Green Flag of Convenience

There is a nuclear power station near Southminster in Essex. The plant has its critics of course. You won’t find them among the people whose families have lived in this corner of the county for generations. Many work at the plant. The critics come from people who were persuaded by developers to move to the far end of the line from London’s Liverpool Street station and then found themselves hit by negative equity during the last property price crash and have to pay increasing costs to commute. I was reminded of this when watching TV interviews given by people opposed to the last bits of coal mining carried on in the North East of England. These are open caste mines and when the site is worked out the company carries out landscaping work. The opposition is always based on environmental grounds. They brush aside job losses, the cost of importing coal, the fact that coal is needed and know nothing of clean coal technology. They never get asked hard questions and the impression is that what the really don’t like is mining on their doorstep. I always listen out for local accents during these interviews but never hear one. One of the clichés they use is: ‘coal is our heritage not our future’. I doubt it’s your heritage mate. 

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