Monthly Archives: June 2012

BND’s Dead Parrot Sketch

(or “Bill Newton Dunn falls off his perch”) Back in 1999, the East Midlands Conservative euro-team was discussing which Winnie-the-Pooh character they’d most like to be associated with.  Bill Newton Dunn said he liked to think of himself as the Wise Old … Continue reading

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A question for Commissioner Oettinger

Yesterday I attended a hearing on the future for gas, organised by ALDE — the Liberal Group in the European parliament.  An aside: most of ALDE is, in fact, fairly liberal, and pro-free-market.  So our UK Lib-Dems are a square … Continue reading

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OK, Mr. Harbour. Here’s your answer.

For years, I’ve regularly quoted figures on the costs and benefits of our membership of the European Union.  Not my figures, but those of former EU Commissioners Verheugen and Mandelson. Günther Verheugen, who was a Vice-President of the Commission and … Continue reading

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Besides everything else, our bankers are confused

It happens over and over: some important person goes to Number Ten clutching his notes in full view of the waiting press-men.  Now it’s happened again.  The hapless victim this time was David Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered.  And we … Continue reading

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The persistent mythology of wind power

“Onshore Wind”, BiGGAR Report Great way to spend an evening.  Last night over dinner I started reading this report, or at least the Executive Summary.  I feared that the other seventy pages of detail and statistics might have impinged on … Continue reading

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Fossil fuels to last for centuries

  On Friday, I was privileged to visit the British Geological Survey, at Keyworth in Nottinghamshire.  My main interests were to get a clear understanding of the potential for shale gas in the UK, and also to understand better the … Continue reading

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Hunting culture defies the Ban

On Sunday, I was at the Blaston Hound Show at Slawston, near Market Harborough.  I am a minor sponsor.  An annual event, the show attracted entries from hunts up and down the country. Last year, 2011, the weather had been … Continue reading

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Advice to David Cameron

And before you ask “Does the Prime Minister need your advice, Helmer?”, let me say — he certainly needs advice from somewhere, so let’s start here. Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph  points to the short-lived surge in Tory fortunes when Cameron … Continue reading

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An hour with Fritz Vahrenholt

Forgive me for returning to Prof Vahrenholt so soon, but he was the keynote speaker at the Union Pétrolière Européenne Indépendante (UPEI)  50th Anniversary Conference in Brussels yesterday. Just to recap: Prof Vahrenholt has a degree in Chemistry from Münster, … Continue reading

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Reinforcing failure

…what the EU does best! Last night I went, with my doughty assistant Alexandra Swann, to a dinner-debate on the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), or as they say in the USA, Cap’n’Trade.  We had an industry spokesman telling … Continue reading

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Another environmentalist goes sceptic

According to the Good Book, “there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth”.  And recently, we’ve had several.  There was George Monbiot, long-time anti-nuclear campaigner, recently converted to the nuclear cause (although for the bad reason that it … Continue reading

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Incredible! Good news in the Sunday Papers!

I can’t remember when I saw such good news on one day.  Of course, first of all you’ve got to get past the routine but accelerating bad news of the €uro crisis.  One of the papers compares Greece to Icarus … Continue reading

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Condemning Europe to a Third World future

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In the EU, the Labour Market can’t fly

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More misinformation on wind

A Policy Brief on wind power has been sent to Westminster MPs, aiming to counter recent criticism of the economics of wind farms.  Prepared by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, backed by Lord Stern, it contains a spectacular … Continue reading

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