Champagne for the nukes undustry paid for by usSo here’s what we’ve heard in the last couple of weeks. Repairs for the European Union’s 134 nuclear reactors could cost 25 billion euros. China needs to spend 80 billion Yuan to upgrade its nuclear facilities to meet international standards. In the UK, French nuclear giant EdF are threatening to back out of building new reactors in the country unless it receives “further reassurances from the government on what assistance the company will receive”.

This can only mean one thing: Our feckless, mooching “friend” nuclear power is back once again. We better open our wallets – our friend needs lots more of your money but he can’t promise when, if ever, we’ll get it back.

In truth, this moocher isn’t really a friend. A real friend wouldn’t treat us the way he treats us.

Times are tough for all of us. We’ve all had to lower our expectations in these tough economic times. I’m sure there have been times when you’ve been out shopping and looked longingly at the DVD box set you’d really like to see but can’t afford. Maybe you’ve stopped eating out or going out for drinks. Have you had a holiday this year? A lot of people haven’t.

Our “friend” doesn’t worry about all that stuff. He’s got all the DVD box sets he wants. He’s out chowing down on Kobe beef while swilling Krug champagne. He’s just booked a long holiday to the Caribbean. And you know who’s paying? We are. He doesn’t care how much it costs. When the bill comes he simply phones you to mooch some more cash.

When he comes to stay, it’s not just the fact that he costs a fortune to entertain that’s the problem. He’s dirty, untidy and never cleans up after himself – you always have to do it. He’s unbelievably unreliable and is always out of work. He’s always late and never on time. He’s offered to help you fix up your house but he’s never around when you need him. It’s time to give him his marching orders.

Listen, is that your phone ringing? You better answer it. I bet it’s your nuclear “friend” needing your help again. Keep calm. Smile sweetly. Take a deep breath. Get your wallet out.

Meanwhile, over here the rest of us will be partying with our more reliable friends. They’re sunny and breezy, always clean, and always there for us. They’ll pay back what we lend them and won’t waste our cash. You should meet them. You’re very much invited.