Last night on Question Time David Milliband intrigued the nation with his observation that 30% of our electricity is generated by burning coal imported from Russia. For a moment the nation sat on the edge of it’s collective seat in expectation that the former foreign secretary and brother of the current leader of the opposition Ed Milliband might be about to suggest that we invest in the technology to dig into our own coal reserves to cut that cost, but no, that was not what was on the mind of the once and future king.
What David Milliband had in mind was that we shift completely from using coal fired stations to using gas fired stations. With north sea gas reserves running out we are already finding companies moving to the dangerous technique of fracking shale gas to try to increase gas supplies just to meet current demand. So, why would the former future leader of the Labour party, the party of the people, be making such a suggestion?
Could it be anything to do with the £70,000 he earned as a senior advisor for three days work with VantagePoint Cleantech, a venture capital company which is investing in shale gas fracking? Take a look at what they say on their website.
David Milliband MP’s declared income includes:
£65,000 MP’s salary (plus expenses) – paid at the LOWER RATE OF TAX
£75,000 per year as Sunderland FC director (12 to 15 days work)
£50,000 as adviser for Indus Basin Holdings
£70,000 as senior adviser for VantagePoint CleanTech (three days work)
£125,000 for eight speeches delivered in London, France, Sweden, Hong Kong and India.
£39,000 for working as an adviser for Oxford Analytica (seven days work)
£24,000 for one week of university teaching at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
£25,000 for one week teaching at Stanford University
£65,000 as member of the advisory board to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (three days work)
I wonder what independent and entirely neutral advice the once to be next leader of the Labour Party will be sharing next with the nation? I wonder what independent and entirely neutral advice he will be sharing with his brother Ed?
Mind you, Ed Milliband isn’t the first British Party Leader with a brother advising energy companies at the cutting edge of technology. Gordon Brown’s brother, Andrew, was responsible for marketing EDF’s nuclear power generators to the UK at the time that Gordon decided to bring Nuclear back into the equation.