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…
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:
@GuidoFawkes Haven't seen any reason not to but will look forward to your post tomorrow with interest. Night, night— Ian Katz (@iankatz1000) November 13, 2012
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…
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:
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
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“.
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
Green lobbyist and part-time MP Tim Yeo has taken a break from the golf course to make some waves today by calling for an expansion of Heathrow airport. Writing in this morning’s Telegraph, his main gripe seems to be that he can’t fly directly to some parts of China:
What better way to kick-start Britain’s sluggish economy than by boosting trade with China? Perhaps with Chongqing, with 28 million consumers, many enjoying rising incomes. Or Chengdu, with 14 million. Or how about Wuhan, with 10 million? We could not only boost exports – we currently sell more to Ireland than to China, whose population is 250 times bigger – but might also tap into the bulging coffers of the Chinese for some job-creating investment in Britain. There’s just one problem: you can’t fly directly to those three cities. Getting to and from China is harder from Britain than from our competitors.
While he does broadly make a good point, Yeo is not one to intervene unless he has a dog in the fight. So imagine Guido’s surprise at some other news today from Biofuels International:
“Developer of second generation biofuels technology TMO Renewables has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the authorities of Heilongjiang, China. The MoU will see TMO provide long-term large volume biomass feedstock supply for future bio-fuel production facilities from Heilongjiang State Farm, the largest state owned farming corporation in China.”
And who is the well paid Chairman of TMO Renewables? Step forward one Mr. Tim Yeo. The day his company sign a new deal in China, Yeo uses his position as Chairman of the Energy Select Committee to lobby for more direct flights from London to China.
The man is shameless…
Sky’s Jon Craig is yet another satisfied reader…
With Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the southern states the Republicans have had to delay the start of their national convention in Florida. Cue Guardian contributor and green totalitarian George Monbiot to wish for the worst on his political enemies:
They’ve sacked people for less…
Regular readers will remember Pippa Bartolotti, the Green Party leadership candidate who waved the flag of a Syrian fascist organisation that use a swastika as their emblem and base their party anthem on ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über alles’. Now Pippa has admitted to driving a luxurious gas-guzzling Jaguar X-type:
“Yes, it does damage my image within the Green Party – but I’ve got the same problem everybody else has got. Am I suddenly going to pay 25-grand for an electric car which I can’t charge up hardly anywhere, because there’s no infrastructure, and even if I could charge it up, a lot of the energy would be coming from dirty, coal-fired power stations? It might look nice on the face of it, but that would be cosmetic”.
Guido had always assumed that Pippa walked from A to B. Or marched…
Given that their candidates seem to spend half the time waving Nazi flags and doubling as escorts, nowadays the Green Party have to do something special for Guido to raise an eyebrow. Nonetheless, this is loony even by their standards: they want to scrap the National Lottery. Apparently the Lottery is part of a great conspiracy to make big business even richer and it should be replaced by a disturbingly Soviet-sounding “wealth distribution system“.
Clearly the Greens believe that National Lottery schemes such as helping war heroes and backing Team GB are not worthy causes. Even in the face of Olympic glory. On the right side of public opinion once again…
Caroline Lucas has used parliamentary privilege to allege that an undercover copper firebombed a department store. Lucas claimed that Bob Lambert, famous for being the police spy who slept with Greens to maintain his cover, was given permission to set fire to the store apparently in order to prove himself to suspects. She asked the House:
“Did Bob Lambert plant an incendiary device? If so, who authorised him to and why? Someone [in the police] must have authorised him to set fire to that department store”.
The outgoing Green leader has called for an independent inquiry into undercover policing. Revenge is a dish best served flambé…
One of the favourites to replace Caroline Lucas as the Green Party leader appears to be a Nazi sympathiser. Pippa Bartolotti was pictured raising the flag of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, a fascist organisation whose members give the Hitler salute, use a swastika as their emblem and base their party anthem on ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über alles’. Well Hitler was a green…
Pic via CiFWatch
You won’t hear much about this from the left today, but Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is the latest leader to be forced out of office on a wave of protest. It seems he wasn’t a very nice chap and his arresting a judge was the last straw for an angry public who took to the streets. There is surprisingly muted coverage about the incident over at the Guardian. Could it be because Nasheed was until very recently the darling of the green movement?
Mohamed Nasheed once held a cabinet meeting under water in a climate change stunt and it won him hero status in that field. The paper has always sung his praises:
“After his election last year, Nasheed raised the possibility of buying a new homeland for the country’s 396,000 residents with the hundreds of millions of dollars that tourists spend. Earlier this year, he announced that the Maldives would stop using fossil fuels by 2020. The president is also committed to converting an atoll into a UN-protected biosphere to preserve the unique wildlife and fauna found on the 1,100 islands.”
At one point in 2009 the Observer claimed that Nasheed could not only save the Maldives but also the world. Who would have thought a green fanatic would have such fascistic tendencies…
Firstly Polly this morning, then this, and now it seems Moinboit has gone off on one.
Read the comprehensive take down of the Moonbat here.
An investigation by the Indy has caught the BBC red-handed selling airtime for millions of pounds. They are trying to spin it as “nominal fees”, but a look at the numbers and content involved is pretty shocking:
[…] Read the rest
“FBC produced programmes for the BBC about Malaysia without declaring that it had been allocated £17m by the Malaysian government to carry out a global strategic communications campaign.