Call to action

Take part – Operation Earthquake Campaign Pack makes it easy.

We have put together an Operation Earthquake Campaign Pack.  This pack makes it easy for anyone to actively take part in the campaign.  We walk you through a simple process that anyone can follow.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that simplicity equates to ineffectiveness.  The collective impact will be enormous if we all share the work.


The Pack contains all you need to help stop the greatest threat to your freedom in the history of motorcycling. Our goal is simple – to contact every politician in the country and ask direct questions.  We will collate and publish all the responses that you gather.

Are they with us, or against us?


The pack contains an overview of the campaign, template letters, the questions to ask and instructions for feeding back the answers.


Download the Operation Earthquake Campaign Pack today and get started – the future of motorcycling as we know it is under threat.  If we don’t stand up to this threat now, we will lose the right to choose which type of motorcycle we buy and ride.

Parliamentarians need to understand that if all the political parties conspire against the electorate to force Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) on us against our will, our aim will be to sack the lot of them.”

Neil Liversidge, National Chair, The Motorcycle Action Group
Operation Earthquake Campaign Pack

CEBR releases landmark report on ICE ban

Lembit Öpik reports on the dramatic conclusions contained in research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) – and a report could change the course of Government policy regarding the threatened ban on the sale of petrol-powered motorcycles.

The British Government’s stated its goal of achieving net zero CO2 emissions for the country by 2050 carries huge consequences. Essentially, this extraordinary target is driven by a belief that carbon dioxide is overheating the climate – a statement that’s extremely hard to justify in scientific terms. By the way, don’t believe the emphatic claims about a 99.9% ‘consensus’ – for reasons we’ve previously covered, it’s not true – and besides, science is not about consensus, it’s about hard facts, and the hard facts don’t seem to back up this CO2 claim.


Wherever one stands on the shrill claims about some kind of ‘climate emergeny,’ it’s not evident that banning the sale of new ICE vehicles is a good idea. That’s why MAG agreed to work with the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) and Fair Fuel UK on a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR). This research was to evaluate the impact of the ICE ban on society and the economy. Note that the actual effect of CO2 on the climate was far beyond the scope of the report, and therefore continues to be a hotly contested subject elsewhere.


Whether or not you think humans are wrecking the climate, there’s still an economic question at stake regarding the impact on the UK of a total prohibition on the sale of petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes. Remember, the Government is intent on banning internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2030 as well as, possibly, small motorcycles, with sales of new Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) cars, motorbikes, and vans being illegal from 2035. Then, larger motorcycles are set to follow in 2035. Incidentally, they’re also talking about banning diesel Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) over 26 tonnes from 2040.


Government statistics state transport is the highest single emitting sector of the UK economy, accounting for 22% of total greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) – technically, 113 Million tonnes of CO2 or its equivalent in 2019. Cars comprise 13% of the UK’s GHG emissions, vans 4% and HGVs 4%. Motorcycles contribute a miniscule percentage. The level of GHG emissions deriving from the transport sector has remained fairly consistent over time, with improvements in fuel efficiency offset by increased travel. That’s why road vehicles are such a target for the green lobby and, it seems, the Government. Therefore, the Government thinks the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) will increase in number.


So, what did the CEBR find? They concluded that while, with a clean grid (we’ll come back to that) there would be some change in how ‘clean’ the air is due to lower overall emissions, there will also be negative impacts on society. To quote the report: ‘the clear message deriving from the analysis is that this decision represents ‘poor’ value for money as associated costs are five times more than estimated benefits. The analysis implies that even once the full benefits of the contribution of the ban to reaching achieving the goal of Net Zero are priced in, the costs still far outweigh these benefits.’


And that’s not all. The cost of these changes to each household would be a five figure sum, amounting to hundreds of billions of Pounds across the country. Again, to quote the CEBR: ‘this represents a huge hole in public finances which will need to be addressed.’


Then there are the social costs. The CEBR’s cost-benefit analysis suggests that key costs to society including significantly increased waiting times – because charging an electric vehicle will take a lot more time than refuelling ICE vehicles at petrol pumps. Maybe technology will improve, but it won’t have improved enough by 2030 or 2035. Repeated – especially super-fast – charging wears out a battery. Anyone with an old mobile phone knows this – and cars are no exception. The battery technology hasn’t resolved problems of battery longevity.


Moving on, electric vehicles tend to cost more, especially given the expectation of shortages of key raw materials that are essential for building them. On top of this, there will be huge logistical and financial costs to rapidly reorient the National Grid to generate sufficient renewable energy, in a smart way, to supply energy for all these vehicles. The more rapidly these demands increase, the more costly it is likely to be for the economy.


With Labour leader Kier Starmer, apparently – and some say incongruously – committing to a net zero energy system for the UK by 2030, and embracing the ICE ban, it’s beginning to look like neither part really cares about the implications for real people, whether drivers, bikers or anyone else. Instead, they’re racing headlong into financial and social consequences clearly risk harming the general public.


What makes the CEBR’s findings particularly convincing is that it was undertaken in a way consistent with government analytical methodological guidance. In other words, even using the Government’s own figures, which arguably paint an unduly positive picture of their carbon dioxide plans, the ICE ban is demonstrably detrimental to the economy and society.


There are other, knock-on effects too. The emissions associated with the mining of raw materials and transporting of those materials across the globe have not been covered in the scope of this study but the CEBR concludes that the total net emissions impacts collectively make the ban a ‘very poor’ value for money decision. Bluntly, there are greater costs than benefits. There may remain some residual reason in the minds of some for implementing the ban, such as ‘saving the planet’ from CO2 emissions – and if you think that’s all that matters then good luck with arguing that. However, to quote the report, this ‘regulatory policy should be seen primarily as one that reduces the welfare of UK citizens.’


The conclusion is unambiguous: ‘the core recommendation of this report is that the government undertake their own rigorous analysis so that the full extent of net impacts can be more fully explored. The findings of this report strongly suggest that a similar government led analysis would come to a similar conclusion that the benefits to UK households of implementing the ICE vehicle sale bans are far outweighed by the costs.’ In practice, what the CEBR concluded is what the British motorcycling community has also concluded: the ICE ban makes no sense economically or socially.


In terms of riders’ rights, it’s a tokenistic example of gesture politics that does much more harm than good, even if you think reducing CO2 is desirable. For those of us who have studied the science and realised human caused CO2 cannot possibly be driving significant, damaging climate change, the proposed ban is self-harming madness – that can’t be achieved logistically and can’t be afforded financially.


We’re indebted to the CEBR for their excellent report. The onus is on us to publicise it and demand answers. At the same time, the onus is on politicians to respect the facts and act accordingly; by junking a ban on petrol motorcycles and other vehicles, a ban that won’t save the planet, but will damage our way of life forever.


Earthquake causing tremors in British politics

MAG held its Annual General Conference (AGC) on 24th September 2022. At the conference, MAG’s Chair Neil Liversidge launched Operation Earthquake, which is set to create major tremors in politics. Campaigns and Communications Director Lembit Öpik gives a comprehensive summary of what this campaign seeks to do, and how you can help MAG achieve it to defend your right to ride petrol motorcycles.

The Motorcycle Action Group’s AGC took place in the Northern town of Allerton Bywater in late September 2022, at about the same time politics was shifting dramatically in Westminster – and across the country. Everyone in the country was suddenly faced with disruptive and troubled times, and few predicted the extent to which the UK would be challenged economically. However, MAG did predict it. We’ve been warning that, given the current ideological rush to cut CO2 emissions, there would be serious negative impacts on the UK economy. It was just a matter of time. And that’s exactly what’s happened.


Although not all media have joined the dots and seen the picture of energy costs driving up inflation thereby creating a cost-of-living crisis, that’s what’s going on. MAG isn’t here to judge the new Prime Minister’s mini-budget, but we can be confident none of this would have happened if Britain had a sensible, and affordable, dependence on home-grown oil, gas and perhaps even coal, instead of being hugely dependent on imported power and unreliable renewables. 


Enter ‘Operation Earthquake’ – officially launched by MAG’s Chair, Neil Liversidge at our AGC. This it very timely, because it tackles exactly the same issue that’s causing economic problems in the country, but approaches the problem from a different angle. What Neil seeks to achieve is a major change of course regarding the ban on internal combustion engines (ICEs) – and specifically the proposed ban on the sale of petrol (and diesel) cars and small motorbikes in 2030, and all other new petrol motorcycles in 2035.


Why is all this happening? It’s happening for the same reason we have a cost-of-living crisis – a misplaced attempt to cut CO2. This agenda ignores of the scientific facts, showing humans cannot be responsible for significant climate change. There are people who claim they’ve evidence to show humans are wrecking the planet. But they singularly fail to demonstrate any mechanism through which our tiny contribution to CO2 – not more than 3.5% – to carbon dioxide which is only a trace gas – around 0.04% of the atmosphere (that’s 1 atom in 2,500) – is creating dangerous climate change. This miniscule input simply can’t do what the climate alarmists say it does. Nevertheless, many politicians, including the UK’s own Government, have been legislating on the basis that there’s a ‘climate emergency’ and that we’re causing it. The threat to our right to buy and ride new petrol-powered motorcycles arises directly from the demand that we cut our CO2 emissions. This is why MAG has ended up as reluctant participants in this debate; not because we’re an environmental organisation, but because climate claims could destroy our civil liberties as motorcyclists.


Incidentally, if there were plausible evidence suggesting that we really do have to cut CO2 as a matter of urgency, MAG would go along with it. But the data currently suggests we do more harm than good to society by trying to do this, and for no meaningful climate benefit. Climate does change, and always has, but it’s just plain wrong to tout climate change as a reason to ban a highly efficient means of transport in favour of electrification that won’t work – and won’t make any noticeable difference to the temperature of the air.


Rest assured, Operation Earthquake isn’t about turning you into a climatologist! Neil’s concept is far simpler than that: to shift how we decide to vote from party preferences to transport policy. All you need to do is ask a candidate: ‘do you support our right to keep on purchasing and riding petrol machines or not?’ In Earthquake terms, if they support your rights and oppose the ICE ban – then they’re a viable candidate. If they support the ICE ban, they’re out of the picture. You don’t need to explain in scientific detail why you oppose the ICE ban – unless you want to. Politicians only need to know you disagree with the ban and that you feel so strongly about it that you will vote against anyone who supports that ban.


Candidates and parties have a fairly strong sense of self-preservation. So far, they’ve been able to get away with thinking there’s no need to take seriously the concerns of millions of road users who don’t like being side-lined in favour of walking, cycling and the green agenda. But now, it’s different. As Neil has stated: ‘nobody should consider themselves guaranteed a safe seat.’


Others go even further. They want to stand up against what they regard as green panic being used to try and force through the ‘net zero’ agenda, including the banning of petrol and diesel-powered vehicle users, including bikers. To those who want to cut CO2 at any cost really don’t care about the inconvenience, or even injustice, or imposing their will on the rest of us because, to misquote The Blues Brothers, ‘we’re on a mission from Gaia.’ Already, their actions have served to cause huge hikes in petrol prices, cuts in road space and that threat to new ICE sales.


What happens next? Firstly, the MAG Political Unit welcomes feedback, and any evidence or opinions you may have for or against the agenda outlined here. We’re open-minded and driven by the facts. And, if the facts change, we alter our opinion. In the meantime, we’re constructing an Operation Earthquake Campaign Pack. We’re going to share it through MAG reps, in Open Road and in Network. We’re determined to require hundreds of candidates to say where they stand on our right to choose petrol-powered machines. This needs a team effort, and our appeal for participation is to all MAG members, and non-members, across the land.


A final word from Neil: ‘I’m inviting everyone to get involved. This is the biggest political intervention MAG has made in British politics. It’s not about political parties, it’s about road users. Politicians are answerable to the country and it’s time the road users of the UK, who pay up £37 billion a year in taxes, are given a proper service. And that doesn’t involve regulating us out of existence or banning what we ride. MAG has come a long way over the last decade, and we’re very much in a position to do this.’


We’ll let you know when the campaign pack is ready – you’ll hear about it in Network and Open Road. We welcome your ideas too, and are always on-hand to make your views heard. Operation Earthquake puts riders’ rights on the electoral map. Those who try to drive Operation Earthquake ‘off the road’ will soon discover they’ve backed themselves into an electoral cul-de-sac instead.


Remember, MAG never asked to get involved in these high-level issues. This campaign has been forced upon us the political elite who are pursuing what look like emotional and unscientific and authoritarian interventions in favour of electric vehicles, walking and cycling.  Modern economies can’t run like that, and Operation Earthquake is the antidote to this not-so-quaint dictatorship of a green minority. Please get involved and join the resistance against dogmatic restrictions that do no good for the environment, but do a great deal of harm for your freedom and the economy.