• Carbon

    The energy market is not working to benefit consumers in the UK or Europe – here is why

    This crisis is occurring because of the way the government structures the markets. Consumers cannot access cheap green power, we all have to buy expensive power. We pay more as residential consumers in London than in any other capital city except Rome. The data is here and it is clear.  In the UK more than half our electricity is generated from non-fossil fuel sources, and yet renewable energy  has not protected us from expensive power. The price of gas sets the price of electricity!  The most expensive form of generation sets the price. Moreover, of course, we consumers can’t switch out of electricity – cheap electricity has not benefited consumers.…

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  • Politics

    Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister & Elective Dictatorship

    Several friends have written from around the world to ask if I have broken open the champagne to celebrate. I have not. Johnson is still PM, he is still in power. Some of the candidates to replace him would likely be worse than Johnson. Liz Truss is a liability.#battleforno10pic.twitter.com/ra7XbD0VEp — Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) August 4, 2022 Already the dominant refrain is tax-cutting – with no transparency about where the spending cuts would fall. Steve Baker’s parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group has been chipping away at the green agenda. As Helen Horton describes in The Guardian  “the green Conservatives, … seem incredibly disorganised and weak, … squabbling over whether to use…

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  • Governance Failure

    Governance Failure: Environment Agency

    The Environment Agency is responsible for enforcing environmental regulations. The Shropshire Star reports calls being made to  Shropshire Council to help clean up the county’s rivers by putting pressure on Severn Trent to mitigate the impact of sewage pollution. The problem is combined sewer overflows (CSOs). Water companies are permitted to discharge both sewage and rainwater in periods of heavy rain, this results in untreated human waste, condoms, sanity towels, wipes and cleaning products entering our rivers. The Oxford Mail reported (10.01.2022) that sewage has been ‘released’ into Witney river for 16 days. “Over the Christmas period sewage discharges from the works resulting in a Boxing Day swim downstream in…

  • Politics

    Exceptionalism and Entitlement

      01 August 2021 Financial Times published revelations on Johnson’s and Party’s finances. Peter Oborne is fundraising to establish a website “which will record, sift and analyse the numerous lies, falsehoods and misleading statements of Boris Johnson and his colleagues. The website will also chronicle the role of the British media in aiding and abetting the culture of mendacity in Downing Street. Ahead of the 2019 general election we set up a website to make a record of the exponential rise in public lying by government ministers and spokespeople which followed Boris Johnson’s appointment as prime minister in July 2019. It was a full time job. However, we were obliged…

  • Climate change

    Is it time to adapt to climate change?

    Scientists have each year become more confident in their forecasts of the consequences of climate change and global warming for us, for Homo sapiens, and many other species.  Enlightened self-interest should lead us to address this threat to our existence. But it isn’t. Politicians are more concerned about bequeathing debt to the next generation than they are about greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, a far more dangerous inheritance. Nevermind the patter watch the hands George Monbiot has clinically, and with substantial evidence, laid bare the chasm between  the rhetoric and extravagant PR commitments, “higher targets appear to be a substitute for action.” Having targets and policy objectives is not…

  • Faversham

    Multiple Deprivation and Child Poverty in Faversham

      Child poverty is on the rise. Between 2019 and 2020, 200,000 more children were pushed into poverty. The fallout of Covid-19 has cut thousands more families adrift, with job losses, illness and increased economic pressure pushing too many over the brink, limiting the life chances of millions of children and young people. If the Government fails to take urgent action, 730,000 more children will be trapped in poverty by the next General Election. It doesn’t have to be this way. We are calling on the Government to commit to eradicating child poverty in the UK, to leave no child behind.

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  • Cronyism

    The Cost of Cronyism

    Explosive emails revealed in a hearing on our legal challenge over direct awards of PPE contracts show civil servants raising the alarm that they were “drowning in VIP requests” from political connections that do not have “the correct certification or pass due diligence”. One email shows a civil servant warning that when VIPs “jump to the front of the queue it then has a knock-on effect to the remaining offers of help.” For ordinary people, the pandemic was a tragedy. But for well-connected VIPs it was the chance of a lifetime – huge fortunes were up for grabs. What this civil servant is saying is that it became more of…

  • Cronyism

    Cronyism in the UK

    In December 202o the New York Times ran a major story Meg Hillier, Chair of the powerful Public Accounts Committee, “The government had license to act fast because it was a pandemic, but we didn’t give them permission to act fast and loose with public money,” The NYTimes reported with some powerful graphics The NYT article is interactive and needs to be visited to access it. Here The NYT estimates that about £5bn went to politically connected companies and they have a VIP Lane graphic. £6bn went to companies with no prior experience £5bn awarded to companies with histories of controversy Tussell maintains a database of COVID-19 UK Government Contracts…

  • Uncategorized

    As we are seen in the New York Times

    LONDON — When the pandemic exploded in March, British officials embarked on a desperate scramble to procure the personal protective equipment, ventilators, coronavirus tests and other supplies critical to containing the surge. In the months following those fevered days, the government handed out thousands of contracts to fight the virus, some of them in a secretive “V.I.P. lane” to a select few companies with connections to the governing Conservative Party. To shine a light on one of the greatest spending sprees in Britain’s postwar era, The New York Times analyzed a large segment of it, the roughly 1,200 central government contracts that have been made public, together worth nearly $22…

  • Covid-19

    Never Again – clapping for the NHS is not enough

    UK Covid deaths: Why the 100,000 toll is so bad The language of Never Again resonates – we should not have to mobilise to Save the NHS – that was only necessary because it has been underfunded and successive governments had failed to prepare for the pandemic – although a pandemic was at the top of the UK’s risk register.  Scientists in one group were surprised to be told that they would not be meeting at all during August despite the ongoing pandemic. Daily Telegraph 07 January 2021 “Even after hearing about mutations elsewhere, the UK never really attempted to assess whether people entering the country were infected. The new…

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