“A Plea for Energy Progress”: Harwood Criticises Decades of UK Policy Stagnation
Political commentator Tom Harwood delivered a scathing review of the UK’s energy policies on BBC Question Time, describing the current state of affairs as “a symptom of 30 years of policy failure.”
Highlighting the nation’s vulnerability to the whims of global prices, Harwood lamented, “The fact that we’re at the whim of global prices and that the government at one point thought it might be spending £150 billion subsidising our energy… That’s twice the cost of furlough.”
He expressed particular dismay at the stagnation in the nuclear power sector, observing, “The last nuclear power station to be approved in this country to be fully built was approved by Margaret Thatcher in 1988. It was finished before I was born.” In a sweeping criticism, Harwood declared this a “failure of the Conservative Party, a failure of the Labour Party” and took aim at the SNP for their categorical ban on new nuclear power in Scotland.
Beyond nuclear, Harwood criticised both major parties and the SNP for their hesitancy to tap into the vast oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. He highlighted, “The Labour Party has said that it would explore no new oil fields. The SNP has in their energy strategy a presumption against exploration.”
The Conservative Party faced Harwood’s ire for their stance on renewable energy, particularly wind farms. He noted, “Companies want to build these things, many communities want to have them, and the Tories have banned them.”
But it wasn’t just the major parties at the receiving end. The Green Party too was chided for opposing solar farms. Harwood expressed disbelief, stating, “The Green Party has been campaigning against solar farms… all of these have been campaigned against by local green councillors.”
Ending with a fervent call to action, Harwood concluded, “I don’t care if it’s shale gas, if it’s fracking, if it’s wind, if it’s solar, if it’s nuclear, if it’s oil, if it’s gas. I don’t care. Just build it. Just do it.”