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UK State Censorship: Embarassed British Government Regulator orders broad censorship by Solartwin.

Filed under: Latest News

Stop state-backed censorship in UK. Please lobby your MP.

Please support freedom of expression!

Transparency is needed for good governance.

“Multi-media blackout v threat of commercial damage.”

 

An increasingly desperate, secretive UK government regulator called DECC-MCS has decided to teach us a lesson in conformity and to openly hold the survival of Solartwin as a solar thermal (not solar PV) business to ransom.

If we don’t censor exactly as DECC-MCS order, then our business and its innovative solar thermal product is more likely to be excluded from state subsidy eligibility rules which are, after all, written by DECC-MCS.

The media which we have been ordered to censor by DECC-MCS are:

  • Our website, saying what UK’s solar heating industry could to clean itself up. Industry leaders even asked me to write this document. Now they need it deleted, presumably because it embarrasses them.
  • Twitter postings asking for the resignation of certain leading people who we think need to move on because we are unhappy with their conduct, particularly in secretive areas of regulation and competition.
  • YouTube videos about certain leading Solar Trade Association members exposing how this body has served its own interests, and covered up, rather than those of innovators and the public for far too long.

The topics covered in the publications which we are being ordered to delete include:

  • Our naming of several leading members of the Solar Trade Association as blocking or delaying the introduction of UK-invented solar innovation to UK consumers.
  • Warnings and threats by a named top UK solar thermal industry leader against us to cover up on important safety issues, issues upon which the industry imposes a ruthless news embargo.
  • Retaliation and exclusion from key market-making bodies such as by DECC-MCS for not complying with some of these warnings and threats. Mistakenly, we had initially complied with some demands.
  • A state-backed cover-up of 100,000 UK-state-subsidised solar thermal installations which impose elevated Legionella risks on the public, secretly, without asking users, and without ever offering them a free safety upgrade (we did so for our customers so after we we recognised our mistake).
  • Potential undeclared masonic influence, and repeated failures to make public declarations of interest in the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) secretive regulator, the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (DECC-MCS), which handles the allocation of over a billion pounds of state funds by deciding which green technologies are and are not eligible for subsidy,

This latest order to censor comes on top of:

  • A verbal order I received only 9 days ago (9 June 2012) by Scottish solar manufacturer AES Solar not to tell the public about Legionella bacterial linked to solar water heating at their prestigious Scottish Parliament installation since as far back as 2008.
  • A blunt private warning by phone from the “sustainability” head of one of Europe’s top boiler and solar thermal companies (whom I am too scared to name again) warning me I was on my own for going public on Legionella.
  • Repeated orders from UK’s Solar Trade Association to censor much of the same material as the government’s regulator, MCS now order me to delete.
  • Then exclusion from the Solar Trade Association in retaliation for not deleting some tweets, videos and web pages.

Now DECC-MCS  are doing the STA’s dirty work for them. That’s the huge constitutional point. The fact that this order to censor is backed by by DECC-MCS, a regulator which is responsible to the UK government is a so remarkable because it shows that over a decade of nasty industry censorship has now finally enlisted the backing of the British state.

The industry thugs must be over the moon! Clearly the government’s regulator, DECC/MCS have ended up being hijacked: doing the industry’s dirty blackballing work for them. The UK government  department, DECC now needs to stop this appalling hijack. But will they, given that their interests (a massive cover up on legionella safety short-cuts and often dismal governance) is also well served by what has happened so far?

If we do not censor, we may get stuffed. Our ability to represent ourselves as fully as we need to at by DECC-MCS will be diminished because I have personally thrown out for going public on the subject of sleaze. DECC-MCS will not let me sit there unless I delete all the material. I was not thrown off MCS for anything which happened inside DECC-MCS, only for my external actions in bringing my market, conduct and governance concerns to the wider public via Twitter, Youtube and our website. While I am allowed to send a colleague, in my place, this is less than satisfactory: none has been directly involved for the past 15 years in the design of our product and the unusual business plan which supports it (both are under sustained attack, both at by DECC-MCS and at the STA) and it is essential that I attend. From my my perspective this is not a personal issue, although it appears to be so from the industry side: it is simply about getting us the best representation on UK’s expert technical (ie market making) committee called DECC-MCS-ST-TWG.

DECC government ministers need to answer – and promptly – the questions of:

(a) The governance failures whereby DECC-MCS got hijacked by a bunch of blackballers.

(b) Why we are being denied the same quality of representation as other companies at DECC-MCS.

(c) The extent of government complicity in a coordinated old-industry attack on innovation.

(d) Why DECC-MCS a secretive, sometimes masonically-led government regulator supports, indeed requires censorship.

“Shoot the messenger” is simply NOT a valid response. Stop state censorship now!

 

Please lobby your MP here.

Just enter your postcode and you will be able to email them right away.

Many thanks from Barry!

 

Update of 22 June 2012.

It could be that the Terms of Reference document upon which this whole shoddy exclusion stunt supposedly hinges is voluntary (or worthless) anyway. Perhaps its terms…

  • Were not signed up to by everyone, thus making the whole document subject to selective acceptance.
  • Were actually modified by some who signed up to them, thus making parts of it subject to selective acceptance.
  • Were not fit for purpose anyway, such as by having a quorum of just one person and therefore they should not have been used.

If DECC-MCS are actually following due process, rather than using a worthless conduct code plus appeal documents written post hoc to deliver a predetermined outcome, that of a personal blackballing, then they might like to confirm to readers that everyone had signed up to exactly the same document and that it was fit for purpose. So…

Copy of a follow up email sent to DECC-MCS.

This unreasonable personal blackballing matter hinges on a Terms of Reference document.

  • Please could you supply my signed copy of my acceptance of the MCS solar thermal Working Group Terms of Reference? I find no signed copy in my records.
  • Also please could you supply a full list of all people on this Working Group at the date of my initial exclusion, whether they were active or inactive members for whatever reason including business ransom deals such as by seeking £18k for “resourcing attendance”?
  • Also please could you supply copies of all signed Terms of Reference copies were valid and signed and dated no later than the date of my initial exclusion.

If not all members have signed the Terms of Reference or if some actually disputed these terms, or perhaps they finally agreed other terms, and I clearly recall that at one point when presented with them some people did dispute them and at least some initially refused to sign them and that some possibly even agreed or specified alternative wording, then it it is unreasonable to exclude me if even one person was unsigned or signed up to something different, because it indicates that the Terms of Reference were not fixed but voluntary or subject to selective implementation.

To clarify, if anyone was not signed up to the Terms of Reference or if these were modified in any way for anyone then this is is not natural justice and my exclusion should be quashed.

Also please could you clarify if the quorum for the meeting remained at one person at the time of my exclusion? I raised this matter more than once while a member (ie before my exclusion) and have not had a response. Because if the quorum was still at one person at the time of my exclusion, it begs the question of whether the Terms of Reference are actually worth the paper they are written on.


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