On Tuesday morning I received a call from my colleagues in Paris inviting me to pop over and see them as they had had some worrying news that they needed to share. So the next day, long before the sun was stirring and the local rooster was warming his vocals, I was on my way to St Pancras heading for a lunchtime appointment in 20th Arrondissement. It turns out that the French state owned energy company Electricité de France (EDF), who have allegedly been spying on Greenpeace since 2004, are more involved in the scandal than it initially appeared.
On March 31, Greenpeace France discovered that its former campaign director's computer was hacked in 2006, and that the organisation had been targeted by the private investigation company Kargus Consultants under instruction from EDF. This was followed by quick denials and ambiguous statements claiming that EDF were in fact victims of circumstance, rather than maestros of a carefully orchestrated and deliberate effort to infiltrate and monitor the work of my French colleagues.
However, as the investigation has gathered momentum it has emerged that at least two contracts were signed between EDF and Kargus in 2004 and 2007 for the provision of "operational support for the ongoing strategic surveillance of environmental organisations and their activities and practices." And in 2004 Kargus invoiced EDF for more than EUR 13,000 per month. Make of that what you will. And more worrying is that official investigation files allege that EDF was also seeking intelligence on Greenpeace activities in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain.
And this would make sense. EDF have for sometime now been aggressively pushing the nuclear agenda here in the UK behind a veneer of green wash and nuanced nonsense about saving tomorrow, today. As they've sought to secure their business interests by buying up British Energy and simultaneously lobbied to undermine renewable energy, it's what they were doing yesterday that should have alarm bells ringing.
As it emerges they will go to any lengths to manipulate the debate, just what is it about nuclear power they don't want you to know?