Like that species of kremlinologists that I thought had disappeared with the Cold War, the commentariat has been obsessed with analysing the policy pronouncements of Mrs May’s new government and, in particular, whether they are designed to remove any vestiges of a Cameron legacy. Frankly, I doubt it, but it really is far too soon to tell.
Most exciting, or alarming – depending on your point of view, is the eleventh hour review of the EDF nuclear development at Hinkley Point. I am no expert, but if the Chinese are financing it, and French taxpayers are bearing the development risks, then why look a gift horse in the mouth?
The key question is – are we getting a good price for the electricity. The way the issue has been handled however, sends all the wrong signals to potential investors just at a critical moment when we need to be sending out a very clear message that Britain is open for business.
Our new kremlinologists detect the hand of one Nick Timothy, the Prime Minister’s former special advisor and now her joint chief of staff. Apparently, he wrote something in the past raising questions about the national security aspects of Chinese investments in our strategic industries. Well, we will all want to know a great deal more about Mr Timothy as the PM’s new consigliere, indeed we will want to know everything that there is to know. Some will never have heard of him, others – like me, will know little more that that he sports a beard like Ivan the Terrible.
Actually, it’s complete nonsense: Nick Timothy will have no more decision making power than Larry the Downing Street cat, or any other of the PM’s familiars. Hitherto she has been renowned for running a very tight ship and all decisions will be very much her own. I am confident that her ministers will have been as surprised by the Hinkley decision as were the board of EDF and the Chinese Government.