Friday, 12 February 2010

Visions and diatribes

Sadly, Peter Hain's essay on the economy yesterday read more like a pro-Labour and anti-Tory diatribe than a serious contribution to discussion of the way forward for the Welsh economy.

His assertion that he is determined to progress the Cardiff-Weston barrage will only add to the concerns of those who believe that the decision has already been taken on largely political grounds, and the feasibility study looking at the environmental impact of this and other schemes is mere window-dressing.

The commitment to the South Wales LCEA is encouraging, certainly, as are the jobs being created in Chepstow and Ynys Môn.

My biggest concern with what there was of an economic vision, however, is whether government - at all levels - is really managing to struggle free from the idea that the way forward for Wales is to compete in global markets and start looking instead at a re-localisation of the economy. I detected no sign of that, just a continued concentration on large schemes and competitiveness.

7 comments:

Welsh Ramblings said...

What was also concerning was that he referred to the Barrage as a privately-financed project when the UK Govt has already concluded that the Barrage would have to be majority public-financed.

I've blogged on that and the economy in general if you'd like to take a look John.

Robert said...

The £20bn privately-financed Cardiff-Weston Severn Barrage, which I am determined to see progressed, will mean thousands of new jobs, including the possibility of many building the structure, possibly at Port Talbot Docks which is ideally placed.

Boy this better work if it fails, and ends up a white elephant. god help us all.

With so much coal in Wales I still think we be better at looking at building coal fired power station and looking at real carbon capture, then hoping and praying a barrage works.

If it works graet if it fails, and knowing how labour counts money and contracts 20 billion could easy end up double

Everyones Favourite Comrade said...

what else did you expect from Hain.
The points about the arrage are quite interestingit seems that the decision has been made without concern for the environment and why? because there is a private company behind it. So instead of an opportunity to create wel paid pulic sector jobs for the construction, we will see a private company charge at the very least 3 times the actual cost,maybe more such is the nature of PFI schemes

Welsh Ramblings said...

Comrade, the decision hasn't even been made on it.

Which makes it seem as if Hain is pre-empting the decision by whipping up support for the Barrage, which according to the Govt's guidelines would have to be publicly funded, including the electricity generation.

There is no privately-financed Barrage option even on the table.

An environmental consideration would have to rule out the Barrage and go with one or more of the alternatives. All of the alternatives have pretty much gotten a green light from the environmental movement. Some people are also interested in the nationalist angle, that Wales should have a say over the project. The Barrage would be London-owned and the profits would go there.

Sorry to John for derailing his comment, though I feel he is 100% correct on this. It would be better if more Plaid figures came out against the Barrage. Only Adam Price and Chris Franks have done so thus far. Hopefully it won't be another St. Athan.

Everyones Favourite Comrade said...

sorry the point I was making was that the decision has been made in the sense that Hain has aready made up his mind by the sounds of it

John Dixon said...

Ramblings,

"It would be better if more Plaid figures came out against the Barrage. Only Adam Price and Chris Franks have done so thus far."

Presumably I don't count? And the party's conference pverwhelmingly passed a motion rejecting the barrage as well.

Welsh Ramblings said...

Sorry John, I should've made it clear I meant elected members.