« Pearls for politicians | Main | Innocent, until proved Labour »

November 27, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Stop using American spelling...

Yes, but what if Labour put up VAT to 18 or even 20 per cent ? Then Labour will not look quite so good..


Paul, TVO is now saying (according to the IHT) Okiluoto is delayed by three years and is not expected to be online until 2012:


Though to be fair it later reports the TVO project manager saying the less certain "could be delayed until 2012."


Thamk you Paul. Now I understand, though disagree, with your position on the gap, while agreeing with your concerns on nuclear.

Paul Flynn

West 2 Nuclear cannot solve the generating gap, because it is always late in delivering. A sensible investment in renewables can fill the gap in time.



You went off talking about nuclear and didn't answer the question about a possible generating capacity gap.

We are much in agreement about nuclear so I am unclear what you're answer means other than that nuclear is an option you would rule out of the mix.


Paul Flynn

News for you, Old Holborn. Many MPs find far better things to do with their time than prancing around Westminster listening to formal speeches followed by a week without votes.

Paul Flynn

Tony, there is no panacea. No country can withstand the fnancial storm by sticking to policies that worked in a world of deluded optimism.

Paul Flynn

Your simple question West 2

Giving the green light to a new generation of nuclear power stations that will cost billions, eventually deliver only tiny cuts in carbon emissions and leave future generations with a legacy of nuclear waste to clean up.

The fact is, going nuclear won't solve the UK's or the world's global warming problem because it can only deliver around a 4 percent cut in carbon emissions some time after 2020. That's far too little, far too late and at too high a price.

The UK nuclear industry itself has said that the most optimistic date for just one nuclear plant to be up and running is 2017. And, don't forget, no nuclear plant has ever been built on time and or budget. Any private company considering building UK reactors should take a look at Finland's new nuclear fiasco. The global nuclear industries flagship project in Finland is already 2 years behind schedule, 1.5 Billion Euros over budget and has over 1,500 safety defects and problems. All after just 2 years of construction.


..I hope that when the time comes VAT does not rise to 18% or 20% - then I'd know that the denial was a lie..
As a matter of opinion here the government would have been better off raising personal allowances and putting money DIRECTLY into the pockets of people who have to spend to survive - 2.5% VAT reduction will be lost oin the price cutting now happening on the high street.
Now I think Paul you might not mind this review from the Economist this week

'For 11 years, New Labour preached the gospel of fiscal prudence: money would be borrowed only for investment, and public net debt kept below 40% of GDP. Economic boom and bust were over; steady prosperity was the shape of things to come. '


Not one of these pillars has survived the revelations in this week’s £20 billion ($31 billion) fiscal-stimulus plan. Borrowing will hit 8% of GDP in 2009-10 and debt 57% of GDP in 2012-13, even on the government’s optimistic assumptions. The Treasury predicted in March that the economy would grow by 2.5% next year; it now thinks output will shrink by 1%. And a new 45% tax rate for the rich will be imposed from 2011. New Labour’s compact with the aspiring middle classes has collapsed, and what happens next is anyone’s guess.

I have no doubt that the core Labour vote will continue to vote for Labour - but for those of us who felt that something was different in 1997 and that Labour recognised my aspirations as well as the lower paid ones this sort of policy change makes you wonder ...


It is a really big shame about Woolworths this week, however this is more to do with their inability to compete in a competative market and their lack of modernisation than the credit crunch, in my opinion. I went there last weekend to do a spot of Christmas shopping, saw the prices and went straight back home and bought what I wanted online for half the price! I feel for everyone in danger of losing their jobs but this is poor management on the part of Woolies rather than the government.

Old Holborn

May I suggest that all non ZanuLabour MP's simply don't turn up for the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday?



Let's boil this down to a simple question.

Will there be a gap in generating capacity between the decommisioning of current power stations and the coming on stream of 'renewables'?


Paul Flynn

There is constant myth making to boost nuclear and play down the renewables. Nuclear now is probably our least reliable source of energy. It was down for 80% of the time last year.

Wind is producing substantial amounts of electricity in Germany and Spain where earlier this year it provided almost 40% of Spanish power. Scotland could provide 10% to 15% of UK electricity needs from their strong wind sources.

If we are serious we need to develop better pump storage schemes such as Dinorwic for dealing with demand peaks and troughs.

Was Lord O'Neill the chair of the Committee who delivered the Lords report? That might account for the fact that it is not taken very seriously.



There is a 'backend' cost to nuclear, which is why it may not be the best choice. All forms of power generation need to be in the mix.

Coal-fuelled generation is stymied by the 'carbon footprint' CO2 emissions argument. The CO2 emissions problem is another can of worms, steeped in emotion.

The problem is one of capacity. If renewables meet the capacity then fine, the evidence points in the other direction though.

What do we do to ensure generating capacity when renewables are unlikely (on the best evidence) to be enough?


Huw O'Sullivan

The problem West is surely the description of nuclear as being low cost.
At best it seems to be undefined cost whose only certainty is that it will be a multiple of predictions and despite the fact that that does apply to commissioning too the vast majority of that undefined cost will still be incurred at the back end.


Paul Flynn wrote
"All renewable options are flourishing. They are 'New' and developing strongly into better value alternatives that are also kind to the planet.

Wake up Whitehall, and hug the 'New' green technologies."

It seems the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has a similar view to my own.

From their The Economics of Renewable Energy report (Nov 25th 2008)
Quote:"The Committee argues that wind generation should be seen largely as additional capacity, rather than a substitute for the substantial number of old coal and nuclear plants which are scheduled to be replaced by 2020."


Quote: "The Committee points out that nuclear energy presents a viable, low-carbon alternative that is not intermittent and can be produced at a significantly lower cost than renewable energy; and that fossil fuel generation with carbon capture and storage, if and when it becomes available, could be another option."

This was the postion I outlined on the other thread.

If we plan to have 15-20% renewables by 2020 and we are decomissioning 25-40% of current generating capacity there is going to be a gap. This is my concern. Chancellor Merkel is attempting to address a similar problem in Germany.

You seem to have a lot of faith in renewables. Pushing for renewables is fine but it has to be put into a realistic context or "hug the 'New' green technologies." will be come "Hug a hot water bottle in the dark".

More people die in cold conditions than warm.


Kay Tie

"Kay Tie, this backbench MP thinks exactly the same about this arrest and I did about the dawn raids and arrests of Labour Party supporters in the cash for honours inquiry."

Tony Blair wasn't even questioned under caution, let alone arrested. No Labour MP was arrested. In any case, the investigation was for quite flagrant breaches of criminal statute.

Mr. Green was arrested by ANTI-TERROR police, under suspicion of common law "conspiracy". What's next? George Osborne being held for "sedition". Is Gordon Brown going to reconvene the Star Chamber?

If your Government really wants to re-enact the events dramatised in The Devil's Whore it should remember that the man who had MPs arrested eventually had his head chopped off.

Paul Flynn

Kay Tie, this backbench MP thinks exactly the same about this arrest and I did about the dawn raids and arrests of Labour Party supporters in the cash for honours inquiry.

Where was Don Quite David Davies then in defence of Liberty?

Is it a question of 'Everyone innocent until they are proved to be Labour.'


I agree with Graham, I live in what is normally a Labour stronghold, but over the last 18 months it has been hard to find 1 person who would vote Labour, whereas before if i said i was gonna either vote against Labour or not vote at all, I was met with derision.

as for your cartoon - it isn't even mildly humorous, and just so you know, the reduction (pointless as it is) is only temporary, and is going to cost everyone a lot more than it gives in the long term. There is even evidence that Labour were considering INCREASING VAT after the temporary cut, and what would that have don to your cartoon?

Kay Tie

I would like to know what backbench Labour MPs think of the extraordinary arrest of a shadow minister. I've been watching The Devil's Whore, and it's all becoming hauntingly familiar. Are you all going to stand by while Gordon Brown stands in for Charles I?

Graham Marlowe

While Osborne is odious, I don't really believe New Labour is as popular as you like to pretend, Paul. . And why should they be?. That silly woman Blears wittering on about tap dancing. Mandelson whineing to the press about how disappointed he is not to be invited on to a tV show called Strictly Come Dancing.

And all this in the wee we have seen some of the biggest disasters on the High Street with over 20,000 jobs at risk wth the ollapse of Wooworths. There WAS a "late intervention" according to the BBC News in the case of Woolworths, but you can't help feeling in these worrying times Ministers like Mandy should be concentrating on thaty, rather than painting and powdering themselves to appear on cheap TV shows.

Personally I wouldn't bother to vote for any of the main parties now. they are all crass, run by lightweights.

The comments to this entry are closed.