Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vote Blue, Go Green, Ruin Britain (UK Telegraph)

James Delingpole

James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books including 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy, Welcome To Obamaland: I've Seen Your Future And It Doesn't Work, How To Be Right, and the Coward series of WWII adventure novels. His website is


By James Delingpole Politics Last updated: June 10th, 2011

799 Comments Comment on this article

And yet at Oxford he was so sound....

And yet at Oxford he was so sound....

Sometimes it takes a trip abroad properly to ram home just how screwed your country is. And so it proved when, on the deck of a Baltic cruise ship, I first read reports of Scottish Power’s dramatic gas and electricity price rises. Instead of experiencing a wave of fury, as no doubt I would have done at home, what I felt instead was the sort of detached, sardonic amusement an alien might feel on viewing from outer space a once-great civilisation destroying itself over an issue of immeasurable triviality.

That issue, of course, is “Climate Change”. Never before in history, I doubt, has so much money ever been squandered, so much suffering and poverty exacerbated, so much economic damage been inflicted, so many lies promulgated and so much environmental destruction wrought in order to deal with a problem so microscopically miniscule. Really, if Barack Obama were to declare war on Belgium because he’d always found Tintin Au Congo offensively racist, or if David Cameron were to launch a nuclear strike on Mykonos because all those white-painted buildings were “way too gay”, you still wouldn’t be even half way close to equalling the quite breathtaking stupidity, purblind ignorance and suicidal wrongheadedness of the disasters currently being inflicted on the world by our boneheaded political and administrative classes on their holy mission to “combat climate change.”

Let’s concentrate on the British example since, thanks to Cameron’s determination to lead the “greenest government ever”, we’re further down the road to Eco Hell than most, and let’s look at the reasons behind those electricity and gas price rises.

These are outlined here in this must-read piece by the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Benny Peiser, which lists the various mechanisms (Renewables Obligations, European Emissions Trading Scheme, Feed-In Tariffs, etc) which, this year alone, will drive up our domestic energy bills by around 15 per cent and business energy costs by 20 to 25 per cent. Every one of these mechanisms is based on the so-far-very-much-unproven hypothesis that Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide emissions are contributing dangerously to “Global Warming” and that this “Global Warming” is an undesirable thing. In other words, our political classes are imposing on both our domestic expenses and on the broader economy swingeing costs whose sole justification is the threadbare theorising of a small number of heavily compromised scientists brandishing dodgy computer models.

“How did those charlatans get away with it?” That is the question historians will be asking in generations to come. And: “Why, given his hearty endorsement from the start of all this green lunacy, was there ever a period when David Cameron was treated by significant segments of the media as an homme serieux?” And: “How can it possibly have been that, during the worst global recession since the 1930s, the world’s political leaders were able to impose such enormous, unjustified extra costs on their ailing economies without serious criticism from the commentariat or rebellion from their electorates?”

You’ll find at least one answer to the last question if you have a look at how these gas and electricity price rises are being spun. Consider this article, cited by Richard North, from “Scotland’s top-selling evening paper” the Evening Times. It’s titled “Energy Companies Are Mugging Customers”:

ScottishPower put up gas prices by almost 20% and electricity by 10% yesterday, adding hundreds of pounds to the average annual household energy bill from August this year, with other firms expected to follow suit.

John Robertson, Glasgow North West Labour MP, has called on Chancellor George Osborne to take action and to rethink his cut in the winter fuel allowance this year.

Mr Robertson, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said pensioners would be hardest hit as they will lose up to £100 this winter just as the increased bills start to be delivered.

He said most of those aged 60-79 will get £200 instead of last year’s £250 when the payment is made in November or December. Those who are 80 or older will get £300 instead of £400.

He said “People in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland are struggling to keep warm at winter, and the big energy companies are mugging the poorest people in our country.

“The big six energy companies are acting like a cartel and instead of price rises being the last alternative it seems to be the first. They seem to view consumers as cash cows and the Chancellor seems to view the poorest consumers with contempt.

“These companies are pinching money out of the pockets of the poorest people in this country at a time when ordinary household budgets are threadbare.”

Housing charity Shelter Scotland said the rise would put even more families into poverty.

Gordon MacRae, head of policy, said: “Prices cannot keep going up – something’s got to give. Either the short-term profit margins of utility companies or, for families, the choice of heating or eating. We fear that more families will not be able to pay their bills and eventually lose the fight to keep a roof over their head.”

The SNP also condemned the price rise. Energy spokesman Mike Weir MP said: “People just cannot keep absorbing continuous and colossal energy price increases like this, and the UK Government must step in.”

ScottishPower said the rise was necessary due to increasing cost of wholesale prices.

Raymond Jack, ScottishPower’s UK Retail director, said: “Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year and continuing unrest in global energy markets means future prices are volatile.

“We understand times are difficult for many people, and we have done what we can to absorb these additional costs for as long as possible to minimise the impact on our customers.”

I’ve quoted the article in full just to show you how much of it is dedicated to explaining the hidden costs being imposed on the consumer as a result of eco-scaremongering. Not one single word. And the Evening Times is no exception. Here is a report from our own paper in which MPs are heard making much the same claims:

Michael Meacher, the Labour MP, said: “These are enormous increases. Energy companies claim they put up prices when wholesale prices go up. But then they are very sticky on prices when wholesale prices are coming down. They are profiteering at a time when everyone else is suffering austerity.”

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, took to Twitter, to call for the Prime Minister to personally intervene.

He wrote: “David Cameron should urgently meet w Scottish Power to get prices down. PM needs to stop sitting idly by.”


Tim Yeo, Conservative MP and head of the Commons energy and climate change select committee, said: “If energy companies want to win back trust they should make clear what they have paid. Until we have that transparency, the public will remain suspicious that prices go up rather quickly and come down rather slowly.

“The amount by which they increase their prices should relate to what they have actually paid rather than to some theoretical calculation. We know that energy prices are rising, but what we will not accept is companies who appear to be exploiting their position.”

“Action is needed. It is best if it was voluntary, but if that does not happen then the government would be right to compel disclosure.

The technical term for all this, I believe, is “democratic deficit.” Here we have Tim Yeo MP – a Conservative MP, allegedly, and one with an influential position on Britain’s energy policy – joining up with various violently left-wing members of the Opposition to promulgate exactly the same almighty whopper: that the reason are energy prices are skyrocketing is down to a combination of insufficient regulation and corporate greed.

Let me just repeat that: here is an influential member of Britain’s Tory-led Coalition essentially arguing that what Britain needs right now is a less free market and more regulation. And also pretending that a policy for which he himself is partly responsible – the costly and pointless drive for renewables in the name of combatting climate change – DOESN’T EVEN EXIST.

How much longer are they going to get away with this? Well, I said at the beginning that this country was doomed, but I’m encouraged to see signs that just a hint of a fightback is beginning.

It’s nice, for example, to see my previously fairly agnostic colleague Charles Moore take up the baton for climate realism in this excellent Telegraph column. The Daily Mail, too, has been going MENTAL (but in a good way) on the subject all week, the latest entrant into the fray being the goose-downishly light-of-touch Richard Littlejohn.

Charles Moore is bang on the nail:

High energy costs kill economic growth. That is another way of saying that they make people poorer. Higher energy bills are implacable, direct, and impossible to avoid without personal discomfort. They are coming in now, whereas the counter benefits of any “Green Deal” are much more speculative and long-term. If people think that politicians are making them poorer for no good reason, they will not vote for them.

Say what you like about David Cameron – and you’ll have noticed I do, quite a bit – but if there’s one thing he’s good at it’s being more slippery than a jellied eel in a tub of KY Jelly. And he’ll need this skill in spades if he’s not to go down in history as the Prime Minister who, in the name of a non-existent problem, presided over the devastation of the British countryside with bat-chomping eco-crucifixes for rent-seeking toffs (aka wind farms) and the destruction of the British economy thanks to the imposition of wholly unnecessary costs and regulations. The best of luck to you Dave. And I don’t wish it you for your sake but the sake of our country. It deserves better than this, really it does.


Anonymous said...

Excellent! My sanity recovers.

canadianna said...

But they will vote for them, not because they want to but because they are all the same. Even those who don't believe in the climate chang/global warming nonsense are willing to pander to the *green lobby* for fear of being branded. There is no one in any government or opposition party anywhere, calling B.S. so the liars win by default.