Editor’s blog: power to the people?


Disappointed to see that Royal Mail workers are set to go out on strike.

Who suffers most from these actions? The customers. And without customers, there will be no Royal Mail. I bet rival parcel firms are rubbing their hands in glee. Business secretary Peter Mandelson has called the action “suicidal” and it’s difficult not to agree.

Personally, I’m just fed up that it’s always the wrong people that suffer. Taking industrial action, particularly in the current economic situation, is counter productive. I’m sure the unions have real and legitimate grievances, but if they are looking for sympathy from the business sector, then this is the wrong way to go about it.

In a recession, embattled businesses are working tooth and nail just to survive, and such an action could just be the final straw for many. And to be sunk by such an unnecessary scenario would be sickening. So sorry if it sounds selfish postal union workers, but you will get little sympathy from the small business sector.

Meanwhile, back here in Cornwall, much excitement has been generated this week (excuse the pun), by the news that the UK’s first commercial-scale geothermal power plant could be destined for the Redruth area.

So what is geothermal power exactly, also commonly known as hot rocks energy? Put simply, geothermal systems use the Earth’s natural heat as a sustainable power source, drilling approximately 5 km down where temperatures are expected to exceed 170 degrees centigrade. Water is then pumped down into the rock where it is naturally heated, before being pumped back to the surface as hot water or steam, to power turbines that then generate electricity.

Coming on the back of the Wave Hub project, which will become the world’s largest wave farm, it is further evidence of the central role the Duchy can play in the lucrative and rapidly growing renewable energy industry.

To borrow a phrase from erstwhile TV activist Wolfie Smith (who would have loved to have gone on strike, had he ever had a job), that is real power to the people!