June 10, 2013
Tim “Trougher” Yeo MP has been caught with his trousers down.
Some of you, I know, are expecting me to gloat. And I must agree that on the face of it it does look pretty shoddy.
Tim Yeo, after all, is the Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. Its job is to “examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and its associated public bodies.” Therefore, clearly, it would be an issue of grave concern if an MP with such an influential regulatory role were found to be abusing his power by offering to grant special behind-the-scenes favours to green vested interest in return for wodges of cash.
Yet this, it would seem on first glance, is what Yeo has been caught doing on camera by a newspaper sting operation.
“The reporters approached Yeo posing as representatives of a solar energy company offering to hire him as a paid advocate to push for new laws to boost its business for a fee of £7,000 a day. He told them he could commit to at least one day a month, despite the fact that he already held four private jobs and was in negotiations to take a further two. Setting out what he could offer, the MP said: “If you want to meet the right people, I can facilitate all those introductions and I can use the knowledge I get from what is quite an active network of connections.” Asked if that extended to government figures, Yeo replied: “Yes.” The House of Commons code of conduct forbids members from acting as paid advocates, including by lobbying ministers. Yeo also said he could help them by guiding them on submitting evidence to his own committee, which he described as “a good way of getting your stuff on the map”.”
It’s true that this is not the first time Yeo’s green business activities have come to the attention of this blog.
In some of these blogposts it may gently have been hinted, with this column’s characteristic delicacy and tact, that there may be a degree of conflict of interest between the £200,000 plus per annum Yeo snaffles from his green businesses (on top of his MP’s salary) and his fierce advocacy in parliament and behind the scenes of the kind of environmental regulatory measures without which this kind of business would be unlikely to survive commercially.
But not in this one. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this and I realise that there’s no way any half-decent human being could do what Tim Yeo has been accused of doing and live with the shame. If the allegations against him were really true, he would have retired to his office with his bottle of whisky and his old service pistol months ago in order to do the right thing.
The other day Patrick Mercer MP got himself into deep doo-doo for what I genuinely consider a venial slip of no consequence to anyone. It really doesn’t matter one jot that he was prepared to take a few thousand quid from the Fijian government to lobby on its behalf, because the difference, if any, it would have made to UK policy would have been negligible and it wouldn’t have cost the taxpayer a penny. Far sadder to my mind was what the story tells us about the miserable lot of a backbench MP: if we’re really to get the calibre of parliamentary representatives we deserve then we’re going to have to pay them properly. Otherwise, they’re going to go on having to scrabble around having to earn extra on the side, instead of sticking to what they should be doing which is acting in the interests of the country and protecting us from crap regulation.
What Tim Yeo has been accused of doing is of a different order of putrescent disgustingness entirely. It’s not that he was apparently prepared to trouser £7,000 for using his influence per se that’s the key issue, it seems to me. Rather, it’s that Yeo appears on the surface to be one of those MPs most consistently responsible for using his power and influence to prop up one of the most expensive, corrupt and dishonest scams in history.
The great Climate Change hoax has cost the UK not just the odd thousand here and there. It has cost it billions. Thousands of old people have been condemned to miserable deaths in fuel poverty; good businesses have been crippled by layers of environmental regulation; bad businesses have gorged themselves on free money they simply don’t deserve by sucking on the teat of the subsidised renewables sector; property rights have been confiscated, views ruined, sleep disturbed, people’s health damage, birds and bats chopped to pieces by wind turbines; our economic recovery has been held back by idiot green taxes and the idiot ongoing attempt by DECC and its allies to stop us exploiting our abundant shale gas reserves.
And where has alleged Tory MP Tim Yeo MP been in all this? Has been carefully scrutinising the scientific evidence for this alleged climate change threat? Has been overseeing DECC’s policies to be absolutely damn sure they’re not doing more harm than good?
Er, not exactly, no. Instead, he’s been doing everything in his power to keep the green gravy train going – long after the evidence to justify its existence has lost all credibility – in order, it would seem on the first casual glance, to benefit from it financially.
If this is true, as I say, it really ought to be whisky and service pistol time.
That’s why I am quite sure there must be another explanation. I think what is far more likely is this:
Yes, the secret camera footage is real all right. But the bloated, pasty-faced trougher in the expensive shirt and jacket prostituting his services at a Chinese restaurant just can’t be Tim Yeo. I’d say it’s a spookily convincing doppelganger, genetically engineered by the Koch Brothers – or possibly Exxon – in order to make the global warming industry look corrupt and evil and dishonest and vile.
Poor Tim Yeo. My thoughts go out to him at this difficult time – as I hope yours do too.
- Lilley sticks it to ‘Trougher’ Yeo
- ‘Trougher’ Yeo recants on global warming
- We need to talk about wind farms…
- CCX lay offs: You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh…