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.