Whatever the government did or didn't do for Nissan, there'll be many a dark deed done on the road to a successful escape from the clutches of the Commission.Agriculture is the classic seat of this nonsense: they don't call it "subsidy farming" for nothing. I know more about energy than I do about those industries; and of course there are energy sub-sectors that have become similarly hooked on the easy money, to baleful effect. Nukes and renewables soak up formidable quantities of taxpayer and electricity-bill-payer dosh, and not just in the UK, of course. Someties makes you wonder why anyone describes our economies as 'capitalist'.
Here's one amusing story, though, from my patch. We've mentioned before the ridiculous Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which first started to get its hopes up when it featured in the Pork Barrel section of the Tories' 2015 manifesto. The lagoon-wallahs pitched hard for subsidies that would have run into the billions. Mercifully, as the full sordid story started to emerge (grotesquely expensive, and very dodgy promoters) the government started to cool; and in June last year they pulled the plug.
Well now, Glory Be! - this would-be project declares it can go ahead without any public subsidy at all. Just fancy that.
As it happens, I'd say they are wrong: it's a design that many engineers reckon is fundamentally flawed, and they never got their environmental permits. But hey, good luck to anyone who's willing to give their ideas a go using just the finances they can raise by themselves. Why can't governments hold their nerves more often?