IT WAS Christopher Booker who opened my eyes to the strange reluctance of the British government to pursue the interests of the British people. In the early 90s I bought the Sunday Telegraph solely for his weekly column, which alerted us to the fact that Mad Officials were being licensed to kill thousands of small businesses, the seed-bed of a nation’s prosperity. He also laid bare the means by which these attacks were enabled: the statutory instrument. This allows the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be discreetly adjusted, without any need for all the annoying publicity and beating about the bush that would be required to pass a whole new Act.
Statutory instruments were introduced into the range of juicy options open to overweening UK governments in January 1948, and came into their own after we joined the ‘Common Market’. After 1975 thousands of statutory instruments bringing us into line with our European ‘partners’ were rushed through parliament without debate on Friday afternoons, when most MPs had left for their constituencies. As Booker astutely pointed out, our own government were all too grateful for this opportunity to extend their powers, all the time pleading that it was those nasty bureaucrats in Brussels who were twisting their arms.
After Brexit, we might have hoped to see the end of these abuses. No such thing. Instead, as the Energy Bill makes plain, the Uniparty are poised to wield their statutory instruments to even more devastating effect in their push to achieve Net Zero.
The purpose of the Energy Bill, we are told, is ‘to make provision about energy production and security and the regulation of the energy market, including . . .’ But enough: if you have the stomach for it, you can read the thing in full for yourself here.
The bit homeowners need to focus on before it’s too late comes on page 205 onwards, in Part 10: Energy Performance of Premises (and yes, Englishman or rather Britishperson, ‘premises’ means your hitherto private castle). This section gives Secretaries of State, both known and, as yet, unknown, the power to make regulations:
1. enabling or requiring the energy usage or energy efficiency of Britishpersons’ castles to be assessed, certified and publicised;
2. enabling or requiring possible improvements in the energy usage or energy efficiency of Britishpersons’ castles to be identified and recommended;
3. restricting or prohibiting the marketing and disposal of Britishpersons’ castles on the basis of whether their energy usage or energy efficiency has been assessed, certified or publicised.
The exact nature of any future requirements for energy usage or efficiency is not specified: that space is left blank, to be filled in by persons unknown on far-off Friday afternoons, when hoi polloi have been lulled into a false sense of security by the usual protestations of good intent.
Interestingly, in 10 (3) (a) (ii) we are told that energy performance regulations may provide for ‘specified descriptions of premises to be excluded from the application of the regulations’. This will presumably cover the well-mellowed and spacious residences of Very Important People, while the Victorian terraces of lesser beings, unable to reach the impeccable insulation standards of densely-packed, rabbit-hutch new-builds, will be condemned.
So how are the populace to be persuaded to do as they’re told? What, for instance, if Luddite diehards continue to resist the installation of smart meters, if these should figure amongst the indispensable features a home must boast to pass muster? What if heat pumps and ever more intricate refinements of insulation are beyond the pockets of your average couple, already mortgaged up to the hilt and forced to outsource child care to hold on to their miserly wages?
No problem. Any refusal to comply will be met with sanctions (see page 207 of Bill). Provision is made for fines of up to £15,000 for disobedience, in civil cases. Worse, criminal offences may be created to deal with the unrepentantly insubordinate, who could face 12 months in prison, or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale: weasel words, since level 5 fines, as Mike Robinson points out in his coverage of the Bill on UK Column News (starting at 30.17 in), have no upper limit.
With popular resistance to such things as ULEZ and smart meters running high, the government will no doubt take care not to push matters to their logical conclusion until a year or so after legislation has been enacted, but when, all in good time, the statutory instruments are unleashed, they will facilitate in effect the theft of private property by the state.
How likely is it, in the present economic climate, that the average family will be in a position to pay, pay and pay again to meet the constantly evolving demands of the Net Zero fanatics? When repeated fines have reduced their most valuable asset to a liability and they find that without the required energy performance certification they aren’t even able to sell or let out their beleaguered castle in an attempt to claw their way back into solvency? Probably, as Dave Kurten suggests here, they will be offered an escape route by the nice, kind government, who will buy up their property at a knock-down price, rehouse them in inferior accommodation, and progressively bulldoze the past to make way for the stack-and-pack housing in rigorously surveilled human settlements required by Agenda 2030.
In a Substack article David Turver reports on the parliamentary debate, and highlights the fact that the Bill would give officials powers to enforce the sanctions, entering without a warrant into private homes. He also draws attention to the handful of MPs who spoke or voted against the Bill. These MPs need our support. I shall certainly be telling my own ‘representative’ how much I wish I had someone equally responsible to represent me.
The Bill does make provision in Section 248 (4) for ‘a right of appeal to a court or tribunal against the imposition of the penalty’, but it is easy to imagine the outcome of any such plea, when provision also exists, in 248 (5), ‘as to the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal to which an appeal may be made’.
What is required, when the trap snaps shut and the Net Zero heretics start to plead their cases in court, is not trial before a single judge, but trial by jury. As Serena Wylde stated succinctly in TCW here, ‘Parliament can repeal and alter statutes. Constitutional protections it cannot.’ It is juries, not parliament, who should have the final say in the face of laws which attempt to snuff out our constitutional freedoms.
Annulment by jury is anathema to the powerful, and we can be pretty sure that every attempt will be made by those steering the Net Zero agenda to cut off this route to justice. Yet, should the Energy Bill be enacted, it will represent a prime example of the kind of laws that juries should have no hesitation in striking down, by refusing to convict those who break them. The fact that the alleged emergency of anthropogenic climate change on which Net Zero is based is nothing but a hypothesis shamelessly touted by a scientific ‘nonsensus’ demands nothing less.