"successive British governments over the last 30 years have buried their heads in the sand over energy policy"
You missed discussing the why, which was north sea natgas. Why, we'll have natgas so cheap we won't meter it, and we'll grow rich exporting it. So why not replace every electric plant with a natgas turbine?
Wot you say its 2005 and the fields have declined so much that we're now net importers and the lights are going to go out pretty soon? In fact we need to import more than we can physically be supplied with given current infrastructure?
Whoops! Its a pity really, we may be witnessing the first "first world" country to have its electrical grid shut down in a couple years. Brownouts in summer suck, but brownouts in winter can be lethal. Its not going to be pretty.