I read they expect to capture 300 million tons over a year (if memory serves), I thought, that’s not a lot (but ‘notascientist’ Phoebe would).

      • John Brown permalink
        April 1, 2023 6:29 pm

        The Chancellor said at his budget speech “20 to 30 million tons of CO2 per year”. This is 0.1% (1/1000ths) of annual global CO2 emissions. For this we are going to spend £20bn + doubling our energy costs.

  4. Drew Tony permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:35 pm

    Grant Shapps or Green Crapps is totally incompetent, lives in a big house in Herts and being well off can afford these huge costs that the other 90% of the population can’t. When the election comes next year this is one vote he won’t get.

  5. avro607 permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:38 pm

    Hi Broadlands,could you expand your comment please ,so that I can understand what you are saying. Thanks.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 1, 2023 3:17 pm

      The IEA has estimated that by 2050 7,660 million tons will have to be captured and stored. But, just one ppm of CO2 is 7,800 million tons. Obviously, even that would have no effect on the climate. It’s an expensive scam.

      Source: “Atmospheric CO2 levels are expressed in parts per million by volume (ppm). To convert from ppm to gigatonne of carbon, the conversion tables of the CDIAC, (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center) advise that 1 part per million of atmospheric CO2 is equivalent to 2.13 Gigatonnes Carbon. Using the 44 over 12 rule, this means 1 ppm = 7.8 Gigatonnes of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.”


      • catweazle666 permalink
        April 1, 2023 3:47 pm

        Yes, a nice trough there!
        I bet John Selwyn Gummer has got his snout well into it already.

  6. Malcolm permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:40 pm

    I can’t, I just can’t.

    My entire life work destroyed.

  7. Thomas Carr permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:46 pm

    Difficult to tell whether Shapps is being coached by a convinced team of warmists at the Ministry or speaks for himself and his convictions. . I doubt the latter but then again it was all about Shapps posturing during his time with the Railways. So many in recent cabinets have proved to have tin ears with Lord Deben in the van or at least at less than arms length. As Paul has reminded us much originates in MP’s belief that Ed Miliband understood what he was talking about in the first place.

  8. Realist permalink
    April 1, 2023 2:52 pm


  9. Chris permalink
    April 1, 2023 3:13 pm

    Germany is already dealing with the high costs of energy, with BASF laying off 2600 jobs and talking of moving production overseas. It has invested €10 billion in a new chemical plant in China.

    It will take job losses for the public to realise that their lifestyle and standard of living will be reduced.

    You will own nothing and be happy. 15 minute cities. CBDC. 6uild 6ack 6etter.

  10. Mr Robert Christopher permalink
    April 1, 2023 3:14 pm

    Is this an attempt at an April Fool’s joke?

  11. Gray permalink
    April 1, 2023 3:22 pm

    One part per million of atmospheric CO2 represents 7,800 million metric tons.
    Quite how wasting £20 billion on carbon capture is going to make any difference to this God only knows.
    Somebody responsible for wasting our “investment” money should identify the change in global temperature that can be achieved by reducing CO2 levels by one per cent.
    And then state what they consider to be a realistic amount of CO2 that can be stored by 2050.
    And then state the cost of doing this.

    No I thought not.

    • Gray permalink
      April 1, 2023 3:50 pm

      Sorry, not one per cent, one part in a million

  12. GeoffB permalink
    April 1, 2023 3:27 pm

    The only way to stop this madness is to dilute or even repeal the climate change act 2008, it is the law of the land, and the greens are excellent at exploiting this. Remember they won an action at the Supreme court that the government had to come up with a plan to achieve the legally required carbon (dioxide) reductions by end of March 2023, and this document is just that, even now the FoE, WWF and other eco loons are working through it looking for discrepancies.
    The basic problem is that now it is law, as far as government civil servants are concerned, it must be accomplished, even though no thought was put in to how to achieve the requirements in 2008. Then Therese May, with a stroke of a pen, increased the reduction from 80% to 100%, Johnson than changed the date for elimination of ICE vehicles from 2035 to 2030, No analysis at all!
    We are pretty much doomed unless some relaxation of the requirements of the act is in place, I cannot see that happening in the short term, particularly with an election coming up, so we are just going to have to accept the destruction of our economy. After all I believe that is the ultimate plan of the WEF, mission accomplished.

    • taodas permalink
      April 1, 2023 4:15 pm

      I agree with you totally, the key issue is that the Climate Change Act must be repealed and whilst we can argue the science till we are blue in the face the reality is that the Climate Change Act and the Committee chaired by Lord Deben ( Gummer) are driving the targets mandated by May and Johnson. Ministers and Civil servants are just following the logic of what needs to be done to meet those targets regardless of the economic damage they will cause. I would predict mass Civil disobedience however, companies will start to disinvest just have they have already done in the north sea but such unrest will come too late as the damage will already be done and not be reversible

    • Micky R permalink
      April 2, 2023 9:27 am

      ” The only way to stop this madness is to dilute or even repeal the climate change act 2008, ”

      An “Energy Emergency” needs to be declared, this will justify the emergency repealing of the Believers Act

    • Realist permalink
      April 2, 2023 1:58 pm

      Not “dilute” but total repeal of the Climate Change Act

  13. Gray permalink
    April 1, 2023 3:47 pm

    Not one per cent, one part per million.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 1, 2023 4:19 pm

      Actually, not even one ppm. just 97.4% of one ppm.

      • Gray permalink
        April 2, 2023 8:13 am

        Can you explain your figures please?

  14. avro607 permalink
    April 1, 2023 4:53 pm

    Thanks Broadlands for the info-good stuff.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 1, 2023 5:06 pm

      A very minor correction. The IEA estimate should have been 7,600 million, not 7660. Either way a trivial amount.

      One other point deserves mention. A large percentage (~70%) of the CO2 captured and placed under pressure is used for secondary oil and gas recovery and not to “save the planet”.

  15. April 1, 2023 4:55 pm

    These days you just don’t know whether announced government policy is an April Fool, released to the public on the wrong day.

  16. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 1, 2023 5:54 pm

    Is there a legal test case in the making?

    Net Zero is about reducing ‘carbon’. If IC engines don’t release carbon why should they be banned?

    E fuels clearly have potential to deliver ICE efficiency with zero ( or close to zero) CO2 emissions. If so why should there be any case for banning them?

    • GeoffB permalink
      April 1, 2023 6:08 pm

      eco loons never compromise, its all or nothing. Look at greenpeace , totally against nuclear power generation. Germany is phasing them out while increasing coal generation, ICE engines must GO.

    • David Coe permalink
      April 1, 2023 8:32 pm

      E-fuels if they are ever to actually exist will have to be manufactured. Anyone care to guess where the energy required will come from, and how much they will cost.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        April 1, 2023 9:29 pm

        By reacting unicorn flatulence with fairy dust using an unobtainium catalyst of course!

        I thought everybody knew that.

  17. John Hultquist permalink
    April 1, 2023 6:02 pm

    Good report. Thanks.
    This did give me a chuckle: ” (em)chances of there being enough reliable electricity generating capacity to charge them all are less than zero.”

    “chances” = probability = 0 to 1, but not less than zero. 😂

  18. W Flood permalink
    April 2, 2023 11:23 am

    When dealing with very big numbers you need to balance precision and accuracy. When talking about carbon capture you need a rounded figure for the present total amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Here it is
    3200000000000 tons approx, ie 3.2 million million tons. This is roughly 400 ppm so a part per million is about 8000 million tons. With this figure you can see the uselessness of carbon dioxide extraction .

  19. M Fraser permalink
    April 2, 2023 1:27 pm

    Day after day, more stupidity and insanity from the UK government seemingly hell bent on destroying the economy therefore the whole country.

    • Realist permalink
      April 2, 2023 1:57 pm

      Problem is that it is not only the UK. It seems to be the whole of Europe. The non-EU countries have no excuse whatsoever for the madness. Those still left in the EU need to start fighting the EU Commission.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        April 2, 2023 7:24 pm

        Some, Poland in particular, are starting.

        Note also that the constraint on ICE has started to loosen…

      • Realist permalink
        April 3, 2023 10:11 am

        That is good news. What would also help is asking the actual populations. What is curious is why the entire industry and the motoring organisations (AA, RAC in the UK, ADAC Germany and equivalents elsewhere) are not fighting.

        >>Some, Poland in particular, are starting

  20. Micky R permalink
    April 3, 2023 11:15 am

    The UK has been going downhill since the start of WW1, it’s been a gradual decline but the general incompetence of government at all levels has been a constant.

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