21. 08. 2016

When it Comes to Bribery, Nothing Can Match the Nuclear Industry

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It doesn’t take long for the shine to go off a newly-appointed Prime Minister, does it? Yesterday’s obesity anti-strategy was a disgrace – and apparently all down to Theresa May herself, for fear of causing potential economic difficulties by stopping food companies poisoning children with excessive (ie very profitable) amounts of sugar.

And just before she grabbed her walking poles and trucked off to Switzerland (good judgement there, to be fair!), she revealed herself as an even more enthusiastic proselytiser for fracking than David Cameron. This seems so bizarre that it tells me one of two things:

1. She’s already decided against Hinkley Point, and is now so seriously worried about ‘the lights going out’ in the next decade that she’s ramping up the fracking hype to cover (notionally!) some of the gap in supply that opens up without Hinkley Point.

2. She’s as woefully ill-informed about energy policy as David Cameron was himself, and therefore as vulnerable as he was to the next well-funded, superficially-persuasive industrial lobby seeking to get her attention.

Having to bribe people to accept fracking – with more and more apparent financial benefits on offer – is of course a measure of desperation. And when you read the small print (with the bribes only to be paid out of ‘future profits’ at some indefinable point in the future), you have to wonder how many savvy rural folk are going to be taken in by such garbage.

But we shouldn’t underestimate the pernicious influence of corporate bribes offered over extended periods of time. And no industry is more sophisticated in this nefarious art form than the nuclear industry.

Last week, I was sent the latest press release from Radiation Free Lakeland – one of the few NGOs that doggedly keeps up a brilliant fight against Sellafield and the whole nuclear incubus in the Lake District – without much (if any) support from what’s left of the anti-nuclear movement in the rest of the country. As Marianne Birkby, spokesperson for Radiation Free Lakeland, puts it:

“Compared to the nuclear industry, the frackers are in the third division where bribery is concerned, as we know all too well in Cumbria. The nuclear industry leads the super-league – and have been buying the people of Cumbria and our representatives for two decades now.

So why is no-one shouting about this? Not our political representatives, not even the environmental and conservation organisations who should be acting as vocal, impartial watchdogs on nuclear waste and nuclear new build. Why is the nuclear industry’s bribery a taboo subject? Simply because the tentacles of the nuclear bribery monster reach all facets of life in Cumbria.”

You really need to read the whole press release before getting too excited about the still somewhat pathetic antics of the fracking industry and its desperate government backers. The real bribery scandal goes on week after week, almost unnoticed by the rest of us, in one of the most special areas of the UK.

There may not be much that we can do about this directly, but we can certainly support organisations like Radiation Free Lakeland, and sign the petitions opposing new nuclear build near Sellafield and the continued dumping of nuclear waste at Drigg.


https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/lock-the-gate-on-drigg-the-uks-nuclear-waste-site

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22. 08. 2016
PCAH

Thank you everyone; although we might have persuaded Theresa May to abandon Hinkley C people in Somerset are now suffering all the usual premature fatalities from exposure to Hinkley A unregulated decommissioning discharges.

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