I try to restrain partisanship on this blog. But sometimes it becomes irresistible. And all I have to do is post extracts of a letter that appeared in today's edition of the Montgomeryshire County Times. The writer was my local Conservative colleague, Dan Munford, who is a long standing opponent of despoiling the uplands of Rural Wales with wind turbines. It reads as follows;
Blame Mick for future wind farm landscape
Tony Benn once said that to have a functioning democracy, you need two things. You need to know who to blame, and you need to know how to get rid of them. Of course, elected politicians do their very best to avoid taking the blame for things for as long as they can.
Montgomeryshire AM, Mick Bates has been playing this game for some time with regard to the divisive issue of upland wind farm development.
In the six months prior to the Assembly election, Mick Bates joined a cross-party 'Sustainable Energy' group which myself and Alison Davies organised.
This group produced a joint document called TAN 8 PLUS which tried to find a more sensible sustainable solution to our energy needs in Wales.
This was in place of the dangerously flawed original TAN 8 planning guidance note which focuses on upland wind farm development for political, as opposed to environmental expediency.
Mick Bates jointly signed this new document and even himself presented it to the then Minister, Carwyn Jones.
We now discover that when away in the Assembly, Mick says other things entirely. In the Assembly plenary debate of Oct. 24th. 2007, Mick in fact voted to confirm his support for the original flawed TAN 8 document. ......
......But there is something very wrong about saying one thing in one place, and quite another thing somewhere else. So for the record Mick, I want to make it very clear that you will now be held to blame for turning mid Wales into a wind farm landscape, and for ruining our glorious, natural upland environment.
Not to fight global warming, or to replace nuclear power stations, but just for political expediency. Alex Carlile would never have done this to Montgomeryshire.