Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Worst Newspaper Weather Forecast Ever

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How Wind Farm Owners Are Ripping Us Off

A great piece of digging coming up in this week’s Speccie. Green businesses have been taking part in a scam known as ‘de-rating’, deliberately producing less energy than they are capable of in order to cash in on disincentivising government subsidies. With low-energy wind turbines given almost double the subsidy of their high-power alternatives in order to encourage new businesses to enter the market, owners of giant wind farms have been running their turbines at half capacity so they can trouser the top rate.

DECC are aware of the scam but have yet to do anything about it…

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guardian Bails on Hayes Greenpeace ‘Investigation’
+ + + Wind ‘Conspiracy’ Minister Not Energy Minister at Time + + +

Yesterday the Guardian’s Paul Lewis, based on an “investigation” carried out by Greenpeace, put to anti-windfarm campaigner James Delingpole the following conspiracy theory:

  • That Heaton-Harris and you were coordinating a secret plot also involving the Energy Minister, John Hayes.
  • You attended a secret meeting with Heaton-Harris and Hayes to discuss the plan.
  • Hayes’ comments published in the Daily Mail and Telegraph on October 31, 2012, which were initially intended as a speech to the RenewableUK wind conference, were carefully timed to coincide with you withdrawing your candidacy from the by-election and subsequent endorsement of the Conservative position on wind farms.

Last night it ran on the front page the headline:

  • Minister “Linked” to Corby plan

On Twitter last night Guido got into a spat with Ian Katz, the deputy editor of the Guardian:

Only one problem with the conspiracy theory is that it was – apart from Chris Heaton-Harris bragging about his links to Delingpole – demonstrably untrue. He and Heaton-Harris MP are both anti-windfarm campaigners, they are allies and they regularly talk to each other. No big deal, Delingpole is after all his constituent. However a plot involving the Energy Minister John Hayes would be worth a front page. Anyone following the issue would be aware that there is a policy shift going on and enthusiasm for the expensively subsidised windmills is much diminished in austerity governments all over the world. That shift was clearly signalled by the appointment of Hayes during the last reshuffle.

The idea that Hayes was in on a secret plot centred on Delingpole’s Corby campaign is demonstrably nonsense. Delingpole told the Speccie he was going to run in Corby on August 8, 2012, Hayes was only appointed as Energy Minister on September 4, 2012. The supposed plotters could not possibly know that would happen.

Delingpole told Guido when Hayes made the no-more-windfarms speech that he was pleased to be off the hook of running a time-consuming campaign destined to be unsuccessful at the ballot box – “I needed an excuse”. A pretty good excuse given the policy change was a complete victory as this blog reported on the day:

Even in the video recorded by Greenpeace, Heaton-Harris confirms “it was just fortuitous timing”, yet Greenpeace was still allowed to spin on the Guardian’s front page that there was a conspiracy in Corby “linked” to the Energy Minister. Readers might think it was a Guardian story, it wasn’t, it was put together by Greenpeace as a package for the cash-strapped, loss making Guardian – out-sourced like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Newsnight paedo story. John Sauven, Greenpeace’s executive director, says it was “their investigation”. If you outsource investigative journalism to a political campaign, this is what happens. Conspiracy theories replace evidence…

  • There was no coordinated plot involving Hayes.
  • There was no meeting of all three.
  • The speech and Delingpole’s withdrawal from the Corby campaign were not “carefully timed to coincide”.

The Guardian has grudgingly changed the headline online this morning to “Energy minister denies collusion”. The wind has been taken out of the story…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The List of Names the BBC Did Not Want You to See
Scientist Exposed by Climategate Set BBC Policy

Last month Guido reported that the BBC were refusing to respond to a Freedom of Information request asking for the names of scientists who attended the now infamous climate change seminar in 2006, that was convened to decide BBC climate change policy. The BBC Trust admitted that the evidence given at the seminar led to an unprecedented editorial decision to no longer give equal airtime to opponents of the climate change . At the time Guido wondered why the BBC was spending a six-figure sum to keep the names of the specialists who dictated their editorial policy secret? So who was there?

Well if the BBC had their way we would never know, they are still trying to fight the publication of this list, however what is believed to be the complete who’s who has now been acquired by legitimate sleuthing by Maurizio Morabito:

Specialists:
Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia

BBC attendees:
Jana Bennett, Director of Television
Sacha Baveystock, Executive Producer, Science
Helen Boaden, Director of News
Andrew Lane, Manager, Weather, TV News
Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC
Dominic Vallely, Executive Editor, Entertainment
Eleanor Moran, Development Executive, Drama Commissioning
Elizabeth McKay, Project Executive, Education
Emma Swain, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual
Fergal Keane, (Chair), Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Fran Unsworth, Head of Newsgathering
George Entwistle, Head of TV Current Affairs
Glenwyn Benson, Controller, Factual TV
John Lynch, Creative Director, Specialist Factual
Jon Plowman, Head of Comedy
Jon Williams, TV Editor Newsgathering
Karen O’Connor, Editor, This World, Current Affairs
Catriona McKenzie, Tightrope Pictures
Liz Molyneux, Editorial Executive, Factual Commissioning
Matt Morris, Head of News, Radio Five Live
Neil Nightingale, Head of Natural History Unit
Paul Brannan, Deputy Head of News Interactive
Peter Horrocks, Head of Television News
Peter Rippon, Duty Editor, World at One/PM/The World this Weekend
Phil Harding, Director, English Networks & Nations
Steve Mitchell, Head Of Radio News
Sue Inglish, Head Of Political Programmes
Frances Weil, Editor of News Special Events

What you might call fair and balanced: the conference was billed as bringing together “the best scientific experts”. Scientists, “scientists” and hippy campaigners, but what the Beeb will be most embarrassed by is the representative from the disgraced Climatic Research Unit who were exposed three years later for manipulating data to fit their arguments.

Emails from Mike Hulme, second on that list, were at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

No wonder the BBC are wasting your money hiding this…

See also: Andrew Montford’s “Conspiracy of Green” for background and Andrew Orlowski’s recent article “FOlA judges: Secret 28 who made the BBC Green will not be named“.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tim Yeo Admits Wind Farm Bribery

With the government today endorsing Tim Yeo’s Thick of It-style playgrounds for wind farms policy, an old but nonetheless increasingly apt quote from the Energy and Climate change select committee chair has been doing the rounds:

“What we have to do is work harder to find places where wind farms are acceptable but also, secondly, as this is what we’re not yet doing, be more creative about sharing some of the benefits directly with those local communities. Frankly, we need to be prepared to bribe them.”

Guido doubts Yeo would still be so open about his creative methods after recent events

Friday, September 14, 2012

Guto Visits the Welsh Wizards

Some strange goings on over at the Plaid Cymru annual conference in Wales today. As Guido reported earlier they kicked things off promising to magic some growth by reducing oil usage, and now they have been graced by the presence of a somewhat unexpected guest:

As if that were not enough Plaid’s new leader Leanne Wood has given her maiden speech, telling conference goers:

Moving swiftly on…

Yeo Refuses to Deny He Benefits From Conflicts of Interest

Readers will be aware of how Guido has shone light on Tim Yeo’s conflicts of interest over the last few weeks. Yeo makes a six-figure sum from his green investments while serving as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. When asked this week if used his position to benefit financially Yeo gave a markedly cagey response, going on to accuse Guido of trying to undermine him:

“I do get frustrated when people say, ‘he’s just saying this green stuff in order to promote his businesses’, because the oldest business interest is five years old and no one who’s looked at what I’ve been saying for 20 years can possibly say I’ve changed my views because of that. The pieces I’ve read have not been in the Guardian or the Financial Times, they’ve come from journalists who have very, very strong views of their own. I think they’re looking at ways to undermine my credibility – they can see I’m a rather influential and persuasive advocate of greener policies.”

Note how he dodges the question of whether he benefits financially from the green policies he advocates. No.10 have started to ask questions but still Yeo insists there’s nothing to see here. Though he remains silent on why he stood down from Eco City Vehicles this week. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tim Yeo Made £10,000 From Green Interests In July Alone
£336 an Hour Conflict of Interest for Select Committee Chair

Guido has said before that if you replace the word “green” with “oil” then Tim Yeo’s conflicts of interests would see him facing the sack. The Tory backbencher might be stepping down as chairman of Eco City Vehicles following Guido’s revelations about the company last month, but the latest Register of Members’ Interests reveals the Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman is still raking in the cash from his green investments. To the tune of ten grand a month.

Yeo was paid £4,340 for 12 hours work for AFC Energy in July, pocketing another £5,416 from TMO Renewables – the company who signed a multi-million pound contract with China the day Yeo lobbied for more direct flights to the country. Overall Yeo made £336 an hour from his outside green interests in July, all while serving as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. With No.10 starting to raise concerns how many more jobs will Yeo have to resign from before the questions go away…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tim Yeo Quits Lucrative Green Job
MP and CEO Walk From Eco City Following Guido Revelations

Last month Guido revealed that Tim Yeo’s cab-selling company Eco City Vehicles was set to profit from a change in the law agreed by their own CEO Peter Da Costa – yet another conflict of interest from the chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Following the revelations here and here, Yeo has quit as a director of the company. Da Costa is also standing down. With the lobbying mission accomplished, now Yeo is running for cover…

There has been speculation in recent weeks that No. 10 have become increasingly worried about Yeo’s outside interests, raising questions over whether he could stay as the Energy Select Committee chairman while having such high level interests in green businesses. Some see Yeo’s “man or mouse” attack on the PM was a tanks on lawn warning shot from the golf fan. The loss of his Eco-City job means he’s down over £3,000 per month, but don’t feel too sorry for him – Yeo remains a director of ITI Energy, AFC Energy, Eurotunnel and  chairman of TMO Renewables. Guido will say it once again – just because the conflict of interest is declared, it’s still a conflict of interest.

Zac Showed Boris How He Could Win Richmond

On the weekend the Mail frontpaged a meeting between Zac Goldsmith and Boris in which, they claimed, Zac outlined how if he stood down in protest against Heathrow expansion plans, Boris could stand in his place and return to parliament. Subsequently sources around Zac and Boris have variously claimed it was only “jokingly” mentioned and “fanciful”, with Boris using the Heseltinian word formulation that he had “absolutely no plans to return to the House of Commons”. So was it only jokingly mentioned by Goldsmith?

Guido has it from reliable sources that it very definitely was mentioned and that Zac went through the strength of feeling on a ward-by-ward basis in the constituency, taking Boris through a detailed analysis of the hostility towards Heathrow expansion in his constituency. Zac argued that either of them would win a by-election if he stood down in protest at a policy change. Tory MPs tell Guido  that Zac is disillusioned with being an MP and may not stand at the next election in any event. It might be preferable for Zac to go out in a blaze of glory on a matter of principle which simultaneously opens the way neatly to a challenge to Cameron if he changes the position on Heathrow expansion… 


Seen Elsewhere

India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,436 other followers