Blog: Osborne & Clegg’s energy ping pong match that just won’t stop

There was a fresh round of the Osborne-Clegg ping pong match over energy at the British Business Embassy this week. This week the two top UK politicians made speeches on […]

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By Vicky Ellis

There was a fresh round of the Osborne-Clegg ping pong match over energy at the British Business Embassy this week.

This week the two top UK politicians made speeches on energy to drum up international investment, laying out two very different priorities.

On Monday, the Lib Dem leader promised “the UK is not going to be left behind” in the “global energy revolution [which is] underway”. He puffed how “this Coalition Government is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive.”

As Clegg stepped off the podium you can imagine him chuckling to himself, “While Ozzy’s still on the back foot after the botched Budget, this was a great time to go in for the green kill”.

But then on Tuesday at the very same conference, George appeared like a harbinger of doom for the DPM’s good PR, trumpeting how gas was still number one for the UK. Oh dash. (For Gas? Who me?)

Once upon a time, well before the collapse of House of Lords reform, this might have been less tit-for-tat, more play fair, “you have your say, I’ll have mine”.

But growing rifts in the Coalition seem to have found Nick Clegg happier to step up to challenge the gas-obsessed Osborne – whose father-in-law Lord Howell, by the way, is effectively a shale gas lobbyist recently reported to be courting Polish authorities. What a coincidence.

We’ve not won any medals in table tennis at this year’s Olympics – traditionally that’s best left to China. But given the chance, the Coalition leaders could sure give 2012 gold-winning champions Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Wang Hao a run for their money.