Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hain: People of Anglesey rejoice - the good times are back! (updated)

Politicians are never slow in claiming credit for good ideas. For example the Druid hears that certain Anglesey County Councillors are privately displeased with Albert Owen's hijacking and use of their 'Energy Island' concept to promote himself - despite having had no hand in its creation.

Today's Daily Post brings another such example. Ahead of Peter Hain's visit to Anglesey today, he has briefed the paper that an unnamed company is very interested in converting the Anglesey Aluminium premises into a wind turbine factory in order to produce the thousands of units required by the huge offshore wind farms the government wants to build. Apparently the deep port at Anglesey Aluminium could be ideal for such a plant to allow easy transportation of the turbines out to sea where they would be used.

According to Hain:

“There is a very good prospect of hundreds of jobs being created.
“Anglesey Aluminium’s closure has been a body blow to the local economy but we have been working to get new, high quality jobs to the area.
“They are eligible for some government assistance and convergence funding. It is a very serious and viable project and I think it could be the beginning of good times, especially with the likelihood of a Wylfa B.”
"The beginning of the good times"? What does that say about how good for Anglesey the previous 13 years of Labour rule have been?

Of course this could be fantastic news for Anglesey which is still reeling from approx. 3,000 job losses over a relatively short period of time. However the Druid thought it was strange that the company in question could not be named apparently because "talks are commercially sensitive". Really? More likely because the company in question doesn't want to be used as an electoral political football by opportunistic politicians thought the Druid. And sure enough a few hours later the BBC's Betsan Powys popped up to blog that she had met with the individual behind the plan and confirmed that he thought it had become "political fodder" and that Hain is basically indeed taking credit for a great deal of work done by him and others. Surprise surprise.

Considering how during one of the worst recessions since the 1920s the Welsh Assembly Government has managed to spend less than a quarter of its business support budget six months into the financial year, politicians would be better off doing more and spinning less.

UPDATE: When the Druid wrote the above he had only read the online version of the Daily Post story. Now he has seen the actual paper version and it is even more sickening:

"My" wind power plan? "Hain bid" to turn ex-smelter in to turbine factory? Anybody would think that Peter Hain actually had something to do with the plan, rather than just grabbing credit for the hard work of others. Well done to Betsan Powys for revealing the real story - and shame on The Daily Post for being so craven.

UPDATE 2: The following comment by 'forlonehope' on Betsan's blog is worth reproducing in full here:

To build the towers you need large scale steel fabrication, a bit like a shipyard. To build the blades you need large scale composite fabrication, a bit like an aircraft factory. To build the generator you need gearbox and heavy electrical engineering works. To cast the hub you need a precision iron foundry. None of that looks like a redundant aluminium smelter or, for that matter, the kind of skills required to operate it. What it does look like is another bit of electioneering. It's particularly cruel as it will build up hopes only to dash them.


Dyfed said...

A great post, Druid. The story reminds me of the news that a prison could be built here on the island. What happened to that idea? Nothing!

BAZ said...

Blame all things wrong and negative on others. Take the credit for things worthwhile and positive in which they have had nothing to do with. Typical labour. Need I say more? Save for, Its time to go.