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Re: Inept British politicians

In my previous post I raised the issue of when you see an incoherent UK government policy, is it the politicians or is it their advisers who came up with this nonsense?

In the case of UK energy policy, the former chief scientific adviser to DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Professor David MacKay, provided some interesting insights into who is responsible for the mess in a final interview about a week before he died (at the age of 48) from stomach cancer. It looks like he was trying to make sure he didn't get the blame for the policy.

MacKay interview

MacKay wrote a book called "Sustainability - without the hot air", available as a free download, which was discussed in this forum back in 2008 and 2009. The book was an interesting attempt to apply much needed numeracy to the subject of reducing CO2 emissions and led to MacKay being appointed as chief scientific adviser to DECC, a post he occupied for five years, and he also appears to have got a knighthood out of the advisory role.

But it turns out MacKay didn't personally think much of the low carbon energy policy that has been pursued either. He regarded the idea of renewable energy being able to supply most of the country's needs as being an "appalling delusion", and actually preferred nuclear power and CCS (carbon capture and storage).

MacKay also revealed that UK civil servants advised against subsidising solar panels, so the use of solar power in UK energy policy can be attributed to politicians and lobby groups.

Re: Inept British politicians

Well the DECC/Ed Miliband Energy and Climate policy was formulated by a green lobbyist called Briony Worthington (BA Eng Lit) was it not?

Re: Inept British politicians

Bryony Worthington was the architect of the UK's 2008 Climate Change Act (CCA). We had an incoherent energy policy in the UK a few years before the CCA came into being, and we might still have an incoherent energy policy even if the CCA didn't exist.

If you wanted a starting date for the incoherent energy policy, the Blair government's 2003 Energy White Paper would be an important event. JEB highlights the 2003 Energy White Paper on the index page of the Numberwatch website and provides a link to download it. It might be argued that the incoherence started well before 2003 - in 1996 the Major government decided to stop building any further nuclear power plants, the main proven method of substantially reducing CO2 emissions, and effectively killed off the indigeneous UK nuclear power station building industry.

The 2003 Energy White Paper was, as I remember it, devised by a civil service 'think tank' called the PIU (Performance and Innovation Unit). The PIU were also rumoured to be behind the idea of there being a policy to deliberately encourage mass-immigration into the UK to try to make the UK more cosmopolitan and multi-cultural.

What the Climate Change Act does it that it extends the prospect of there being an incoherent energy policy well into the middle of the 21st Century. The main reason the Green lobby wanted a CCA to be introduced was to make it more difficult for a future less Green-leaning UK Government (or Prime Minister if the governing party changes its party leader) to abandon or start playing down the level of Greenery. With the CCA, the Green lobby can threaten to carry out a legal challenge if they think the Government is not doing enough on climate change, unless of course a future Government repeals the Act.

Re: Inept British politicians

I managed to find the news story from 2009 which mentions the role played by the Performance and Innovation Unit in there being a secretive Blair government policy to encourage much higher levels of immigration into the UK.


"The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett."

Re: Inept British politicians

Mandleson admitted as much in a DT article ( May 2013)

".....his party got “the numbers wrong”."

There was a BBC Radio 4 program which covered the question of numbers. They (those advisers adn even the civil service) apparently made an "estimate" but didn't have anything solid upon which to make a reliable prediction.
They gave a maximum and minimum value to Labour who chose to use the lower value as the reported expectation but in the end the report was proven hopelessly wrong and had under-estimated the numbers by a very significant factor.
Of course, as the article then says (referring to Labour leader):
"But the party leader stopped short of admitting that immigration was too high. "

What I think they were really looking for were a new source of Labour voters.

Of course, immigration and the dilution of national identity is a key objective of the EU also and one suspects similar disregard of indigenous populations in the EU but also, a large enough influx of "citizens" likely to support the EU as being "better" than they were used to is probably why they have sought to admit as much of the old East block as possible and Turkey of course.