Aided by Greenpeace and the Opposition, headlines were embarrassing and damaging to Blair, who is in his last months as Prime Minister: ‘Court blow to nuke plans' (www.sky.com, 15 February); ‘Greenpeace defeats government on nuclear power' (www.politics.co.uk, 15 February).
Deemed procedurally unfair and lacking information on the full economic and environmental costs of nuclear power, the consultation was variously dismissed as a PR exercise, an illegal sham, and a product of Blair's style of ‘sofa government' (Daily Mail, 15 February).
‘Tony Blair had already decided what he wanted to do and the consultation was created to fit the policy,' claimed the Sunday Herald (18 Feb).
But despite the media meltdown over procedure, the arguments in favour of nuclear power shone through. A low-carbon fuel, it was positioned as key in reducing the UK's carbon emissions and maintaining a secure energy source.
It seems that Greenpeace may have won this battle but could be losing the war.