We locals are the victims of a mixed-up Robin Hood
Just how much hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing another, can we the people of Torridge, North and West Devon take from this Conservative-led coalition and their local automatons?
Clearly they think we are all idiots – evidence suggests maybe they are right!
Here are the facts:
This Government offers massive financial subsidies to developers to put up wind turbines and solar farms.
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Already, over 300 turbines are already either approved or are in planning in our part of Devon, with more following every month, and goodness knows how many hundreds of acres of farmland have been given up to solar arrays, because no one is monitoring it!
But of course the nub of this is that all of us, every single household, is paying directly for these subsidies by increases in all our energy bills.
So to rub salt into the wound, we are facing the destruction of our landscape which we are directly paying for, and for those living near these schemes, are having their lives blighted and house values plummet.
Getting to some specifics, Prime Minister Cameron's father-in-law earns £350,000pa, worth £8 million over the next 25 years, from his wind farm, an amount he calls "modest" and tells the press it will "contribute to the repair of his cricket pavilion". Whereas Deputy Prime Minister Clegg's wife is a highly paid consulting director of a Spanish wind farm manufacturer, now targeting Britain's renewable subsidies. (Incidentally whatever happened to declaring a vested interest?)
In contrast, 22% of households in West Devon and 21.4% in Torridge are in fuel poverty caused by the rising energy costs to pay for these schemes. At the same time, the 'Big 6' energy suppliers announced an increase in profits up 73% in the three years to 2012.
Unless I recall this wrongly, Robin Hood is supposed to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor, whereas this Coalition makes the poor poorer and the rich richer.
We are of course told this is all about green energy, not subsidies. If so, let's do away with the subsidies, and see how many more are put up? And those with turbines already, they will clearly be more than happy to give away the subsidies to environmental charities and just produce the green energy they are so dedicated to?
Seeing these schemes to be increasingly unpopular, the chameleon-like Conservatives and our local MP are trumpeting the Localism Act, where local opinion can – not will, or must, but only can – be taken into consideration in planning issues. It is, however, toothless and pointless. So much so that the Head of Planning at Torridge District Council recently instructed the planning committee to ignore this advice and local opinion entirely, knowing there is no means of redress. When there is a full moon and therefore on the odd occasion the planners say 'no', an out-of-town inspector is sent in by the Government to impose the development on us anyway – so where is the democracy in that?
The political elite living in Islington impose their views on us here in the countryside, and do so at our expense, because they don't care and they won't be affected, except by the boosting of their own and their friends' bank balances. So their local traditional party activists in our area, who toe the national party line, are especially culpable of extending this hypocrisy… they should really look to their consciences.
We are always being told you get the government you deserve… So can I respectfully suggest why not start at the very next local by-election and kick out these Conservative and Liberals and teach them that we are not all idiots, peasants and serfs to be exploited?