Big Business leads New (for Nuclear) Labour to pollute the future.

26 July 2007.

A forum message, on the site of the Porritt report, said critics of nuclear power were 20 years out of date with the advent of thorium power. On following this lead, it turned out that this was a fifteen year project - according to its advocates, such as Prof. Egil Lillestol trying to persuade Norway. In other words, its advocates are perhaps 20 years ahead of themselves but it sounds better to make out its critics are 20 years behind themselves.

On that time scale, thorium power is no answer to what the consensus of scientists regard as the immediate problem of reducing global warming.

On the Treehugger site there is a discussion: Thorium solves global energy shortage? The thorium process is exempt from the melt-down problem and produces uranium too contaminated for the chain reaction of nuclear weapons. A discussion member told of how his father had tried to promote the thorium alternative but that the industry wasnt interested, apparently because they wanted the nuclear weapons capability of uranium fission energy plants. The plutonium by-products were really end-products. Indeed, for human and animal life on the planet, they could be: The End.

There are several possible technical alternatives to producing thorium power. For instance, one design uses liquid lead that could pose a contamination problem but it may also have its advantages. From all the complexities, certain salient facts emerge. Thorium power will produce radioactive waste lasting 500 years. This would normally rule it out as a prudent energy source. But it could also incinerate plutonium waste, from conventional nuclear stations, lasting geological eras.

For this reason alone, thorium power stations probably would have to be built, provided they can reduce the stockpiles of the most long-lasting wastes. Normally, we wouldnt contemplate the production of 500 year-lasting ecological time "bombs", but that would be better than 100,000 year waste-storage problems. We do have the moral obligation to lift this curse on Earth's descendants. Thorium power appears to be a lesser evil that can mitigate a great evil. However, environmentalists will have to confirm that thorium power does have this benefit. In particular, only the appropriate designs for this purpose must be guaranteed.

Also environmentalists will have to oppose the expansion of conventional nuclear power, using the excuse that future thorium stations can clear up afterwards. They will also have to counter a new propaganda to promote thorium power, from a lesser evil helping somewhat to clear up a great evil, to a nuclear wonder solution.

8-9 July 2007.

Now at last the New in New Labour stands for something: Nuclear Labour or poisoning the planet.
Investors wouldnt come forward if they were liable to the possible catastrophes from new nuclear power stations. The public, exposed to these unnecessary dangers, will have to pay for the calamities they may engender, for the benefit of artificially created private profits. And the industry gets special benefit of state security, being a vulnerable target, instead of everyone benefiting equally from the state's duty to protect its citizens.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change recently played down a part for nuclear power against global warming. Moreover, any large scale program was prohibited by the unsolved problem of safe long term fissile waste storage and the increased danger of spreading nuclear weapons from more material produced by more nuclear power stations.
In july 2007, Al Gore, as unofficial world ambassador for climate change awareness, echoed the scientific consensus, in a BBC tv interview, that nuclear power has only a small part to play in combating global warming. If they can solve the problems, fine, he added.

Gordon Brown's last budget announced a two per cent cut in income tax. When all the small print was taken into account, the reduction was denounced as a conjuring trick. Well, I'm no accountant but I guess that the fabled income tax reduction was window dressing to disguise the real reduction of two per cent in corporation tax, for his real bosses.

The prodigal chancellor, or "the credit card chancellor," as Michael Howard called Gordon Brown, has formed a government in mid-2007 that entrenches the nuclear power lobby. In Blair and Brown, we have had not leaders but lobbyists. Brown's brother Andrew is a director in the French nuclear industry. Blair did a deal with it, without consulting the British people about a fissile future.

A socialist point of view from Julie Hyland claims:

... any objective examination of the cabinet line-up and initial policies pledged by Brown makes clear what many believed impossible—that this is a government even more right-wing and directly subservient to big business than that which it replaced.

Tory spokesman Greg Barker commented "The nuclear lobby appears to have an arm-lock on New Labour..." when then planning minister Yvette Cooper created a quango, for big projects like nuclear power stations, to brush off local opposition. Her father Tony Cooper was recently chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association and is now Director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Her husband is another minister, Ed Balls, "close confidant of Gordon Brown." ( Mail on Sunday, 20 May 2007.)

Mr Brown is a family friend of the former left-wing MP Martin O'Neill. Lord O'Neill has become chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association - it's like nuclear "musical chairs" between the Brown clan. I dont dislike the man. I abhor what he and his alleged "cronies" are planning. The Financial Mail (17 June 2007) reports: "it sends the clearest possible signal that Labour is now pro-nuclear."

Briefly before his appointment as Brown's chancellor, so that it looked as if he were flying a kite, Alistair Darling displayed his ignorance of the alternatives to nuclear energy. He dismissed windmills as an "eyesore". That is a subjective opinion and typical of arbitrary rulers to be so guided. Radioactive contamination is a sight more of a sore than a figurative eyesore and that is an objective fact, he chooses to ignore.

When he was Tory leader, Michael Howard announced, before the 2005 general election, his intention to start a new generation of nuclear power stations. It was wrong to try to impose this "Faustian bargain" on the public. But at least he was honest enough to admit his intentions. Blair and Brown's New Labour hid the same intentions, till after the election, which is about as honorable as radioactive rape of the planet.

One of Brown's outside ministerial recruits is Sir Digby Jones, who was chief of the CBI when Tony Blair chose, post-election, to publicise his commitment to nuclear power. Even by deceit, New Labour only managed 35% of the votes against a more disliked Tory party openly with a pro-nuclear policy. And Digby Jones was canting, about Blair's democraticly elected government, against the Greenpeace demonstrators. To be sure, Mr Blair chose the most sympathetic audience in the CBI, private gain never having been strong on social conscience.

Current Tory leader, David Cameron made a welcome change of direction towards decentralised alternative energies and conservations. But their manifesto looks like a compromise cobbled together with the radioactivists, rather than a coherent policy. Another former Tory leader, William Hague has sought to by-pass him by calling for cross-party support on nuclear power. So much for voter choice!

Tory policy priorities include security of supply, and a level playing field between different energies. But the fact is that nuclear itself is not secure, not now or ever. And the level playing field over-looks the fantastic amounts invested over fifty years on nuclear energy, which has still failed to provide security from its by-products.

It looks as tho the Tories remain divided and untrustworthy on this issue. Only the Liberal Democrats, which have a long record on green policies, definitely promise that they wont build more nuclear power stations. But they and the Green party are kept out of parliament by the wasted vote ruse of First Past The Post. With preference voting (and a proportional count) the public could also prefer candidates of any party who were either pro- or anti-nuclear.

If there was a financially balanced debate, and the voters had a fair choice, then the people could decide for themselves on all issues, including nuclear power. But this isnt the case. We have a black-mail system of voting, and lobby corruption of government. A democracy needs democratic voting system (PR by STV) and Equality of Lobbying by occupational proportional representation in the second chamber.

We even know that fission energy has no long term future, only long term liabilities, because it will eventually be replaced by nuclear fusion energy, which doesnt produce harmful radioactivity.

Nuclear power as fission energy was fantasticly over-rated and over-subsidised. Its misguided aspirations will not readily be abandoned, its losses will not readily be cut, no matter how criminally irresponsible the consequences for future generations potentially into geological eras of time.

The long-lasting radio-active by-products of fission energy were known to the scientists but not the politicians by the time the first atomic bomb was dropped. We do not know whether this knowledge would have changed the military decision. We do know that it does not change the decision of modern politicians and business men to amass radio-active waste without solving the long-term storage problem.

Ever-lasting poison is being dumped into the future's back-yard, because the unborn are helpless to prevent it. Indeed, anyone is liable to be dumped on, if they have not a robust enough constitutional law to prevent it.

The Mail reported (27 May 2007) "A dash for nuclear the government...a committee of experts will decide where tons of toxic nuclear waste could be buried." Yet no long-term seal has been manufactured for anything remotely like the time spans involved before some wastes lose their harmful radioactivity. Contamination may do irrepairable harm, after hiding away and ignoring disintegrating receptacles.

The Labour government has assured the British people that they wont have to take local nuclear waste storage, if they dont want to. This assurance can be taken with as much confidence as "Mr 45 minutes" other assurances. Translated, the "assurance" means: you'll have to be strong enough to resist. The weakest will go to the wall.

Someone, somewhere will have to take the rising tide of nuclear bilge pumped out by new stations if they are built. Already showing they are strong enough to resist, the Scots with their parliament have vetoed new nuclear power stations. But Scotland will surely come under pressure to allow dangerous waste deposits in their least populated part of the UK.

The Sunday Telegraph editorial of 18 february 2007, carried a caption "Insultingly consulted." Ministers' consultation exercises on nuclear power and road pricing, afterwards made clear they would disregard the result. "Voters understandably feel that this is worse than not having been asked at all."

Robber barons of big business are invasion-forcing more nuclear power stations like Norman castles of occupation on a hostile populace. This odious lobby looks like a co-ordinated attack by a government on its people.

Big Business Brown gathers round him a "business council for Britain" of plutocrats, rather as William the Conqueror gathered his baronial council of state that eventually became the political parliament. Perhaps in another thousand years, Brown's business council will "evolve" an economic second chamber of government, for a notional equality of lobbying, from its Thameside radioactive swamp.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Brown's accession to leadership

has spurred a rush of donations to Labour coffers with four businessmen, including leading private equity figures, contributing more than half a million pounds to the party in recent weeks.

Who said Gordon Brown couldnt do public relations? He has got Baronness Williams to be his nuclear proliferation advisor. She must have the easiest job in political history. All she has to say to Brown is one word: Stop!
That's the only useful advice anyone can give to Gordo the great proliferator. Instead, he has made Shirl, the pleasant and acceptable face of his nuclear proliferation: a public relations coup.

Gordon Brown defended a new generation of Trident nuclear submarines by having us imagine that these would defend Britain from the likes of North Korea - North Korea?! If only Brown and co would missile to the other side of the globe and stop there. It must be admitted that we need defending from lunatic dictators but the universal possession of constitutional safeguards, such as democratic voting system and Equality of Lobbying, would better prevent the likes of Brown from polluting the future. Whereas, the universal possession of nuclear weapons will almost certainly lay radio-active waste to the Earth.

Oh yes, Brown's constitutional reforms were careful to avoid any commitment to a more democratic voting system. And Equality of Lobbying remains science fiction. Brown's reform proposals amounted to dumping the Blair ballast of constitutional wrongs. But Brown and opposition leader Cameron shied at the first opportunity to prevent a constitutional wrong by not lifting a finger against the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act, by which MPs exempted themselves from the public's right to know of acts in their own name. Either leader's disapproval, with its power of promotion over selfish politicians, could have stopped easily this private members bill.

The parties and their leaders also avoid freedom of voting choice, from democratic electoral system, that could elect more representative MPs than the corrupt safe-seats do.

The alacrity of the move to replace Trident suggests the real motive is to stimulate the flagging nuclear industry, without public debate about defense and energy alternatives. Never mind that Britain's Trident secrets were stolen in the USA. What is that compared with the needs of business?

Richard Lung.

To top

To home page