Tuesday 20 February 2018

Gummer Sees The Light

We haven't always been kind to John Selwyn Gummer, aka Lord Deben of Horse-Manure.   Jasper Carrot's epithet has generally seemed appropriate; and I myself may have described him as "one of the 1990's prime candidates for Worst Cabinet Minister".

But I am nothing if not fair: and in fairness must therefore record that Gummer the Bummer has delivered himself of something broadly intelligent.
Q184  You are clearly very supportive of moving to more renewable methods and you spoke about the lead that this country has had. We might be able to get a lead in tidal energy. A proposal was put forward for a pathfinder project in south Wales. Do you have any views about whether that should proceed?
Lord Deben: We have looked at it very carefully. I am a great believer, as is the committee, in the whole issue of energy diversity. You would be very foolish to rely on one sort of thing. I am instinctively for it. However, it is significantly more expensive and you have to think about whether it is the sort of technology that is likely to reduce significantly in cost if you create a market and scale it up. The problem with the whole argument is that much of the cost is in the construction business—the pouring of concrete. It is difficult to see how, by building more and more of them, they are going to decline in cost significantly. It is difficult to see that.
Q185 Would people not have said the same about wind turbines 10 years ago?
Lord Deben: People may have said that but that would not have been a parallel because, if you can, for example, change the whole system of gearing and if you can have much bigger sales on them, so to speak, if you can have floating ones and if you can take them out and plant them in the sea for 10 months of the year instead of five months of the year because they are bigger and you have bigger boats and things, then all of that could be worked out. It has just been very much faster. One has to look at the realities and we have so far not been convinced of that. I say that as somebody who is, in fact, biased; I have to aim against a bias. I do think tidal energy is an important thing ... As you know, I was a promoter, before I did this job, for the Severn Barrage, so I am not opposed to it. We have done some really hard work on it and I am open to being convinced. In the end, I think the Government are probably right in questioning whether this is where they want to put their money.
Intelligent?  Well, in a monkeys / typewriters sort of way.  He couldn't keep it up, of course, because he went on: 
If you said to me, “Will you pay a bit more for your electricity so that, in 30 years’ time, your grandchildren will have free electricity in very large amounts for 100 years without very much change in it?” I might say to myself, “That sounds rather like a good deal”.
Nope - it's very stupid.  But: credit where it's due.  He's added his tuppence-worth to the undermining of the Swansea Lagoon monstrosity and we'll leave him alone.




Anonymous said...

Has anyone worked out the correlation between HoL members and ventures that need "subsidy" as they are "jolly good ideas".

AFAIR it's quite high but I don't have the stats.

Anonymous said...

Private Eye writes abt it all the time. Revolving Doors etc.

david morris said...

Given his penchant for fucking everything up, the SB is now a shoe-in.

miker22 said...

Used to be my MP. Complete tosser.

dustybloke said...

Tuppence worth? Looks like a groat to me.

He is still an idiot, but he obviously makes a great deal of money from it.

The bit I liked best was the idea of towing a giant wind turbine into the North Sea on a big boat and leaving there to provide us with FREE energy for 10 months.

I once bought a car like that from a bloke in the pub, but then I was very young and pissed as a newt. What's Gumbo's excuse?

Anonymous said...

@ " in 30 years’ time, your grandchildren will have free electricity in very large amounts for 100 years

Didn't they used to say that about nuclear?? Duh.

Charlie said...

Unfortunately, the news media seems to be more interested in supply chain issues at a single fried chicken chain than proper reportage about the goings-on in relation to the tidal folly.

When reports of "CUSTOMER ANGER AT KFC SHORTAGES" is the most-read story on the BBC news website, it's time to call Mr Musk and book a one-way ticket on the next space-bound rocket ship.

Ravenscar. said...

Nope, Gummer is still, a unapologetic eejit and paid for his 'wisdom' by some green lobbyists.

this is certainly no Damascene conversion, he still can't bring himself to utter any sort truthful statement, and that's either delusion or charlatanry.

A bit of both for me: liar and delusional.

Anonymous said...

Yes, nuclear electricity would be "too cheap to meter" IIRC.


Anonymous said...

The problem with nuclear fission is the capital cost of building the power stations. Once they are built, the running costs are pretty low, and they are very reliable. Gas power stations are cheap to build but need a steady supply of very expensive fuel.

Maintenance of the grid costs money, and there are all the office and managerial people to be paid, and a profit to be made.

Don Cox