Thursday, May 24, 2007

The realities of power

Malcolm has long been intrigued by the curiosity which is First Post. It is worthy enough (if innately conservative, with or without an initial capital); but it suffers from one inexcusable fault — detail and depth are sacrificed to brevity. The desire to have a one-page, no scrolling story makes almost every story trite and trivial. First Post pops into Malcolm's in-box with monotonous and commendable regularity late each morning. It rarely says anything new, but it has an odd stable of columnists.

Most days, Malcolm scans its headlines, and quickly commits it to Trash (since Malcolm is a Mac-man, we have no truck with the "recycling bin" here).

From Bernard...

Today, one story caught Malcolm's attention:
Safe, clean and cheap: the case for nuclear energy.
Nuclear power has a powerful friend in Bernard Ingham, says
Margareta Pagano.
The story does not move the debate forward. It is interesting because it reminds Malcolm that all volcanoes are not extinct, it links names, and makes a useful propaganda point.

The dormant volcano is, of course, Bernard Ingham, Thatcher's press secretary and general arse-kicker, and one-time [1965] Labour candidate. He now enjoys an active retirement, including being secretary of SONE (Supporters of Nuclear Energy).

Malcolm will already be double-damned by the Greenies for even venturing onto such territory. The names associated with SONE admittedly include the usual suspects: McAlpine, Jack Cunningham, Gavin Laird, Dick Taverne and co. But there are some more respectable additions: Dennis MacShane, Fred Holliday, James Lovelock, John Edmonds. For the poor, struggling pursuer of balance, the SONE website is a ready source of information and links.

However, Malcolm commends the First Post piece for this:
Ingham is not anti-green. What he can't abide is the "delusional myth-making and nonsense" talked about alternative energy supplies. "We need the lowest cost and the lowest carbon output consistent with a viable economy," he argues.

While Ingham has grudging respect for Labour's attempts at a grown-up energy policy, he has little time for David Cameron and his policies: "Hugging huskies and misplacing a wind turbine on your roof does not encourage me to think that the Conservatives are closer to reality."

The first of those paragraphs is Ingham's usual bluntness (would that present "spinners" could make the point so effectively), the second his commendable debunking of Tories (he was always harder on the Tory back-sliders than on his nominal opponents).

The punch-line is:
While the UK procrastinates, he warns, the rest of the world is moving ahead. Globally, there are 250 nuclear reactors being built to add to the existing 435 - providing 17 per cent of the world's electricity.
... to Bravefart

Which brings Malcolm to his second topic: the continuing slipperiness of ScotNattery.

The SNP campaigned on an anti-nuke platform. Salmond achieved his enstoolment by breaking bread with the Greens. During the campaign, Salmond and his crew were preaching that Scotland had a third of the wind and wave potential for all Europe: therefore the nuclear power stations could be consigned to history. Once in their Holyrood offices, the SNP masters had to address reality. And reality is that 40% of Scottish electricity is nuclear-produced. So, yesterday, it was officially recognised that Torness could be operating and producing power into the fourth decade of this century. Alistair Darling must have enjoyed his comment:

"There is going to be nuclear power in Scotland for the foreseeable future," said Alistair Darling, the Westminster industry secretary.

"Torness will be around long after Alex Salmond is gone."

Whether the domestic harmony between the SNP and its two tame Green MSPs lasts is less predictable.

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1 comment:

All Blog Spots said...

Great blog, keep the good work going :)

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