Imagine you’ve organised a party. Not just any old shindig, but the type of party that only happens once in a generation.
Much like a wedding, it’ll have been months in the planning, with discussions about invitations, decor, location, and probably at least one declaration of a wish to be able to control the weather.
There’ll have been conversations about who will get on with whom, and whether there’ll be any bad behaviour during the event itself to prepare for.
And then, in an instant, it’s off.
No warning, nothing.
The guest of honour has pulled out, postponed their appearance, thereby making the whole thing pointless.
It’s a bit like organising a royal wedding but having the bride call the whole lot off just before her veil is clipped into place and her tiara straightened.
And that’s exactly what happened with Hinkley Point on Friday.
Everyone had been invited to the party – the marquee was in place and the finishing touches were being put on what should have been a ceremonial contract-signing by the British government, committing to building a new nuclear power station.
Certainly both EDF Energy – the organisers of the party – and the government had briefed the media to expect it to happen, and Chinese dignitaries had made the journey over for the occasion – they were going to stump up a third of the cost, after all.
All had to be sent packing, wedding gifts – figuratively – unopened.
A lot of people say they’re still committed to this energy union and that Theresa May, the eponymous bride of our tale, just wants a bit of time to adjust her stays and re-read the pre-nup.
One can hardly blame the lady, but one can’t help but wonder whether the doubts that had her reaching for her reading glasses couldn’t have been expressed a little bit sooner. You know, before the guests arrived and it all got awkward.
Relations between France, where EDF Energy is based, and Britain have been a touch strained after Brexit.
Let’s hope this latest development doesn’t lead to a permanent separation and an entente that is very far from cordiale.
WOULD INFLATABLE POOS WORK HERE, OR JUST GET NICKED?
Erm, what would you do with a three metre-high inflatable dog poo?
You’ve got to love the Spaniards. Torrelodones, just outside of Madrid, had it as part of a campaign to get dog owners to pick up after their pooches.
But pesky thieves thought it would look better elsewhere, so extracted the excrement and made off with it.
Police are on the case, presumably following their noses until they find the thieves.
The tiny Spanish settlement has had to pick up the bill for its replacement.
I wonder if we could do a similar thing in Portsmouth – put little concrete poos on pavements, giant inflatable ones in parks, and encourage everyone to be a bit more considerate. Or might they end up nicked too?
BEST THING FOR REPUTATION OF TRUST WOULD BE A RESIGNATION
You’ve got to wonder where and when the various allegations of mismanagement at Southern Hospitals NHS Trust are going to end.
These latest ones involve contracts allegedly being awarded to people who know the chief exec, Katrina Percy.
In one case, a firm reportedly ended up getting paid 2,000 per cent more than the contract value.
That’s nice work if you can get it.
Southern has now engaged the services of Portland Communications, owned by Alistair Campbell, to try to turn its reputation around.
This is an interesting choice, but I really think the best thing for the trust’s reputation would be if Ms Percy were to resign and let the front line staff get on with their jobs.