Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Rejoice! We’ve surrendered our power to France! And China! - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Rejoice! We’ve surrendered our power to France! And China!

 

So soporific were exchanges on the decision to build Hinkley Point C that we were forced to focus on extraneous details to keep awake. Such as the fact that Labour’s spokesperson Caroline Flint was absent because, as her deputy Tom Greatrex explained, she was the victim of a “power failure” on the Doncaster to London line.

This “shows we need this investment” exclaimed Ed Davey. So the trains may run on time from 2023! Yet another reason why a power station being built with a huge British subsidy to a state-owned company in France, with the help of another in China, is not, as Davey insisted, a “humiliation but a big triumph actually”.

Given that this is the first nuclear power station to be built here in 20 years, and at a moment when Germany and Japan are busily abandoning them, the wide Commons welcome for the decision was a bit odd. It took a second to understand why – with a handful of exceptions like the redoubtable green Caroline Flint – there was such a consensus.

Until months ago the Lib Dems were the leading opponents of nuclear power! Now it was a Lib Dem minister demonstrating what the pro-nuclear, right-wing Tory Sir Gerald Howarth warmly welcomed as Davey’s “Damascene conversion”. Davey stressed that this was only because was he was so against carbon emissions: “I hope that some on the Conservative Benches are prepared to accept that climate change is something we have to face up to.” Which roughly translates as: “I’ve gone along with nuclear, now you lot should go along with wind power.”

Monday’s statement renewed interest in Davey’s clothing, Greatrex congratulating him for looking less “damp and dishevelled” than he had at a wet and windy Hinkley Point earlier in the day. Davey then deflected Labour MP Meg Hillier’s taunt about telling people to wear jumpers. That wasn’t what he had said – as the record confirms. Challenged by Jeremy Paxman on whether he wore a jumper at home Davey admitted he did, but went on to say that wasn’t the point, and that people needed help with their energy bills (help the government seems to have some trouble providing).

So Jumpergate is no more! Except, oddly, Greatrex was wearing one – a comfy grey number which is unusual attire for a Commons front-bencher. Was he just cold? Or was he – unfairly as it turns out – mocking the Energy Secretary? We should be told.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week