Utility Week

Utility Week 27th Sept 2019

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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Community only the end of austerity but the discovery of a veri- table forest of money trees, it would appear. Philip Hammond must be spinning in his grave (meta- phorically) as Sajid Javid turns the taps on, and not just in hard- pressed Northern constituencies with a majority of Leave voters. Oh no, there's even £20 million so the UK can be at the forefront of, er, space weather. Yup, you heard that right. While at the UN General Assembly, Johnson announced the extra cash for the Met O‰ ce Space Weather Operations Cen- tre, to equip it to better detect severe space weather events, such as solar Œ ares. It's a small sop to the UK space industry for us being chucked out of the Galileo Global Satellite System a' er Brexit, but hey ho. Maybe it was really intended to give the prime minister some- thing to o" er Trump, who is a keen proponent of a US Space Force. They'll need to know what the weather's like up there, right? We'll never know. Before Boris even got to meet the orange one, news was ˜ ltering through that the UK Supreme Court had ruled that the suspen- sion of Parliament is illegal. Doubtless Johnson was able to appreciate the irony of the UK's courts taking back control. Disconnector Publishing director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Content director: Jane Gray, janegray@fav-house.com, t: 01342 333004; Editor: Suzanne Heneghan, t: 01342 332106, e: suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com Digital editor: James Wallin, 01342 332015, jameswallin@fav-house.com; Intelligence editor: Denise Chevin, 01342 332087, denisechevin@fav-house.com Energy correspondent: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@ fav-house.com; Reporter: Adam John, t: 01342 332069, e: adamjohn@fav-house.com; Water correspondent: Ruth Williams, e: ruthwilliams@fav-house.com, t: 01342 332069 Editorial assistant: Greg Jones, t: 01342 332102, e: gregjones@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ben Hammond, e: benhammond@ fav-house.com. t: 01342 332116; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, e: sarahwood@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332117 Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e: sophieabbott@fav-house.com; General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. 2,500 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2018 Membership subscriptions: UK £769+VAT per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the regulator of the UK's magazine and newspaper industry. We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint, please contact the Editor. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you want more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk. keep going bigger to have the same e" ect. Donald Trump, of course, is a master at deadcatting. So even as cries grow for his impeach- ment for allegedly trying to pres- sure the president of Ukraine to dig dirt on the son of Joe Biden, the ex-vice president and a current Democrat presidential hopeful, Trump answered his critics by sauntering into the UN climate conference to gatecrash the address by Sweden's Greta Thunberg. A visibly furious Thunberg eyed the prez taking his seat before giving an impas- sioned speech about the need for action to save the planet that saw her close to tears. Donald tweeted his followers a link to Greta's speech, together with the mocking aside: "She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!" So there you have it, while the "woke" liberal class ponders the ethics of "punching down", the president of the United States makes time in his busy schedule to bully a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl who's liter- ally trying to save the world. Now that, Boris, is how you slam a dead cat on a table. Space, the fi nal frontier The advent of Boris Johnson's premiership has heralded not Look, a cat! Poor Boris. Our new PM does what he can to come across as the tough guy (it's "do or die" remember), but he just can't resist smirking for the cameras ("doomsters and gloomsters" and all). You can be a super- villain or a clown, but you can't be both. Thus our glorious PM was in New York this week at a climate change junket, where he also had meetings with France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel, not to mention Ireland's Leo Varadkar. But the pursuit of a Brexit deal has become a pantomime and the media is getting bored. Thus they chased him around demand- ing to know why he directed more than a hundred grand of public money towards "a close friend" when he was mayor of London. Better yet, the friend was blonde and an ex-model. Poor Boris. Some years ago he (perhaps unwisely) revealed his tactic of "dead catting", whereby when you're caught bang to rights by your oppo- nents you metaphori- cally slam a dead cat on the table, thus distracting everyone in the room from what they were talking about. The problem is one of diminishing returns. You have to UTILITY WEEK | 27TH SEPTEMBER - 3RD OCTOBER 2019 | 31 Chinese whispers News reaches Disconnector's ears that it's not only Donald Trump who's prepared to push alternative facts in his drive to make his country great again. The great Trumpian bogey- man China (which a' er all invented climate change, among other things) has long been a practitioner of, shall we say, factual Œ exibility. Thus it doesn't colonise other coun- tries but merely declares them to have always been Chinese, such as Tibet. And it can say hand on heart that it has never been conquered. A' er all, wasn't Genghis Khan not so much a mongol as a citizen of northern China? Given this track record, it's di‰ cult to know what we should make of the revelation that we all speak a dialect of Chinese, or at least that's the conclusion of Zhai Guiyun, vice president and secretary- general of the World Civilisa- tion Research Association, who also claims that everything we are taught about Europe prior to the middle ages is "fake news" designed to cover up Chinese domination of the world in previous centuries. It was LP Hartley who observed the "past is a foreign country", although Disconnec- tor suspects he didn't mean it as literally as Mr Guiyun does.

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