A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thatcher's old spin doctor gets it right.....

In many ways the first modern spin doctor, Sir Bernard Ingham, Thatcher's former Press Secretary, professional Yorkshireman, and columnist for the Yorkshire Post gets it absolutely right re UK energy policy in this excoriating piece: 'We need brave politicians to win this vital power struggle' (Yorkshire Post, April 12):
"Is Tony Blair our last hope? I realise that just by posing the question regular readers will think I have flipped. In fact, I am deadly serious. Blair may well be the only British political leader ready to face up to an issue on which turns the economic life or death of this country.

I refer to energy – and more especially electricity – policy. Without reliable, continuous and competitive supplies of power, we have no comfort, no convenience, no economy, no jobs, no lifestyle worth having and no protection for civilised society.

While David Cameron poses as a cuddly green with a windmill and solar panel on his roof, Sir Menzies Campbell has emptily adopted 'environment, environment, environment' as his mantra.

Both are pathetic ......

..... The British problem can be briefly stated. Coal (33 per cent) and nuclear (20 per cent) power stations currently generate just over half our electricity. Within 15 years, we could easily lose half that generating capacity because of closures on grounds of age and, in the case of coal, its carbon pollution ....." (read on)

Interestingly, 'Dave' Cameron also received a severe mauling in yesterday's The Sun (April 26): 'Memo to Dave: there are no huskies in this dogfight' [apologies, I couldn't find this online]:
"The Government is a wounded, profligate beast, only finding the strength to occasionally raise its head and slurp greedily at the trough of 'political expenses'. A strong opponent could easily put it out of its (and our) misery. So what does the great Tory hope that is 'Dave' go and do? Poses with a load of huskies in Norway and witters on about melting glaciers and the threat of global warming ......

..... Memo to Dave: When crime is spiralling out of control, sentences are getting more lenient, the NHS is crumbling, our once-enviable education system is fragmenting before our eyes, factories are closing, our pensioners are being robbed blind and stealth taxes are at a record high...to imagine for even one, deluded second that melting glaciers in some far-flung part of the world are of primary concern to us makes you risible....."

I bet he was sad he didn't make Page 3 with those gorgeous huskies .....

Philip, fascinating stuff from Ingham. How we need this to be said. And, I need a strong espresso doppio quoting from - The Sun - which again, however, is bang on target. How the political landscape is changing!

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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