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There is no vaccine to protect us from Lord Deben


IN AN article for the Express, Lord Deben, the erstwhile John Selwyn Gummer, has been peddling his propaganda again.

Under the headline ‘Green Britain: There is no vaccine to protect nature from Covid, says LORD DEBEN’, and the subdeck ‘I really welcome the Express campaign. You have caught the mood of the nation’, he writes 800 words of the usual platitudes. Renewables . . . electric cars . . . emissions . . . you can read it all here.

He begins by deliberately conflating ‘green issues’ with ‘climate change’: ‘We’ve all seen the havoc that the Covid pandemic has caused and we know that climate change, the destruction of nature, and the pollution of our air and water will cause even worse long-term damage. There is no vaccine for any of those. So we all want action right across the board.’

Everybody wants a clean environment, with no plastic pollution, clean rivers, peaceful countryside and son on. Climate change has nothing to do with any of this. Deben hopes that by conflating the two, the public will welcome his hairshirt climate policies.

His first target is electric cars: ‘Renewable electricity means driving without the dangerous emissions from an internal combustion engine.

‘Well, why don’t we copy Norway – the most successful country in making the transition. It has vowed to ensure that all new cars will be electric by 2025 and already, with four years to go, 54 per cent of sales are fully plug-in.

‘The reason is simple – they are cheaper – cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Norway’s car tax is much higher than ours but it doesn’t apply to fully electric vehicles. So, buying them is a no brainer. Couldn’t we do something like that in the UK?’

His first claim that electric cars (EVs) are cheaper to buy is an outright lie. The Vauxhall Mokka electric version, for instance, costs £11,000 more than the petrol model before government subsidies are taken into account.

He omits to mention that Norway does not have a car industry of its own. There is no way that the UK car industry could switch to 100 per cent electric in four years, and his proposed ban on internal combustion would devastate the industry at a cost of tens of thousands of jobs.

As for making car taxes free for EVs, this already happens here. Maybe Deben can explain which taxes will go up to replace the £7billion a year raised by Vehicle Excise Duty when petrol and diesel cars are phased out.

In any event, the electricity to power these cars will still largely come from fossil fuels, making this all rather a zero-sum game.

And if drivers refuse to cooperate with Deben’s wishes, why, just tax them even more: ‘It is not easy after Covid to ask for tax cuts, so how about a tax shift? Big cars, which use more fuel and produce more emissions could pay more. The latest internal combustion engines are much more efficient but, in Britain, that’s not helped emissions one little bit because too many people now insist on buying bigger and more polluting cars.’

Again, this is something that already happens – larger, more expensive cars pay considerably more Vehicle Excise Duty, and of course gas-guzzlers automatically pay more fuel duty. Meanwhile electric cars incur neither tax.

Is Deben so out of touch that he does not know any of this?

Then he turns his attention to householders who have the impertinence to use ‘dirty’ gas boilers: ‘The Government puts a higher tax on your electric bill than for gas. That means that clean electricity is taxed and dirty gas is not.’

What is it about this guy, wanting to tax everybody who won’t do what he says? Once again we find another outright lie. The tax on electricity is not higher than gas: all homeowners pay 5 per cent VAT on both fuels.

What he is referring to is the cost of the obscene subsidies paid to renewable energy generators, currently running at £12billion a year, which is added to everybody’s electricity bills. What he really wants is that the price of gas is lifted so high that it becomes as dear as electricity. This would mean gas bills will quadruple for most people.

Deben is keen on dishing out more subsidies for green home improvements, by zeroing VAT. But where will this money come from?

Both the current Green Homes Grant, as well as its predecessor, Ed Davey’s Green Deal, have flopped for a very simple reason. People have no interest in this green nonsense, and realise that solar panels, heat pumps and expensive insulation are a waste of money.

Finally he wants to tax mail order deliveries, putting up the cost of living for ordinary people: ‘What about a delivery tax on non-electric deliveries?’

All of this is in any case a waste of time, as Britain’s emissions of carbon dioxide are just 1 per cent of the world’s. Our total annual emissions are less than the increase in Asia’s in 2019.

Let us be very clear. The policies proposed by Deben will cost families thousands of pounds a year. He himself has done very well out of the climate scam, and will no doubt regard the odd thousand or so as loose change.

He claims the Daily Express’s ‘Green Campaign’ has caught the mood of the nation’. Judging by reader comments (which you can see some way below the article), it certainly has not caught the mood of the Express readership!

So what lies behind the Express’s woke agenda? The answer lies with editor Gary Jones, the self-acknowledged Labour-supporting Remainer, ex-Sunday Mirror editor, appointed when the Mirror Group took over the Express three years ago.

As a result the Express, as seems to be the case across the rest of the media, has deserted its natural customer base.

John Junor must be turning in his grave.

This article first appeared in Not a Lot of People Know That on February 27, 2021, and is republished by kind permission.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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