Richard North, 06/11/2012  

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A jolly little piece by the BBC's "environment analyst" Roger Harrabin has a new report "blaming the government for leaving the UK's water resources at the mercy of the weather".

The document, we are told, is produced by "16 leading environmental organisations" and says it took the wettest ever summer to avert serious drought". It then warns "that another series of dry winters would put Britain back on drought alert".

All very harmless, you might say, as you pass on to more interesting stuff, although experience warns that nothing Harrabin ever does is ever without an agenda. That is the case here.

Coming up in the near future is a Water Bill, the epitome of greenery, put in place by a network of environmental and water industry lobby groups that are determined to impose on us its vision of water hell – a world where water is kept deliberately in short supply, over-priced, metered and tightly rationed.

One tool for applying pressure, to ensure that this agenda goes though, is the Blueprint for Water, which is the very report which Mr Harrabin is so kindly publicising, affording it a level of prestige that only the BBC can offer.

However, when you start looking behind the fluffy green image of this document, which preaches the mantra of "sustainable water", things start to get interesting.

The originator is an outfit called the Wildlife and Countryside Link and very quickly it emerges that it is a green front organisation, claiming 38 members who collectively "employ over 11,000 full-time staff, have the help of 174,000 volunteers and the support of over 8 million people in the UK".

Therein is a hint of the size of the green lobbying machine - "over 11,000 full-time staff" – and, as you might expect, all the usual suspects are there. We see Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF, as well as the National Trust, the RSPCA, the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and even the Badger Trust - the director of which, Dr Elaine King, now heads the Link.

Not all members are equal, though. The Link gets significant funding from the WWF, contributing to its relatively modest sub-£200k budget, used almost entirely to fund and support its four staff members.

Chairman of the trustees, however, is Paul de Zylva, a full-time official of Friends of the Earth. He leads the FoE campaign team "in its work on biodiversity, climate, planning and localism". That tells you exactly where the influence lies.

Then, what is just as interesting as its members are its "partners", and one in in particular, Waterwise, which is assiduous in promoting the "Blueprint for Water" agenda, alongside the WWF.

When you then look at the Board of Waterwise – which shares an address with Wildlife and Countryside Link – it gets even more interesting. Its directors include Alan Alexander, former Chair of Scottish Water and former President of the Institute of Water, and Ian Barker, Head of Water, a government official employed by the Environment Agency.

Well, well, well … allied to the green lobby groups pushing their line on water policy, we have a water industry interest and the head man in the Government's own water standards enforcement agency. What a happy collection of interests, especially when they are all in favour of one special initiative – forcing us to have water meters.

Some little time ago, I wrote about how water consumers were "unrepresented and abused", and when you see, from the annual report of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, how far its tentacles spread into government and Parliament, you begin to see why.

Basically, on the back of EU policy direction, the Greens have taken over water policy and, in cahoots with the industry and the regulators, are defining their own agendas, which have nothing to do with the interests of the consumer.

Creating vast networks of influence was the way the Communist Party used to work, from which model the Greens have learned their trade well. And, on the top of the heap, is the BBC's Roger Harrabin, an "agent of influence", always ready to give them aid and sustenance.

They are the enemy within, taking over the reins of government from under our very noses.


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