Raising the issue of health effects from 5G masts continues to be labelled as “conspiracy” in the media and political forums in the UK.

8th January 2021

Bath 5G Planning Meeting Proceedings

On December 16th, following a ninety-minute debate, an application for a 5G mast was rejected in Larkhall, Bath, UK on visual amenity grounds. The Planning Officer steered the committee away from considering the health concerns raised by more than 300 objectors including the local Liberal Democrat MP, although the legitimacy of considering health effects was affirmed by Bath’s lawyer present at the meeting.

The Chief Planning Officer failed to insure that this planning application was decided on its own merit when he conveyed his assumption that Bath Council would face an appeal and incur costs if they objected to the 5G mast on health grounds. He stated that the application had a valid ICNIRP certificate which satisfied the National Policy, and that this was sufficient to ensure safety. He avoided questions regarding long term and non-thermal effects presented in the objections. Wireless radiation is failing to be regulated as pollution under the Environmental Protection Act , this is being pursued by eminent UK Barrister Michael Mansfield QC.

The Chief Planning Officer broke his remit of insuring that each planning application be decided on its own merits when he advised the committee not to consider reasons presented by objectors for not relying on ICNIRP guidelines for safety. He assured the committee that the proposal had an ICNIRP certificate which fulfils the National Planning Policy Framework, and conveyed his assumption that Bath Council would face an appeal and incur costs, should a decision be made on health grounds.

The Dutch Court Ruling

Just days later, on December 20th, a judgement was made in the District Court of Gelderland, a province in the Netherlands: “In the opinion of the court, considering all arguments, with reference to scientific literature, it cannot be ruled out that there are increased health risks even at a field strength lower than 1 V/m.” As this is roughly 50 times lower than the ICNIRP “safety” guidelines, this Dutch legal precedent gives credence to Liberal Democrat Ward Councillors, Bath objectors, and others around the world who question their Government’s reliance on ICNIRP. And in fact, decisions by Planning Committees which exclude evidence of harm may be overturned in a court of law as was done in Gelderland.

Media Coverage of Bath Decision, and Journalism’s “Code of Conduct”

Three articles appeared in short succession in the mainstream media following the Bath decision, all suggesting the consideration of health risks of 5G is “conspiracy”.

Backlash after new 5G mast on outskirts of Bath refused planning permission. Emma Elgee. Somerset Live

5G: Masts at centre of row in Bath. Rory Cellan-Jones. BBC News

Lib Dems hook up with 5G cranks and give a boost to wild conspiracy. Nick Cohen. The Guardian

None of the authors reported on the Bath Council lawyer’s declaration that giving weight to scientific evidence other than ICNIRP is valid in planning law.  There was no “row” or “backlash” as suggested in the headlines, the Bath debate was civilised and calm.

Cohen’s article, which appeared in no less than eight publications, was a scathing criticism of Liberal Democrats’ MP, Wera Hobhouse, who was vilified for staying open-minded. Referring to the MP, Cohen recommended, “The best reply to anyone who passes off cowardice as open-mindedness is the old advice not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” He dragged in many other issues such as Trump and vaccines that had nothing to do with 5G, the objections raised, or the meeting, and attacked the Lib Dem planning committee, accusing them of siding with “conspiracists” to secure votes.

Is raising health concerns “wild conspiracy” as Cohen suggests? Is it fair for Cohen to call Bath Lib Dems “5G cranks” when papers presented to Bath included Court Rulings in Turin which declared that ICNIRP’s assessment of the recent US National Toxicology Program study was unreliable? The $30 million NTP study on mobile phone radiation showed, cellular changes, DNA damage and cancerous effects.

All these articles reporting on the Bath hearing break many rules of the National Union of Journalism’s “Code of Conduct”.

The Liberal Democrats respond – more of the same distortion

On December 29th Liberal Democrat Mark Valladares posted his response to Cohen’s article on Libdemvoice.org, a website which boasts being “The most-read independent Lib Dem website for and by Lib Dem supporters, not paid for by trade unions or millionaires”

Upon seeing the title of the piece, The curious tale of a 5G mast in Bath, I was hopeful that curiosity and rational inquiry would infuse the article, and open a space for sensible dialog.

To my dismay, the article merely attempted to set the record straight that the Bath Liberal Democrats had opposed the mast on visual amenity grounds, and not on health grounds. Valladares called for the Lib Dems, who were attacking the Bath Lib Dems, to research more carefully and not to jump to conclusions. He conveyed that he too was of the opinion that raising health concerns is a “conspiracy”.

Such a pity Mr. Valladares did not follow his own advice and research the grounds for health concerns presented in Bath.

Of the 48 approved comments responding to Valladares’ article, roughly four questioned the validity of dismissing possible health effects. Most other comments heralded the view that 5G is safe. There was a total of nine mentions of the word “conspiracy” in the comments thread.

One comment linked to a blog post by Guido Fawkes, a British right-wing political blogger described by The Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s leading political bloggers. Fawkes’ blog included a photo of Wera Hobhouse MP in a tinfoil hat.

I tried to add news about the Dutch Court Ruling in the comments and was utterly shocked when I realised my post had been blocked by the moderator.

I wrote to the Libdemvoice.org’s Chief Editor, Caron Lindsey, to inquire why the post had been blocked, but she refused to engage with my enquiry. I sent her another email asking if she would be willing to post the link to the Dutch Court judgment herself. She flatly refused. I quote: “Our site is not a place for conspiracy theorists.”

So, there we have it. An editor of the “most read” Lib Dem, self-proclaimed independent forum for political debate refusing to post substantiated, relevant, current, authoritative information while approving comments that cast aspersions and mock.

Thankfully, Wera Hobhouse MP, is a Liberal and a Democrat. The Libdemvoice.org is neither.

Clearly, from this flurry of reporting, one can see there is massive media and political pressure to prevent considering health risks in discussions and rulings of 5G. Due to the exponential increase in radiation that 5G will bring about, it is imperative that factual information be disseminated widely, and not be censored.

The question arises, how can we break through this level of cognitive dissonance to make way for long overdue, open-minded and informed discussion and actions?

Karen Churchill


Bath Planning Meeting (3 hours 5 minutes onwards)
The curious tale of a 5G mast in Bath
Backlash after new 5G mast on outskirts of Bath refused planning permission
5G: Masts at centre of row in Bath
Lib Dems hook up with 5G cranks and give a boost to wild conspiracy
Wera Hobhouse Bolsters 5G Conspiracy
Dutch Court Ruling

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3 Responses

  • It’s pretty clear to see where the “conspiracy” lies, and it’s not with responsible, well informed protesters against irresponsible roll-out of 5G.

    There is a conspiracy of determined ignorance and refusal to consider any facts, however responsibly sourced or well validated.

    Nick Cohen in particular and journalists at The Guardian generally are letting down this normally responsible and trusted newspaper by their own dismissal of “5G conspiracy theorists”.

    To me, such assertions merely testify to ignorance and complacency. It is very difficult to break through such determined prejudice.

  • PS I should not have referred to “journalists at The Guardian generally” — who have not stated their views on 5G.

    I had in mind a couple of science and technology articles whose kneejerk branding of “5G conspiracy theorists” suggested the writers had not bothered to inform themselves about the possible or probable hazards of 5G.

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