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Credit to the PM

Nick Robinson | 12:21 UK time, Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The spouses of the G8 leaders were invited to drive the latest Japanese electric car around the summit venue today. Gordon Brown hopes we may all be tempted to do the same sooner than we think.

G8 leadersThe prime minister is hailing a breakthrough at the G8 on a climate change deal. A breakthrough which involves the American's agreeing for the first time to a 50% target reduction for green house gas emissions and a list of 25 ways in which the world can get more energy efficient, including those electric and hybrid cars.

The sceptics will note, of course, that the American agreement is conditional on a wider climate change deal in Copenhagen next year, involving the developing countries like China and India. This is more a step on the way than any sign that that deal will actually take place.

The prime minister is being credited behind the scenes with ensuring that the G8 did not backslide on its commitments to African development. The Italians and the French in particular were said to be keen to water down commitments made at the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005 to double aid for Africa.

Gordon Brown looks pretty satisfied with the work of his first G8 summit, much less so by questions that came from all political journalists about whether this might be his last.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Nick, you're brave I'll give you that. To suggest GB gets credit for something.

    Await barage of accusations re BBC Pro Labour bias.

  • Comment number 2.

    No fan of either GB, but surely a limited opportunity to highlight any solid advance rather than heckle over domestic disaster.

    Did the 'Big W' speak to you nicely this time, Nick..?

  • Comment number 3.

    Congratulations where it is due.

    I think Gordon is better suited to behind the scenes negotiation rather than leading the UK.

    Hopefully he will find some sort of Europe level job better suited to his talents under a leader who is focused on a slim European government that lets people at the sharp end make the important day-to-day decisions.

  • Comment number 4.

    The spouses of the G8 leaders were invited to drive the latest Japanese electric car around the summit venue today. Gordon Brown hopes we may all be tempted to do the same sooner than we think.


    Yes Gordon, because we've got an infrastructure of filling stations already set up with non exploding hydrogen containers that don't deteriorate in the presence of said hydrogen already built right across the country and all the nuclear powerstations required to convert water to hydrogen built and up and running and we've ousted Mugabee so we can plunder his country for the platinum for the british made fuel cells.

    Now go and have a lay down before your last brain cell gives up.

  • Comment number 5.


    Whilst you are in the company of Gordon Brown would you please ask him if he would support a military attack on Iran by the USA or Israel.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good of lame duck Bush to sign up right at the end of his presidency to a policy that no one will be able to check for acheivment till after he's dead and buried.

  • Comment number 7.

    Does the Left hand of Auntie Beeb every speak to the right hand.

    Clearly not Nick

    If you cared to look at some evidence as the louts on Top Gear did you would know that the Carbon Footprint of the Prius and its ilk are enormous in comparison to conventional vehicles.

    Look at the TOTAL carbon cost not just the while driving emmissions

  • Comment number 8.

    Nice photo Nick. Captioned 'G8 leaders' with nine people in the picture. I couldn't help thinking that they looked like most of a Subbuteo team. It's hard to tell who's who (apart from Merkel in goal I assume) so please let us know who's the substitute.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick, new British Embassy built at the cost of ten million quid , in HARARE, what is the point of believing ANYTHING said about the UK imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe?
    What is the Foreign Sec. up to??

  • Comment number 10.

    Just as well they didn't ask GB to drive. I don't think he has a licence.

  • Comment number 11.

    'credit to the PM'

    Ironic indeed for the man who has accumulated more debt for the UK economy than any other chancellor in living memory.

    Tax credits, family credits, pensioner fuel bill credits;they are all just more and more debt for an economy plundered by a wasteful and inept government.

  • Comment number 12.

    Whenever GB announces one of his successes, it is always worth checking the fine print to see the reality rather than the gloss.

    GB may be claiming credit for something - his media managers may be telling you of his pivotal role in all this. But that doesn't mean you have to immediately report it without proper scrutiny.

    Rushing to judgement on the basis of what is handed to you by a spin doctor is not always the best way to report a story...

  • Comment number 13.

    Pot_Kettle wrote:
    Does the Left hand of Auntie Beeb every speak to the right hand.

    Clearly not Nick

    If you cared to look at some evidence as the louts on Top Gear did you would know that the Carbon Footprint of the Prius and its ilk are enormous in comparison to conventional vehicles.

    Look at the TOTAL carbon cost not just the while driving emmissions.


    I second that pot_kettle, I saw it as well.

    Proving that a prius has a higher carbon footprint than a BMW M3 when driven under the same conditions which the M3 did easily while the prius struggled the whole way.

  • Comment number 14.

    Pray tell Mr Brown, if we're all going to be driving around in Fuel Cell and hybrid cars sooner than we think.

    Where exactly are we going to get the credit to buy them from?

    Credit in the UK is at a huge premium lately and in very short supply, in case you hadn't noticed, especially as you've devalued our current second hand cars to the point of negative equity by taxing them to death with some ill conceived knee jerk pseudo green stealth tax called VED and fuel duty.

    Gordy, think about things you say before you perpetually make a numptee out of yourself.

  • Comment number 15.

    What have George Best George Bush and Gordon Brown all got in common apart from the obvious.

    Have fun with this one friends, Its got to be better than reading Nick feeding us more tripe from the hand of the spinmeisters machine.

  • Comment number 16.

    Most of the so called decisions that come out of the G8 are almost impossible to monitor. We have to take the Governments word they are complying and of course we believe what our Governments tell us. I would prefer Brown spent our money and what little time he has left as Prime Minister, talking to the car manufacturers and passing legislation to force them to move away from petrol based technology. As drivers we also need to get a grip and accept that the days of driving over-powered (we can only do 70mph..why have a car that can do 140mph?) gass guzzling cars are gone. We all need to take collective responsibility and Brown is not the Man to make that happen. So no credit due...he hasn't actually done anything.

  • Comment number 17.

    Pot_Kettle @15

    I've never voted for any of them. I claim my £5.

  • Comment number 18.

    7 pot_kettle: I'm afraid I seen the episode of Top Gear you referred to. I think that there underlying argument is floored. The Toyota uses NiMh batteries made by panasonic, the same technology used in plenty of other products, laptops, mobile phones etc.. The bits on any car are sourced globally, from paint to bearings to rubber trim. So personally I wouldn't use top gear as anything other than light entertainment! Definitely not a good yardstick to measure the green credentials of cars.

  • Comment number 19.

    Lets give G.B. credit he must be good at something, found his niche working away in the background please leave him in Japan

    See you bosses have joined the gravy train, can I have refund on my licence fee?

  • Comment number 20.

    Re the VED

    Taxed our fuel inefficient 53 plate 1.4 petrol 307 last week £80 for 6 months, we are selling it as its mpg is pants.

    went to tax my N plate fiesta 1.8 deisel today £100+ for 6 months.

    What riles me about this is that the fiesta is waaaaaaaaay more fuel effiecient than that heap of french junk that we have therefore its emmissions must be lower cos its burning less fossil fuel.

    Add to that if i scrap the Fiesta it is more enviromentally unfriendly cos it was made out of un recycable plastic so surely its better that the fiesta lengthens its life span and we scrap the car that will biodegrade.

    Trouble with ALL governments of ALL colours globally they just dont ever understand the consequences of their legislative actions.

    Welfare for the poor is great until it encourages the poor to stay at home rather than work. The welfare state should be a safety net and only a safety net not a crutch.

    We are just now being told what the consequence of the rush to Bio fuels is costing us in food prices.

    Our transportation costs are a direct result of Beeching running down the rail network. then subsequent government forced industrial transport back onto the railways making many businesses bankrupt.

    Beauracracy expands to meet the needs of the Beauracracy. And there is a law of unintended consequences and the only way to avoid it is to stop micromanaging

  • Comment number 21.

    This car/carbon nonsense is really going too far now.

    A car has a massive overhead of CO2 just by being built - existing cars have already made this (unwelcome) contribution, new cars have not (yet).

    Then there is a further overhead in scrapping a car.

    Scrapping a 5 year old car to save a few oz of carbon emissions, while replacing it with a new car that generates orders of magnitude more of CO2 to be build is blatant stupidity - so much for prudence.

    However the PM's reputation on that score will live for generations to come.

  • Comment number 22.


    And where does the Nickel come from for the batteries?
    The Total Carbon footprint of most things is hidden.

    Take for instance the muppet that rides down the narrow back road so that he doesnt drive his car. His footprint looks wonderful until you look at the increased footprint from the vehicles stacked up behind him cos there isnt room to pass as he wobbles from curb to white line.

  • Comment number 23.

    Oh Nick, terrible, you really are scraping the barrel. Please, this is conjecture based on conjecture based on conjecture. Please come home soon!

    I really feel sorry for the Government spin doctors on this one. Hilary Benn looked silly on the various news programs last night

    Re: 1 (Eatonrifle), yes, the BBC does get accused of pro-Labour bias. This always puzzles me.... surely it makes sense to be nice to the boss when you want a pay rise. Will be the same with whoever's next in Government.

    Hey, looks like it worked too as Mark Thompson's defending director renumerations. Hmmmmm, as opposed to getting the sack like Greg Dike.

    Wonder what sort of seats Nick has got on the plane? Bet he doesn't have to fly into T5 - he must get VIP service, surely.

  • Comment number 24.

    Isn't it awful ? ... just like the World Cup really .... The G8 has discovered WAGS.

  • Comment number 25.

    22. Pot_Kettle. The Nickel comes from the same place as the Nickel used on all the battery operated appliances you have, probably on the same boat, and just a fraction of the total amount compared to that used in discarded mobile phones. As for the guy on the bike, as long as no pin head pea brain knocks him off he will probably live a long and healthy life only tainted by the polution of others!

  • Comment number 26.

    Re: 8, nicely observed although I think Merkel and Sarkozy are sharing a room in order to make room for Jose Manuel Baroso.

    They've got a good relationship particularly when it comes to European issues so they don't mind sharing.


    Errrrrrr, dear moderator, I would like to state that this is just a thought and I've clearly stated that in the above comment.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    If only I lived in the simple world of politicians, where changing travelling/eating/drinking/smoking habits would solve all of our problems.
    It is reassuring to see our leaders travelling 1,000's of miles (videoconferencing anyone?), enjoying the finest of food and wine whilst urging the rest of us to change our lifestyles (I will support them on the smoking issue but I am there are plenty that would disagree with me).
    As a result of the slowing enconomies around the world consumption will fall, unemployment will rise and aims of the G8 will be met by default.
    Is this really the world that the peoples of the G8 actually want to live in? If I was a politician looking to be elected I wouldn't gamble on peoples acceptance of lower living standards, nor the developing worlds acceptance of the 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality.

  • Comment number 29.


    Regardless of whether it is on a boat with nickel being used elsewhere you should take it into account when calculating Total Carbon footprint. By your logic i should not be charged my carbon tax for my flight on Hols this year because other people are on the flight too!

    And as for the cyclist Its not HIS long and healthy life that is at issue here it is the direct increase on carbon emmisions of others that his lifestyle choice imposes on the car drivers. Not everyone is able to cycle are you advocating if you cant cycle stay at home and go on benefits? truly what is your solution? For every action there is a consequence for every law there is an unforeseen consequence and in most cases these increase the problemn that the law was written to stop

  • Comment number 30.

    Wondering what all those hospitals are for

  • Comment number 31.

    Re: #8

    Left to right: Silvio Berlusconi (Italian PM), Stephen Harper (Canadian PM), Dmitry Medvedev (Russian President), George W. Bush (US President), Yasuo Fukuda (Japanese PM), Nicolas Sarkozy (French President), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), Gordon Brown (British PM), Jose Manuel Durao Barroso (President of the European Commission).

  • Comment number 32.

    Actually there is a use for electric cars


  • Comment number 33.

    @29- My argument is quiet simple. Battery cars are developing and as with any technology in development it takes time to perfect, so lets not be too down on emerging technology.

    As for the argument about cyclists holding up cars, get real! The carbon caused is not even measurable!
    And stop trying to twist my comments, it's just not cricket.

  • Comment number 34.

    Gordon Brown has blamed the UK problems on high oil prices and the imported credit crunch and suggested that he is the right person to steer us through the difficult times ahead

    Clearly absolutely nothing to do with the way that the British economy has been run for the last 10 years, cheap money going into unsustainable house prices personal debt and out of control government spending.

    On the basis of his record I wouldn't let him steer one of those Japanese electric cars.

  • Comment number 35.

    with Ref to #31

    What is Barroso doing there?

    This is exactly why we applauded Irelands NO vote and the Polish President refusal to sign ratification and the Czech position and even the German position not to ratify.

    Unless and Until Sovereign Power is granted to the Commision he has no one to represent by being there.

    One can only assume that he is there either on a jolly at EU Tax payers or our collective governments have already ceded power to the commission and he needed to be there to make sure that the puppet leaders obeyed his wishes

  • Comment number 36.

    Pot_Kettle states 'for every law there is an unforseen consequence.

    It certainly looks like that and it is difficult to understand why given the fact that we risk assess all other activities in our lives.

    Wouldn't the application of simple Risk Assessment techniques identify some of these 'unforseen consequences' e.g.
    1) expansion of the EU,
    2) leading to greater numbers of non-english speaking immigrants,
    3) leading to greater requirements for translators in hospitals, courts etc.,
    4) leading to greater expense,
    5) leading to a requirement to raise additonal revenue,
    6) leading to higher taxes ...................

    Sorry, I have just realised why these simple principles will never be adopted. The whole process would become too transparent and our 'Leaders' would never be able to defend their actions.

  • Comment number 37.

    What a pathetic bunch of woddentops. 50% reduction by GW, well, given that many Americans'll have to give up their SUVs soon that pretty much accounts for that non target. The environmental horse has already bolted, this is all just window dressing.

  • Comment number 38.

    Gordon Brown has said he is the right person to take the British economy through "difficult times" -

    Time he stepped down form being PM then and went bcak to being chancellor

  • Comment number 39.


    Sorry I didnt intend to twist your words but i would like to know what solution you advocate.

    The carbon from increased emmissions due to sitting in a traffic queue behind a cyclist is measurable, its just that no one has done it because it doesnt fit the "Green Agenda's" contentions

    I grant you that electric cars are am emerging technology but lets not get to hung up in the hype that they are an emmisions panacea until we have truly analysed the Total carbon footprint for such technologies as they stand today.

    The Prius is a great marketing coo/scam for Toyota but it does nothing in reality to contribute to lowering carbon emmissions. The technology just isn't even close to being an efficient transport yet. they batteries still need an awful lot of generated power and in this country that source isnt green!

  • Comment number 40.

    I wonder why my 2.00pm post is being held up? Could it be that I thought that Nick was too close to our Great Leader, in slightly derogatory words, that in themselves weren't offensive.

    I went on to say that it would be sometime before industry produced a reliable electrical, solar or other car that people would want to buy.

    As for carbon; I and billions of other sentient beings all over the world are beathing out carbon dioxide. So put that in your Carbon Footprint!

  • Comment number 41.

    I wonder why my 2.00pm post is being held up? Could it be that I thought that Nick was too close to our Great Leader.

    I went on to say that it would be sometime before industry produced a reliable electrical, solar or other car that people would want to buy.

    As for carbon; I and billions of other sentient beings all over the world are beathing out carbon dioxide every second of every day. So put that in your Carbon Footprint!

  • Comment number 42.


    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've always thought the technology for various other sources of fuel has already been found and developed by several car manufacturers, but it was the government who surpressed this because of the revenue they get on petrol.

  • Comment number 43.

    The spouses of the G8 leaders were invited to drive the latest Japanese electric car around the summit venue today. Gordon Brown hopes we may all be tempted to do the same sooner than we think.

    What? Gordon wants all us normal people to be tempted to take our spouses on business trips at our employers' expense and not be taxed on it? I'm all for that.

  • Comment number 44.

    I think this may have been pointed out before but how are electric or hybrid cars more environmentally friendly?

    Aside from the enormous resources needed to produce them, the electricity to power them comes from where? Oh yes Nuclear and coal-fired etc power stations. Don't even think of wind turbines they can't even produced a fraction of our current electricity needs.

  • Comment number 45.

    Credit where credit is due! Gordon Brown has succeeded in uniting most of the electorate in the UK, no insignificant task. He has succeeded in persuading many previously Socialist voters in changing sides, giving their vote to that gormless "wonderkint" David Cameron. I just hope this Brown character isn't an instrument of the gods, sent to confuse this already unhappy country. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad!

  • Comment number 46.

    So Gordon Brown is helping to break the world economy by forcing all this carbon capping rubbish on us - like he broke the UK economy.

    - he gets no credit from me.

    "Climate Change" is a hyped up con.

    If Al Gore sold his houses (including his new beach front condo) and stopped using more electricity than a small country ... instead of making millions selling carbon indulgences, I might start to get worried about global warming.

  • Comment number 47.

    #39. At 3:05pm on 08 Jul 2008, Pot_Kettle wrote:

    "they batteries still need an awful lot of generated power and in this country that source isnt green!"

    Huh?! They (Priuses) are totally and completely internally powered; both from regenerative freewheeling and braking! All that and in excess of 60mpg.

    Anyone who believes that that doesn't represent a significant and meaningful reduction in the carbon footprint of such a sized vehicle isn't really with the program. And isn't that a surprise.

  • Comment number 48.

    Brown manages to keep G8 leaders committed to the promises they made at Gleneagles. Completely commendable and worthy of credit. Of course if you utterly despise the man then nothing that he says or does will generate commendation of any sort.
    Gordon's leadership during the expenses debate last week was cynical at worst and misguided at best. In Japan though the guy has performed. Nick is right - credit is due.

  • Comment number 49.


    I don't know the answer to that.

    I do know however that having managed to convince the world that hybrid technology is green Toyota are going to put the technology into their latest "Chelsea Tractor" so that those with money can continue to cock a snoot at government "Green" policy!

    Human ingenuity is fantastic.

    The world needs to understand that nothing manufactured in Japan can truly be "Green" because they have to import practically ALL the resources needed to produce ANYTHING. Dont get me wrong they are fantastic at turning resources into higher value consumables but dont be kidded that it is at all enviromentally freindly

  • Comment number 50.

    G8 to seek sanctions on Mugabe?

    But the UK has just built a 10 million quid new British Embassy in Harare.

  • Comment number 51.

    PM Brown seems to have fast-forwarded down the route that Mr. Blair took several years to get to.

    That is, preferring the 'international scene' to tiresome 'domestic' issues.

    Never mind, I'm sure we'll all be moving on to pastures new in the next couple of years.

  • Comment number 52.

    #42 shellingout.

    You'd be wrong in your premise there, old sun.

    What we need for electical power to succeed in car's, is a revolution in technology, silmilar to the great leap when transistors replaced radio and tv valves.

    Today's batteries dont cut it.

  • Comment number 53.

    Meanwhle, back at the ranch - - -.

  • Comment number 54.

    After careful consideration, I have formulated a system whereby Brown can atone for his errors and contribute to easing the fuel crisis. Windpower - the man is full of wind, and with the addition of nitrates in the accompanying fluid, equation solved!

  • Comment number 55.


    And how pray tell does the power get into the battery in the first place and how often do said batteries need to be replaced?

    These cars are not as green as you may beleive. Look through the hype at the reality

  • Comment number 56.


    Thank you.

    Whatever happens with bio-fuels, we can be absolutely sure the government will get their grubby little hands on any profits or extra revenue it generates. I'm sure we'll pay as much, and probably more besides for the priviledge of running an environmentally friendly car.

    I am not pro-green and I have yet to be convinced that GB et al are sending us the right messages. How can we be a green country when two more airport runways are in the pipeline, and several nuclear power stations are to be built? (Perhaps GB is trying to secure a lucrative future for sibling Brown.) I also heard this morning that there are mutterings about re-opening a gold mine in Scotland again. The coffers must be really low.

  • Comment number 57.

    #9. DisgustedDorothy
    #50. DisgustedDorothy

    Isn't this pushing single issue politics a bit far?

    #15. Pot_Kettle

    What have George Best George Bush and Gordon Brown all got in common apart from the obvious?

    Well go on. What?

  • Comment number 58.


    Hate to burts your bubble, but the Prius doesn't get anywhere near 60 mpg. In real world conditions it's mpg actually hovers around the 40 mpg mark, a lot less than most modern full fat petrol cars.


    Sorry, but your logic is flawed and your point non existant. Just because the Prius uses the same batteries that are used in mobile phones doesn't magically mean that it's more "green". Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be implying that it causes more environmental damage to produce a mobile phone battery than a Prius battery (I know you said "discarded battery", but all batteries will be discarded once they reach the end of their lifespan so it's all much of a muchness). Looking at the comparative sizes of the 2 batteries, I suggest that you would need to discard hundreds of mobile phone batteries before you'be leaked enough NiMh into the environment to account for 1 Prius battery.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to get down on you, or the emerging new technologies, as I happen to agree with you in principle. What I can't agree with however, is this "cult" which has been heavily influenced by the hollywood A list that the Prius is a viable alternative to petrol without really doing any research into it. They've turned it into a fashion statement, and in a way it's actually hindered the development of serious viable alternative's as everyone thinks "I want a Prius because Cameron Diaz has got one" so no one feels the need to actually do research into cars which have a negative total carbon footprint, they just keep churning out more Prius's, which don't live up to expectations.

  • Comment number 59.

    I will not be lectured about green issues by any politician that uses chaffeur-driven cars (remember, the chaffeur had to get to and from work).

    Nor will I be lectured to about green issues by politicians that work in air-conditioned and centrally heated buildings.

    Nor will I be lectured to about green issues by politicians who's armed forces use uranium-depleted munitions.

    Nor will I be lectured to about green issues by politicians who jet all over the planet to conferences instead of doing it via the internet and e-conferencing.

    Nor will I be lectured to about green issues by politicians who sat down to a 16 course banquet last night.

    Got it Gordon? Now shut up. And the sam goes for the wretch Cameron.

  • Comment number 60.

    #55. Pot_Kettle wrote:

    And how pray tell does the power get into the battery in the first place and how often do said batteries need to be replaced?

    Perhaps by driving it for a few miles, whereupon the motion of the vehicle will charge it up automatically. Granted the manufacture may be carbon intensive, but no more so than many other components in a car, and which is more than offset during the driving the lifetime of the vehicle in any case.

    I've driven mine for over 80, 000 miles so far, and no sign yet of the battery needing to be replaced.

    Wrong on both counts methinks.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hmmm - exactly WHO is doing the crediting here?

    Was it the back sliding countries.... "Gosh, we would have been a bunch of limp wristed recidivists were it not for Gordon and his Iron Fist, thank goodness for Gordon"

    Or Garden Broom himself... " I have done a fantastic job, and if you don't believe me, well, just ask me..."

    Smells like a load of old gas emissions to me.

  • Comment number 62.

    #58. ArsenaltillIdie wrote:

    Hate to burts your bubble, but the Prius doesn't get anywhere near 60 mpg. In real world conditions it's mpg actually hovers around the 40 mpg mark, a lot less than most modern full fat petrol cars

    My Prius doesn't lie (nor does my wallet), and I routinely get over 60 mpg (currently sitting at 60.5 mpg). Whose bubble needs bursting then?

  • Comment number 63.

    Isn't it time we temporarily postponed the green (stealth tax) agenda so that we've got an economy in a fit shape for the customers to buy all these wonderful new toys and make a much more significant difference to the enviroment in both the short and long term?

    Or does taxing existing cars to death when there is no credit available to buy new ones therefore forcing the continued use of current unsellable cars make more sense?

    I'm sorry guys, but sending the non license holding Brown to Japan to discuss bio-fuels and hydrogen fuel cells is a little like asking a chiropodist to perform brain surgery good can come of it.

  • Comment number 64.

    mighty angela.

    This wasn't about batteries, it was about fuel. There was a programme on TV about it a while ago and it gave an insight (without giving anything technical away) into what car manufacturers were doing to develop other means of fuel. Bio fuel was one of them but there were others being developed too. I just wonder what happened to them.

  • Comment number 65.


    Sorry my friend i just thought it would stimulate some interesting gags but no one picked up on it.

    I would have said all three looked good at the start but ultimately there downfall was pretty spectacular

  • Comment number 66.


    Sean read the manual those battries will not last the lifetime of the vehicle, they needed charging prior to delivery and their disposal with all that NiMH is a highly enviromentally unfriendly act. Your bill on the service when they are changed will have a huge disposal charge. but of course by then you will have sold it on second hand to a teacher or a hippy so you will be OK

  • Comment number 67.


    I am with #62 on this.

    Our Prius does 56mpg around town and 60+mpg round country lanes.

    Sure on motorways it will only do slightly above 50mpg, but what do you expect? constant velocity travel offers little regenerative opportunity. Cheap, clean motoring - you should try it.

  • Comment number 68.

    #64 Shellingout

    Thanks, I too wonder what happened to them.

  • Comment number 69.

    59 Red Lenin Isn't it strange that someone who thinks that not only is it clever but amusing to waylay his local MP when ever he sees him/her out, considering that the place to see your MP is in his/her surgery then by not doing that you are intruding into the mans/womans private life and as you so proudly stated a blog or so ago that whenever he/she sees you coming they shake I think was the expession you used.
    Yet you have the audacity to come on this blog and tell us all the things that you wont be lectured about. You need to think about that Chum when your showing your ignorance to your MP whatever party he belongs too.

  • Comment number 70.

    waldorf do you now see what I was refering to when I asked you about"Got it!"

  • Comment number 71.

    Take your pick. EITHER

    #34 skynine: "Gordon Brown has blamed the UK problems on high oil prices and the imported credit crunch and suggested that he is the right person to steer us through the difficult times ahead

    Clearly absolutely nothing to do with the way that the British economy has been run for the last 10 years"


    IMF May 2008: "For over a decade, the United Kingdom has sustained low inflation and rapid economic growth - an exceptional achievement. More recently, the economy grew by 3 percent in 2007, and inflation returned to target after a temporary elevation. All this is the fruit of strong policies and policy frameworks, which provide a strong foundation to weather global shocks."

  • Comment number 72.

    62. SeanMacGC

    That doesnt sound that good, my Saab 95 TDI estate can get almost 50mpg at 70 mph on the motorway

  • Comment number 73.

    @39 No need to apologise. I agree that the prius is a bit of a gimmick as are the other hybrid cars Toyota make but they are at least moving in the right direction. Like most things the final solution comes after a lot of trying.
    It is also true when you say that power from the grid used to charge electric cars is generated by non green means. Here is the rub though, it is far easier to scrub the emissions from large powerstations than from single engines and there are economies in scale.
    As for being held up by cyclists, you go slower you use less fuel and generate less emissions.

  • Comment number 74.

    #65 - Pot_Kettle

    Did you consider the 'odd one out' approach?

    (Answer: Best. The others are still alive from the neck downwards).

  • Comment number 75.

    grandantidote - If you are going to do a brief resume on me you forgot to mention the 2 MPs I know and the fact that I come from a political family. Oh by the way, if you read back far enough you'll also find out that my mother was on the National Executive Committee of the old NALGO, that my father is a double first honours graduate from cambridge and my uncle is a lecturer at a university.

    So your point is what exactly? That MPs and the PM don't have to abide by the same rules wthey are attempting to inflict on us and it's wrong to do so?

    I take completely the opposite view, namely they WILL lead by example or I will 'dis' them wjherever and whenever I can.

    Brown jets everywhere, eats 16 course banquets (how much was thrown away) etc etc. That means I can if I want and he has no right of criticism. Luckily I don't mainly because I think people who behave like that are arrogant.

    No one is my superior.

  • Comment number 76.

    #65 Pot_kettle

    I answered @ 17 and still want my five quid.

    Alternative answer: They're all has beens?

  • Comment number 77.

    #75 Red Lenin: "No one is my superior."

    Except in modesty, perhaps?

    Given your 'handle' I am a bit surprised that you put so much store on your family background, and who you know. That's what Tories do.

  • Comment number 78.

    Is that really what Tories do? I know plenty of those and they don't do that.

  • Comment number 79.

    #78 shellingout :

    Fair enough. I am guilty as charged of stereotyping.

  • Comment number 80.

    75 red lenin, I cant think of anything that interests me any less than your family or your background ,
    You know exactly what my point is your attitude on these blogs is arrogant selfcentered and egotistical.
    You say no one is my superior well I doubt that anyone other than yourself believes that. not even your long list of distinguished relatives.

  • Comment number 81.

    "The prime minister is being credited behind the scenes with ensuring that the G8 did not backslide on its commitments to African development."

    Shame he wasn't so good about allowing Labour to backslide on its manifesto promises.

    Still, still, this is no-down-side politics, isn't it? No one is going to criticise anyone for helping with African development. I am, however, curious. How were the rest of the G8 looking to backslide? Why? How were they justifying it to one another? Is there another side to this lurking there somewhere?

  • Comment number 82.

    If Brown is being credited 'behind the scenes' , then how come we have got to know about it?

  • Comment number 83.

    We sorry, but Credit for the Prime Minister is now under much tighter regulation.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have no problem with helping out other less fortunate countries, but where on earth is all this money going to come from?

  • Comment number 85.

    @ 80 grandantidote

    If that's your point, why should I have a problem with it - or even any interest. It's your problem, you deal with it. What you think of me I know a little and care even less. Though it must be said that you give an aura as very bitter and frustrated over something - sort of like someone who's losing and doesn't know why or trying to make a point and no-one is bothered.

    Me personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that you are some kind of urban professional New Labour admirer. If so, your little project is dead in the water and will be buried with full dishonours sometime around May 2010. Maybe that's what you are angry about. As a former Labour member and activist (from'76 to Gulf War 2) nothing will amuse me more than watching the New Labour project end up in the dust bin of history. It's been one iof the longest-running lies in all history I think and it's curtain-call is way overdue. It is no longer the party of the workers and as such is no longer relevant.

    It will be remarkable thing to see an absolutely clueless politician from what is a totally lacking any substance party, win an election when everyone knows how rubbish they are but vote for them because at least they aren't New Labour.

    It will be even more amusing to see Scotland vote itself independence as a result so that they aren't ruled over by the despised tories ever again.

    That will be New Labour's legacy - the break-up of the UK.

  • Comment number 86.

    @78 jimbrant

    I am called Red Lenin because I look like him and I support Liverpool FC. There is another in my circle who also vaguely resembles him but supports Everton. Funnily enough he is called Blue Lenin.

    I also know a bloke who has a rottweiler called Satan, but it is neither red nor does it have horns or cloven hooves. In fact it doesn't even have a pitch fork.

    Despite all the people I know and have met (and a full carreer in the services brings you into contact with many believe me), I have only ever met one importatnt person - John Barnes.

  • Comment number 87.

    85 red Lenin So you look like Lenin sorry about that but then you cant blame the World for that. you say you dont care what I think of you and yet you seem determined to give me your's and your families history, I think thats your insecurity coming through but dont tell me tell your doctor.
    I think that anybody who is interested in you should read your post 86 particularly
    "I also know a bloke who has a rottweiler called Satan, but it is neither red nor does it have horns or cloven hooves. In fact it doesn't even have a pitch fork." Nuff said.

  • Comment number 88.

    84 shellingout you see despite all the Tory rantings on this blog were not as skint as you would want us to believe, if you and a few others made some effort not to spread doom and gloom we would all including your selves be a little more content.

  • Comment number 89.

    @87 He's actually the treasurer of the local conservative association. And a surgeon.

  • Comment number 90.


    It is very difficult not to be gloomy, particularly when our weekly fuel bill has now far exceeded our food bill. Welcome to the real world, Grandantidote.

    I think we are skint, despite your comments to the contrary, unless of course, MP's want a substantial pay increase. The money can be found then, as it was when Northern Rock decided it couldn't manage it's own finances.

    If you think this country has plenty of money, you are very obviously on a good whack!

  • Comment number 91.

    90 shellinout No I'm on a state pension but I can still afford to run my mercedes 220 diesol and eat well and heat well its called managing you money if your fuel has now exceeded you food bill then you must be travelling a lot , your a cold morsel or your earning a lot driving your vehicle or alternatively your a poor manager.
    I am in the real world it's you tories that are in fantasy land I suppose you think Dave is going to turn your life into a bed of roses, if your struggling now God help you if the Tories get back in if they resort to their management skills of the eighties and nineties.
    Just in case you hadn't noticed it;s a World recession not a Gordon Brown recession, Just try to bear that in mind as you view the World through hate filled eyes.

  • Comment number 92.

    87 Red Lenin Sorry red but your a bit to far out for me.

  • Comment number 93.


    You are very fortunate to be able to afford to run a mercedes. I can't.

    You appear to have a very misguided view about our Government and the way in which they are running the country. You only have to look at everybody else's comments to see that you are in a minority, and yet you are very quick to insult anyone who has a view which differs from yours. Tell me, who appointed you Judge and Jury?

    For somebody as perfect as you it must be very hard to be humble.

  • Comment number 94.

    I am not a Labour member or voter but I do think it's about time people took a more realistic view of Gordon Brown. This guy is a proper politician and has been since his teens, not a failed rock-star turned barrister. He coped well with a number of issues in his first few months and now he is having to take a lot of stick for things completely outwith his control. Tony Blair didn't hand over until he knew it could all be going pear-shaped and he'll be laughing himself silly now.

  • Comment number 95.

    93 shellingout, you know the old saying its hard to be humble when your perfect. Naw! only joking,I dont think I am very fortunate to run a Mercedes, I get 45 to the gallon out of it, it rarely gives me any trouble, when I bought it, it cost no more than a mondeo, I'm a big chap so I have to have a big car and I need to carry a wheelchair in the boot, it's not something I use every day just shopping and the odd day out. You really could afford one if you put your mind to it a good second hand one will cost you half the price of a new corsa and last you twice as long.sales pitch over.
    I contrary to what you think I have a very clear view of our government and the way they are running the country.
    You say that I and a few others are in a minority, so it follows that your right and we are wrong is that what you think?your telling me that I think that I am judge and jury and yet you at the same time are implying that I and fellow members of the labour party are wrong, so who is playing at being both judge and jury.
    I dont think that I necessary insult people who dont agree with me any more than they insult me and believe me I have had many personal insult directed at me on these blogs.

  • Comment number 96.

    93 shellingout I forgot to mention that my wife and I dont smoke, dont drink alcohol, and dont eat out, perhaps you do and thats the reason you cant afford to run a Mercedes, money management old boy.

  • Comment number 97.


    Yes - I can well believe you've had many personal insults directed at you on these blogs.

    You may not mean to be so direct, but your comments really do come across as being very self-righteous and anyone who disagrees with you does seem to get a bit of a verbal bashing. It is only human for others to retaliate.

    It is your right to support whichever party you choose and I respect that, but to say that I view the world through hate filled eyes is going a bit far, don't you think? All you have to support your argument is to harp on about the Conservative's track record in the 80's - which let's face it was 20 odd years ago. I think things have changed a lot since then. You were open minded enough to vote for Tony Blair (who was more right-wing than Mrs T)- so why not see if David Cameron can do better. He couldn't do any worse.

  • Comment number 98.

    97 shellingout , I used to write letters to my local rag but found it very restictive, I was at the time and still am I guess computer illiterate, but after browsing around a bit I found Nick Robinsons blog, so I decided to give that a try, so here I am.
    You see I left school at 14 and had the same teacher for four years and he was way past his sell by date this was the war years but I cant lay all the blame at his door as I was a lazy little so and so who was only interested in sport and creating things,since then I have had a very full active self sufficient life, and I consider myself to be fairly intelligent even though I have not had one day of schooling since.
    The reason that I bother to tell you all this is because your implying that people have insulted me because of my abrasive manner.
    Well that wasn't the case at all when I came onto these blogs I was all sweetness and light and then I found that you tories if thats what you are take no prisoners the insults were not for my politics entirely they were mostly rather ridiculous remarks regarding my grammer,which was fair enough and yet I see these same people make many spelling and grammatical mistakes.
    These remarks were almost invariably from people who had a privileged education and had spent most of there lives behind desks having never done anything with their hands or any physical work in their lives, so you see I learnt the hard way and life has tought me that never to take fools gladly , I am straight talking as many of my friends would tell you.
    If i'm shown to be wrong by fact, not opinion then I will admit that I am wrong.
    I have grown hard on these blogs and now accept insults with disdain, but if you insult me then expect the same in return, my early blog honeymoon is well and truly over.

    Have you thought about buying that mercedes yet, go on you can afford it you know you can.
    I didn't mean to sketch out my life story but I felt that it was important to tell you and perhaps others that I dont mind being insulted because of my politics if they wish to disagree with me but for my grammar which I find inappropriate.
    I am afraid that my Mother God bless her would say"there's a long tale our cats got".

  • Comment number 99.


    I would not dream of insulting yours, or anyone else's grammar or spelling, and I don't think I have in my previous comments.

    I'm afraid a Mercedes is way down the list of priorities here.

  • Comment number 100.

    97 shelling out I am afraid that I got a little carried away on my last post , due I think to the fact that there isn't much happening on these blogs this morning, but to get back to your post.
    I am not too sure about you. not without going back through your posts but there are not many neutrals on here, there are many Tories some of whom only come on with one post which is usually full of bile then disappear until the next blog. there are about eight socialists on here who I think try to bring a bit of reason to the lets face it rather wild claims and often absurd claims made by the rather vociferous[if thats the right discription] hard nosed Tories which number about twenty regulars,I could name names of the ones that are not just anti socialist but more than that,or in some cases just anti GB but I wont, but they view labour through hate filled eyes thats for sure.
    You see all this hate is being used to try to cover up the embarrassment of the 80s and 90s not just the 80s and thats ten years ago and I lived throught it, and today the situation is heaven to what it was during those years,
    I didn't vote for Tony Blar I voted for a Socialist government and got in the bargain TB and very glad I was. regarding Dave Cameron I think that he is the least suitable out of the four choices that the Tories have given their supporters during their period in opposition, I had thought that David Davis would have been the better choice but I am afraid that idea has gone out the window since his period of madness,but that doesn't mean I hate Cameron I have no feelings for him either way, I dont like his politics but feelings of hate dont begin to come into what I feel about any of the Tories. in fact there are one or two Labour MPs who I dislike more than any of the front bench Tories.out of the whole bunch I think Ken Clark is the man I would be most glad to give a chance, but it isn't a game where we say well let him have a go this is about the wellbeing of this country and despite what you Tories think I still think that GB is the right person to steer us through this recession.


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