British aristocrats cash in on wind

Regressive redistribution as working people pay landed rich to despoil the British countryside

The Telegraph reports that British nobles, including Dukes and a cousin of the Queen are cashing in on tax and ratepayer subsidies to erect wind farms on their country estates.  Each turbine can net a noble £20,000 a year or more.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s father-in-law is a baronet who is pulling in “as much as £350,000 a year from eight turbines on his estate at Bagmoor in Lincolnshire.”  This may give Cameron’s un-torylike policy surrender to radical green interests some perspective.

For generations the UK could count on its aristocrats’ selfless noblesse oblige.  Country estates have traditionally been havens of bucolic green space and conservation.  Today’s gentle folk appear ready to abandon the needs of the land and bring industrial turbines to glen, wood, hillside and moor.  We’ve entered a brave new millennium of selfish noblesse spolio.

Sadly, many of these turbines end up situated in inland areas where there isn’t even much wind.  They generate not electricity, but subsidies.

The Telegraph quoted “Sir Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust but speaking in a personal capacity [who] said: “The level of subsidy available to landowners to put up these turbines is out of all proportion to the public benefit derived from them and the temptation to ruin what is usually outstanding landscapes is overwhelming. It is a crime against the landscape.”

This may well be the worst example of regressive redistribution of wealth in Britain since the Sheriff of Nottingham shook down the peasants for Prince John.

 

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About the Author: Michael Goetz