Horror in 1986 (click on image for larger view). Twenty years on, Blair's Government plans to impose a new generation of nuclear power stations on England. And take away local authorities' right to object.
From today's Scotsman:
Nuclear power is the future, says Blair - but not in Scotland
JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL EDITOR
Key quote " welcome the emphasis the review puts on renewables. Scotland has vast potential to exploit energy sources like marine and wind power," he said. " I have no doubt Scotland's most important contribution to the UK's energy future can and will be through renewables." - Jack McConnell
Story in full
TONY Blair yesterday paved the way for a new generation of nuclear power stations - but only in England.
Effectively formalising a cross-Border energy divide, the government's long-awaited Energy Review yesterday confirmed expectations that ministers have dropped previous objections to new nuclear plants and will grant permission for international energy giants to construct up to ten new reactors south of the Border.
Less than three years after another policy review declared that nuclear power was not a viable option for Britain's future energy needs, yesterday's 215-page study found that nuclear power "is a potentially economic source of electricity" that produces only low levels of carbon dioxide, the gas scientists say leads to global warming.
A new energy pricing regime will be introduced to give nuclear operators a financial edge. Planning rules will also be streamlined to make it harder for campaigners to block new plants.
But the planning changes will apply only south of the Border and Scottish ministers will retain their veto on any new stations in Scotland. That prompted Jack McConnell, the First Minister, to claim last night that the review had cleared the way to a nuclear-free Scotland.
So the England-hating Blair Government has now decided that we're getting a new generation of nuclear power plants. But, according to the Scotsman, "only in England". And new laws will be passed to help block local authorities and campaigners who wish to protest.
But Scotland will not be having any new nuclear power stations. One law for us, another for Blair's homeland.
The inclusion of the picture of the Times front page from 1986, headlining Chernobyl, may seem a little overly dramatic to some. But I make no apologies. I resent the undemocratic way that this is going to be forced upon us, I resent the fact that meaningful protest is going to be made far more difficult and I resent the fact that Scotland, home to the arrogant Raj ruling England, is to get off Scot-free.
This is a very serious matter. Yes, think about Chernobyl. Nuclear power is not an issue where the public or local authorities should be muzzled.
The Scots will be reaping the benefits, but with none of the risks associated (e.g. leukemia pockets) with living close to nuclear power plants.
The Government's actions are once again racist and undemocratic. They depend on voter apathy. But whether you approve of nuclear power or not, I hope that you will join with me in writing to your MPs and others concerned to express your outrage at the way this is being handled. The democratic law for Scotland/dictatorship for England ethos, and the "streamlining" of planning rules to bulldoze over objections from local authorities are another nail in the coffin for democratic rule in England.
Blair and co are simply making the need for an English parliament more and more obvious.
Stewart Thomas writes:
I've heard that Wales may be getting them as well...
Not sure about that, Stewart. I haven't checked out any Welsh sites.
I would imagine that the Welsh electorate, Rhodri Morgan and co would have opinions on the matter which they would voice through Wales' National Assembly - and that these opinions will be heard and acted on by the UK Government.
Sue Campbell pops in...
I thought it was a joke at first. So, the Scottish Raj ruling England will respect Scotland's democratic right to veto nuclear power stations in that country but take away the democratic right of local authorities in England to protest? And dear Mr Darling, an MP representing a Scottish constituency, totally unaccountable to people in England, is overseeing the details.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
And Paul writes...
Blair would say they're safe. So why doesn't his own country, bonny Scotland, want them?
Don't you think that the use of the Chernobyl "Times" illustration is a little over-the-top? What are you trying to do, terrify people? If we end up with nuke plants in England I think the Raj will have done us a favour. Plenty of lovely electricity to sell when we are independent.
I make no apology for the Chernobyl illustration, GWG. That terrible event occurred twenty years ago. And now the Scottish Raj believes that it can force England to have new nuclear power plants, altering our laws to quash dissent. Memories are very short.
Perhaps we do need nuclear power. Perhaps not.
Three years ago it seemed we didn't.
Many will claim that nuclear power is one of the safest, cleanest forms of energy.
But when things go wrong, the effects can be absolutely devastating. Let's not forget that.
I believe that this is the final weighty straw which breaks the camel's back. If, after consultation, the electorate in England agrees with the nuclear option, then fine. But we must be consulted. Scottish dictate should not be happening at all - but even by our Imperial Rulers' standards this is definitely one step too far.