Peter Hain He Describes Himself as a Green Socialist, but He Does Not Rule out More Nuclear Power Stations

By Ashley, Jackie | New Statesman (1996), June 18, 2001 | Go to article overview

Peter Hain He Describes Himself as a Green Socialist, but He Does Not Rule out More Nuclear Power Stations


Ashley, Jackie, New Statesman (1996)


Peter Hain's five brief months in the Department of Trade and Industry, after being moved sideways from the Foreign Office (for disloyalty, according to some commentators), certainly made a difference. "What I've done is push the whole renewable energy policy area right up the political agenda," he declares. He claims that there is now "real enthusiasm" in the industry, among non-governmental organisations and in the green movement about the way he has raised the profile of this issue.

Modesty has never been Hain's strong point -- but he is right. Since the days when he used to invade cricket pitches to campaign against apartheid, he has always had a keen eye for publicity, and suddenly, as never before, the newspapers were full of features about the new minister of state in the Department of Trade and Industry who was championing greener energy.

Hain was interested in the subject long before he moved to the energy portfolio. He describes himself as a "green socialist" -- yes, definitely still a socialist, but one who has always tried to push the environmental agenda. The problem, I suggest, is that many socialists, and indeed this Labour government, have always been a bit sniffy about the environment, considering it the preserve of bearded, sandal-wearing liberals.

"Labourism has historically been about producerism rather than environmentalism," Hain admits, though he points out that "if you go back to the roots of the Labour movement, our socialist forefathers, like William Morris and Robert Owen, they were very green...so there's a lot in our roots with a strong environmental perspective".

So what, exactly, has Hain done since taking charge of the UK's policy on renewables? For a start, he has announced a package of direct support -- more than [pound]260m for renewable energy over the next three years. That includes more than [pound]l00m for offshore wind and energy crops, [pound]100m for green energy projects, [pound]10m for solar energy and more than [pound]50m for research and development. In addition to all this, Hain cites what he calls "a powerful driver", namely the Renewables Obligation, which will come into force in October and will require all electricity suppliers to be getting at least 10 per cent of their power from renewable generators by 2010. That will provide an assured market for renewables lasting right through until 2026, so that investment can take place at a faster pace and on a larger scale. There is nothing like the promise of money to get business involved.

Doubts have been raised as to whether the electricity suppliers will be able to meet the Renewables Obligation, but Ham insists that they will, partly because the it will create "a market of a billion pounds a year" by stimulating the demand for green power. The catch is that it will have to be subsidised by every electricity consumer, in the form of higher prices to the tune of about 20p a week.

Won't that create a public outcry? Han believes not: "I think 20p a week is pretty cheap at the price for green energy, for environmental reasons." The public will come on board, he maintains, because it will mean that "the choice isn't between a gigantic new power station near you or the lights go out. It will become supporting either a wind farm or panels on your roof, or growing energy crops (biomass projects) for subsequent burning in a power station." According to Hain, "the market will determine which is the most efficient and competitive renewables supplier".

At present, wind power has the lead over other sources of renewable energy, with the government pushing for rapid development of offshore wind farms. So far, 18 proposed developments are in the planning stage and are already attracting substantial investment. The problem, as with many forms of new technology, is that there are loud objections where proposed wind-power projects are to be sited.

"It's part of my job," Hain insists, "to combat the contagious disease of nimbyism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Peter Hain He Describes Himself as a Green Socialist, but He Does Not Rule out More Nuclear Power Stations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.