A mixed bag of facts and figures for you today, folks.
Last week, County Councillors in Donegal voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed 1km exclusion zone around windfarms. This just a few days after an English County Council had taken the banal and brainless decision to try and stop all future windfarm developments in the County of Lincolnshire.
The hysterical claims from the nasty nimbies that windfarms "destroy" the supposedly "unspoilt" landscape apparently holds true for Lincolnshire, but not for County Donegal. On the whole, we're inclined to suggest that the Donegal landscape is considerably more "unspoilt" than the Lincolnshire equivalent, but then, Lincolnshire County Council is Tory dominated and therefore, it would appear, inclined to believe all manner of nonsense.
The Donegal councillors voted by 13 votes to three to reject the proposed 1km buffer zone between turbines and dwellings - and so yet another foolish and misguided attempt to impose an arbitrary minimum setback distance has been defeated by democracy. If only the Tory dupes of Lincolnshire CC knew what democracy was.
For that matter, if only Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, was capable of sorting fact from fiction.
Having presented one of the most shambolic and controversial budgets ever back in March, Bullingdon George is trying to win over his loonier backbenchers by demanding a 25% cut in the "subsidies" to wind power. It is difficult for a non-Daily Mail-reader to understand quite what he hopes to achieve by doing this. It wouldn't save the government or the consumer any money at all. Rather, it would mean everyone paying more for their electricity while the government spectacularly fails to meet its legally-binding commitments to cut CO2 emissions. Osborne's proposed cut would do untold harm to the growing renewables sector, but he has made it clear that he has no intention of cutting any of the massive subsidies to nuclear and fossil fuels. Even though a report just published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research indicates that the income generated by a healthy wind industry could wipe out most of the UK's current trade deficit by 2030, as well as creating an annual 1% uplift in GDP and nearly a quarter of a million jobs. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
The only conceivable motive for the Chancellor's dimwitted proposal is that it will play jolly well with the swivel-eyed racists of UKIP and the barking Tories out in the Shires. We might think of it as a sort of Lawson manoeuvre - utterly misguided and counterproductive, but good news for right-wing maniacs.
If you'd like to send George Osborne a message explaining why his anti-wind proposals are so stupid, please feel free:
Just to show how bizarre and out-of-touch with reality Osborne's cretinous proposal is, he made it on the same weekend that the Independent newspaper published the results of the latest ComRes survey, which showed that the vast majority of Britons want MORE wind energy. The most interesting result in this survey is that no less than 80% of people aged 18 to 44 are in favour of windfarms.
That's right: EIGHTY PER CENT! Four out of every five young adults want more wind power in this country. By way of contrast, only 59% of Britons aged 45 and over want more windfarms. That's still a pretty decisive majority, of course, but the difference is telling.
Basically, those who are more concerned about the future are in favour of wind energy. Those who are more concerned about the view from the window of their retirement home also want wind energy, but perhaps not quite as much as the younger generation does.
All the same, George Osborne's proposed catastrophic emasculation of the wind energy industry is clearly the exact opposite of what the vast majority of young Britons want.
The kind of person who does want Osborne's insane cut to windfarm "subsidies" has recently been demonstrating their satanic credentials. The Diocese of Exeter had submitted planning applications for six small agricultural wind turbines, two in each of the parishes of East Anstey, Chittlehampton and Black Torrington. But after a campaign of abuse and aggression from a small number of people - many of them from outside the area - the Bishop of Exeter has regretfully withdrawn the applications.
In a letter read out to congregations in his diocese, the Bishop complained that he and his clergy had been subjected to "hostility and in some cases, outright verbal abuse" by a few protesters who "resorted to abusive and bullying tactics". The churchmen received "very unpleasant letters" and, when they appeared at public meetings to discuss the proposals, were "shouted down and called liars".
The Bishop of Exeter has therefore had the unedifying experience of finding out what the tiny anti-windfarm fringe is like: vicious, aggressive, thuggish, dishonest, abusive, and wildly unrepresentative of the country as a whole. Nimbies like that are selfish and deluded and out of control. They have no care for the countryside and clearly no respect for anybody - not even the Anglican clergy. They are, in effect, George Osborne's stormtroopers, the ugly, zealous fascists of Little England.
The Bishop of Exeter joins the fragrant Kate Humble as being yet another conscientious figure targetted for abuse by the anti-wind Nazis. They can take some comfort from a quality report published yesterday, which dispels several of the nimbies' favourite myths. It's worth a look:
Will the nimbies take any notice, though? Unlikely. They don't do facts.