Friday, October 17, 2008

Best way to influence?

I've just approved a comment on an old post which described me as being like Mick Bates, the Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire. Some people know how to stick the knife in! I suppose that we're both white, male, heterosexual (as far as I know) men of a certain age. But we are certainly not alike in the way that this particular comment implied. It suggested that we are as one in terms of our attitude towards wind turbines. In fact, it was sufficienty incorrect to render it rather a silly comment. But a general point of interest has been raised.

Mick is genuinely supportive of on-shore wind farms. In fact, I've never known anyone so supportive. I'm not supportive of on shore wind farms at all. Over the last ten years I've been one of the foremost opponents of wind farms in Welsh politics. I still believe that the damage they inflict on our landscapes, and pathetic cost-effectiveness render them undesirable. So what's the issue you may ask. The issue is that I'm prepared to speak with developers - or to 'sup with the devil' as I've previously described it.

If my only concern was protection of the landscape, I could afford to take a principled decision against wind turbines, and leave it at that. But I'm a politician as well, who wants to best represent the interests of Montgomeryshire. I accept that the Assembly Government has ignored every plea that I've made over the last decade not to despoil our landscape. As a believer in the democratic process, I accept that the Coalition Government has won, by public vote, the right to impose upon me that which I disagree with. I still don't support the transformation of large tracts of the uplands of Wales into wind farm landscapes - but I do not want to exclude myself from discussion about how this iniquitous policy can be beneficially changed.

I played some part in diverting traffic from the streets of Montgomery by pressing a developer to transport all traffic except the turbines themselves (concrete etc) away from the town. This was very welcome news in Montgomery. I want to maximise the amount of community benefit that developers contribute to the local community. I'm very keen to persuade developers to look seriously at limiting landscape damage themselves in order to win some public goodwill. I want to stay a player in the debate, so that I can argue for the reinstatement of 'cumulative impact' as a planning consideration. OK, if I refuse to talk to developers at all, I could fly my flag of purity with gay abandon - and with glorious impotence. I certainly would not be doing my best for the people I want to represent. Discuss.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if you're heterosexual, Glyn? And what's all this gay abandon stuff? :)

Glyn Davies said...

anon - words fail me. This really is a first. I heard that when Boris Johnston was asked if he'd ever had a homosexual experience, he answered "Not yet." I don't know that this is true, but it was a very funny answer.

Anonymous said...

It was a joke, Glyn. Really :)

Anonymous said...

what does lembit opik have to say about this and is he ever in the constituency to know about it

Glyn Davies said...

anon 1 - and I thought you were being serious.

anon 2 - I have absolutely no idea. Edna Mopbucket did ring me to tell me that Mick Bates has been trying to repair the damage that our MP has supposedly caused to Mick's credibility with energy companies, by a spech he made to an anti turbine audience in Welshpool last month. It would be interesting to hear what he'd say if he was talking to an energy company.

Anonymous said...

Lembit Opik is as hypocritical about wind trubines as he is about everything else. Look at how his views on fox hunting magically changed when he got selected to represent a rural area. See how he's suddenly jumped on to the price alcohol higher bandwagon ( ha! that coming from him really is a joke ) and note his enthusiasm for the Welsh language for the short duration the Eisteddfod was in his constituency. And of course he claims to be concerned about rural Post Offices closures, yet did not even attend the Westminster vote. The man's a joke, and not a very funny one