Friday, November 03, 2006
Me buttering up to Cameron on waste.
Home from Vienna, just in time to catch Jeremy Coleman having a grilling on Dragon's Eye. And I have to say he looked a bit shaky. It was interesting to hear the Audit 'supremo' in Wales complaining that the media were making a story out of unfair accusations and not looking at what he has acheived - or taking a common sense approach to a senior staff appointment. I don't remember much sympathy from the National Audit Office when I could have said exactly the same thing myself a few years ago - when I resigned as Chairman of the Development Board for Rural Wales. The audit bosses at the time were happy enough to see me skewered - whether it was deserved or not. And I thought it wasn't. As it happens I rather like Jeremy Coleman, so I will leave the matter lie.
Another on the rack tonight was Plaid Leader, Elfyn Llwyd, who was 'working' in Madrid when the most important debate ever for Plaid Cymru was going on in London. I don't blame Elfyn. It is rather nice in Madrid - and bitingly cold in London. The little jaunt didn't do much for Elfyn's mood. He was so grumpy that its easy to understand why Peter Hain is not talking to him at the moment. Anyway he was better off in Madrid. If he'd been home Adam Price would have overshadowed him.
I was a bit chuffed to see our David Cameron on ITV talking about 'maximising the influence of Conservatives in Wales' after the next Assembly election - and with a special mention of dealing with waste. It sounds like he wouldn't mind the 'Rainbow Coalition' - although why Lee was going on about it being led by the 'separatists' is beyond me. I suppose one needs a degree of fantasy to so successfully front a programme like Waterfront!!
Now this 'waste' issue that Dave correctly sees as so important. I visited MVA Spittelan this morning, a waste incinerater in Vienna which looked like a cross between a kiddies playhouse and the Bridgend shopping centre on the M4. A photograph will be added tomorrow.
This incinerater is bang in the middle of Vienna and no-one takes the slightest notice of it. There is a 60,000 student university just 50 yards to one side and masses of housing 50 yards to the other side. The plant manager, a Hr Kitchner, who for some reason is known as 'Chuchill' in the plant, showed me around. It was built by the Government midst great controvosy in 1969 and refurbished after a fire with more controversy in 1989. today, it has been privatised and attracts no controversy at all. In Austria there is acceptance by everyone that the principle of incineration is right and only 1% of waste is landfilled.
In Austria, it used to be the case that politicians hyped up local concerns about incineration in order to create a bandwagon - which they then jumped on for personal advantage. But the politics of waste grew up in Austria, as the alternatives disappeared. Recycling and incineration are the future in Wales as well. We had better get used to it.