He was ‘misled’ over Iraq’s WMDs and now it appears he was misled over ‘clean’ deisel cars too
Tony Blair and his cohorts should never have told the UK driving population to buy diesel cars, and now their ‘mistake’ is costing us a fortune and shortening our lives – and a former science minister agrees.
Lord Drayson, whose own business invests in clean energy, says: “We have a much better understanding than we did just a few years ago of the health effects of the products of diesel, and they are literally killing people.
“It is is clear that in retrospect that it was the wrong policy … we have got to take action really quite quickly.”
So, the man who took us to war in Iraq on ‘misleading’ advice about Weapons of Mass Destruction has also taken us to the cleaners over his drive to get rid of Particles of Mass Pollution.
Sales of diesel vehicles rose from 1.5million to 11million after a tax break was introduced when Tony Blair was Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown, then Chancellor, introduced lower vehicle tax for diesel cars saying they were less polluting and would bring down overall carbon dioxide levels.
But now some say it could be be the biggest man-made environmental disaster in modern history.
It has caused an increase in asthma and cancer and sent up air pollution in our cities and towns. And it is going to cost billions to clean up.
And who’s paying? Yes, you and me.
The value of used diesel cars has already dropped, some by as much as 26% this year as a crackdown on older vehicles begins.
Second-hand Vauxhall, Audi and BMW diesels have fallen most, according to car-buying website Motorway.co.uk. The average used Vauxhall Corsa with a diesel engine has gone from £2,160 to just £1,592.
The average used diesel car fell in value by 5.7% between the first quarter of 2017 and the third quarter, while used petrol car values rose by 5%.
Motorists are increasingly worried that diesels could become almost worthless in years to come.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is about to introduce a £10 emissions surcharge.
Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton are expected to follow suit, seeing it as a good earner.
Air pollution is believed to cause almost 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK, and we have been admonished by the UN for not meeting obligations to protect people’s lives.
Corporate car buyers are said to be avoiding diesels. Uber, said it will end using diesel cars in London by the end of 2019 and BT, one of the biggest UK corporate buyers of cars and vans, said it will phase out diesel and petrol-only engines in favour of electric vehicles.
However, Theresa May, did promise she would not punish drivers of older diesel cars who were encouraged to buy polluting vehicles under Labour.
There are believed to be more than 11million victims of this Blair government ‘mis-selling’ scandal. And to be fair it wasn’t only Tony Blair’s glitch project – for more than a decade, we were told by governments that diesel cars were more efficient, cheaper to run and better for the environment..
You can understand why the Government is panicking. The latest evidence suggests diesel engines are far more harmful than petrol ones.
This is because they produce much more deadly Nitrous Oxide (NOx) and dangerously high levels of particulates — soot particles — responsible for all manner of illnesses from asthma, autism, dementia and brain damage to respiratory problems, heart disease and cancer.
And why aren’t they having a go at HGVs and trains, many people are asking?
Well, there are a number of reasons.
Motoring campaign group FairFuelUK confirm environmentalists and opportunistic politicians were providing factually incorrect information about diesel cars.
It claimed that the negativity surrounding the fuel type has already cost drivers £35 billion in lost vehicle value in light of questionable figures supporting an assault on diesel.
‘Basing legislative decisions on the current levels of misinformation risks a negligible improvement in urban air quality,’ it said.
And the London Assembly Environment Committee have come up with these pollution fugures – Gas central heating: 16%, Diesel machinery: 14%, HGVs: 12%, Diesel cars: 11%, Buses: 8% (16% in central London), Rail: 8% , Ground-based aviation: 8%, Petrol cars: 7%, Diesel vans: 5%, Other: 11%.
So, actually it looks like the owners of deisel cars are being hit because they are the weak target – HGVs which do more damage have a strong lobby group, rail is regulated and being improved all the time but still has plans for more deisel trains, public transport isn’t doing well and companies using heavy machinery could well go the wall if they were forced to come up with new was of manufacturing.
The answer – let’s hit the little man with his sensible little deisel car and his sensible little bit of money in the bank.