I have long believed (and remain yet to be convinced otherwise) that Westminster government’s regardless of their political hue, before and after devolution, and before and after BREXIT, remain fundamentally indifferent to our needs, our aspirations and our national interests. The cancelation of the electrification of the Great Western line, from Cardiff to Swansea (something that had been quietly anticipated for sometime by more than a few people) came as no real surprise. I had long advocated beginning the electrification process at the Swansea end of the line, something that may well have made the cancellation more difficult.
|Swansea Tidal still waiting for a decision...|
The foot-dragging over the fate of the Swansea Tidal lagoon is ominous, but sadly to be expected from a Westminster system that remains hooked on expensive subsidies to foreign owned and foreign constructed Nuclear power stations. One reason for this is that it is perhaps easier for former energy minsters to get better paid jobs post their involvement in politics, with subsidy rich energy companies.
Interest in developing Tidal lagoons is not new; the idea has been floated around in Wales since the late 1990’s. The problem is that successive private companies have moved on or lost interest when faced with sluggish perhaps finely calculated indifference from both government (at all levels) and the civil service.
Post BREXIT we need the Tidal lagoons more than ever, if Westminster is serious about reducing the UK’s dependence on imported energy supplies from unstable regions, run by brutal repressive regimes – then developing Tidal lagoons could be a step towards real energy independence. Rather than marshaling their lame tired old excuses as to why they cannot or won’t buy in to the project, we need a commitment to secure power generation.
We also need the devolution of powers relating to energy resource development to Wales and a Welsh government that is not sleeping on the job. Post BREXIT we need to step away from our low wage culture and to develop a much more economically dynamic and sustainable Welsh economy. We are not going to get any o these things with a Labour in Wales government in Cardiff Bay that’s too busy looking after its own personal and party political interests rather than our national interests.
Back in January 2017, a former energy minster, Charles Hendry, after looking at the latest proposals, came up with a positive endorsement. It’s now nearly October, and despite the distractions of the Westminster general election and the shambolic post BREXIT negotiations (and associated faffing about) we find that Westminster has gone all Simon and Garfunkel on us here in Wales – all we are getting is the sound of silence.