Remind me which Party we belong to?

This morning I received an e-mail from a colleague, with the above title, and drawing my attention to two fringe meetings at our Party Conference next week.  Both are sponsored by (this should set alarm bells ringing) The Fabian Society, Res Publica, and Centre Forum.  One (Sunday, 3:00 p.m.) is about “Fairness”.  The other (Tuesday 8:00 a.m.) is about “Jump Starting Green Jobs”.
 
So what’s wrong with fairness?  Surely we all believe in fairness, along with cream teas and roast beef?  But the trouble is that “fairness” is one of those weasel words, a trap set by the mendacious to confuse the unwary.  I believe in fairness, by which I mean the right of everyone to opportunity, to making the most of their lives, and to selling their labour on a free market to the highest bidder.
 
Unfortunately, what doctrinaire socialists (like the Fabian Society and Vince Cable) mean by “fairness” is quite different.  They mean social engineering, they mean creating dependency, they mean excessive welfare, and disincentives to work.  They also mean redistributive tax policies and soaking the rich.  I don’t like that kind of “fairness”, because it means damaging the life chances of millions; promoting fecklessness; and damaging our national growth prospects.   Above all, I don’t like that style of fairness because – well – it isn’t fair.
 
I believe that the broadest shoulders should carry the heaviest burden.  I believe it’s fair for a man who earns twice as much to pay twice as much.  I don’t believe he should pay four times as much.  That’s why I’m against penalising the prosperous with punitive and progressive tax rates.  That’s why I’m against a graduate tax.  That’s why I’m against Labour’s 50% income tax rate.  That’s why I’m in favour of the Flat Tax.  And I hold these beliefs because I think they’re fair and common sense, but also because I believe that they will stimulate economic growth, so that in the medium term everyone will be better off than under Vince Cable’s socialism.
 
And Green Jobs?  As Disraeli might have said, “There are Lies, Damned Lies, and Green Jobs”. Put simply, green jobs are one of the biggest lies which the Warmists and the socialists and Chris Huhne are trying to sell to a gullible public.  Yes, you can create short-term jobs by erecting wind turbines.  You can also create them by paying men to dig holes and paying other men to fill them in again.  But in neither case do you create value, or wealth, or contribute to national prosperity.
 
The best studied case history is that of Spain, which invested heavily in wind power, and of course promised green jobs.  You can find the study, undertaken by Dr. Gabriel Calzada here.  And his conclusion?  Most of the jobs were temporary.  And every green job in wind power actually cost 2.2 jobs in the real economy.  It’s not difficult to see why.  First of all, you need massive subsidies (and practically bribes to land-owners) to get the turbines erected in the first place.  Then you need massive subsidies (or renewable obligation certificates or feed-in tariffs) to support the pathetic intermittent trickle of electricity from the turbines.  All that takes money out of the real economy, leaving less for investment and consumption, and leaving industry to cope with unnecessarily high electricity prices.  Green energy is a double whammy to investment and to competitiveness.
 
Little wonder then that some of the early adopters of wind power, like Germany and Denmark, are now facing a backlash – and rightly so.
 
Of course these issues will be discussed, but I suspect that the Labour Party Conference would be a more appropriate place for them.

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6 Responses to Remind me which Party we belong to?

  1. Michael St George says:

    Well, Roger, the Labour Party Conference would indeed be a more appropriate place for them – the trouble is, the Cameroon used-to-be Conservative Party has been in effect taken over by the Fabians and the Res Publica crowd.

    If a so-called Conservative party can acquiesce in the appointment of that dangerous, deluded, eco-idiot Huhne to his present post and allow him to propagate his eco-wackery green socialism: if it can listen with murmurs of non-objection to the anti-enterprise rantings that unreconstructed old socialist Cable: then it’s surely hardly surprising that it should be equally susceptible to the blandishments of the Fabians……..

  2. Julie says:

    How bizarre. You don’t seem to like subsidies for wind farms – however, you’re very happy to support the proposed Noctonfactory dairy farm, itself reliant on massive subsidies if it is to fulfill many of its claims about animal welfare.
    So, every job in “green energy” takes 2.2 jobs – I wonder how many jobs will disappear in Britain’s dairy industry if your new friends at Nocton Dairies get their way & their “dairy” goes ahead. This is hypocrisy at its best – even by your standards.
    You can’t have it all ways, Roger – well, I suppose you think you can if you’re a Tory MEP. For how much longer, I wonder?

    • Sorry Julie but your economic analysis is deeply flawed. The whole dairy industry is subsidised, and apart from scale, Nocton is no different from the rest. I dislike subsidies and I dislike the CAP, but that doesn’t affect the Nocton question because Nocton simply gets the deal that other dairy operations get. Wind farms on the other hand get a differential subsidy way above anything that conventional generation gets. Wind is essentially pointless, uneconomic and unsustainable without massive subsidies, and could be substituted much more cheaply by nuclear, gas or coal. Dairies can only be substituted by other dairies.

      • Julie says:

        “Deeply flawed” . . . . .??? Nocton Dairies have applied for funding in order to meet animal welfare standards (which they have used as a selling point from the start). They are not getting subsidies for their milk (yet) as other farmers do, simply because the strength of feeling from locals forced them to withdraw their first application – therefore, they have no cows to milk (yet)
        Oh, and by the way, they inform me that at the moment they don’t even have a market for their milk! I wonder in what other field could one borrow £50million to set up a business without any customers.
        80 jobs – I would like to see these broken down. There is no back-up data to support their claims. This figure is bandied about as some sort of justification for their monstrous factory operation. They have, however, admitted that the majority of jobs will be unskilled & dirty (ie low-paid).
        Your opinion on the Nocton Dairy is based on a meeting with the Dairy consortium – I wonder whether you have seen any of the contradicting evidence (and there is a lot). In order to represent your constituents, ought you to seek their opinion, and perhaps do a little more research?
        I notice that you were quick off the mark to meet with Nocton Dairies – please remember that the 2 directors are not your constituents and Mr Howard is merely a “neighbouring farmer” who, by his own admission, does not intend to become a director of the Dairy.

  3. Julie: You have not presented any evidence that Nocton have received, or applied for, subsidies not generally available to the diary industry, so my point stands — unless you have a different source of milk other than dairies.

    My opinion, by the way, is also based on contacts with the NFU, on the RSPCA report, and on discussions with conventional small scale dairy farmers — not just with Nocton.

    • Julie says:

      No, Roger, I don’t have any other source for milk than dairies – which is precisely why I would like to look after the independent dairy farmer, and will not be buying milk from a factory farm.
      On the question of grants – Nocton Dairies, as you know, have made an outline request to EMDA & the RDPE for funding, at a time when the UK is facing grave financial restraint.
      So, you have sought opinion from “contacts” in the NFU (by chance, would they be in support of the dairy???) and an RSPCA report. It seems the RSPCA are not sure what they think – there are actually conflicting reports from them.
      I have also had discussions with conventional small scale dairy farmers. Obviously not the same ones as you – because they ones I’ve spoken to don’t have a good word to say for Nocton Dairies.
      Once again, you chose to cherry pick the questions you reply to. What about the 80 jobs?
      The lack of a buyer for the milk?
      The opinions of the locals?
      The environment – oh, sorry, we know you have scant regard for that.
      If this dairy is approved, let’s hope the next one is planned for your neighbourhood. I think you might sit up and take notice then – ie, as you did in your support of your local people objecting to a wind farm!
      As I have said before, no-one around here had heard of you – until now. You may well rue the day you ever got involved. Presumably this is not the kind of publicity you will be looking for the next time you want our votes.

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