The Montgomeryshire County Times, my local weekly newspaper came up with its hardest hitting front page within my memory this week. It gave over the whole front page to the headline "Who do you think you are kidding Rhodri Morgan". It seems that the First Minister visited the County Times office two weeks ago and told the newspaper that the area was not going to be affected by the 'Great wind farm invasion'. Now, I cannot see how this can be anything other than a blatant untruth. There is one Strategic Search Area in the middle of Montgomeryshire and another on the old county's Southern border. Even if we limit it to wind farms being built on Government owned Forestry Commission land, the County Times suggests that Rhodri's statement is not true. It claims that there are plans to erect 30 giant turbines in the Dyfnant Forest, near Llanerfyl. I've been aware of this proposal for over a year. The reality is that much of Montgomeryshire's landscape is going to be dramatically transformed by the construction of several new wind farms over the next few months. I'm meeting the Powys County Council's Head of Planning tomorrow to establish exactly where we are on this contentious issue.
But the newspaper front page is still strong stuff. The headline (together with a background map) is an unsubtle take on the Dad's Army song 'Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler'. I do think it is entirely reasonable to accuse our First Minister of not telling us the truth - perhaps because he was not aware of the real position. But comparing him with Mr Hitler!! In passing, its odd that this comparison should seem so much more brutal than comparing a politician with Joseph Stalin, which is common enough. And Stalin murdered millions more people than did the Fuehrer. Oh Dear. These damn wind turbines do cause some trouble.