Bernard Ingham Writes To Chris Huhne
The former chief press secretary to Mrs Thatcher writes to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Dear Chris, I’ve been meaning to write this letter for some time.
I am assured on all sides that you have a very good brain and are “an evidence-based economist”. Unfortunately, this does not square with your energy policy.
It has more inconsistencies in it than holes in a colander.
I am not ungrateful now that you have cleared the way for the private development of nuclear power — my particular interest. You have certainly come off your untenable opposition to it, which is a blessing.
But to suggest that you are in favour of it is pure spin. You will contemplate it only if not a penny of public subsidy is involved. This would be fair enough, especially as the nuclear industry is not, to my knowledge, seeking subsidies, if you were not simultaneously pouring riches beyond the dreams of avarice at a time of straitened national finances into largely useless renewable sources of energy, notably wind and solar.
You are able to do this only because the taxpayer is not being asked to throw good money after bad. Instead, the consumer has to foot the mounting bill. So much for concern about fuel poverty.
I’ve space for only one more inconsistency. If you are in the business of the security of electricity supply, why wind (which is totally unreliable) and solar (no use at night)? Especially when engineers have serious doubts about how much wind the national grid can take without blowing a gasket.
In short, your energy policy sadly lacks evidence of brainpower. It certainly will not deliver your declared objective of securing low-carbon electricity supplies in an affordable way. Only nuclear can deliver that. It’s so elementary that I worry about you.