Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ripping us off

"As noted in this column three weeks ago, the owners of the Corus steel company stand to gain up to $375m (£234m) in European Union carbon credits for closing their plant in Redcar, only to be rewarded on a similar scale by the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism fund for switching such production to a new 'clean' Indian steel plant."

That is Dominic Lawson in his column in The Sunday Times today.

Interestingly, his brief mention of Corus "three weeks" ago puts his first mention of the issue on 20 December, two weeks after I broke the story on this blog and a week after Booker broke it in his column.

This is typical "above the line" behaviour, where the "great man" has to claim ownership of an issue and can't possibly acknowledge his source, unless of course it is a similar "above the line" figure, which allows him to name-drop and show how well-connected he is.

Actually, the issue is far more complicated that either I, Booker and especially Lawson have allowed for, and it is almost certainly the case that the proximate cause of the Redcar steel works closure was the cancellation of major orders for the plant.

At this particular juncture, it is merely fortuitous that Tata Steel stands to make a fortune out the carbon credit swindle. It cannot be said that the plant was closed specifically to take advantage of the money, although it also has to be said that Tata and other Indian steel-makers have been in the lead when it comes to maximising the opportunities created.

Howsoever, while Lawson is patting himself on the back for his cleverness, Booker is getting stuck in with his column, noting that "the true price of the warmists' folly is becoming clear".

This a theme we have been rehearsing on EU Ref, from which Booker draws some material, but he puts it together in a condensed form which makes for a powerful case. There cannot be any doubt that even a fraction of the money wasted on "climate change" spent instead on preparations for this bad weather would have paid dividends.

What I think is still not registering is quite how much of our money, extracted through taxation, this government has spent on its obsession, or much we have been forced to pay to the likes of utility companies and others, as a result of government fiat.

However, other than to say "hundreds of billions", neither we nor anyone else has any real idea. But one just has to take in the idea that Brown wants £100 billion spent on his fatuous array of offshore wind factories to appreciate the scale of the spending.

Thus, despite the subject being "pigeonholed" as a specialist issue, it should be at the heart of the political debate for, while David Cameron hints only at government expenditure cuts in the tens of billions, he like Brown is content to load many more billions on unfortunate householders, all in the name of climate change.

Yet, when the chips are down, for all that we are being ripped-off, we have a government which cannot even clear the streets of snow.