Regulatory uncertainty – A barrier to investment and growth

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In recent years, in my work in the parliament, I’ve become more and more concerned about an issue that is scarcely if ever mentioned, either in the media, or indeed in Brussels (except by me — I mention it all the time).

Let me offer you a striking and topical example. Seven or eight years ago, the bien pensant establishment — politicians, the media, green lobby groups — were vilifying petrol engines and their drivers, and urging us all to switch to diesel.  Didn’t we know that CO2emissions were the greatest threat facing Planet Earth, mankind, and the biosphere? Didn’t we understand that we all have a duty to minimise our emissions — and therefore to switch from petrol engines, with their somewhat higher fuel consumption and emissions, to diesel, with lower emissions?

Gordon Brown as Chancellor backed up this advice with differential duty rates designed to drive the switch to diesel from petrol

So both manufacturers and drivers took the advice, and diesel became more popular.  For the first time in my life, I bought a diesel car.

But now, for heaven’s sake, they’ve noticed that diesel cars produce higher levels of SOx2 and NOx and particulates than petrol cars.  And these emissions (which unlike CO2 really are pollution) are causing widespread respiratory illnesses and excess deaths.  In our cities, we are in breach of EU clean air regulations.  I bitterly resent Britain being told by the EU what clean air rules we should apply, but there is no doubt that these pollutants are at dangerous levels.  (We need to keep it in perspective — life expectancy continues to rise, so we must be doing something right).

So now in less than a decade we’ve had strong advice to switch to diesel, suddenly countermanded by strong advice to switch to petrol — with some advocating sanctions against existing diesel vehicles.  (Please bear in mind that the industry has done a great job of cleaning up both petrol and diesel engines, both of which are much cleaner today than they were ten years ago).

But the development cycle for cars is around seven years.  And the average life-span of a car is well over ten years.  The lifetime of an engine factory may be decades, and while factories can be redesigned and re-tooled, it’s an expensive process.

Take Jaguar’s exciting new engine plant in Wolverhampton — a very welcome investment indeed.  Half a billion pounds, and employing 1400 people.  And the first engine it will produce?  The new Jaguar XE’s 161 and 178 bhp Ingenium diesels.  I imagine there will be some red faces in the Jaguar boardroom at this sudden broadside against diesel.  Long-term and essential investment programmes are undermined on the whim of the commentariat who hadn’t paused to think of the air quality implications of their dash for diesel (and in any case the power industry produces more of most of these pollutants than transport).

Another example.  As UKIP’s Industry and Energy spokesman, I sit on the relevant committee in Brussels, ITRE.  The European institutions have been having a comparable change of heart over bio-fuels.  First of all, bio-fuels were the silver bullet to decarbonise road transport (and perhaps air transport).  Bio-fuels did nothing but recycle CO2.  Plants take in CO2 from the atmosphere, we make bio-fuels, burn them and return the CO2 to the atmosphere.  A carbon-neutral solution!

Then we started to realise that there’s quite a lot of CO2-based input into the agriculture behind bio-fuels.  Diesel for tractors.  And transport.  And processing.  Energy for fertilisers and pesticides.  So the savings envisaged had to be substantially discounted.  But still there were some savings, weren’t there?  So we mandated 10% bio-fuel content for petrol and diesel.

But just recently another issue has raised its head.  If you take a thousand acres of land in South America for sugar-cane and ethanol, or in Indonesia for palm oil and diesel — the population still has to eat.  They’ve just lost a thousand acres of good agricultural land.  So off they go down the road and cut down a forest, or drain a swamp, or disturb a peat landscape.  And guess what?  The emissions associated with that change of land use may (depending on the crop and the circumstances) greatly outweigh the CO2 emissions saving you thought you were making.  The new buzz-word is “ILUC”, or Indirect Land Use Change.

So now we’re amending the law to 7% (or maybe 5 or 6 — it’s on-going).  And companies which have made massive investment in dedicated refining capacity for bio-fuels are cut off at the knees.

Think of the impact of this regulatory uncertainty on investment plans.  Who wants to build an auto-engine factory when the rules may be changed on a whim, according to the latest modish theory from the green lobby?  Who wants to invest half a billion (as one company did) in a bio-fuel refinery, only to have the market cut back at the stroke of a pen?

And for nuclear, the situation is worse.  Who wants to invest £10 billion in a nuclear power plant with a design life of sixty years, when Angela Merkel may get a touch of cold feet and close down the industry?  It’s not too alarmist to say that regulatory uncertainty may be the biggest threat to the capitalist system of investment and production.  At last a credible argument for nationalisation.  No one else can afford to invest in this environment.  But maybe if the politicians have to take the hit, they’ll be a little more circumspect in their decision-making.

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58 Responses to Regulatory uncertainty – A barrier to investment and growth

  1. Jane Davies says:

    It’s called accountability of which politicians have none!
    I have always hated diesels, dirty, noisy and carcinogenic. If I had the power of Merkel I would ban them!

    • Flyinthesky says:

      The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
      (and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
      by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
      H. L. Mencken.

      The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
      “they” can offer their solutions, not THE solutions

      They’re not going to ban diesels they’re just positing a credible excuse to increase the tax and or congestion charge on it. Notwithstanding the inferred risk is many factors higher than the actuality. We’re being played .. again.

      • Very much to the point. We may be in danger of a new variant of the current man-made climate change hysteria and consequent scientific, political and financial fiasco.
        Sure, combustion/exhaust emissions are contaminated with noxious chemicals, but proof and our understanding of their ? causal and/or exacerbative roles in, say, real human cardiorespiratory problems is lacking. Recall the many years’ painstaking work needed by Richard Doll et al in nailing the roles of tobacco smoking in disease causation.
        Yet again, the scaremongers, like those of Menckens’s witty and relevant remarks, may be running true to form! The EU, like most international organisations, attracts them and over-reacts to their very often false scares.
        If we remain subservient and accept another “Wolf, wolf” call, without proof, much more harm than good will result: note, for example, the renewable enegy, own-goal scandals.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        Charles, what is always omitted is a sense of proportion but all these things leave some residual interpretations as in Jane’s perspective.
        We have all figured out over a period of time that smoking is bad for us, I come across a lot of people who are now convinced that the merest whiff of tobacco smoke will lead to a horrible death from lung cancer. This perspective is actively reinforced by erroneous statistics, it doesn’t matter what you die of if you smoked you become a quotable statistic.
        All the emotives we are continually battered with are aimed at our most primal emotion, fear.
        It’s the same with eu membership, we are continually presented with dire scenarios on the consequences of leaving the eu, more hobgoblins.
        We as a population have been infantilised, disempowered and terrified into compliance.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Thanks Jane, perhaps at 80 I will need to walk the mile into our village next. I have an old CDi Mercedes that with 105K miles on the clock, runs as well as the day I first bought it secondhand. I am getting over 50-55mpg regularly on a run suggesting a pretty clean burn against a new Smart petrol car with only two seats and just a mile or two improvement in mpg.

      Modern devices to save our planet are getting to be unaffordable, we bought a new efficient LEC refrigerator, at just over 12 months it failed and is past economical repair due to its moulded construction. The old ones could be repaired and re-gassed with little problem. With our inadequate pensions and wrecked economy the future is not too rosy for many retired folks now.

      • ehadmiral says:

        I too am in a position akin to your Brin, save that my old car is a Volvo S80 with 107,000 miles on the clock and has a life span of some million miles so long as it is regularly serviced, as mine is, and also returns an average of 46 mpg. And, will there be any allowance handed to us if they ban our cars in the near future which has been muted?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Your’e thinking of Ford/Land Rover clankers I suspect. Don’t think Merkel would cripple BMW’s diesel business. Thats a neat and very sweet diesel engine, something they used to stand a wine glass (with wine) on and watch for ripples…little or none!

      Don’t think I’d be investing in the Nuke plant here:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11546271/New-UK-nuclear-plants-under-threat-as-serious-anomaly-with-model-found-in-France.html

      Thats the version heading at massive long term expense to UK. Uncertainty is an understatement I think…it all gets more frightening by the day here.

      • Jane Davies says:

        I suspect I am Colin, my former neighbour had an old Ford clanker and every work morning he would start this thing up at 4.45 am and go indoors to, I presume, eat his breakfast or whatever, and this bloody tractor would be idling away for half an hour. In the summer when our bedroom windows where open not only did I get this mechanical wake up call, I say ‘I’ because my other half sleeps like a log, but when the wind was in a certain direction the bedroom would fill with fumes. What joy when they moved and we had new neighbours….but low and behold one of their three vehicles is…you guessed it a diesel!!! But at least the owner keeps civilized hours and I rarely hear it.
        Sorry Brin, I seemed to have insulted your senior vehicle, I know how you guys are attached to your cars, especially the old’uns. But the walk on fine days will be so good for you and as an ex NHS rehab employee I would always say to my patients if you can leave the car behind and walk instead we all benefit. And don’t forget 80 is the new 60 so keep those feet on the sidewalk, as they say here!

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Jane… i have a pest opposite my house with a clanking Rover Discovery. Only he has added 6 roof spot lamps + rears, a TV antenna and a CB radio with 2 false whip aerials + a pile of poles and canvas.He also has an ex Army trailer with spot lamps and piles of camping kit on top and stuff inside (cooker). He goes nowhere with this lot…just messes with spray paint and wandering around it all. Its truly weird. My double glazing blocks most of it, but his lights at night are real stupid. A bus driver!

        I don’t mind the older cars till the bills come in due to age…not engine stuff. Likley suspension mounts that will pick up at about £800. Unless you can DIY….a lot? Engines may run on a lot but the rest of the car kills it all.

      • Jane Davies says:

        You have my sympathy…we are sometimes forced to live amongst idiots of the highest order and unfortunately we don’t find out about the caliber of ones neighbours until it’s too late and we have moved in or they arrive later. I always think the guy’s with this car “thingy” (adding ‘stuff’ and enlarging the exhaust pipe to increase the noise) are most likely lacking in the mens parts department whether it be a size issue or lack of use.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Ah yes..the recent rise of the big bore numb nuts. One (of many) drives past here 3 or 4 times a day for last 6 months (ar*e on fire I hope or feeding an elderly parent from a distance?). Its a woman… which surprised me until I discovered more nearby. Low slung old BMW 3 series and things that look like EVO’s but aren’t. Some of them are in bunches…all the same type like a job lot from somewhere? And then there is the idiot with the 2 stroke m/bike and half the exhaust (silencer) absent. If I drove my currently quiet Ford Focus cr*p with a bad exhaust I know I would be nailed PDQ.

        The Discovery numpty over the road has added bull bars, winch on the front and has decorated it with a thick white hawser folded/hanging over the winch. This for driving to work and back…5 miles round trip.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Our Ford Focus station wagon (“wot they call estates here!) has done us proud, a couple of years old when we bought it 9 years ago, runs well, good on gas and services are so much cheaper than our Volvo we had in the UK. Never thought the day would come when I would drive a Ford, always a Volvo kinda gal!
        Back to your comment, it’s unusual for these car show offs to be female not sure if that is down to wanting to be ‘one of the boys’ or lack of brain cells, I suspect both. As for my analogy about the male of these dumb species, I rest my case!

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Jane…does your Focus have the non synchro reverse gear fitted? The crunching hit and miss gear. They have here (upto 2010 at least) and its the same gearbox design really as the Sierra’s etc…wayback then. They slap all the latest electronic junk on them and leave the gears behind. Do we need a CAN bus…not really.

        The quality of the electrical wiring is poor in my view. Their spares supply is all about total units, so anything small kicks off from about £70 + fitting + vat (if in stock?). My dashboard top storage box suddenly opened the other night and would not lock closed. Found a small piece of plastic that’s supposed to be a lock catch. That unit spreads from half way across the top dash and over the instruments and you have to change it completely. Nope…you tease it all out and remove its dumb opener spring. Whoever designs this stuff moves around the car industry fairly regularly. last saw it on my BMW 525i when the complete fuel filler lid fell off…more cr*p plastic…but at least BMW sold piece parts for a fair price.

        I could go on..ST220 and small hoses for air induction…No, I’ll stop there

      • Jane Davies says:

        No Colin all of the above has not happened to our vehicle and as for the reverse gear thingy, nope! I have to say our only expense has been new tyres and a service once a year. Not sure where our car was manufactured, possibly the US. Your experience is why I would always have a Volvo in years past but they are/were thin on the ground here when we arrived 9 years ago and cost way too much dosh. There doesn’t seem to be the snob factor here either, people are not judged by the make of car they drive as is the case back home. Personally if I won the lottery I would go back to Volvo’s for their safety record, but I hear they are not the same now they are not the product of their country of origin.

  2. David Cox says:

    Dear Mr Helmer May I say what a well thought out article & a credit to you ! best wishes Dave Cox

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      Many thanks David!

    • Ian Terry says:

      Second that

      • Nationalisation of the utilities would certainly allow new power stations to get built quicker, as the state has deeper pockets and less concern about the risks of investment.
        Just look at how we’re getting China’s state owned nuclear giant to fund/build our new nuclear stations.

        With regards to the diesel engines, I always thought it was a bad move to encourage them, even though I’m anti-CO2. Electric cars/hybrid powered by nuclear generated power are the way to go. Tesla is already making them quite practical and semi-affordable. Plenty of research in new battery tech needed.

  3. Flyinthesky says:

    Crude oil is processed by fractionation in a barrel of oil there is X% petrol and X% diesel
    if we outlaw diesel we effectively reduce our fuel production potential by X% you can’t turn diesel into petrol by refining. A great part of the problem with urban pollution is traffic control or as it should be really described, excessive traffic control.
    The proliferation of 20mph speed limits in areas they are not needed, cars emit and deposit far more pollution at 20 than 30.
    In the town where I live there is an ongoing traffic light replacement strategy, all the new lights of course have the ubiquitous pedestrian controls where sequences are modified by a pedestrian pressing the button, traffic can be at a standstill two minutes after the pedestrian has gone. With a little thought traffic lights give a near perfect opportunity to cross the road in safety without a button.
    Give it another ten years: that shop over the road sells it, I can’t get there, there’s no button.

    Some totally inept person or persons will be tasked with town or city traffic planning armed with a compass and some coloured felt pens, then they will formulate a traffic plan that looks good in theory and pretty on paper but in practical terms doesn’t work, do they abandon it, no, that would illustrate their total ineptitude to the task in hand. When it doesn’t work, and it often doesn’t, they modify and tinker with it, the usual result is they compound the problem.
    The way forward is to facilitate traffic movement, keep it going, but that seems like an abstract concept to traffic planners.

    In a city where I used to live the traffic planner was a declared cycle riding motorphobe, you can imagine what a mess he made of it.
    You could probably shave a third of pollution figures if you facilitated vehicles instead of continuously trying to hobble and control it.

  4. Jane Davies says:

    Another totally unnecessary and frankly scary piece of kit to spy on the people….and we, or rather you because I’m in Canada, don’t have a choice. But I’m sure someone will find a way to disarm it!

    http://www.ukip.org/big_brother_eu_gets_its_way_again_with_car_tracking_deal

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I’d be on this things case in nano seconds. Trouble is I suspect they may try to bring it under law, as the fools do with many useless instruments.

      It could be part of UK vehicle MOT. Or they may try to get a reporting system that relies on the sender(s) calling in regularly. That helps to block the mobile phone channels I suspect? Anyway, its something else to reduce the range of your EV.

      Mobile phone coverage in the UK is still cr*p as is broadband. Something that needed to fixed way back then…but hasn’t!

  5. Thomas Fox says:

    The two main parties tell us that a referendum on EU will create uncertainty for doing business with them but what you tell us is much worse uncertainty already abounds within the Commission ?

    • Flyinthesky says:

      Thomas, a couple of realities that need to be reiterated constantly, the eu is and will remain on course for federation, complete integration, and no amount of renegotiation is going to change that, the only variations are the route and the speed, the destination will remain unchanged.
      The other one is also absolute, you don’t have to be governed by it to trade with it, the ongoing inference that we do is abject nonsense.
      What we have now, with the government, is they are more than happy to accept middle manager responsibility while enjoying director perks and salaries.

  6. Ian Terry says:

    Beware the enemy from within.

    http://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/dear_alex_an_open_letter_to_the_former_first_minister_from_an_old_schoolmate

    The Nats will shaft us at every move to destroy the UK and stay in the EU bed and won’t they get some help.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Only the Scots Ian, I’m a British Nationalist and love my Country. If the Scots wish to steer their own boat so be it, I’m English and know it.

      • *Please note that the 50.2%, of the total votes, favouring the SNP shows that many Scots voted against these dreamers and non-realists.
        The FPTP system ensured that the illusion that “Scotland” thinks that way as a whole is almost equally illusory.
        Please have a sympathy with your fellow-Celts up North whose nation has made a mistake.

  7. catweazle666 says:

    More alarmist claptrap from the EUSSR, in fact.

    In fact, modern diesels are fitted with urea injection systems which in cnjunction with three-way catalytic converters and particulate filters which reduce tailpipe emissions to similar levels as petrol engines.

    This has been the case for around a decade.

    BlueTEC is Daimler AG’s marketing name for engines equipped with advanced NOx reducing technology for vehicle emissions control in diesel-powered vehicles. The technology in BlueTec vehicles includes a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that uses diesel exhaust fluid, and a system of NOx Adsorbers the automaker calls DeNOx, which uses an oxidizing catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter combined with other NOx reducing systems.

    The BlueTEC was on the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for 2007 and 2008.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlueTec

    Here is further information concerning Mercedes Benz on the subject.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1042727_adding-urea-to-clean-diesel-cars-can-i-just-pee-in-the-tank

    Here is Volvo’s take on the subject:

    Volvo’s SCR Solution
    Current EPA emissions regulations required further reduction of NOx from diesel engine exhaust. Volvo eliminates NOx with the proven and highly efficient process of SCR: Selective Catalytic Reduction. Volvo engines with SCR technology have near-zero emissions with less fuel consumption.

    Volvo further reduces NOx through the aftertreatment of engine exhaust. If NOx gases are selectively eliminated in a downstream aftertreatment chamber, the level of NOx produced by the engine can be significantly higher. This approach allows the engine to be retuned for maximum fuel efficiency.

    SCR requires a catalytic converter into which is injected Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The primary component of DEF is water; the active organic component is urea.

    http://www.volvotrucks.com/trucks/na/en-us/products/powertrain/emissions/SCR/Pages/scr.aspx

    In other words, the information on MODERN diesel engine emissions being peddled by the EUSSR is utter BS from start to finish.

  8. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Here’s somebody who wants to kick the Uncertainty out of UK …pretty much!

    Nigel Farage has had enough of the BBC: (me too!!)

    Somebody is kicking the mike a bit in this?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I meant mic… not poor old mike?

      • Jane Davies says:

        I wish Andrew Marr hadn’t interrupted so much. He cut off Nigel when he was about to say who would be eligible in a referendum on leaving the EU. I hope I get a say when the time comes….I’m still a UK taxpayer and should have the right to vote for leaving.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Typical BBC….questions on minority issues and often the question is longer than the answer. Radio 4 (Today prog) is largely the same. Its spiteful and arises from the North London liberal luvvies and Farage told Evan Davis (BBC Newsnight) that the other day.

        Farage has the BBC on his list…I definitely have had them on a dump list for about 10 years. No…over 30 years actually.

  9. martinbrumby says:

    Sorry to comment late in the day (or rather a few days late!). I am an engineer, not an epidemiologist. So maybe, just maybe, there are some issues with the exhausts of even the most modern and well maintained diesel engines.
    But looking at the gang who are waving the shrouds about, I very much doubt if there is any significant risk whatever.
    They are very much the same bunch who claim thousands of deaths from eating meat, from drinking too much (or at all), eating too much sugar, not eating enough fruit, not eating ‘organic food’, and so on. The same bunch who prattle on about pm10s, pm2.5s, pesticides, ‘passive’ smoking, and so on. And fingering people who want to drive at more than 20 mph. Or who want to drive at all. Or who want to take the family on holiday. And they are pretty much the same bunch who drone on endlessly about ‘fossil’ fuels, ‘controversial’ fracking, ‘climate change’, ocean ‘acidification’ and all the rest. (Whilst jetting round the world to the latest Climate Junket, at the taxpayers’ expense).
    Enthusiastically backed by the BBC and the Grauniad, of course!
    It has occurred to me on many occasions that, if indeed if it was true that tens of thousands of people die from all these many scary things, there would be no b#gg#r left alive!
    As other commenters have pointed out, it suits the government both in Brussels and their branch office in Westminster to scaremonger, especially when they are casting around for something to tax more.
    And the pundits that the BBC unfailingly drag out to promote these scares are (in addition to the usual Greenpeace / WWF / FoE charlatans) actually not scientists basing their prognoses on medical evidence, they are the usual crew of computer modellers.
    So, sorry Roger. But I don’t believe for a second that “these pollutants are at dangerous levels”.
    If they genuinely were, how does anyone survive the air pollution in Beijing, New Delhi, Bangkok or Mandalay? And how did us old ‘uns survive living in London, Birmingham or Sheffield in the 1950s?

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      In 1989 I lived in Guernsey for a few years in a rather heavy road use area of St Peter Port. On windless days the air was foul, no other description covered it. My chest infections were bad and I was pleased to return to the UK where I soon recovered.

      Having said that, car exhausts have been cleaned up a great deal, perhaps now we should be asking that further measures should be cost effective and show significant improvements. The 180gms exhaust emissions of my 2003 Mercedes is not quite as good as some tiny Smart Cars at around 140gms, but considering all the other factors like its long useful life should I be charged an extra £190 road tax on top of the double taxed fuel?

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        I saw a response to that emissions thing some years ago. A chap had a big car and said ok…I’ll just get 2 smaller ones. So he equalled or increased his emissions for about the same tax. When I look round here most households have at least 2 small-ish cars, which I don’t think relates to the new found prosperity (incorporating massive borrowing) so much.

        The air is bad in my local town around the old banks/shops….where all the clanking taxi’s sit in a long line. The whole place is vastly populated with single deck buses that use drivers with the digital foot problem and stinking great diesels. Most of these buses are largely empty.

    • charles wardrop says:

      Hear, hear!

  10. Refers to Martin Brumbry’s remarks above.

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    O/T again…this am,

    R4 Today prog and the babbling Sarah Montague on at Paul Nuttall about the suspended UKIP guy threatening to shoot a Tory…at some point somewhere (N Hampshire?). What we get is an incredibly long question from her (often loosing the thread). Nuttal responds a few times about the fact the there have been over 300 suspended loonies in the other parties. Some for paedo, fraud and much more. Does the BBC report that stuff he asks? Farage has said the same….often! No…they don’t.

    Now the Greens recruitment of an Animal Liberation Front convicted criminal (10 yrs).

    http://order-order.com/2015/05/06/the-green-party-terrorist/#_@/vS-llNGDEc+0UQ

    ALF Terrorist…so will the BBC air this. I won’t know because I barely listen/view their junk during the day.

  12. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Best of luck to UKIP today…in the targeted seats. I have to go Tory here in Worcestershire to assist in keeping Labour and the awful Green out. Locally I’ll help throw a UKIP spanner in.

    My wider family in S. London will do the same…but thats a bit of a head bang! Every little helps though.

  13. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Damp Rags and stuff… need this man in Westminster (if he can stand it?)

    Nigel Farage Over the Years: (by email from UK Official)

  14. Flyinthesky says:

    Just off to put my cross in the right place.

  15. Jane Davies says:

    Two more votes coming your way by proxy from Canada! Still no word about how UKIP are going to address the frozen pension injustice though.

  16. Ex-expat Colin says:

    UKIP could flag it up Jane, but with about 500 troughers in Westminster I doubt much could happen for you?

    They are well up their own ar*es with the EU and lobbing Foreign Aid over to Mercedes Benz. Thats apart from changing the demographic in UK to get their perverse way….Rotherham and such like.

    For UKIP to gain traction here, First Past The Post has to change to PR… that might take a lot of expense claims to achieve.

    Anyway, the International NHS comes first!

  17. Ex-expat Colin says:

    UKIP and SNP both have three million voters – one has one seat, the other 58

    Another 5 years to fix? Not got the Farage result yet.

    20 yr old student (serious mouth head) for SNP Paisley..what does that tells us -16 year old next?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      tells/tell !

      • Jane Davies says:

        Well done UKIP…but why the discrepancy in seats if both had 3 million? I’ll never understand the voting system it seems unfair to me.
        The whole thing should be run again anyway as thousands of overseas voters did not get their ballot papers in time. I know of two who received them on Wednesday. Disgraceful shambles.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        The essential question here is why do 5 million people need 50+ MPs, how many has Yorkshire got for a similar population? How was this ludicrous situation formulated.
        We can’t undo what’s occurred, Conservatives with a 12 seat majority but we now have a promised referendum, our focussed efforts now have to be winning it.
        However to stand any chance of winning it we need a coalescence of all the interested parties. To get a consensus on the way forward from all the interested factions is going to be no mean task in itself but if we don’t present a coordinated front we stand little chance of success.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        FPTP was designed for two parties largely. So the new modern thinker politician (with a PPE and no prior job/life) sat on its face for a long time addressing minority issues/screwing up major issues…meanwhile representation was heading for this mess.

        Its the wrong Tories at the moment and certainly Tory idiots in Thanet. Lets see what gets into the cabinet and what the behaviour is in Parliament over the next 6 months.

        I put on John Redwoods blog this am before he went to Parliament that they might ensure all Tories pull together this time…and who am I?

        McMental and Blair must be raging?

      • Flyinthesky says:

        We have what we have Colin and that’s what we have to work with.
        I wasn’t expecting any major breakthrough for UKIP but I would have liked a few seats for a balancing and accountability function.
        UKIP got near 4 million votes, That would be more than double if the electorate had stayed with their intent of a few months ago. We have, once again, been frightened into voting for what we want to avoid instead of what we want. We have ended up with our least worst option.

        As an aside P.P.E., In my world, mostly off piste I admit, a P.P.E. degree would be an automatic disqualifier for any public office, they aren’t educated they’re programmed.

        As I say in my post, my only concern now is to address the eu question and without a coordinated response by all factions, and there are a lot of them, I’m not at all optimistic.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Yep….the EU needs to be put in a position where it is no longer/cannot be deeply attractive to wayward governments/countries. I don’t want to experience a country attached to us physically that is anything like the southern European states in respect of management. So Scotland can do its necessary thing, but don’t blame us for anything anymore! My Scots wife keeps telling me she will not visit Scotland again…its caused some right old arguments.

        Having crippled the EU we can then let it die…likely a very slow death I think, having caused great harm and will incur more.

        I am real interested to see what the Tory boys are going to do with DECC…not holding breath!

  18. Colin, my problems of supporting Cameron are down to his being, or having been, a closet Liberal!
    Hope he might now be willing and able to revert to Conservatism, and to honouring “cast iron” pledges.

    • catweazle666 says:

      Cameron is a “Progressive”.

      It’s a mark of Labour’s success that David Cameron called himself progressive as part of his rebranding of the Tories

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/may/22/progressive-tories-david-cameron

      • Jane Davies says:

        Just another “spin” word and it doesn’t really mean anything. We have Progressive Conservatives here in Canada and I can’t really say they are any different to the non PC’s. I guess Cameron needs a gimmick to try to convince the rest of Joe public, besides the 36% who actually voted for him, that he is now able to form a government all by himself and things will be “different” when in fact all you will get is the same old!

  19. Brin Jenkins says:

    I don’t think DC’s actions speak for other than dyed in the wool Liberalism, which is only the honeyed words of Marx.

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