This is the speech that radiologist Dr. Rachel Connor presented to the wind farm protest rally at Perth
It’s very heartening to see so many people here today.
The first time I ever attended a protest march was at this rally last year, and now here I am addressing you all- promotion indeed! I had a quiet teenage life, I was not a wild child – no ban the bomb or peace on earth marches for me. I’ve been a pacifist until now!!
But this is a march and a protest with a difference. This is a protest by people who love their country and countryside and the grey haired brigade (although perhaps disguised with Grecian 2000!), it is a protest by families, by people who are established and settled in their way of life, not testosterone fuelled activists wanting to change the world and board oil rigs in the Artic.
We’re not fighting to change the world, or even save the world; we’re fighting for our homes and our way of lives.
We’re fighting against our exploitation by Windfarm companies that are hell bent , not on saving the planet or farming the wind, but on farming the lucrative subsidies paid for by every man and woman in this country.
But we are the little people – not because everyone is my size! – but because Our Government, our ELECTED representatives , as well as Commercial wind farm Developers think that they can tread us underfoot.
Well the tide is slowly turning and we are growing in stature, but only because of people like you, who do have a voice and can be bothered to show Mr Salmond and his Government what this rural industrialisation of one of the most spectacular countries in Europe is doing to its landscape, it’s wildlife and it’s peoples.
Every man’s home is his castle, but for most of us it’s not a castle, but a cottage or house we call home.
It’s the biggest investment we ever make; our nest egg; our life savings.
But it’s more than that, our homes in the country have treasured memories of rural tranquillity, open outlooks and community life. Wind turbines next to your home WILL devalue your home.
So, if a thief stole thousands of pounds from your savings in the bank, would it be tolerated? Of course not!
If a bank stole our money by investing unwisely and going bust, would the government tolerate it? Of course not, they would bail out the bank! That’s why we’ve been in an economic mess for the last five years.
But here we have a situation where house owners next to windfarms lose a quarter or more of the value of our homes, simply because our elected government has encouraged that development at our expense, without proper regulation.
We receive no compensation , no free electricity and our homes may become millstones we can’t sell.
We are the ‘collateral damage’ of this government’s fixation on Renewable Energy regardless of the cost.
So why is this Government so fixated on Renewable Energy?
After all, Scotland will have a miniscule contribution to reducing the world’s CO2 emissions. The Government is probably the largest land owner in Scotland with the Scottish Forestry Commission and Scottish water alone owning almost 700,000 Hectares.
In 2010 Alex Salmond introduced a bill to give Scottish Water statutory authority to partner with other firms to build a wide range of renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, on its 80,000 Hectares. This is expected to generate over £300 million a year and Scottish Water hope to increase the amount of renewable energy generated on its land by fifteen fold by 2020 – in seven years’ time.
And that doesn’t include the millions of pounds also being reaped by The Scottish Forestry’s 600,000 Hectares which contain some of the largest windfarms in Scotland.
So, this would be a good reason why Mr Salmond could be fixated on getting as many of those 25 year, water tight contracts for billions of pounds of subsidy revenue as is possible on our, Publicly owned land – with that lucrative green turbine rent paid for by every electricity consumer in this country.
No wonder windfarms on Government land are attractive; no wonder so many windfarm schemes, opposed by Local residents and turned down by Local authorities are approved by Central Government.
No wonder so many, huge, greater than 50 MW schemes, such as Whitelee are granted directly by central government.
No wonder this SNP government are now trying to get round Lady Clark’s ruling that so many windfarm consents could be unlawful.
The Scottish Government must be one of the biggest landowners to directly benefit from windpower
So where is this money going? Isn’t it time the British Public knew how much the Government is earning from wind?
Isn’t this the biggest conflict of interest in the Planning process that the UK has ever seen?
And what about the effect on us, the hapless rural peasants living next to these industrial cash cows being farmed by Foreign Multinationals on our once green and pleasant land?
Well, this is where I live ( T shirt). Right in the shadow of Whitelee, the largest on shore windfarm in Europe. What effect has this had on our lives?
This house ( T shirt) has been devalued by £150,000. Last year one of the Scottish Power managers saw this T shirt and said “ I know Whitelee, it doesn’t look that that” Well here’s the camera that took this picture. That man doesn’t live next to Whitelee; we do!