Commonly and mistakenly referred to as General Max Hoffmann’s comments upon the British Army on the Western Front, the origins of the phrase pre-date the First World War. During the Crimean War a letter was reportedly sent home by a British soldier quoting a Russian officer who had said that British soldiers were “lions commanded by asses.” This was immediately after the failed attempt to storm the fortress of Sevastopol in October/November 1854.
Notwithstanding this, the phrase is still an apt one to describe the present government, particularly the sad comedy of errors in re the plans to replace the country’s existing electric power generation.
The approval of the country’s next generation nuclear reactor was expected at the end of June 2011. Our dearly beloved climate change secretary is worried that the UK will suffer a level 8.9 earthquake and wants to know if any nuclear reactors can withstand such.
The British Gazette can answer this question: Yes and the UK will not have an 8.9 level quake – ever.
We do not no how long the delay caused by Mr Huhne’s review will be but it is likely to add an extra twelve months, so expect the EPR to be finally approved in July 2012 (during the Olympics so the public will be distracted).
Of course, this will not mean that construction will begin at that point. Construction proposals and the planning process will then take place. This of course will be an absolute field day for lawyers as each stage of the planning process will be subject to lengthy and expensive legal appeals. Any attempt by the government to reduce this by legislation will of course be appealed – up the European Court of Human Rights. It is unlikely that any construction will take place before the summer of 2017. At that point the country will be into power cuts.