Quotes of the day 25th February 2021

"In the 80s Labour and the press moaned about the Tories shutting mines; now they are moaning about Tories opening them! Par for the course ....."

(Mark Adrian Solomon, response on Facebook to my Conservative Home article)

"It seems strange that now we have Conservatives wanting to open a coal mine and Labour opposing it."

(Thomas_Lokier· in the Conservative Home comments on the same article)


Gary Bullivant said…
Mr Lockier should dig a little deeper and he will soon discover something more in line with the traditional seams of our two largest political parties.

At this stage what we have with WCM is not a coal mine but a business proposition from international venture capitalists, whose managers are clear enough but whose owners are fully obscurred from public view. Their proposition needs only to be plausible enough to hook in London brokers, preferably followed by a stock market float, a flurry of PR and a rapid exit. Residents of Copeland with self invested pension funds and share ISAs beware - just look at what happened to enthusiastic locals and Sirius Minerals over the Peninines. It's being played out down in Cornwall right now with the lithium boom.

The State's financial involvement in all this is limited to two arms length governmental bodies. For BEIS there is the Coal Authority and, because the coal is under the seabed, for the Treasury there is the Crown Estate. Both will be looking for promises of royalties from any production in return for licences and agreements. This is not the sort of state involvement that has traditionally appealed to Labour, outside the Blair and Brown era anyway.

If he were to look at it in those terms he would be seeing it the political, economic and sociological way usually associated with those of us educated, or educating others, in Berkeley Square (BS8 not W1).
Chris Whiteside said…
Do you imagine that those people in Copeland who support the mine because they think it will bring jobs to the area, or the people who opposed pit closures in the 1980s because they thought their communities would lose jobs, will or would have changed their mind about whether a job in their community was worth fighting for because the investment to make it possible was coming from international venture capitalists?

I'll accept that Arthur Scargill and Mick McGahey might have, but I don't think most of even their most fervent supporters would have given a monkeys. And nor would most people in Copeland today.
Chris Whiteside said…
For those who don't get the reference to Berkeley Square and the postcode BS8, I presume Gary is referring to the Alfred Marshall Building in that part of Bristol, which was the home of the Economics Department of the University of Bristol at the time I graduated in that subject from that University.
Anonymous said…
Therein lies the problem with your philosophy,any money is good money.
Chris Whiteside said…
That's not quite what I wrote. I would not want money from criminals, for instance, nor for any purpose.

But if you asked me if I wanted more jobs in my community, I'd say yes, and if you then asked me if I would change my mind if the investment which provided those jobs was coming from International Venture capitalists, provided they were operating within the law, you bet I would still want the jobs. And I bet 90% of Copeland residents would say the same.
Anonymous said…
Plausible deniability then.
Chris Whiteside said…
Plausible deniability for what?

Or do you mean that you are achieving plausible deniability by not signing your name?
Anonymous said…
The source of the money
Chris Whiteside said…
No. I've told you that I would want to know that the source of the money was legal and that includes complying with the laws designed to prevent money- laundering.

Subject to that and a few similar constraints I am more concerned about the benefits investment can bring to the community than about which legal source it comes from.

That is not the same as plausible deniability which generally means that you know something but don't want anybody to be able to prove that you know it.

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Herbert on his visit to flood hit areas of Cumbria

Quotes of the day 19th August 2020

Quote of the day 24th July 2020