Some well-placed Americans of my acquaintance recently had an audience with DECC ministers for a tour d'horizon, and tell me the government is utterly convinced that the great radioactive white elephant of the Hinkley project is going ahead, because the French are utterly determined. (Well, they convinced their visitors on that score anyhow: but as we know, Americans are sometimes quite ready to buy redundant Thames bridges from smooth-talking Brits ...)
As we've said before, when governments with decent credit ratings are involved, commercial reasoning and indeed any other kind of logic can fly out of the window as easily as a radioactive elephant with Dumbo-wings. It would be bold to stake too much on reason prevailing in the case of Hinkley. They have been saying the investment decision is a mere four months away since 2008, and one day it may turn out to be true. (One day, it might turn out to be 'Non'.) Each time they have to recant we get the most amazing sophistry, but it's a delight to see how they manage it with a straight face every time: Heaven knows, they've had enough practice, these Gallic snake-oil peddlers.
This time, of course, they've decided it's essential to consult their workforce, a 'due process' that will naturally take 6 months, and couldn't possibly be rushed, still less skipped altogether, oh dear me no. Well, they don't want to provoke a riot, do they?
What is harder to understand is why the UK and Chinese governments aren't just terminally pissed off with all this nonsense and moving on to something more productive. Have they no pride? Aren't the Chinese supposed to be pretty anxious about keeping face? Why do they continue to pander to the radioactive turd that is EDF?