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« FOI: Coyne ridiculous | Main | New Era - Josh 360 »
Monday
Feb012016

Cue violence

The Telegraph is reporting that the cabinet are going to take planning decisions over shale gas developments out of the hands of councils. If correct, it means that planning officers will now be left to their own devices.

I think this probably means that the greens will resort to violence of one kind or another. 

In some ways it could be David Cameron's miners strike moment: the time when he is handed the opportunity to face down an anti-democratic and thuggish minority. I'm not sure DC is any kind of an iron lady though. A jelly gentleman or something like that.

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Reader Comments (249)

golf charlie
In my experience planning is (and is actively supposed to be) one if the areas where party politics takes a back seat — to a certain extent, that is, since you can never keep politics totally out of it.
Provided the application is in line with the approved Local Development Plan (or whatever other fancy name it may have locally) there is a presumption in favour of development.
I confess to being something of a planning nerd (my daughter who has probably sat through as many Planning Committee meetings as I have thinks I'm weird) but my experience is that councillors are reluctant to overrule their officials because planning is very much a technical matter and the sort of decision that Lancs CC came to is not only likely to be overturned on appeal to the SoS but they are in danger of being penalised into the bargain. Their decision and their reasoning was perverse as anyone who studied the papers that Cuadrilla submitted (especially the photographs) could see.

Feb 2, 2016 at 6:43 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Harry,

You need a lot more than a 3% error to erase that lead ;-)

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

I doesn't add up:

Certainly true, as the refineries don't all have to buy their crude on the open market, as the same company that gets it out of the ground often also does the refining. As the spot market price goes up, the production cost isn't any different. But the refineries are usually in a 'separate company' albeit part of the same group. So they engage in the pretence of buying the crude, so that they can exploit the swings in the market to charge more at the pumps. You'd expect a canny buyer to buy up a heap of options and futures when the market price is down, to act as a buffer against future rises. But somehow as soon as the market price rises, the pump price goes up in concert. Why do companies with abundant production not hold their refined product prices down to compete for custom when the market price, which they don't really have to pay, goes up? A 'market' apparently without any real competition is usually called a cartel.

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermorebeerplease

Phil Clarke:

You need a lot more than a 3% error to erase that lead
You assume that a 3% error is the limit of their failure. You'll be telling us next that Lewandowsky was a successful pollster.

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:21 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Enough. O/T

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Harry, that's a very powerful Morton's Demon you have there.

I assume nothing. We know the pollster's election prediction and the actual result, a few percent out.

The yougov fracking poll is a regular event, and shows a switch against the polluting methodology after years of approval, also seen in the DECC data.All the polls I've seen show the public favour renewables over fracked shale.

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/04/people-prefer-living-near-wind-turbines-to-fracking-wells-survey

Feb 2, 2016 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Thank you Harry Passfield and Terry S for coming to my defence while I was AWOL from this site earlier today. Phil Clarke did indeed unfairly (in my opinion) abbreviate my quote from the website he linked to, in a vain attempt to defend the indefensible. The simple facts are that fossil fuel industries have made a huge net contribution to the nation's finances while so-called renewables are huge net recipients from the nation. No amount of semantics can make those simple facts go away.

I also find it more than a little ironic that despite that huge disparity, Phil Clarke can still bemoan his artificially defined subsidy to fossil fuels by saying that "Semantics aside this is money that could go to social goods, such as schools and hospitals". Phil, why do you not express such opinions about the very real hard cash subsidies paid to the "renewables" industry? There has been much discussion on this thread about double standards, mostly in connection with the planning process and how it treats wind turbines and fracking applications. In my opinion, Phil's lamenting of a non-subsidy for fossil fuels supposedly taking money away from social goods, and his deafening silence on that subject with regard to the very real cash subsidies paid to "renewables" is the biggest double standard on display here.

I have said it on this site before, but as someone who regards himself as being on the left of the political spectrum, I am constantly amazed how my fellow lefties (I assume Phil would so describe himself - apologies if I'm wrong) are perfectly happy to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich so long as it is in the service of the great God of attempted (but usually illusory) reduction of CO2 emissions. I take no satisfaction (and cannot understand why others apparently do) in plunging millions into fuel poverty in order to enrich already wealthy landowners and foreign "green" companies. I regard it as madness, frankly.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke: "Morton's Demon" - Nope....not a creationist. I expect honest science to guide us. In your case, though, accusing me of Morton's Demon is pure projection: you are the one who has set up the gate-keeper - who, in your mind, prevents you reading HSI.

PS: Mark Hodgson: Well said!

PPS: Phil Clarke: It may come as a surprise to you that one could consider shale gas - and other fossil fuels - to be 'renewable - but in a geologic time scale.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:11 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/04/people-prefer-living-near-wind-turbines-to-fracking-wells-survey
It would be interested to dig deeper into that survey and get at some reasons though I assume that the headline itself is all that Phil needs to confirm his beliefs.
From where I am standing I don't need to see the details either because I would bet they will simply confirm the extent to which those surveyed have been led astray by green blob lies.
Which, of course, puts us no further forward because we are both comfortable with what we believe. Unfortunately one of us is wrong. Question is which one and how do we decide. Do we look at the experience of fracking over the last half century and the views of those who have been directly involved and know the ins and outs? Or do we take the word of environmental activists with no experience in the industry but half-a-dozen axes to grind?
Tough choice.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:43 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Phil Clarke: About that survey. If the respondents had been asked: "Would you rather live near the wind turbines in this picture than the gas wells also pictured?" What do you think the answer would be? Clue: there are 11 gas wells in the picture.

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:50 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

geronimo:

As for the faux concerns of democracy taken by raft and Clarkie, the government in Westminster is a democratic government, you, or I, may hold different opinions on whether there should be another party in power, but nontheless this is the elected government of the people of the Unitied Kingdom.
Do you mean that once a party is elected to government it's will should just be obeyed by everyone? That opposing it's policies is "undemocratic"? Does that make opposition in parliament "undemocratic"; are the opposition parties not supposed to oppose? Is government better without an opposition? You have such a impoverished view of what democracy means that it is hard to believe you actually believe in it. Your level of misunderstanding of democracy is on a par with that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who thought that winning an election meant they had a free hand to do whatever they pleased. At least they had the excuse that they came from a region with no democratic tradition. Maybe you do too; it is hard to believe you grew up in a democracy.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Harry - Clearly Morton is more democratic these days - he'll hold the blinkers in place for anyone.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Morebeerplease:

The days of the integrated oil company are long gone in the UK. The refiners we have left are Essar (Stanlow), an Indian company; Valero (Pembroke) a US refining company; PetroIneos (Grangemouth), a petrochemical company in a JV with PetroChina - none of whom own any oil production that could be fed to the refineries - leaving just Esso Fawley which processes far more than Esso produce in the North Sea, Total Lindsey (again far outweighing their own production), and Phillips Killingholme (ditto). Most of the UK North Sea production has been sold off to independents too.

Not that there were ever any cosy deals on direct supply to refineries anyway - doing that allowed the Oil Taxation Office to have a big say in the value it accepted for the collection of very high upstream taxes. That could be neutral in the days of BNOC/OPEC prices, but after that system collapsed it was almost always better to sell out production and buy in refinery requirement in the open market rather than be landed with a high tax transfer price (and thus a high tax bill). The exception was for fields that were not profitable enough to be tax paying - small fields that had disappointed against projected production.

I think you also haven't understood that market price is market price. Oil prices are volatile, and when prices fall they can do so sharply. If refiners profit from speculative trade in options and forward purchase (or from hedging their purchases to "unprice" them to benefit from falling prices), that is all well and good - but so can any trading house or bank energy trading desk provided they can swallow the consequences of getting it wrong. But you should look at refining margins, which have tended to be rather inadequate particularly in the light of all the additional environmental regulation they have to invest for. Green taxes don't help. There's a reason that Chevron, Texaco, BP, Shell, Murco etc. no longer have refineries in the UK. Indeed, in some cases the forecourt branding has simply been loaned to another independent company, and there's no real presence left at all. Bear in mind that over 40% of fuel is sold via supermarkets, who have no refineries or oilfields, and almost no stock of fuel either - just a few days' supply at a depot. They price hand to mouth, and set the market. Now, what happens if they drive out competition may be an interesting topic for the future.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Phil Clarke: Oh, do go and do one [snip] You're the one afraid of the gate-keeper. Go and read the HSI; open your mind. You have nothing otherwise of value to add to this discussion. While you try clever plays (Moretons's Demon, FFS!), you are a prisoner of your own ignorance. You'd feel very much more at home trolling Booker over at the DT.

Feb 2, 2016 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Mike Jackson 6:43 I recall from a year or so ago that you had some inside knowledge on Planning!

What annoyed me, was how 'contentious' Planning Applications, new housing, supermarkets etc would split down party lines, rather than looking at local need. ALL political parties are guilty of this, so I am not trying to direct criticism at any one party.

Planning Officers, and Planning Committees do lose Key Performance Indicator Brownie Points if a decision is appealed and overruled by the Planning Inspectorate (Govt, unelected officials) and this process is ALLEGEDLY independent of Govt policy. I suspect the Govt is sending out a slightly different message about fracking, which for the benefit of the UK, AND local communities has to be a good thing.

The Green Blob has had power over the planning process for too long, by manipulating local support/opposition, and the Green Blob have been very clever and manipulative about it. Which is why they are now squealing.

I am NOT a planner! But I was dragged into some non-energy related planning matters more than 10 years ago. Elected Councillors all want to be on Planning Committees, it is where there is real power in the decision making process.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Harry, vulgar abuse does you no favours, but you get your wish, I take my leave, time being precious.

A little reality check though, for anyone who believes there is widespread popular support for shale gas

ICM for Co-operative Energy conducted the polling and also found that solar power was the most preferred source of electricity, with 30%. Only 2% said they preferred shale or gas from fracking.

http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/13/65-prefer-wind-turbines-fracking-wells-uk-poll/

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, 8:08am;

"To be absolutely clear; I support the right to protest on any issue, provided it is legal and non-violent. I believe the prediction of violence in the head post smacks of alarmism and paranoia."

The protests at Balcombe and Duddleston, at certain times were neither legal nor non-violent.

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:53 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

From where I am standing I don't need to see the details

I humbly propose this as a motto for this forum

Feb 2, 2016 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, are local people given the true statistics about how useless and unreliable wind and solar actually are, how much it adds to the electricity bills, how much profit is made, and how much subsidy is still required?

It would be far cheaper to replace the lot with diesel generators, which is precisely what is happening. Wind and solar have to be the biggest waste of money in power generation. But if you want to support the Green Fat Cats, that is your decision. Presumably it is worth your time to keep rehashing dubious statistics.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Salopian,

If what you say is correct, then I deplore such actions Whatever the merits of your case,I think violence and illegality do more damage to it than good more often than not.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, 10:54pm: "From where I am standing I don't need to see the details"

The same way you that you turn a blind eye to the threats, aggression, intimidation and trespass, used by the "green" rent-a-mob to support the "cause"?

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Tactics they learnt from animal rights terrorists

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Salopian - which part of 'deplore' is giving you the problem?

My NVDA days are decades in the past, however I do remember a discrepency between the events I experienced and the reporting of them in the media. Remember to apply that scepticism even-handedly.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/15/sussex-police-criminalising-fracking-protest-acquittals-balcombe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ICWDmx9DMc

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


@Phil Clarke, Feb 1, 2016 at 10:12 PM

The World Trade Organisation defines a subsidy as
a transfer of funds or a potential transfer of funds from a government or public body through a grant, loan, equity infusion, or loan guarantee; a government fiscal incentive such as a tax credit; a government-provided good or service other than general infrastructure; or a government payment to a funding mechanism or private body to carry out one or more of the functions illustrated above.

Which capital flows amount to around $400 bn annually to fossil fuel operations.

http://shiftthesubsidies.org/

You can copy&paste, well done.

Now explain in your own words what government subsidies the fossil fuel industries receive.

Note tax deductible business costs are not a subsidy, corporation tax and self-employed tax is tax on profits after business costs.

Is tax deductible premises rent costs for a Medical Doctors' Practice a subsidy for the doctors?

Then explain in your own words how the government laws which mandate energy companies buy when available and pay for it even if not needed renewable energy at government decreed prices higher that free market prices is not a subsidy to renewable energy providers.

Feb 1, 2016 at 11:00 PM | Pcar

Update:
No reply. Not surprised, the green trolls standard response is copy&paste quotes and post urls, but ignore and not answer questions. Their and the left's (eg esmifff) strategy is ignore and change the subject. They have zero understanding of economics, finance, global competitiveness & taxation (same as EU & Mr Slippery) and business.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:34 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Pcar

please do not criticise 'the left' because this is not about left and right and we have some great left wing commenters on the thread (I am very right wing hehe).

To all:
Democracy and public opinion has played a big part in this thread and there are problems here that I can not solve.
On the one hand I believe that Democracy demands that public opinion should be heeded but on the other hand consecutive governments have ensured that the public have no idea what is going on. Suggestions for solving that are welcome.

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:47 PM | Registered CommenterDung

My house sits on top of an old coal mine. I would far rather it sat on a shale gas field. But no-one has asked me. I wonder why?

Feb 2, 2016 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

Phil Clarke, 11.25pm: "My NVDA days are decades in the past, however I do remember a discrepency between the events I experienced and the reporting of them"

Bollocks, you were banged to rights sunshine, you could at least to put your hand up to being a left-wing activist thug.

Feb 3, 2016 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Phil Clarke, I am guessing NVDA, to which you refer to is Non Violent Direct Action. Would you object if NVDA was taken against Greenpeace or wind turbines, or solar subsidy farms?

Feb 3, 2016 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Dung, the Green Blob have manipulated scientific methods and their association bodies. They have manipulated public opinion with fabricated scare stories, and rent-a- mob tactics. They have tried to disrupt blogs such as this.

Some of them, allegedly, get paid for their time and expenses, whilst accusing their sworn enemies of being in the pay of Big Oil.

Apart from the abbreviated summary above, it all seems normal. What was your concern?! At least this blog does NOT operate ruthless censorship, as Green Blob collaborators do, to support their delusions of consensus and public support.

Feb 3, 2016 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I regard opinion polls on wind farms vs wells as measuring the impact of the BBC/Harrabin hate campaign against the latter. They are certainly uninformed. I like to point out that the handful of well disguised wellsites at Wytch Farm have been in operation for over 40 years with almost no complaint (not least from the über rich on Sandbanks, under whose houses some of the wells are drilled), and has produced more energy that the entire existing UK onshore wind fleet will in its lifetime.

Feb 3, 2016 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

It doesn't add up... the Green Blob don't like inconvenient facts, and evidence to get in the way of their fraudulent activity, lies, and money making.

Feb 3, 2016 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

When it comes to surveys, I wonder if the people who had a loved one die of hypothermia would vote against frakking ?
This is not an academic talking point to many people.


As far as Pj 'weeble' Clark being a thug. nope.
he may be a wishy washy, namby pamby, airy fairy, arty farty, limp wristed lefty . but he's always opposed violence.

he's still a turd though

Feb 3, 2016 at 2:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

riff

Do you mean that once a party is elected to government it's will should just be obeyed by everyone? That opposing it's policies is "undemocratic"? Does that make opposition in parliament "undemocratic"; are the opposition parties not supposed to oppose? Is government better without an opposition? You have such a impoverished view of what democracy means that it is hard to believe you actually believe in it. Your level of misunderstanding of democracy is on a par with that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who thought that winning an election meant they had a free hand to do whatever they pleased. At least they had the excuse that they came from a region with no democratic tradition. Maybe you do too; it is hard to believe you grew up in a democracy.

Are your really an adult? I get the impression I'm dealing with an adolescent. I meant everyone should obey the law in a democratic country. Protesting isn't against the law.

Feb 3, 2016 at 7:55 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

Although there is a real danger of going off topic, I have to support Raff on the right to protest peacefully in a democracy, especially as what we live in here in the UK is a pale shadow of a functioning democracy. Cameron claims a mandate, having the slimmest of majorities in the House of Commons, and despite his party having received around 25% of the votes of those entitled to vote (that includes those who are so disenchanted that they didn't vote at all, but his share of the vote was still pitifully small),

Meanwhile, the Green Party and UKIP between them achieved around 6 million votes and returned a grand total of 2 MPs. That's millions of people effectively disenfranchised. North of the border, the SNP, with many fewer votes, sweep the board and return 49 MPs out of 51, having achieved around half of Scottish votes. A rough calculation shows that UKIP required 149 votes for every SNP vote achieved, in order to return an MP (the Greens in turn needed around 75 votes per SNP vote). Most people's votes don't count anyway. Only if you live in a marginal constituency (somewhere between 1 in 5 and in 10 of all constituencies, depending on the election year) is there any chance at all your vote might count for something. And then there's the House of Lords - an unelected chamber stuffed full of Bishops, a few people whose ancestors were probably thugs, and a load of political has-beens and party political donors.

Democracy? Don't make me laugh.

But I can't allow that rant to let Phil Clarke off the hook. I note he's adopted the standard green tactic of changing the subject and picking a different fight with someone else, rather than admitting that he's wrong on the subsidy issue or answering my question to him.

Feb 3, 2016 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson
The UK electorate had the opportunity in a referendum to change the voting system to a form of PR.
They chose not to do so and until such time as they decide to alter that decision the UK is stuck with the system it's got.
The highest number of votes wins the seat. A majority of seats forms the government. If you don't like it, vote them out next time round.
Which is not to say that there isn't a place for peaceful protest in a democracy as long as you don't seriously expect your handful of protestors to get their way against a legitimately elected government with a mandate.
Which this government has, slim though it may be.

Feb 3, 2016 at 9:37 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson,

We never had a referendum on 'PR' - the system offered was the Alternative Vote (AV). It's still a winner-takes-all system that gives nothing to the party coming second, even if they represent 49.9% of the electorate.

Feb 3, 2016 at 10:33 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

North Sea Oil, to take the obvious example, is a publicly owned resource. Other countries, such as the US, Russia and Brazil use royalty schemes or shared production arrangements to ensure the public benefit from their ownership.

The UK takes a different path and levies taxes on producer profits to reflect this ownership, specifically the Supplementary Charge (SC) and Petroleum Revenue Tax (PRT) over and above standard corporation tax.

Last year the PRT was reduced from 50% to 35% and the SC from 30% to 20%, and an Investment Allowance introduced that allowed more profits to be exempted from the SC. The Government also provides direct support for decomissioning wells and the 2015 Budget allocated some £20 million for seismic surveys. These measures are forecast to cost the Government £2.7 billion over the next 5 years.

No doubt the bleating will now commence that a tax break is not a 'subsidy'. Well, (a) it is according to the IEA and the WTO, (b) the Government, in their announcement conceded that the aim was to 'increase the post-tax profits for affected companies, making investment into oil and gas projects in the UK and UKCS more attractive and supporting jobs and supply chain opportunities'

Sure sounds like state support to me. Semantics aside, whether the state boosts oil company profits by putting more money in or taking less out, the net result is a boost to the industry at the expense of the state. A subsidy by any other name. At a time when the same Government has a legal duty, under the Climate Change Act 2008, to cut greenhouse gases by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

http://www.addleshawgoddard.com/view.asp?content_id=8222&parent_id=6947

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/413948/TIIN_4002_4235_and_4030_oil_and_gas_tax_package.pdf

http://www.monbiot.com/2014/06/26/a-legal-duty-to-maximise-greenhouse-gases

Feb 3, 2016 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

" I oppose fracking mainly because developing that resource will make it even less likely we will hit our greenhouse emissions target"
and

"From where I am standing I don't need to see the details".

The above quotes pretty well summarise Phil Clark's position on everything he writes on this blog.

It also tends to summarise quite well the entire "Green" position on any debate about , or questioning of, any strategy to continue the efficient and cost effective use of fossil fuels in improving the condition of mankind - and to veto any investigation , or disagreement with the proposition that the "planet must be saved" ( from what one might ask ) by adopting (and therefore subsidising ) inefficient and cost ineffective (so -called) "renewables".

Perhaps phil Clark could demonstrate how " hitting our greenhouse emission target" will have any effect on the future of the global climate ( were such a thing to actually exist).

PS Do not bother posing a link to the IPCC assessment reports because they do no such thing!

Feb 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

Spectator
To be fair to Phil, the quote "From where I am standing I don't need to see the details" was mine which he managed to wrench brutally out of its context in order to put a meaning on it as close to 180° from what I was arguing as it is possible to get! A classic example of the green blob at its best!

flaxdoctor
AV is generally recognised as a form of proportional representation by those who understand these things. Or so I'm told; I don't pretend to have any expertise on that subject.
The point, I would have thought, was pretty clear. The option to change the voting system to something regarded as "fairer" was offered; the British electorate said "no, thank you".
Which means that more than half the people of the UK who could be bothered to vote are content (by and large) with the present system though I do understand that the "ME" generation thinks it ought to have everything it's own way regardless.
It's called anarchy and I don't think they would really like it!

Feb 3, 2016 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

geronimo, you, the Bishop and others here clearly think that opposing government policy is "undemocratic". That is a betrayal of what a functioning, mature democracy should value.

Mark, I agree. The UK government has very little democratic legitimacy. Neither does the US of course.

Feb 3, 2016 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Feb 3, 2016 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Not sure what your question refers to MR GC?
I normally find that my views coincide with your own so maybe I explained something badly?
If it was about the criticism of 'lefties' then I can explain.
It would be my normal attitude to attribute anti fracking and anti-CO2 groups with left wing politics, however BH has taught me that I was wrong. We had a good group of lefties including Paul Mathews who posted on BH for a long time but then left us, Paul started his own blog but I believe they left because of anti - left comments. They agreed with all our views on climate change but peeps still criticised them. We now have a new group of lefties who agree with the basic BH view and I would hate to think we would drive them away.

Feb 3, 2016 at 4:17 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"Are your really an adult? I get the impression I'm dealing with an adolescent. I meant everyone should obey the law in a democratic country. Protesting isn't against the law."

"geronimo, you, the Bishop and others here clearly think that opposing government policy is "undemocratic". That is a betrayal of what a functioning, mature democracy should value."

What in anything I've said implies that opposing government policy is undemocratic? Opposition is the life blood of democracy, can I make it any clearer to you? Now get back to your prep.

Feb 3, 2016 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Dung, apologies, no slur intended! It was just seeing the way some peoples secret agenda overrides all common sense and logic.

Feb 3, 2016 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke

It was you who, earlier on this thread, said:

""“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’"

I think in the light of your latest comment, it's time to quote it back to you (and to those who you rely on to support you). My Concise OED defines "subsidy" as follows:

"a sum of money granted from public funds to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low; a sum of money granted to support an undertaking held to be in the public interest; a grant or contribution of money."

The fact that you and politically motivated organisations who you delight in quoting choose to make a word mean just what you choose it to mean, rather than what the dictionary says it means, is your prerogative, but it doesn't mean that you are correct. You are categorically incorrect. In the UK at least the government ensures that according to the dictionary definition, the "renewables" industry is heavily subsidised and the fossil fuel industry isn't. As I said earlier on this thread, the fossil fuel industry is and has for long been a net contributor in cash terms to the UK Exchequer, while the "renewables" industry is a net recipient. The "renewables" industry is heavily subsidised; the fossil fuel industry is not subsidised. QED.

Oh yes, and you still haven't answered my question.

Mike Jackson - I have to agree with flaxdoctor (hardly surprising, as he seems to agree with me!). AV is a sort of extremely limited PR, but many people do not regard it as such. Full-blown PR does not work in the same way as AV. The British public weren't given much of a choice in that referendum, and with the 2 main political parties putting all their effort in that referendum into supporting the status quo, it's hardly surprising that the public weren't persuaded. One side has all the money to persuade the public; the other side is starved of funds. That's life, I know, but democracy it ain't. It isn't democracy when one party's votes count for 149 times as much as another party's. It isn't democracy when a Prime Minister can claim he has a mandate to do whatever he wants, when 3/4 of the electorate didn't vote for him. It isn't democracy when a load of people who nobody voted for (the House of Lords) can block the Government of the day from passing its legislation (though that point would be a bit stronger, I acknowledge, if the Government of the day had been voted for by more than 1/4 of the electorate!)

Feb 3, 2016 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

"A Yougov survey for the Sunday Times last May found 43% opposed "
So more than 56% were in favour or couldn't care less? Brilliant: frack away.

Feb 3, 2016 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterClunking Fist

To be fair to Phil, who did not originally say - "From where I am standing I don't need to see the details" - please accept my apology for my mis attribution of this quote.

Feb 3, 2016 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

Phil, are you the son of a Police spy?
Is that why you are so bitter?

Feb 3, 2016 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

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