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« Watermelons | Main | Watts' analysis »

Conservative Home against wind subsidies

I think this could be significant. In the latest of its pieces on how to build a majority at the next election, Conservative Home, the biggest website for the Tory grassroots, has come out against subsidies for windfarms.

Breaking with the cross-party consensus on climate change would put Cameron on the side of families and manufacturers. Perhaps free from the obsession with change-the-world environmentalism we could also be freed up as a party to focus on a more practical, local environmentalism. Conservatives should, of course, be conservationists but our focus should be on cleaner rivers, planting trees and protecting habitats of outstanding beauty. Yes, we should invest in clean technologies that will help the global environment but we shouldn't be spending money on imported and immature windfarm technologies.


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Reader Comments (22)

For gawd's sake, why is their website so atrocious? If anyone from Conservative Home is reading, please get in touch. I am sure we could make you look rather more professional for next to nothing.

However, at least sensible assessment now seems to be on the table.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

I just saw "The Iron Lady," the biopic of Margaret Thatcher (since the US Academy Awards are about twelve days away, and this film is in contention). It struck me that the writer got so little of her audacity onto film, given the embarrassment of individualist feminist riches to work with from her life. Much of her good sense came from being visionary and stubborn.

The sheer bloody weakness of the Cameron era conservative party, by comparison, amazes me. No body has a spine, as is often said about the Republican establishment in Washington, DC. Could the above story be a harbinger of change? Don't hold your breath!

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

That's an eminently sensible and pragmatic statement. Are you sure you've got the attribution correct?

Gixxerboy said "I am sure we could make you look rather more professional for next to nothing". Be careful - Andy Revkin and DeSmogBlog think "next to nothing" is megabucks funding "well-organised deniers".

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMostlyHarmless


Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, they'll spot the conspiracy: we don't agree with them so we support people and organisations that also disagree with them.

How could we sceptics be so wicked!

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

"The sheer bloody weakness of the Cameron era conservative party"
What election winning geniuses like Clinton and Blair figured out was that you win elections not be impressing the most but by offending the least - by being inoffensive you might draw in people other than your 'natural' supporters. So you get bland government, ever ready to back down on any idea, however good, if it looks like it might start offending significant numbers of people within a minority which might be deemed significant. Which is why politicians are never going to take any notice of people here, who are essentially, resolutely not 'Progressive'. One major party has either already got the support of us, anything more it does to win us over will be offset by greater losses elsewhere, and 'Progressives' know its a waste of time pandering to us. We are a perfect 'insignificant minority'.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill


I agree. To a point. We are a minority, but we needn't be insignificant. We each have a role to play in getting the facts out there.

The science. Not the politics, advocacy, extremism and delusion which have been pushed into the mainstream by coordinated effort. I have neither an axe to grind nor a Big Oilstone to grind it on. But Mike Jackson gave a very good outline of the difference between the political zealots and the rest of us. We have lives. They live for their Cause.

So, we need to keep pushing for a bunch of utterly sexless stuff - moderation, careful consideration and judgement, historical context, etc. It's hard work. Often unrewarding. But, per Elvis Costello, our aim is true.

Chin up, bill

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Some good news. It must mean they are getting a lot of anti-windfarm feedback from the focus groups.

Sadly, a focus group is not a place from whence you are going to get a sensible energy policy.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Gixxer, are you advocating arguing about 'the science'? That seems to me a singularly fruitless way forward because, given that in large parts it is simply made up, or at least not science by any reasonable standard, when the warmists are checked on one point they blithely go on to say what they said now means something different. eg global warming was going to mean 50 million climate refugees, Manhattan flooded and snow a thing of the past, now it means more 'extreme weather events' (even though there is no evidence for this in the already experienced period of warming). And of course the whole thing is posited on the perfectly absurd concept of global temperature, absurd because the reasonably reliable satellite data only goes back 30 years and if you want a human caused warming signal you need a much longer time period than that for which data of any quality does not exist on a scale to construct a global temperature. My preference is to keep hammering home the argument that Jones et al are nothing more than the scientific wing of 'Progressivism' and, like all on the Left, rooted in their DNA is the concept that truth is a bourgeois construct. ie anything goes so long as it advances the cause. Won;t get us anywhere but arguing in that way is more honest than getting entrapped in their games, dickering over the meaning of tree rings etc etc, games for which they set (and frequently change) the rules and say who can play.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Bill, they may offend fewer people, but if I remember correctly they also have far fewer people voting for them. I gather many millions more voted for Thatcher, than for Blair and Cameron. Passionate politicians will have lots who love 'em, and lots who don't, but the 'no offence' brigade have few that love them other than the lobby groups who are 'in. I hope the Conservative Home article is signs of a a bit of spine in the back benches, but I'm afraid my priorities would not be in trees, beauty and rivers, it would be in the poor, the jobless and the ill educated.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

"The sheer bloody weakness of the Cameron era conservative party"

What I want to know is why Cameron is jumping on all these Heir-to-Blair "Eye-catching Initiatives" like drunkenness and other trivia, for which he has plenty of ministers to sort out, and doesn't get on with dealing with the important problems like Europe and a coherent energy policy.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

Is that because both Europe and his energy policy are classified as EU competencies?

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu


I think it's meant to be conservative.. :-)

Hate that headline typeface, though. Isn't that what Sainsbury's use?

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"EU competencies"

Are there such things..?

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P


All power to your elbow, if you want to proceed on that front. I can only empathise with the examples you give of ridiculous exaggeration and duplicity.

My view is that not all scientists involved in climate-related fields are zealots, advocates or politically motivated. Some are, sure, but many are, simply, scientists. Motivated to discover things in their field, that sort of thing. Yes, there are pressures to conform, to stick to the 'consensus'.

But human nature being what it is, there will always be mavericks, non-conformists and sceptics. Even in climate science. There were in the Soviet Union, so why not?

I recognise the suppression of openness in the field of climate but ultimately I'm prepared to go with the science. The real science. Divorced from the prescriptions and pressures. If CO2 really is acting as a 'back-radiation blanket'; if the earth's 'energy budget' is accurately calculated; if climate sensitivity is ~3ºC or more (and positive) and so much more. I just want to see observational proof of it. Too much seems akin to how a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, rather than illumination.

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

James P

You might be right, in the sense that 'conservative' can be a synonym for 'unwilling to lavish money'. Hence it looks like the free-download version of the font Sainsbury's is based on.

Classy, bro.

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Gixxer, prove them wrong, totally, irrefutably, utterly, and what will happen? Through such proof, the bottom fell out of 'global cooling' so OK that didn't work so lets try 'global warming'. its all part of the same long anti-capitalist march, bloody revolutionaries dressed in the pretty clothes of justice, compassion and fair shares for all. By science, kick 'global warming' out of polite discourse and its greater ends will be reinvented in another way.

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

I wrote recently to offer support to Chris Heaton-Harris, the MP for Daventry, who has been instrumental in campaigning to get the subsidies for onshore windfarms reduced or removed.
In my letter I put the following: 'I realise that The Prime Minister is in a cleft stick on this matter as he has family connections which benefit from the status quo (on wind farms) - but I'm sure he is an honourable man and would not let those considerations stand in the way of the national interest..'
As they say in Devon - where I used to live: 'Us'll see, won' us...'

Feb 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

"you win elections not be impressing the most but by offending the least"

This was the reason that Jim Hacker was elected in Yes Minister, followed not long after that by John Major.

Feb 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

I think they'd be better standing for cost effective energy policies rather than being (very, very slow) reactionary conservatives.

Cleaner coal through more efficient steam generators and not faffing about with CCS.

Gas taking a larger part of the load.

A gradual renewal of nuclear power stations.

No smart meters - the cost is enormous with benefits that are beyond me.

Feb 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth


“its greater ends will be reinvented in another way”

I agree. See here for analysis of the same attitude as applied to smoking and drinking (and lunchboxes)..


Feb 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I don't think Conservative Home have much influence in Scottish politics :-)

Feb 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterScots Renewables

"For gawd's sake, why is their website so atrocious?"

I have to agree. They have very good writers, such as Paul Goodman and Andrew Lilico, but navigating the site is a nightmare.

On the Bishop's main point, I am afraid that the opinion of Conservative grassroots, or of the general public, for that matter, amounts to nothing, as long as Cameron continues to believe that idiotic commitments made in the councils of Brussels outweigh basic commonsense and the interests of a sound economy. Blair committed us to a ludicrous level of "renewable energy", before scarpering to spend more time with his millions. Cameron could have disowned Blair's pledge, but failed to do so, choosing, instead, to posture as the greenest PM ever. When the power-cuts start, he'll regret his stance, presumably; in the meantime, he is being typically pig-headed.

Feb 16, 2012 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

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