It has been brought to my attention that this blog owes Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt. an apology. In a recent column entitled Green Jobs? Wot Green Jobs? (Pt 242), I carelessly suggested that Sir Reg beloved dad of the famous environmentalist “Sam Cam”; distinguished father-in-law of the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, no less – is making nearly £1000 a week from the wind turbines on his estates.
In other words, Sir Reginald is making the equivalent of roughly 1000 looted widescreen plasma TV screens every year from the eight 400 foot wind turbines now enhancing the view for miles around on his 3,000 acre Normanby Hall estate, near Scunthorpe.
There will be those who suggest that my mistake is a resigning matter. I do share their concern. However it is my view that if a journalist is going to resign on a point of principle these days, it has to be over something immeasurably trivial, rather than over something merely quite trivial. What I do nevertheless agree is that I owe Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt, an apology.
A big apology.
After all, the idea that an aristocrat of Sir Reginald’s magnificence should get out of bed or indeed, not get out of bed, but just lie there flicking through Shooting Times or Burke’s Peerage or Guns N Ammo while the money drips into his bank account for a sum as pitiful as £1000 a week is patently absurd.
It is almost as absurd as the idea that Sir Reginald bears any kind of social responsibility for the privilege of owning the land that has been in his family since the 16th century. Sure there will be the odd sentimental fool who imagines otherwise. One such sentimental fool is the Duke of Northumberland, who persists in resisting the wheelbarrows-full of cash being offered by developers to build wind farms on his estates for the following reasons:
“I have come to the personal conclusion that wind farms divide communities, ruin landscapes, affect tourism, make a minimal contribution to our energy needs and a negligible contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions.”
But as Sir Reginald well understands, such antiquated notions as caring for the people who live in and around your estates or preserving the beauty of the landscape for future generations, have no place in the forward looking, post-carbon world being promoted by one’s son-in-law and one’s future king. “Noblesse oblige? Schnoblesse oblige! ” as Sir Reginald is no doubt fond of quipping to the third underbeater on one of his game shoots.
After all, if a government run by one’s son in law (did we mention this already: that Sir Reginald Sheffield’s daughter Sam is married to the current British Prime Minister, who has promised to lead the “greenest government ever”?) decides that it is in the national interest to destroy the British landscape, double the price of electricity and transfer money via renewable energy boondoggles from the pockets of taxpayers into the swollen coffers of rich, landowning baronets worth £20 million plus, then what’s a poor fellow to do other than say: “Yes please, you frightful, oiky wind-farm developing fellow. If you wouldn’t mind leaving that wheelbarrow of notes there. And that one there. That will be all, thank you. Now get orrff my land.”
- Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
- Monbiot: an apology
- I’d rather my wife made land mines than worked in the wind farm industry
- The Great Wind Farm Disaster (ctd)