Greens Nuke Progressive Alliance in Copeland

There will be no ‘progressive alliance’ to help Labour in Copeland: the Greens have gone kamikaze by selecting a loudly anti-nuclear candidate in a constituency where more than 10,000 people are employed in the nuclear industry, with thousands more working in its supply chain. Green Party candidate Jack Lenox says “no to nuclear”:

“All candidates except Greens are pro-nuclear… All three potential Labour candidates are pro-nuclear. We can’t let it go unchallenged… We will be campaigning against future nuclear development at Moorside… I remain entirely unconvinced that we need to build more nuclear power stations.”

A Green suicide mission likely to pick up a few hundred votes, could they end up costing Labour?

Govt Cancels Carbon Capture After Blowing £168 Million

The National Audit Office has ripped into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for blowing £168 million on two carbon capture technology competitions which the Treasury deemed to be too expensive if there was to be any chance of getting plants built in the UK in the coming years.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said: “We haven’t closed the door to CCS technology in the UK, but decisions had to be taken to control government spending and protect consumer bills. This is why the government ended the funding for the CCS competition, and ensured taxpayers were protected from significant costs when the competition closed.” Translation “the Treasury didn’t want to burn any more taxpayers’ money”.

This is the department which is going to determine Mrs May’s interventionist industrial strategy – so expect the same civil servants to blow hundreds of millions more on the “white heat of technology” that the private sector won’t touch. Big business is rubbing its hands with glee…

Martin McGuinness Resigns Over Renewable Heating Scandal

Martin McGuinness has resigned as Deputy First Minister in protest at the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal, the subsidies which allowed users to earn more cash the more fuel they burned, costing taxpayers nearly £500 million. The barmy policy meant you could turn the heating on, open the windows and receive taxpayer subsidies. McGuinness quitting means Arlene Foster’s position is effectively now untenable. Election now inevitable… 

Friends of the Earth Rapped Over Fake Fracking Claims

Friends of the Earth has been rebuked by the advertising regulator and forced to promise it will not repeat pseudo-scientific claims about the economic, environmental and health effects of fracking. FoE published a scaremongering campaign leaflet last year warning fracking would be responsible for everything from falling house prices to asthma and cancer. Now the Advertising Standards Authority has extracted a pledge from the group that future literature will not include the claims, none of which could be evidenced. The watchdog said the environmentalists must:

  • Not claim that fluid used in fracking contains chemicals dangerous to human health or that it would contaminate drinking water;
  • Not claim a US fracking site was responsible for increases in asthma rates or that the public would be at risk of equivalent increases in asthma rates in the UK;
  • Not claim that there is an established risk of the chemicals concerned causing cancer and other conditions among the local population;
  • Not claim that fracking will cause plummeting house prices.

That means the entire ‘scientific’ basis of FoE’s anti-fracking lobbying effort has been debunked. Importantly, these now banned claims were made on a leaflet intended to solicit donations from the public: Friends of the Earth is a registered charity. Guido understands a complaint has been put in to the Fund Raising Regulator. FoE is yet to remove the claims from its website. Quite literally fracking unbelievable…

Brexit Means Bonfire of Costly Farming Regulations

Before Christmas Guido reported that Andrea Leadsom was the first Cabinet minister to produce a departmental plan for Brexit. Today the Environment Secretary reveals what Brexit means for farming: a bonfire of cumbersome regulations that currently cost the industry million of pounds a year. When we leave the EU Andrea’s farming minister George Eustice will end the ‘three crop rule’ regulating how many different crops farms must plant. Defra say this will allow 40,000 farmers to grow the foods people want and add millions to the economy.

Barmy Brussels diktats defining what makes a hedge a hedge or when a puddle becomes a pond will be binned. Paperwork required from flood-hit farmers will be reduced, as will the number of expensive government inspections. Most satisfying of all: farms will no longer have to pay for and display ridiculous 6ft by 4ft propaganda billboards publicising the EU contribution for grants, as they are currently required to do. Millions saved, millions added to the economy, hundreds of thousands of hours saved. As the old joke almost goes, how does the Environment Secretary compare with colleagues on Brexit? She’s outstanding in her field…

Happy New Year!

We want to thank you, the reader, for making our year. For providing the gossip, the tips, the jokes, the leaked documents, the tearfully funny comments and innovative insults that make Guido Fawkes the website it is today. Our free wheeling editorial culture hopefully still does not take itself too seriously, even when breaking serious news.

Every day tens of thousands of you come to catch-up on Westminster gossip. It always amazes us to learn who reads our website – whether it is a reader in Buckingham Palace or, equally unexpectedly, an old school friend met for the first time in decades. Gossip appeals to everyone, even if they don’t admit it!

We have a strong team going into 2017, journalists with scoops under their belts and a hunger for more. We might even find out what Brexit means.

All the best for 2017!

Magic Mushrooms Could Boost Economic Productivity

According to a Reuters report magic mushrooms could boost economic productivity and make investors money. Recent clinical trials of psilocybin mushrooms, the psychedelic fungi, show it helping mental health patients without causing significant side effects.

As well as health gains for individuals the positive ramifications for society are huge.

The cost of mental illness globally was as much as $2.5 trillion in 2010 and could more than double by 2030, reckons the World Economic Forum. Using those numbers, medical journal the Lancet has argued that investments in mental-health treatment have high returns. If $10 billion were invested every year from now until 2030, the net present value of enhanced economic productivity might be $400 billion.

Investing in psychedelic medicine could be both profitable and increase productivity. Two clinical studies of cancer patients with depression or anxiety found meaningful improvements in mood without serious adverse reactions. Laboratory work on the use of trippy pharmacology had been similarly problem-free in the 1960s. In 2005 New Labour criminalised harvesting and using naturally growing mushrooms. Maybe the prospect of boosting economic productivity might reverse that decision…

From 2005: New Labour Attacks Pagan Minorities 

See also: Food Of The Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution

£10,800 Green Levy on Every Household

Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband, Ed Davey and Philip Hammond all claimed levies on energy bills to fund renewables would eventually bring down costs for ordinary households. Eight years on from the passage of the Climate Change Act – the world’s toughest decarbonisation law – a damning report from the GWPF reveals the levies are having exactly the opposite effect: the switch to green sources will mean a £319 billion cost to the economy by 2030. That’s over three times the annual NHS England budget and will be passed onto consumers…

Peter Lilley’s Cost Of The Climate Change Act sets the figure in household terms:

“These costs place a cumulative £10,800 burden on each household, between 2014 and 2030. This is money that could be spent on families’ own priorities, and in more efficient sectors of the economy.”

The report also exposes the Act’s demanding emissions targets as unworkable. The law imposed cuts of 35% from the 1990 level by 2020, and 80% by 2050. But these are structurally impossible as total energy output will have to triple in order to meet them, and even then the power for millions of electric cars and green homes will have to come almost entirely from renewable sources. Conclusive evidence the Act was hot air…

LibDems Proposed Electoral Pact With Greens

pact

The LibDems approached the Green Party over a secret electoral pact, Guido can reveal, amid claims the Greens were offered £250,000 to stand aside in Richmond. The email below was sent by the leader of the LibDem group in Kingston, Liz Green, to the Green Richmond candidate who stood aside, Andree Frieze. The LibDem group leader offered a meeting to discuss “smart targeting” of wards in the 2018 local elections, proposing the two parties “work together” to keep the Tories out. The Green candidate then decided not to run in Richmond…

From: Liz Green 
To: Andree Frieze, Dave Ryder-Mills 
Sent: Thursday 3 November, 18:54
Subject: Lib Dems and Greens

Hi Andree
Thank you for your email earlier today. l have switched to my personal email as it is more appropriate than the council one.

My personal view is that local Kingston Lib Dems and Greens should meet to discuss smart targeting for the 2018 local council elections. I cannot give guarantees on wards or candidates, but I would be happy to look at how we work together to ensure the mutual desire that the Conservatives do not retain control of RBK at the 2018 elections. I have to add that the Liberal Democrat aim will be to hold a majority control of the council, post election, but that does not mean that smart targeting of wards and resources could not play a substantial part in that.

This is an electoral pact in all but name, the so-called “Progressive Alliance” working together to keep the Tories out. In the context of local Greens claiming they were offered £250,000 not to stand in Richmond, this raises serious questions about the alleged inducement. There are rumours this sort of deal has been proposed across the country…

EU Showers Gold on Urine Energy Boffins

urine-scientists

The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive states that 20% of its total energy needs must be met with renewables by 2020. Time is running out, so Brussels is bankrolling boffins to avoid the embarrassment of missing the target. That’s why almost €3 million was spent on a four year project trying to generate electricity. From urine…

Netherlands-based research group ValueFromUrine is yet to report its conclusions despite finishing its work in August. It claims its technology is based on the “innovative principle” of using microbes and charged metal rods to draw out hydrogen, ammonia and phosphorous from wee. These elements are apparently useful in industry and for electricity generation. The research was partly inspired by a secondary school homework project put together by a group of Nigerian teenagers. Their dirt cheap pee-powered generator was presented to the world with much fanfare in 2012 but has since been comprehensively debunked by scientists and energy businesses. Likewise, ValueFromUrine’s overall principle is sound but not commercially viable because a £4,000 pump is needed to keep vital bacteria alive in the apparatus. €3 million up the wall…

Full “Confidential” Bung Claims By Green Party Chair

This is the full 30 page report written by Kingston Green Party chair Ryan Coley alleging the party was offered a £250,000 bung to stand aside in Richmond. Coley has confirmed to Guido that he co-wrote the report. A lot of questions for the Greens to answer here…

UPDATE: At some point tonight the Green Party put in a copyright complaint to our previous host – this from the party that prides itself on transparency – so it is now hosted elsewhere and will be available by email to anyone who wants it (team@order-order.com) if we have any other problems. Bear in mind that they originally said they denied all knowledge of it – now they claim copyright.

Full PDF download here.

Green Party ‘Offered £250,000 Bung Not to Stand in Richmond’

green2

The Green Party was offered a £250,000 inducement not to stand a candidate against the LibDems in Richmond, according to the chairman of the local Greens. Ryan Coley, the Kingston Green Party chair, claims his members were pressured by party officials not to run a candidate because the party had been offered £250,000 conditional on standing aside for the LibDems. Guido has obtained an internal report written by the local chairman and members Clare Keogh and Kieron Merrett. They complain “party staff added pressure” on them, “telling us that there was an offer of a large donation to the party which was conditional on the party demonstrating its desire for a progressive alliance”. They allege the offer amounted to £250,000 and the order to stand aside came “on the instruction of the Chief Executive“.

green1

The report says the offer failed the party’s donation scrutiny procedures and the donation did not go through. After Guido put the allegations to the Green Party they confirmed they would investigate. A Green Party spokesman does not deny the offer of the bung:

“This is an unofficial report from a handful of members of Kingston Green Party and is not officially recognised by either the national Green Party or the local party in question. Many of the claims are disputed and this report has been referred to the Green Party Regional Council and will be looked into as soon as possible.” 

This is a bombshell allegation – not denied by the Greens – that a wealthy donor offered them cash to stand aside for the Remain cause. Local Greens are furious with Caroline Lucas and Jon Bartley over this…

UPDATE: The Greens have a carefully worded new line:

“The Green Party has not accepted any donations connected with the Richmond Park by-election and no donation offer was made on the basis that the Party choose not to field a candidate. Any donation accepted by the Green Party must meet strict ethical criteria and that includes the donation not being used to gain leverage over strategic decisions.”

Guido has asked them if an offer was made in relation to the ‘Progressive Alliance’, as the local chair claims, and why party officials told the local party such an offer existed. They have declined to answer…

Leadsom First Out of Blocks With 25 Year Brexit Plan

leadsom

Super-keen Andrea Leadsom is the first Cabinet minister to deliver a departmental plan for Brexit to Downing Street. While some lethargic ministers are just beginning to get started, Number 10 were pleasantly surprised to receive a 25-year proposal from Andrea for how Brexit Britain should approach the environment. Worth reading this report by Leadsom’s Fresh Start group if you’re interested in the details, it includes policies such as refusing to abide by future renewables targets. Andrea of course said she would trigger Article 50 on day one if she had become PM, she’s a Brexit Cabinet minister who wants to get on with Brexit. Colleagues amused by her speediness should take a leaf out of her book!

Sadiq Admits He’s Clueless About Green Manifesto Promise

sadiq-chameleon

With the national media distracted and the Evening Standard desperate to get him back onside, Sadiq Khan is being given a free ride in London. He’s got away with keeping his Twitter troll aide Amy Lame, a joke appointment handled terribly by the Mayor. Then there’s his manifesto pledge to plant two million trees, quietly chopped after Guido revealed none had been planted. And his shameless Nick Clegg-style broken promise that Londoners “not pay a penny more” for travelNow Guido can reveal yet another pledge Khan won’t be keeping: his election promise to make London run on 100% green energy by 2050. Sadiq’s team admit they have no idea what the percentage was when he took over, let alone today, because energy generation is apparently now a matter for central government. In other words, they won’t be telling us how the pledge is coming along. It’s fashionable to talk of post-truth politics at the moment, Sadiq is one of its most enthusiastic proponents…

Nottingham Next to Approve Fracking

fracking

Nottinghamshire Council will be following Lancashire and Yorkshire in looking for shale gas after approving an application from iGas. Friends of the Earth had attempted to use an arcane covenant set up in the 1960s to block the bid, but the council has approved the proposal. A grand total of 30 protesters opposed the decision.

fracking-well

More good news for the fracking revolution, at last.

Friends of the Earth Spokesman: Israel and ISIS are “Best Pals”

tweets-asad-rehman

Asad Rehman is a senior spokesman for Friends of the Earth and is leading their delegation at the next UN Climate Change conference. As you can see above, Asad has worked out who are the real baddies when it comes to climate change: those pesky Zionists. He says Netanyahu and Israel are “best pals” with ISIS and advocates banning “Zionist organisations” from climate change events. Things are certainly hotting up at the Friends of the Earth press office this afternoon…

Jet Set Lifestyle of WWF Climate Campaigner

mark-lutes-jetset

Mark Lutes, pictured above taking a selfie of himself flying in business class luxury, is the Global Climate Policy Advisor for the World Wildlife Funds’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. As such he is set to be their lead representative at the upcoming COP22 conference in Marrakesh.

The WWF has been campaigning to stop people flying, arguing that video conferencing should replace the need to travel. WWF criticises governments for the amount of flying they do. Lutes has also been a vocal critic of Heathrow expansion. Yet analysis of his social media shows Lutes living it up with his own jet set lifestyle. He has recently made overseas trips to Canada, South Korea, Morocco, Zambia, South Africa, Italy, South Korea and France (twice). We calculate that he has flown some 121,000 miles – almost five times around the world – no Skype videolinks for him…

His Facebook is full of pictures of him attending worthy gatherings of environmental activists around the globe as well as enjoying luxury holidays. Totally green hypocrisy…

Zac to Stand

zac2

Guido sources confirm that Zac intends to be a candidate in the by-election he is triggering in protest at the decision to build a new runway at Heathrow.

Richmond is traditional LibDem territory and may be receptive to a Remain/LibDem by-election putsch. CCHQ is worried that a post-Brexit LibDem revival would put Richmond and neighbouring constituencies back in the hand of the LibDems. Could we see the return of 73 year-old Vince Cable?

Will the Conservatives even put up a candidate against Zac and split the right-of-centre vote?

Shameless Sadiq Breaks Another Election Pledge

sadiq-trees

Sadiq Khan has shamelessly abandoned his mayoral campaign pledge to plant two million trees by 2020, a promise designed to outflank the green credentials of Zac Goldsmith. Last week Guido revealed that no trees had been planted and there were no plans to start digging. Sadiq needed to plant 10,000 trees a week to make the target…

Assembly Member Tony Arbour questioned Khan’s environment deputy Shirley Rodrigues today who denied the two million target was a manifesto promise, claiming it “was not in his printed manifesto”. Yet the two million pledge was on his campaign website and widely publicised, here is Sadiq’s tweet from November last year:

Tory AM Tony Arbour said “Sadiq Khan constantly claims he wants to reduce emissions in London but it seems the largest amount of hot air was spouting from his mouth.”  The Mayor’s revised pledge is to “increase tree coverage by 5%”. There in black and white, another promise broken…

Saj Overrules Fracking Luddites

Anti-fracking-protests-010

Good news for the fracking revolution: Sajid Javid has overruled Lancashire county council and given the go ahead for fracking on the Fylde. Labour / Guardianistas have reacted predictably, claiming locals don’t want fracking and it’ll be disastrous for the area.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Logging company Resolute’s CEO Richard Garneau suing Greenpeace

“A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court. They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices “do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,” as they concede in their latest legal filings. Their accusations against Resolute were instead “hyperbole,” “heated rhetoric,” and “non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion” that should not be taken “literally” or expose them to any legal liability. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks.”

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