Friday 16 September 2016

Hinkley: Summer Finished, Winter Starts Here

Returning home from a very damp Paris to an equally damp London to read all about Hinkley: what a ridiculous state of affairs.  Is there anything to add?

I have seen a couple of half-hearted attempts to praise May for this craven decision.  Nick Butler (*spits*) in the FT gives her a convoluted, obsequious and yet condescending grammar-school mark - “VG 8½ out of 10. A good start to the term. Keep it up”.

And an un-named Chinese official tells China Daily (hoho!): "May has managed a good deal – she has managed to satisfy her domestic critics, satisfy her own cautious nature, and keep the Chinese on side". 

Well there's a thing.

Except here's one domestic critic who ain't satisfied.  Obviously we are never going to see the full text of the contract & related agreements, but (as with Cameron's lame Brexit 'negotiation') with the right creative approach there was a lot that could have been done - but not in seven weeks of cloistered, introspective worrying.

She really is no sort of negotiator, is she?  As well as being thick.



Sebastian Weetabix said...

It's almost as though geography degrees lack academic rigour, isn't it?

I was just in China. The general consensus from my Chinese counterparts was surprise that May was allowing it to go ahead unchanged, given the massive disparity between the previously agreed strike price and the market price. 'Cos here's the thing: in China contracts are not seen in the way we see them, they change at will if they feel like it. They wouldn't have been that put out if we had negotiated lower pricing and allowed the contract to go ahead. But she's done the worst of all things: publically 'humiliated' China and then backed down, so they now know she is weak and can be pushed about.

Not good.

roym said...

Frankly I am shocked that a conservative PM has done this. Has any other major nation state so merrily turned over so much security to another country?

However, does the Trident system represent a precedent for this?

Electro-Kevin said...

To be fair on her someone else left this turd for her to polish.

I don't think she's thick but I'm happy you blame her anyway. I think she's a Blairist and Blairism is the Socialist response to Thatcherism.

Blairism included Britain-for-Sale to fund its bankrupt project.

Anonymous said...

She's the 4th PM to be involved after Blair, Brown and Cameron. This along with other projects such as HS2, 3rd runway at Heathrow etc are just headaches for all concerned. There are too many vested interests to be able to pull the plug even if the world has moved on. What can she do? Hinkley will just be a huge white elephant and a blot on the landscape. Even if it's built I bet it never gets used as renewables plus battery storage will be a viable option by then.

Maybe we have to learn to think will be the shared experience of working with the Chinese/French etc which will be the actual outcome so it's the means not the ends which end up being the most important thing.

andrew said...

She is middle class and so by definition cannot be thick.
She might not be quite as quick as the rest of the class though...

Dick the Prick said...

I think BE had a crack at this a bit back which got me thinking. As per EK, she found a steaming pile of turd on her desk so has just moved it to the corner of the room.

I think she got fucked by timing - it may be a case that she does genuinely think that Brexit has to amount to something and pissing off the Chinese straight from the start may not be such a grand idea. She foolishly appointed the numbnuts Liam Fox as trade minister when all he sees himself as is some American emissary.

If, as SW states, the Chinese are maliable to re-negotiation and if the French fall short then there are further opt-outs.

Yeah, it's shit - can't escape from that but there are bigger shits which need dumping first.

Nick Drew said...

@ but there are bigger shits which need dumping first

yes, i think that's right - nothing to pay until the thing gets started, & between now and then, a dozen opportunities to get a better deal, including (as you say) effectively opt-outs

(assuming, as some point, we get an effective cabinet-level player with their eyes on this particular ball)

@ almost as though geography degrees lack academic rigour

yup. 'A degree in colouring-in', as they say. These days she could buy whole books for colouring-in, if it's what she enjoys

Anonymous said...

An outbreak of reality on a Friday afternoon. Of course we are puppets when it comes to energy (China) See who owns our power networks.

And the US controls our defence. We may claim to be the 5th largest economy after adding in all those strange derivatives but we are nothing in the scheme of things.

Brexit simply changes who we are pimped by.

dearieme said...

Surely intelligent politics would consist in finding some other sweetie to offer China while strangling the nuke.

Dick the Prick said...

Is there a wider context that everyone knows it's never gonna happen but it's always gonna be someone else's problem?

China's housing bubble and government debt, coupled with corruption means their economy could go 'pop' at any moment. EDF have neither the capacity or seemingly technical ability and the UK may have to pick up a few £Billion quid bill for reneging or cancelling but everyone goes home happy.

Sometimes governments should lie to citizens - ah, screw it, all citizens in the world are used to their government lying to them. These days, if it only costs £5 billion, we should probably consider ourselves lucky!

Dick the Prick said...

Next 10 years:

Want housing fixed

Want proper decent right wing comedians taking the piss out of European Law

Want an almost relaxed view on 3rd parties.

I'm supporting Trump and it's mainly comedy. There's a hagiography of George on the Speccie - keep it clean,eh? Total tit.

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