All energy providers in the UK receive some sort of subsidy from the government. It’s generally regarded as being needed to persuade companies and individuals to invest in energy production. However, the perception that the government has encouraged in the UK is that renewables (solar, wind, tidal) receive a lot of subsidy, oil and gas don’t. Yesterday we found just how false this rhetoric is as it was revealed that the cheapest form of energy production by far is wind power. At the moment it costs £56 per MWh for wind production, compared to £74 for oil. To compete with the dropping cost of renewable energy, the government has had to offer heavy subsidies to foreign energy companies – EDF have been offered a guaranteed £92.50, index linked for the next 45 years! Mwhahaha.
Obviously giving billions of pounds to a French energy company who will churn out billions of tons of CO2 is not going to be particularly popular with the public. That’s one reason why the government has been feeding the public mis-information about the levels of subsidies for renewables – claiming that solar subsidies are why we have such high energy bills. We have previously shown that that is simply not true – about 0.7% of the typical energy bill supports renewable energy projects – much less than for fossil fuels. But is killing off the planet, and putting up energy bills evil enough? No – that’s why the government has also decided to kill the renewables industry by slashing what little subsidy it gets. The government has already admitted that it doesn’t care about the job losses. And as expected, the job losses have started already. 1,000 jobs were lost yesterday at two solar companies, and a total of 20,000 jobs are expected to be lost.
To be able to put energy bills up unnecessarily, kill the environment, support foreign oil companies, and all while killing British jobs surely must be the best evil of the year. Well done Mr. Cameron. Mwhahaha.
There can’t be anyone who hasn’t heard of pig-gate. In an acknowledged act of revenge, Lord Ashcroft published salacious gossip about David Cameron porking some pork. Is it evil? No, of course not. If it happened, the pig was dead anyway, and no-one was harmed in any way (other than perhaps Cameron). Was it true? No-one really cares, because it’s funny and is exactly the sort of thing that people could imagine him doing. And he has been pretty unpleasant about laying in to people like Corbyn, so he deserves to take some grief for a change.
But what is more illuminating is the way Cameron has tried to deny it ever happened without actually denying it.
Yesterday when reporters confronted Cameron yet again about the story, he said “a very specific denial was made a week ago and I’ve nothing to add to that”. But a week ago all he said was that he would “not dignify the allegations with a response”. Cameron was hoping that reporters and the public would think that he was denying that it ever happened by claiming to have already made a denial, when in fact he has denied nothing at all. It’s a classic evil trick designed to fool everyone, and judging by some of the headlines, the lazier reporters were taken in. Mwhahaha;
This trick might be simply part of a fake denial of a personal embarrassment that doesn’t impact Cameron’s ability to run the country. But it’s exactly the same evil trick as is used every day by the government. They claimed to have been “the greenest government ever”, but have killed the renewables industry. They claim that austerity is helping the economy and therefore the country, despite sustained evidence that millions of the poorest people are worse off than ever. They claimed to not want to take taxes just to give them back to the same people in benefits, but then only cut the benefits. But just like with the pig, if they keep repeating the claims, eventually someone will believe them.
When the government decided to destroy the solar industry, they didn’t really consider the job losses – it has admitted as much to the solar industry last week;
The death of the solar industry would result in an estimated 22,000 job losses. That’s an estimate from Friends Of The Earth, so it’s probably on the high side. But even if it’s 10 times too high, that’s an awful lot of unemployment. If the jobs were being lost at a major employer like a car plant or a high street bank, there would be uproar and demands to do something. But in this case the government is causing job losses to hundreds of small businesses, so there is no single loud voice to protest. And for what purpose? The government claims it is to cut energy bills, but the government’s own documents put the saving at between 50p and £1.20 per household per year. That’s not a lot of savings for so much damage to the environment and the economy – really quite evil. Mwhahaha.
While the government completely ignores job losses in the solar sector, it’s quite happy to talk about the (small) number of jobs being created in the oil and gas industries. For example it was very keen to advertise the 400 jobs that will be created with the opening of the Culzean gas field. What it’s not so happy to talk about is the amount it subsidies the oil and gas industries. Recent IMF documents calculated that the fossil fuel industry receives £418 in subsidies from each household in the UK. That’s significantly more than the subsidy that we put in to renewables, and cutting subsidies on fossil fuels by 50p per household would make negligible difference to large international energy companies (who coincidentally often have Conservative MPs on their payroll as non-executive directors or consultants), unlike the huge impact to UK small businesses from cutting solar subsidies.
So, the solar industry employs more people than fossil fuels (4 times as many jobs per MWh), has less subsidy, less impact to the environment, and killing it will have negligible impact on our energy bills. The public is more in favour of renewables than fracking, with even the massive wind farms being many times more popular than fracking with voters of all persuasion. So why is the government pushing fossil fuels and killing renewables? We’ll have to simply give them credit for being evil.
Capitalism is great, and while most companies waste their time being not-evil, there are always a few companies who embrace their evil side and will do anything imaginable to make money. Some great examples are slave traders, companies who deal in blood diamonds, the bankers who conspired to fix the Libor. In fact, history shows that some companies would happily kill people if there is a profit in it. In fact the latter is surprisingly common, and all too often government acts as the brake on the evil deeds that companies will do. For example, despite being falsely blamed for everything from banning conkers to forbidding candy-floss with a stick, they have actually cut employee deaths by 87% since 1974.
One of the worst offenders for stopping corporations from being evil are the anti-pollution laws. For example, even though pollution is thought to be the cause of 29,000 early deaths a year, it’s not as bad as the great smog of 1952, which killed a huge number of Londoners. Fortunately our government is redressing the balance, and is helping corporations to again make money at the expense of killing the general populace. The UK government is lobbying the EU to allow a relaxation in the pollution regulations.
In particular, they want a relaxation in the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Sulphur dioxide turns in to sulphuric acid in the air, and is what killed so many people in the great smog. Nitrogen dioxide causes respiratory problems, and can kill – and the UK already has the highest proportion of NO2 violations in Europe already. Both of them also result in huge increases in costs for the NHS too. So why does the government want to allow more of this pollution? Because they are being lobbied by the coal industry, with misinformation about job losses and damage to the economy. In reality, there are only about 3000 coal miners in the UK (who can be retrained) and the losses will mainly be suffered by the owners of the opencast coal mines. To protect those few, the government will kill and hurt a great many people. Mwahaha.
Fake reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp are all over the place. Yelp thought that about a quarter of all of it’s reviews were fake, but companies have started to fight back. For example, an employee of a cafe was fired for posting fake bad reviews for rivals;
However, fake reviews are not restricted to restaurants and hotels. The Department for Work and Pensions has been caught creating fake reviews of the benefits system. Sarah effuses about how a 2 week cut in her benefits was just what she needed to help her get her CV up to date, and she’s really pleased with how her CV looks! And unlike many real life benefits claimants, Zak didn’t have his benefits stopped when he had to go in to hospital. Yay!
So, when the truth hurts too much, just make up a new reality and publish it for everyone to see. Mwhahaha.