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« Cameron sceptical of CCS? | Main | The names you need to know »
Wednesday
Jun052013

Reactions to the Energy Bill debate

There are a couple of interesting reactions to yesterday's Energy Bill debate this morning. Christopher Booker in the Mail stands back and surveys the scene of devastation that the government was wrought:

Sadly, most people still have very little idea just how dangerously crackpot Britain’s energy policy has become, not least because so few people in positions of influence — MPs and journalists much among them — have been prepared to do enough homework to ask precisely the sort of searching questions which Mr Davey thinks we shouldn’t be allowed to ask.

Meanwhile, Richard North examines a little-noticed detail of the bill,

However, while [the threat of Yeo's amendment] was very publicly seen off, creeping under the radar is the concept of Negawatts, aimed at getting us to use less electricity.

This comprised a central part of Greg Barker's speech to the Commons, delivered shortly after the Yeo amendment was defeated by 290 votes to 267 (spool to about halfway down).

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Reader Comments (56)

One has to wonder whether the lobbyists have 'got at' Tim Yeo - or is he really that stupid ? Surely someone has explained to him about CO2 and where it comes from and why we need more of it to feed the hungry billions ? It is very easy to say MPs are of low intelligence but why do they have to keep confirming it ?

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

Like the cost saving projects companies I have worked for have introduced and monitored, when after a couple of years you look at your costs the saving projects were all pie in the sky as your costs stay the same. Negawatts will be fiddled like all Govt targets.

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:23 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Breath of Fresh Air...correct.

Look at the 'Green Deal' for proof. That predictably madcap scheme was going to save the nation £hundreds of millions and reduce emissions of the oh-so deadly 'carbon'. Instead, it has proved to be the real catastrophe, costing millions to design and activate, only to be spurned by almost every house holder in the land. Another green flop, then. There will be plenty more to come before this madness ends.

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

The latest madness is the idea reported in the FT today of giving people who live near wind farms a 20% reduction in their electricity bills. I.e. add a further distortion to the already crazy market for energy that the government is pushing through.
The idea is to overcome the opposition to such schemes. But in my view it will not work. If the market value without wind farms of your property is, say £150,000 and having one of these things near you reduces the value by 20%, you'll be down about £30,000. The average fuel bill, say, will be £1300 p.a. for the property, so you get £260 reduction (and, of course, this can be removed by a future government strapped for cash [e.g. latest Labour thinking!]). On any reasonable discount rate (assuming the subsidy is maintained), getting the capital loss back in reduced energy costs is impossible.
More tinkering, more subsidies, more market distortions. Where can I buy a generator?
Peter

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter

"Negawatts" appeared in the Carbon Plan, whose introduction was signed by Cameron, Clegg and Huhne shortly after the coalition government was formed. Its reappearance in Greg Barker`s speech means that nothing has changed. This Cameron led government is still hell bent on its green agenda.

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterolftimer

"Negawatts" appeared in the Carbon Plan, whose introduction was signed by Cameron, Clegg and Huhne shortly after the coalition government was formed. Its reappearance in Greg Barker`s speech means that nothing has changed. This Cameron led government is still hell bent on its green agenda.

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

"Are you just flashing some ankle?"

Actually Yeo set up a willie-waving contest and lost.

Small mercy.

Jun 5, 2013 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Hasn't anyone bothered to tell Cameron, Clegg, Davey and all the other warmists policy makers that Germany, a lead country in the green movement, is to build a number of coal fired power stations? Are these idiots determined to bring this country to its knees?

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

I'm now inclined to view Yeo's amendment as window dressing, a deliberate red herring. Based on what Mark Reckless has said in both days of the debate the key problem is the contracts for difference. These lock in profits for generators and utilities for years to come, with no chance of Parliament or Cabinet having second thoughts, while the consumer picks up the tab. Poorest especially. Given shale gas and government's proven inability to 'pick winners' in any sector - and the seminal importance of power - this looks like a disaster of unprecedented magnitude. As Reckless pointed out since the 80s we've gone from the freest energy market in the world, and the cheapest electricity, to their polar opposites. RIP UK as competitive force in the world?

I don't think Ed Davey realises this. In fact, having listened to him a little, I suspect he's a real believer in avertable climate doom. I think Big Energy, in cahoots with some civil servants, saw the UK's energy problems, and climate sceptics growing more powerful, and chose this way of locking in profits before it's too late. Caveat: I'm not an energy expert by any means. By all means take my understanding of the 208 pages of the Bill with pinch of salt therefore - but don't expect any interference with the free market in such a key area to turn out well, except for a few very big companies. And for them the green baloney is really a smokescreen. There'll be more CO2 emitted as a result of all this, as many have pointed out.

Nigel Lawson did brilliantly I thought on The World Tonight on Monday. That link goes straight to the start, with Davey having first shot. But I love the way Lawson bats away the 97% as old news (Cook's latest fully deserving being ignored so fair comment), rightly points to the rethink of the science underway due to the temperature standstill, rightly points to the devastation the bill will cause to the poorest families in the country and ends with a haughty but true "Nice chap but he'll live to regret it." Let's pray the House of Lords listens well to the likes of Lawson and Donoughue as this comes up there.

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Negawatts are an old idea, going back to Amory Lovins; I first came across them in his book "Factor Four". Parts of the book are mad, but there are interesting ideas there as well. (Sadly my copy has disappeared somewhere so I haven't read it for a while.)

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Paul Homewood has an excellent open letter to Ed Davey, too.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/open-letter-to-ed-davey/#more-3451

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

I followed the link to the Wikipedia article on 'negawatts', from which it is readily apparent that the whole concept is completely nosensical. The first sentence describes the negawatt as "theoretical unit of power" representing "an amount of energy" which is apparently "measured in watts". It doesn't get any better after that. I added a new section to the Talk page to highlight the problem but perhaps someone more familiar with the concept might like to edit the main page itself.

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Long

No need to wonder about Yeo's motivations. Politicians only exist to enrich and enoble themselves.

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

And just to repeat some important points here: the negawatt concept apparently relies on an artificially-capped market so that the whole country may only consume a fixed amount of power (or possibly energy). It is then possible for someone to sell part of their allocation as a 'negawatt' to someone else, who wouldn't otherwise be able to buy more at any price.

Yes, it's that mad.

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Long

Regarding the lunacy of energy pricing, I had a chat with one of my neighbours a few days ago, regarding the climate change act.

Until recently, she was a supporter of the act and believer in coming dangers of CAGW. As part of her job as a senior manager in a health trust, she had been on several 'awareness' courses so knows all about the terrible things to come.

What's changed is that now she has to handle substantial increases in costs, as hospitals are pretty reliant on electricity prices, and in addition has to budget for extra carbon taxes that are specifically called out in the costings and have to be paid for.

So while the BBC this morning and yesterday were discussing the apparently inexplicable reduction in services in the NHS found in a recent report, and stating that it cannot be financial as the NHS funding is ring-fenced, nobody seems to have considered that ring-fencing doesn't help that much if insane green taxes are imposed on the NHS making the same money go nowhere near as far.

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Hang on a minute, if negawatts are measured in Watts (according to Wikipedia) should we not be discussing negamegawatts or meganegawatts when comparing with megawatts as megawatts are in megawatts not Watts?

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeide de Klein

Oh God! I've just watched Peter Lilley and Ed Davey on the iplayer showing the daily politics Tuesday.
Extremely disappointing again from Lilley in the same way that Nigel Lawson turned out to be the dog that didn't bark.
It's like he just sat there staring blankly into the headlights.
Lilley, Lawson and others like them do the cause no good whatsoever. In fact they make things far worse.

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Reducing consumer electricity demand has been an abject failure. This is despite forcing "energy efficient" washing machines (they consume more not less), banning incandescent bulbs and many other measures.

This document from Ofgem shows that the median household consumption figure for electricity was 3,300kWh in 2003 and then after years of energy saving efficiencies this dropped to stayed the same at 3,300kWh in 2011. So I don't know where they are going to get all these Negawatts from.

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

It would help if the pollies knew the difference between energy and power. And of those that do, how much energy they used, personally.

They seem wilfully ignorant sometimes, but perhaps I had the wrong sort of education...

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Re Lawson, I'm with Paul rather than Richard Drake. I thought that his performance was in general dreadful and Ed Davey was allowed to spout his untruths relatively unchallenged. Lawson waffled and spluttered but said very little of any substance, as a result Davey's lies won the day - especially when helped by the "unbiased" BBC droid.

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

Heide de Klein

negamegawatts or meganegawatts

Brilliant! They really haven't thought this through, have they? Lilliput and Blefuscu spring to mind.

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Pogo and Paul: Having admired your own appearances in hostile circumstances on the MSM, I'll be the first to put your names forward when Lord Lawson asks me for advice on who should replace him. Or, just in case that doesn't happen, why not email him directly? There's no need to detain us on Bishop Hill with a track record like yours.

Jun 5, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

From the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)

“Although we are of course disappointed that the amendment was defeated, we feel the relatively small government majority on this vote is an indicator of the significant level of cross-party support for a decarbonisation target.
“As the energy bill moves to the Lords, we shall continue to work with the broad alliance of investors, businesses and NGOs in order to ensure that investors get the certainty they need to make the long-term decisions that are vital for a UK economic recovery.”
From the GWPF website
According to my patented translation machine this means:
"We are naturally pissed off at the possibility that the supplies to our trough might be cut off or limited but given that nearly half of the House voted for us we are confident that using a considerable number of unelected and unaccountable activists to pull the wool over the eyes of the geriatrics Upstairs we will eventually persuade them to sell the British public down the drain to the greater glory of our bank accounts."
There may be other versions, possibly even less polite than this one.

(Incidentally it seems that the believed to be long-defunct rotten boroughs — or perhaps I mean 'pocket boroughs' — are alive and well after all. At least in East Anglia.)

Jun 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Given the post by Dr Vincent Gray on WUWT it should all be thrown out and we can get back to burning cheap coal and gas to get cheap power.
Dr Gray is an IPCC reviewer and his excellent post shows scientifically why there is no connection between CO2 levels and surface temperature based on historic data.

Jun 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

jamesp: I've been banging on for years to various members of the Governments, NGOs, civil servants etc that energy is not power. But of course, to no avail - they love renewable energy targets measured in MW.

I fully expect a Transport Minister to introduce a universal speed limit in towns of 20miles.

Jun 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

John Marshall on Jun 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM 'post by Dr Vincent Gray on WUWT'

Here is the link:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/dr-vincent-gray-on-historical-carbon-dioxide-levels/

Jun 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Phillip Bratby on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM 'energy is not power'

Give it time, and they will see their error.


And what about MW hr / year ?

I bet you enjoy those units. It makes the numbers soooooo much bigger! :D

Jun 5, 2013 at 1:12 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

Give it time, and they will see their error.
How long have we got?

Jun 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

John Marshall on Jun 5, 2013 at 12:58 PM 'post by Dr Vincent Gray on WUWT' and Robert Christopher at 1.09pm.

This analysis by Vincent Gray is not new and indeed Nature published a paper in 2000 titled:

Evidence for decoupling of atmospheric CO2 and global climate during the Phanerozoic eon
Jan Veizer, Yves Godderis & Louis M. Franceois, Nature, V408, 698-701

It is this study that forms the basis for subsequent work by Nir Shaviv and others.

What are the odds on Nature publishing a paper with a similar title today and I wonder if this paper was in the sample that Cook used?!

Jun 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Dennis

@Richard Drake - someone rattle your cage? So Your'e suggesting that because some of us are disappointed with the performance of Lilley and Lawson We should put ourselves up to take their place?
Hmmn, but that isn't the way the media works matey.
Listen if these guys are up their in their capacity to put forward sensible views on the subject with the years of public speaking and general politiking and they fall flat on their faces there is no way that I would be able to suddenly step in to take their place.
"Hello BBC? I'd like to sit down opposite Ed Davey sometime this week to discuss energy policy".
"Sure thing Paul, sometime after midday suit you??

Jun 5, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Phillip

"universal speed limit"

Don't give them ideas! :-)

Jun 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

The expected hard-hitting, easily understood stuff from the marvellous Booker, and kudos to the Mail for persisting in its attacks on green orthodoxy.

re: negawatts, I'd not come across the concept but the idea seems of a piece with water meters, another government strategy aimed at getting us used to shortages.

I haven't viewed the Lilley item, but on Lord Lawson I have to agree with Paul and Pogo (and add I'm slightly surprised by Richard Drake's uncharacteristic snippy tone in his rejoinder to them). Lawson, probably by long habit, seems to want to treat those who would impoverish us as equals, deserving of a fair hearing. But green alarmists won't be argued out of an ideological, faith-based position with evidence, logic and reason, and neither will the profiteers who cling to their coat tails be embarrassed out of their greed. These people are either fools, liars or parasites, and I suggest the tone for dealing with them is a mix of ridicule and disdain.

From the start, the alarmists' weapons have been argument from authority and ad hominem. The authorities they sought to present as unchallengeable are now seen to have feet of clay, and it's time to turn the ad hom back at them. I fear Lawson is just a bit too civilised.

Jun 5, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

David Cameron gave an interesting answer in PMQs today. In reply to a Labour question bewailing the failure of Yeo’s 2030 decarbonisation amendment he said:

“But does is make sense to fix a decarbonisation target now before we’ve agreed the carbon budget [1923-27] and before we even know whether carbon capture and storage works properly: it doesn’t work, and the businesses I talk to say it is not their priority.”

Jun 5, 2013 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougscot

This vote is a nice demonstration of Pielke's iron law.
Like all AGW driven proposals to date, the British policy/plan is a useless bit of posturing that inflicts pain, enriches insiders and does absolutely nothing about the climate.

Jun 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Richard Drake said:

I think Big Energy, in cahoots with some civil servants, saw the UK's energy problems, and climate sceptics growing more powerful, and chose this way of locking in profits before it's too late.

If it is too late for the next sane government (whenever we get one) to renegotiate those contracts, perhaps it could impose a special windfall tax on all the companies that, in collusion with the present government, have ripped us off in the name of "saving the planet."

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I was going to respond to Richard Drake's rather ascerbic comments, but I see that Paul and Phil D have done the job for me.

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

Paul: Lawson was Energy Minister before being Chancellor in 1980s and he said on Monday night that shale gas is the most significant energy breakthrough in that time. That in itself was worth the price of admission for me. I'm not saying Lawson or Lilley cannot be usefully criticised; I only question whether you've reached the useful stage.

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"Reducing consumer electricity demand has been an abject failure. "

They've hardly started.

The next generation of washing machines (and other appliances) will have the gizmos built into them, by administrative fiat, so that they can communicate with your Smart Meter and shut themselves down when some more deserving person - such as an MP or celebrity - needs the electricity.

And since they've already got the working life of these machines down to about the length of the warranty - two or three years roughly - you won't have the option of hanging on to the old one indefinitely as we would have done in the fifties and sixties. See also under "gas boilers".

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

The Dodgy Energy Dossier

Booker and North, as usual, do an excellent job of describing, and skewering the Parliamentary madness, that passes for energy policy.

Patrick Herren and John Constable (H&C) flesh out the mechanisms and the costs, in an excellent article “An Alternative To Our Reckless Energy Gamble“ in the May edition of Standpoint link: as follows

“There is an unexpected parallel between our energy policy and the self-deception and wishful thinking exhibited by the mishandling of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Blair government ignored warnings about the reliability of sources, some of whom were fantasists, and "sexed up" whatever evidence it thought it did have.

In an alarmingly similar fashion, successive British governments since the White Paper of the same year have been basing energy and climate change policy on questionable evidence, much from visionary green NGOs, dubious assumptions about future oil and gas prices and flawed reasoning about the beneficial effects of current renewable generation technologies”

They further calculate that, on conservative assumptions, the additional direct costs to the UK will be at least £200 billion (2002 – 2030). And that we’ll be locked into very expensive renewable commitments with Contracts for Difference (CfD), till well into the 2030s. Assuming the MP-inspired train crash cannot be stopped. It’s hard to overstate just what damage this will do to our economy and society. The financial crash suffered in 2008, will be peanuts in comparison. H&C summarise the current UK energy ‘strategy’:

“Britain's climate change strategy was designed in the belief that renewables would develop rapidly and improve their cost and performance once widely adopted. This has proved a vain hope.”

How did we get into this dreadful, national suicidal, position?

Parliament, the heart of our democracy, voted almost to a man and woman for the Climate Change Bill 2008. Lead by the nose (brain) by green zealousness, and a grand narrative of terrible catastrophe if we don’t mend our evil, planet-killing, ways. They did this at exactly the same time as the financial crisis hit the world. An ‘independent’ Climate Change Committee (CCC) was set up to police the policy, which it’s done zealously, although not independently, ever since. You can see the damage done to government ‘thinking’, policy and UK industry, across the piece. It’s a train wreck which BH has picked apart in its truly awful detail.

Zealots are blind to the damage they do, and blind to other, bigger, problems. For them there is no other problem to compare with ‘saving the planet’. This huge generational task trumps all others, and short circuits the believer’s brain. It also completely distorts thinking and use of evidence. It truly is henny-penny writ large, writ huge.

The answer, in a democracy, is to listen to the concerns of the people, and to choose sources of the cheapest energy. Normally, in the UK, this would be coal, but this has been demonised so badly it’s probably not a goer, although it’s on the up in Germany; ironic or what. For Britain let’s go for gas in the short-term, supplemented by nuclear, if it’s a reasonable price.

For any of this to happen on a sensible timescale, Parliament must cast aside the green brainwashing, and think and act clearly and practically. If energy prices keep going up, as the current renewables policies require, the scandal of MPs expenses, and payment by lobbyists will be as nothing. The MPs who see the energy light will (probably) survive. The others, especially the greenest of zealots, will be swept into the dustbin of history. I live in hope, but I fear the worst.

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Piney

Roy: A windfall tax will be neutered no doubt by the accountants and will come too late to help real energy entrepreneurs, on whom we depend for change, have a fair chance against the insiders. But it would still be worth doing.

Mark Piney: Why not keep the coal-fired stations open as well? Every option should be on the table. If the greens can stomach it they can put forward their ideas too - just no more subsidies. But thanks for a serious comment befitting the situation.

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Negawatts is simply energy supplied with a power factor of -1.

I wonder if I could get DECC to support research into a negawatt generator?

Jun 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Another similarity with the madness of CAGW in the Iraqi case. It was 'settled science' that Saddam had WMD.

The difference? Saddam was convincing because he had the will and the way to WMD. Nature doesn't seem to have the will to CAGW.
===============

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Billy Liar says-
"Negawatts is simply energy supplied with a power factor of -1"

I think that's what residential solar panels produce, provided there is actual sunshine and the snow's been shoveled off the panels.

One worrying aspect of a government promoting negawatts is the fact that the same government is spending billions rolling out smart meters with remote disconnect capability. Once the meters and communications infrastructure is installed, the nameless, faceless, unaccountable bureaucracy can simply decide that next Tuesday will be negawatt day, and with a wave of a hand and some keystokes at revenue metering central, everyone can enjoy a day of negawatts.

Remember, its for the children.

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

Will energy companies accept 'negapounds' for their "negawatts"?

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSparks

Has anyone analyzed what is in fact happening wrt real estate values close to existing wind farms? I'd think that by now there ought to be real data on how wind turbines affect sale prices?? I know I wouldn't knowingly buy a home close to those giant bird shredders, so I'm guessing that there is some impact upon home values.

Update: I searched a bit for answers to my own question. Most of what I saw on a quick look was a slew of articles pro and con which were more anecdotal than scientific. A lot of pro wind industry outlets claim no impact but their "studies" seem to be diffuse and not focused upon residential properties very close to the wind farm(s) in question. There may not be much if any impact several km away, but what about for homes within several hundred meters of turbines? Homes with actual visual and auditory impacts? It does not say much to "study" homes where there are no sights and sounds of the wind turbines.

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Much has been said about the Green Deal in various media outlets since it was announced by the government, both for and against.

I am very much on the fence with this, as with many other 'green investments'. Virtually none of these green schemes marketed to the general public have produced the returns claimed, and in fact many 'green' investment trusts and 'green funds' have performed so spectacularly badly over the last few years, sometimes losing more than 90% of their value, that I take the view that there is a certain satisfaction to be had from watching green inclined investors, who were so willing to swallow the hype, suffering a dose of reality and I have no doubt that will apply to many who sign up to the Green Deal.

However there will also be another category of much more innocent people, who may well believe that since this is government backed, that the savings claimed by the salesman who visits their house will actually be realised. These people will have no recourse when it transpires, years later, that they have been misled. What is already obvious is that there is a massive likelyhood that the Green Deal will become one of the next big mis-selling scandals. What is as yet unclear is what liability the government (ie us poor taxpayers) may in due course incur. I would like to say I have some confidence Ed Davey and his band of merry men at the DECC have taken legal advice on this, but given his past performance in the job I can't say i'm optimistic.

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

Households near wind farms offered cheap electricity

http://www.ynnicymru.org.uk/blog/households-near-wind-farms-offered-cheap-electricity/

Not that cheap though.

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

http://www.carolinelucas.com/get-involved/campaigns/20mph.html
20 MPH - YOU'RE TOO LATE, CAROLINE LUCAS, EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE MP IS ON THE CASE
Stop wasting time and make her Transport Minister 1

Jun 5, 2013 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Booker has considerable inside knowledge. He knows Owen Patterson well. Owen must be tearing his hair out at his cabinet colleagues' stupidity.

Jun 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Not very liberal to want to ban opposition, especially on the biggest question in British politics.

Still, I don't think the Lib Dems are at all liberal.

Jun 5, 2013 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

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