Tuesday, 25 October 2016

up the creaking committees without a brexit


One of the old sayings about committees is their ability to hide in safe detail. It's the story of the power station and the bike sheds, where the committee is better able to talk about bike shed placement than the big stuff. Or talk of plane marshalling paddles instead of the new runway.

The recent Hinkley Point situation is a good example. Sure, the negotiation was slowed down for a while after Cameron's crash. Ultimately, May/Hammond have signalled it to go ahead pretty much as envisaged.

That's with the unworkable design and over-expensive power bills for 30+ years after/if the thing actually gets built. Take a look at Flamanville, France which was started in 2007, has seen cost tripled, is six years behind schedule and may have to be dug out and re-built. Olkiluoto, Finland is 10 years behind schedule and has so far seen its costs triple. There's not a single working version of the planned EPR type for Hinkley.

It illustrates the worrying lack of negotiation prowess which could also be brought expensively to bear on the whole Brexit process.

The Heathrow announcement can be another example, which now gets kicked into a further two year committee stage.

Even the dastardly knight continues as yet with no real changes to formal status.

It all reminds me that there's other sayings about paddles.

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