Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Alec Salmond comes to Elgin and is confronted by anti wind power protesters from all over the north of Scotland

First minister Alex Salmond came to Elgin today with his cabinet for the last of his summer cabinet meetings outwith Edinburgh. At one of his previous meetings in Stranraer he was heckled and jeered over his policy to approve the building of large scale onshore wind power stations in some of the most scenic areas of Scotland and today he was met with similar strength of feeling. He was obviously still smarting from the Stranraer mauling because when a protester mentioned it outside the town hall, Mr Salmond growled 'so you were at Stranraer as well were you?'

I joined protesters from as far afield as Wick, Aberdeenshire and Inverness to confront Mr Salmond and voice our opposition to the proliferation of onshore wind turbines which are despoiling the Highland countryside at an alarming rate.

I had managed to get hold of the coffin that we used at Alan Sloman's 'Wake For The Wild' in May this year to represent the death of Scotland's wild land and this made for a great focal point for the TV and press crews that were there. We had been told that Alex's blood was boiling because we were there and we did wonder if he would sneak in the back door but he obviously felt that he had to come and talk to us. John Swinney joined him and as we thought, they both reiterated their position as far as their renewable energy policy was concerned. They disagreed with us that the policy was badly thought out and based on flawed science and all in all it was much as we expected: They did lots of talking and very little listening.

Outside the Town Hall we asked him about planning regulations, about the minimum distance from wind turbines to houses and about the flawed figures that say that wind turbines are 30% efficient when in  reality this figure includes offshore turbines which are 10% more efficient and so skew the figures for onshore turbines. Mr Swinney said that he objected to nuclear power on a point of principle and because of all of the problems associated with waste etc. He quickly changed the subject when I pointed out that we import a great deal of electricity from France who generate 80% of their electricity with nuclear power so just because we are closing down our nuclear stations doesn't mean that we don't use it.

I had intended to go into the public meeting and heckle, but Roy is absolutely full of a cold and was just about dead on his feet after driving an hour to Tomatin and then an hour back again first thing today to collect the coffin so we headed home and left the Q&A session to the other protesters. It will be interesting to hear what happens and whether he is given as rough a ride as he was in Stranraer - I hope so!


  1. Well Done Janet. really well done! It's good to see George H there as well. People really need to ram home to the politicians, especially Alex Salmond, that his energy policy is deeply flawed and desperately unpopular. Perhaps then he will face up to the fact that he is just plain wrong in pursuing this madness.

  2. Very well done Janet. Thanks.