Today sees the launch of the UK’s National Oppostion to Windfarms (NOW).
The launch of a group of citizens, working autonomously and without support from political parties or big business is usually the sort of thing Guardian ‘journalists’ like to celebrate. But Leo Hickman — the newspapers ‘ethical’ specialist — instead serves up a bit of a hatchet job.
The Guardian has seen emails exchanged between Nawag members sent over the past few months discussing the planning for Now. One exchange was about a suitable anthem for the group. Jerusalem and Blowin’ in the Wind featured as favourites, but one member suggests alternative lyrics for the Dad’s Army theme tune, Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler? including a reference to the recently installed energy secretary Ed Davey: “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Davey/If you think this country’s done/We are the Now Group/We will stop your little game/No more wind turbines/That blight our hills and planes.”
Hickman, who likes to lecture others about ‘ethics’ — especially ‘journalistic ethics’, and the ‘ethics’ of leaking emails from UEA — doesn’t seem to mind intruding on email discussions between individuals who campaign in their spare time, from their own pockets, and in their own front rooms and village halls. And what did he discover? Oh! The unmitigated evil! What a scoop! Clearly a plot by criminal masterminds!
Er… No… A discussion about which song best represents them. No trivia is too petty for the Guardian. We saw your emails, ner nerr ner nerrr nerr.
Moving upmarket a bit, Businessgreen — which claims to be a ‘web site offering companies the latest news and best-practice advice on how to become more environmentally responsible, while still growing the all-important bottom line‘ but which is more concerned with whining about subsidy cuts than offering news and advice — reports verbatim on Renewable UK’s response to the creation of the new group. Renewable UK, of course, are the re-branded British Wind Energy Association, which is to say they represent the interests of the wind industry. Is there any reason to think that Big Wind are any nicer than Big Oil?
The wind energy industry has today hit back at the launch of a national anti-wind farm group with the release of a major new survey showing that over two-thirds of people are broadly in favour of wind farms. The survey of more than 1,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of trade group RenewableUK, found 67 per cent of respondents are in favour of using wind power in the UK, with 28 per cent “strongly in favour”.
Ipsos-Mori have not published the results of their survey yet. I rang them, to see if I could get a look at the report, since the Guardian had also covered it, and Renewable UK had put out a press release announcing the findings of the survey. Nobody could take my call, so I left my number. I later got a call back from a press officer who believed I was calling from an anti-wind farm campaign. It’s true that I think wind turbines are silly… Very silly. And it’s also true that I’ve written and spoken about wind energy being a symptom of incoherent and weird politics — I’m speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival about wind energy — but I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a ‘wind farm campaigner’. This is just about the only post on this blog that I can think of which is about wind energy — amongst nearly 500 posts.