Lord Nigel Lawson
Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, (born 11 March 1932) is a British Conservative politician and journalist. He was a member of parliament (MP) representing the constituency of Blaby from 1974 to 1992, and served in the Thatcher Cabinet from 1981 to 1989. Prior to entering the Cabinet, he served as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury from May 1979 until his promotion to Secretary of State for Energy.
He was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer in June 1983, and served until his resignation in October 1989. In both Cabinet posts he was a key proponent of Thatcher’s policy of privatization of several key industries and deregulation and oversaw the Big Bang [the day the stock market was deregulated in London, England, shifting the centre of gravity for the world’s financial markets to London from New York City] on 27 October 1986.
It’s was before I became chancellor, I was secretary of state for energy, so it’s not a new field – but the cost of moving from cheap and reliable energy to very expensive and unreliable energy is massive, and it’s crazy.
I really worry, I’ve never worried so much about the future path of the British economy and therefore of this country, more than I do now.
Lord Lawson you’re talking about this energy – specifically what do we mean? Is it wind, is it solar panels? What type of energy resources are we talking about here?
Well the biggest thing that [Boris] Johnson wants to move to is wind, which is hugely expensive and very unreliable. The wind people will tell you that although the costs are high now, are coming down, that is totally untrue. They are of anything going up. So it is sort of a burden for the British people, of their energy costs, for travel, heating their home, every other cost involving energy. He’s going to increase really substantially, hugely unless he has the sense to to abandon this crazy plan.
Lord Lawson look again I’m an absolute layman, I don’t know the first thing about energy and all the rest of it but my question is why at the time of a global crisis, the pandemic when our economy looks ever more unstable, are we embarking on renewable energies?
That’s a very good question, a very good question, I think that it’s partly because this has become this, “greenery” has become something of a new religion at a time when Christianity and other religions are less and less in people’s minds and hearts and thinking.
But also I think it is a designed to take our minds off the pandemic. But it’s crazy.
Lord Lawson you were Chancellor of the Exchequer as I mentioned. If a Conservative prime minister I’m sure the one you served under wouldn’t have done this but if a Conservative prime minister had walked into your office and said chancellor what we need to do at this time when we’re facing the worst economic situation for 300 years is to embark on this what would your words have been to that prime minister.
I would be fabulously. Certainly Margaret Thatcher wouldn’t have dreamt of anything so stupid, and I I’m afraid that I would do my best to dissuade the prime minister said that and if not I would leave the government.
It’s an interesting thing also that it’s a Conservative government that’s doing this I mean of all the different parties that we have you would have thought they might have been the least likely to have done this would you not?
I would have thought that. It is crazy I think you have to see it to a certain extent in the psychology of Boris Johnson who loves big projects irrespective of the cost.
December 6, 2020
“I don’t think that just printing more and more money is a solution is building up more problems, and of course you abandon crazy projects, in particular of which the green industrial revolution record is the craziest.
And if we ever do embark on it – which the government seems determined to do or at least the prime minister seems determined to, that will be the biggest disaster and will end in tears.”
And lord Lawson we’re I’m looking at this Conservative government and this government to me doesn’t seem particularly Conservative and it doesn’t seem very right of center on economics, do you think this is a Conservative government?
Well it is a Conservative government but one has to see things as they are and assess this project, the green industrial revolution and it is absolutely mad. I mean I of course ironically although it’s mad, the Labour opposition is supporting it as you know.
So it because it seems to me that in this country we don’t really have any credible opposition if you look at for instance the issue of lockdown, the government, the Labour government wants us locking down even harder even faster, all the rest of it. Now you’re talking about this green revolution which is going to cost the taxpayer even more, which is going to make our energy source more unstable. Again the Labour government are not putting any form of opposition their way, so quite frankly does it it does seem we’re in a form of political crisis now?
Well certainly you’re right and that’s why I said a few moments ago that I’ve never been more depressed about the future for this country.
Lord so what do you think is going to be the economic picture for us when we finally emerge out of lockdown? Do you think it’s going to be very similar to a 1930 style scenario with a great depression or dare I say could it possibly be even worse?
I don’t know whether it will be worse. If the government abandons this appalling disastrous proposal for the green industrial revolution, then it might not be worse than the 30s. It’ll be very bad, but the 30s were very bad too. It’ll only be worse than the 30s if he [Boris] goes down this green industrial revolution route.
But I think that we have to get the financial situation, the deficit and the the debt too – but mainly the deficit, because if you can gradually eliminate the deficit then the debt burden stops increasing. It’s still there but stops increasing and that’s crucial, I think we have to do that and I think we’d have to do it by a form of rigor or austerity, which is in the short term uncomfortable, but uh it is sometimes necessary.
I don’t think that just printing more and more money is a solution is building up more problems, and of course you abandon crazy projects, in particular of which the green industrial revolution record is the craziest. And if we ever do embark on it – which the government seems determined to do or at least the prime minister seems determined to, that will be the biggest disaster and will end in tears.
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Source: ‘Lord Nigel Lawson: “I’ve Never Been More Worried About This Country”‘, https://youtu.be/UQWhTwFKiB4 (Copyright Triggernometry, December 7, 2020)