When Gordon Brown became the UK’s prime minister, he promised to...
...build trust in our democracy, I’m sure we need a more open form of dialogue with citizens and politicians to genuinely talk about problems and solutions. It is about a different type of politics, a more open and honest dialogue...’
So what happened? Take the government's consultation on nuclear power for example. As Greenpeace UK have discovered, it's rigged...
Late yesterday we received an astonishing response to our complaint to the Marketing Research Standards Board about the government's second public consultation on nuclear power. The board sets the standards for opinion research and found that the market research company Opinion Leader Research breached the Code of Conduct. The board said Opinion Leader "information was inaccurately or misleadingly presented, or was imbalanced, which gave rise to a material risk of respondents being led towards a particular answer."
Is that an 'open form of dialogue with citizens' and politicians talking 'genuinely' about 'problems and solutions'? Is it 'a different type of politics' and 'a more open and honest dialogue'?
We’re going to hazard a 'no'.
The thing is, there’s a question that must be asked whenever instances of public nuclear consultations being fixed come to light (and they do with disturbing regularity, all over the world). The question is this: if nuclear power is as wonderful as its supporters and cheerleaders say it is - if it really is clean, safe, and cheap - why the need to rig public consultations?
Why do the public need persuading? Why do they need to be ‘led towards a particular answer’? Surely, nuclear power being so fantastic, people should be clamouring for nuclear power, shouldn’t they? So why aren’t they?
(More information over at Greenpeace UK)