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« First power cuts caused by renewables | Main | Josh meets xkcd, well, kind of - Josh 255 »
Monday
Feb032014

2020 Tories want central planning

The 2020 group of Conservative MPs has apparently submitted a paper to the Conservative manifesto project, which demands that the economy generate motherhood and apple pie in equal proportions:

The group’s first submission to the Tory manifesto process, published Monday, calls for a major drive to boost productivity by making better use of resources instead of relying on cutting labour costs. It says that Britain is lagging behind its rivals in areas such as recycling and “remanufacturing” so that materials or parts have a second or third life. It urges the Government to transfer responsibility for waste from the Environment to the Business department.

Laura Sandys, the Tory MP who wrote the report, “Sweating our Assets,” said such a push could result in a 12 per cent increase in annual profits for manufacturers; create more than 300,000 jobs in the “remanufacturing sector”; improve Britain’s balance of payments by £20 billion by 2020 and save £3 billion by reduced landfill costs and retaining the value of resources.

Whether efficiency gains are actually achieved from recycling depends, of course, on whether it is actually more efficient to recycle. We are already, for example, grinding up waste glass at vast expense, a process that everyone agrees is a waste of resources. My belief is that this comes about through a wicked combination of politicians wanting to be seen to do something, intellectually challenged greens thinking they are saving the planet, and bureaucrats trying to expand their empires.

Reading between the lines, the 2020 group's idea seems to be to have more of the same: to expand the reach of central planning in the economy, give further ground to the greens and to recruit more bureaucrats.

Mr Farage will be pleased.

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Reader Comments (26)

My belief is that this comes about through a wicked combination of politicians wanting to be seen to do something, intellectually challenged greens thinking they are saving the planet, and bureaucrats trying to expand their empires.
You have just defined 21st century politics in a nutshell.

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

http://heartland.org/policy-documents/recycling-your-time-can-be-better-spent

Perhaps the conservatives should read more and talk less.

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Recycling has always been done when it was profitable to do so.

Lead, steel, copper, have always found a ready buyer. In the 19th century, even dogshit was recycled (for leather tanning) because it paid to do so.

If something that is being thrown away has value, someone will take it off your hands.

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Politicians. You gotta laugh.


Here's an idea 2020 Club members.

If you see this opportunitiy, get off the taxpayer gravy train and put some of your own capital at risk. It seems like a no brainer so get in quick and make a fortune and "transform" Britain's economy as you do.

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Where can I get a copy of this report?

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTim Worstall

Good grief! Even the Tories are losing touch with reality – if a 12% increase in profits could be made by recycling, don’t you think that a manufacturer would have already spotted that? Though quite how it can make such profits yet provide so many jobs has to be debatable.

Feb 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

All waste management including recycling comes under the remit of our supra government in Brussels. We are powerless to do anything about it. This is why farmers in the Somerset Levels are no longer allowed to spread the matter from dredging over their fields as they have done in the past. It is now classified as waste &,as such, cannot be spread on fields.

Feb 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom Mills

Tim at 9:57

I suggest you try info@2020Conservatives.com That is the only thing I could find.

Feb 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnM

How do you tackle this kind of message? The most immediate thing to catch my eye is the claim of 300,000 jobs. If those jobs were all at a pay of £10k a year it costs consumers £3 billion a year, but only expects to save £3 billion of artificially inflated landfill costs *by* 2020. Take them at their word and it is not cost effective.

Feb 3, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

"cannot be spread on fields"

Except when it (and anything else that comes up the drains) spreads itself naturally, aided and abetted by the inaction of the EA!

Feb 3, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Recycling depends upon high cost of raw materials and cheap labour. Rise in cost of labour in China, slight reduction in growth in China reducing demand and reduction in cost of oil has reduced profits in recycling.

Recycling could increase for organic products and soil if EA did not so often classify materials as waste. Silt from rivers was classified as waste and therefore could not be spread on fields.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

''Central Planning'' is what caused the downfall of the USSR.

Some recycling is a waste of energy when it could actually make energy. Waste paper can be burnt efficiently to produce electricity. Trees used to make paper are replaced up to 4 fold so paper is a very sustainable industry.

Trees from rainforests are NOT used to make paper.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

The term 'the Left' has become meaningless as it implies there must be a Right, but there is no more a comparative; they are all Socialists now that Socialism is paraded as Social Justice, Social Democracy and Progressive/Caring Conservatism.

Who said the Soviet Empire was brought down with the Berlin Wall? Like the genes of wolves which became domesticated and survive and thrive in dogs, the genes of Socialism have become domesticated and survive and thrive in Western 'democratic' Government.

Marx would be pleased.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Laura Sandys was one of the 2010 intake Cameronian 'A' listers. She is a committed europhile and deep green, and was unsurprisingly picked as Conservative representative on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and PPS to Greg Barker Minister of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

She is MP for Thanet, but has announced that she will be standing down in 2015. Local opposition from the strong UKIP presence in Thanet against her europhile views may be a factor.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Small mercies. Looking at the Who We Are section of their website, there is no appearance of 'sustainable' nor of 'resilience', although there is an 'inclusive' and they just manage to avoid 'evidence-based' by the skin of their teeth. I take this a sign that they are not beyond all hope of being more sensible.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Bish writes:

Whether efficiency gains are actually achieved from recycling depends, of course, on whether it is actually more efficient to recycle. We are already, for example, grinding up waste glass at vast expense, a process that everyone agrees is a waste of resources.

Speaking of which ... Much the same has been happening here in British Columbia and the seeds were planted in BC's 2008 Climate Change Act - in which the groundwork was laid for our notorious "carbon tax", which after 5 years of gradual increases is currently in a state of moratorium.

In the past year, they've been upping the ante on the recycling front. And it's not a pretty picture, as I had noted in a post last May, and in a December update.

Feb 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Back in the early 90s I spent a lot of time visiting pulp and paper mills in Scandinavia, trying to sell oxygen plants. The topic of paper recycling came up frequently and the general reaction was to liken it to giving up bread to save wheat being harvested.
If pulp demand for paper products, etc declines, the industry simply cuts fewer trees and - the key point - plants fewer replacements. So the inventory of growing timber does not change.
In addition such a decline can lead companies to think of reducing new plantings below replacement rates and just run down their stock of timber over many years. It is scenario which comes up when major investment is needed to refurbish/ replace a pulp mill.
(I should qualify these remarks as they date back 20-ish years).

Feb 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Privately-educated, Common Purpose, technologically-illiterate, elite poseurs.

I'd rather have them in NuLaber where their real home lies.

Feb 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonosed

Most engineers and applied scientists like designing ,building or operating equipment , structures or systems not planning.
Consequently, planning is often done by those who lack the technical skills and experience or engineers who who found out they were no good.

Feb 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Surely the fundamental premise is this:
If 'recycling' or 'more recycling' was profitable, don't you think that some enterprising businessman/men/woman/women would be making a profit from it..?

Feb 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1


From 9 November 2006 to 22 March 2010, Laura Sandys was a director of Security Futures, together with Adam Werritty.
Wikipedia

Like father, like daughter...

Feb 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

WANTED: REPUBLICAN LEADER (No experienced required)

For Prince Charles the Green Agenda has always been about saving the monarchy from capitalism, and the aspirational working class. Unrestrained commerce and trade makes people wealthier and they demand a greater say in how the country is run. Always bad news for kings and tyrants.

So, the climate\Green narrative became central to ‘royal’ survival. That is why repealing the Climate Change Act will help end the monarchy. I wonder if UKIPers are aware of this?

Anyway, following on from the AR5 hearing last week - which exposed the nonsense of climate alarmist claims - it was to be expect that the Greens (Prince Charles, E3G Tom Burke, Gummer, et al) would pull together a counter-offensive. I only wish we had their resources - Buckingham Palace HQ and their new PR team - to do the same.

But, this is a good thing. Because it opens up the need for another split in the Conservative party along the lines of: Green Monarchists Vs Free Market Republicans. So, situation vacant. Who will be our free market republican leader? Volunteer please step forward. It is just starting to get interesting.

Feb 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

charlie wrote:
"Consequently, planning is often done by those who lack the technical skills and experience or engineers who who found out they were no good."

Just like most 'climate scientists'! see Lindzen's comment about them to the ConECC.

Feb 3, 2014 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilip Foster

Are 2020 Tories twice as smart as 10:10? ;-)

Feb 3, 2014 at 8:37 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

@ HaroldW,

Interesting question, Harold! But I'm inclined to think that the significance of the numbers is more likely to resemble those of Alexis rankings. Consequently, somewhere between 10:10 and 2020, there must have been a tipping point which sent the 2020 Tories tumbling into an "unprecedented" rapid decline of "smartness". A decline which, alas, they cannot hide ;-)

Feb 4, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Hilary -
I thought the decline wouldn't start until 2525. Ah well, I'm out of date again, I expect.

Feb 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

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