Friday, October 08, 2010

"Greenest government ever" tarnishes as green shoots of recovery wilt

Statements made by ministers after elections are always hostages to fortune. Labour's ethical foreign policy, promised by Robin Cook ended in Iraq and rumours of British knowledge of torture. Blair's promise of being whiter than white, following on from the cash for questions and sleaze of the Major era, foundered with dodgy donations and the expenses scandals.

Thus it will be with David Cameron's promise that the coalition government will be the 'greenest government ever.' Partly, this will be because of the same shortsightedness that led to the abandoning of the ForgeMasters loan, which would have given the Sheffield firm a share of a global niche market. It will now lead to the scrapping of plans to upgrade port facilities in the north-east - an area likely to be badly hit by the forthcoming cuts - to support new factories planned to build wind turbines. Siemens, GE and Mitsubishi all want to build factories in the UK, but need the ports upgraded and it now looks unlikely that the government will fund this, a decision that will slam the brakes on the creation of up to 60,000 jobs in an area that needs every one.

Cameron may find that his promise will become a rotting albatross around his neck.

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