Yeah, but we’ve tried this

Second, as for a lack of shovel-ready projects, Labour’s plans include making the UK’s 30m buildings energy efficient while shifting energy supply to renewables.

Bodge jobs turning houses into mushroom farms is what we got, wasn’t it?

63 comments on “Yeah, but we’ve tried this

  1. How many times has he been told that the UK housing stock is now as energy efficient as it ever could be unless it were torn down and rebuilt from scratch? It’s like having dialogue with Facepainter

  2. We were chatting in the pub about this yesterday. A friend would love to install efficient double glazing in to his Grade 2 listed building. Instead the authorities insist he maintains the metal windows which means he must burn more wood to keep his house warm. He’s not alone in the position.

  3. Does anyone recall the time that Snippa came up with a list of shovel- ready projects? I seem to remember that they were about building ferry terminals on Scottish lochs and replacing gates on level crossings and installing traffic lights at certain intersections…. In other words, fairly useless ways of spending other people’s money

  4. The Labour plan assumes a *reliable* source of electricity – which means NOT RENEWABLES to heat homes in winter. Solar panels are of limited help in January (unless you are in Australia) and Gridwatch will show you that nearly every January we get periods when wind produces less than 1% of rated capacity (it was less than 0.25% last year) when demand is greatest.
    So they are going to build 30Gigawatts of nuclear capacity in five years?!?

  5. Stand back. Capt Potato. Coming to insulate a garden shed near you.
    30m buildings? UK population’s 66m. Average occupancy of dwellings? Must be some number well over 2. Many of which will be in buildings with more than one dwelling. Some of which will already be insulated to the latest standards. So what’s he going to be insulating? Bus shelters? Cow byres?
    Is very simple arithmetic another of Spud’s lacunae?

  6. What Diogenes says. The biggest obstacle to making UK housing more energy efficient is that (unlike on the continent) we’re very rarely allowed to knock down a house and rebuild better.

  7. Spud has clarified.

    It’s the funding that is ‘shovel ready’, not the projects.

    It would be funny if there weren’t some people who take him seriously.

  8. Stuff wot we could do that probably wouldn’t be completely spaffing money up a wall:

    * Build that 30 jigawatts of nuclear power John mentions

    * 5G and FTTP subsidies for rural and poorer areas

    * Order more frigates and destroyers till the Royal Navy is big enough to not be scuttled in a bathtub

    * We keep hearing about prison overcrowding, so build more prisons

    * Rebuild Hadrian’s Wall and make Scotland pay for it

    * Demolish the Millennium Dome and replace it with the Thunderdome

    * Sinclair C5 jousting

  9. ‘Second, as for a lack of shovel-ready projects’

    Shovels are so 19th century. We use backhoes and bulldozers over here.

    ‘Labour’s plans include making the UK’s 30m buildings energy efficient’

    They have no plan. It’s talk. They intend to embark on a massive project . . . without a plan. And catch the reverse ferret: they speak of ‘shovels’ and talk of ‘efficient’ in the same sentence.

    ‘while shifting energy supply to renewables’

    Core infrastructure is a toy for the politicians to play with. Millions will die.

  10. No council pikey is getting anywhere near my yellow sandstone victorian property to fvck it up with “quality modern materials and workmanship”

  11. There aren’t enough shovel ready workers to lean on the shovels, unless you close down dozens of universities, so the great leap forward will have to wait.

  12. I remember when Jimmy Carter suggested that Fedgov could save a heap of energy and money if its employees set their office cooling in Summer to 78F and the heating in Winter to 68F, rather than vice versa.

    Since these people were all his employees I wasn’t quite clear why he didn’t instruct it rather than recommend it. Or maybe our media coverage over here was none too accurate.

    To my tastes many people here like heating that’s far too hot, in houses, offices and shops. And then the same places are far too hot in summer because nobody uses intelligent ventilation strategies.

  13. The biggest obstacle to making UK housing more energy efficient is that (unlike on the continent) we’re very rarely allowed to knock down a house and rebuild better.

    Given the results of this rebuilding which you can see in just about every town and city in Britain, maybe we need even bigger obstacles.

  14. OT, but Farage has announced the Brexit Party won’t be standing against Conservative candidates, only Labour.

  15. Steve,

    “* 5G and FTTP subsidies for rural and poorer areas”

    Cheap for what you get. Couple of billion quid. A one-off upgrade to the exchanges and antennae. Convert all sorts of places across holiday home-burning areas of Wales and Northern towns full of redundant flat cap factories into viable places for office workers to live, creating jobs for office workers and creatives who will create new local jobs for craft ale brewers, coffee shops and fixie bike repair.

  16. Shovel-ready funding? You find a pile of other people’s money, and shovel it as fast as you can into some fairytale project, expecxting some or all to stick to the shovel and maybe fall into your pocket. OK?

  17. ‘Second, as for a lack of shovel-ready projects’

    Shovels are so 19th century. We use backhoes and bulldozers over here.

    That so capitalist. What we need are spoons ready projects

  18. What’s the betting that he’s ever even lifted a shovel in anger or managed a project which required multiple shovels.

  19. @dearieme
    I remember when Jimmy Carter suggested that Fedgov could save a heap of energy and money if its employees set their office cooling in Summer to 78F and the heating in Winter to 68F, rather than vice versa.

    This one is a real sore point with me, as I experience it on a daily basis. Besides the office temperature, the Peanut Farmer also mandated that the hot water should be turned off in all government buildings. And thus it was so.

    When the mandate ended under President Reagan, they found out the unused pipes had rusted out and it would cost a fortune to replace them. So for the last 40 years myself and hundreds of others have had to live with this edict.

    The moral of this story is that stupid government policies can live on decades after they are implemented and rescinded.

  20. “There aren’t enough shovel ready workers to lean on the shovels, unless you close down dozens of universities”

    I doubt that any of them would know what a shovel is, let alone how to use one…

  21. philip said:”
    There aren’t enough shovel ready workers to lean on the shovels, unless you close down dozens of universities”

    MSc in Shovel Studies.

  22. If the reason to insulate homes is to reduce CO2 emissions, but emissions will be reduced to zero by all the magic energy stuff replacing fossil fuels… why the need to insulate homes to reduce emissions when there won’t be any?

    Unless of course … there won’t be any energy at all once fossil fuels have been eliminated so the insulation will be needed so people don’t freeze to death.

  23. Steve,

    “BoM4 – imagine the new business opportunities for vegan smoothies, and beard oil.”

    In all seriousness, you don’t know what will be created. I worked for the company that ended up doing the paper billing for almost all of the mobile phone companies back in the early 2000s. They started with the owner and an assistant, a PC and a single laser printer operating from a tiny business unit in a rural market town doing a few hundred bills for Vodafone.

    If you can have 50-1000mbps speeds into Monkton Farleigh, someone could create the next Google.

  24. RichardT

    MSc in Shovel Studies.

    Hey, we shouldn’t knock it; infinitely more useful and productive to civilisation than any other so called “studies” degree..

  25. @Mohave Greenie

    In the 1980 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter declared, “Only government can manage scarcity fairly.”

    To which Ronaldus Magnus replied, “Screw that! We’re America; we’ll just make more!”

  26. Rob,

    “Given the results of this rebuilding which you can see in just about every town and city in Britain, maybe we need even bigger obstacles.”

    Point taken, but if the problem is “last time was bad”, the answer is not a fatalist “never do it again” but a hopeful “do better next time”.

  27. “the hot water should be turned off in all government buildings”: what? How were you meant to wash your hands or mop the floor?

  28. Steve– very lol list.

    i wonder whether a version of George Monbiots re-wilding could be made to be cost effective. Exit EU, abolish the subsidy, and replace the hill farms and marginal stuff with wolves,goats, bears, lynx, deer and beavers. And you can do it all under a green halo.

    (added bonus of not forking out for broadband there)

  29. PF – don’t knock studies degrees.
    Since getting mine I have been able to apply for thousands of jobs that I was unable to apply for before.
    In my old profession there was almost no jobs a year for people without degrees.

    Besides, the studies degree is useful if I ever decide to take over the world… 🙂

  30. @BiND
    A friend would love to install efficient double glazing in to his Grade 2 listed building. Instead the authorities insist he maintains the metal windows which means he must burn more wood to keep his house warm. He’s not alone in the position.

    As I pointed out on a previous thread, it’s perfectly legit* to install replacement windows in a listed building, they just need to be approved for this purpose. It sounds like your friend may have Crittall windows, and they make double glazed replacement units.

    * Not all conservation officers are necessarily aware of this 🙂
    (Mrs M is a former conservation officer and now advises on listed building improvement work.)

  31. “Solar panels are of limited help in January (unless you are in Australia)”

    Anglo-Ozzie Interconnector! Roll up, roll up, investment opportunity of a lifetime! Guaranteed returns!

  32. Martin,

    You big tease!

    “Since getting mine I have been able to apply for thousands of jobs”

    The mind boggles….;)

  33. Electrolysis and hydrogen tankers.

    For the greenies the added benefit that occasionally they will blow up and take several kilometres radius of densely-populated coastal city with them, further reducing xersonkind’s rape of Gaia.

  34. “MSc in Shovel Studies.”

    Dunno about the UK, but here in Holland we call those people “Engineers”.
    Seems that creating stable road/rail beddings, creating new land to put harbours in ( or create palmtree shaped millionaire resorts), and protecting coastlines takes some brainsweat, as well as elbow grease. Rumor has it they’re pretty useful in other fields as well.

    They do tend not to mix well with the “Intelligentia” Snippa seems to be so fond of, So could well be he’s never heard of their existence…

  35. @ Chris MIller
    Fine if they are Crittall windows but my metal and glass windows pre-date the foundation of Crittall Windows Limited by getting on for a century. Also what planning officers *should* approve in a Conservation Area and what they *do* approve are not necessarily the same.
    All power to Mrs M’s elbow!

  36. @john77

    Find a glazier who can fit sealed double glazing units into existing frames.

    If all else fails, interior secondary double glazing is an option. As does interior removable “cling film” glazing.

    Curtains, blinds and shutters still exist too

  37. Grikath said:
    ““MSc in Shovel Studies.”? Dunno about the UK, but here in Holland we call those people “Engineers”.”

    No, no; Shovel Studies students wouldn’t do a hard subject like engineering. Shovel Studies is about the way that pointless projects suddenly become beneficial when they are done by a government.

  38. I suspect some of our stuff might be Crittall (built in 1920s). Maybe we should look at replacing our wooden, single-glazed kitchen/garden door now that we no longer need a catflap. (Sob!)

  39. Shovel studies includes the following courses:

    o Local government management of shovel procurement processes
    o How to sit in a plush office and direct actual shovellers in what to apply their shovel to
    o Shovel health and safety, creating checklists for mandatory 3-monthly patronising retrainings and sanctions for noncompliant shovellers
    o Incompetently drafting grammatically incorrect press releases on the application of shovels to stuff to make your council look good
    o Self-administration of advanced proctological surgical techniques for the removal of shovels regrettably misplaced by the workmen

    (Inspired by the person with a degree in “local government studies” that I pulled pints with a long, long time ago who couldn’t get a job in local government because they had apparently trained him on using one kind of computer system and it had all been updated and he coudln’t adapt)

  40. @ Pcar
    We use curtains; tried blinds: eventually got fed up with fixing them when the mechanisms stuck and/or broke; can’t fix secondary double-glazing to the windows, we are looking at new (well, new since our previous attempt to research solutions) DIY double glazing that fits to the frame in which the windows sit.
    There is no-one who can fit double-glazing units into the existing window frames as they stand less than one-eighth of an inch proud of the mini-panes of glass.

  41. @dearieme
    At the time we were told that cold water was just as effective for washing up as hot. Nobody since that time has been able to answer the question: If cold water is just as effective, why will the Health Department shut down any restaurant or medical facility that doesn’t have hot water?

  42. “o Local government management of shovel procurement processes”

    I can tell that you’ve done this for real….

    And if that was part of a job ad, you would simply add words like policies, governance and compliance – to make sure that you got the “best” candidate…

  43. @Rob November 11, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    OT, but Farage has announced the Brexit Party won’t be standing against Conservative candidates, only Labour.

    Farage has come under a lot of pressure from DM, DT, Spec etc to “stand down” imo good decision, but should have been all Leave MPs not all Cons – eg Marie Miller (Con, Remain) should be challenged

    Dear Brexiteer,

    Today in Hartlepool, I made clear The Brexit Party’s strategy for the General Election. I always said that I would put country before party – and I meant it.

    We want to stop the Remainers winning enough seats to introduce a second referendum, offering us a false choice between Remain and Remain. That’s why we are not going to contest the 317 seats that the Conservatives won in 2017. For months…

    A moments thought on these figures, incumbents & party’s votes – shows why Farage is stymied
    https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/new-data-raises-spectre-of-leave-vote-splitting/

    Portsmouth South: Stephen Morgan, Labour – vociferous EU supporter

    Portsmouth: 58.1% Leave EU

    Farage should target Remainer MP seats – but unless Johnson agrees to a Leave Alliance he’s between a rock & a stone

  44. Farage has come under a lot of pressure from DM, DT, Spec etc to “stand down” imo good decision, but should have been all Leave MPs not all Cons – eg Marie Miller (Con, Remain) should be challenged

    I came across her professionally when she was SoS at DCMS. She should be challenged because she’s useless to the point of being dangerous.

  45. ‘At the time we were told that cold water was just as effective for washing up as hot.’

    Probably true.

    People used to know that the purpose of washing the hands was to REMOVE the germs. Whether they died or not was irrelevant. Now, we have “anti-bacterial hand soap,” exploiting people’s ignorance.

  46. Hot water has more energy in it than cold water (well, dur), so has more “activeness” available for doing work. Washing with cold water needs an additional input of energy to replace that not present in heat. Some washing detritus needs to soften or melt before it is removable by the washing process, washing in cold water is going to leave the dishes covered in grease.

    Also, think about “cold wash” washing powder. The only way to replace the cleaning energy in the heat of the water is to put that cleaning energy in the chemicals of the washing powder/liquid. I’d much rather have highly energetic water washing my clothes than highly energetic washing powder.

  47. @ mohave greenie, Gamecock, jgh
    The reason why hot water is better than cold for washing is the change in surface tension with temperature, enabling the soap to operate more efficiently to help the water remove the dirt from the skin, clothes, or crockery.
    This was part of the ‘O’ level physics course back in the ’60s

  48. PF – yes in 7 years there have been many thousands of jobs advertised in my area that require a degree in order to apply. My old profession is still extremely biased in favour of degree holders, though when I left the only relevant qualification was a post grad.

    I’ve applied for probably 400 or so jobs in past 2 years. One interview.
    Its not the qualification that is preventing being picked for interview. 5 disabilities may well have an impact. 🙂

  49. @ Gamecock
    That only applies to gases – for solids solubility increases with temperature. I wash liquids and solids, not gases, off my hands.

  50. @john77

    “DIY double glazing that fits to the frame in which the windows sit” – removable “cling film” type secondary glazing

  51. @ Pcar
    It’s more like removable velcro; we could have used cling film that clings to the glass but that provides only a tiny bit more insulation than the bare window and is difficult to keep clean

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