More on the #Rampisham Propaganda War.


thumb_P1040207_1024After yesterday’s blog about describing the opening salvo’s in the propaganda war that’s started in advance of the Rampisham Solar Farm public inquiry, more shots come thick and fast.

Dorset Eye, a Dorset community media website, have published a piece from Hannah Lovegrove who has launched a scathing attack on Dorset Wildlife Trust. Lovegrove, you may recall, is British Solar Renewable’s Director Giles Frampton’s partner and works for Community Heat and Power, a front organisation which claims to represent community interests when negotiating with Solar power developers, but is actually owned by British Solar Renewables owner Angus MacDonald. Normally these pieces would be signed off by Community Heat and Power but in this case Lovegrove has signed it personally. So it’s a personal attack on Dorset Wildlife.

The piece is titled

Rampisham Down: “Are charities taking advantage of people’s generosity, or indeed just taking advantage of people full stop?”

and the title uses a quote from the Information Commissioner Chris Graham in an interview with the BBC regarding claims that four charities, NSPCC, Oxfam, Macmillian Cancer Support and British Red Cross,

“Are the charities taking advantage of people’s generosity, or indeed just taking advantage of people full stop?”

This quote refers specifically to the four charities and specifically in relation to the alleged use of cold calling to pressure people into giving money to these charities.

Note Lovegrove has mangled the original quote – by removing the “the” which relates the comment to the four charities and their fundraising activities, she has created a fake quote which implies the Information Commissioner is asking a completely different question about all charities in general, and their activities in general, rather than about fundraising.

Lovegrove goes on in the piece to attack Dorset Wildlife Trust on the same grounds that British Solar Renewables have all along, framing BSR as the victim who is the only organisation that truly stands up for the interests of the wildlife at Rampisham. Reading through her claims, you would scarcely know British Solar Renewables were a business in the business of making profits from taxpayer-funded subsidies. I’m not going to explain why she is wrong, as I have already done so on many occasions, but if you have not yet done so please take a look at my Rampisham Down Factsheet series of blogs.

I mentioned in yesterdays blog that a Solar Industry Analyst Finlay Colville had been taken in by BSR’s line and hadn’t looked at the other side of the story. I approached him on twitter offering to meet him at Rampisham Down to show him the wildlife there and explain to him why I was so concerned by the proposals. His response? He has blocked me on twitter.

About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and not my employers. I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
This entry was posted in British Solar Renewables, community heat and power, Rampisham Down, Solar Farms and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to More on the #Rampisham Propaganda War.

  1. gwilwren says:

    Fortunately (!?) this will come down to an independent inspectors assessment of the material planning considerations and development on a protected site in defiance of NPPF and local planning policies, which ought to be enough. However, the applicant is likely to argue that the development will not harm the features of interest. Unfortunately if this argument carries the day these features will depend on positive management ie grazing which the planning system cannot guarantee. That will fall to NE enforcement.

  2. John Kay says:

    gwilren’s comment prompts another. Presumably (Ha!) an independent inspector must be impartial. I would imagine anyone with the necessary would find it hard not to be polarised before the event and it would be difficult – unless they have a pill for cognitive dissonance – for them to fairly judge the assertions made by both sides. To guarantee impartiality the inspector would have to be entirely ignorant of the issues and the inquiry would be reduced to a beauty contest.

  3. Mark Fisher says:

    “a business in the business of making profits from taxpayer-funded subsidies”

    Take out profits and add in lottery money, and then you are describing wildlife trusts. Leave in profits, and you are also describing wildlife trusts that have subsidiary trading companies. I’m uncomfortable with the presumption that wildlife trusts are always the “angels” when their actions using public money have little accountability.

    Perhaps better to criticise the facts rather than who she works for.

    • John Kay says:

      The fact that she works for who she works for is germaine as it establishes a vested interest in the outcome. Whether what she says in support of the case for who she works for is misdirection, fact or fiction is another matter. IMHO

  4. FinlayDuncanBL says:

    Hi Miles, really interesting post and best of luck in your battle to protect nature.
    Are you aware the EU’s looking at weakening key laws that protect birds, animals and plants across Europe? The Birds and Habitats Directives are currently undergoing a ‘fitness check’, but we think the evidence speaks for itself. The directives have stopped the decline of a number of species and have created a huge network of conservation areas.
    We’ve got until Friday night to make our views known on this – can you encourage your followers to put their name to the Nature Alert campaign please, every person helps!

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