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Radioactive takeover

Robert Peston | 07:16 UK time, Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Is there no British company that is so strategically important to the UK that it mustn’t be sold to overseas interests?

Hunterston power stationI ask the question following the disclosure that the government is contemplating a sale of its 35.2% stake in British Energy, the nuclear company, to an overseas power business.

Possible buyers are the usual energy suspects: EDF of France, RWE and Eon of Germany, Iberdrola of Spain and our own Centrica.

Even if the eventual purchaser didn’t want to acquire the whole of British Energy, that stake alone would bring with it great sway over British Energy’s plans.

The important facts about British Energy are that it owns eight of the UK’s ten operational reactors and most – or possibly all – of the sites for the next generation of nuclear plant.

Or to put it another way, if you agree with the government that nuclear is the power source of the future, because of its low emissions and putative reliability, then it’s hard to think of a company more vital to the future energy security of the UK than British Energy.

Does that mean we should be concerned that British Energy could be owned by French, German or Spanish interests?

Nuclear is, of course, a highly regulated industry. So perhaps the British interests that matter can be protected by regulation rather than insisting the owner should be British.

And maybe the entire issue is already a red herring, since British Energy will not be building the new nuclear plants alone anyway, but would only do so in partnership with overseas companies such as EDF.

Or to put it another way, since our nuclear future depends on overseas capital and expertise, the nationality of British Energy’s owner may already be irrelevant.

Perhaps the more important question is whether selling the stake would confer excessive clout to the new owner in the contest to build the new reactors.

But here’s a thought to ponder. Is there any conceivable, realistic vision of the future of Europe in which it would be possible for British interests to own nuclear plants in Germany, Spain or France?

Would their governments ever allow a UK company to own even a single nuclear reactor on their soil?

And if the answer to that is “no”, are they mad or are we mad?

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:53 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Foreign companies or foreign states? These are not 'companies' as we understand it. The UK government would never act towards Centrica as, for example, the Spanish govt has to Endesa, or the French to Suez. And EDF is 85% owned by the French state. So what we should be asking is not if we're happy for foreign companies to own strategic UK assets, but rather foreign states. (The answer's no by the way).

  • 2.
  • At 08:17 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I am someone who is much much more pro-european than the average member of the British public. I am fully in favour of the Senghan system of inter european travel and of the single currency.

However, i believe that there now needs to be a period of consolidation in europe - part of which means the majority of europe catching up the UK in librarising their markets - postal services and energy markets are but 2 examples of this. In direct answer to your question then if their is a realsitic chance of ANY other europan ownership of a european energy market then clearly it is right for european ownership of British facilities.

In my opinion the problem has never been europe but the uk, who rush in with maximum complience, with little heed paid to the consequences - something which other european countries are much more carefull about.

  • 3.
  • At 08:26 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • matt wrote:

we're mad this company should stay British

  • 4.
  • At 08:28 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • John II wrote:

It surprises me that this is even an issue now. I thought the accepted wisdom was that all UK plcs are for sale to anyone with enough cash. In fact any UK company that is part owned by the UK government can probably bought at a discount due to the governments propensity to tear off the arm of anyone wanting to offer them cash, for anything, any time.

No doubt Gazprom can make an offer for british energy then enjoy years of increased influence over the UK by just not quite getting around to building any new nuclear power stations.

There is a wider issue here: When all our companies are owned by foreigners, and they decide to base them in their countries, thereby avoiding contributing to the UK tax pot; and when they decide that UK workers are too expensive. Who will be left to pay taxes in the UK?

  • 5.
  • At 08:40 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Inigo, Spain wrote:

Hi Robert: answering your question. here in Spain where I live the biggest nuclear operator is called Endesa, a big utility which was formerly owned by the Spanish government. Endesa owns 47% of the nuclear capacity in Spain. Endesa is now 65% owned by an Italian company called Enel. So you could say half of our nuclear power is owned by the Italians. On top of that, Enel is 35% owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and they had almost no nuclear expertise before acquiring Endesa. And you know what?: nothing really has happened. The plants are still reliable, well-run and profitable. I think we easily tend to see ghosts when economic nationalism is in play, but here in Spain almost no one remembers now the fact that Spanish nuclear reactor are for the most part owned by a company headquartered in Rome. It simply works perfectly, why shouldn't do it in UK?

  • 6.
  • At 08:51 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • john k wrote:

The answer to your question Robert, depends upon our ability to regulate the industry concerned. Take for example the regulation of another foreign owned strategic interest, BAA. Many would argue that regulator caved in. Would an energy regulator act the same way when threatened by a foreign owner of British Energy, I suspect so.

  • 7.
  • At 08:52 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Bee Ebene wrote:

As a foreigner living in the UK I am amazed to see that the UK is selling all its important assets to other countries. Thames Water went first to Germany and later to Australia, no investment into the infrastructure was made during the German reign. The major airports are owned by Spanish companies, one nuclear power station has already gone to France. The city creates 20%-30% of the UK's GDP, but that's it. I love the UK because of it's entrepreneurial spirit.Yet the level of education across all social classes is compared to other European nations quite modest. Even Oxford and Cambridge cannot compete with the Ivy League, Sorbonne or any old university in Germany. This is why British technical expertise is being replaced. Last year Britain won one Nobel prize, Germany four or five. My advise to Britain is don't waste your time getting upset about immi or emmigration, these people are NOT the foreigners you should fear. The only solution is to give teachers the status they deserve. Other European countries don't allow teachers into a class room after only three years of education. In these countries teachers have to not only learn about the subject matter they are going to teach, but also how to teach. Teachers are expected to study for 5-6 years and are paid accordingly, their social status is similiar to that of a doctor here in the UK. This should certainly improve Britain's competitiveness in the world.

  • 8.
  • At 09:01 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Jel wrote:

They sold the political system out to American interests years ago, so why stop there?

  • 9.
  • At 09:04 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Anthony C Gilbert wrote:

I also don't understand why this Government is happy to sell our strategic assets abroad. The same comments can be raised against the sale of BAA and additionally in that case the high amount debt financing utilised in the sale transaction. It also exposes the fact that The City has absolutely no loyalty as I don't recall any meaningful bid for BAA from a British source. Most of the silver has been sold so one must wonder when the Golden Shares in BAE and Rolls Royce will be put on the block - both no doubt ending up with European or US owners. As Robert points out there is no reciprocity in Europe, both France and Germany defend their industries with great vigour.

  • 10.
  • At 09:05 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Oh dear Robert missed the point. The actual issue is why sell to any of these parties - forgive me for senility but wasn't the government and toothless OFGEM investigating why electricity prices had recently been ramped up - what is the reaction - to sell more market power to an existing operator? Sorry the basic laws of supply and demand are being broken again.

You forget Robert. If push comes to shove, we can always Nationalise it.

  • 12.
  • At 09:15 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Probert wrote:

On paper, it appears likely that EDF would be the highest bidder for British Energy. It is the largest power company in the world by market capitalisation after all.

EDF already sells us electricity and owns substation and other transmission and distribution infrastructure in the UK. Owning and operating nuclear power stations, which is does in France, would be a perfectly natural and logical step.

However, who owns EDF? Well, it's the French government. It's a state-owned company.

So, in effect, Nicolas Sarkozy et al would be running our nuclear power stations, sending the electricity down their wires and then selling it to us.

Not quite the situation that rabidly Eurosceptic Thatcherites envisaged back in the 1980s, I'm sure. Vive la difference!!

  • 13.
  • At 09:26 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

"Are they mad, or are we mad?"
An excellent question.
Another good question could be who is responsible for cleaning up the sites after de-commisioning? If the answer to that is "the new owners" then the sale could be clever. If the answer is "still us" then it looks rather less clever.
The other intreaguing question is the one Robert raises - whether the owners matter very much in a highly regulated industry, or whether it all comes down to the accounting details. Look at rail privatisation, for example. The only real benefit from that was taking the government's meddling fingers away from the industry so it could be managed and run properly. But in the end they still keep on interfering!
If a foreign-owned energy company was to be allowed enough freedom to make sensible engineering decisions on the way forward (choosing cheap low-risk reactors, for example, and being able to select gas/coal/etc according to logic rather than political motives either driven by dogma or supra-national posturing like Kyoto) then it could work very well.
But I can't help feeling this won't happen, and the owners (whoever they are) will be forced into making the same mistakes our political masters have made time and time before.


  • 14.
  • At 09:57 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • daniel wrote:

Well, just answering your last question, I dont see why they won't. EDF just swopped interests with Iberdrola (spain); some EDF "crown jewl" NPPs for a share in Iberdrola. Also, a few months ago, ENEL (It) got itself a share in EDF aswell.

If you Brits have anything what might interest them, I don't see why they would not make such a deal with you. So dont be so protectionist.

  • 15.
  • At 09:59 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • paul weekes wrote:

Why stop there. Just sell everything lock stock and barrell and become a
member of the French Republic. This
country lost its pride and respect a
long time ago.

  • 16.
  • At 10:00 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Anthony C Gilbert wrote:

Robert, we are mad. The same comments apply to the sale of BAA. What chance of BAE Systems and Rolls Royce going foreign when this disinterested and incompetent Government decide to dispose of the Golden Shares?

  • 17.
  • At 10:15 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Roger Hird wrote:

This is a hasty comment on a post that needs something longer and more considered but, as one who has watched from close quarters the UK consistently failing to take the right political decisions on the nuclear element of our energy policy over the last 20 plus years, the idea of selling what we have to a foreign owner is in no way surprising.

You ask if the government is mad to concider putting effective control of this vital (if potentially hazardous) technology in foreign hands. The answer is "yes".

  • 18.
  • At 10:35 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • AJ wrote:

.....or a russian company......because if there is no issue of principle here, I'm sure that's where the best price can be found. If there is an issue we shouldn't even think about it. Mind you - how big is the hole in the public finances?
Tony

  • 19.
  • At 10:55 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Colin wrote:

It seems to me that this government has no cohesive policy at all on UK energy for the future.
We are entirely exposed to the whims of foreign states/companies and rather like a previous comentator ref Gazprom, the possibility of their aquisition of British Energy, it is unthinkable. Could our government allow such a move?!
It would however not surprise me, cash for today and never a thought to a future beyond the next election seems the only driver.
And there I was believing that the first responsibility of government was the protection of it people. What more important than Energy, Food and Security.

  • 20.
  • At 10:55 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • thomas blaiklock wrote:

It is interesting to note that neither EdF, EoN, RWE nor Iberdrola have one UK national on their parent Boards of Directors. Can we be assured that these companies would place the UK public interest first in their strategies for investment and participation in the UK power market? [Answer = no!!]

Question: how many nations have spent billions of taxpayers' money to develop and gain operational experience of an advanced technology (viz. nuclear), then sold it all off to anyone who is prepared to pay the price?? Answer: only one, the UK!

[There is even now talk of using more UK taxpayers' money to subsidise these same buyers' projects in the UK!!]

Future generations, including our aspiring engineers seeking jobs at the frontiers of technology, will look back on the demise of the nuclear industry as a period of crass husbandry by Government (viz. HM Treasury) of our national resources. It also leaves the UK even more reliant on overseas, usually state-owned, energy sources!

  • 21.
  • At 10:57 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Colin wrote:

It seems to me that this government has no cohesive policy at all on UK energy for the future.
We are entirely exposed to the whims of foreign states/companies and rather like a previous comentator ref Gazprom, the possibility of their aquisition of British Energy, it is unthinkable. Could our government allow such a move?!
It would however not surprise me, cash for today and never a thought to a future beyond the next election seems the only driver.
And there I was believing that the first responsibility of government was the protection of it people. What more important than Energy, Food and Security.

  • 22.
  • At 11:05 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • paul weekes wrote:

Why stop there. Just sell everything
lock stock & barrel. This country has
no pride or integrity left. The
government appear to be committed to
full foreign ownership. Perhaps we can
sell the government as well ?

  • 23.
  • At 11:09 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • R Chamberlain wrote:


If it seems totally mad to 90% of reasonable people,it is a sure bet that our politicians will do the complete opposite and show how completley out of touch they are with rational thinking.

We will never change their thinking though,its the Ministers we need to change and the sooner the better for the future stability of Britain, If there is much hope left after we have already sold the family silver
(and given away its gold)

R Chamberlain
Bolton

  • 24.
  • At 11:38 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Peter L wrote:

And one further critical point is that ultimately, however owns it, the nuclear industry is backed up by government guarantee.....and if we all have a never-ending exposure to the risks, we should at least get some of the profits.

  • 25.
  • At 11:42 AM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • tonyw wrote:

Is the government mad? Just look at what has been done in the last few years;

Sell half our gold when it is at a low.

Use our dwindling resources to pay people not to work.

Waste our money on wars in far off countries with no link to us.

Increase elf and safety to the point that a fire extinguisher is considered a fire hazard.

Consider having a foreign (sharia) legal system.

Increase taxes because they know better how to spend OUR money.

Barking mad I'd say.

  • 26.
  • At 12:02 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Observer wrote:

There is a precedent here for foreign commercial control of UK nuclear assets. The UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment is managed under a "Government Ownership Contractor Operation" commercial contract with a consortium that has America's Lockheed Martin and the UKs BNFL and SERCO as equal partners. Given that the UK is prepared to allow a significant foreign involvement in the development and operation of the UK's nuclear deterrent, such involvement in the civil nuclear programme should, by this logic, not be problematic. Whether, as Robert Peston asks, any such arrangments would be tolerated by other nations however, is open to doubt.

  • 27.
  • At 12:39 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • roy wrote:

The importance of energy security cannot be overstated. i just cant understand why any government would take this position. Furthermore, where is the encouragement and investment in these types of industries that create high value jobs and knowledge. Successive governments are leaving the investment into people and infrastructure increasing to the private sector (regardless of nationality). for years nothing was put into our utilities and transport network by the state. lo and behold, when we sell them off did the taxpayer get a better deal? the recent history of railtrack, thames water, baa, and now the pricing fiascos offered up by the energy companies tells us all we need to know!
when will we actually grill these idiot politicians on just what they think is going to happen to this country in the longer term?

  • 28.
  • At 12:46 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

We seem determined to sell any crucial national asset to anyone with the cash regardless of our national interests, their suitability to own it or any previous experience.

If that were not bad enough, we have ineffective regulatory bodies who seem delighted to roll over and have their tummies tickled whilst the UK taxpayer picks up the cost in high prices and poor service.

Gordon needs the cash so I can't see British Energy being left out of the great UK yardsale.

  • 29.
  • At 12:47 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

This embarrassing socialist government would sell their own grandmothers to appease their inflated egos for “doing the right thing”. They have always been vague and guarded about motives for any of their actions and have manufactured any evidence for making decisions. Through bad management of public funds they are desperate for any extra cash, irrespective of long term risks and costs. So they will sell, undeterred by what experts and the public say as it has never stopped them before. They are going to leave a massive mess for the next incumbents of No.10 and sail on knowing that they ‘did it because they thought it was the right thing’ ala nauseating Tony Blair.

I don’t expect the foreign engineering companies to have underhand objectives, although their main purpose would be profit, with a secondary concern being the well being of Britain. Whether these two things can be balanced is a tough question but I wouldn’t trust Chairman Brown to have thought it through past the dollar signs.

  • 30.
  • At 01:07 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Ch. Honthorst wrote:

All of which provokes the question what, actually, is the British government for? And if we can identify any valid and necessary functions, is there a point at which it could profitably be alienated to an overseas competitor?

  • 31.
  • At 01:37 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Magoo wrote:

Pakistan.
Now nuclear and soon to be Iran and the rest of the middle east.

And all of this nightmare is because a mis-managed nuclear processing company let in foriegners - namely one Dr Khan, who promptly copied techincal plans for purifiying uranium and sold them to the highest bidder.

In this day and age to let people buy in to such an industry under the guise of the free market you have to be mental.

  • 32.
  • At 01:46 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Roman Abramovich wrote:


How much for 10 Downing St?

I quite fancy a little London bolthole.

  • 33.
  • At 03:51 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff Berry wrote:

Robert,

Whilst HM Government has the nationalisation cheque book out they should buy the foreign owned UK energy and utilities companies.

The prices charged by these foreign owned energy and utility companies in the UK are far in excess of the prices they can charge in many EU countries, including their own country of origin.

Surely there must have been controls placed by the government in the purchase and operations agreements that would prohibit this extortion.

We the overpriced UK energy and utilities consumer are subsidising the consumers of other EU countries by a so called free market based on prices unrelated to cost but what the wealthier consumer market can afford to be ripped off at.

.

  • 34.
  • At 04:48 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Harvey Pengwyn wrote:

'Anything can be expropriated if push comes to shove' is my motto, it is not like you can put a nuclear power station in your Renault's boot and take it back to France.

  • 35.
  • At 05:31 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Wendy wrote:

Absolute madness. For the last 10 years this government has sold most of our assets and most of it has been undervalued. To sell there stake in British Energy to another country once again takes the power away from this country. Maybe they are trying to find more money to fund the 2 illegal wars they have involved our troops in.

  • 36.
  • At 10:08 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • paul hampson wrote:

I thought the whole reason UK utility companies and Nationalised industries where privatised was because the Government had no confidence in the public sector to run them. However we now seem to think that foreign public sector organisations are best placed to deliver our public services. So we have EDF supplying Electricity, German State Railways (DB) taking an ever increasing stake in UK rail and are even contemplating the sell off of former British Gas, Centrica, to Russian state owned Gazprom! I'm not sure this is what Mrs Thatcher had in mind when she flogged the family silver in the 80's!

  • 37.
  • At 11:03 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Roger Caygill wrote:

Robert,

As I see it, we are not at risk of selling British Energy to foreign utility owners, the pruchase would have to be funded by commercial paper, which is somewhat hard to come by at the moment. Far more likely is a sale to a sovereign wealth fund, perhaps one from the middle east, China or Russia. There may be an incentive for them not to 'sweat' our nuclear assets and allow them to be run down and start to be decommissioned in short order(paid for by us as liability will remain on HM Gov. books). This would potentially lead to a greater reliability on that sovereign nations energy assets, such as Qatari LNG, OPEC oil, Russian gas or indeed Chinese coal.

Hmm. Energy security, I fear not.

  • 38.
  • At 11:52 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

I believe that with Northern Wreck on its' books, the Government needs all the cash it can get, and as such the decision to sell their stake has most probably already been made.

There's no logical reason for disallowing takeoever of BE by European utilities, when they've been welcomed (rightly, in my view) in their acquisitions of other UK energy companies. If they want to pay fat prices for UK assets, let'em - provided they play by ALL the rules, including energy liberalisation across Europe, which ought to be a condition of sale.

There is a bit too much enthusiasm for interference in energy trade on 'strategic' grounds - the US is now telling the Swiss they can't buy gas from Iran. Security of supply is not an empty concept, and it needs to be addressed sensibly: but at the same time crying 'security' is often the last refuge of a bad argument.

  • 40.
  • At 09:40 AM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Wallum wrote:

Yes we are mad in answer to your question.

Gordon Brown has survived for so long by selling the country short and concealing the impact. Which country has the biggest debt burden per capita? The UK of course. Which country has nearly tripled its debt burden under a single chancellor/pm stewardship? The UK of course.

Just like the global car manufacturers inflate their prices in the UK then global energy suppliers will do the same thing. We never learn. We are now totally committed to selling all the UK for the sake of one man's ego.

We are facing the Forthcoming UK Energy Deficit FCUKED.

The bulk of supplies for energy will in a very few years be sourced or owned overseas.

All this from a position of 100% total energy independence.

Will someone tell me what we do if BE is sold overseas, and they say ....ooooh too expensive, we need to pay the clean up costs so we won't build any power stations ?

  • 42.
  • At 07:32 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • BH wrote:

I am sure most of the voters would have an opposite view to the govt who is keen to sell everything.

There is no inclination to think long term and of UK's national interests. Many decisions concerning key areas are made outside of the UK.

You cannot blame oversea countries as their govts are much stronger at protecting their national interests. Takeover by UK companies in these markets are almost impossible.

BAA was sold off to a highly leverage company without any thought made for the future....

  • 43.
  • At 08:35 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

#7

I absolutely agree. I have been fortunate enough to study or observe education in England, France, Spain, Germany and Sweden and the English system is very poor compared to those others.

  • 44.
  • At 10:34 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Colin Soames wrote:

Gorrdunns sold off all our gold, now he's going to sell off the skills needed to secure our energy supplies. I'm sure he's 'prudently' kept the magic beans though!

  • 45.
  • At 03:02 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Tone Franklin wrote:

It appears to me that HM Govt. is already owned by foreign nationals who have nought but the complete demise of the UK as a socio-politico-economic force in the world as their number one goal.
Did the New World Order some nuclear power stations?

  • 46.
  • At 12:17 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • DS wrote:

I think most people are missing the point of selling off all the family silver. It isn't madness at all - simply that our MPs are running out of taxpayers money to stuff into their own pockets through fraudulent expenses claims. I often wonder, too, if foreign governments are stuffing brown envelopes into the chubby hands of Labour ministers in return for ruining this country. Seriously! You just couldn't run a country this badly by accident.

  • 47.
  • At 04:18 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • B. Hall wrote:

Brown has to sell every thing he can to pay for imigration how else is he going to get some votes.

  • 48.
  • At 01:02 AM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Tony C wrote:

This concerns me because it seems to me that there is a fundamental difference between a nuclear power station and other capital assets. That is that a major cost associated with nuclear is decommissioning at the end of productive life. Of course, there will be supposed safeguards with some hypothecated fund set aside for decommissioning, but will it be enough? If it is not enough then will the company simply fold and leave the cost to the UK Taxpayer? My guess is that during operation there will be a tension between paying dividends and setting aside end-of-life costs. My second guess is that when push comes to shove the dividend will win - because if the dividend is unattractive then who will pay for the next generation of nuclear build... So my view is that there is a "national risk" in going nuclear which might be balanced by a "national interest" in retaining the profits from the operational life.
I do overall support a nuclear option and a steady build programme, rather than a rushed, forced build when it becomes exigent.

  • 49.
  • At 11:01 AM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Mad Max wrote:

We have seen two waves of industrial change in the recent past.

The first wave was the loss on economic grounds of our legacy industrial manufacturing base. We could not compete in a global market place with newer manufacturing infrastructures and lower labour costs.

The second was the growth of service industries that required academic based workers as opposed to vocational ones; in order to get a slice of academic funding the vocational base was moved more towards the academic, this further reduced the practical skill based workforce.

The net result is that we have lost almost all of our self-reliance as a nation along with it's work ethic and now have to rely upon other countries to keep us going both militarily and commercially.

In terms of British Energy the only reason it has not been sold off in its entirely is that we still need uranium by-products for military research and to lend credence to us being a military power.

  • 50.
  • At 11:09 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Michael London wrote:

Its a great idea, here, here. First, sell off the energy, then farmlands, and then water treatment. Finally the railroads. When the foreigners triple prices, well, here, here, wonderful for them. Its all part of the master plan to 'improve things'. For someone else, not us.

  • 51.
  • At 10:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mrs S Jenkins wrote:

The Unbalanced Judgement of, The Doom & Gloom Artist,Robert Peston, is in Question!

His endless Broad-brush Pessimism about the Markets, without any differenciation between Financial Markets that aren't doing well and Business Markets that are doing well, ill serves the listener
or viewer.

Get a Balanced view, Robert. Life
isn't ALL Doom and Gloom.

  • 52.
  • At 05:11 PM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • BH wrote:

the uk govt should be more pro-active in protecting UK companies and UK national interests.

In the power sectors it has allowed takeovers to occur that would not be allowed in other markets.

It is content to see any UK company sold to anyone for whatever size of debt

The govt gives no thought of the long term consequences of lower corporation taxes, key decisions being made outside the UK,

Perhaps the best solution would be to sell the govt to another state where they can make Uk decisions for us!!!

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