Christopher Booker, in his column today, poses an interesting conundrum.
He retails how local protestors in Norfolk, angered at how their rights have been trampled on in the rush to cover the countryside with wind factories, have destroyed a 280ft anemometer mast, built to test wind speeds for yet another clump of giant wind turbines.
The company which erected the mast, Marshland St James wind consortium, described the protesters as "rural terrorists". "People have a democratic right to complain," said a spokesman for the company, "but this was a criminal act."
Writes Booker, choosing his word with care, "No doubt it was, but one reason people might be tempted to commit such criminal acts is that the Government, in its zeal to see thousands more wind turbines built, has removed pretty well all democracy from the process." He continues:
Repeatedly, applications to cover our countryside with these useless installations are turned down by democratically-elected local councils, only for their decisions to be overruled by Government inspectors using a document called PPS22 (Planning Policy Statement 22). Issued as a diktat by John Prescott, without consulting Parliament, this is designed to ram through turbine proposals regardless of planning law or the wishes of local communities, simply to meet "regional targets", based on targets for renewables set by the EU under the Kyoto Protocol.So, when democracy is denied, and the heavy hand of bureaucracy and Green zealots – to say nothing of the chancers getting in on a nice little earner – move in, what other option is there? Short of taking direct action, there is no other way of stopping this blight.
So far Norfolk's flat landscape has little more than a dozen turbines, mostly quite small. At least 150 more are planned, on and offshore, mostly 300 and 400ft giants. When the Government denies people any democratic means of stopping them, is it surprising that some resort to the only form of protest they think is left to them?
And there lies the conundrum. If you were affected by one of these monsters, would you take action? Or, short of that, if you saw someone sabotaging a machine, would you rush to call the police? And if not that, what about speed cameras? Would you report someone you saw setting fire to one, or turn the other way?
And, if in either event, you turned the other way, does that mean you support – or condone – terrorism? Where do you draw the line?
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