Ever seen a wind-farm in a built-up urban area? Ever see a Cornish town mutilated before your very eyes? On Thursday evening, 6th January 2010, I was visiting a friend at the top of Heamoor – looking back across the frozen fields to Penzance we saw a titanic spike looming up from the top of Penzance – “What the fuck’s that?” quoth we in shock, as we speculated as to the nature of this latest beast. We decided it was a crane and I wandered back to town. The next day I looked out of my front door, to be struck with the vision of a vast propeller on a stick, eating up my view, and right next to that leering monstrosity, the new college building that looks like a gargantuan bauxite tool-shed with a toilet roll embedded in its heart for decoration. Is there any clean patch of sky that the criminally insane Cornwall Council Planning Dept. will not sell off and fill with metal, concrete and the illusion of purpose? These demented children have disfigured and mutilated the aspect of our town of Penzance, and why?? Because they are cynical and corrupt, and because they make themselves good money by selling the soul of Penzance to any rich bastard with a truck load of concrete and a pocket full of bribe-money. They do it because they can – because their democracy is a cynical illusion and fundamentally because they have had the aesthetic part of their brains burned out by the fierce concentrated rays of the obscene beam of money. These ‘planners’ embody much that is ill in our society. They stick to the pedantic letter of the law and post a tiny off-colour notice round the back of a hedge – they have done their duty and announced to the public their intention to build. The fact that no-one has noticed their ‘notice’ suits them fine. Nobody knows what they will do, so they can do what people do not want done. How beautifully simple!
Winter vomiting up windmills to bug local ward
Just to spell it out: The Council are handsomely paid by us to administer to OUR affairs. The law provides mechanisms by which Council Planning Departments are required to inform the people of planning proposals that could affect them. These mechanisms are woefully inadequate and ineffective. The central government wants to make it easier for big business to push their plans through and harder for residents of the areas affected to do anything to oppose contentious planning decisions. Cornwall Council is diminishing its own responsibility to inform the public of plans via the local media, which, however bad, can at least claim a wide popular readership. In this late, virulent phase of capitalism, everything is up for grabs, and the line between public official and self-enriching private business is a disappearing tradition from the quaint old days of ‘honesty’ in public life. Our corrupt officials here in Cornwall know that if they want to throw up another monstrous insulting structure in town, their best chance is to do it on the sly, because they know damn well that people around here are getting wise to their bullshit and starting to take back the Democratic Process.
Penzance, Cornwall, is one of those funny places that seems to breed a sense of independence and liberty. The local character has been strengthened by thousands of years of mining, fishing, farming the wind-blown land and surviving. Contact with the outer world has kindled a cosmopolitan sense of creativity and inquisitiveness, leading to an increasing desire for ever more real forms of Self-Determination. People here are sick of the decadent politics of the ‘Big Three’, we all know these entities are working counter to Democracy. Sleep-walking, muttering the word ‘Democracy’ like an incantation, we have forgotten what it is. The People of Athens took the city into their own hands and ran it the way the majority wanted it done. They didn’t build the great temples and theatres by stealth, fait accompli or legalistic maneuvering; (?) they sought popular support in the open forum of debate before digging the first spadeful of earth. OUR democracy has been ruined by merchants. Money men have corrupted the power men, you and I don’t even get a look in. Hence the windmill on top of Penzance, right up on the Pendarves, the Headland of Oaks. This area is usually known as ‘Saint Clare’, from the little chapel to the Saint that stood just about where the cricket score-hut is now. The nuns of St.Clare were dedicated to poverty, non-materialism and virtue, their Chapel was built on a high eminence to oversee the spiritual welfare of the people. That eminence is now occupied by Cornwall Council, that oligarchic materialist behemoth that has sanctioned the destruction of the character and appearance of the whole area of St.Clare and given Penzance a hostile, urbanite and brutal skyline that mocks the very idea of community involvement. While we were protecting the shore, the Planning Dept.was busy decapitating the head of the town and crowning it with gross ugliness. The only way to stop this sort of thing happening more and more is to replace the current political system with a Democracy.
NIMBY? NO – NIABY! Never mind ‘Not In My Back Yard’, the point is, these things are not usually put in anybody’s back yard. The placing of a wind-turbine in the middle of a town is not usual policy, and for many very good reasons, but fundamentally because people do not want them there. They are a danger to helicopters and other aircraft. The Air Ambulance Helicopter sometimes has to land at St.Clare – sometimes in fog and wind. They kill birds. They spook horses with their flickering shadows and could cause epileptic fits and hypnotic effects in humans. Compared to water-wheels they are notoriously inefficient at generating electricity. They mutilate the appearance of our ancient Cornish seaside town, thus degrading the quality of life for locals and making the place less attractive to tourists - thus eroding the local economy.
The fundamental point is that once again, the People of Penzance were not made aware of the imminent construction of this profoundly invasive, and aesthetically anomalous entity that utterly dominates their town. Even if the planners followed the pedantic letter of the law, THEY DID NOT REACH THE PEOPLE – therefore their democratic process is feeble and inefficient at serving the People, which is exactly the way the planners want it.
If we do not want to be presented with an ever-more-eldritch series of monstrosities defacing our town, we are going to have to get personally involved in influencing the process. (Karadewder, Pat Vulgata, Invertebrate Press)