Friday, 27 April 2012


Okay, so it makes a change from telling lies about windfarms.  But even though they shifted the focus of their protest a bit, Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (MAP) have proved that they are as dangerously delirious, as nasty-minded and as criminally evil as yer typical anti-windfarm nutjob.

MAP's campaign "literature" - to grant it a status it doesn't deserve - was reported to the independent Advertising Standards Authority.  Eight complaints were  made, of which seven were upheld.

Here's what the crazed fanatics of Montgomeryshire Against Pylons were stuffing down people's throats:

STOP, they shrieked.  Pylons are coming. 

Yep - it's like War of the Worlds.  And why are those pylons "coming"?  Because of clean, green wind energy.  Welsh windfarms, in other words, which, with the tiresomely repetitive dishonesty we have come to expect from the anti-wind loons, MAP says are "inefficient".

Oh, yes.  These extraterrestrial pylons will, if you believe the frothy-mouthed weirdos of MAP, lead to -

Destruction of our beautiful countryside, properties and homes forever (very VVASP, that level of hysteria - and how, exactly, are the pylons going to destroy our "properties and homes forever"???)

Real threat of increased childhood leukemia (we'll come back to this, but for now will note only that the MAP morons are using American spellcheck and don't know how we spell "leukaemia" here in the UK)

Property values crashing up to 40% (awkward grammar, this, and difficult to square with the claim that properties will be destroyed "forever": will that be after the 40% crash, or before?)

Oh, and there will also be "road alterations, closures and chaos for around six years" while the pylons and - the real issue at stake here - wind turbines are built.

You think that was all a bit mad?  Just see where MAP went next:

Other communities in Britain have stopped pylons being built.  We must act now to STOP the abomination the Welsh Assembly are dumping right on top of us.

Yes: it's as apocalyptic as that.  How awful that nobody outside of Montgomeryshire has ever experienced the full horror of a few pylons ... oh, hang on.  They have.  We all have.  We've been relying on them for decades.  Everywhere.

Maybe the real problem isn't the pylons at all.  Maybe it's the windfarms that these demented fools are really up in arms about.

Anyway, back to the ASA complaints.  The ASA was asked to adjudicate on whether the following claims, printed in the ghastly "literature" of MAP, were permissible:

"Electricity prices could rise by 60% in 2012" (true - they could.  We could also be eaten by giant rats in 2012.  Or the sky could fall in)

"Property values crashing up to 40%" (nonsense)

"Pylons will devalue your home by 20-40% and possibly more" (is that on top of the 40% crash?)

"Power lines are linked with childhood leukemia [sic] and other cancers"

"Farmers will lose valuable fertile land - power lines are associated with lower milk yield and abortions in animals"

In addition to all this gibberish, the MAP maniacs had reproduced a disturbing image of a child, just to ram home their moronic claims about "leukemia", and had created an image of what the pylons might look like in situ, very close to people's homes, which was a bit naughty because the actual locations of the pylons had not yet been decided.

MAP were asked by the ASA to produce the evidence to support their wild, atrocious claims.  The evidence produced by MAP to support the first claim ("Electricity prices could rise by 60% in 2012") made no mention of electricity prices rising by 60% in 2012 - and the articles presented by MAP had been published after the pylon-nimbies ("pymbies"?) made their ludicrous and groundless claim.  Besides which, as we all know, the huge hike in energy bills last year was down to gas, not renewables.  So MAP's claim was especially stupid and misleading.

The evidence provided by MAP to support their assertions about pylons impacting on house prices were either entirely anecdotal, "a man in the pub told me" type stuff, or a couple of editorials from the usual-suspect right-wing newspapers.  So, no evidence at all, then.

The "evidence" for the claims about childhood leukaemias and abortions in cattle came from a conspiracy theory website and an American report which made no connection between power lines and these diseases.  No actual evidence there, then, either.

To put it simply, MAP - in the oh-so familiar manner of the nasty anti-wind nimby brigade - had simply thrown together a bunch of hysterical claptrap with the sole intention of frightening and misleading people.

The similarities between MAP's mindlessly irresponsible behaviour and that of the typical anti-wind nimby group should be obvious to all.  The usual brainless health scares, the usual unsubstantiated claims about house prices, the well-known gibberish about "our beautiful countryside" and some weird, unprecedented level of permanent destruction.  Nothing new or even remotely imaginative there.

But where they really scraped the bottom of the barrel was in trying to put the frighteners onto local residents by forging a non-existent link between the proposed pylons and increased levels of childhood leukaemia, a disease which they couldn't even spell right.

That was sick.  Sick and evil.  Evil and wrong.  The vicious, crazy, out-of-control cretins who published MAP's disgraceful "literature" should be locked up for what they tried to do.  Indeed - for what they did.  Just like the nimby fascists who set out to convince all and sundry that a windfarm in the neighbourhood will cause all manner of random diseases (bundled together under the fraudulent and discredited title of "Wind Turbine Syndrome"), these selfish cowards in Montgomeryshire were sinking about as low as a supposedly normal person can go.  Their thinking was quite simple (as, indeed, was only fitting for such a campaign of kneejerk intolerance and wilful deception).  If they couldn't spread fear and alarm by making up lies about house prices, they'd get you somewhere else - by going for your children.

No one - repeat: no one - who supports wind energy, renewables in general, and the transformation of our infrastructure which will see an energy revolution over the next few decades, is opposed to the idea of us all having a proper, free and open debate about green energy and sustainability.  No one.

We all accept that pylons and wind turbines might not be everybody's cup of tea.  If you find them "ugly", that's up to you.  It's your opinion, and you're entitled to it.

But groups like MAP just keep on proving that there is no hope at all for a grown-up, intelligent and informed debate in this country about our energy future and the transition to a low-carbon economy.  Just because they don't fancy the idea of a few pylons some distance from their homes, or they have the all-too-common middle-class brainblock over windfarms, they immediately hit the nuclear button and publish mounds of vile, outrageous, preposterous, unsubstantiated, misleading, scare-mongering lies.  That's not grown-up.  That's not intelligent.  That's not informed.  It's insane.

Forget about pylons and "leukemia".  The real cancer in our society is the vicious, lying, threatening, bullying nimby.  And, once again, the ASA has looked at the evidence and forbidden them from publishing their filthy lies again.

Will it stop, them?  Will it heckers like.  But at least we all now know just how depraved, how dishonest, how deranged the anti-everything minority can be.

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