Monday, 20 July 2009

He does know about Vestas, right?

Ed Miliband has been spouting rubbish again.

On the Guardian's Comment is Free blog, Miliband has just written about how the fight against climate change is similar to the challenge of putting man on the moon; a huge technological feat, but possible nonetheless.

What stands out the most for me are his words on a shift in energy policy:

First, if we are in the persuasion business, all of us have to talk as much about the advantages of the low carbon choice as the disaster that awaits if we don't act. We don't do this enough.

Just look at energy. Two-thirds of the world's gas is in Russia and the Middle East, but renewable energy is homegrown and can help us stem a rising dependence on imports. In manufacturing, there is a thriving set of new industries dependent on low carbon and on ways of cleaning up old sectors, and a chance to build a broader-based economy. Only by making the transition, with government support, can we reap the benefits.[my emphasis]

You see, the funny thing is that only a few minutes before the link to this appeared in my twitter feed, another link appeared, announcing the worker occupation of a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight which is threatened with closure.

The Vestas Blades site in Newport, which employs 700 people and is one of only two in the UK to produce wind turbine parts, is due to close at the end of July. Vestas blame their decision to close the plant on falling demand due to the recession.

The workers have been pleading for the government to step in and save the plant, by nationalisation if necessary, and the government and Vestas' recalcitrant position has led to the current occupation.

If Ed Miliband really believed in government support for the transition to homegrown renewable energy then Vestas wouldn't be allowed to sink without trace.

Likewise, as Miliband goes on to say, "change happens not just because leaders want it, but because people demand it".

Well then Ed, sit up and pay attention because quite a few people are demanding that you ditch proposals for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, among many other things.

Actions speak louder than words, no?


  1. thanks for blogging about this, also if you want do something serious to combat climate change, give some support to Santiago Manuin...for his defence of the planet he is in hospital with a 8 bullets and the President of Peru Alan Garcia will happily see him die if we don't protest,

    The UK government loves Alan Garcia.......

    click here for details

  2. Mandelson runs the BIS department that would organise a bail out for Vestas. It has little to do with Miliband.

  3. True, but I would still expect (and want) to hear something from Miliband if he really believes in government support for renewable energy.