|Why are we are still waiting...|
Westminster’s failure to commit to the Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon and the broken promise over electrification of the min line to Swansea from Cardiff, while being disappointing are simply very visible symptoms of the Westminster Parliament and most Westminster parliamentarians (with some honorable exceptions) lack of concern for Wales and our national interests. Westminster is simply not interested in making Wales thrive, or allowing Wales to become a world-beater in the development of renewable energy technologies and to generate the technologies and jobs that go with it.
As I have said previously I have long believed that Westminster government’s regardless of their political hue, before and after devolution, and before and after BREXIT, remain fundamentally indifferent to our needs, our aspirations and our national interests. The cancelation of the electrification of the Great Western line, from Cardiff to Swansea should have come as no real surprise. I had long advocated beginning the electrification process at the Swansea end of the line, something that may well have made the cancellation more difficult.
The foot-dragging over the fate of the Swansea Tidal lagoon remains ominous, but sadly it is to be expected from a Westminster system that remains hooked on expensive subsidies to foreign owned and foreign constructed Nuclear power stations. One reason for this is that it is perhaps easier for former energy minsters to get better paid jobs post their involvement in politics, with subsidy rich energy companies.
Interest in developing Tidal lagoons is not new; the concept has been floated around in Wales since the late 1990’s. The problem that successive private companies when faced with sluggish perhaps finely calculated indifference from both government (at all levels) and the civil service have moved on or lost interest.
Post BREXIT we need the Tidal lagoons more than ever, if Westminster is serious about reducing the UK’s dependence on imported energy supplies from unstable regions, run by brutal repressive regimes – then developing Tidal lagoons could be a step towards real energy independence. Rather than marshaling their lame tired old excuses as to why they cannot or won’t buy in to the project, we need a commitment to secure power generation.
The devolution of powers relating to energy resource development to Wales and a Welsh government that is not sleeping walking on the job is necessity. Post BREXIT we need to step away from our low wage culture and to develop a much more economically dynamic and sustainable Welsh economy. We are not going to get anything done with a Labour in Wales government in Cardiff Bay that’s too busy looking after its own personal and party political interests rather than our national interests.