Sunday, January 15, 2006

This isn’t Iran - we’re very responsible

Labour to discuss nuclear options

The Scottish Labour Party is to consider nuclear power options. The Scottish Labour Party is planning to review its stance on the building of new nuclear power stations as part of an internal consultation. Holyrood's Labour/Lib Dem coalition has until now said it would not accept the construction of any new plants until the issue of waste was solved. [But we’re not making bombs - honest guv’.]

Labour's decision to look into the issue prompted speculation that the first minister was poised for a u-turn. But the party insisted there was no presumption for or against nuclear [what? Power/missiles/war.] The move comes amid widespread speculation that Prime Minister Tony Blair will back new nuclear power stations as a solution to energy shortages.

The Scottish Labour Party's consultation will help form the basis of the party's 2007 Holyrood election manifesto. The Sunday Herald newspaper suggested that the review would pave the way for a Scottish Labour to remove its opposition to new nuclear power stations being built in Scotland. Bristow Muldoon MSP, the chair of Labour's Scottish policy forum, said the party would bring forward its election manifesto in 2007 after a long and thorough consultation.

Rather than dancing to Tony Blair's pro-nuclear tune, we need to show some backbone - Richard Lochhead MSP

"It is right that nuclear [sic] is discussed as part of an energy mix," he said. "What our opponents cannot stomach is that we want a grown up discussion about it." But Scottish National Party energy spokesman Richard Lochhead MSP said the exercise showed the party could be poised for a u-turn. He said: "Just as Blair's review in London is nothing more than a rallying call for nuclear, Jack McConnell's exercise will be no more than a rubber stamping exercise for Westminster's decision.

The Scottish Socialist Party national convenor Colin Fox MSP said the first minister had been "whipped into line" over nuclear power by Westminster. "Scots will be horrified at the idea of nuclear power being seriously considered as an option by Labour," he said. "Nuclear power has the potential to inflict catastrophe and produces waste that we still not know how to deal with.

"New Labour are showing themselves to be the enemies of the environmental movement."

Scottish Labour's coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, said they would remain opposed to new nuclear power stations in Scotland whatever Labour decided.

Don’t forget two things: Blair is from Scottish descendency and Whitehall is a long way from Scotland. I think it’s unlikely he will retire to Scotland. So mixed up that the spin makes me giddy!

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