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« The Lew letters | Main | The final Frontiers »

Ed Davey leads the charge to nowhere - Josh 269

H/t Richard Drake and Robin Guenier for describing Ed Davey, our lost and confused Energy & Climate Change Secretary, as a Solitary Lemming - see here. Ed has been saying that "Britain must lead the international battle against global warming". It's not been a good week for the Lib Dems has it.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (30)

I love the "BYE!" in the background. Hahaha.

Apr 5, 2014 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Sorry Josh, but us taxpayers are fettered to Ed 'we must do something, anything' Davey, and are being dragged, against our will, over the cliff with him.

Apr 5, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public


Apr 5, 2014 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterKuhnKat

Joe Public: Exactly. The other lemmings waving goodbye are other countries. The terrible thing, symbolised by the Union Jack, is that "we're all in this together".

Apr 5, 2014 at 1:42 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Lemming joining the Salmond ?

Apr 5, 2014 at 4:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Another stage in the journey? Ed Davey in the Commons on 3rd April:

Barry Gardiner (Brent North) (Lab): The Secretary of State rightly spoke of the importance of last week’s IPPC report on climate change. Will he tell the House of any new policy he is considering in the light of that report as a way of advancing progress from the UK on these matters?

Mr Davey: I think that the most important thing we are doing at the moment on this issue is trying to get EU-wide agreement on the energy and climate change package for 2030, including a very ambitious binding target on greenhouse gas reductions, which will be binding on the UK as well as other member states. We have been leading that, and last year I set up the green growth group to get all the ambitious states together. Following the March Council, I am very optimistic that we will get agreement on an ambitious package for Europe and the UK at least by October.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Just when I start feeling hopelessly embarrassed by Barack Obama I, well, I keep feeling embarrassed. But I feel your pain. Kind of - in a small way. Be glad you don't have BO to explain to the world.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterdp

"Was none who would be foremost to lead such dire attack?
But those behind cried "Forward!", and those before cried "Back!" "

Horatius at the bridge, Macaulay. The ones who cry 'Forward!' in the climate case are not the ones who will suffer.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda


An oafish and ignorant zealot in a position of power is a horrible and destructive phenomenon, but somehow Josh deploys wit and charm to capture the man's arrogant stupidity.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:39 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

This is what you get when you get someone about as bright as a 5w bulb in a position of power!


Apr 5, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"Was none who would be foremost to lead such dire attack?
But those behind cried "Forward!", and those before cried "Back!" "

Horatius at the bridge, Macaulay. The ones who cry 'Forward!' in the climate case are not the ones who will suffer.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:33 AM | rhoda



Those who cry "forward" do not want their gravy train derailed.

Apr 5, 2014 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

Shortly he is a dead man walking , in the political sense, Labour wins his out , Tories win his out , Liberals are dead as a group his out .

So now its all about 'legacy' for him and perhaps looking for the next comfortable low effort high income job, the EU is always a good place to find those .

The sad part is the 'legacy' is likley to live behind will be as welcome as the legacy left form the behind of a dog who has be feed curry.

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Don't forget The Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP

Yesterday he came up with this:

UK Solar PV Strategy: Part 2

Currently, there is 2.7 GWp of PV capacity in the UK, which places the UK firmly in the global top 10 economies for deployed solar.

But my personal ambition is far bigger than that. While the UK already has a legally binding EU obligation for 15 per cent of its energy to come from renewables by 2020, I believe that, as the sector drives the cost of solar PV down towards grid parity, the UK has the potential to install up to 20 GWp of solar early in the next decade.

Unfortunately you have to wade through many pages of gloop to page 45 before you get to the catch:

120. There are four key system challenges for connecting solar PV to the grid. First, there is limited spare connection capacity, with most capacity at suitable sites already assigned to developers, whether or not projects have progressed. Secondly, solar can lead to voltage level increases, when generation is high and demand is low, and this could result in network assets tripping and damage to electrical equipment. Thirdly, PV does not provide inertia, a property which affects the frequency control capability of the system: as low carbon generation replaces conventional fossil fuelled generation, the overall system inertia reduces because conventional plant has rotating mass which provides inertia to the system, whilst solar PV does not. As a result there is a greater impact in the balancing of supply and demand, requiring additional measures. This can have local effects as well as system-wide ones. Fourthly, uncontrolled renewable generation can exceed minimum demand and it is not currently possible to turn off most solar PV. Electricity market incentives and action by National Grid should mean that other generation reduces its output to as solar PV increases. This is likely to have a cost, particularly if the point is reached when the only generation remaining on the system is that which must run.

The Australians discovered this in 2011:

Rooftop solar panels overloading electricity grid

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

There have been many words spoken and written about Ed Davey's character and the UK's economic and energy predicament.

But Josh - in one small image - elegantly sums up both. Bravo!

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Re your Macaulay quote.
I'm sure Bernard Levin used this in one of his monologues on That Was The Week That Was (showing my age, there) in a comment about government policy at the time. He added "... all to a muttered chorus from the onlookers of 'sideways, sideways'".
In this context, 'sideways' might be an improvement!

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:43 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson


I too have been looking at the new strategy, as I am giving a briefing on solar farms in a couple of weeks time. The paragraphs following 121 examine the solutions to the four "challenges" and come up with no firm solutions. Solutions to the impending grid failures will be somebody else's (a future Government) problem to solve. The imnmates are truly in charge at DECC.

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

There is a Windmill Lane in Davey Dickhead's constituency (Surbiton).

But no actual windmill.

Just sayin'

Apr 5, 2014 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Take Maria Miller with him.

Apr 5, 2014 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Ed Davey leads the Charge of the Light Brigade! With a similar outcome to our economy.

I wonder if Barry Gardiner's question was prearranged, since he is one of Ed Miliband's non-scientist green zealots! He has a similar non-thinking capacity as Ed Davey, obviously some empathy there.

Apr 5, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Can somebody please show Ed Davey this website:

and try to explain to him, very slowly, just how bad an idea windmills are.

Apr 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Beautifully done, Josh – and, like Robinson, I thought the ‘BYE’ a great touch. However, as Joe Public and Richard point out, it’s not just Ed Davey who’s taking that solitary leap to doom (would that it were), but the whole of the UK.

Apr 5, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

You Brits are always insulting us lemmings. We will sue for libel!

Apr 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLemmy Caution

Davey and fellow alarmists should be made to watch this:
“We Live in Cold Times”

PS so should Richard Betts.

Apr 5, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

It's a man's life in the British Delusional Association.

Apr 5, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterEarle

This reminds me of a cartoon posted outside one lab of the Institute of Zoology, University of Oslo, in the 1960ies, depicting a flow of lemmings dropping off a cliff and swimming towards the horizon and sunset, with the text "One million lemmings can't be wrong".

Apr 5, 2014 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrygve Eklund

That's a very scary look in the eye of the lemming Josh. My biggest fear in the next election is that we lose the nervous lemmings on the cliff and we get a load of new lemmings who think flight evolution is just a matter of having the guts to jump...

Apr 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Yes Tiny. Each new parliament has a bunch of green MPs (nothing to do with the Green Party). The tragedy is when they also get into Ministerial positions. The Lib Dems being a bit short on ministerial talent have had to make up the numbers.

Apr 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Stuart

Not all politicians are dogma driven green zealots. Australia is leading the way...again:

Unsurprisingly, the sensible approach being taken by Mr Abbott is totally incomprehensible to the official quoted.

Notice also that the person quoted, whilst happy to be identified as an EU official to give his/her comments credibility, and quoted criticising another nation and individual, did not want to be named. We live in a truly accountable democracy in the EU.

Apr 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

"As you may know the idea that Lemmings jump over cliffs is a made-up myth."

So you reckon the makers of this video were throwing them off the cliff?

Apr 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

"As you may know the idea that Lemmings jump over cliffs is a made-up myth."

Sounds like conspiracy ideation to me.

Apr 7, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

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