For weeks the lobby has been briefed on a major set piece speech on energy and carbon reduction at a meeting of 23 Energy Ministers in London this Thursday.
Such meetings are what set piece speeches are made for and the briefings had been that the PM would take the opportunity to clarify government policy on energy, carbon reduction and particularly renewable energy given that investors have become completely spooked since Chris Huhne left and Osbourne announced a dash for gas.
But yesterday we learn from the FT there will be no speech.
the prime minister is no longer making a pro-environmental oration on Thursday…The steer from the centre is that while Cameron may have mulled a setpiece speech it was only ever considered. And ultimately he decided it was more useful to do a roundtable with executives and politicians – and issue a press release on the side – rather than a grandstanding speech. This wouldn’t require the work of five speechwriters, was how one aide put it. (Although you might argue, that’s what speechwriters are for).
But clearly 5 speechwriters have been working on a draft, but because there is no policy and departments and coalition partners can’t agree what the policy is – especially for the carbon budget and carbon price in the long term. The speech has suffered death by milkrun. It is a total farce of non decision making and non government.
If the prime minister cannot give an energy speech in front of 23 energy ministers then his space at the podium is rather wasted.