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Lord Lightbulb - guilty as charged

The Times reports that Lord Barnett, a former Labour minister, is set to make a mint from an investment in a company that recycles the toxic lightbulbs we are soon to be forced to use.

A FORMER Labour cabinet minister is set make a fortune when the country switches to using low-energy light bulbs.

Lord Barnett, who was Treasury chief secretary two prime ministers during the 1970s, is a shareholder in Mercury Recycling Group, which is expected to see its value soar during the switch over from conventional lighting.

The Times seems to have asked the Ignoble Lord if he had used insider knowledge of the government's intentions to guide his investment decisions. "No" retorts his Lordliness, "I have never spoken in the House of Lords on an issue in which I have got an interest."

A case of denying something with which you were not charged, if ever I heard it.


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Reader Comments (7)

I'm sure he's eaten up by guilt.
Jan 11, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjpt
Whiter than white!
Jan 12, 2009 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Stroud
It might also be noted that the 'low energy' light bulbs are not, in fact low energy.

The reasoning is that the remainder of electrical energy used by conventional bulbs is turned into heat. Most of this heat is generated in buildings that are also heated, and at times (winter and dark) when heating is switched on. Thus more power is used by heating systems and this compensates for the reduced electrical power used in lighting.

Which of the two is more efficient is a moot point. The greater production costs and disposal costs of low energy bulbs together with the more efficient energy conversion of big power stations compared with most domestic oil or gas heating favour conventional bulbs. Greater reliability favours 'low energy'.

Yet again we have green ignorance.
Jan 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve
You know what will happen with these curly light-bulbs, don't you. If they fall on the floor and smash, are people generally going to recycle them as recommended? No, in most cases I bet the pieces are going to be swept up and emptied into the bin. There's probably only a tiny amount of mercury in each one, but I guess it will all add up...
Jan 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull
Presumably the "Mercury Recycling Group" (is it, perchance, on of those public-sector funded "Charities" we keep hearing about?), was in on the lobbying at the EU which produced this absurd directive?

Along with Phillips and GE, who make, er, low-energy bulbs. Would you believe it?

And I expect they were there, too, when the other lobbying took place to ensure that the cheaper Chinese bulbs had a punitive tariff imposed.

Jan 12, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin
"cheaper Chinese bulbs"

Although I notice that current Philips bulbs have a discreet 'Made in PRC' line on the packaging. I wonder what tariff applies to them?
Jan 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
"pieces are going to be swept up and emptied into the bin"

Not after the forthcoming Home Office Directive 1984, which will make it illegal...

Time to buy a few shares in MRG, perhaps.
Jan 16, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

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