I was amused to hear the BBC’s Man on a Train Michael Portillo accusing the anti-frackers of being NIMBYs, on Andrew Neil’s programme This Week. In my experience, the Frack Off brigade are not at all about Not In My Back Yard, but not in ANYONE’s back yard on the planet, given what’s known about the science and also the devastation to the water table and the lands in countries where fracking has been allowed. In addition, many of them travel far afield to help out other anti-fracking camps not in their neighbourhood. However, NIABYOTP doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!
But this is always the problem for anyone who cares about the health and wellbeing of the Earth. They get accused of having personal vested interests by those enclosed by such high iron-plated walls of vested personal interests themselves that their doors of perception are welded shut to any other way of viewing things. The multi-millionnaire former Golden Boy of the Tory Right is no exception to this rule, and neither is David Cameron who has similar dictatorial rights to the president of a banana republic in being able to overturn the brave decision of Lancashire County Council this week not to allow a fracking licence to iGas.
Those who really care about the Earth are continually under attack from those with vested interests, the real NIMBYs, in raping and despoiling it… and sad to report, as time goes on, we will be seeing more of it. Democracy and the rule of law seem to have vanished… or at least taken a nose dive… with companies now able to sue democratically elected governments if they don’t fall in line with the interests of their balance sheets and law being made on the hoof to suit those with the deepest pockets.
However, sometimes it can even look like a win for the Greens…when in fact, it’s just a disguised delivery system for more of the NIMBY virus. Yesterday, it was announced that what can only be described as a gang (count them) of nine German and Austrian renewable energy companies are getting together with Greenpeace to bring a class law suit against the British government to stop it providing state aid for the build of a proposed nuclear power station at Hinckley Point in south-western England.
Now if I was a NIMBY, I’d be pleased about that news… because Hinckley Point is quite close to where I live. Along with many others around here, I’d be delighted to see the whole thing moth-balled. But I’m not a NIMBY… and I’m concerned because I can read between the lines of this supposed victory for the Greens. I’m concerned that if these German and Austrian companies win, then the precedent is set for it to be legally OK for what’s purported to be a democratically-elected government to no longer be beholden to its electorate but to a bunch of corporate vested interests.
It doesn’t matter, to me, that the products of these renewable companies and Greenpeace are ‘a good thing’ or that plans for a proposed nuclear power plant might be shelved. I’m talking about the principle. Was Machiavelli right? I don’t think so… and especially not when you’ve got the iron-plated NIMBYs pulling the levers of power. Call me Old School, but I’m going to stick with the democratic process and the rule of law because it’s the only system that works for any reasonable length of time. Dictatorships and tyrannies fall… no matter how well meaning the intentions on the surface, and usually quite quickly because to use a favourite Green word, they’re not sustainable.
The principle is this.. that European companies are using the weapon of ‘harmonisation’ to attack our government’s right to spend aid where it sees fit. ‘Harmonisation’ in this case is a euphemism; to me it’s less about choirs of heavenly angels and more about a kind of forced march in lock-step.
The nine companies are arguing that billions of euros of subsidies for nuclear energy of state aid here in the UK would distort prices in the mainland European power markets, thus making nuclear and not renewable energy cheaper, and this would affect their profits.
“We are complaining against these boundless nuclear subsidies, because from an ecological and macro-economic viewpoint, they appear senseless and bring substantial financial disadvantages for other energy suppliers, renewable energies and for consumers,” said Soenke Tangermann, managing director of the Greenpeace Energy co-operative.
This isn’t the first time that the Green agenda has been used as a Trojan horse to push through much more sinister measures… for instance, in convincing the less intelligent masses that carbon dioxide is a toxin, when it’s actually a vital food nutrient for all plant life. And don’t even get me started on the attempted land grabs, both here and in America, by federal agencies and NGOs under the guise of “environmental protection”. But now if they can set a legal precedent – upon which all statutory law is based these days – all bets will be off.
For instance, Monsanto and the bio-tech companies will be able sue our government for not insisting on GM labelling of foods, or organic farmers for not using glyphosate, or pharmaceutical companies could demand that mass vaccinations are made mandatory…all in the name of ‘harmonisation’ which, to me, is the very antithesis of the much vaunted ‘diversity’.
Far from harmony, this case represents the opening of such a Pandora’s Little Box of Horrors that the mind boggles when trying to conceive of the damage it could cause.
If those who care about the environment locally support this undemocratic bullying measure, they will become complicit in a New World Order in which democracy is dead and global corpocracy rules. Investor States, as global corporations are known under the proposed treaty of TTIP, will be able to ride roughshod over the heads of an electorate to get governments to dance to their tune.
You could argue that this already happening with various forms of baksheesh and outright bribery and blackmail going on at Westminster… the difference is that TTIP will make this kind of corporate bullying legal and as Michael Portillo demonstrated so clearly last night, anyone who is against it will be labelled a paranoid NIMBY extremist.
Shop GMO-Free in the UK app
We’re the first to bring out an app containing the GM status of more than 10,000 foods sold in UK supermarkets, Shop GMO-Free in the UK, which you can download for free here!
We have spent years developing the Shop GMO-Free in the UK app, because we realised that petitions and marches were having very little effect and that the only power left to us was to vote with our shopping baskets about what sort of food we wanted to eat.
With huge international trade deals like TTIP being hammered out in private rooms, well away from the democratic process and public accountability, the only leverage we have is in our consumer power. (See The lies behind the EU’s transatlantic trade deal and Secret emails reveal how UK ministers plotted with GM lobbyists to bring GM foods into the UK.) The Investor States, which are already starting to control what we buy and what we eat, only understand one language – the line that moves up or down on their profit and loss balance sheet.
This kind of weaponised shopping worked in Germany, where meat and dairy producers are now being required to feed their cattle with GM-free feed again, when shoppers refused to buy the other kind. (See How to get British supermarkets to return to GM-free meat and dairy).
It’s also been making a difference for shoppers in America, where big food companies are being forced to remove GM ingredients from their products because customers are gradually refusing to buy them. (See Record numbers of US companies switching to non-GMO seeds and GMOs facing downturn on world market).
We hope that our Shop GMO-Free app will make a huge difference… by giving everyone the information they need to make the choices that are best for them and their families. It’s free to download so why wait? Start getting the safest food for you and your family now…