On the front page of the Guardian this morning is a fascinating insight into the world of politics, energy, and wind farms. An investigation by Greenpeace has revealed that Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP running the party's by-election bid in Corby, has apparently been backing a rival, non-Conservative anti-wind farm candidate.
The plot thickens however, given the timing of recent comments about onshore wind from new energy minister, John Hayes. In the video, filmed by an undercover Greenpeace campaigner, Mr Heaton-Harris refers to the "bust up" between Lib Dems and Tories over wind energy and that "nothing in politics, even if it happens by accident, nothing happens by accident."
The real question is though, who do those people conspiring against wind farms think they're doing it for? This post from political guru Mike Smithson suggests that these elaborate orchestrations are falling on deaf ears. A recent YouGov poll shows that far from there being a rush of anti-wind farm sentiment, support for wind farms amongst the very voters the conspirators are seeking to appeal to continues to be favourable. With that in mind, it certainly seems like a lot of trouble to go to. And their antics have back-fired spectacularly this time; they may well be wishing they were in the Australian jungle with their colleague Nadine Dorries.
We've written and campaigned before about our concern that a vocal minority are swaying MP opinions, whilst the silent majority are not being heard. Sadly, it seems that there's also a small number of MPs trying to sway everyone. The good news is that they don't seem to be doing a very good job of it.
The problem is that even with a scheme as absurd as this the profile of the issue will inevitably get pushed up the agenda. That creates an unnecessary distraction for those trying to design the right energy policies and gets in the way of a more constructive debate about how we reform our energy market for the better.
The facts show that whilst these games are going on, the rest of the UK seem to be more concerned about the crucial task of replacing our ageing fossil-fuelled energy infrastructure as quickly as possible. Doing so is good for our economy, good for our energy bills and good for our climate - now there's a real vote winner.
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