Monday, December 11, 2006

Axing the DTI is just the start

The news that Gordon Brown intends to axe the Department for Trade and Industry should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who understands what this really means.

The DTi has long been a redundant Ministry - because everything to do with our trade and industry was handed over to the EU a long time ago. Even so, maintaining what used to be one of the great Ministries of state at least maintained the facade that we had some degree of control over such things - Brown's intention to dump it signals most clearly that he is prepared to finally admit that it was just a facade.

One of the things that the DTi dealt with, though, was energy. Brown, according to reports, is considering handing this to DEFRA - the Department for the environment, food and rural affairs. This is a clear sign that the needs of industry - and be default, the population - is no longer going to be the principal consideration for energy supply. Instead it will be environmental concerns. If there is one thing I am sure about, it is that an energy policy based on what is considered right for the environment ahead of what is right for business is an energy policy that will lead to the further decline of Britain as an economic power - especially when that environment policy is based on a flawed premise anyway.

But even more ludicrous is the belief that DEFRA have any more real say than the DTi. They don't. Just like the DTi, DEFRA is entirely at the beck and call of the EU - and that will include energy policy.

We may as well stop the pretence now. Our real government is not in Westminster anymore - it's in Brussels.

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