The Curmudgeon


Thursday, July 23, 2009

We Are All Guilty

The Lower Miliband has replied to a piece by Seumas Milne which has somehow succeeded in drawing the attention of the Minister of Climate Change Acceleration and Energy Profiteering to the likely closure of Britain's only major wind turbine factory. As one would expect in a global centre of wind and wave energy, the factory is owned by a Danish company and makes turbines for the Americans. To the Lower Miliband's credit, the need for government action appears to have penetrated far enough that the planning rules to which Vestas objects will be changed next April, and the Lower Miliband hopes to persuade Vestas to remain on the Isle of Wight long enough to profit by this sudden attack of market interventionism. Nevertheless, the Lower Miliband cannot resist wagging a New New Labour finger at the unimaginative British public, which has abused the power vested in it under the United Kingdom's system of strict accountability and direct democracy and has wielded its irresistible grass-roots political influence to prevent New New Labour investing in renewable resources rather than bailing out greedy speculators. The Lower Miliband wants to "grow the market" or, as a native English speaker might possibly express it, expand the market, for wave and wind power; but in order to do so the rules must be changed. "As we all know, the rules matter" says the Lower Miliband, oozing respect for the law; "but so does public opposition or support", so long as it is expressed in more civilised and ministerially convenient ways than the Drax hijacking, the Plane Stupid stunts, the Kingsnorth protest or pointing cameras at the more emotionally vulnerable elements of the Metropolitan Police. Meanwhile, "there must be a strategy for the Isle of Wight to do all we can to help and there is". How jolly decent of the Isle of Wight to do all we can to help. The strategy consists in considering an application from Vestas and throwing some numbers about with the blithe abandon of a minister who'll be working in the private sector by this time next year. No doubt the Lower Miliband is eager, desperate, panting, gasping, gagging to do more even than this, if only we would let him. It is simply too bad of us.


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