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…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

David David responds when asked if he’s confident he can make a success of Brexit:

“Why on earth could it go wrong?”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Labour Drops Student Anti-Semitism Probe Labour Drops Student Anti-Semitism Probe
Israeli “Plot”: Latest Israeli “Plot”: Latest
Video: Putin on Russian Prostitutes Video: Putin on Russian Prostitutes
New European: Leave Voters “Lager Louts” New European: Leave Voters “Lager Louts”
Sion Simon Deletes Pro Remain Statement Sion Simon Deletes Pro Remain Statement
John Woodcock’s Fake News John Woodcock’s Fake News
May’s Brexit Plan – Full Text of Speech May’s Brexit Plan – Full Text of Speech
May Speech: Briefed Quotes May Speech: Briefed Quotes
Labour MP in Grieving Gaffe Labour MP in Grieving Gaffe
Sion Simon Impersonates a Brexiteer Sion Simon Impersonates a Brexiteer
Oxfam Attacks World’s Biggest Charitable Donor Oxfam Attacks World’s Biggest Charitable Donor
Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It? Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It?
Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe
Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight
Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix
Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control” Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control”
Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard
Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry
Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight