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« On scientific freedom | Main | Safely spaced out - Josh 363 »

Virtue-signalling ministers

The problem with the modern politician is that everything important gets brushed aside in favour of mood music and virtue signalling. Witness energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who yesterday decided that an 80% cut in carbon dioxide levels was simply not ambitious enough and that we should put a target of zero emission in law.

Whether this is anything other than mood music or virtue signalling remains to be seen, but of course Ms Leadsom isn't going to be around to deal with the consequences anyway, so it's a win-win situation for her. 

Apart from the fact that a lot of people are going to wonder why, as the country faces a potential energy crisis, she is engaging in this kind of self-indulgence rather than trying to find a resolution. Most will conclude that she is just not very serious about the brief she has been handed.

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Reader Comments (81)

The woman is an idiot. Zero CO2 emissions mean that she would have to order the State to kill all humans and animals, including the fish in territorial waters.

No doubt her last task will be to take her personal suicide pill whence she can die with a smile on her face: job done.

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

I was kind of curious about who this particular piece of ministerial stupidity was aimed at. I suppose if you've made an unkeepable long-term commitment there is not much further harm in doubling it short term. Most likely, I guess it is might be trying to show support for nuclear power (to EDF or the Chinese?). I can agree with those motives, but this is something this government, like others before, is making a dogs dinner of.

I can tell Leadsom that it is not endearing me to the government in the run up to the EU referendum, but the so-called BBC was on it like a tramp on chips.

Mar 15, 2016 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Let's look at this person's qualifications shall we?
"Leadsom worked in the financial sector for BZW, Barclays Bank - where she was Financial Institutions Director from 1993 to 1997 - and was Managing Director of De Putron Fund Management (DPFM) between 1997 and 1999. She was Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual from 1999 to 2009."
"Prior to becoming an MP, Leadsom was a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council between 2003 and 2007.[1][6] She contested Knowsley South constituency in the 2005 general election[1][6] and was a member of the Conservative A-List.[7] She was chosen to stand as the candidate in the newly created South Northamptonshire constituency in June 2006 and was elected at the 2010 general election with a majority of more than 20,000"
(From Wiki)
"After attending Tonbridge Girls Grammar School in Kent, Andrea went on to read political science at Warwick University."
Obviously well-qualified for her role.

Minister of State

Responsibilities include:
•Electricity and gas markets
•New energy infrastructure
•Energy security
•Oil and Gas policy, including shale gas
•The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Geological Disposal Facility
•New nuclear, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and renewables
•Nuclear safety and regulation
•International energy

I can see how her degree & career makes her the ideal candidate for this position.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Oh, missed a bit, you've misspelt a word.
" Witness energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who yesterday decided that an 80% cut in carbon dioxide levels was simply not ambitious enough and that we should put a target of zero emission in law."

Shouldn't that read " Witless energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who yesterday decided that an 80% cut in carbon dioxide levels was simply not ambitious enough and that we should put a target of zero emission in law.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Andrea Ledsom is 52 years old so is more than likeley to still be around in 2050 when she will be 86.

I hope that she, Ed Milliband, Ed Davey and the rest of the bunch are held to account as the consequences of their actions become apparent to the masses !!

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

How well does this fit with the Short-Term Emergency generating capability which this government has commissioned - acres of diesel generators in fields?

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I don't know what to think about comments like this.

On the one hand I try to reconcile this as a rational statement given correct information - but that quickly falls by the wayside. If the minister knew the real likely extent of the effect of CO2 on the climate, she could hardly demand a zero carbon law. The second option - a rational decision from false information - fails also. If the minister thought the end of the world was nigh, it would still not make sense to unilaterally declare zero carbon laws, given the tiny effect the UK's emissions have and our lack of power over other countries' approaches. It's like throwing away all your best cards before the game starts.

The announcement is irrational. But there is more to it. Because if the populace really believed in the imminent end of everything, laws like that would not be necessary. We'd all be walking/cycling everywhere, never flying, and buying expensive intermittent electricity just from wind or solar sources. There wouldn't be enough people picking "coal-fired" as their power source to keep any coal-fired stations going. So what if it's really cheap? We'd rather pay more, power cuts be damned. Or we would if we really believed.

Observations seem to suggest that not many people believe in the coming end of the world. Even those who profess to do so maintain a lifestyle irreconcilable with their belief. As a lukewarmer on the sidelines, I find myself becoming increasingly angry. It's like being a two-year-old again, slowly discovering that external forces control your universe, and there ain't a damn thing that screaming can do about it. If such pronouncements weren't so obviously dumb they would not be quite so hard to accept...

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJit

Seems like a race to the finish in the Green Tory eco-ideology stakes - who can score the most brownie points for purity in sheer rank eco-stupidity. Getting more reminiscent of Monty Python every day. Hilarious if it weren't for the fact these imbeciles are running the country. Presumably they are working on the assumption they won't be in power when we're all reduced to chopping up the furniture and burning it to keep from freezing to death.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

Let's for a moment make the assumption that this is a serious suggestion, and that (for the sake of argument) the Minister actually only means emissions from human activities, not simply from humans and animals.

Electricity generation - well, the technology exists to create electricity without CO2, although at a cost premium (I am mainly meaning nuclear, with some contribution from hydro and little bits of ruinables). However, see Construction

Land vehicle transport - Electrification of every railway line in the UK is just about feasible, although maintenance becomes an issue is some of the more remote parts of Wales and Scotland
Converting all cars to either electric power or hydrogen fuel cell operation is a bigger technical challenge and still requires technological improvement to get anywhere near the utility of a modern petrol or diesel powered vehicle. While battery powered vehicles may be suitable for commuting, you can't just jump in one, drive for 400 miles and fill the fuel back up in 5 minutes... Of course the other consideration is that battery technology is actually a mature field, so it is unlikely that there will be fundamental changes rather than some slight incremental improvements.

Air transport - Presently there simply isn't any technology that could replace fossil fuel power. Batteries are weight-prohibitive and range limiting, and modular nuclear obviously is far too risky - imagine trying to investigate the first crash site of a nuclear powered airliner...

Construction - I guess you can make brick and ceramic product manufacture carbon neutral if you have enough capacity in the electricity grid, but these products only have limited utility. The big issue is how you replace concrete as a bulk construction material (especially when to l, as conventional cement cannot be produced without evolving CO2 from the roasting of the quarried limestone at the cement works. Even most of the materials used as cement replacements (fly ash in particular) wouldn't be available in an emissions-free world, and regardless cannot be used as 100% replacement for (what used to be known as ordinary Portland) cement..

OI course the Minister has no science or engineering background, but has a degree in political science and a background in investment banking before entering politics.

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

Would it not be a good idea for at least one minister to be responsible for providing the cheapest and most reliable electricity and gas to our population and industry. We could then sit back and watch the bloodbath ^.^

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:40 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Monty Python it is then: Leadsom wanting the UK to play the part of the Black Knight. No arms and legs, no head, just a festering torso being picked over by the starving population as its number reverts to the 3 million or so after the Black Death. She shall now be known as 'Black Death' *Andrea. Let's hope her stupidity rebound on her ASAP.

PS This is of course an indication of the jockeying for position after Brexit, of which she sees to be a leader Just imagine: an even more lunatic energy policy by the Out-campaigners than the In-campaigners. who would've thunk it?


Mar 15, 2016 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

I think the issue is the date 2050. It seems like such a long way off but it's less than 35 years. Just like the Tomorrows World lot got predictions wrong, people forget how little changes from decade to decade. Computer advances were so meteoric that people use them to measure progress, forgetting that it was a unique situation, not the norm. Even then, I got my first computer with a word processor (with spell check), a spread sheet and database 33 years go. All but one of our nuclear fleet were built longer than 35 years ago. Even the 1990 point, which is our CO2 baseline is over 25 years ago. If it wasn't for the swap from coal to gas, we'd have made almost no CO2 reductions at all.

Argentina invaded the Falklands
Greenland left the EU
Channel 4 started
Laker budget Airways folded
Raised the Mary Rose
Seatbelts became mandatory
Cinema hits were a Superman, a Star Wars, a Star Trek and two Bonds.

When you look at the list of things that happened 35 years ago, how can you imagine things will be so very in another 35?

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Human CO2 emissions in 2040 will total over 46 billion tonnes per year according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration - see, slide 21. In 2010 about 13 billion tonnes were emitted by the OECD countries and the non OECD countries (China, India etc) emitted about 18 billion tonnes for a total of about 31 billion tonnes. By 2040, that will increase by about 1 billion tonnes (OECD) and about 14 billion tonnes per year (non OECD). Clearly the non OECD countries will emit 14 times these new, extra CO2 emissions than the OECD countries. Why are we paying billions of euros of our money to achieve precisely nothing?

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristian

I'm not sure what the punishment is for not meeting those existing 80% reduction targets. Do we give ourselves a fine or do we shut down all our power plants? Conversely if there is no punishment then there is no point to the law. Whenever you debate anyone who is paid to study energy policy (and good lord there are so very many of them), they wield this ineffectual law as an excuse to avoid discussing just how we achieve this miracle when we can't fund the NHS or even balance the books yet.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I have emailed my MP, Theresa May, to express my astonishment at this stupidity. May I suggest that others here do too.
Your MPs contact details may be found at

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Mar 15, 2016 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

There will be no accountability whatsoever, Martin. None. As I have said before, the fall back position is "I was simply doing what I thought was right based upon the best available science of the day!". No guilt, no accountability, nothing!

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

An alternative explanation is that with the failure of UK energy policy, defined as inevitable power cuts this forthcoming winter, Leadsom as the Responsible Junior Minister is justifying her failure as really being success, defined as the necessary sacrifice to combat the greater enemy, imaginary runaway CAGW.

So, as her self-image morphs into a UK (or is it English) version of Joan of Arc, should we not club together to erect a new statue in Parliament Square, a larger than life-size 'Black Death' *Andrea (what is it about that name?) with sword penetrating an hexagonal motif representing carbon.....:o)

[* corrected again. She's still called Andrea, not Angela, unless you are talking about someone else.TM}

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Leadsom is clearly certifiable.

Moreover anyone who agrees with her idiocy is also stark, staring bonkers.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Hopefully they've bitten off more than they can chew any debate provoked by this talk will lead to people realising that with CURRENT technology 0% by 2050 is ridiculous.
(neither is wind or solar ever likely to improve much for various technical reasons)

Scenario 2 : is that by 2050 fusion is on stream ..and then almost zero is possible.

but no fusion zero CO2

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Just when I thought some sanity was slowly being restored into Government Policy on Energy, a new champion WimDit emerges from the Green Jungle to throttle us all.

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This is Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State for Energy, who on 23 Sept last year wrote on her DECC blog page:

"We need to meet the UK's rising demand for energy..."

- clearly oblivious to the basic facts of her portfolio. Need we say more?

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Drew

Your MPs contact details may be found at

Mar 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Mike Post, the boundary of Andrea Leadsom's constituency currently starts about mile away from me, so she is not my MP.

However, her constituency does include Silverstone. The general area is considered home to many high-tech industries associated with British motor sport which represents the best in the world. Perhaps Andrea Leadsom might like to hear their opinions about her intentions to abolish them before 2050. Presumably their employees are also voters.

And goodness knows how she intends to build roads without the petroleum product tarmac. Perhaps she has a new, improved version of the cobble-stone in mind?

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

@ Michael Hart, "her intentions to abolish them"

Actually, to allow for air transport (and your motor sport chums) they plan "negative CO2" power generation, which is biomass + CCS

on the laughable assumptions that large-scale biomass is CO2-neutral, and that CCS exists

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Drew

Comments like this, of course, assume the basic fallacy that CO2, a trace gas in the atmosphere, has ANYTHING to do with controlling the climate.....

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Adam Gallon: I notice on her website that she is happy for a planning application for a large windfarm in her area to be turned down on appeal; that she is happy for on-shore subsidies to be cut a year early; yet both these positions seem at odds with her proposal to reduce to zero carbon. Personally, I would loke to know who is advising her as these ideas haven't come fully-formed from her own brain.

Secondly, it is not allowed for one parliament to constrain a succeeding one. By the same token, politicians should not be allowed to constrain succeeding generations with laws and the effects of laws that they themselves will not be around to suffer. Virtue Signalling post-mortem is the height of hubris.

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

@TM: sorry, I have Angela on the brain; I should really use Angina because it gives me heartache...........

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

She has really big boots to fill as her predecessor was likewise not qualified for the job --if you define not qualified as meaning untrained, a problem only if you expect someone's training to match their ministerial responsibilities. Surely a first class academic education means one can turn one's hand to any task, even one as complicated as ensuring that the lights don't go out. Only a complete uneducated dork would be able to arrange a system where darkness, lack of a breeze and failure to build back-up facilities would ensure power cuts at any moment.

I would like to brag that I typed all that without once cracking a smile.

Mar 15, 2016 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Nick Drew, a nice admission from Leadsom that despite all the increased efficiencies in use of energy, our total demand keeps rising, as our ability to supply reliable energy decreases.

When demand increases above supply, the price goes up, and the poorest and most vulnerable are the first to suffer.

Who encouraged her to make this pronouncement? It is hardly as though thinking 'Green' has done the careers of any of her predecessors any good.

Mar 15, 2016 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This is a Rimmer (Red Dwarf) style plan. Day 100 create a chart of deadlines. Day 90 rewrite chart to shift missed deadlines. Day 50 shift deadlines.... Day 1 rewrite chart to cover all deadlines in the next 12 hours. Day zero write the word FISH on the exam paper and faint.

Mar 15, 2016 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

There maybe little else the benighted fool can do but - Dave certainly can pick 'em!

For brain numbing stupidity.

Mar 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

I posted this on wattsupwiththat. I think it also works here. The issues is why people feel that an a-rational approach is in fact the right way to do politics. We have Corbyn as the supreme example.

In the end it boils down to what you think governance is all about, whether it should be reflecting the will of the people into pragmatic decisions or reflecting the aspirations of the people into impractical ones.

Facts no longer matter. We simply decide how we want to see the world and then go out and find experts and evidence to back our beliefs.

This is in fact the postmodern approach to philosophy, where the mantra that ‘reality is a cultural construct’ has been somewhat…misinterpreted.

Reality as we experience it, may well be a cultural construct, but it isn’t a totally free choice.

The postmodernists seem to deny that there is a Reality behind and governing the reality of our perceptions.

This is tantamount to believing in Magick, that Reality is conformant to our will and choices.

Which of course denies the metaphysical assumptions of science altogether, which is that there is, behind the reality of our Perceptions, a Reality, even if we can’t completely grasp it.

I wanted to make this point because I think it really summarises the nature of the struggle – maybe the war – that is going on between rationalism and anti-rationalism. Of which climate change is just a small part.

For sure, we can show philosophically that reason doesn’t provide all of the answers, but it is a major step to them declare that it provides therefore none of the answers, and what counts is faith and belief…in climate change, in political correctness, in cultural diversity or whatever the latest fashionable bigotry is to be.

If it were true that the world conforms to our beliefs, we would never have developed Science. The whole point of Science was to explore the humble proposition that Something Out There, be it a God, Gods, Spirits, or Natural Mathematical Laws, was rather in charge of stuff we had very little control of, and if we could guess at its Laws, we might be able to second guess the future.

And to an extent that has been spectacularly successful. So successful that it has given rise to those in charge of Black Magick, which today we call Politics and Marketing, a severe case of ( ‘Physics Envy’ . They seek to usurp the perceived qualities of Physics, and ascribe them to not hypotheses of a testable nature, but emotional narratives of a metaphysical (untestable) nature.

Since the Druids, and other shamans, it has been understood that power over men consists in having charge of and control of their beliefs. The terrifying prospect of the latter day shamans who run the media, and infest the pages of the Sunday papers and the screens of the mass media, is that if enough people understood science and its underlying philosophy, they would be able to counter belief in falsehood, by means of mere observation. It is after all no warmer today than 50 years ago, so global warming has to be a load of bullcrap.

And this is why there is today an full on assault on ‘reason’ by those who will tell you that what counts is ’emotional intelligence’ and that doing wrong is not wrong ‘if you sincerely believed it was right’ (Tony Blair on Iraq), and in fact the phenomenon of the Left is, it seems, precisely about these ‘values’, that what counts is not what you can do, and do do, to alleviate human misery, but what good intentions you hold!

And that is why these people can gaily travel 12,000 miles by first class airliner to a climate conference, because what counts is not reducing emissions, it’s altering the perceptions of people to see emissions as a Sin.

And that is why these people will gaily allow millions of culturally antithetical immigrants to flood their countries, because at some level to deny them access would make them feel guilty.

I am not joking.

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Smith

err, Golf Charlie @ 1:08 - the point is that UK energy demand is falling, and has been since ever since it peaked in 2005

and the "energy minister" didn't know this very basic fact

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Drew

This apparently originates with Ed Miliband and possibly Bryony Worthington:

It appears to be a Common Purpose stitch-up; to push through the successor to the CCA 2008 without MPs understanding what it means in terms of destruction of the economy and, much sooner than most realise, millions of deaths as we enter the new LIA without the poor being able to heat their homes.

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

She is my MP and lives half a mile away, she only got her seat and ministerial position because of the tens of thousands of pounds that her family donated to the Tory party, she is known locally as Andrea Loathsome but she is very good at opening fetes and judging dog shows.

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

It should noted that the link goes to a BBC article, by their well known expert on Green failures, Roger Harrabin, and even quotes Ed Miliband as welcoming this statement, along with other parties in the House of Commons.

Planned Failure has cross party support, and the BBC are proud to champion it. An obvious meeting of minds, should not go unrecognised.

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Recklessness in office. Such stupidity should be imprisonable.

Mar 15, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Nick Drew, it is 'lucky' that UK manufacturing is almost closed, and workers laid off, with the most intensive users of power being transferred to areas of the world unconstrained by the Green Blob, where energy is cheap, and CO2 emissions higher.

The Green Blob have gone very quiet about Carbon Footprint, now that it is a major UK export.

Mar 15, 2016 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I really believe there is now an overwhelming case for the return of Yes Minister. No need for scriptwriters, the comedy is happening before our eyes. Who should we nominate to portray the estimable minister?

Mar 15, 2016 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

I'm generally a kindly soul (my wife says so, so don't argue) and I really believe that Ms Leadsom is doing her best.
Seriously, name me more than half-a-dozen ministers in our lifetime whose academic qualifications fitted them for their brief. As in: what did Nye Bevan know about healthcare or Shirley Williams about Education?
They have advisors and experts to keep them right. That is what civil servants are for.
So Andrea is only doing her job but somewhere in her department is a dyed-in-the-wool, gold-plated asshole who is either so stupid he ought not to be allowed out on his own, even as far as the garden shed, OR is so besotted with his enviro-nuttery that he needs to be certified. Not to mention fired since he is emphatically not giving his minister impartial advice.
Meanwhile there has got to be somebody (the name Peter Lilley springs to mind) who can explain, not only to Leadsom but also to Rudd that regardless of anybody's wishes or beliefs on the subject of climate
• to talk about "zero carbon" is to lie to the public since such a thing is not possible without killing virtually every living thing on earth;
• that what she is presumably talking about is "carbon dioxide" and to reduce the output of that to zero is impossible unless we all stop breathing and anyway unnecessary, and;
• it is time that she and her fellow ministers paid more attention to people who know what they are talking about and less time listening to pig-ignorant eco-weenies with an agenda which is not in the interest of the British public.
This is not rocket sense and how this anti-scientific drivel is still allowed to see the light of day beggars belief.

Mar 15, 2016 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Oh, I agree, I'm sure Ms Leadsom is doing her very, very best.

In 2013 we did just shy of 2,000 TWh in the UK. We generated about 13 TWh from renewables after ~8 years development.

So another 1,800 TWh by 2050 . . Not A Problem.

Mar 15, 2016 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Alan Kendall, the problem with trying to recreate a comedy classic like Yes Minister, is that actors and politicians simply regurgitate scripts prepared by others, whilst remaining clueless about what they are talking about. It is difficult to determine whether politicians are acting, or just providing comedy writers with fresh material.

Of course some comic actors have only found wider recognition since becoming Politicians, and not all of them realise it.

Mar 15, 2016 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What about agriculture? Even if we had nuclear fusion generating limitless amounts of electricity, good look with trying to plough a twenty acre field with a battery operated tractor.

Mar 15, 2016 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

I really believe there is now an overwhelming case for the return of Yes Minister. No need for scriptwriters, the comedy is happening before our eyes. Who should we nominate to portray the estimable minister?


Most modern actors, would struggle to comprehend the irony.

The daily battle as was, the way civil servants did and still do run rings round gullible but well meaning ministers. Though, not because irony is lost on the acting profession but because most luvvies, they all subscribe purblind at that, to the green agenda and so that these days MPs mouth what they are told to dribble by the senior panjandrums (as MJ alludes to above) and primed by a bunch of their dopey badly, egregiously misinformed, ill educated, totally prejudiced green blob lobbyists, apologists, advisers. Further, and as we have been made aware add to the advisory panel; greenpeace, FoE, WWF, Brussels climate persuasion Stasi human induced CO₂Emissions limitations advisory Commissioners seem to have the ear of our ministers.

Aye, more's the pity then, that, some of your alumni couldn't be persuaded to join the London civil service set - DECC package.


Andrea Leadsom, I am unwilling to cut her any slack because by now, surely she is a aware of counter arguments, could read round the subject.

Pertaining to, and contrary to all the miasma of propaganda and lies concerning the great scam, there is, a truthful widely available narrative and one which could save us all, and indeed the integrity (yuk, yuk maybe not) of her and her political party.

Cut to the chase, save a lot of time, money and keep us all warm in our homes for read - plentiful supply easily done and is this not the moral, the preferable, the secure, the defensible outcome?..............Leadsom, plays glibly, unthinkingly to a gallery but only in the echo chamber of Westminster and its doltish media bubble heads, ie "cut CO₂ soon, now in the near future for evah" - which she vaguely, reluctantly espouses and so amateurishly at that, but who is she trying to kid?

Why can't they (our representatives) try a bit harder do the right thing instead of making the effort to effect theprogressive litany of error premised on a mythical threat and thus to cause ever and increasing problems as this bonkers carbon emissions idiocy [which] forces the country into financial meltdown, deindustrialization by way of a self imposed energy crisis - and how sorely was I biting my tongue, tempted to use some more colourful adjectives than progressive.

A plague on the house of Westminster? Certainly, bring it on.

Mar 15, 2016 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Stonyground, with weight savings in micro-engineering, some of our lightweight experts envisage developments in ploughs being pulled by flocks of chickens. They may lack the outright pulling power of horses, but horses don't lay eggs, and Tescos find it easier to sell chickens.

Much as Hitler imagined, Russia will have to feed Europe, as the best EU agricultural land is turned over to wildflower meadows, and weaving tofu into sustainable homes.

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I sympathise. It is hard to understand how ministers get it so wrong sometimes.
I've known a couple in my time. One was my own MP and he explained the problem very simply:
"If I listened to every plausible nutcase with a 'cast-iron' answer to every problem that crosses my desk I'd go mad. And get nothing done. And how am I supposed to know which ones are coming up with answers that do make sense. I have to rely on my civil servants to advise me competently and honestly and how am I supposed to know when they aren't?"
And he was one of the better ones.
Most of them are OK as are most civil servants. DECC is a rogue elephant. Unfortunately it's a rogue elephant that has been let loose with people's lives and livelihoods.

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:06 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Leadsom worked in the financial sector for BZW, Barclays Bank - where she was Financial Institutions Director from 1993 to 1997 - and was Managing Director of De Putron Fund Management (DPFM) between 1997 and 1999. She was Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual from 1999 to 2009."

The clue to her apparent inability to understand the economics of power generation may well be in here somewhere. Grantham said there was money to be made out of the global warming scam but he could not figure quite how to do it. She is probably being got at by the financial sector who are looking towards carbon trading for their next killing. They need a firm commitment to energy stupidity to get the sector up and running. There will be a nice cushy position for her when she is chucked out of Parliament (See Ed Davey) if her policies please the right people.

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

The "Educational Blob" may be in decline with the news that all England (don't know about the provinces) schools are to be forced to be academies. Could this be a cunning plan to destroy the green blob by appearing to sign-up to all its desires, or maybe just an unintended consequence. Harrabin has been very quiet and grumpy following his Paris "triumph".

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

It is no less reasonable than a mandate that all children be well behaved, good looking, healthy and above average.

Mar 15, 2016 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Ivor Ward, the Peter Principle states that people reach their own level of incompetence. 'Yes Minister' demonstrated the ease with which civil servants can assist their Ministers in establishing their own level of incompetence, or protect them from their own passionately held beliefs.

Someone within the DECC has made a misjudgement, which may hasten it's demise.

Mar 15, 2016 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Be careful, NET zero emissions is the target. Still impossible but it will lead to higher road véhicule taxes, city entrée taxes, heating fioul taxes and so on. Watch your osborne's budget tomorrow for the first hints.

Mar 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

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