Frederick Forsyth

Best-selling author and political commentator

Car ban? Virtue signals will not fuel the e-car rise, says FREDERICK FORSYTH

Even though the American race for the primaries is only two states old, with Iowa and New Hampshire having voted for their preferred Democrat, it looks as if Donald Trump might well be a shoo-in to retain the Presidency. Why such a forecast so early?

Shale protest

We too have oceans of shale oil under our feet and a large foreign trade deficit (Image: Getty)

Well, the polls show the majority of the ­voting public is with him. And why? As was once remarked before, it’s the economy, stupid. It’s booming and that is all many ordinary people care about. What De Gaulle called “the sterile games of the parties” are just ­abstractions that amuse the capitals and the media. 

So why does the US economy boom?

A huge factor seldom mentioned is that, like Britain, the USA once spent fortunes buying and importing energy in the form of gas and oil, making the Middle East rich at the price of her own impoverishment.

We British still do. 

Then shale oil was discovered – great oceans of the stuff under their feet.

Ruthlessly exploiting these wells, despite the objections of the anti-frackers, the USA made herself self-sufficient, even a net exporter.

Hence the economic boom.

All that liberated money could be used to re-import outsourced companies and industries and give employment where there was poverty. 

We too have oceans of shale oil under our feet and a large foreign trade deficit but we cannot exploit it because Vivienne Westwood and her fellow ­placard-wavers do not like it. 

Our Government has just announced sweeping plans to convert cars and domestic heating to pollution-free ­electricity.

What is still not explained among all this virtue-signalling is that electricity does not come out of a clear blue sky.

It has to be generated somewhere and that means burning stuff.

With gunk by-produce. 

So we will continue to import nose-to-nose convoys of tankers with LPG – ­liquid petroleum gas.

We can burn it in the car or the generating station. 

Same old, same old.