“Astroturfing” – how the real pros do it

In our post “Who can it be now?” – we struggled with the concept of “astroturfing” – Lucy from accounts reckoned it was about falling over while playing hockey.

Dutch-hockey-player-Taeke-Taekema-and-Australias-Edd-6202794

Damn, there gonna call me an “astroturfer” for sure, now.

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You see, the eco-fascists and their puppets – the greentards – think that STT is a professionally run political lobby group backed by big coal or worse – nuclear power. Here’s a declaration on our funding situation, as provided to the ATO.

Anyway, since the slings and arrows have been flying out of University Campuses and Green-lefty tabloids, with the ammunition helpfully supplied by Big Wind’s Fascist Bully Boys – the Clean Energy Council – we felt we should dig a little deeper.

Well, luckily, one of our London operatives found this helpful treatise, by the aptly named “yesMinister.org”.

Navigating through the complex planning process

Who should I see?

What should I say?

Who do I influence?

At Yes Minister we have a vision to see the UK renewable energy industry – particularly wind farms- expand and continually flourish.

Critically Yes Minister can assist developers through the planning process. Our expertise lies in combining a talent for developing energy policy and ideas with the experience and expertise to help implement the practical solutions that current policy demand. We have a regional presence in the UK and are not solely focused on one geographical area of the country thus allowing us to draw on contacts and expertise across and within different regions.

Experience & engagement

Through our local authority contacts and staff we have invaluable experience of how to successfully navigate and steer wind turbine applications through the complex and ever frustrating planning processes. We provide a hands-on approach to helping you navigate through the legislative, social and economic barriers to entry in the renewable energy market. This approach inevitably impacts positively on your bottom-line and your strategy for growth.

In order to achieve success we focus our attentions where it matters most; this includes local government, we also engage with local and regional decision makers, communities and other key – unidentified – stakeholders: this enables us to develop ‘hyper-local knowledge’ and provide a truly bespoke service.

Evidence base

Our approach is evidenced based and we build a detailed analysis of the issues affecting your project. We are ever mindful to consider the views and various perspectives from providing local and regional competitive analysis to exploring and appreciating councillors voting records, to considerations around the demographics of the local population and much more.

Our engagement

Yes Minister does more than just create coalitions. We cultivate relationships; ensuring support for a project does not dissipate. We work with local media to promote the developers cause to the widest possible local audience and we do not leave until a project has been approved. We stay with a client, guiding them through the process of community engagement before, during and after project completion, ensuring that a business retains and cultivates a positive reputation and successful track record into the future

Yes Minister has an advanced understanding of the ideas and practices of renewable energy legislation, from local and national law to case studies, standard practices and accepted conventions. This allows us to respond to any situation instantly and provide a comprehensive service to clients.

Yes Minister has the ability to use its unique position as a think tank to further the cause of this sector in a wider context and also through public affairs. We will work with you to shape the debate on renewable energy and provide new insight into its advantages that will help to shape national policy.

Our approach delivers result because we place our involvement within the wider policy context which is geared towards driving a positive agenda for the country’s residents, the economy and the environment.

Our mission

Yes Minister believes in the concept, the idea and the implementation of this and we invest in that. We create original research that seeks to advance the causes we support and we only work with those whose causes we are prepared to not only defend, but actively promote under our own name.

Being passionately committed to renewable energy we offer the opportunity to create an overwhelmingly positive impression of the client, not just through their actions, but through their wider intentions, whilst providing a unique, effective and comprehensive renewable energy delivery service.

More information is available by contacting Dr Floyd Millen, Director Yes Minister – floyd@yesminister.org.uk or Richard Robinson Head of Policy and Business Development richard@yesminister.org.uk T: 020 7993 2505
[Here’s the original in pdf].

Let’s distil some of the concepts popped up by these people – who seem more than just a little keen to help the wind weasels in the UK – to see if it sheds any light on this “astroturfing” lark. (In case you hadn’t noticed, we highlighted the bits that looked suspicious).

Now, there just might be a nugget or two in these extracts from their menu of “services”:

… we also engage with local and regional decision makers, communities and other key – unidentified – stakeholders

We will work with you to shape the debate on renewable energy and provide new insight into its advantages that will help to shape national policy

Our approach delivers result because we place our involvement within the wider policy context which is geared towards driving a positive agenda for the country’s residents, the economy and the environment

…we offer the opportunity to create an overwhelmingly positive impression of the client

So, let’s get this straight.

“Local and regional decision makers, communities and other key – unidentified – stakeholders” need to be “engaged” – presumably once their special agents have “identified” them?

The “debate” on renewable energy needs to be “shaped”?

And “new insight into its advantages” can be “provided”?

The “country’s residents” need to have a “positive agenda” “driven” their way?

And an “overwhelmingly positive impression” needs to be “created” – which, by implication, suggests that any “negative impressions” of giant industrial wind turbines can be OVERWHELMED – provided you have the “right” people on the case.

In a “nutshell”, the Country’s residents need to be told how much they love, need and want wind turbines – and how their lives won’t be “complete” until their patch of paradise is overrun by them.

So, why not get a bunch of smarmy gits with Arts/Marketing Degrees to “shape” the misguided thinking of these clearly dim-witted and simple folk.

Why let nature take its course, when you can have yesMinister’s crack squad of spin doctors driving the wind weasels’ “positive agenda” right at these rustic simpletons?

All for very reasonable rates, at say, £500 an hour plus VAT? Cheap at twice the price.

In Australia, of course, the Clean Energy Council works from the same playbook, “shaping” the debate and “overwhelming” any of those nasty negative thoughts one might possess about those lovable puppies looming on the horizon. One of its major funding costs is backing eco-fascist blog sites to help “spread the word” on just how wonderful these cute little devils are.

247586460-14114959

Say, Mac, do you feel at all uneasy at the minute?
I mean they look kinda big?

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Anyway, back to our little investigation into “astroturfing”. Wikpedia gives this commentary:

Astroturfing refers to political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are designed to mask the sponsors of the message to give the appearance of coming from a disinterested, grassroots participant. Astroturfing is intended to give the statements the credibility of an independent entity by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

Now at STT we have a tendency to be a tad suspicious of any parasites profiting from the misery caused by the wind industry, so our analysis could be flawed – perhaps because we haven’t had our thinking properly “shaped” by a bunch of highly paid “experts”.

But it seems to us that yesMinister’s “recipe for success” involves just one or two ingredients from the astroturfing playbook.

Could it be their desire to “shape the debate”?

Could it be their skills in “overwhelming” negative impressions held by the “uneducated” Country folk?

Just what do they expect of “local and regional decision makers, communities and other key – unidentified – stakeholders” after they’ve been “engaged”?

Could it be that these “key stakeholders” might just start spruiking the wonders of wind on behalf of yesMinister – and end up doing their work for them?

And mightn’t the end result of “engaging” locals to parrot the “positive agenda” dished up by yesMinister be – that those watching the game from the boundary – come away with the impression that there is real “grassroots” local support for the wind industry?

STT never jumps to conclusions, but if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then there is at least an outside chance – it’s a quacker.

daffyduck2

I just love my job at the Clean Energy Council!

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STT poses the following “Pepsi Challenge” to the spin masters at yesMinister and our local spin masters – the Clean Energy Council – sit down and watch this video with the key decision makers you are paid to impress with the wonders of wind – and then see if you can OVERWHELM those nasty negative thoughts that just might pop into their malleable little heads.

Oh, and it seems that the monsters that stand behind those groovy green wind turbine outfits are not gifted with much of a sense of humour. When they realise that they’ve lost the battle for “hearts and minds” they set out to CRUSH those that have the temerity to challenge them, with trumped up law suits.

A great bunch of lads.

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

Cheers – who would have thought that a $multi-billion corporation with a team of lawyers and professional spin doctors might be able to crush a pretty young lass like Esther Wrightman?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Friends of the Earth, ring any bells?

  2. It has been obvious from the beginning that there is a Windweasel’s Handbook. It would be too much of a co-incidence for that many people to be so twisted. It is definitely a “learned” tactic.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Bugger – if yet another couple of FACTS didn’t just pop up to make the greentard look dumber than a bag of hammers.  Oh – we forgot – the greentard only acts on the “facts” they are paid to act on by their Overlords – Vestas.  What’s that you say about “astroturfing”? […]

  2. […] on by their wind scammer clients to return their exorbitant fees. It seems their efforts to “shape the wind farm debate” have ended up with the “debate shaped” something like […]

  3. […] our post “Astroturfing” – how the real pros do it” we looked at how spin masters like yesMinister.org and the Clean Energy Council “shape the […]

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