Hayes, Fallon, Deckchairs, Titanic

Shaking up green ideologues

You know what? There was a time – perhaps as recently as six or twelve months ago – when I would have been seriously heartened by the news of Cameron’s latest mini reshuffle. I’m a massive fan of the tough, free-market-minded Michael Fallon. Appointing him as the minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change is a bit like sending in King Herod to shake up the Judaean Child Services Unit. But it’s a symbolic gesture, nothing more. Fallon’s predecessor in the job – John Hayes – was just as old school Tory, just as much a conviction politician, just as opposed to the insanity of wind – and look where it got him: absolutely nowhere.

While DECC’s departmental boss Ed Davey may not be quite as sinister a machiavel as his predecessor Chris Huhne (whatever did become of my old mate Huhney by the way? He has been curiously absent from the Westminster scene of late), he has certainly got DECC stitched up. What Fallon will find – as Owen Paterson has found at DEFRA and Hayes definitely found at DECC – is that it’s very hard to push forward robustly Tory policies when your entire department consists of green ideologues and where even your own press office briefs against you. On day one of his job, Hayes had planned to announce a moratorium on onshore wind farm building – which would have been a hugely popular gesture in the Tory-voting shires. Unfortunately, just before he delivered it he was rumbled by DECC’s spies and Davey ordered him to water it down, while insisting there were no plans to halt the growth of onshore wind. By the end of his six months at DECC, Hayes was so enfeebled that he’d almost gone native: even to the point of finding himself on the wrong side of an argument – with David King, of all people – on biofuels. Amazingly, despite copious evidence to the contrary, Hayes could be heard declaring on Radio 4 that they were a good thing.

So you see now why I’m not as impressed as I might be by the tiny slivers of red meat Cameron has just tossed to us True Conservatives. It’s not enough to feed us; just enough to make us more tormented and ravenous. Which is why, as I explain in this week’s Spectator, I have completely abandoned every last vestige of faith I had in the current Tory party to do anything useful or sensible, and why I’m throwing my lot in with the one party out there with genuine political principle – UKIP.

Related posts:

  1. Five reasons why the Conservatives deserve to lose the next election
  2. In praise of Lord Tebbit
  3. Arguments for wind power are just hot air
  4. Tory sleaze is worse than ever: Yeo and Deben must go!


Tory Sleaze Is Worse than Ever: Yeo and Deben Must Go!

Ever more putrescent and loathesome

How Lord “BSE” Deben got his nickname. (Photo: PA)

I’m a bit concerned that the ordurous stench emanating from Tory peer Lord “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy” Deben (formerly John Bovine Selwyn Encephalopathy Gummer) and Tim “Ebola” Yeo MP has yet to assail sufficiently large numbers of nostrils.

All right, so Yeo got a proper going over in the Mail last week in a piece headlined Jolly Green Hypocrite: Tory MP earns £140,000 a year from Green firms and want to carpet Britain with wind farms (except in his own back yard)

Guido also had a go at Yeo, noting more potential conflicts of interest, this time one apparently benefiting his chairmanship of a London cab manufacturer called ugh Eco City Vehicles.

Then on Sunday, the excellent David Rose did a number on the possibly-even-more-putrescent-and-loathsome-in-every-conceivable-way Lord Deben. Here’s the gist:

A former Tory Minister set to provide the Government with crucial advice on climate change is at the centre of a new conflict-of-interest row after it was revealed he is chairman of a consortium bidding to build one of the world’s biggest offshore windfarms.

John Selwyn Gummer, who was Environment Secretary under John Major and Agriculture Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Government, is the newly designated chairman of the powerful Committee on Climate Change (CCC). It was set up to provide David Cameron with independent advice on energy policy and climate change.

But a Mail on Sunday investigation has learned the former MP – who became Lord Deben in 2010 – is also chairman of Forewind, a consortium trying to build thousands of turbines in the North Sea’s Dogger Bank.

Lord Deben already chairs Sancroft, a lobbying and consultancy firm based in Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster. One of its specialities is advising businesses on how to make money from policies enacted to combat global warming.

Its website states: ‘Climate change will be the most disruptive influence on business. The risks it poses are immense; the potential rewards are considerable We show our clients how to make the most of quickly evolving market opportunities.’

Last night, Lord Deben insisted there was no conflict of interest. His spokeswoman said: ‘The appointment will be the subject of a parliamentary pre-appointment scrutiny hearing in September.

Ah yes, that parliamentary pre-appointment scrutiny hearing. And who will be chairing that, I wonder?

Why, none other than our old friend Tim Yeo MP, famed throughout the land for, amongst other things, his unimpeachable neutrality on green issues.

The good Bishop detects a certain absurdity here:

So Tim Yeo, the conflicted committee chairman, will question Deben, the conflicted candidate on whether conflicts are acceptable. I imagine this could be a penetrating cross-examination. It promises to be Commons comedy gold.

The date for your diaries is 4 September 2012 at 3pm.

The Bishop’s comment threads have also brought more fascinating information on Lord Deben’s financial involvements in a mooted £32 billion scheme to build a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary. Though Lord Deben is of course denying any conflict of interest, he and his family have a significant shareholding in the company angling for the contract. The £240 million which according to the Bishop’s calculations the Gummer family stand to make if the project goes ahead makes the hundreds of thousands “Ebola” Yeo has made from his various green side-projects look like chicken feed.But the Severn Barrage Scheme has already been rejected once for several very good reasons, as Christopher Booker explained back in 2008 (in those distant days when the mooted cost of the scheme was a mere £20 billion.)

But the Government also knows that we haven’t a chance of meeting that target by building 10,000 ludicrously expensive, largely useless wind turbines. Hence its recent revival of the scheme to provide ‘5 per cent of our power’ by building a £20 billion tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary a vast concrete wall from Weston-super-Mare to Wales.

It is amazing how little the fans of this quixotic dream recognise what it would involve. Its 300 turbines would, we are told, have a ‘generating capacity’ of ‘8,640 megawatts (MW)’. But, as even the Sustainable Development Commission tacitly recognises on its website, these would generate, thanks to the variation of the tides, only 22 per cent of capacity, namely 1,900MW. That is £10 million per MW, even more than the £8 million per MW of those ridiculous offshore wind turbines.

One modern nuclear power station, costing £2.7 billion, could generate almost as much electricity as the barrage, at barely an eighth of the cost. (The barrage would also need several new power stations as back-up for when the tides are not generating.)

But if we did decide to build the barrage to meet our renewables obligation, its impact on wildlife, particularly the birds that feed in their millions on the Severn’s tidal mudflats, would render it illegal under the EU’s habitats directive. Forget the barrage (and our renewables target, since it is not remotely achievable) and let the Government, even if it must use ‘climate change’ as an excuse, build those reactors before the lights go out.”

Anyway, to repeat what I said at the beginning, I’m a bit concerned that the ordurous stench emanating from Lord “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy” Deben (formerly John Bovine Selwyn Encaphalopathy Gummer) and Tim “Ebola” Yeo MP has yet to assail sufficiently large numbers of nostrils.

It seems to me that we have compelling evidence here that there is something exceedingly rotten in the state of our parliamentary democracy. Maybe Lord Deben’s and Yeo’s behaviour would not have looked quite so out-of-place were they 18th century Whigs. But surely not today. Aren’t we supposed to be living in a more accountable, transparent and honest age? Wasn’t one of the lessons learned from the MPs expenses scandal that our elected representatives must henceforward learn to act in the interests of the public they supposedly serve rather than appearing merely to feather their own nests?

David Cameron cannot allow this kind of behaviour to go unchecked. The tangled interests of Lord Deben and Tim Yeo are well in the public domain now. Cameron cannot plausibly pretend that he didn’t know about them. And if he fails to address the problem it will reflect extraordinarily badly both on his personal morality and on the integrity of the Conservative party and the Coalition he leads.

I’m very surprised the Opposition isn’t making more of this. The Tory sleaze meme was what brought down the Major administration: why on earth shouldn’t it be revived to bring down the Cameron one?

The sooner, frankly, the better.

Related posts:

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  2. Even Doctor Evil is now a Tory
  3. The Tory test that all Conservative candidates should pass
  4. Breaking news: Cameron now officially even worse than Ted Heath


Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt: An Apology

Scunthorpe: Sir Reginald Sheffield, bt, listens tolerantly as a delegation of peasants comes to thank him for spoiling their view

Scunthorpe: Sir Reginald Sheffield, bt, listens tolerantly as a delegation of peasants comes to thank him for spoiling their view

It has been brought to my attention that this blog owes Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt. an apology. In a recent column entitled Green Jobs? Wot Green Jobs? (Pt 242), I carelessly suggested that Sir Reg beloved dad of the famous environmentalist “Sam Cam”; distinguished father-in-law of the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, no less –  is making nearly £1000 a week from the wind turbines on his estates.

The correct figure is, of course, nearly £1000 a day.

In other words, Sir Reginald is making the equivalent of roughly 1000 looted widescreen plasma TV screens every year from the eight 400 foot wind turbines now enhancing the view for miles around on his 3,000 acre Normanby Hall estate, near Scunthorpe.

There will be those who suggest that my mistake is a resigning matter. I do share their concern. However it is my view that if a journalist is going to resign on a point of principle these days, it has to be over something immeasurably trivial, rather than over something merely quite trivial. What I do nevertheless agree is that I owe Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt, an apology.

A big apology.

After all, the idea that an aristocrat of Sir Reginald’s magnificence should get out of bed or indeed, not get out of bed, but just lie there flicking through Shooting Times or Burke’s Peerage or Guns N Ammo while the money drips into his bank account for a sum as pitiful as £1000 a week is patently absurd.

It is almost as absurd as the idea that Sir Reginald bears any kind of social responsibility for the privilege of owning the land that has been in his family since the 16th century. Sure there will be the odd sentimental fool who imagines otherwise. One such sentimental fool is the Duke of Northumberland, who persists in resisting the wheelbarrows-full of cash being offered by developers to build wind farms on his estates for the following reasons:

“I have come to the personal conclusion that wind farms divide communities, ruin landscapes, affect tourism, make a minimal contribution to our energy needs and a negligible contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions.”

But as Sir Reginald well understands, such antiquated notions as caring for the people who live in and around your estates or preserving the beauty of the landscape for future generations, have no place in the forward looking, post-carbon world being promoted by one’s son-in-law and one’s future king. “Noblesse oblige? Schnoblesse oblige! ” as Sir Reginald is no doubt fond of quipping to the third underbeater on one of his game shoots.

After all, if a government run by one’s son in law (did we mention this already: that Sir Reginald Sheffield’s daughter Sam is married to the current British Prime Minister, who has promised to lead the “greenest government ever”?) decides that it is in the national interest to destroy the British landscape, double the price of electricity and transfer money via renewable energy boondoggles from the pockets of taxpayers into the swollen coffers of rich, landowning baronets worth £20 million plus, then what’s a poor fellow to do other than say: “Yes please,  you frightful, oiky wind-farm developing fellow. If you wouldn’t mind leaving that wheelbarrow of notes there. And that one there. That will be all, thank you. Now get orrff my land.”

Related posts:

  1. Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
  2. Monbiot: an apology
  3. I’d rather my wife made land mines than worked in the wind farm industry
  4. The Great Wind Farm Disaster (ctd)


What Dave and His Chum Barack Don’t Want You to Know about Green Jobs and Green Energy

Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy.

We also know that alternative energy is a fraud – only viable through enormous government (ie taxpayer subsidy) and utterly incapable of answering anything more than a fraction of our energy needs. As Shannon Love puts it here:

Here’s a fact you won’t see mentioned in the public policy debate over “alternative” energy:

There exists no alternative energy source, no combination of alternative energy sources, and no system of combinations of alternative energy sources that can fully replace a single, coal fired electric plant built with 1930s era technology.


So why are our political leaders setting out quite deliberately to deceive us?

There have many disgustingly revealing stories this week about the dubious practices of the Climate Fear Promotion lobby, but for me the most damning of all was Chris Horner’s scoop at Pajamas Media concerning high level cover-ups by the Obama administration. Like his soul mate Dave Cameron on this side of the pond, Obama finds the narrative about global warming so compelling and moving that he doesn’t want it spoiled with any inconvenient truths regarding green jobs and green energy.

Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has discovered that when two European reports came out – the Spanish one above; and another one from Denmark on the inefficiency of wind farms – the Obama administration recruited left-wing lobbyists to attack them.

After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy — specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi — turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.

The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.

We see something similar going on here in Britain. The taxpayer funded Quango The Carbon Trust is continually pumping out propaganda on behalf of the powerful wind energy lobby; as too is the BBC which cheerfully funded a political broadcast (masquerading as a cri de coeur) by Green activist George Moonbat on its The Daily Politics show earlier this week. In December it was discovered that civil servants working for the government had suppressed evidence that wind farms damage health and disrupt sleep.

Do our political leaders think we’re stupid? Or so supine and malleable that we simply won’t mind being lied to if it’s for our “own good”?

Related posts:

  1. Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
  2. ‘Green jobs’ and feed-in tariffs: rent-seeking parasites get their just desserts
  3. Pope Catholic; Obama energy official profits from AGW
  4. Green Jobs. What Green Jobs?