by MONITOR
TONY Blair and David Cameron have this in common, that they both set up policy review bodies and then promptly pre-empt their recommendations by announcing the policy they favour anyway. Yesterday Mr Blair said that Britain's ageing nuclear power stations would have to be replaced by, yes, new nuclear power station as soon as possible. Nuclear-or-not is probably the biggest issue in front of the government's energy review which is due to report in July. Are its members even now re-writing their opinions in the light of the prime minister's assertion yesterday that failure to secure Britain's energy security through nuclear power would be “a dereliction of duty to the country”? Who would want to be accused of that by Her Majesty's First Minister? Criticism of this endorsement of nuclear power by Mr Blair immediately came from several predictable sources. One was Elliott Morley who was Environment Minister until he was sacked from the government in the recent ministerial shuffle. He said he had been deliberately excluded from discussions because of his known opposition to nuclear power and he reiterated the case for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It is not immediately clear why Mr Blair chose to speak out ahead of the publication of the official energy review. One tactical consideration may have been that Mr Cameron has not clarified his position on nuclear power and some of his closest advisors, including Zac Goldsmith, are opposed to it.