Letters: High costs of nuclear deal with China

These letters appear in the Monday 21st October edition of the Independent

Share

Nuclear power is neither cheap, nor sustainable, nor a quick fix for energy shortages. We still haven't found a satisfactory way of dealing with its waste products, and it will take a decade and billions of pounds (billions which will be diverted from investment in greener, more sustainable sources of energy such as solar, marine and wind power) before it provides us with energy.

And now it seems that we can't even build new nuclear power stations without Chinese investment (doubtless involving manufacture in China), so that much of the profit and many of the jobs that come with any infrastructure project will vanish abroad. Are we mad?

Marilyn Mason

Kingston upon Thames

Last week we heard the Chancellor announce at least two bold new initiatives to embrace investment from China. The first was to participate in an £800m investment in Manchester Airport, the second to begin taking control of the remnants of the British nuclear power industry.

Where were the British banks in all this?

In recent years a river of money has been poured into the British banking sector, to prop them up in their failures and to encourage investment in the UK economy. This is hundreds of thousands of millions of pounds, easily ample to salvage the British nuclear power industry (we were the first country in the world to build a civil nuclear reactor, if anyone remembers that), invest in property development, the aviation industry and much more. Yet there doesn't appear to be anything available for industry or the economy.

What happened to all that money, underwritten by tax-payers, here to stimulate economic recovery?

Michael Bond

Stockport, Cheshire

Who needs weapons, who needs war when dominion can be achieved by economic clout and a seat on the board?

When Britain no longer owns its energy supply, and its sovereignty over its communications infrastructure has dissipated, we may regret the Chancellor's handshake.

Sue Young

Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset

Oh despair. Michael Gove promotes me to the Marxist enemies-of-progress club for striking, and I find myself rubbing shoulders with George Osborne, praising the virtues of Communist China.

Ian McKenzie

Lincoln

Badger cull masks error over TB

It's not an “English thing about badgers” (letter, 19 October). It's about the continuing attempt to shift attention from human error.

I refer to the post-2001 restocking of areas ravaged by foot-and-mouth disease, with cattle that hadn't been tested for bovine TB, a schoolboy howler that brought to an end half a century of disease containment.

Talk of badgers attacking hedgehogs and having “no natural enemies” also distracts from the fact that the disease was originally eradicated from this country, with the exception of certain “hot spots” in the South-west, using cattle controls alone, in the 1960s. The idea that killing badgers might be a remedy didn't arise until a TB-infected badger was found in Gloucestershire in 1971.

For those who lobbied for the recent “cull”, its harvest of dead badgers was surely an unmissable opportunity to demonstrate once and for all to the public (who have reportedly paid nearly £1bn for the attempted re-containment of bovine TB) that these badgers really are riddled with TB and that their slaughter, although unpleasant, is absolutely necessary. That this opportunity wasn't taken sends an equally clear message.

Jeremy Wade

Frome, Somerset

We might have more confidence in the Government's culls of badgers if there was any proof that they have been conducted scientifically; that, for instance, the badgers killed have been tested for TB. The impression is that Owen Paterson is clueless and is putting on a grisly show for farmers.

Robert Craig

Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

You can't trust those in power

Two apparently unconnected stories have highlighted the importance of accountability and of scepticism of the activities of those in power (Steve Richards, Peter Popham, 18 October).

The integrity of those who are able to impugn our honesty or lock us up, should be beyond question. Unfortunately, the kind of people who are drawn to this role are not always morally the best qualified to exercise it.

It is a personal tragedy for Andrew Mitchell that it seems he was victimised in the “Plebgate” affair by employees of the state who failed to keep to the exacting standards required.

Meanwhile in Italy, a similar fate befell Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who were falsely incarcerated for four years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, and continue to be harried.

The online comments posted below Peter Pophams's article are instructive. They reveal that many people continue to blindly trust corrupt officials and are prepared to defend them to the end.

That is why we need a free press and campaigning organisations; not only to uncover corruption but to save us from ourselves.

Nigel Scott

Advisory Board Member, Injustice Anywhere, London N22

American extremism

David Usborne in his report from America (“Obama tells Congress: there are no winners here”, 18 October), speaks about fears that “extremists in both parties will dig in”.

He should have given more details, as I was totally unaware that there was a Khmer Rouge faction among Democrats intent on setting the US back to year zero as an ultra-zealous Maoist state. Certainly any Democrats would have to be at least as fanatical as that to balance the extremism of the Tea Party, with its psychotic fantasies of a country swept clean of government, science and any vestigial concern for the environment.

Steve Edwards

Wivelsfield Green, East Sussex

Clegg sees the light at last

Congratulations to Nick Clegg for finally reaching a blindingly obvious conclusion, namely that if qualified teachers have to train for up to three years to be able to teach in state schools, unqualified teachers in free schools are not likely to reach the same standard.

That all state schools have to follow the same national curriculum but that it is not necessary for academy or free schools, is again obviously ridiculous. How can a national curriculum designed so that the achievement of pupils in different schools can be compared be optional?

So well done Nick, at last!

Brian Dalton

Sheffield

Scene of the brief encounter

Can it possibly be that Howard Jacobson (Voices, 19 October) does not know where the “Milford Station” scenes in Brief Encounter were shot?

He should visit Carnforth Station as soon as possible, warm himself by the fire in an old-fashioned waiting room, consume some excellent cakes and scones, and browse the display of Brief Encounter memorabilia in the adjacent room.

John Davies

Liverpool

Class warfare

So the Government is suggesting the reintroduction of third-class rail fares. Presumably these will be for passengers who already cannot find a seat on our many overcrowded trains.

Paul Burall

Norwich

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Arts Editor: The Great Character Actors of Football

David Lister
 

All at sea on the night my world turned upside down

Rebecca Armstrong
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players