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The UK’s Hitachi nuclear bailout- a classic case of crony capitalism

Morning Star 29th June 2018 , ENVIRONMENT Secretary Michael Gove promised earlier this month to crack
down on “crony capitalism.” At the same time his cabinet colleague
Energy Secretary Greg Clark was offering a £5 billion bailout to Japanese
nuclear firm Hitachi.

It looks like a classic crony capitalist deal. Gove
argued: “Crony capitalists have rigged the system in their favour and
against the rest of us.” A classic crony capitalist deal is where a big
firm uses its power and lobbying to squeeze a contract from the government
that is good for the capitalists but bad for us.

The Hitachi bailout looks like such a rigged deal. Hitachi Europe chief executive Sir Stephen
Gommersall isn’t an expert in nuclear power or engineering. He is the
former British ambassador to Japan. Gommersall was hired right out of the
Foreign Office to help open doors for Hitachi. Tim Stone sits on the board
of Horizon Nuclear Power, Hitachi’s British nuclear arm. Stone, a former
KPMG consultant, was chief adviser to the energy secretary from 2008-13,
helping shape both Labour and Tory-Lib Dem governments’ nuclear energy
policy. Before that Stone advised the government on many PFI deals,
including famously bad-value ones.


July 2, 2018 - Posted by | politics, UK

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