Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Through much of the nimby madness of the Battle for Lenchwick Windfarm, the frothy-mouthed sclerotic terrorists of VVASP were praying for a Conservative victory in the 2010 general election.

They weren't taken in by David Cameron's everso slimy claims about leading "the greenest government ever". One would also hope that they weren't so completely bonkers that they actually believed their own guff about windfarms being part of some madcap leftwing conspiracy organised by Gordon Brown and the EU (although one can't be too sure - there were a lot of people believing a lot of very mad things back then). No. They wanted a Tory government - a) because most of them are Tories anyway, and b) because if you're looking for craven hypocrisy and outright opportunism, look no further than the Conservative Party of Great Britain.

Individual Tory MPs feel free to play both sides of the windfarm debate. Take Neil Carmichael, for example. The Tory MP for Stroud (sic) is smarmying up to his nastier voters by opposing a windfarm in Berkeley Vale. Meanwhile, the same Tory MP is actively trying to get a windfarm built on his own farm in Northumberland. He'd make money from it, see? So it's one rule for down south and another for up north - or, if you prefer, two different kinds of blatant self-interest: be against windfarms where there are votes in it for you, but be for windfarms where you stand to make a profit from them.

As we know only too well, other Tory MPs (such as the not-terribly-bright one for Redditch) are perfectly happy to stand up and spout lies handed to them by their local nimbies in the hopes of retaining their majority. Yes - lies. Falsified figures about public opinion. Lies.

Even Cameron himself has been known to spout the odd nugget of anti-windfarm gibberish to appease the Daily Mail readers, even though he's perfectly familiar with the convenient truth about windfarms (his father-in-law has one on the family estate, dontcha know?)

So the nasty nimbies of Lench reckoned they'd be onto a safe bet if the Tories got in at the last election. A little hypocrisy goes a long way, and a public servant who is prepared to lie to the planning committee, well, that's money in the bank to the nimbies.

But recent findings are showing just how out-of-control the coalition government really is. Thanks to a number of Freedom of Information requests submitted by Caroline Lucas (a real MP), we now know that the oil and nuclear industries have almost completely infiltrated the coalition government:


More than fifty employees of the oil and nuclear industries have been working for "free" for periods of up to two years in the government departments responsible for energy. Not one of these "seconded" employees works for the renewables industry.

It is hardly a surprise, then, to discover that the government co-operated with nuclear power companies to "control" the UK news coverage of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima earlier this year. Nor that the government shared intelligence with nuclear power companies regarding its legal battle with Greenpeace. Nor that an unprecedented alliance of environmentalist and countryside groups has attacked George Osborne for putting the government "on a path to becoming the most environmentally destructive government to hold power in this country since the modern environmental movement was born".

Astonishingly, at a time when even insurance companies are beginning to respond to the problems of climate change (Boston Globe 30 November 2011) while hundreds of the world's biggest companies (including Tesco, Shell, BSkyB and Lloyds Bank) demand a global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the UK's Met Office releases the latest detailed and really rather scary studies of climate change in 24 countries (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-change/policy-relevant/obs-projections-impacts) and the BBC is about to screen Sir David Attenborough's Frozen Planet episode about the perceptable realities of climate change (the one that viewers in America are not allowed to watch), the renewable energy industry in the UK is struggling.

Increasingly, apart from a few barking exceptions like Nigel Lawson, the world is waking up to the enormous problems that lie just over the horizon. But what is our government doing? Letting the most polluting, most expensive and most dangerous of all the power industries dictate our energy policy.

Maybe that's why the nimby nutters were so desperate for a Tory government. After all, a bunch of myopic, money-minded, thick, selfish liars is bound to want a similar bunch to be their "democratically elected" representatives.

Who cares what it costs us all - the country, the future, our children, the planet - as long as our view of the Malverns isn't affected in any way? Just keep the lies and the backhanders coming, folks, and we can all go down together.

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