Thursday, 30 December 2010


In these times of austerity, wouldn't you just love to give £700 to your next-door neighbour? And wouldn't it be even lovelier if the money you gave to your next-door neighbour wasn't even yours in the first place but was actually public money, paid to parish councils to look after footpaths and doggy-doo bins?

Well, if you happened to be a leading member of the bogus Windfarm Working Party, you could do just that - give nigh on seven hundred quid to your neighbour to pursue some mindless anti-windfarm activity. And it wouldn't cost you a penny. The people of the area unknowingly stumped up that cash which you so thoughtfully handed over to the bloke next door.

If that seems unreasonably chummy (and, of course, anti-social, given that funding for local use was diverted into your foolish political campaigning), what about the fact that the member of the Windfarm Working Party charged with misleading Wychavon District Council officers over the government's guidelines on noise used to be a District Councillor himself?

Convenient, no? You want to trick the Council into misinterpreting the government guidelines, so you recruit a former Councillor to carry out the task. Forget about all those local residents who support, or at least don't actively oppose, the windfarm. Ex-councillors can be deployed to use their influence in local politics to ensure that undemocratic decisions get made ... and nobody can do anything about it!!!

This kind of behaviour is typical of VVASP. The chair of that discredited protest group used to be chair of Church Lench Parish Council. Apparently, he thinks he still is. Or would be, if it weren't for the fact that his campaign of misinformation and social terrorism might seem incompatible with chairing the local parish council. So a puppet parish council is installed (guaranteed to do your bidding) while you seek to mislead local government (via former councillors) and to divert public funds into your disingenuous and selfish cause. And, best of all, THEY CAN'T TOUCH YOU FOR IT!

Well, in less than a month we'll know what the Development Control Committee's decision vis-a-vis the windfarm planning application will be.

If the councillors do their jobs properly - i.e., if they examine the (genuine) evidence and make up their minds on the quality of the representations, rather than the quantity of meaningless objections - then it should be fairly straightforward. The lack of reasonable grounds for objection should mean that the planning application is approved.

But then, VVASP and its brownshirts have devoted the past two years to telling lies and spreading false information. The District Council has been as much a victim of their devious propaganda campaign as anybody. So ... who knows? Either common sense and reality will prevail, or a dangerous mob of unscrupulous fanatics will carry the day.

What you can't deny, though, is that the protest group has been very efficient when it comes to trampling all over local democracy. And that includes backhanders for neighbours, the manipulation of the process by former public servants, the bullying of windfarm supporters and the misrepresentation of local opinion.

And this, apparently, is how the coalition government wants local decisions to be taken in future. So we can all look forward to yet more corrupt practices and irresponsible protests over necessary and beneficial measures.

Happy 2011, one and all!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


There was a debate in the House of Commons the other day. The Department for Energy and Climate Change was answering questions from the house.

After a few questions about things like biomass and deep geothermals - other renewables which don't tend to get too many people all that hot under the collar - came the inevitable question from a Tory backbencher.

What could the government do to limit the impact of windfarms on communities?

Well, you can bet your life that the Nottinghamshire backbencher concerned hasn't visited many of the communities which already have windfarms in their immediate vicinity. If she had, it's unlikely that the question would have come out the way it did.

More likely, the MP had spent an inordinate amount of time listening to the whingers of a typical VVASP-style nimby group.

The reply to the question from the Secretary of State was interesting. He suggested that the government should be informing communities as to the impact of windfarms. Listening carefully, what he seemed to be saying is that communities need to wise up to the positive advantages and benefits of having windfarms nearby.

So - two completely different views, here: one from a Tory backbencher, the other from a Lib Dem Secretary of State. The first would insist that windfarms have a terrible negative impact on communities. The latter would appear to have been hinting at the pronounced positive impact that windfarms can have on communities. Now, is that weird, or is that weird?

The key to the issue is information. If you've visited windfarms and talked to those who live near them, the chances are you'll have been quite taken aback by the happiness with which locals describe their turbines. There are few examples of local objections to the extension of existing windfarms, because the locals have been pleasantly surprised by the quietness and grace of the turbines and can't see a problem with having a few more. In some instances, you hear glowing praise for the windfarm. Local communities tend to be rather proud of their windfarm, grateful for the inward investment it has brought, delighted that it has put them 'on the map', and scornful of those petty-minded morons who tell loud lies about them.

Why, we are entitled to wonder, didn't the Tory backbencher - or any of her misinformed cohorts - take the trouble to find this out? Why did they swallow the nimby garbage whole without bothering to undertake even a modicum of research?

Why insist that windfarms have an appalling impact on communities when there simply isn't any objective evidence out there to prove your point? When, in reality, the opposite is the case: the staunchest proponents of wind power tend to be those who live in close proximity to windfarms.

Unfortunately, this issue raises wider questions about the standard of our representatives. These people are responsible for deciding how we are governed. And yet they can't even be bothered to dig up the facts of the matter! The return of Peter Luff's gormless Bill requiring an exclusion zone around windfarms coaxed a fascinating research paper out of the House of Commons Library, which made it perfectly clear that, if you look at the evidence, windfarms tend to be rather good news for locals. So we have MPs bleating and blathering about 'impacts' on communities when they simply don't know what they're on about and certainly don't give a damn about such niceties as evidence or facts.

How much else don't they know about and can't be bothered to research? How many other decisions are made on the basis of such catastrophic ignorance?

You have a Tory Party which, for the most part, is perfectly happy to regurgitate any anti-windfarm nonsense that the Daily Mail or Telegraph feel like spouting, and which cosies up to nimby groups instead of representing the majority of its constituents. This is the party of prejudice over principle, of superstition over science, of protesters over the people.

And then you have a coalition government which has signed up to a burgeoning market in renewables, with a Secretary of State who is committed to increasing the number of windfarms operating in the UK.

The nation is currently third from bottom in the European league table of renewable energy generation. If the nutty nimbies and their pet politicos had their way, we'd be right at the bottom. And when the lights go out, the last people they'll blame will be themselves.

It is difficult to recall anything comparable in the past - a 'debate' in which one side routinely peddles fictions without any grounding in fact and continues to spout silly stories long after they've been disproved. Even more bizarre is the simplicity with which these lunatic (but depressingly persistent) claims can be debunked. It's oh so easy to find out about wind power, its efficacy, its cleanliness and its positive effects on those communities which already boast a windfarm.

But you could say that it's even easier to trot out the tired old garbage without ever bothering to check your facts. Easier to repeat the lies than to find out the truth. And safer, too, if you happen to be surrounded by deluded nimbies.

Let's hope, then, that the government can let communities know about the positive advantages of wind power. Before the empty-headed dupes of its own backbenches bring the UK's energy future crashing down just to please a bigoted and desperately misguided fringe.

Monday, 20 December 2010


Why are VVASP like Donald Trump?

You weren't expecting that one, were you? But there are surprising similarities.

According to the Scottish Daily Express, Donald Trump has vowed 'vehemently' to oppose an offshore windfarm in Aberdeenshire because it will spoil his sea-view.

The funny-haired one has, as we know, bulldozered through plans for a golf course on the Aberdeenshire coast. This was in the face of considerable local opposition. Now, Trumpy's getting all upset at the thought of having to share the area.

Eleven 165-metre offshore turbines are planned (originally, there were to be thirty-three). And, whereas inland numpties of the VVASP school insist that windfarms should only be built offshore, Trump is trying to fight this particular one on the grounds that 'Every component of our project is based upon sea views.'

He goes on: 'We cannot allow the construction of what is tantamount to 11 65-storey structures off our beautiful coastline ... These turbines, if ever built, will in one fell swoop destroy Scotland's magnificent heritage.'

If you haven't already fallen out of your chair, take another look at that last sentence. Trump, it appears, is allowed to destroy Scotland's magnificent heritage by ruining a site of special scientific interest (dumping a golf course, etc., on it). But any scheme of benefit to the entire country (a windfarm) must be opposed.

As one of Trump's main opponents - David Milne, who is refusing to sell his property to allow Trump to go stomping all over the scenery - has said of the businessman: 'He is an arrogant idiot.'

In other words, he's an anti-windfarm campaigner.

Two-faced or what? Yep. But Trump has more in common with the hypocrites of VVASP than just a shallow and self-interested opposition to a much-needed and beneficial development.

We could start with the Scottish angle. One local nimby has been heard repeatedly bemoaning the fact that ScottishPower Renewables 'aren't even Scottish'. Okay, so the parent company is Spanish, but SPR do at least operate out of offices in Glasgow. Besides which, this fool seems to be suggesting that, if ScottishPower Renewables were completely and indisputably Scottish, the Lenchwick Windfarm project would be fine. But they're owned by a Spanish company, so they must be opposed (?!?*%**!!???).

The problem with Nimby Central (Church Lench) is that it had already been split before the windfarm was even mentioned. Talking to those in the area who support the Lenchwick Windfarm (but who do so quietly, so as not to stir the attack dogs of VVASP), one thing stands out. This whole windfarm hoo-hah actually started much earlier, when a bunch of villagers (mostly newcomers) decided that what everyone really wanted was a sports club.

Actually, a substantial proportion of the village did not want a sports club. But the sports people went ahead regardless. And a fair few locals have suffered. The sports people are amazingly noisy, creating more than just light pollution - they seem incapable of playing football without swearing loudly and constantly, much to the annoyance of the neighbours (who have been there a lot longer than the sports people). Having created their very own blot on the landscape, the sports club has proceeded to tear out another hedgerow, only retrospectively applying for planning permission to do so, in order to extend the nuisance that is their facility.

No surprises, then, when we find out that the heart of VVASP's dishonest nimby protest is ... the sports club!! And that many of those who don't have a problem at all with the windfarm do have a problem with the sports club that was dumped on them by an arrogant group of arrivistes. The windfarm issue is almost by-the-bye. The village still hasn't recovered from the vandalism of the sporty types and their tendency to dictate what can and cannot happen in the village.

So Trump, forcing Scotland to accept his gross vision of a golf club where one is neither needed or wanted, and then banging on about a windfarm which will 'spoil' his views, turns out to have everything in common with VVASP. They, too, forced the village to accept a sports club, riding roughshod over local opinion, and then threw together a completely outrageous anti-windfarm campaign on the grounds that it would 'spoil' their views.

Maybe, folks - maybe this brings us to the very heart of the anti-windfarm movement in the UK. It is engineered and sustained by arrogance. By the sort of person who imposes their will on their neighbours, completely ignoring local opinion, and then seeks to fight a perfectly sensible, beneficial and, indeed, vital development because they don't like it.

Yep - arrogant hypocrisy. That's VVASP in a nutshell.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


Pity the poor champions for truth and justice at BLoW.

A good while back, a BLoW spokesperson was asked for a quote regarding the dimwitted intervention in the House of Commons, launched by Peter Luff MP at the behest of those BS-merchants known as VVASP, which called for a totally impractical minimal distance between wind turbines and buildings. The BLoW spokesperson duly, and rather sensibly, indicated that such a policy (for which no equivalent exists elsewhere in Europe) would be an absolute disaster for Britain, a triumph of cretinous nimbyism over science, common sense and pressing need.

More recently, the same quote was reprinted in one of our local papers. And in another paper - one not quite so local. Which provoked a mindless and maniacal response from someone or other in Herefordshire.

Wind of Change has recently seen some of the correspondence. The individual in question attacked BLoW over the material on its website. Now, the BLoW website was carefully researched (in contrast to, say, VVASP's grotesque outpouring of bilge) in order to provide reliable information about wind power for anyone who wanted a bit of balance.

Sadly, anti-wind campaigners are anything but balanced themselves, and Mr Uppity of Herefordshire decided that BLoW's facts were unscientific. Never mind the fact that they can all be substantiated (unlike VVASP's looney-toon stories), Mr Self-Important didn't like them and attacked them with everything he'd got (and a lot more that he hadn't got).

But what was so odd about his initial correspondence was the plain fact that he simply didn't have a clue what he was on about. He accused BLoW of failing to publicise VVASP's successful complaint to the ASA. Well, as we now know, VVASP have never successfully complained to the ASA. They've lied about it, on BBC radio and on the Wychavon website, but the ASA maintains a very detailed website so anyone who wants to check whether the VVASP lie-machine has ever had an ASA adjudication in their favour can easily find out.

Mr Crazy also accused BLoW of failing to maintain their email address - which will come as a surprise to all those who communicate with BLoW on a fairly regular basis.

Having proven that his grasp of reality is wanting, this strange fellow took to attacking BLoW on the Wychavon website. It's the usual problem of nimbyism - fling mud, and more mud, and more mud, and never, ever, ever back up your arguments with evidence.

Even weirder though is the fact that this weirdo has got nothing whatever to do with Wychavon or the Lenchwick Windfarm issue. He's just a Herefordshire-based busybody who is presumably trying to fight a windfarm in his own county (on all the usual misinformed and dishonest grounds) and who was shocked to find that there are people out there who understand the issues a great deal better than he does.

And his tactic - smear, yell, shriek, lie, fulminate, abuse and threaten.

Sound familiar? Yep - that's how nimbies work.

Of course, if you have a resource for information regarding wind farms which was carefully put together (by a team comprising engineers, professional researchers and teachers) and which exists to present some of the facts which the more dishonest, VVASP-type groups actively seek to bury, then you should expect the anti-wind farm fringe to display the full, shocking extent of their ignorance and arrogance, sooner or later.

As we have discovered, nimbies simply will not stand for having their false claims challenged, their lies exposed. They have this peculiar belief that, because their cause is 'right', it doesn't matter how many lies they tell.

They are the ultimate Machiavellians, convinced that the end justifies the means and that terrorising the great British public is their privilege. If you will, the British people have to be protected from what's good for them, and any quantity of lies, scare-tactics and dishonourable bullying is fair and appropriate. The facts? Immaterial. Evidence? Bah!! When it comes to misrepresenting wind power, anything goes.

Of course, if they had a case, and a leg to stand on, they'd stick to it.

But they don't, which is why they can only lie and attack anyone who challenges their lies.

So the reward for offering the public an alternative to the rampant propaganda and evil methods of VVASP is to be abused by an idiot. An idiot who doesn't even live in the area. An idiot who knows nothing at all about windfarms.

This is your Britain, folks. And the liars and bullies are taking over. Are you happy with that?

Friday, 17 December 2010


The latest windfarm to get the go-ahead offers a textbook example of how such planning decisions should be made.

Only yesterday (16th December) the Development Control Committee of Melton Borough Council voted to approve the Ecotricity planning application for nine 80-metre turbines near Old Dalby in Leicestershire.

The planning officer's report which was submitted to the planning committee was excellent. All the usual clapped-out nimby claptrap had been dumped on the council - all those boringly familiar and exceedingly silly 'objections' (presumably, Old Dalby has its very own versions of our Professor Yaffle, Basil Fawlty, and the other hysterics) - but these were all dismissed, quite rightly, by the planning officer as being irrelevant, unproven or simply not sound grounds for objection.

The planning officer stuck to the ETSU-R-97 guidelines (as did the planning application), which is precisely what the crazed nookies of VVASP have been trying to persuade Wychavon District Council not to do. Fascinatingly, the planning officer also observed that -

Impacts on house values is not a material planning consideration for planning applications.

So - even though house values are NOT adversely affected by windfarms (unless some local fruitcake decides to harm their own house value), it's immaterial anyway. Not relevant.

The planning officer recommended that the Council 'PERMIT' the Dalby Windfarm to go ahead, and the councillors sensibly agreed. You can read the planning officer's excellent report here:-,%20Paddys%20Lane,%20Old%20Dalby.pdf

If Wychavon's planning officer comes out with a report as cogent and sensible as that one, we'll all have grounds to celebrate.

But what's even better is that the Melton Borough Council planning committee approved the plans first time around. No need to go for an expensive planning inquiry. The councillors did their jobs and another step is taken towards a sustainable future of clean, green, people-friendly energy.

A hearty well done to all concerned!!!

Thursday, 16 December 2010


When the news was announced that ScottishPower Renewables were investigating the possibility of installing a windfarm near Lenchwick in Worcestershire, a handful of locals overreacted in grand style.

They Googled. They went hunting any old guff they could find. And they publicised the idiotic (mis)information they had found without bothering to check it properly.

Earlier this year, three complaints against this ludicrous literature were upheld by the independent advertising regulator (ASA). After investigating the matter, the ASA judged that the claims upon which VVASP had based their vicious and misleading campaign breached the guidelines on Truthfulness and Substantiation.

Now, VVASP work on the principle that no one will ever challenge their stupid statements. They get really irate whenever somebody calls their bluff.

Forced onto the back foot by the adverse ASA adjudication, the chair of VVASP lied on BBC radio. He said that VVASP had secured a similar ruling against ScottishPower Renewables. So, in his words, the score stood at 'one-one'.

It seemed odd that a nimby group's successful challenge of a windfarm developer's literature would pass unnoticed. A little while ago, having established that VVASP had never secured an ASA ruling against ScottishPower Renewables, a member of BLoW ('Back Local Windfarms') raised this issue on the Wychavon District Council website.

Naturally, VVASP responded. Just as naturally, they provided yet more misleading and inaccurate information.

Their latest claim was that they would have won an ASA judgement against ScottishPower Renewables if the developer hadn't withdrawn an offending piece of publicity.

Oh, really? So VVASP might have got an ASA ruling against SPR. Only they didn't.

Well, here's what really happened.

To publicise their public drop-in sessions for the Lenchwick Windfarm, SPR produced leaflets which showed a photo of another of their windfarms - the one on Co-op farmland at Coldham in Cambridgeshire (the nimbies know this one: they chatted to a farmer nearby and completely ignored all the villagers who actually love their local windfarm).

Somebody complained to the ASA, arguing that the Coldham turbines were somewhat smaller than the ones planned for Lenchwick, and so the image was misleading.

The ASA demanded an explanation from ScottishPower Renewables. SPR stated that the Coldham Windfarm was the one in their fleet which was most similar to the windfarm proposed for Lenchwick.

The ASA accepted this explanation, although they did suggest that SPR might go in for clearer labelling in future.

The complaint was not upheld. The literature was not withdrawn.

So. Where does that leave us?

First of all, Dr No claimed that VVASP had won an ASA ruling against ScottishPower Renewables. They hadn't.

He then claimed that they would have won such a ruling if SPR hadn't withdrawn the publicity. But SPR did not withdraw their publicity and the complaint was thrown out by the ASA.

Basically, one lie after another from VVASP. They never had a complaint against SPR upheld by the ASA. Quite the reverse - their complaint was rejected!!!

Did they really think that no one would question their lies? Seriously? All that rubbish about it being 'one-one', when it was, and remains, 'one-nil'?

Here's the truth: VVASP were caught out telling lies. So they told some more lies. And SPR have not been caught out telling lies.

With the Wychavon Special Development Control Committee meeting on the horizon, this is not a good time for VVASP to be caught out telling porkies yet again. But rest assured, dear reader - we shall do our utmost to make sure that the public, and the District Council, gets to hear all about this latest example of VVASP's chronic inability to tell the truth.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


So the ConDem coalition government wants to give more power to Parish Councils, does it?

Residents of the six Parish Councils which were tricked into joining a phoney Windfarm Working Party set up to serve the nimbies of Church Lench might want to know why £900 of their precept money was wasted on a noise measurement survey that achieved ... nothing.

In a rare display of candour, the hyper-secretive Working Party has finally admitted that the noise survey, carried out by an obscure group in Church Lench and partly funded by the Windfarm Working Party, revealed only that the Environmental Statement submitted by ScottishPower Renewables as part of the Lenchwick Windfarm planning application was telling the truth.

The survey was initiated in the vain hope that the local nookies would arrive at background noise levels which differed from those measured by consultants working to the windfarm developer.

Fail. Big fail. Epic fail.

So - the good news is that we now have confirmation that SPR's figures are accurate and the rampaging nimbies can't argue about them.

But all that money, all that Parish Council precept money, which should have gone on local maintenance and facilities was foolishly siphoned off into a misguided exercise which misfired. Neither the nookies of VVASP, nor their friends and helpers in the Windfarm Working Party, nor the Parish Councils, nor the people of the area have anything to show for it.



Here's a chicken-and-egg question: which comes first, climate change denial or anti-windfarm lobbying?

It's a tricky one. And it goes to the very heart of the phoney windfarm 'debate' which is currently doing so much to hold Britain back and threaten our energy security in years to come.

On the one hand, you have the example of the kind of nimby who just doesn't want to see a windfarm in the area. This is ultimately what informed (!) the bogus windfarm debate in the Lenchwick region. When the news was first announced that ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) were considering the feasibility of a windfarm near Lenchwick, a handful of fools did something very, very silly indeed. They quickly looked up any old garbage about windfarms (claims which were later ruled untruthful and unsubstantiated) and broadcast them far and wide. Having nailed their colours to the mast long before they had any real grasp of the issues, they were then obliged to tell ever louder and more elaborate lies to justify their position. They also told anyone with an independent mindset to shut up and sought to dominate every aspect of local decision-making.

So - a bad start, with a fledgling campaign based on the wildest of silly rumours.

But where does the climate change denial come into this? Well, it's hard to tell. Because there aren't many sound and reasonable grounds for opposing windfarms (when the evidence from other countries, as well as other communities around the UK, is taken into account), no end of stupid arguments tend to be advanced. And one of these is the stupidest of all.

Basically, it goes - 'There's no evidence that climate change is happening/is man-made, and so installing windfarms is unnecessary.'

Which requires us all to ignore the global scientific consensus in order to justify a wholly irrational opposition to effective, graceful and beneficial developments. And if that isn't the very definition of daft, we don't know what is.

Alternatively, the eccentric nature of anti-windfarm protests suggests that, underlying all the bogus excuses for opposing wind turbines (examples aplenty on the Wychavon planning website, courtesy of those arch-deceivers known collectively as VVASP), there is some curious core of anti-windfarm sentiment. What this is, exactly, is difficult to identify. But perhaps the most sane of suggestions is that windfarms represent clear reminders of our failure to behave responsibly in the past.

While there are very few serious commentators who doubt that climate change is happening, there are a fair few who are trying to pretend that it isn't happening as a result of mankind's rampaging stupidity. The fact that global temperatures have been rising ever since industrialisation meant burning fossil fuels on an unimaginable scale is somehow seen as irrelevant.

Now, every now and then science does require a bit of common sense. Even if any direct correlation between burning fossil fuels and rising global temperatures had not been identified, only a complete idiot would suggest that we should continue incinerating the Earth and its natural resources at a manic rate.

But there are plenty of people who spent most of their lives enjoying twentieth century levels of consumption and don't like being told that they shouldn't have done that. Which means that they don't like windfarms. In their bizarre world, the damage they have helped to wreak is largely invisible so they needn't feel in any way responsible for it.

Even if, in some dim recess of their bleak souls, they recognise their communal responsibility for environmental mischief and the need to make amends, these inadequate individuals imagine that they are somehow absolved of any real responsibility to change. Hence the gormless arguments against wheelie-bins, for example. A modest measure is instituted to help cope with colossal amounts of waste, and the cretinous fringe can only moan and posture.

Multiply that insanity by several factors and you get the anti-windfarm prejudices of VVASP and their sister organisations. Because a windfarm stands for progress towards a renewable future, these things have to be opposed. Why? Because if we don't fight this sort of progress we are implicitly admitting our guilt. Better to insist that somebody else (preferably someone a lot poorer) takes reponsibility, and then we can continue to pretend that we're not at fault for driving gas-guzzlers and amassing air miles.

So we get a strange howlback effect, which is plenty evident in the nimby bible - an inept and opinionated book entitled The Wind Farm Scam.

The author is an ecologist, but he's one of those who has gone so far off the deep end that there's no real hope of him returning. Rather than admitting that there is a very serious problem to be faced (climate change) and that windfarms are a very sensible part of a global solution, people like the author of the book don't want to admit that there's a problem. Or they know that there's a problem, but they don't want to admit that windfarms are part of the solution.

The result is a very weird kind of circular logic. It's impossible to tell where this circle starts. Does it begin with an unfounded belief that there's no such thing as man-made climate change (the right-wingers' position)? Or does it start with a prejudiced and illogical opposition to windfarms, often based on ignorance about the way that mankind has previously altered the landscape, which requires a denial of climate change as part of its loopy attempts at denying the need for windfarms.

The word 'Lench' means a cultivated hillside. The landscape of the Lenches is entirely the work of human beings. To call it 'natural' is to demonstrate the same lack of integrity as to claim that the Lenchwick Windfarm will change that landscape 'forever' (or even 'kill the countryside', as VVASP at their most hysterical, mendacious and insane have claimed).

Installing a quiet, impressive and efficient windfarm in the Lenches will do no more harm to the landscape than has already been done by previous generations, and probably a lot less than has been done by the recent influx of suburban types building their ugly dwellings. But those who have relocated to the Lenches in recent years imagine - bizarrely - that they have bought a share in an 'unspoilt' landscape and that no change should be permitted.

Because a windfarm would be a bit of a change, absurd arguments must be deployed to stop this windfarm. And one of those arguments - for which any scientific basis is completely lacking - is that man-made climate change isn't happening.

This is the Etherington approach, visible in his Wind Farm Scam book. (For a sane, sound and scientific debunking of the book go to The author doesn't like the look of windfarms, so he goes hunting for reasons to oppose them. And one of the craziest he can come up with is the possibility that climate change might not be real, or, if it is, it's nothing to do with us, Guv.

Worse, Etherington's book only adds to the howlback effect of this circular reasoning by extensively quoting anti-windfarm campaign groups. This is typical of the intellectual dishonesty so evident in anti-windfarm lobbying. Basically, somewhere or other, somebody makes a guess. This is then blown up into a 'fact'. That 'fact' is then endlessly recycled by nimby groups until it becomes 'true'. Or, as The Wind Farm Scam does it, a blinkered and partisan position is strengthened by quoting other blinkered and partisan nitwits. The argument simply goes round and round in circles, based on no evidence but given a bogus form of credibility by being repeated.

Did the author of The Wind Farm Scam start out as a climate change denier, or did he adopt that stance in order to try to justify his irrational opposition to windfarms? Probably the latter. Although, ultimately, it matters little. But if we want to demonstrate how flimsy his arguments can be, let's bear in mind his constant criticism of the relatively minor government subsidies paid towards the development of renewables. And then he decides that nuclear power is the answer. Nuclear power has always required subsidies from central government on a scale which could turn the whole of the UK renewable in the space of a few years. So - small-scale subsidies to renewables are 'bad', but an industry which causes endless ecological harm while requiring massive subsidies is 'good'. Demented or what? (And let's not forget that Etherington also criticises windfarms for not working all the time, but conveniently overlooks the tendency of nuclear power stations suddenly to stop working and to require back-up - so, as usual, the nimby argument crumbles when an element of logical consistency is demanded.)

Whether you deny climate change and therefore oppose windfarms, or whether you oppose windfarms and therefore have to deny climate change, either way you're fooling yourself. That's bad enough.

But then, when you seek to fool others, you cross the line. And history will judge you.

There is a very real, very pressing problem. Climate change. There is a very real, very beneficial solution. Renewables.

What kind of intellectually dishonest and sociopathic ratfink tries to deny the former in order to 'justify' their opposition to the latter?

Saturday, 11 December 2010


A little while back, one of the purple-faced ones let slip a hint regarding VVASP's tactics. When it was pointed out on the Wychavon planning website that a windfarm development comparable with the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm had received approval, regardless of a half-witted campaign mounted by local nimbies, one of our own nookies snapped back. The other windfarm had the approval of more locals than antis. Ergo, it was allowed to go ahead.

The flaw in the thinking here is obvious. VVASP like to foster the idea that a windfarm can get planning approval only if slightly more local people approve than disapprove of the idea.

The same thinking doesn't seem to have applied to major infrastructure projects in the past. There is no indication that motorways, nuclear power plants, electricity pylons, railways or canals were subject to this 'show-of-hands' democracy. Just think about it: how many progressive developments would realistically have been given the go ahead if approval was dependent on the reactions of local people - especially where craven and dishonest protest groups were allowed to sway opinion?

As we have seen, in France a more sensible attitude prevails. Windfarms are built regardless of what a handful of local weirdos might say. And the locals hold a party when a windfarm goes operational.

This is one of the reasons why the UK's competitors are streaking ahead with renewables while Britain flounders - because of this insane notion that a windfarm should only be allowed if a local campaign in favour is able to overcome the looney lies and fear-mongering of the nimby nutters. The implication being that any major infrastructure project vital to the national interest must be fought over by local groups, some of whom deploy lies and some which publicise the truth. If the liars prevail, no windfarm. If the forward-thinking, conscientious types succeed, the windfarm happens.

Is that democracy?

Of course, VVASP and democracy have something less than a nodding acquaintance with each other. VVASP tried to make out that 82% of Church Lench residents were opposed to the windfarm. Not true. Even after four months of lunatic propaganda and claims which were subsequently proven to be lies, VVASP only managed to get 57% of Lenchians to express opposition.

Now, they're trying to claim that it is a fundamental basis of western democracy that only those who vote against an idea should be heard and counted. Quite apart from the fact that this is to mistake a referendum for a general election, it is in reality a recipe for fascism. The majority of local residents in the three parishes did NOT express opposition to Lenchwick Windfarm, despite the fact that VVASP had been stuffing outrageous, irresponsible and misleading propaganda through their letterboxes.

Even crazier, the initial response of VVASP to the local surveys was to attack the parish councils concerned for not giving them more time to spread their poisonous myths. In Church Lench, the survey was initiated by the original parish council, whose members were eager to play by the rules - which is why they were forced to resign by VVASP's thugs.

So VVASP wasn't happy with the results of the surveys (arguing that their mad lies had not had time to take effect). Their only option was to misrepresent the outcomes of those surveys and claim that the statistics could be ignored. Only those who supported VVASP mattered. Every local resident who couldn't be bothered to respond to their survey should be discounted. Hence the huge disparity between VVASP's claims of an 'overwhelming majority' and the reality. The people of the area had spoken - including those whose indifference was itself a statement.

Which brings us to the agitators of the bogus 'Windfarm Working Party'. This nefarious group was established by Church Lench Parish Council at a time when Church Lench Parish Council didn't actually exist. Its stated aims were to 'gather and share information' both for and against windfarms. It commandeered local tax-payers' money and instantly reneged on its own terms and conditions.

For a year and a half, the Windfarm Working Party has refused to release any information relating to its activities. Anything that the WWP discovered in support of wind power has completely vanished. Hardly surprising, really. The Working Party made no attempt whatsoever to find out anything in support of windfarms. Their knowledge of windfarms is nil.

The parish councils involved in the Windfarm Working Party scam announced that their representatives on the Working Party would feed information back to the councils but would not be involved in the final decisions of the parish councils when it came to responding to the Lenchwick Windfarm planning application.

Interestingly, not one of the clerks of the local parish councils has been prepared to answer questions about the discussions concerning the windfarm planning application. Which only supports the suspicion that, yet again, the Windfarm Working Party ignored its own rules and made sure that each of the councils concerned submitted a naff 'critique and response'. In other words, the WWP reps - who were not meant to dictate the response of the parish councils - went ahead anyway, overriding the democratic process and ensuring that all six parish councils represented the blinkered views of the VVASP members of Church Lench Parish Council.

Now, a reminder. When the public was consulted, only 44% of residents of three parishes expressed opposition to the windfarm (after being subjected to VVASP's mindless propaganda for four months). So the Windfarm Working Party insisted that all parish councils ignore the local surveys and follow the wayward lead of a discredited protest group and their puppets in Church Lench.

And what has Wychavon District Council been doing during all this? Oddly, even though the Environmental Services Department at Wychavon are willing to admit that there was at least one meeting between council officers and members of the Windfarm Working Party, no one seems all that sure about when the meeting took place and who was present. It happened earlier this year, they think, but it would seem that there is no record regarding when it happened and who was there.

One member of the Working Party subsequently sent various emails to the council officers detailing planning decisions which went against this or that windfarm development. One of these emails drew attention to the possibility that the government's guidelines on windfarms and noise could be overruled.

The government is aware that their ETSU-R-97 guidelines are not being properly applied nationwide and have commissioned a study to find out how the guidelines can be imposed equally and fairly in all cases. But one of the Working Party nimbies was eager to impress upon the Environmental Protection Manager at Wychavon the possibility that the government's guidelines could be ignored.

Hardly the sort of behaviour we might expect from an 'information gathering and sharing' working party. Rather, just the sort of thing we can expect from a deranged fanatic whose information comes exclusively from a discredited protest group.

The problem of course is that while Wychavon continues to be vague and surprisingly coy when it comes to admitting the extent of the pressure being exerted on council officers by the red-faced nimbies, it remains difficult to determine when the one-way flow of misleading propaganda began. The regular badgering of council members and officers by VVASP had begun by March 2009. By December 2009, the Environmental Services Department at Wychavon were 'on message', wrongly believing that the acoustic industry was unhappy with the government's established guidelines and happily hiring a partisan noise consultant. And now we find that, months later, the same department was still receiving bogus information from the local lunatic fringe, leading to the impression that the government guidelines were optional and could be safely 'overruled'.

VVASP had failed to sway the majority of local people, so they set their sights on Wychavon, spreading their misinformation to the council officers who were able to spend public money on dodgy consultants. If you will, just as local public opinion could be overruled and ignored by the nimby nutters, so could the national guidelines on windfarms and noise. In the weird and whacky world of VVASP, everything they're not happy with can be ignored or misrepresented, including the obligations of the local councils. And anyone in the area who expressed support for the Lenchwick Windfarm proposals could be silenced.

Those who exercised their democratic right to support the planning application could expect to be contacted by nimbies who attacked them for their clear-sighted and public-spirited views. Even the Head of Planning at Wychavon has expressed regret at discovering that those who chose to exercise their democratic rights have been harassed by the fascist mob. VVASP had hoped to get at least 1,000 letters of objection. They failed, managing (by their own account) about 740 objections, a substantial number of which are fake, phoney or just plain silly. Individuals who hardly even read paperbacks claim to have read all the planning documentation. People who haven't sat on a horse in years insist that their horse-riding activities will be curtailed by the windfarm (why?). And people who've never been anywhere near the Lenches all claim to have made the same friends in the area and to have watched the same brown hares through the same window of the Lenches Club.

Plumbing the depths of VVASP's dishonesty is impossible. They lied to the neighbourhood, shrieked when the community revealed its lack of interest in the issue, lied a whole lot more, misrepresented the strength of local feeling, disposed of conscientious parish councillors in order to create a VVASP parish council, established a Windfarm Working Party before there was even a parish council in place to administer it, misappropriated tax-payers' money to spend exclusively on anti-windfarm campaigning, bombarded the district council with misleading nonsense and one-sided claptrap designed to fool public servants, forced the local parish councils into toeing the Church Lench line and bullied and harassed anyone who expressed an independent opinion.

All this to try to manufacture the impression that the majority of local people are opposed to the windfarm and therefore the windfarm shouldn't go ahead.

These people are dangerous. They are evil. They are woefully misguided, fanatically doctrinaire, ideologically unsound, anti-democratic and shamelessly unpatriotic.

And so far, Wychavon DC have done nothing to help the real majority in the local area.

Welcome to Worcestershire, where democracy lies bleeding and crazed fanatics make decisions on everybody else's behalf, regardless of what the people really think.

Friday, 3 December 2010



Wind of Change has reached an impressive milestone! This, folks, is the 200th blog-post. Yes: since May 2009, when the blog began, there have been no fewer than 200 posts. In that time, we have examined pretty much every aspect of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm. More importantly, we have highlighted the moral bankruptcy of the disgraceful and discredited campaign against the windfarm led by the proven liars of VVASP. We have looked into their mad claims, found the evidence which refutes them (not difficult), and publicised their shocking tactics and vile behaviour.

Whatever the outcome of the Development Control Committee's meeting, sometime in the new year, with regard to the Lenchwick Windfarm, we here at Wind of Change have at least let the world know the extent of VVASP's dishonesty and determination to turn the community into a vicious, intolerant, belligerent and misguided neighbourhood utterly opposed to a sensible, beneficial and vital development.

To celebrate our double century, we are delighted to announce that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have jumped on the Wind of Change bandwagon by issuing a press release entitled Wind of Change: Youth Survey Thumbs Up for Renewables.

In the run up to the Copenhagen conference on climate change, young people in the UK made repeated approaches to DECC asking that their views be fed into the deliberations. This made sense - after all, it's not the ageing nimbies of Lench who will have to live with the consequences of their actions (and their insane anti-renewables campaign) but the younger generation. They will either reap the rewards of an intelligent energy/climate change policy or suffer the consequences of failure and short-sightedness.

The DECC established a Youth Panel to help channel the views of young people into the policy-making process. 299 young people, aged 29 and under, were surveyed. And guess what? The vast majority support renewables, with over 80% of the youngsters championing onshore windfarms (and over 90% supporting offshore wind and solar).

As one of the Youth Panel members says, 'We do not want to inherit a diminished planet, as it often seems we are being asked to, and this is a huge step towards ensuring a sustainable and equitable future for our and subsequent generations.'

Of course, while the intelligent and articulate younger generation are calling for greater strides towards a sustainable future, the addled brains of Lench are trying to oppose this. Basically, they don't want to believe in climate change (because that would imply that they have participated in the destruction and might require them to atone for their sins of wastefulness) and windfarms are a clear reminder of our obligations. They are also beautiful, entrancing, inspiring and reassuring presences (unless you're a blinkered nimby).

Thanks to a few massively irreponsible right-wing newspapers, and the shabby antics of Lord Lawson, among others, the fools of Lench think they have a case. Forget the global scientific consensus - a sparse handful of non-experts disagree about climate change and therefore we shouldn't have to catch sight of a windfarm from time to time. QED.

What the DECC Youth Panel survey proves, though, is that the VVASP position is rapidly joining the Dodo and the dinosaurs. The up-and-coming generation recognises the pressing need to adapt and accepts that renewables are the answer.

Furthermore, windfarms are not an imposition, as the fools and frauds of VVASP like to make out. They bring positive benefits. An Italian town has four turbines which generate such an excess of wind power that the townsfolk are able to sell 30% of their electricity to Italy's equivalent of the National Grid, making an income of over £144,000 annually for the town.

If the sensible residents of the Lenches hadn't been shouted down by the liars and their deluded followers, our local community might have been in a position to negotiate benefits above and beyond those that will naturally come with the windfarm. But blind prejudice and extreme foolishness ensured that the area sank into a slough of malevolence. It could, and it should, have been so different. We have a handful of fanatics and cretins to thank for that.

It's a crying shame that so many of the protesters are advanced in years and incapable of seeing the way the wind is blowing, or of recognising and accepting the needs of the wider society and the generations to come. In fact, it's more than a shame. It's a massive indictment of the selfishness of a few Middle Englanders and their shameless leader.

After 200 blogposts, we know that the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm will do no real harm and will bring much that is positive. We know that (unless you've been indoctrinated by Dr Evil's manic propaganda) there is nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. We know now that the voice of the younger generation is fairly unanimous in its support of renewables.

Realistically, we know that there are no good, sound, sensible and realistic objections to the windfarm. Sadly, though, we also know that there are endless dishonest, illogical, unscientific and plain bogus reasons to object. We know that because VVASP drilled so many of those stupid 'reasons' into the heads of those who were silly enough to listen to them.

Come on, Lenchfolk. You can do better than that. You don't have to fall for the lies every time. You could, if you chose to, listen to those who will inherit the mess we are making of the planet. You could listen to those who are already enjoying the benefits of their local windfarms. You could even consider your own pockets and recognise that (regardless of what Dr No and his deranged minions have told you) you'll probably do pretty well out of the windfarm.

You could accept that a win-win situation is being offered.

Or you could carry on regurgitating VVASP's crazy stories. And then no one wins.

After 200 blogposts, we are happy to state that everything VVASP has told you is rubbish. We've proven that beyond any reasonable doubt. So now, do your bit and stop letting a handful of problem personalities ruin your area. Think of your children, and their children. Welcome the windfarm. It's the logical, sensible, reasonable thing to do.

Monday, 29 November 2010


What would you say if your neighbours were conspiring to lower the value of your property?

Back in February, the independent Advertising Standards Authority judged three of VVASP's claims about the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm to be unreasonable. They breached the Code of Advertising Practice guidelines on Truthfulness and Substantiation. They were, in short, lies. Irresponsible, foolish, ludicrous lies.

Instantly, of course, there was a backlash - both from the nutcases who had published the false claims and the idiots who had believed them. Some of the sillier locals competed to see who could claim the biggest fall in property values in the area. Off the radar, so to speak, the mindless drones of VVASP argued that (regardless of the ASA ruling) their homes had lost value. And all because of a windfarm that doesn't exist yet.

Well, perhaps they should have read the report which they were so eager to misquote.

They had taken part of a sentence from an Oxford Brookes University study, funded by the RICS, into windfarms and house prices and quoted it as if it represented the findings of that study. It didn't. Basically, they had done what certain dodgy impresarios have been known to do. Take a word or two from a report out of context and advertise the hell out of it.

It seemed pretty clear that VVASP had not read the report they were so keen to misquote. A closer examination of the report itself apparently confirms this.

The report itself remarked that 'the "threat" of a wind farm may have a more significant impact [on house prices] than the actual presence of one.'

Take a look around the Lenches and you'll see a supposedly peaceful rural area (parts of which aren't that peaceful at all, really) which has been vandalised by the pigs of VVASP. They have colluded in making their own properties practically unsellable. At a time of global recession and great uncertainty, they plastered their area with hideous, monstrous and painfully silly placards. Nasty yellow placards saying 'NO'.

Who in their right minds who go looking for a cosy rural retreat and settle on an area where there are so many of those moronic 'NO' signs?

Are they welcoming? 'NO'.

Do they suggest a calm and tranquil neighbourhood, a pleasant and tolerant community? 'NO'.

Have the maniacs of VVASP ruined their own property market with their depressing placards?


So here's the reality check. The windfarm will not have an adverse effect on house prices. Not at all. If anything, as various reports now indicate, it will provide a local boost to property values. As with Burton Latimer, where estate agents routinely advertise proximity to the Burtonwold windfarm as a Unique Selling Point, the Lenchwick Windfarm will prove to be a positive boon when it comes to house prices in the Lenches.

Which should make them all sit up and notice, especially as there are quite a few in the Lenches who can think of nothing but their net worth.

But VVASP have hammered property values in the area with their ridiculous, duplicitous, utterly crazed and deeply dishonest protest. Any fall, real or imagined, in the values of properties in the Lenches is entirely down to the brainless demagogues of the nimby movement. They have only themselves to blame.

If they had reacted in a more intelligent, grown up and responsible way to the proposals, they might not have seen a fall in house prices in the area.

Now, seriously, how stupid can you get? Who would willingly reduce the market value of their capital assets?

VVASP would. And not just for themselves. For everyone. It's that Dr No again, making everyone else suffer and pay for his mindless opposition to a brilliant, beautiful and beneficial scheme.

The picture's pretty clear. The windfarm will boost your property value. VVASP will smash it.

And so the intelligent decision is ... ?

Thursday, 25 November 2010


The Northants Evening Telegraph ran a piece under this heading on Tuesday 9 November. It related to an exhibition of plans to extend the successful Burtonwold Windfarm near Burton Latimer.

Pam Mills, 64, was quoted. She will have a clear view of the turbines from her house nearby:

'I'm fully in favour 100 per cent. We think they are beautiful and graceful.

'I can see all 10 from my house and watched them being erected.

'I'm really happy with them. When my grandchildren come in, the first thing they say is: "Granny, wind mills."'

As tends to be the case, up and down the country communities which have a windfarm nearby are their strongest advocates. People who have had the privilege to become familiar with wind turbines in the neighbourhood by and large love them.

Immediately beneath this wholly optimistic, good-news piece was an inset. Another nimby group had been opposing plans for a windfarm elsewhere for five years.

This group is called BLOT and it's just as shameless in its unprincipled opposition and dishonest practice as VVASP. The usual lies about windfarms are promoted endlessly, the usual suspects are drafted in to write their bogus reports, the usual hysterical and misleading scare-stories are spread about.

The difference between these two communities? One has a windfarm, loves it and is looking forward to getting more turbines, partly because they are 'beautiful and graceful' and partly because of the tangible benefits that windfarms bring to such communities. The other doesn't have a windfarm (yet) and a bunch of lunatic busy-bodies are trying to make sure that their neighbours never get to see the benefits.


And that's where we are here in Lenchwick. An abusive, exploitative, misleading, aggressive, insanely illogical, dishonest, discredited, evil campaign mounted by a handful of trouble-makers is trying to stop a wholly beneficial development.

One day (please God) we will be just like the good folk of Burton Latimer (and elsewhere) who know the facts about wind power and can't get enough of it. Till then, we're in the sad, perplexed, confused state of those at Bozeat (and elsewhere) because of a few demented and disgusting nimbies.

We have the option of seeing our lives and our landscape enhanced, of gaining the cherished beauty and 'calming effect' of the wind turbines, and of benefiting from the financial input while doing our bit for the country as a whole. It's a win-win situation. The only person who loses out is Dr Rod Stroud because he told such a pack of lies about the development that his reputation will be shot to pieces.

But thanks to Dr No and his fanatical bullies, we're being nudged towards losing out on all this. The only person who will benefit from us not getting the windfarm will be Stroud - and even then, it's a miserable benefit. Okay, so he won't get to see the turbines from time to time. Bully for him. But there will be no net gain, no material gain - only the satisfaction of knowing that his campaign of lies and intimidation worked, that he was able to overturn the democratic process and deny his neighbours a whole host of benefits, including those relating to the value of their property, and that the community and the UK as a whole is a lot worse off because of him.

Could it get any crazier than that?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Here's a measure of how inept the so-called Windfarm Working Party was when it came to gathering and sharing information both in favour of and against windfarms. They didn't even know what the County's strategy on renewables was!!

A few posts back, we reported on the document produced by Worcestershire County Council in January 2009. That was just two months before the Windfarm Working Party was created in order to do the bidding of the nookies on Church Lench Parish Council.

Did the WWP note that Worcestershire had identified Wychavon (i.e., here) as having windfarm potential? Did the daft burghers of the six parishes realise that the County's document had called for a cascade of effective and reliable information on the matter of renewables to trickle down from the local authorities?

Apparently not. The Working Party announced that only its friends in VVASP were allowed to 'educate' the community. They actively prevented the parish councils from distributing useful 'education'. They saw it as the job of a deluded and eventually discredited protest group to 'educate' the people, completely ignoring what the County Council felt was desirable.

With four-and-a-half grand of our money to play with, we might have expected the WWP to do a bit of research. Visit a comparable windfarm site. Contact the local authorities for advice and guidance. Meet up with pro-wind groups. Did any of that happen?


Meanwhile, good old BLoW have unearthed a briefing paper prepared for Members of Parliament which points out that, actually, house prices are more likely to RISE faster near a windfarm than further away. It's on the Wychavon website.

This blog has been considering the evidence with regard to property values for some time, and now the House of Commons agrees that windfarms do not have an adverse effect on house prices. If anything, quite the reverse! And in Wales, 500 metres is the accepted distance between windfarms and property. Seems fair enough.

And guess what - VVASP commissioned their dreary 'Visual Impact' report from a pet 'consultant'. Bizarrely, this tedious waffle arrived just over three months too late (the official deadline for the public consultation period was July 31st). Even more bizarre is the fact that the geezer who put this boring document together hasn't really grasped the whole renewables issue.

Geoffrey Sinclair, the obscure individual who took VVASP's thirty pieces of silver, apparently thinks that nuclear power is renewable. In a document published this September, Sinclair remarked on 'The Westminster Government's commitment to develop nuclear power as the primary source of renewable energy in the UK and hence the marginal relevance of onshore wind as the platform for renewable energy generation in Wales.'

Hmmnn ... let's try to sift the fact from the fudge here. The Westminster Government's 'commitment' to developing a new nuclear program is questionable. No public money will be made available for the construction of new nuclear power plants. And no nuclear power plant has been built without massive public subsidy. Not much of a commitment, then.

Furthermore, nuclear is not renewable. It's a fossil fuel system. There is something extraodinarily duplicitous or wildly off-target in pretending that nuclear is renewable. It means that the consultant hired (rather late in the day?) by VVASP is either hopelessly muddled or chronically mendacious (and hugely out-of-date: renewables are predicted to overtake nuclear by 2013, so where is this government 'commitment' to the beloved nuclear industry?)

Either way, VVASP have found the landscape equivalent of Mike Stigwood, the maverick noise consultant with an axe to grind whom the district council decided to retain after conversations with the VVASP puppets in the Windfarm Working Party. The WWP was the group which could not be bothered to find out anything at all about windfarms but proved fairly effective at identifying what sort of expert or thing could maybe stop a windfarm planning application in its tracks.

Biased? Bigoted? Utterly out-of-touch with reality? Er ... yeah.

But there is some good emerging from all this. As VVASP's lies are exposed, its hideous ideology and tactics revealed, its concerted attempts at gerrymandering and fixing local democracy are brought to light, and as a steady stream of positive news and developments pours in, utterly demolishing the ricketty case VVASP have been trying to put together, the tide is quite clearly turning. The fools and fascists of VVASP are looking shakier, now. They have relied on unreliable consultants, just as they have relied on unreliable information.

Bring on the windfarm - let's show the people just how many lies VVASP have told!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Most people, hearing the words 'Parish Council', will probably think of The Vicar of Dibley, and they won't be far wrong. There's something pleasingly reminiscent of Dad's Army and other quaint sitcoms about the workings of the average English Parish Council.

The charmingly amateur approach to local matters demonstrated by so many Parish Councils can easily be subverted by determined individuals. Which is what has happened in the Lenchwick region.

It is fairly standard practice for a Parish Council to organise a Working Party to investigate and report on various issues. It saves time, having a small group looking into an issue and feeding back to the Council, and there is no need to minutes to be taken. But it is unusual for such a Working Party to demand upfront payments from several Parish Councils for it to carry out its duties.

Where the Windfarm Working Party is concerned, those duties have shifted somewhat. To begin with, the Working Party was sold to the participating Parish Councils as a group tasked with gathering and sharing information both in favour of and against wind farms. This information would help the various Parish Councils prepare for the arrival of the planning application. Their questions would be answered.

That did not happen. The WWP had only been in existence for a few weeks, and was not yet fully funded, when it got into bed with the protest group VVASP.

This came as no surprise to some. Church Lench Parish Council (which established the Windfarm Working Party) was nimby through-and-through. The thugs of VVASP had disrupted so many Parish Council meetings that the real councillors resigned, making way for a Parish Council composed entirely of demented anti-wind farm nincompoops. As one resident remarked, Church Lench now had a 'single-issue parish council'.

In the summer of 2009, the WWP agreed to share VVASP's workload. It granted VVASP the sole right to 'educate' the public on windfarm matters (which was pretty daft, given VVASP's propensity for telling fibs) and offered to concentrate on the noise issues related to the proposed windfarm while VVASP focussed on the visual impact.

So already the WWP had decided, in concert with VVASP, to gather and share information relating to only one aspect of the windfarm - the potential noise issues. Now, with a budget of £4,500, provided by the six participating Parish Councils, the Working Party could afford a great deal of research, input and advice. But, in the event, hardly any of this was spent on investigating the noise issues relating to the windfarm.

Instead, the WWP massively overspent on a solicitor, paying the said brief upwards of £3,000 to submit repeated objections to the windfarm plans on the Working Party's behalf.

So what happened to the noise issue? We'll come back to that.

When the WWP was founded, it was clearly stated (by Norton and Lenchwick Parish Council, among others) that the WWP representatives would report back to the Councils on their findings but would have no input directly into the Councils' reponses to the planning application.

This would make sense. In the course of their extensive research (which never happened), the WWP reps would surely form their own opinions. They could feed back on the activities of the WWP and answer questions from their fellow Parish Councillors, but it would be only sensible if, having told the Councils what they had found out, they then left the room while the Parish Councils decided how to respond to the planning application.

Again, though, this did not happen. All six Parish Councils dutifully submitted the woeful 'critique' of the planning application prepared for the WWP by their solicitor. These submissions all took place within one week, with the Norton and Lenchwick submission arriving at Wychavon District Council on the same day as the solicitor's not-very-good critique arrived.

Far from having no input in the eventual decisions of their respective Parish Councils, the WWP reps appear to have insisted that all the participating Councils submitted the selfsame objection, in the form of the solicitor's 'critique'. It seems highly unlikely that the majority of councillors had even seen that report before it was submitted on their behalf. And the parishioners - those who had demonstrated a marked lack of real interest in the whole windfarm issue - were of course not consulted.

With the six submissions of the same document - plus the solicitor's own submission, which makes seven versions of the same 'critique' submitted in the one week - the WWP threw its cards down on the table. It had failed or refrained from gathering and sharing information and it had pretty much given up on its mission to concentrate on the noise issues. It had simply made sure that all six Parish Councils submitted the same dumb objection, regardless of the facts, public opinion or the views of the actual parish councillors.

It was Church Lench Parish Council which administered the Windfarm Working Party (and had the contract with the solicitor), and so it is Church Lench which is to blame for the fact that the Windfarm Working Party completely failed to stay within its budget. Even though it saved hundreds of pounds by giving up on the whole noise side of things, that just meant that it felt entitled to throw hundreds more at their solicitor - whose bills eventually busted their budget altogether.

The WWP has since demanded more money from the Parish Councils so that it can pay the solicitor to appear and to speak at the Special Development Control Committee meeting to consider the windfarm planning application early next year.

Now, here's the rub - just who, exactly, is solicitor Peter Scott going to be representing at Wychavon planning meeting? The answer, short and simple, is: Church Lench. Because, as a mere Working Party, the WWP surely has no authority whatsoever to hire a solicitor to keep banging on and on about their naff objections to the development before the Development Control Committee. So, even though the WWP - or rather, Church Lench Parish Council - proved singularly inept at managing its own budget, the deranged nookies of Church Lench have now insisted that EVERYBODY ELSE should pay for a solicitor to represent them at the meeting of the Wychavon planning committee.

All this money - the £4,500 that was misappropriated from the Parish Councils and then misspent - along with the additional £250 or so donated by Parish Councils, is precept money. It is tax-payers' money granted to Parish Councils for the maintenance of local services. It is public money - OUR money - which is being misused to pay for Church Lench's dimwitted objections to a perfectly sensible scheme.

The Windfarm Working Party is simply a blind. It is Church Lench Parish Council (proprietor: VVASP) seeking to impose its views on the surrounding Parish Councils and making sure that everybody in the area jumps to their tune.

The reason why the WWP gave up on its mission to investigate the noise impact of the windfarm isn't too difficult to find. After a meeting between representatives of the WWP and the Head of Environmental Services at Wychavon, the District Council took the odd decision to hire a very biased noise consultant.

From the point-of-view of the WWP (which is also Church Lench Parish Council, which is also VVASP) this decision, taken by officers at Wychavon DC, absolved them of the need to worry about noise issues. The District Council had taken care of that for them. So they could now throw all our money at a solicitor - and then some more.

It should be abundantly evident to anybody with a functioning brain cell and a basic sense of right and wrong that the Windfarm Working Party has been a flagrant abuse of local democracy. It was created by a ludicrously biased Parish Council with the sole purpose of suborning the surrounding Parish Councils and spending their money (our money) on fighting the windfarm by any means necessary. Absolutely no genuine information was gathered and shared - the morons didn't even consider visiting an operational windfarm!!

Even when the WWP had agreed with their bosom pals in VVASP on who was going to do what, the Working Party was able to renege on that arrangement because it had tricked Wychavon into hiring a noise consultant who (apart from having no real qualifications) is known to be fanatically anti-windfarms, who repeatedly cites evidence that no one has ever seen and who routinely objects to and finds fault with every aspect of a windfarm planning application.

So the WWP had managed to save some money by getting somebody else (Wychavon) to spend public money on its fraudulent enterprise. But rather than return the money it had saved to the participating Parish Councils, the WWP gaily overspent on paying a solicitor to come up with as many objections as he could think of. And to warn off any local resident who expressed suspicions about the way the WWP was trampling over everything that was democratic and decent in the area.

Finally, even though its work is theoretically done, the WWP is paying for the same solicitor to represent the nimby nutters of Church Lench Parish Council at the meeting of the Development Control Committee. This is not what Working Parties do. It is a blatant abuse of public money by a dishonest, deluded minority.

The Parish Councillors of the area are at fault here for failing to insist that proper controls be exercised over a Working Party that was obviously partisan and politically motivated. A large amount of our money has been wasted, overspent, improperly accounted for, misappropriated and misused, all for the sake of a few nimbies. And, even though they had no authority to intervene in the decisions of their Parish Councils, the berks of the WWP made sure that all six Councils submitted the same objection, when the majority of residents in the area have never expressed opposition to the windfarm plans.

Isn't it about time that somebody, somewhere, woke up to this outrageous misbehaviour and taught the sick and evil-minded nimbies of Church Lench a lesson in democracy and proper conduct?

Friday, 19 November 2010


Little wonder that our nookie friends were praying for a Tory government. The previous administration was evidently keen on renewables. So the nimby nutters wanted them out. Besides which, if you take a look at the majority of VVASP you'll quickly see that few of them have ever given a passing thought to the needs of others. A Tory government, they hoped, would throw out all windfarm applications and go crazy for nuclear instead.

Well, whaddya know. The coalition is in a right old pickle.

Peter Luff's dimwitted 2 kilometre Bill is back. This was a bit of posturing that the MP did on VVASP's behalf a while back. Now, under the new government, he's going through the motions again.

Cameron and Clegg are thoroughly committed to renewables. They've seen the figures and they know that we need them. Sadly, though, a few of their more hard-of-thinking backbenchers feel that there might be a few votes in standing up for the kind of nimby madness which has made the Lenchwick area so thoroughly unpleasant recently. They're on a hiding to nothing, of course. Worse, they are actively opposing the very measures (harmless, beneficial) which the UK urgently needs to adopt. It's a thoroughly stupid and silly enterprise that Luff and co. are engaged on.

Much of the problem lies with the Secretary of State for Communities, the Weeble-like Eric Pickles. One of Pickles's first acts was summarily to abolish regional plans. Under the last government, local authorities were required to figure out what they were going to contribute to such big issues as affordable housing and renewable energy. That involved planning, and as everybody knows, planning ahead is a Socialist thing to do.

But Pickles was taken to the High Court over this, and last week the High Court ruled that he had abused his powers. Pickles simply did not have the lawful right to tear up all those regional plans. It was an exceptionally foolish and short-sighted thing to do.

All of this indicates that the Tory party (in particular) simply hasn't got its head on when it comes to the problems that lie ahead. Too many gormless MPs (like the charmless Karen Lumley, MP for Nimby South, and Luff himself, formerly the MP for Nimby South and now MP for the Vile) have been too quick to swallow the nookie line. This is the deranged mindset which claims to be all in favour of renewables (oh yeah?) as long as they can't see them. The loopy way of thinking which insists that renewables don't work and everybody in the world can't abide the things. The liars, basically.

The upper echelons of the coalition government have to make sensible decisions about our energy future - and with Chris Huhne at the helm of Energy and Climate Change all the indicators are that onshore windfarms will play their part. Cameron (whose father-in-law has a windfarm on his estate) and Clegg (whose wife works for a renewables company) know that this is the only feasible way forward.

But then their dull minions try to prove that they've got their fingers on the pulse (of a dead body) by trotting out the tired and meaningless nimby drivel that they were sold by the likes of VVASP. Pickles abuses his power and is made to reinstate the regional plans - which includes regional plans for renewables. Local authorities have been told that their strategies have been reinstated. A common sense approach to housing and energy is back!

It's astonishing, though, how a few not-very-bright MPs can have misread the situation so badly. Surely it's time that Cameron rounded up his sheep, left Pickles stranded on a beach somewhere, and got on with the job of ensuring that Britain has electricity in a few years time.

Isn't that what being Prime Minister is all about? Fighting for Britain, rather than defending a few selfish cretins who couldn't be trusted to tell you what day of the week it was?

Thursday, 18 November 2010


'What we saw in the courtroom and in much of the media were judgements based on anecdote and speculation.'

These are the words of Marcia Angell, onetime editor of the New England Journal of Medicineand author of Science on Trial: The Clash Between Medical Science and the Law in the Breast Implant Case.

The situation was fairly simple. Stories had started doing the rounds that silicone breast implants could cause a variety of health problems. Women who had health problems and silicone breast implants put two and two together. There were law suits and a media frenzy.

Some years later, after much research, it became clear that there was no evidence of any direct link between implants and health problems. But by then, much of the damage had been done.

There have been countless examples of this sort of public hysteria, based entirely on supposition and an inability to weigh up the evidence. In the year following 11 September 2001, over fifteen hundred people died on America's roads because they had chosen not to fly, regardless of the fact that it was still the safest way to travel. Their decisions cost them their lives.

Dan Gardner's book Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear suggests that we essentially have two brains. One he calls 'Gut'. It makes instant and instinctive decisions. The other he calls 'Head' - that one weighs up the evidence and does a bit of thinking before casting its vote.

Guess which one rules nimby thinking. Right at the start of this windfarm nonsense, a small number of individuals panicked. One - who really should have known better - typed 'Nasty Wind Farms' into Google and got a load of bilge by return. This, he decided, was gibberish that the entire neighbourhood really should know about.

A few moments of proper research might have saved VVASP the indignity of an adverse ASA adjudication. If the chap responsible had actually done some real research, rather than just looking for the worst (most misleading) headlines he could find, they might not have published the ludicrous claims that came through everybody's doors.

And, having worked themselves up into paroxysms of crazy thinking, the fanatics of VVASP then had to ensure that everybody thought the same as they did. So a blanket ban on independent thought and proper research was imposed. If you didn't pay lip service to the lies, you were not allowed to express an opinion.

The measures taken to defend the spectacularly dishonest behaviour of the anti-windfarm protest have been growing ever more elaborate. The Windfarm Working Party, for example, seems to be trying to pretend that it doesn't really exist. It was set up simply to advise parish councils on a complex planning application, or so it claims, so it was not in any way a 'public' body - an argument that has worn so thin it could get a modelling job.

What we've ended up with are the 'anecdotes and speculation' which Marcia Angell remembered from the case of the breast implants. Basically, people talking rubbish. Telling stories which have no factual basis. Ignoring the available evidence to make stupid, illogical and utterly unscientific pronouncements. Over-exaggerating a pretty much non-existent risk.

Looked at objectively, and with access to all the evidence and information that VVASP has routinely sought to deny its poor deluded members, the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm is undoubtedly a Good Thing. The risks are minimal, the benefits all too apparent.

Except that the loons of VVASP decided on Day One that a windfarm was of necessity a Bad Thing (why?) and that therefore there simply could not be any benefits. And so we get those weird, unsupported stories about windfarms not working, about them only being built because of huge subsidies (nuclear, anyone?), about community payments being nothing more than 'bribes'. All complete twaddle, of course. The sort of thing that convinces ambitious Tory politicians but no one with half a functioning brain.

A glance through the silly objections to the proposed windfarm merely confirms the fact that most people who have objected really don't have much of an idea as to what it is they're objecting to. Read the letters and you'll quickly discover that few if any of them have anything to do with windfarms. They are, rather, lousy attempts at rationalising a wholly irrational, unsustainable and inexcusable opposition to a Good Thing.

Just how lousy those attempts have been can be seen by reading a few of the letters of objection. The claims made in those letters are so ludicrous, so wide of the mark, that it is clear that most of these people wouldn't even recognise a windfarm if you parked one on their doorstep. They simply don't know what a windfarm is. They've allowed themselves to be misled, like the lemmings they are, by the buffoons of VVASP.

You could argue that fear underlies all these objections. But, if that's true, then it's a completely irrational fear which could be easily ameliorated by a bit of sensible and level-headed finding out. Don't just read the latest ox-ordure to be evacuated from the bowels of VVASP - they're a bunch of proven liars, for crying out loud! Do some proper research. Find out. And then you won't need to be worried about the Windfarm Monster because you'll have discovered that the Windfarm Monster doesn't exist!!!

But, sadly, many people are hopeless when it comes to assessing risk. They make silly mistakes. They let their 'Guts' rule their 'Heads'. And we end up with a ridiculous, stupid, fraudulent, dishonest and utterly demented campaign against something that is harmless and beneficial.

Honestly - people, eh?

Monday, 15 November 2010


A most intriguing document has recently appeared on the Wychavon planning website. Showing a delightful sense of mischief, the Wychavon officers smuggled the document into the midst of a long and boring sermon submitted on behalf of VVASP.

In fact, two documents were allowed to interrupt the interminable flow of yet another intervention by VVASP in their ongoing attempt at derailing the planning process. One of these documents was a typically obstreperous VVASP effort highlighting a decision which went against a proposed windfarm in the Scottish Borders.

Maybe some kind soul would care to respond by notifying Wychavon of the planning inspector's recent remarks in connection with a windfarm proposal for the Fens. As the following link makes clear, the planning inspector simply did not feel that the 'visual impact' of the proposed windfarm was sufficient cause to deny the project the go-ahead.

It should be remembered, of course, that VVASP agreed in the summer of '09 to concentrate on the visual aspect of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm development while their playmates in the Windfarm Working Party concentrated on the noise issues - something the WWP seems to have done fairly successfully by selling the District Council a whole load of hogwash about the government's guidelines on windfarms and noise.

Anyway, in addition to the usual nimby outrage on the Wychavon website, we find a document submitted by our friends at BLoW ('Back Local Windfarms'). This is effectively a whistle-blowing report. A short while back, Big Chief Nimby decided that the District Council really ought to know all about his visit to an anti-ETSU-R-97 conference. BLoW felt that the Council also had a right to know about the annual RenewableUK conference in Glasgow.

Seems that BLoW didn't waste their time in Glasgow, but were invited to give two presentations on the irresponsible tactics used by VVASP in attempting to corrupt local democracy.

Others have made their views about VVASP's shameless bully-boy tactics known, both in the local press and on the Wychavon website. The report by BLoW now establishes that attempts by the nookies to bully and browbeat those who disagreed with them were an integral part of VVASP's campaign. Basically, VVASP started out by telling lies, then attacked anyone who questioned those lies, and finally forced other institutions (such as the parish councils) to repeat those lies as if they were doing the public's bidding.

In short, Misinformation, Intimidation and Impropriety, as the BLoW report neatly puts it.

This unholy trinity of nimby tactics is hardly unique to the Lenches - other, very similar anti-windfarm nimby groups around the country have stooped just as low as the agitators of VVASP have done. But at least the good souls at BLoW have brought this to the attention of the District Council, indicating that it was only by pursuing a course of dishonesty, spitefulness and skulduggery that the windfarm opponents could hope to get anywhere with their dreadful campaign.

Telling the truth about windfarms and wind power would not have helped their cause one bit. Allowing those in the know to have their views and opinions heard would only prove that VVASP did not have the 'overwhelming majority' of local people on their side, as they have been so fond of claiming, and that their ridiculous stories about windfarms were sheer gobbledegook. And letting the parish councils respond on behalf of their communities, rather than on behalf of VVASP, would only have shown that the fools of VVASP really were in the minority.

Let's hope that the BLoW report helps to open eyes at Wychavon to the unpleasantness unleashed by VVASP, to their mendacious and inexcusable campaign of lies and misplaced fury, and to their concerted attempts to gerrymander the democratic process in the local area. It would be wholly inappropriate if an adverse decision were made in the regard to Lenchwick Windfarm purely on the basis of such misinformation, intimidation and gross impropriety.

VVASP have sought from the word go to mislead and misinform everybody, from District Councillors down to the new arrivals in the area. They have victimised anybody who expressed a view contrary to their ignorant and dishonest stance. And they have tried to pervert every aspect of the planning process in order to serve their selfish ends.

At least Wychavon can no longer claim to be unaware of VVASP's appalling tactics.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


In the Great Windfarm Debate, it's easy to get bogged down in arguments or discussions concerning background noise levels, bird strikes, shadow flicker or house prices. But what's more interesting, in many ways, is the psychological dimension to the protest movement.

Put it this way - would you be inclined to take the anti-windfarm campaign more or less seriously if you knew that it was based more on personality disorders than on objective science?

In 2007, Oliver James published Affluenza, his international study of the effects of what he calls 'Selfish Capitalism'. According to James, there is a sort of Virus that can all too easily be caught by those who get swept up in the status-seeking world of modern consumer capitalism. The people who are most at risk of succumbing to this Virus are those he calls 'Marketing Characters'. They are susceptible to brainwashing and propaganda.

Those affected by the Virus tend to be aggressive, conformist, acquisitive, self-centred, competitive and, by and large, unhappy - depressed, even. They get little or no enjoyment out of life, relationships, etc., and continue to plough their energies back into the treadmill of getting-and-spending. For them, a house isn't a place to live in - it's a status symbol to be compared with those around it.

In one chapter of his book, James seems to recommend a return to the rural values of community and attachment to the land - the land being thought of as a working landscape attuned to the rhythms of the agricultural year. But this notion of the countryside as an antidote to the worst excesses of the Virus-driven Selfish Capitalist kind of dates the book.

The reality in the Lenches is that a very healthy community did exist, up until just a few years ago. An influx of Marketing Characters, bolstered by the economic boom which collapsed with the banking crisis, turned the rural scene into something between a suburban cul-de-sac and a gated community.

It is these newcomers who have fallen prey so readily to the self-serving and deliberately misleading nonsense published over and over again by the hardcore VVASP membership. By making up stories about property values suffering a calamitous fall when the windfarm arrives, the hoodlums of VVASP have got these people where it hurts. The pressure quickly built for these new arrivals to join the gang, to fit in, to imagine that they have become part of the community by making equally noisy and nonsensical pronouncements about the windfarm.

(The reality is that the community - the real one - is kind of still there, just about hanging on, but on the whole completely marginalised and terrorised into silence by the liars and their followers.)

So, in effect, the countryside has fallen victim to the same kind of acquisitive, aggressive and self-centred individual as the city and the suburbs have. Oliver James was wrong (or soon fell out-of-date) - the countryside is no longer an escape from the twisted values of the Selfish Capitalist, because the Selfish Capitalist saw country living itself as a desirable measure of status and invaded a pleasant community, turning it on its head.

Add to that distasteful brew a large contingent of retired people, conservative in their outlook, who are opposed to anything and everything, and you have a problem. The senior members of the community throw up their hands in horror at the thought of anything happening that hasn't happened already, and the new-comers see the windfarm as a threat to their sense of status (i.e., who wants a clean, green, hippy sort of windy thing nearby - that smacks of socialism - when we can have an exclusive, white middle-class monoculture? The irony being that the protesters have called themselves VVASP, which should stand for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.)

To be honest, it must be difficult to care about the fact that the community payments which would come with the windfarm might fund extra resources, facilities and even teaching staff for Church Lench primary school if you've packed your kids off to an expensive private school in the cosseted south (or, rather, it's not difficult, but you do have to give some thought to others for a change). If - and we mean IF - these people were remotely interested in the community, the Section 106 payments would be something to think about. But these people have no interest in the community, except as something which should reflect their own values and do their bidding when required. So the simple fact that the communities of the area should benefit very happily from the Lenchwick Windfarm is by-the-by.

Oliver James makes no bones about it - such a mindset, informed by Selfish Capitalism, infected by the Virus, is a social, psychological, emotional disaster. It's an illness, and it is wreaking havoc in our society.

For proof of that, one need only look at the Lenches. Once, not so long ago, they offered up a rural alternative to urban living, with rich characters, ancient families, local events and a profound sense of community. Today, they are a playground for the well-heeled and seriously overdrawn, who police it vigorously, ensuring that no one disagrees with their views. It is an arid, festering, seething cauldron of hatred and jealousy, one-up-manship and bigoted intolerance. It is a place where slogans have overtaken debate, where free speech is banned.

The old order would not have put together such a vile, vicious, vacuous protest. For that, we have to thank the Marketing Characters who have pitched up in the Lenches in their droves in recent years, bringing their own particular brand of selfishness and aggression with them.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


So - in the week when it was revealed that anti-wind farm campaigners could cost England (not the UK - England) £1.3 billion in lost investments, lost business rates, lost community funds and lost job opportunities ... that's right, the twerps of VVASP and others like them continue to prove their profound lack of patriotism and social conscience ... what else have we learnt?

Well, representatives of the political wing of VVASP, otherwise known as the Windfarm Working Party (Copyright: Church Lench Parish Council and Nimbies-R-Us), held a meeting with the Head of Environmental Services at Wychavon District Council.

Some details of this meeting were given by the chair of the WWP and Church Lench PC on Thursday 21st January 2010, after the Parish Council had finished its meeting. Didn't want the public hearing about it, we suppose.

Now, the decision to hire a noise consultant on the basis of his repeated, though not very coherent, criticisms of the government's guidelines on wind farms and noise was taken on or around 30 December 2009 by a member of the Environmental Services Department.

The meeting between the Council officers and the representatives of the Provisional VVASP must have taken place sometime between 9 November 2009 and 21 January 2010.

For reasons best known to himself, the Council officer who took the decision to hire a noise consultant beloved of the nimbies but not taken very seriously by everyone else did so having declared that there was "general concern" in the acoustic industry that ETSU-R-97 (the government's guidelines on wind farms and noise) is "unfit for purpose".

We asked a professional noise consultant about this, and he told us that it's not true. There is not general concern in the industry about ETSU-R-97. So somebody must have convinced the Council officer that there was.

Who might that have been, we wonder.

And then, perhaps, that same person suggested that there was a noise consultant who specialised in making garbled statements about ETSU-R-97, so why didn't the Council hire him?

Hmmnn ... Unsurprisingly, our very own Men-in-Black (BLoW) tell us that the Council is proving rather coy at the moment where this issue is concerned. We do know that three noise consultants were invited by Wychavon to submit their tenders in early December. We know that, at the end of December, a Council officer decided to hire the one without academic qualifications, the one whose reports tend to be all the same, the one who keeps quoting research that no one has ever seen, the one who routinely picks holes in every aspect of an Environmental Statement and the one whose testimony is generally ignored by planning inspectors.

We also know that representatives of the Windfarm Working Party held a meeting with the very guys who chose to appoint the said noise consultant. Sometime roundabout the time that the decision to hire him was taken.

Bet the WWP representatives were absolutely delighted when Wychavon retained the very noise consultant they would have wanted them to hire, don't you think?

Strange, though, that the sort of people who usually rail against wastes of public money were quite happy to see our council taxes frittered away on a noise consultant whose report won't stand up to analysis at the planning appeals stage ... and are just as happy to see England (not the UK - just England) lose out on £1.3 billion, all because of their stupid, nonsensical, illogical and irrational opposition to those lovely windfarms.