Trevor Carbin's 'Just one minute' Survey

Trevor Carbin, South West Wiltshire Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats has put out a survey leaflet. I responded thus:
Hello, I've just read your 'Trevor Carbin's 'Just one minute' Survey'. I find multiple choice surveys a bit limited so I thought I'd respond in more detail to your Green Road Out Of Recession questions:

1. A five-year programme to insulate every school and hospital.

I believe that a decision like this is for each school or hospital individually, not something that should be dictated by central government. Furthermore, it's not right that government has a monopoly on providing state funded schools and hospitals. Please end this monopoly and give the public choice, so that standards are raised.

2. Funding insulation and energy efficiency for a million homes, (with a £1,000 subsidy for a million more).

This is a terrible idea, as it rewards the feckless householder who hasn't insulated her house, and is no help to the responsible person who has already spent their money on insulation. Please don't do this. Instead spend the money on *paying off* the nation's debts, not adding to them.

3. Building 40,000 extra zero-carbon social houses.

What do you mean by zero-carbon? I suspect you subscribe to the bonkers idea that every house should be self sufficient in renewable energy. Why shouldn't I buy cheap renewable electricity rather than expensively generate it myself. Self-sufficiency is a bogus aim.

4. Buying 700 new train carriages.

First the bank bail-out, then the train operator bail-out. The train operating companies should be buying new carriages *not* the taxpayer. Really, you can't get enough of perverse incentives can you?

5. Re-opening old railway lines and stations, opening new ones, and electrifying the Great Western and Midland mainlines.

Believe it or not, I don't have an opinion on this.

6. Installing energy and money saving smart meters in every home within five years.

I can't believe you've been lobbied into funding the energy companies. They're *private companies* please don't give them our money, please please.... What do you mean by smart meters? Do you mean that meter readings are collected remotely so that meter readers don't have to go out in their vans and read meters? If this is cheaper, then energy companies will install them of their own accord, if not, then why do it?

Thank you for getting this far in my rant. I'll publish this on my blog http://blog.tlocke.org.uk/, and your reply if you decide to reply.


Tony Locke

I'll let you know what, if anything, Trevor says in reply.

Update 2010-04-18: Trevor has replied!


  1. Hear hear. Or should that be here, here? Either way well done.

    I don't agree with some of the things you've said, but I celebrate your effort to get involved.

  2. With this and your recent comments on Feed in Tarrifs I think I know what the problem is with your opinions: You keep thinking about things as if we were starting from an ideal place. But we're not.

    Green help for homeowners and public institutions would only be unfair if you were starting from the utopian position that NO-ONE was getting an unfair advantage. That's not the case.

  3. Then remove the existing subsidies, don't add new ones!