Thursday, 29 November 2012

The company's representative

The report published earlier this week on alternative proposals for exploiting the generating capacity of the Severn estuary is a welcome one.  It claims that a cheaper and less damaging approach than a large barrage across the estuary might even produce more electricity in total – and it would certainly have the potential to spread the generating capacity over a longer period rather than concentrate it at the times that the tide is most favourable.

It doesn’t compare like with like, of course; it is including the use of wind turbines in the estuary as well as tidal and wave turbines.  And I don’t know whether the claim that it will produce more power than the barrage will actually stand up to detailed examination.  Both this proposal and the barrage proposal itself still have too many uncertainties surrounding the final designs to evaluate that thoroughly at this stage.  At the very least, however, a rational approach would be to put this alternative on the table for more detailed analysis.
It was disappointing, though hardly unsurprising, to read the response of our former Secretary of State, Peter Hain.  ‘Dismissive’ would be something of an understatement.  Yet again, it looks as though his commitment to one proposal and the company backing it is over-riding any ability to look at the issue objectively.  It continues to surprise me that there has been, apparently, so little concern within the Labour Party at the extent to which such a prominent figure is now acting first and foremost as the parliamentary representative of a commercial organisation. It's surely not what he was elected to do.


You mean there's more??? said...

He's on an earner - Plaid Lafur all over.

Read Broadsides from the 1960's - perfect precis of Labour.


John Dixon said...


I think that he's made it pretty clear that he is NOT being paid by the company for his services, and therefore has no direct personal financial interest at present. It was reported, however, that his wife is a director of the company; whether paid or unpaid was not disclosed.