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« The nature of scientific advice | Main | About those Poles... »

Cameron's crap

The papers this morning are full of the story that David Cameron has called on aides to "cut the green crap", in other words to strip away all the environmental costs from energy bills.

Which is a bit odd when you think about it. His aides have no power to cut the green crap and in fact Cameron himself has no power to do so because he has an agreement with the Liberal Democrats about what energy policy will be. And nobody is in any doubt that the Liberal Democrats are so enamoured of green crap that they see keeping the lights on as of secondary importance.

Perhaps he is referring to the next Conservative manifesto. That's possible, but having gone into the last election with the intention of being the greenest government ever, what should we make of a party that now declares that greenery is 'crap'?

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Reader Comments (40)

Well, a Damascene Conversion may well have been undergone. Or - and this is only idle conjecture, of course - he may have noticed which was the prevailing wind is blowing vis-a-vis public perception of the merits or otherwise of said verdant ordure and decided he'll go with the most populist flow?

Also, should we now re-dub Cameron "Pere Ubu"? I think "Merdre (sic) vert" has a *much* nicer ring to it.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric T

It's a way of deflecting some of the criticism that is coming his way for the situation. He cannot do anything about it himself without breaking the party, but he can protect himself by creating rumours that it's not what he wants himself. Presumably we can expect a different Conservative party running for the next election. Although it will be 'Mr Freeze' the Red Ed of Labour that will be elected.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterfenbeagleblog

Just another Cameron ploy, he has no intention of leaving the EU but makes the right noises etc etc.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

You have to learn the Cameron language. It was reported that Cameron has 'promised to roll back green taxes'. This means he has no intention of doing so. The word promise has a different meaning in Cameronian - it means I will say this for votes but will not be actually doing it and indeed may do the opposite while all the time restating the 'promise'.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan W

It is may be a rumour based on wishful thinking, or it may be a deliberate signal by Downing Street to give false hope to voters who are fed up with green policies. Rather like the false claim to negotiate the return of powers from the EU, this would just be another marketing ploy by the ex PR man.

I don't think he has any particular political convictions, they are more pick 'n mix depending on the impression he wants to project in a given situation. As you say, the insane Lib Dems would never allow scrapping of green levies and there is nothing he can do about EU regulations. It is never going to happen.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Cameron has a background in public relations. Like many politicians in Britain today, he thinks that politics is all about winning elections. Gordon Brown spent years scheming for power without, apparently, ever devoting much thought as to what he should do with it when he did finally dislodge Blair.

A statesman recognises reality and seeks to change it for the better, like Churchill in World War II. A politician recognises wishful thinking and is flexible enough to give the impression of changing his or her own thinking to conform with the apparent wishes of the voters, like Cameron now.

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

#GreenCrap is the Twitter hashtag of the day, use it well

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Might be a diversion, I believe there is a compromising picture of Osborne doing the rounds.

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJaceF

These people realise that they have make a mistake and what with Australia, Canada and Japan doing a u-turn public opinion is soon to turn on them. The latest round of energy hikes nicely timed to start with winter is going to result in another bout of excess deaths and price hikes from all and sundry who need to cover the extra expense.

This is perhaps his only option at the moment but, better still would be an admission/apology to the UK people that a mistake and lack of fore-site has been made and needs to be rectified. That in itself would go down well in my opinion and put pressure on Clegg and cohorts to respond or lose credibility.

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered Commentermikeworst

but it is greencrap : messing with the free market
- 1. GreenCrap Subsidies for wind and solar put up electric prices yet fail to reduce CO2 (Renewable Obligation £30 & FITs £7)
- 2. GreenCrap Insulation subsidies seem a good idea, but the system is a mess : vast amounts are spent on the promotion & publicity for the low takeup rates. Plus there have been reports on consumer progs of contractors overinflating the bill cos it's British Gas that pays rather than the homeowner. When it should be homeowner benefits so homeowner should pay.
- 3. GreenCrap Energy bill subsidies are ridiculous, they wouldn't be needed if the bills were lower in the firstplace. (Warm home discount)
- 4. GreenCrap renewables infrastructure costs pushing up bills, the extra long pylon systems, the standby power and STOR systems etc.
- 5 GreenCrap Smartmeters - which the BBC's Paul Lewis reported the Germans decided not to implement cos the costs are real and the savings imaginary

ah Foxgoose just tweeted a picture of the £112 Green costs

- 6 GreenCrap Direct EU & UK carbon taxes

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Whilst on the subject of crap, politicians and elections (perhaps the comma is a mistake) I don't remember seeing any polls looking at the influence of green taxes and energy policy on voting intentions. That would be interesting to see and might just focus a few minds. Then again, you would think that Lib Dem support would be in negative numbers by now...

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I don't trust anything Cameron says. He is just playing politics. Margaret Thatcher was the last conviction politician, who did things that she thought were right for the country and its people (not always right), not because of wanting to be and remain PM.

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

When I first saw the headline, I thought it was a correct assessment.

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Yes the consensus here has it right. He says what is expedient at the time. 'Greenest ever government' was because the MSM was universally declaiming 'green is good' at the time. Remember that all these green taxes were hailed as tax neutral, offset by bigger gains elsewhere, remember that all the renewable obligations were declared to be from the Greedy Energy Suppliers profits and would have no impact on bills. All total and absolute bollocks that anyone with a shred of common sense could see but the MSM again declared it all as wonderful making it politically possible.

Now that the MSM is backtracking, adopting a 'green IS good, but, shite, it's expensive, isn't there a better way' stance and has started to expose the spin a little the political class no longer finds it expedient to be quite so gung ho green. But will they actually change? Well if the MSM gets its collective head out of its collective a*se and starts reflecting common sense maybe, but I don't think the MSM is capable of it any more.

Nov 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

'green' and 'crap' are at risk of becoming synonyms, and that insight alone should encourage politicians to be wary of each.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Not wishing to stir the shit

But anyone got anything on Drug Taking Rent Boy Abusing ex Methordist Minister Paul Flowers
and the Co Op bank funding Renewable Energy or blabbing on about Climate Change.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

He is coming at last to the pinch of the vice he has put his hand in:- the agreement which made him prime minister may yet cost his party the next election. I can't muster much sympathy, but the next election may still be a good one to lose.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Cast iron Dave is full of that crap himself, posturing little twerp that he is.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

The problem being that some of the 'green' isn't crap but none of those in government seem to have the sense to tell the difference. I don't have any problem with looking after biodiversity, protecting the countryside, maintaining fish stocks, avoiding metal and fertiliser pollution etc. Basically most of the things that people used to do as a matter of common sense and to maintain the countryside were 'green', and I suspect most people would support such obvious environmentalism. What we need rid of is the CO2 nonsense which in fact makes for less real 'green'.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterWoodsy42

"I don't trust anything Cameron says. He is just playing politics. Margaret Thatcher was the last conviction politician, who did things that she thought were right for the country and its people (not always right), not because of wanting to be and remain PM."

Phillip B, that might be true about Cameron but if you are also right about Thatcher then what does that say about Thatcher's position on global warming? ...And Bush senior, and all those conservatives in government, like Mulroney, like Gummer and Merkel, who succeeded, where left governments failed, in raising the global alarm in the late 80s and early 1990s? Were they also sincere in their conviction? Fine to be conservative and anti-alarmist, but the prevailing sentiment on the blogs that it is all a left wing conspiracy belies the facts of the history of this scare that many sceptics chose to ignore or refuse to acknowledge.

Stay comfortable in your version of history, but if You dare leave your comfort zone and consider how Cameron might be true to form:

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterBerniel

"what should we make of a party that now declares that greenery is 'crap'?" As in the case of the Australian Coalition or the Japanese government, a party that has come to it's senses and seen the scam for what it is. In Cameron's case he has no sense to come to, but if we see the conservative sceptics promoted to positions which can materially effect the Renewables power scam, then weather-vane Dave will have swung once again.

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

greenest = most naive

the energy market is completely knackered because of political risk that arises directly as a result of the green crap

the country is run by imbeciles

Nov 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterdolphinlegs

Oooohh.... he isn't half going to get it from Samantha.....

Nov 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

leaving the CHURCH of CLIMATOLOGY is going to be difficult for David_Cameron
the greencrap'eratti will harass & hunt him down
you can see it happening on Twitter now
@Sherlock1 "get it from Sam" or not getting "it" from Sam, a cult technique is they try to ostracise you from your family

Nov 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


...Phillip B, that might be true about Cameron but if you are also right about Thatcher then what does that say about Thatcher's position on global warming?...

As far as I know, Thatcher's position on Global Warming in the 1980s was that it was another (though minor) reason to build nuclear power stations instead of using deep-mined coal from the UK.

At that time very little was known about Global Warming, and what little that was known suggested that it could be a major problem in the future. So, quite correctly. Thatcher set up the Hadley Centre, as a world authority on "human-induced climate change". to study the issue in 1990. She was very far-sighted.

By 2000 the data had started coming in, and she was sufficiently intelligent to see that it was a heap of crap. So she 'voiced precisely the fundamental doubts about the warming scare that have since become familiar to us' - in her book 'Statecraft' in 2003. There she explained how distortions of the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing political agenda which posed a serious threat to the progress and prosperity of mankind.

So, as far as I know, Thatcher was one of the first to recognise the possible danger of Global Warming, a major initial player in learning more about it, and one of the first to recognise that it was, in fact, no threat. At all times she was leading from the front. Unless you have other information?

Nov 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I can't work out whether the apostrophe in the headline indicates a possessive or an abbreviation for 'is'.
Either way.

Nov 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

DramaGreens stomp feet & Walkout onCOP19 Warsaw

As crucial UN climate talks in Warsaw reach their 10th and penultimate day, hundreds of environmental activists have announced they are walking out of the negotiations in protest at the lack of progress made.
Members of campaign groups including Greenpeace, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and WWF will leave the discussions in the Polish capital’s national stadium on Thursday.
In a statement, the NGOs and social movements say the decision was partly motivated by the failure of UN delegates to agree on plans to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that can curb devastating climate change and by the series of controversies that have blighted the talks.
- apparently had signs saying "We'll be back in Peru next year" ...another GreensGoByAir fest again

Ben Pile ‏@clim8resistance
- Undemocratic organisations walk out of undemocratic negotiations. #COP19
- NGOs walking out of #COP19 --> another Green Tantrum.

Nov 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"In a statement, the NGOs and social movements say the decision was partly motivated by the failure of UN delegates to agree on plans to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions"

Convenient for them .Gets them off the hook from taking flak over higher Energy Prices.Also makes them look relevant.

Human kind saved again by the worst traits in human nature.

Nov 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid


Just what I thought. He's probably in the spare room already.. :-)

Nov 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Main question is why are the NGO'sgiven the privilage of being on the inside in the first place
..and notice how they using money people like you donated to help in places like the Philippines NATURAL disasters for political jaunts like this.

Nov 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I also believe that Osborne is gaining influence here. Also the two chaps from Australia and USA brought in to avoid defeat in 2015. They are looking at UKIP and how to counter the "out of EU and anti global warming" positons of that party. Maybe Lawson is also beginning to gain more influence. Someone like Peter Lilley may have discovered "The Pause" and discretely passed word around. We just need another big increase in the autumn next year when the "big six" prepare for Milliband's 20 months pause to see them through, and that could put the Tories in the potential position to do a Japan/Poland/Australia on Labour and Lib/Dems and claim they always wanted to get energy costs down but were prohibited by Clegg and in any event Ed Milliband started the ball rolling. To counter the conversion, Cameron could state that when the facts change I change, what do you do? When he was greener than green he did not know about The Pause. That is a game changer etc. etc. Will be interesting to see how this thing plays out. We just need a few power cuts here and there before May 2015 to change the scenario and wake up the populace.

Nov 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Peter

John Peter:

To counter the conversion, Cameron could state that when the facts change I change, what do you do? When he was greener than green he did not know about The Pause. That is a game changer etc. etc.

Absolutely. And it wasn't clear that shale was such a game-changer back then. Two big reasons for a rethink on the science and the policy.

Nov 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

James Delingpole has commented here

Nov 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I find it likely that Cameron leaked that report on purpose to test the waters - if the reaction is very negative, he can still deny ever having said that.

Cameron embraced the green crap as a ploy to make the Tories more electable, when being "green" won many votes and lost few. Whatever his private views are (assuming he even has any), he must know that if he comes out against those policies openly, he makes himself vulnerable not only to dissent from the LibDems but also to attack by Ed Milliband, he of the CIimate Change Act. He'll only go against the green crap if he's convinced it's a net winner politically, obviously. I'm afraid things must get worse before he gets to that point - and "worse" may include a Labour government led by Red Ed.

Nov 21, 2013 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter B

Stewgreen, 1:44 ..... with that lot following the 130-odd countries' delegates out of the door, there can't be many left!

Could be a good time to introduce a motion that it is all a waste of time, the theory is bunk, etc and vote for the whole process to be wound up.

Nov 21, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

How do you believe anything you read anywhere? Just a few a few days ago,when he was in Sri Lanka, Cameron was quoted as saying that governments should listen to scientists who say man-made climate change is to blame and take out an "insurance policy". "There is no doubt there have been an increasing number of severe weather events in recent years". "So I'll leave the scientists to speak for themselves about the link between severe weather events and climate change. The evidence seems to me to be growing". (er, that's leaving it to the scientists?!).

If he's had a conversion, must have been on the plane back home!

Nov 21, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commentermiket


How right you are about politicians today. I remember reading that someone close to the Cameroon inner circle said that Call me Dave achieved 80% of his ambition the day he became PM. Tells you all.

All shades of political opinion just think he is crap - I don't we are wrong.

Mind you, do politicians lead in this regard or just follow? How many people in the UK just want to be famous - it doesn't seem to matter for what.

Nov 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

@Peter B ..scenario you said sounds plausible

BBC fair Climate reporting ?
On Radio 4 PM :Opens with 5 mins from WWF first then over Andrew Peedleton FOE,
then Conservative MP Brooks Newmark with Andrew Peedleton shouting over him

BTW : Today's BBC talk bit were filled with apologisers saying
"No Green taxes, It's only a tiny wafer thin mint of home insulation grants to help save energy".
- Well GreenCrap™ cover a multitude of things not only taxes, but it is quite possible Cameron
said "well where's this Green Tax thing end ?"
..and got the reply "They say the true green bill by 2020 could be more than £100 billion, " (David Rose in the Spectator)
..thus prompting the reply "Holy cow , we have to get rid of all this GreenCrap"

Cameron's GreenCrap™
guaranteed to convert half of traditional Tory voters into UKIP voters

Nov 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

What do greenthinking politicians do in the morning ?
- After GREENdreams
- GREENwash
- GREENcrap

Nov 21, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Dear me, the good old H of P seems to be filled with refugees from PG Wodehouse these days. Hapless Bertie Wooster Cameron in perpetual fixes as he tries to please everyone; 'Ed' Millibillie is an obvious stand-out for Gussie Finknottle - earnest but unfortunate, and obsessed with the Climate etc (read 'the wonders of Newts'). Nick Clegg brings the ghostly presence of Cats' Meat Potter Pirbright to life in front of our eyes. The trouble is, once you start down this road, there's no end to it - how about Roderick Spode of UKIP, thundering around until brought low by whispers of 'Eulalie'?

What I want to know is - where's Jeeves when you want him, dash it. Unless the Lord Lawson would kindly come up with a scheme to get them all out of trouble?

Apologies to the Great Man (PG, that is)
Stuart B

Nov 21, 2013 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered Commentersab

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