‘Ignorant’ Miliband accused of trying to foist nuclear power on Scotland


by G.A.Ponsonby

Ed Miliband has been accused of being ignorant of Scotland’s renewable potential and of trying to foist dirty nuclear power stations on Scotland after he attacked SNP plans for green energy.

The SNP were responding to comments made by the Labour leader as senior London figures arrive in Scotland to try to save Iain Gray’s faltering election campaign.

Mr Miliband described SNP proposals to use Scotland’s vast renewable resources in order to power the nation by 2020 as “a fairy story” and suggested the plan was unrealistic.

Mr Miliband said: “I admire anyone who comes up with policies which are credible but the trouble is that his pledge on renewables stretches credulity, frankly.”

However the SNP have responded by pointing out that Miliband himself has been criticised for having “no clear plans” on how to achieve his own energy targets when he was energy secretary in the last UK Labour government and that progress on meeting UK wide renewables targets had been attacked for being “unacceptably slow”.

An SNP spokesman said: “Having been attacked for his own renewables targets, Ed Miliband stands accused of hypocrisy.

“He has revealed that he is wholly ignorant of Scotland’s energy sector and massive renewables potential.”

He added: “Labour’s obsession with trying to foist dirty and dangerous nuclear power on Scotland simply confirms that Iain Gray is London-led.

“We need to generate large quantities of renewable power, not just for Scotland but to export energy to our neighbours, and we have the ability to generate vastly more energy across the range of non-nuclear technologies than our own peak demand.”

Scotland generated over a quarter of the electricity used last year from renewables sources and exported just under a quarter of the power produced.  In 2011 the amount generated in Scotland from renewables sources is expected to rise to one third.

Iain Gray’s campaign has been marked by confusion over policies and indecision on the part of the Labour front man who is still suffering from the images of him fleeing from a small group of protestors in Glasgow.

The arrival of Ed Miliband follows the visit earlier this week by Ed Balls and is a clear signal that Labour’s Scottish election campaign is now controlled by London.  The Labour party are desperately trying to move away from Scottish issues and last week Ed Balls implored Scottish voters to use their vote in order to ‘send a message’ to the Westminster Tories.

However with the Conservatives no longer a threat at Holyrood, Scottish voters may well ignore Labour’s urges and instead focus on current devolved issues, an area that the SNP are emerging the strongest.