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Friday, March 31, 2006


The Scottish Lib Dem leadership's motion against nuclear power has passed by about 2/3rds which is roughly the same as last time. Clearly the leadership had to work quite hard to get this, not just (immodestly) by getting rid of me, but rather more importantly by Ming & Nicol pulling out all the stops, Ross Finnie making a pretty good speech & a general emptying of the bars & back rooms by the leadership when the vote came. Such is the nature of the party's desire "not to embarass the leadership" to quote Ross from his speech last time this was discussed (when only I & Steuart Campbell spoke up - both of us are now gone) that this vote clearly depended entirely on their, & the Federal party's backing.

Worse. The amendment, which did everything possible not to rock boats, has been lost. All the amendment called for was to keep open the possibility of looking at it some time in the future & to let Hunterston's life be extended past 2011 if feasible.

If the closure of 2/3rds of our electricity is a precipice towards which much of Scotlands political class has been rushing the Lib Dems have just applied the accelerator. After 2011 we will have lost 1/4 of our electricity & wind, which supplies under 2% is completely irrelevant.

This is not a minor matter. We know that our wastefully high electricity prices already lead to the deaths of pensioners (24,000 in the UK annually according to Help the Aged) & that the inevitable blackouts will inevitably 7 quite deliberately multiply that figure.

It may be that the party leadership believe that the people of Scotland want this. If so the party must honestly campaign on it. On the recent BBC debate on power Nicol Stephen said that "nuclear is the easy answer" & must thus be avoided because if it happened it would never be possible to persuade the public to pay for windmills etc. It is not honest to say that, by 2011 we can magically increase windmills 10 fold or rebuild all our homes to be heat sealed. If he truly believes this the only honourable choice is to say that blackouts, economic stagnation, fuel poverty & thousands of deaths are a fair price to pay for the Luddite ideology of a party which could once be honestly called Liberal.
This letter was sent to various newspapers around Scotland & published by Glasgow's West End News. I have also sent a letter to the Executive saying that I will not oppose my expulsion on the grounds that a party which, in the cause of ludditism, is willing to kill 10s of thousands of people no longer even has the potential to again become liberal (cc'd to MPs Msps etc). I have resisted the penny dropping but one can go only so far.

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