Eric Pickles

Coalition of liars, trimmers and charlatans are destroying Britain’s landscape

James Delingpole hooks into the UK government over the destruction of the landscape…not by mining, not by fracking, but with the expansion of subsidised wind farms.

About this time ten years ago, I enjoyed one of my happiest family holidays ever. It was on Lundy which, as Will Heaven rightly says, is the most beautiful island in Britain. If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the Landmark Trust properties on the island you get the place pretty much to yourself once the daytrippers have gone. There are fantastic cliffs for your children to fall off, puffins to look for (though usually not to see: we never did) and seals to go swimming with. It’s like living out an Arthur Ransome/Enid Blyton novel for real.

And now its unspoilt perfection is about to be ruined by a stupendously enormous, outrageously expensive, and totally effing useless offshore wind farm belonging to a big German energy company.

This, like so many of the wind turbines blighting our countryside, will be by far the most distinctive legacy of David Cameron’s Coalition. Long, long after we’ve all forgotten why there was such a fuss about gay marriage, the bedroom tax or the Libyan intervention, those ugly, mostly disused, turbines will still be up there, blighting every view for miles around, a monument to the folly of the policy makers who put them there, the religious zeal of the green loons who pushed for their erection and the despicable greed of the landowners and energy companies who profited by them at the expense of the poor taxpayers and energy users who had to subsidise them to the tune of 100 per cent (for onshore wind) and 200 per cent (for offshore).  Read more »

The Tories Man Up

The Telegraph

It has been an encouraging few days for those of us fed up with seeing the criminally inclined, the feckless and the work-shy given special treatment in our society. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has said that human rights laws will no longer be a barrier to the deportation of foreign offenders. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has announced that 120,000 problem families whose children cause a large proportion of trouble on the streets and in schools will not be allowed to blame their upbringing for their misbehaviour. And Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister, has told welfare claimants that if they fail to turn up to two job interviews they will be forced to work for nothing.

About time too. If Labour were smart they would out flank the current bunch of wets in National with some tough love policies for beneficiaries as it will bring the votes flooding in. Too many traditional Labour supporters have been turned off by a party that thinks that identity politics and absolving scumbags of the blame for their actions are more important than creating a society where those who try are better off than those who don’t try.

A good start

The Telegraph

More than a quarter of senior civil servants have quit or been axed under the Cameron government int he UK. I’d consider that a good start with a must try harder. If only Jonathan Coleman could do the same here, but if he is too busy being squirrelly over the Crafar Farm decision he is hardly likely to go toe to toe with the PSA.

Civil service unions said the high rate of turnover was because of low morale. Many of the senior civil servants will have gone into lucrative jobs in the private sector.

The biggest outflow was from Eric Pickles’ Department for Communities and Local Government, where 43 per cent of top civil servants have left.

Mr Pickles has been praised by senior Tories for the way he has tried to cut back aggressively on waste and Whitehall bureaucracy.

Other departments that have seen a big turnover of their most senior staff include Transport – 37 per cent – Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department – 35 per cent – and the Department for Work and Pensions – 35 per cent.

The figures were obtained from a series of parliamentary questions tabled by Gareth Thomas MP, the shadow Cabinet Office minister.

They showed that 1,009 out of 3,700 senior civil servants – 27 per cent of the total number- left since the May 2010 election, whose pay bands range from Senior Civil Service grade 1 to permanent secretary grade.

They show that HM Treasury has lost 30 per cent of its staff, which Mr Thomas said was worrying given the loss of institutional experience from the financial crisis.