One of the most frustrating things about entering a business partnership with the Tories is their total inconsistency. It is as though they have a different policy for every community, and never has that been more evident than in the latest debacle over wind farms.
Energy minister John Hayes has clearly not grasped that he is in post to promote the agenda of his big business backers, but rather to promote the policies set out in the coalition agreement.
When Mr Hayes told both the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph that the UK was “peppered” with wind farms and “enough is enough” he either did not understand the coalition policy on wind farms.
His Lib Dem boss, climate change secretary Ed Davey, took personal charge of wind farm policy in September’s reshuffle, and has said having a wind farm on the doorstep can be good for communities.
Some 4,000 turbines are due to be built across the UK by 2020 – which Mr Hayes told the two newspapers was sufficient to meet the government’s environmental targets. Not only do these turbines provide clean energy but thanks to Liberal Democrat interventions the structures which house them are now built in British shipyards keeping British workers in jobs (they used to be imported from Germany).
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a consultation on future developments, and has made clear that Government policy has not changed, despite the confusion in the Tory ranks.