We don’t need this legacy

When I was at school, we were taken on a trip to Trawsfynydd. For the uninitiated, Trawsfynydd is a (now defunct) nuclear power station in Wales.

We were given the spiel about how nuclear power was a miracle cure for our energy needs. Clean, cheap and safe.

The clean-up has now begun at Trawsfynydd. Robots are painstaking moving radioactive material to be encased in concrete. The decommisioning and clean-up of Trawsfynydd will cost more than £1 billion, and the site is unlikely to be completely returned to the way it was pre-nuclear in my lifetime.

Meanwhile in Chernobyl, childhood cancers and other illnesses are the legacy of what happens when something goes wrong.

Figures for the cost of nuclear power just don’t add up – not when you take into account the cost of the clean-up.

When Iran wants to build a nuclear power plant, the West choruses that it must be a front for a nuclear weapons programme. It is already clear that the UK is likely to replace Trident – does this help to justify more nuclear power too?

We must resist at every turn this governments determination to push us further down the nuclear road. The answer to sustainable energy can only be to make more investment in renewable energy sources.

Lets not leave more Trawsfynydds for our children

Cicero’s Songs: Education

I cannot believe that this excellent new blog has passed me by for so long. When I first applied to Cowley Street for ‘Approved PCC’ status, I was concerned that my CV might not show a lifetime of preparation for political service (since that is what it is) – instead, I have spent twenty years doing the ordinary things that people do – earn a living, get married, have children, get divorced, get married again (the last two being optional but increasingly commonplace). I have come to realise that ‘ordinariness’ is a quality that some of our MPs would benefit from. Too many of our politicians seem to be out of touch with how the majority of us live our lives.However, I’m bound to say that if I was selecting an MP to serve in the office of ‘Chancellor of the Exchequor’, I would look for an MP whose credentials suggested a firm grasp of the complexities of our economy. Cicero suggests that some of our most senior politicans have ‘delusions of adequacy’!

28 Days is Enough

I have been critical on these pages of the timerity of Labour’s back-benchers. Today, my faith has been somewhat restored. Anyone who cares about what it means to be British, and what that says about our freedoms and values, would not have been comfortable with detaining someone for three months without bringing charges against them. That is not acceptable in a civilised and free country.

Mistakes are not always forgivable at the top

I sometimes wonder if there is a lack of talent willing to serve as ministers in the Blair cabinet. Why else would you re-employ a disgraced minister so quickly. We saw it with Mandelson and now Blunkett. Of course Mandy got rehabilitated no less than three times – so we may not yet have seen the last of Blunkett. But you have to wonder why? Blair and Blunkett talk of ‘mistakes’ but do you really think someone who makes ‘mistakes’ such as ‘free rail passes for your lover at the taxpayers expense’ and ‘not following the Ministerial Code’ are fit for high office? And wouldn’t it be safer to appoint people you can trust not to make such ‘mistakes’ in the first place? Blunkett had to go – of that there can be no doubt. But will Blair be foolish enough to try and bring him back in the spring?