Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Signs of desperation in the nimby camp are appearing thick and fast.

Not content merely to hurl extremely serious allegations about our democratically-elected representatives about the place, the loons of VVASP are now trying to frighten the good people of Harvington by claiming that "thousands" of trucks will be going through their village.

"Thousands"? Why not say "millions"? Why not - "Eight hundred trillion pantechnicons will crash through your living room and ruin your nice new rug"?

Meanwhile, the solicitor retained by VVASP - sorry, the Anti-Windfarm Working Party - is getting rather hot under the collar. Vide his latest blast, lobbed at ScottishPower Renewables and copied to his obscure "clients" and the Wychavon planning officer.

It's all to do with bats, apparently. A relatively calm report on ecology and habitat was filed by Baker Consultants. SPR duly responded. The solicitor went wild.

It doesn't help that, after several months of correspondence, the solicitor gets the name of the person he's writing to wrong. And, reading back through that correspondence, it's almost impossible to figure out what point he's trying to make. Rather like a drunk who's determined to start an argument, he takes any old sentence from the last SPR letter and conjures up all manner of strange assertions and bizarre scenarios - and all this in language which strays from legalese into something approaching abuse.

Of course, he's working for a fee (although he did halve a recent invoice because the incompetent nimbies of Church Lench Parish Council had overspent their "Windfarm Working Party" budget and he didn't want to make them look bad). And who pays the piper calls the tune. Which means that, in this case, a glaring non-issue is being treated as if it's proof positive that ScottishPower Renewables are in league with the devil and determined to murder bats - even ones that don't exist!

Now, we at Wind of Change are anything but anti-bat. We rather like the creatures, and we certainly don't want to see them harmed in any way.

But trying to pick a fight over whether one set of recordings used unidirectional or omnidirectional mikes is, well, let's face it, clutching at straws. And going off on one over SPR's reasonable point that most nature conservation agencies have recognised the need to mitigate the effects of climate change for the sake of the natural world - riffing hilariously on the ramifications of that dangerously irresponsible viewpoint (at one stage, he seems to suggest that such an argument, logically, should mean buying air-conditioning units to keep the bats happy and forgetting all about renewables) - well, that's not clutching at straws. That's drowning in a sea of hopelessness.

He's been told to savage SPR over bats. It's about the only thing the nimbies who run Church Lench reckon might scupper the plans. Unfortunately, though, the poor solicitor's got nothing to go on. The nookies of Lench keep sending him into battle with a pea-shooter. And no peas.

And who's paying for these letters? Who keeps saying, "Go on, write to them again" (even though he knows that he can do little more than smear a sheet of paper with something smelly and post it)? Well, guess who.

The people of the area who don't oppose the windfarm are paying for all this nonsense. The dark forces behind the "Windfarm Working Party" (which knows nothing about windfarms and has done nothing to enlighten itself) keep shoving him forward, snarling: "Go on, hit her! Here's some money - now hit her!" And the money they keep giving him is what you paid in taxes.

Value for money? No, not really. Especially when all the poor chap can do is wave a used tissue in SPR's face and make a noise like Chewbacca.

So - the big question: if the Anti-Windfarm Fig-Leaf Committee is paying for yet more pointless epistles - "Go on, call her a rude word! Go on!" - does that mean that there won't be any money left to pay for the solicitor to address the planning committee on behalf of twelve angry men and a rather bored dog? Have they given up on that plan, knowing that Wychavon District Council has heard plenty about this dodgy Working Party and the game might be up? Are these febrile attempts at hurting SPR's feelings simply the last gasp of a failed protest campaign?

Let's hope so.

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