Thursday, 28 October 2010


With apologies for the lack of any recent streams of vaguely Lib Dem consciousness, here is an interesting article in the Independent which focuses on NIMBY power which challenges wind farms across the country, drastically reducing the number of new turbines going up.

I am a strong supporter of wind farms, indeed I live in a very windy village and I would love a blooming great turbine on a nearby ridge which is currently home to a series of radio aerials - thus not exactly a beauty spot. However, I am sure that if any such plans were proposed (there are sadly none in the pipeline, despite my gentle enquiries to the industrial unit which sits there) a vocal minority would oppose them and our spineless council and the less than radical MP (one D. Cameron esq.) would doubtless cave in to pressure and oppose any such proposals. The sadness is that a lot of people support wind farms but they are invariably a private concern and therefore they seldom provide an opportunity for positive campaigning.

Back to those radio aerials in the heart of Oxfordshire, because they have a very interesting history. The small village I live in was home to one of the very first transatlantic radio antennas established by an Italian immigrant named Marconi. Not sure what became of him but it is interesting to reflect on what would have happened to the incredible and generally beneficial progress made in radio, TV, mobile phone and satellite communications over the past 100 years if a bunch of NIMBYs had told Mr Marconi that he couldn't put his masts in Oxfordshire as it would depress local property prices.

This country - every country - depends on progress and every inch of our country has changed throughout our history, most radically in the past 300 years. That includes Oxfordshire - the vast Morris plant, East Oxford, Didcot Power Station, the town of Carterton and RAF Brize Norton being clear examples of this which bear a mention. I wish we could be reminded of the fact that we don't live in a museum more often. Museums are for relics.

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