Sir Ed Davey. Three words that tell you everything you need to know about the worthlessness of Britain’s honours system, the backscratching, sod-the-electorate trashiness of its political class and the still, as-yet-unaddressed lunacy of its energy policy.
In an extremely crowded field, Ed Davey is generally reckoned to have been Britain’s worst ever Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The only reason he got the job was because his predecessor Chris Huhne was unexpectedly banged up in jail and the desperate David Cameron needed a Liberal Democrat, any Liberal Democrat, to take on the job because of his (Cameron’s) suicidally stupid decision to hand the keys to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to his bedwetting Coalition partners.
Apart from carpeting Britain’s landscape with ever more bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes, Davey’s principal achievement in office was negotiating the contract with the French company EDF to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, described by one industry analyst as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen.”
Indeed. The current going rate for electricity is £33 per megawatt hour.
But the brilliant deal Davey somehow managed to extract from a naturally very reluctant EDF was to persuade them to accept a modest £92.50 per megawatt hour, inflation adjusted. For those, like Davey, unable to do the maths, that is approximately three times the market rate – over a period of 35 years, paid for of course by the taxpayer.
“I negotiated a very good deal,” declared Sir Ed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Yes. If your definition of a “very good deal” is the one the EU has just secured from Turkey whereby we pay 6 billion Euros to Turkey’s despotic president Erdogan in return for visa-free travel for 77 million Turks and an extremely dodgy arrangement which inevitably involve us having to take on yet more immigrants, then Davey probably did get a “very good deal.”
He certainly did where his own career is concerned, anyway.
Having lost his seat at the last general election (for being crap, basically), Davey walked into a series of cushy sinecures in the energy sector, including a part time job at lobbying firm MHP Communications. And guess who one of MHP’s biggest clients are? Why, a certain French based energy company called EDF which – if this misbegotten Hinkley Point deal goes ahead – stands to receive a total of $17 billion in UK taxpayer subsidies.
How can this kind of revolving door rewards system even be legal? And if you had a knighthood, wouldn’t you just want to hand it back immediately, now that they’re handing them out like prizes on the sides of Cheerios packets to losers like Potato Face Ed?