Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Albert Owen is an accomplished politician...

Albert Owen is an accomplished politician. He really is. But I don't mean it as a compliment.

Yesterday's Daily Post carried an article explaining in a little more detail Horizon's plans regarding building Wylfa B. Next to that article was a write-up of Albert Owen's complaints that the new coalition government has "shattered" the confidence of nuclear investors.

Of course Albert is right to hold the new government to account. And, as I have written here, its certainly less than optimal to have an Energy Secretary that doesn't believe in nuclear power. However what makes Albert such an accomplished politician - and what I find so irritating - is Albert's shamelessness. The record of Albert's Labour government on energy policy is one of indifference (except when signing the UK up to ever more ridiculous carbon targets) and procrastination. In the end, even the Government's own advisors were warning that we could be facing blackouts by 2015. Why? because Labour's obsession with renewable energy had blinded them to the fact that most nuclear plants (including the current Wylfa reactor) and half of UK's coal plants were due to close over the coming decade without a concrete plan on how to replace them.

Indeed in Anglesey we have paid an especially heavy price for Labour's energy policy failures. Anglesey Aluminium - the Island's largest private sector employer - relied on a cut-price electricity deal with Wylfa. However when Wylfa was handed over to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to begin the shutting down process that deal had to end as it would constitute unlawful state aid which is banned under EU law. As a consequence Anglesey Aluminium was forced to close with a loss of 450 jobs and and an estimated 240 more through indirect and induced effects.

So, in conclusion, had Labour used its three terms in Government wisely to replace Britain's ageing nuclear plants in a timely manner then we wouldn't now have to worry about having a Lib Dem Energy Secretary who doesn't believe in nuclear power. Whats more, we might even still have still had a thriving Anglesey Aluminium too. Consequently my advice to Albert is this: by all means hold the new government to account, but remember we are in the current difficult situation with regards to Wylfa because of the policies of your own government.

P.S. I apologise for the lack of posts lately - I hope the reason why will become apparent very soon. Watch this space...


Old Mona said...

I agree with everything you have said about Albert Owen. Interestingly it was reported in the national press a few days ago that Chris Huhne has now changed his mind about nuclear power and says that he agrees with the Conservative Party on their policy to build nuclear power plants to replace those that already exist! although I think he was faced with a fait accompli and has no choice in the matter. What I cannot understand is the policy of both Conservative and Labour in that no public subsidy will be available for Nuclear when they are prepared to subsidize wind farms which to me are a complete waste of space and money. Nuclear energy is available 24/7 whereas wind energy is not.

Anonymous said...

Trust a politician to change his opinion according to which way the political wind is blowing...and to jump on any bandwagon thats the flavour of the moment ?
The Druids post is compelling wisdom.
We will get Wylfa B I am quite sure, but how will it be financed, operated and safety regulated is a story yet to be told.
Its interesting that the new government has scaled back the remit of the CIL who under Labour were supposed to determine planning applications for projects like Wylfa B....apparently they have some 30+ applications in process....Wylfa B may be one of them ?

Anonymous said...

It may be true that the previous (Labour) government took a long time to decide about the future of new nuclear energy. However, Albert Owen has always spoken in favour of and used his position to push for Wylfa B.
Anona Mouse

Anonymous said...

Nuclear Power. You could not a more confined space than a submarine and (real) men volunteer to crew them, that speaks of their confidence.

For all the objectors, the words of a nuclear power station site director "would you want your childs life support hooked up to a wind generator?

Anonymous said...

Druid; Its over. New Fridgeman didn't make it so you can stop slagging off the other Anglesey politicians.

Albert Owen is still here pursuing employment for Anglesey People.

Where's the New Fridgeman? is he going to show some consistency and stand for the Assembly or will he be declaring his dedication to some other constituency in five years time?

Whoever is in power in Westminster they have to by-pass the endless enquiries and protests that stop projects like Wylfa B becoming reality for decades.

I dare say Wales's Nelson Mandela, Osian Jones of Cymdeithas Yr Iaith, will continue to lead more PAWB protests. But you can't eat the Language.

Anonymous said...

LAtest News: John Chorlton considering standing down as councillor to fight for Assembly 2011.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23.08
Excellent !
No worse than IWJ and more connected to the people ?

Anonymous said...

If Chorlton stands down, then maybe we may have a chance to smile, it may be the start of the clear out that we all desperately need..

I expect he will be the first to gloat if the decision is made to build Wylfa B, his fat smug face, taking the credit, for every decision that makes him appear to be doing something for the Island, yet stood there and did nothing when Anglesey Alumnium closed it's doors, thank you Chorlton, for letting the Employers leave, and turning this Island into a third future, no work, and our young facing a lifetime of uncertainty, hope you remember your contribution to this mess, when you wake up, the day after standing down, and realise that no one cares, no one will listen, because, you won't be welcome anymore..