Parliamentary sketch – Power to the Peace Makers
These are challenging times. Progress in the peace talks with an Iranian regime practised in the art of high octane belligerent rhetoric would not have happened if Westminster had voted to bomb Syria.
When I voted against the proposed military strikes a couple of months ago I, of course, had doubts. This was even more so when our marginal victory (by just seven votes) appeared to precipitate a domino effect across the Atlantic where gathering doubts set in to President Obama’s then plan.
Would Assad just laugh at us all as he used chemical weapons again?
But we now know that the decision created a productive foundation for peace talks which could be used to build solutions for a region in perpetual conflict.
Meanwhile, back at home, we should be re-learning the lesson that “loose talk costs lives”. In this case, it is that incoherent political signals conveying uncertainty to an industry which needs certainty to commit to long term investment will cause companies to pull out of major projects; just as RWE did this week when it withdrew from the £4bn Atlantic Array of offshore wind turbines in the Bristol Channel.
Whether you approve of offshore wind or not, it is clear that wherever our future energy needs are to be generated – through coal fired power, gas, nuclear or renewables – people who live closest to that development are likely to have either legitimate or illegitimate reasons to object.
Whilst some will of course be rubbing their hands with pleasure at the demise of this particular scheme, what should concern all of us is the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of green jobs that will be created through the renewable revolution – where Britain switches from importer to exporter of technology.
So when the Prime Minister allegedly talks of the need to get rid of “green c**p” it’s not just that he shoots the husky he once hugged and incinerates the oak tree he wanted his Party to symbolise, but he undermines the economic interests of UK plc.
Why should we care here in Cornwall? Well, with less offshore wind, there is likely to be a pressure for more onshore wind and solar farms.
I congratulate the new (Independent/Liberal Democrat) Cornwall Council for doing what its (Tory/Independent) predecessor should have done – introducing a clear planning strategy to handle the many and disparate planning applications arriving at County Hall. But there are still many applications which need to be determined before they can put that strategy in place.
What the market needs is more certainty and less “loose talk” and irresponsible and bizarre claims by political leaders. And what Cornwall needs is a clear strategy which drives development in the areas it can progress most efficiently and with least environmental harm and to protect those areas that we all want to preserve.
You can contact Andrew George by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His constituency office can be contacted at Trewella, 18 Mennaye Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4NG. Telephone: 01736 360020.
Andrew George MP
Kernow a’n West ha Syllan
West Cornwall and the Scillies
Constituency of St Ives
Tel: 01736 360020
Fax: 01736 332866
26th November 2013
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