Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Wind fails to fill Sajid Javid's sails as official 'waxes lyrical' about energy policy

Energy policy has nothing to do with the Department of Media Culture and Sport - which is where Sajid Javid actually works

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Indy Politics

Wasn’t it odd, Bournemouth West Tory Conor Burns asked Sajid Javid, that when invited to comment on an offshore wind farm threatening the Jurassic coast’s status as a World Heritage site, a Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) official had forwarded the wind-developers’ “impact assessment” (saying it was environmentally hunk-dory)? She then “waxed lyrical” about energy policy – which had nothing to do with the DCMS.

It sounds like the back story for a plot to rescue Broadchurch from its current complexity, maybe opening with the corpse of a civil servant found strapped to a 650ft-high wind turbine on Dorset cliffs. But Javid said the letter was written before he got his job. He would “look into” this “complex issue” which he had been aware of “but not in any great detail.”

“Not in any great detail” is a bit of a watchword for the Culture Secretary. Questioned yesterday about the admittedly huge range of his responsibilities by the DCMS Select Committee, he could win Mastermind with super-fast broadband as his special subject. But he was a bit shakier on football, despite engagingly revealing that Fifa’s Sepp Blatter had replied to his call for full publication of the Garcia corruption report by telling him “to er… go away.”

And the former Labour Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw corrected Javid’s mistake that the fast-disappearing Leveson Part Two was about “media plurality”.

“You need to get better briefed, Secretary of State,” he said with a menacing laugh.

No-one raised the dissing by celebrity classicist Mary Beard of Javid’s article referring to the “writings of Socrates” because “Socrates didn’t write anything (that’s the point of Plato)”. The MPs were clearly unwilling to tackle the “Socratic problem”, namely that no-one therefore knows what the  philosopher thought. One tweeted speculation was that the Culture Secretary didn’t write the article but left it to his Spads. That would be the “Javidic problem”.

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