SCANDAL: there’s another toxic plot in the Conservative party

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‘Nothing happens in politics by accident’

Greenpeace’s undercover reporter has taped senior Tories openly acknowledging the ‘plot’ to undermine the coalition agreement on tackling climate change.  In the recorded interview, Peter Lilley is clearly heard recommending that the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, should be the focus of anti-windfarm attacks, and agreeing that George Osborne would sanction such undermining.

This yet again, raises the question of why are the LDs supporting the Tories to dismantle, and privatise for profit, everything that was good about the UK?

Furthermore, why hasn’t John Hayes been sacked for working against his minister?  And when is Caroline Flint, shadow minister for energy, going to get stuck in to make the overwhelming case for renewable energy?

SCANDAL: there’s a toxic plot in the Conservative party

Published on Nov 13, 2012 by 

WATCH MORE UNDERCOVER CLIPS: http://greenpeace.org.uk/energygate  Our undercover investigation has revealed a militant group of Conservative MPs trying to sabotage progress on climate change.

 What the papers say:

Greenpeace said that one of its activists held two meetings with Mr Heaton-Harris during October, pretending to be an anti-wind campaigner.

The group said the MP appeared to suggest that he had contrived Mr Delingpole’s potential candidacy in Corby to sway Conservative ministers over energy policy.

In the first meeting, at the Conservative Party conference, Greenpeace said undercover footage shows Mr Heaton-Harris admitting to encouraging Mr Delingpole to stand.

The MPs’ words on the footage are unclear, but he can be heard asking the activist never to reveal the conversation, saying: “Please don’t tell anybody ever.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/13/tory-mp-corby-anti-windfarm-film

 

This story doesn’t primarily concern Delingpole and the by-election; it’s really about a split within the coalition on wind farms and the Tories’ long-term electoral tactics. Heaton-Harris says of John Hayes in the video:

‘He’s a man in a department which absolutely hates him [but] there’s enough support in Cabinet to keep him there and at the moment it’s quite active on the issue.’

The department in question is led by Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat. He and Hayes have clashed over wind farms again this week, with Hayes saying that is ‘job done’ with onshore wind. Hayes’ supporters in Cabinet include the Chancellor, who is reported (by the well-connected Ben Brogan writing in mid-June of this year) to believe that halting onshore wind farm construction is a vote winner in marginal rural and semi-suburban constituencies like Corby. It is, therefore, not wholly surprising to discover that the Tories were courting independent campaigners like Delingpole (who UKIP were also after to mount an attack on the Tories from the right) while they were refashioning their posture on the issue; but it is slightly surprising to find them getting caught doing so. Then again, perhaps it isn’t.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/11/tories-in-trouble-in-corby-over-wind-farms/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tories-in-trouble-in-corby-over-wind-farms

The Energy Trap

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The Energy Trap

How can we escape the Energy Trap? Nations are held hostages to energy companies, their voiceless governments ransomed to the global corporations who control them.

Over the last year, in a very rainy England, and beyond expectation, I have been amazed that 80% of the electricity used in my home has been generated by recently fitted solar panels. (4.3MWh generated, and 5 MWh consumed). The question remains is why there has not been the massive investment in renewable energy envisaged by Ed Miliband. 1)

The Coalition’s “Greenest Government Ever” seems to have gone a bit off colour, and what we are hearing are bare-Blue-in-the-face Tories’ lies, determined to maintain the Energy Trap.

The argument for energy suppliers to be taken under control of private companies was based on three basic myths.

MYTH 1: Privatised organisations run more efficiently and effectively than public ones.

MYTH 2: Competition will keep prices down.

MYTH 3: Offering shares to the general public will redistribute wealth.

There is little evidence for increased efficiency, and, as currently with the NHS, with the government, by starving public services of staff and funding, seeks to justify the need to privatize. Dozens of makes of coffee on sale at Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s does nothing to bring down the price. Those supermarkets control prices, using their own market to push their own products to maximize profits. Meanwhile, the small shopkeeper cannot compete, and is forced to close, resulting in homogenous towns where only globalized industry can thrive. Tax avoidance firms such as Starbucks dispel any theory that privatization will lead to redistribution of wealth, as those hopeful investors in the eighties might have believed.

Our dependence on energy for our very survival is clear. What can be avoided is a perpetual dependence on privatized energy companies. We are imprisoned by fear of the collapse of society and the consequence has been wars in the Middle East. Ominously, British oil companies have unprecedented influence 2) of British military policies.

British oil companies are promoting a ‘fight against piracy’ to get a vast hidden military subsidy. In the process they have got an unprecedented amount of influence over UK military policies. Oil companies have talked up the risk from piracy to justify the use of Navy frigates, drones and helicopters to protect corporate oil assets in the seas. They are demanding increased spending on military hardware at a time of major public cutbacks. 2)

The media’s insistence that renewable energy would not satisfy our needs literally fuels the thirst for fossil fuels, and nuclear, while denying the dangers of climate change and nuclear contamination. The financial argument in favour of fossil and nuclear fuels is heavily biased, distorting political and public confidence in renewable energy.

Why is George Osborne insisting on commitment to dirty, carbon producing gas-fuel for years to come? Ed Davey has been pressured by George Osborne to adopt gas or face deep cuts to any renewable subsidy. (Friends of the Earth, 3) Furthermore, there is evidence that the energy companies manipulate markets, Libor style by fixing prices. The Guardian reports on how gas prices have been fixed. 4, 5

Guardian: Libor-Like manipulation of Gas Markets see video clips

Why is the government prepared to invest in fracking 6) and shale gas, with known dangers, whilst cutting the feed-in-tarrifs for micro generation projects?

Think Left has analysed how CCS (Carbon Capture) 7. has been adopted as a policy, erroneously suggesting the extraction of coal can be “clean”. The dirtiest fuel of all, coal is neither clean or safe, and its extraction would cause liberation of carbon from methane. The reason for adoption of the policy, is revealed as:

Companies known to be interested in bidding  for UK CCS demonstration competition:

Powerfuels, E.On, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy, Centrica, Progressive Energy,
Conoco Philips, RWE

Members of Futuregen:

American Electric Power, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, China Huaneng Group, CONSOL Energy, E.ON,
Foundation Coal, Luminant, Peabody Energy, PPL Energy Services, Rio Tinto Energy America, Southern
Company Services, Inc, Xstrata Coal

To break out of The Energy Trap, rather than public money subsidizing fossil fuels and nuclear (8) , it should be fully diverted towards sustainable, clean low-maintenance renewable energy initiatives. This is a win-win situation. In addition, mutual building societies and publicly owned banking (Lloyds?) could support the initial funding for installing renewable energy. The maintenance costs following initial outlay are low. A community backed wind turbine (9) (see clip) has produced enough electricity to feed back to the grid enabling further benefits for the community.

Democratic ownership and monitoring of our energy supply must be a priority for an incoming Labour government.

Creating electricity is easy! Within 6 hours, enough sunlight falls on the world’s deserts to meet the annual global power demand of 18000 TWhours.

 Solar generation derived by panels in the world’s deserts could redistribute power by High Votlage Direct Current (HVDC Grids 10) , a clean energy source, adequate for us all to leave peacefully.

Reducing energy consumption, by retro-insulation, retrofitting public buildings with solar panels, investment in wave, wind, geothermal, HEP and tidal power will produce a sustainable and profitable energy market, liberating communities from the tyrannical energy conglomerates whose unsustainable policies will lead to disaster for a planet and its wildlife, and poverty for 99% of the human species.

References and Further Reading

  1. Soaking up the Sun: (Think Left) Ed Miliband, the Coalition and Climate Change
  2. European Energy review: Oil Companies hype piracy threat for military subsidy
  3. Friends of the Earth: Osborne to Davey I’ll drop subsidy cuts if DECC backs gas
  4. Guardian: Libor-Like manipulation of Gas Markets
  5. Guardian: Second Gas -Price reporter voices concern on Gas price manipulation
  6. UK Government to give tracking the go-ahead
  7. Think Left: Clean Coal (Another Financial Device for the City?)l
  8. Four ways to go beyond Beyond nuclear, Greenpeace
  9. STV News: Community Wind turbine will generate money for local amenities video clips
  10. Renewable Energy, Specifically HVDC Power Grids  

From Think Left:

The Keystone for Society is Democratic Ownership and Control of Energy Supply
Bring me Sunshine! The photovoltaic phenomenon
Clean Coal (Another Financial Device for the City?)
Energy for Somerset: Nuclear or Tidal?
No Green Coalition Efficien-City -Interactive Link
Some of the Scientific Evidence – Climate Change
Renewable Energy, Specifically HVDC Power Grids
Coal is our Heritage not our Future!
Microwave Ovens are Key to Energy Production from Wasted Heat
If you see Sid, on privatisation

If you see Sid

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If You See Sid

British Gas: profits set to rise again this year So how’s that privatisation thing working out for you now? You know: the one where they sold companies we already owned back to us on the basis that it would create a “stakeholder economy” and that competition was going to keep prices low. “Competition”. That’s not really the word. It has actually had the opposite effect. Once one energy company puts up its prices, all the others follow suit. A better word would be “cartel”. It’s not as if these companies are starved for profit either. British Gas increased its margins by 24% to £742 million last year. Other companies showed a similar rise. Meanwhile the regulator accused them of profiteering, suggesting that they had increased their profits for duel-fuel customers by an astounding 733% between June and October 2011 through a slew of complex price hikes. It then went on to call for simpler tariffs and clearer bills, a suggestion that was later repeated by David Cameron. Not that it has made any difference.
According to Which, the consumer magazine, profits are set to rise even more this winter, from around £40 per customer to £65 over the last three months of 2012. That’s profit not price. It’s what they are intending to take directly from our pockets, to pay their shareholders, over and above costs. A few weeks ago David Cameron promised to force the energy companies to offer customers their lowest tariffs. The following day the energy secretary contradicted him. It’s not that energy companies will be forced to give their lowest tariffs, he said, it’s that the government will legislate to “help” customers get the best deal. It makes you wonder what the point of democracy is, doesn’t it, when the government seemingly has no control over energy prices in the country it purports to rule?
British Gas was privatised in 1986 amidst great public fanfare. It is now owned by Centrica which has interests in Norway, the Netherlands, North America and Nigeria. How many of you who bought shares back then are still doing OK from the sale? Do your dividends cover your increased energy costs?  If you see Sid, tell him he was conned.

Universal Credit: Iain Duncan Smith’s slow motion con trick

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Universal Credit: Iain Duncan Smith’s slow motion con trick

Uploaded by  on Mar 11, 2011

‘Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has promised that his plans to switch the current system of welfare support into a Universal Credit, will leave nobody poorer. This might sound like ‘compassionate Conservatism’, but is really just a slow motion con trick.’

And this ‘slow motion con trick’ will be further undermined by the likely potential failures of the complicated IT programme.  Failures of which will have dreadful consequences for those who are dependent on benefits to survive.

A government adviser on information technology said: “IDS, like other ministers before him, has been hypnotised by promises of what an online system can deliver. Warnings were given to him more than a year ago. They were ignored.”