Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Judging Lady Judge

Letter sent to The Times : I was taken aback to read that Lady Barbara Judge has died( Obituaries, Register, 2 September 2020). She always seemed such an indefatigable figure, whose talents and personal self-confidence saw her bestride several very different business and finance spheres. But the one area where she was overstretched beyond her competence were her positions in the nuclear sector, where you need need knowledge on top of chutzpah. I once attended a special forum of energy experts at the elite think tank at Ditchley Park, in Oxfordshire ( then run by former U.K. Ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock). Lady Judge chaired the session on the future funding of nuclear power. I have never experienced a more embarrassing opening presentation, replete with schoolgirl howlers and down-right inaccuracies. The astonishing thing was Lady Judge was so self-confident of her own superiority, she clearly had no awareness that she had ended-up as the Empress without any clothes. After that, I was both astonished and frankly worried that Japanese nuclear utility, TEPCO, thought fit to appoint her to restore public confidence in their public image after it had melted down with their reactors at Fukushima in the March 2011 disaster. Sometimes knowledge, not proficiency at high level networking, really ought to be the criteria for appointment.

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