Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Labour's mistaken atomic aficionados

Sent to the Morning Star on 31 March
I agree with your Star Comment (“Fake fawning for fetid firms,” March 31)  that Labour’s pledge  of greater investment in infrastructure is a creditable component of Labour’s Business Manifesto.(

The idea of meeting Britain’s long term infrastructure needs by setting up an independent National Infrastructure Commission is a good one.

However, Labour spoils the good work by  failing to discriminate between sensible infrastructural investment in the energy sector, and pouring taxpayers’ money into a great black hole.

The Business Manifesto promises: “we will introduce a new long term funding and policy framework for science and innovation, and support vital sectors such as construction and advanced manufacturing to make long term investments in low carbon technologies and the ‘green’ economy. In order to clean up your power supply and give business confidence to invest, we will put in place a legal target to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030, and support our energy intensive industries to deal with an increasingly challenging environment.”

This is sensible

But it is undermined by then including nuclear power, alongside renewables and carbon capture and storage in the long term energy plan for a secure, affordable and low carbon energy mix, which would be achieved by leveraging investment by ending the uncertainty on a date for delivering borrowing powers to the Green Investment Bank and create an Energy Security Board

Why does Labour insist on backing a  power generation technology with billions of pounds of taxpayers' money for new nuclear at Hinkley Point C, that will produce electricity a double the current price of other power generating technologies such as  gas, guaranteeing a foreign company, France’s EDF,  profits that will be repatriated to Paris for 35 years? Is that a sustainable way of keeping electricity bills down and fighting fuel poverty?

I think not. Think again Labour!

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