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National body opposing wind power to launch in Westminster

A new national body opposing all forms of wind power will be launched at the Houses of Parliament at an event sponsored by Lord Carlile, the Liberal Democrat peer and former Montgomeryshire MP.

National Opposition to Windfarms, or Now, says it will oppose windfarms “by tackling policy” and will be “a source of collective knowledge and strategic help” for anyone campaigning against the building of wind turbines. Now’s website includes a six-point charter setting out why it opposes wind power.

The campaign group was formed following calls for a “national voice” against windfarms at a conference organised by Conservation of Upland Powys last September, which was attended by anti-wind campaigners from across the country.

Alison Davies, the chair of Conservation of Upland Powys, said: “There was a very strong feeling at that conference that we needed to work nationally. The Now charter has since been developed by people that include representatives of National Alliance of Wind Farm Action Groups [Nawag] and Country Guardian and is based on indisputable facts. Every effort has been made to ensure that everything in the charter is evidenced based.”

The Guardian has seen emails exchanged between Nawag members sent over the past few months discussing the planning for Now. One exchange was about a suitable anthem for the group. Jerusalem and Blowin’ in the Wind featured as favourites, but one member suggests alternative lyrics for the Dad’s Army theme tune, Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler? including a reference to the recently installed energy secretary Ed Davey: “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Davey/If you think this country’s done/We are the Now Group/We will stop your little game/No more wind turbines/That blight our hills and planes.”

One recipient responded: “Love it … who needs Handel to write their anthems. Being German he would probably have been in favour of the things anyway. Good job [Chris] Huhne has gone. One syllable just would not work.” Alison Davies denied Now would have an anthem and said the email “should just be put in the bin”. But she added that Now was seeking a celebrity to act as a public face of the group.

In another email exchange, the group acknowledges there may be divisions between those who only oppose turbine developments on land and those who want to oppose all wind power. “We also accept that some people are happy with off-shore wind development, others with windfarms in remote upland locations and others with the single turbine on a brown field site. Now will probably not accord with the views of these groups or individuals.”

Lord Carlile, who sits on Now’s 10-person steering group and who is sponsoring the group’s launch which is expected to be attended by up to 40 MPs and peers, said: “I hope Now will be instrumental in preventing the industrialisation of our best landscapes by campaigning in a united and organised fashion. It is a group of like-minded people aiming to bring together various campaigns into a national structure. We will use all proper and lawful campaigning techniques. There will be meetings, media articles, events and we will support objections to planning applications across the board.”