Great Britain still lecturing the colonies – on climate policy


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

An aristocratic British member of parliament has decided it is time to lecture the Australian colonies, on what they should be doing about climate change and carbon pricing.

According to MP Richard Benyon;

British Conservatives value climate science and finding market solutions to address the biggest environmental challenge of our era.

Seen from the other side of the world, the stance of Tony Abbott’s government on climate change is incomprehensible.

For a country visibly and increasingly exposed to impacts of climate change, Abbott’s decision to increase climate risks by becoming the first leader in the world to abolish a carbon price mystified many.

Cutting Australia’s renewable energy target was also bewildering, for a country blessed with almost unlimited renewable resources, the more so from a supposedly pro-business government. Meanwhile, the giant new coal mining and coal exporting operations on which Abbott appears to be betting Australia’s financial health look increasingly risky investments, with bank after bank refusing to back them and demand from China, the world’s biggest coal-burning nation, falling.

Read more:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made eliminating the carbon tax, to control spiralling energy prices, a prominent centrepiece of his election campaign. Eliminating the carbon tax was the will of the Australian people.

Member of parliament Richard Benyon has an estimated personal wealth of £110 million, so he is in no personal danger of experiencing fuel poverty – in fact Benyon has occasionally attracted criticism, thanks to his skilful application of generous government grants, for rich landlords like himself, who convert their rental tenancy properties to green energy.

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July 23, 2015 2:09 pm

It should be remembered that the minimum IQ requirement for a UK member of parliament is a score of 1 and that this ars@hole just scraped in!

Reply to  John Law
July 23, 2015 3:02 pm

Things are changing:
Green Deal funding to end, government announces
Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst is an angry man.

Philip Arlington
Reply to  John Law
July 23, 2015 5:16 pm

We really need to get over the idea that bad ideas are supported by stupid people. For at least a hundred years a very high share of the bad ideas which have achieved popularity have appealed primarily to people of well above average education and intellgence. The world is being screwed up by the intelligent, not the dumb. This is one of the key background realities which we need to absorb as a culture to get better at avoiding both new recurring mistakes.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 2:09 am


Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 7:08 am

The problem is that they aren’t “bad ideas.” Many of these ideas are great ideas: Let’s get energy from the sun! Hey, you know, that’s a stellar idea (Pun not intended, but fully embraced when realized). It’s cheap, doesn’t cause pollution of any kind (leaning more towards mercury and similar and not CO2), and the reactor itself should last about 5-6 billion years with no maintenance. But the implementation is where it breaks down: the real world in terms of our current, and even in-the-pipeline, technologies means that we can’t appreciably tap this resource without basically eradicating all other life for the footprint of the collectors.
On the flip side, there are many good ideas from intelligent people that ARE possible and attainable. In the US, for instance, we laid out the interstate highway system. This has been a massive boon to the United States and the citizenry. It was a good idea and, despite being a rather large undertaking, worked.
The problem isn’t that intelligent people come up with ideas, the problem is that they then cling to those ideas as if they were a life jacket from the Titanic: Nothing will wrest them loose. What we need to learn as a culture is a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. In my opinion, this would be best served by integrating the scientific method into our lives at just about every level. From political pronouncements and projects needing to be measured in a sound and reliable way to prove success to random beliefs and old wives’ tales being scientifically tested.
If the War on Drugs (War on Poverty. War on Terror. War on *) had been held to any standard, tactics to drive the desired outcome could have been tried long before now. For the last 40 years, data was showing it was ineffective, outside of a few years of good effect. Instead of looking at the data and going “We need to try something different!” basically everyone in positions of power looked at the program and doubled down on the same broken methodology each time the issue came up, expanding the program at every opportunity. Trying to get people off drugs was a good idea, but the implementation, just as with the solar collection above, was abysmal.

Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 26, 2015 6:29 am

Do you mean those who let their schooling interfere with their education?

Reply to  John Law
July 23, 2015 7:20 pm
Reply to  John Law
July 23, 2015 7:30 pm

Wot about Phill the Greek and his dozy son? Surely they are still opening their mouths wide enough to change feet?

Reply to  John Law
July 24, 2015 1:16 am

As probably the only person on this blog to have actually met Richard Benyon, it is clear that the wiki link should be taken with a pinch of salt.
He was my near neighbour for many years and I also met him when he was an environment secretary and a passionate believer in being good custodians of the earth. This probably comes about through the family stewardship of his Englefield estate for many centuries, that has many diverse elements to it, woods, rivers quarries and farmland. As a minister he was very keen to get the nonsensical EU fishing policy overturned whereby dead catches of the wrong species are thrown back into the water.
He is a great charitable benefactor and his estate is often used for such things as charity walks.
Yes, he is a bit pompous but the idea that such a man can ‘lecture’ our ‘colonies’ is nonsensical;. This isn’t 1900..
His heart is in the right place, albeit I have had discussions with him about climate change which is central to his beliefs. But don’t forget that only around 5 of ALL MP’s voted against the UK climate change Act a few years ago so in that respect almost any UK MP is going to be ‘green.’

Billy Liar
Reply to  climatereason
July 24, 2015 9:34 am

Whatever his personal qualities, he appears to have been assimilated by the Borg; resistance is futile.

Reply to  John Law
July 24, 2015 2:19 am

That’s minus one (-1) I take it?

Reply to  John Law
July 24, 2015 3:21 am

But he is rich and that is one of the requirements for being an MP, no need for thinking. “His personal wealth is estimated at £110m, making him the richest MP in the House of Commons”(Wikipedia)

Reply to  confusedphoton
July 24, 2015 9:02 am

As distinct from the US where you don’t have to have to be rich to become President?

July 23, 2015 2:10 pm

It is difficult to express my [thoughts] over the number of falsehoods in four short paragraphs.

July 23, 2015 2:10 pm


Reply to  inMAGICn
July 23, 2015 2:29 pm

Magic…cut people some slack on the typos; there is no editing function for a reply on WUWT, unlike Disqus.

Reply to  kokoda
July 23, 2015 4:23 pm

He was only fixing his own comment, not someone else’s.

Climate Heretic
Reply to  inMAGICn
July 23, 2015 2:40 pm

In other words do not worry about it, unless the rest of us complain about it. We can read and understand what you meant, if not we will ask.
Climate Heretic

Reply to  Climate Heretic
July 23, 2015 4:08 pm

Thanks guys. I am obviously not a touch-typer. I look up and there it is.

July 23, 2015 2:14 pm

Can we get one of those monuments placed on the mall in DC?

July 23, 2015 2:17 pm

And the rich get richer…..all on the backs of the “regular” people. There is a never-ending supply of hypocracy.

Reply to  Colin
July 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Extract from the link re Mr Benyon:
“In 2014, Benyon’s family firm was part of a property consortium that PURCHASED New Era estate, one of the last affordable housing estates for working-class Londoners. The consortium increased the rents and announced plans to increase them further to match the rest of the market, effectively displacing its current residents.[17] Following negative publicity and protests by the tenants, Benyon Estate announced that it would sell its stake in the consortium back to the landlord, Westbrook Partners, a New York–based property INVESTMENT company.[18][19]”
Nice work if you can get it!

Reply to  Colin
July 23, 2015 3:41 pm

I like the word hypocracy right along with kleptocracy.

July 23, 2015 2:21 pm

On behalf of most Brits, let me apologise to Australia for the mouthing-off of this buffoon, he does not represent the majority, and WTF is he doing suggesting that another country should follow the impending disaster that is the UK energy policy.

george e. smith
Reply to  climanrecon
July 23, 2015 2:57 pm

Well all of the good Aussies are descended from English jail birds anyhow; so it’s not in their jeans to behave themselves.
I’m trying to get John key in NZ to see the light, and join the Auslanders in saying nyet to all that Kyoto smoke and mirrors stuff.
[The mods note that it is the usual reproductive practice for one to get two another’s genes through their jeans to make three genes, but your mileage may vary. .mod]

Reply to  george e. smith
July 23, 2015 3:07 pm

As a Brit, when people were “Chosen” to go to Australia I feel that the selection policy must have been flawed. We let a lot of the sensible ones go and kept some of the nutters e.g. Benyon. Also, we kept this cold, pokey little island and let them have the sun-drenched, continental-sized island they call “God’s Own Country”.

Reply to  george e. smith
July 23, 2015 5:41 pm

I didn’t steal a loaf of bread to get to Aus. It cost me lots of $$’s to get here!

Farmer Gez
Reply to  climanrecon
July 23, 2015 3:45 pm

No need for an apology. We have more than our fair share of deluded apocalyptic politicians in Australia. If we start apologising to each other we may never stop.

Reply to  climanrecon
July 23, 2015 4:30 pm

However, Pwince UpChuck and his dottering clown of a father continue to make fools of Britain. The two sanctimonious sacks of scat would do better to retire to a place where nobody can either see or hear them. This fellow may be a buffoon, but those other two are an example of how the House of Hanover has been only marginally better than the Stuarts at best. Even then, the pair of them make James I of England look like a genius and Charles I of England look humble. By the way, did I mention that I do not think much of them? At least Elizabeth I of Scotland has the good sense to keep her mouth shut most of the time.

Reply to  ShrNfr
July 23, 2015 5:43 pm

Germany or Greece?

Reply to  ShrNfr
July 24, 2015 8:51 am

The House of Hanover was brought in after Queen Anne of Britain died in the early 1700s. They attempted to change their name to Windsor around WW 1 to de-emphacise their German origin. I obviously do not regard them as German after 300 years, but the mental capacities of that house have not increased in the slightest. For all of it, George III was probably one of the best ones prior to the onset of his metabolic problems that rendered him insane.

M Seward
Reply to  climanrecon
July 23, 2015 5:46 pm

no need to apologise at all mate, as you probably well know we just love having cretins like Benyon shooting their little mouths off at us. It juts proves to us that the crimes of our forefathers has paid off so handsomely in so many ways.
By instinct, we would call him a whinging Pom but that would be unfair on the rest of your fine folk so lets agree then he is just an upper class twit at best. As for what he said, water off a platypus’s back.
My convict ancestor was from not far from Reading. Thank God he (allegedly) pinched that red cheese at the market that day. I might have ended up with this little tosser as my MP!

JLC of Perth.
Reply to  M Seward
July 24, 2015 5:12 am

My convict ancestor was from York. He was a counterfeiter.

Reply to  climanrecon
July 30, 2015 1:59 pm

I’m a Brit as well, as are about 50 x 10^6 of our neighbours. Please don’t apologise to anyone on my behalf, if necessary, I can do that myself quite adequately. I guess that goes for the rest of us. Note that this has nothing to do with climate or environmentalism or anything else, except us. And our ancient rights as more-or-less free Brits, to speak for ourselves. On any subject we please. Even if you feel pressing need to represent us. Don’t.

July 23, 2015 2:35 pm

Glad that Abbot got rid of the carbon tax, but I’m a little suspicious – since he is the big dog, why doesn’t he mandate that the BOM fess up with all the temp data for independent review.

Reply to  kokoda
July 23, 2015 5:46 pm

He can’t push too hard right now. Abbott is on the brink of being replaced IMO. 2016 is not far off and I think Abbott will call an early election. Shorten and the ALP are no hopers IMO, but the LNP have that nasty fellow Turn(Coat)bull just waiting in the wings!

M Courtney
July 23, 2015 2:36 pm

Tories, eh?
Those right-wingers once again pushing their green cr*p.
Thank goodness for the Labour opposition (like Graham Stringer, for a selective example).
I’m just pointing out, once again, that this AGW agenda is not a left/right issue in the UK.

Climate Heretic
Reply to  M Courtney
July 23, 2015 2:44 pm

M Courtney is right, it is not about politics, it’s about money and power. Climate Warming (Change) is the red herring and a smelly one.
Climate Heretic

Reply to  Climate Heretic
July 23, 2015 9:06 pm

Money and Power is politics

Gerry, England
Reply to  M Courtney
July 23, 2015 3:33 pm

I wouldn’t label that many of the current tories as right-wingers. Certainly few at the top are. Centrists or centre-left with not much difference between them and blairites.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  M Courtney
July 23, 2015 4:41 pm

Leaving UKIP as the only sane choice on that issue. Egads! What’s a Socialist to do?

Philip Arlington
Reply to  M Courtney
July 23, 2015 5:23 pm

Virtually nothing is a left-right issue any more. We need to break out of that obsolete intellectual straihtjacket.

Bull Detector
Reply to  M Courtney
July 24, 2015 1:07 am

If you regard the current Government and most of its MPs as right wing you haven’t been paying attention.

Roy Jones
July 23, 2015 2:39 pm

Does Tony Abbot have a brother? If he does we need him in the UK as Prime Minister.

Reply to  Roy Jones
July 23, 2015 3:25 pm

Roy, no, he has a sister and she’s too worried about gay rights and equality and useless arguments of the day.

4 eyes
Reply to  Craig
July 23, 2015 4:08 pm

Craig, a totally unnecessary and totally pointless and totally irrelevant comment. Grow up!

William Astley
July 23, 2015 2:46 pm

This is the British equivalent of Arnie Schwarzenegger. He has no understanding of the engineering/economic issues which support the assertion that the green scams do not work. He is just repeating what he has heard on the telly, boob tube.
Bad ideas that do not work due to basic engineering/economic issues, are bad ideas regardless of the party or person pushing the idea.
The green scams fail without including the cost and energy input for battery systems. The costs and energy input for battery systems are never discussed as the cost and CO2 ‘savings’ calculation becomes ridiculous, absurd if battery systems are included.
1)The number one pathetic analysis fact is the CO2 saving calculation does not include the CO2/energy required to construct the green scams and the reduce grid efficiency which is a consequence of forced on/off/on/off/on/off hydrocarbon back-up for the green scams. There is almost no energy savings and almost no CO2 savings from using green scams if the calculation is unbiased, accurate.
2)The number two pathetic analysis fact is due to fact one, it is not possible to say reduce CO2 emissions by let say 40% using green scams, regardless of how much money is spent. We are at point A in CO2 emissions, can never get to point B in CO2 emissions with the green scams. CO2 savings decrease exponentially as more green scams are added and cost increases exponentially the higher the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions without nuclear power and Stalin like restrictions on everyday life such as banning commercial air travel.
A fundamental error/scam in the calculation and discussions is the cost comparison is not ‘green scam’ vs hydrocarbon, as 100% hydrocarbon backup is required in addition to the green scam. ‘Investing’ in green scams mean doubling the installed power equipment to power the grid, in addition to more power lines as power must move from region to region.
The second fundamental issue which is not understood by most people are the implications of the fact that wind speed varies independent of load requirements.
The power generated from a turbine varies as the cube of wind speed and can vary 30% in less than an hour and does vary from 0 to 100%. As a power system must always be balanced when the wind blows other power sources musts be shutdown and then restarted and then shutdown and then restarted and then shutdown and so on.
As the green scam energy increases beyond around 10% to 15% average of nameplate it is no longer possible to use combined cycle gas power plants in the grid. The combine cycle power plants are 20% more efficient than single cycle gas power plants but require 10 hours to start and must hence be left on for weeks. The 20% less efficient single cycle gas power plants can be shut on/off/on/off/off although there is a loss in efficiency for the roughly hour as they come up to temperature.
The wind power scam pushes talk about wind power nameplate power which is the maximum output of the wind farm. Germany average wind power output is less than 20% of nameplate.
Bill Gates unlike the above big talker, understands that facts do matter. A leader does not lead people off a cliff.

Recently Bill Gates explained in an interview with the Financial Times why current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. Wind and solar output depends on the weather. The cost of decarbonization using today’s technology (William: Solar and wind power rather than nuclear) is “beyond astronomical,” Mr. Gates concluded.

The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.
A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

Ian Magness
July 23, 2015 2:49 pm

To be fair, most of our gullible MPs are only doing what Obama is telling them….

July 23, 2015 3:01 pm

Probably got his climate education from SKS and the Guardian.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
July 23, 2015 3:13 pm

I wouldn’t get excited, Eric, it’s just one MP. And he isn’t the sharpest tool in the box.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
July 23, 2015 4:44 pm

He’s an MP. Aren’t they all blunt nails? Like our Congresscritters.

July 23, 2015 3:18 pm

not in my name

July 23, 2015 3:23 pm

It’s impossible for a member of the public here in the UK to enter into any meaningful discussion with MPs who are ‘believers’.
I’ve written in detail to my MP and also former Member of the European Parliament (MEP), with figures and
arguments galore. Neither would enter into a discussion of any of my points made.
This is one reply I got from my MEP after sending him all sorts of temperature data and more:
“I’m afraid that your descendants will be ashamed of those views of yours.”
And also:
“You know perfectly well that your last question cannot be answered precisely. I’m a scientist by education too. Why play games like that? I respect the collective advice of the United Nations. That sea levels are slowly rising. That tropical fauna are moving to our shores. How can you possibly be certain? A true scientist knows there is no certainty. So, why not admit that there is a possibility that Climate Change may be true? And therefore our planet needs to take precautionary measures?”
A nice cop-out, that one – “respecting the collective advice of the United Nations”! My reply included the following points:
“Please be assured that I’m not ‘playing games’. As a member of the public I’m responding to your initial questionnaire regarding political priorities, and simply letting you know my views on the subject of ‘climate change’. In the world of science, the collective view is not necessarily the correct one. I began to look into the whole business of ‘man made global warming’ after I read Al Gore’s book. It immediately struck me as a propaganda masterpiece, with its sweeping statements, bland assurances of the truth, and brightly coloured simple pictures worthy of a primary school wall. On the subject of sea level rise, there are many factors which I understand affect this, all of which may vary with time and place. These include erosion, silting, sediment transport, continental runoff, air pressure changes, storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, compaction, geoid deformation, seismotectonics and more. Given these, to attempt to pin any changes in sea level on the effects of human-produced carbon dioxide is very shaky territory indeed as far as I’m concerned. On the subject of migrating fauna, I think you will be interested to read the link below to a presentation to Parliament by Professor Paul Reiter. As with all things climate change related, the devil is in the detail:
Much has been made of the ‘hockey stick’ study, and the absence of the medieval warming period in the published graph. Yet on the internet you’ll find the following by Albert Hafner:
‘The Schnidejoch, at an altitude of 2756 m asl, is a pass in the Wildhorn region of the western Bernese Alps. It has yielded some of the earliest evidence of Neolithic human activity at high altitude in the Alps. The abundant assemblage of finds contains a number of unique artifacts, mainly from organic materials like leather, wood, bark, and fibers. The site clearly proves access to high-mountain areas as early as the 5th millennium BC, and the chronological distribution of the finds indicates that the Schnidejoch pass was used mainly during periods when glaciers were retreating.’
So, in response to your question ‘why not admit that there is a possibility that climate change may be true?’ – of course climate change occurs, this is well known. My point is that as I see it, if there is any influence at all from human generated carbon dioxide, it’s negligible. Take another look at the Central England Temperature record I sent to you, say for the month of August. Where is there any evidence of changes so drastic occurring that the EU proposes to spend ‘as much as 180 billion Euros’ on ‘climate spending’? In 1659 for example, the temperature was 16 degrees C, and 16.6 in 2012. Yet carbon dioxide, a trace gas, has risen from 313.26ppm in 1959 to 391.01 in 2012. That’s almost a 25% increase. Surely evidence against climatic disaster caused by mankind?”
The MEP’s reply?
“We shall have to profoundly disagree”.
The majority of politicians think that we’re in danger, and so the bandwagon rolls on. The Climate Change Act remains on the statute book.
All credit to the Australians – would that the majority of our UK politicians might demonstrate some evidence of thinking for themselves.

Reply to  Carbon500
July 23, 2015 3:33 pm

Carbon, our opposition leader, Bill Shorten, a detestable individual, has proclaimed at the next Australian election, the labor party will support a tax on carbon. Completely nuts. This party got booted out at the last election for bringing one in and this party wants to try it on again into the future. So, I assure you, your mp is as great a muppet as some of ours, it’s a question of whether we have enough pollies with the balls to repel this bulls##t.

Reply to  Craig
July 23, 2015 3:42 pm

Craig: they don’t learn, do they?

Reply to  Craig
July 23, 2015 5:51 pm

An ETS, not a tax on carbon (Amounts to the same I agree). He also stated that 50% Australia will be powered by “renewables” in a very short few years if the ALP wins in 2016. There is a strong leftist support for action on climate change (LMAO) here in Aus sadly.

Reply to  Carbon500
July 23, 2015 3:42 pm

“The majority of politicians think that we’re in danger”
I am sure some have this belief, but I’ll take the other side – the majority of politicians don’t believe there is danger – it all has to do with politics, not science. If they go against their Party or its leadership, forget about any support winning your next election bid – they may even generate a campaign to defeat your election bid, like Boehner and McConnell did.
The majority of politicians don’t care about the science.

Reply to  kokoda
July 23, 2015 11:46 pm

Kokoda: An interesting comment!
According to a letter writer in the engineering journal Materials World, (May 2015 p26), during the last Parliament (2010 to 2015), 58 of the UK’s MPs had a background in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related area.
Among these were people holding degrees in scientific and engineering disciplines (including two with a Ph.D.) and those having worked as chartered engineers.
If MPs who have worked in the medical profession are included, about 1 in 10 MPs had a specialist background in a scientific or engineering field.
All well and good.
However, given the poor quality of the reply to my points from an MEP with a mathematics degree (see my earlier post on this thread), I’m inclined to agree with you that it all has to do with politics, not science.

M Courtney
Reply to  Carbon500
July 23, 2015 11:40 pm

“I’m afraid that your descendants will be ashamed of those views of yours.”

100 years ago the same arguments were put to support eugenics. “The poor and weak must suffer now for the greater good of our descendants.”
Strangely, we descendants aren’t proud of those campaigners and tend to try to forget they ever existed.
The same will happen with the Global Warming crowd.

Reply to  M Courtney
July 23, 2015 11:52 pm

M Courtney: I replied that my descendants wouldn’t in fact be ashamed of my views, because they were based on real-world figures and observations.
I expected a better quality response from a Member of the European Parliament, to say the least.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  M Courtney
July 24, 2015 3:52 am

Did you really expect a better-quality response from an MEP? My opinion of MPs is extremely low, based on my 56 years of experience. We will only get ‘proper’ government when we get a referendum system like Switzerland. Until then, government is mostly self-serving, incompetent, and not up to the tasks required. I make sure I always vote, but have deliberately spoiled my voting paper three times. Look at the latest revelations about John Bercow today! And he was brought in due to the expenses cloud! They are mostly ignorant pigs.

Reply to  Carbon500
July 24, 2015 9:34 am

Good effort Carbon but it was always doomed to failure. Parliament, the BBC and most of the other MSM are banned from discussing the issue. ‘My mind is made up so don’t confuse me with the facts’.

July 23, 2015 3:24 pm

He’s just a backbencher and a parliament secretary, worth listening to?

July 23, 2015 3:52 pm

It ain’t over till it’s over: what about the Queens Privy Council. They have embarrassed Australia before I believe. It’s not like the Royal Family is one the side of sensible energy policy.

Reply to  fossilsage
July 23, 2015 4:17 pm

If you are refering to possible legal measures, the Privy Council has not had any standing since the 1980s
“Appeals to the Privy Council from decisions of the High Court were effectively ended by the combined effects of the Privy Council (Limitation of Appeals) Act 1968 and the Privy Council (Appeals from the High Court) Act 1975. However, a right of appeal to the Privy Council remained from State courts, in matters governed by State law, until the passage of the Australia Acts, both State and Federal, in the 1980s.”
source :

July 23, 2015 4:33 pm

A British Member of Parliament critical of Australia’s climate policy. Remind me, isn’t UEA in England and were not the climate gate emails leaked from there?

David Larsen
July 23, 2015 4:47 pm

That is why my Oneida relatives in NY state fought with Washington at Ariskany, Saratoga and we fed them that winter at Valley Forge.

Philip Arlington
Reply to  David Larsen
July 23, 2015 5:20 pm

And every low born politician there has ever been in the United States has been wise, and principled, and dedicated to the well-being of the population as a whole rather than that of himself or his friends.
American independence was the result of the incompetence of a king who was a pure bred German, and who was opposed by the more aristocratic of the two English parties of the day (the Whigs).

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 3:55 am

Philip, to be fair, many Americans don’t read history. I know that’s a broad, and may be hurtful, point, but it is true. I have been stunned when talking to Americans about history and geography. As much as I like Americans, their education system must either be poorly structured, or they just aren’t interested.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 8:07 am

According to a once famous Newsweek poll, 16% of Americans cannot locate the USA on a map of the world. Someone else commented that Americans learn Geography by declaring war. I can’t confirm either, but this has been recorded: “Canada! That’s a really nice city!” [CBC Radio this morning.]

Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 10:42 am

In the U.S, history and geography were replaced in the school systems with “social studies” as subject matter taught.

Green Sand
July 23, 2015 4:55 pm

Richard Benyon the richest MP of the House of Commons, with an estimated wealth of £110 million’ should learn some simple mantra:-
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!”
“Oi! Oi! Oi!”
“Abbott! Abbott! Abbott”
“Oi! Oi! Oi!”
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!”
“Oi! Oi! Oi!”
Because the “colonials” have retained the ability to reason, whilst the old country has become incestuously simpleminded.

Philip Arlington
Reply to  Green Sand
July 23, 2015 5:18 pm

What smug prejudiced nonsense.
PS. The party to which Mr Kenyon belongs has just cut subsidies for green energy too.

Green Sand
Reply to  Philip Arlington
July 24, 2015 6:32 am

“PS. The party to which Mr Kenyon belongs has just cut subsidies for green energy too.”
Good! Now tell me when the party to which Mr Kenyon belongs to is going to repeal the 2008 Climate Change Act? An act whose consequences are known to be detrimental to the well being of UK citizens.

July 23, 2015 5:26 pm


Gary Pearse
July 23, 2015 6:47 pm

I hope Abbott gets support and encouragement from somewhere. Bravery is commendable but not sustainable without some sign that he is not the only sane one there is.

July 23, 2015 7:00 pm

The Queen is still the nominal head of state down there,I believe, or has that changed?

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 24, 2015 7:54 am

The operative word in this is “nominal”. In the real world … they are still represented by Phil the Greek and the Clown Prince. These are hardly compelling examples.

Reply to  Jamal Munshi
July 25, 2015 12:00 am

Australia is still a constitutional monarchy.
About the only power the queen of australia or her representative has, is the ability to call an election if there is an unresolvable deadlock between the house of representatives and the senate.
This power has been used once since Federation, in 1974.

July 23, 2015 7:29 pm

I wish these British MP’s would stick to what they do best, wearing suspender belts, black stockings and high heels and molesting pineapple rings and let us run our own country.

Reply to  old44
July 24, 2015 4:03 am

No, that’s just *TORY* MP’s.

July 23, 2015 7:37 pm

Considering politics, Donald Trump is really stirring up the S**t here in the U.S.. I love it. He is doing to the leftists and Obamas admin what they have been doing to the Conservative, reasonable, law abiding people… He is speaking out against the leftist Bulls**t in the same way they do but without being passive aggressive like they are. He just spits it out and it pisses them off and they have no way to respond. I would love to see a conservative president do to the liberals what Obama has done to the Right…Simply ignore the law and screw them for awhile like they were so giggly about doing to the conservatives.
He is also pointing out the weakness of the republicans and their bulls**T. All of them are liars and in the pockets of big $. Not for the people who elected them. It really gets under their skin that someone who has so much money and cannot be influenced is in the presidential race. Good. Really good. All of those asses in the Capitol and the white house need to be relieved of their positions.
And as far as the Iran deal. I really wish and hope and pray that Obama, Kerry and anyone who supports the idiotic deal with Iran (and their families) are the first to be subject to any horrors that issues from Iran because of their idiocy… Because they aren’t concerned with my family, friends or me. They are traitors as far as I am concerned, from observation.
Thank you, have a nice day.

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  Dahlquist
July 24, 2015 12:17 pm

Dalquist, July 23, 2015, 7:37 pm :
Let’s see, Rick Perry split the vote so George Bush Senior missed getting elected to a second term and the US got Bill Clinton.
Now we have Donald Trump potentially splitting the vote perhaps denying another Bush the Whitehouse and you get Hillary (Bengazi/computer server in her apartment) Clinton as President.
So, more of the same for the next 5 years?
(I live in the “Great White North” so I don’t have a dog in the race.)
[Ross Perot, not Rick Perry, split the vote in 1992, and again in 1996. .mod]

michael hart
July 23, 2015 8:06 pm

It’s lol-tastic. Tony Abbott must think Christmas has come early.
It’ll probably go over about as well as a Guardian campaign in Clark County, Ohio.

July 23, 2015 8:12 pm

Well ex-colony India is at the receiving end of this CO2 extremism. Note how this British MP is echoing Green protest against the proposed Indian Adani mine in the North but mum on a big Chinese co owned coal mine recently open West of Newcastle. China emits 500% more CO2 than India, which has about the lowest emissions PP on the planet. Thanks to these kind of hypocrites Indias poor are going to get a hard time getting cheap and non-intermittent (coal) electricity.
Britain build its Industrial revolution on coal and oversea’s loot but should not restricts its “Jewel in the Crown” to more development again.

Chris Hanley
July 23, 2015 11:58 pm

Benyon loves UK shale gas but hates Australian coal.
“Shale gas is a promising new potential energy source which could create thousands of jobs, bring in billions in tax revenue and secure our [UK] energy supply for the future …” (Richard Benyon in letter to constituent).

July 24, 2015 12:06 am

“Eliminating the carbon tax was the will of the Australian people.”
I do not recall there being a referendum.

Reply to  harrytwinotter
July 25, 2015 12:05 am

The liberals went to the polls with the clear, up front stance that they would abolish the carbon tax.
They got voted in, so yes, they had the support of the majority Australian people.

July 24, 2015 12:48 am

10 November 2014
The millionaire Tory MP and the tenants facing homelessness
We’ve been paying for it for years: throwing billions at millionaire landlords to better enable them to shaft the poor.
Lyndsey Garratt had never heard of Richard Benyon – until he wound up buying her home and those of her 92 neighbours. Now that the millionaire Tory MP and his business partners threaten to make them all homeless, the 35-year-old mother cannot stop talking about him.
Garratt lives on the fringes of the City of London, on the New Era estate. Built by a charitable trust in the mid-1930s, the redbrick square has provided homes to local working people at affordable rents. There was a time when the term “affordable housing” was not a sick joke, when inner London did house people on moderate incomes. But now the capital has become a global hot spot for property speculators; Hoxton is overrun with overpriced burger joints and media start-up companies, and New Era is one of the last estates to provide working-class Londoners with a home.
At least it was until Benyon’s family firm recently moved in as part of a property consortium and bought up everything. The investors have made no bones about jacking up rents to match the rest of the market. Garratt was previously paying about £640 a month for the two-bed she shares with her daughter; when her contract expires in July 2016 residents expect they will be charged around £2,400 a month. For Garratt, a care co-ordinator at the local NHS trust, that is way more than her entire take-home pay.
Council officers have already told her what that means. As a single mother, she and eight-year-old Daisy will be moved into a homeless shelter, for anything up to four years; then it is temporary accommodation, which could be in Manchester or Birmingham. Since the buyout, Garratt’s rent has already shot up by £160 a month, while the latest NHS reorganization has cut her pay by £300 a month. “I’m getting stretched at both ends,” she says – and is already hacking away at her outgoings, cancelling even little things like trips with Daisy to the local Italian for a plate of spaghetti.
Benyon – who does not have to worry about being homeless
Community: a word that should carry some weight with Benyon. The Tory MP lives in a splendid stately home just outside Reading, Englefield House, complete with deer park and 3,500 acres of woodlands. Within the estate’s walls lies most of Englefield village. How does the old hymn go? The rich man in his castle; the poor man at his gate … But if there is one thing Benyon has proved in parliament, it’s that he does not have much time for the poor. He backed the bedroom tax and readily attacks the “something for nothing” welfare state.
I cannot stand spongers who get something for nothing, either. Except that in my book that category includes Benyon himself, who inherited his giant pad, as well as land stretching from London to Berkshire to Inverness – a whopping slice of Britain that makes up a family fortune worth anywhere between £110m and £200m. It applies to the £2m of public money that Benyon took in EU handouts to keep up his farmland. And it certainly takes in the £625,000 of our money that Benyon’s estate took in tenants’ housing benefit last year from just one council, West Berkshire.
Given the subject of taking something for nothing, Benyon could win Mastermind. Whereas Garratt is counting down the days until she is made homeless and is a complete innocent. She was receiving tax credits of £46 a week – until that got stopped due to “overpayment.” Except that list of subsidies that help Benyon eke out his living doesn’t stop there. Because we are effectively paying him and his fellow investors to put Garratt, her family and fellow residents out on the street (or, as the MP puts it, to “seek alternative accommodation”).
Britain loves its landlords, even while it punishes their tenants. Len Gibbs, who has been a housing market professional for 28 years and heads a housing association in Stoke, has written a paper called Fueling Pauperism, which itemizes how taxpayers throw money at Benyon and other landlords. On that list is how, even amid historic spending cuts, David Cameron found £1 billion for a Build-to-Rent programme, with a further £3.5 billion in guarantees for the rental market.
Then there is the £9 billion a year we hand to private landlords in housing benefit (which Gibbs projects to hit £15 billion by 2019); the £375 billion pumped into the financial system in quantitative easing, which has pushed up property prices and fueled lending to landlords and other members of the asset-rich; and the £5 billion in tax reliefs for landlords’ business expenses, and the plethora of other concessions.
The former housing minister Grant Shapps last year described private landlords as “the unsung heroes of the housing market”. Yet these heroes, as Gibbs points out, jostle first-time buyers off the housing ladder and take money that could build public housing. The £1 billion spent on build-to-rent alone, he estimates, could instead have been used to build 50,000 units of social housing.
You may not like the sound of what could be called Benyonism, but we have been paying for it for years: throwing billions at millionaires to better enable them to shaft the poor. Perhaps it has taken this crisis – a combination of “austerity” and a housing bubble in London – to bring it home to a critical mass of people. “Until this happened I had no clue about politics; it’s opened my eyes to how people like us are treated,” Garratt says. She fits what for me has become a recognizable type in the housing crisis: the mother who never used to think of herself as “political” until an existential threat comes her way and she fights like mad. Then this mild woman gets on to Benyon’s Tory party and its friends in the press: “They make us turn on each other. Bloody asylum seekers are the problem; people on benefits are the scum of the earth. And we’re coming to a point where people like us, working people, finally say, ‘You know what? you’re the problem. We’ve had enough of people like you.’

July 24, 2015 12:59 am

3 March 2014
Britain’s richest MP wants to gag press and prevent stories which might embarrass politicians
Richard Benyon called for changes, stating: “we need to make sure that the Act is there for what it is designed to do” rather than “raking up political ammunition”
A Tory MP and landlord making a fortune from housing benefit payments to the poor has called for changes to the Freedom of Information laws used by the Mirror to expose him. Richard Benyon, the richest MP in a Commons packed with millionaires, wants the rules altered to prevent stories which might embarrass politicians being dug up by journalists.
He made nearly £120,000 in housing benefit from just one council last year through his inherited £110m family estate, as the Mirror revealed last week. But Mr Benyon has now called for changes to FOI laws stating “we need to make sure that the Act is there for what it is designed to do” rather than “raking up political ammunition.”
He also complained in a blog post for the right-wing website that the Mirror newspaper used “a picture of me looking as posh as possible.”
The Mirror’s investigation with the GMB union revealed a string of politicians and political donors raking in housing benefit along with the Crown Estates, which supports the Queen, and Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall.

July 24, 2015 1:09 am

10 November 2014
Rich enjoy free fuel AND taxpayers’ cash while millions must choose between heating and eating
A Government subsidy scheme for ‘biomass’ boilers is allowing the rich to almost literally burn public money while fuel poverty grips Britain. Britain’s richest MP Richard Benyon may get a boiler for his Berkshire pile.
Wealthy landlords are enjoying free heating and hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ cash under a controversial green energy scheme. The owners of “biomass” boilers, which run on woodchip pellets, are coining in generous Government subsidies worth up to five times their installation cost. Meanwhile, 2.33 million households are living in fuel poverty in England alone and research by Age UK last winter showed the cold would kill 24,000.
Toffs looking into getting a boiler include Britain’s richest MP Richard Benyon and Samantha Cameron’s father Sir Reggie Sheffield.
Subsidies for the boilers are guaranteed for the next 20 years. Owners pay to install the boilers and the Government gives them a tariff for the heat produced. Those who have joined the scheme are raving about the savings. Property magnet Jon Gauld, 56, has one for converted flats in Kent and said he saw it as a pension fund. He said: “The installation will pay for itself within five years. After this the payments I’m expecting, around £23,000, a year are profit. I can heat the place for free. The bizarre thing is the more energy you use, the more money it makes you.
Ann Gerrard, 58, who lives on a £2m estate in Nutley, East Sussex, warms her home, gym, cottage and stables by burning fuel from her woods. She is expecting to receive £12,000 a year for 20 years – as well as saving £6,000 a year by burning wood instead of oil. She said: “It’s permanent hot water and permanent heating in the winter, and it is not costing us anything really.”
David de Boinville installed a boiler to heat his manor house Walkern Hall as well as neighboring flats, coach house, stables and estate office, near Stevenage, Herts. His forecast payments tot up to nearly £23,000 – against installation costs of £95,000. He said: “I’m saving half my heating costs and selling heat to tenants.”
One installer told the press: “We hear of companies installing boilers that are larger than required. They leave the boiler running and their windows open.”
The Government launched the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive almost three years ago. It is open to businesses and public bodies but loopholes mean anyone warming multiple buildings from one source can apply.
Clare Welton, of Fuel Poverty Action, said: “Huge cash handouts for rich homeowners whilst millions suffer is clearly not the way to solve our energy crisis.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change expects the Government to pay out £146m under the scheme over the next 12 months. DECC said the high tariffs are needed to “kick-start” the renewable energy market but a “tiering” tariff system is in place to deter people from generating excess heat.
Ofgem, which runs the renewable heat incentive, said there is a phone line to report suspected abuses of the scheme.

Hector Pascal
July 24, 2015 1:17 am

Meanwhile Obama buts into UK domestic Politics again

President Obama has once again demanded that the United Kingdom stays inside the European Union, telling BBC in an interview that the UK represents the “cornerstone” of the institution.
“Having the United Kingdom in the European Union gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union,” he said, neglecting the fact that Britain is a net contributor to the organisation, and has given up much of its sovereignty to the EU.
Obama argued that the European Union had “made the world safer and more prosperous” combating critics who believe that it’s membership takes away from the UK’s sovereignty, arguing that the UK wielded greater influence.
“We want to make sure that the United Kingdom continues to have that influence,” he said.
President Obama’s comments come just a week after UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage MEP visited Washington D.C., slamming the Obama administration and the U.S. State Department for repeatedly involving itself in British affairs, particularly related to the EU.
During a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Mr Farage told of how “tired” he is, “of the Obama line, and the State Department line” on the European Union, and how they keep urging Britain to remain a member state.
Earlier in the month he tweeted, “We don’t need to take foreign policy advice from the American President. The last time we did that it was called the Iraq War.”

Reply to  Hector Pascal
July 24, 2015 2:01 am

Of course he does, he is here, right now, attempting the destruction of not only the US but the entire Western Civilization… have you not noticed his moves ?? … just ignoring he and his administration’s constant flow of deceptive words (lies)? Easier to destroy and capture just a few huge ones than some thirty if the EU were to break or eighty if the US states also demand and reclaim their original state rights.

Robin Hewitt
July 24, 2015 1:59 am

Cameron has promised green government but Osborne has promised to balance the books which means big cuts in spending and he really needs growth in the economy which is not being helped by high energy prices. New climate change minister Amber Rudd goes around saying how keen she is on renewables but the new message coming across is that you can have subsidies to start something up but you can’t have subsidies forever because that is not what happens in the real world.
Obama may want us to stay in the EU but I shall vote OUT in the referendum. The EU will then make a better offer and we will have another referendum. The longer we hold out, the sweeter the bribe becomes, it would be madness to give in too soon.

Reply to  Robin Hewitt
July 24, 2015 6:49 am

well looking at usa moves in EU and Ukraine especially, the installed murrican politicals and others megacorp takeover,
interference in greece by usa banks getting the poor sods INto eu and then bleeding em out
maybe the TIPP is the closest to moving into EU n doing em over they can work out right now?
however EU might NOT be so happy with that lousy deal..

July 24, 2015 11:37 am

A few years back wasn’t there a post on Watts Up with That referring to an English wind farm that cost $100,000,000 to save $1,000,000 per year? Basic failure to understand life cycle cost and value. Plus the farm only returned 1/4 of the energy modeled and no one included maintenance costs.

July 24, 2015 11:58 am

Do Australians dislike receiving unsolicited advice from Brits more than they dislike receiving unsolicited advice from Yanks? Or is it about the same?

David S
July 24, 2015 1:45 pm

Actually this bozo has given me a great idea. Let’s start exporting our great surpluses of sun and wind to European countries where they have so many sunless and windless days. That would create value from renewable energy. Ironically some of the European government decision makers would be stupid enough to pay us for it.

July 24, 2015 3:57 pm

“Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.” to quote from David Archibald’s DWILIGHT OF ABUNDANCE

Robert Christopher
July 25, 2015 7:06 am

His comments have made the local paper, but I have responded 🙂 though there is a limit on the length of the post:
Newbury MP criticises Australia’s Prime Minister over “mystifying” climate change policies
Richard Benyon slams Tony Abbott’s decision to scrap carbon prices

July 25, 2015 11:17 pm

Funny how the global warming alarmists keep saying demand for coal is declining blah blah blah. The reality is the reverse. It has been increasing according to the International Energy Agency, and based on the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (June 2015) it is almost certain that coal will be a major source of cheap energy for many decades to come. The alarmists are deluding themselves by their wishful thinking.

July 27, 2015 6:19 am

The British government is hidebound by the socialist EU and the sooner British people elect to get out of it and repeal ‘the climate change act’ the better.

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