The Nuclear Option

Hinkley Point is a bad deal for Britain. Investment should focus on renewable and strategic nuclear projects, as well as smarter use of energy. 

Cynics might think the green light for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear power station partly financed by China, has something to do with Mrs May being forced to sit on the naughty step at the G20 summit in China. After numerous delays, and a pause in the approval of the project in July, construction of the project was finally given the all clear on September 15th. Concerns that circulated around British security in stake in what it considers ‘critical infrastructure’, lead to new safeguards on the project being constructed by Électricité de France (EDF), a French state-owned firm, (using £6 billion in Chinese money). Britain now has a share in all future nuclear projects, and a promise to change it’s approach to control of critical infrastructure. EDF also cannot pull out of the project before completion without British consent. In doing this, Mrs May has likely eased tensions with China – a cash pot of future investments – and France; who she needs to appease to make looming Brexit negotiations easier. Continue reading

Match Fixing

Boundary changes aren’t gerrymandering, but the Tories are still getting an unfair advantage.

Jeremy Corbyn can’t seem to catch a break. In addition to lagging in the polls and having to fight off a leadership challenge from rebellious backbenches, news broke recently that the proposed boundary changes for 2018 could result in his seat vanishing entirely. Jokes about train carriages aside, there are many arguing that the boundary reviews amount to gerrymandering. After all, Labour are the ones who are set to lose out as a result – and badly at that.  Continue reading

Colourblind

Britain should not think it’s above the racism seen in the US. 

Robert Winder, in his very Britishly titled book ‘Bloody Foreigners’tells the enthralling story of the rich tapestry of the thousands of foreign people and ideas that have settled and shaped Britain ever since mankind tracked into Europe from Africa. Our medieval architecture was created by the French; our royal family has German blood in their veins; our banks and shops are Jewish; our language a concoction of Germanic and Latin (with a sprinkling of Indian and American). Our food is anything but British, with tea from China and curry from India. A quintessentially English song of royalty was composed by the German George Frideric Handel. The book speaks of how the Empire stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the trenches of the First World War; and alongside us against Hitler. It was they who came here to help us rebuild our charred cities and bombed out buildings. It was Britain which soldiered on alone against Hitler and Nazism. The story of the Second World War is one of an epic struggle of freedom and tolerance against the forces of racism and oppression. Britain couldn’t possibly be a place of racism and intolerance.

Perhaps this is the reason many Brits scoff at the Black Lives Matter UK movement. A Buzzfeed report on the July 2016 Black Lives Matter march in Birmingham pointed to a dismissal of the issue. After all, the UK isn’t like the US. The brutality and social struggles minorities face in the US aren’t like the ones minority groups in the UK face. Britain couldn’t possibly be as barbaric and unwelcoming as that. Continue reading