Week Ending 19th January 2014
UK news highlights
Trouble with lorries, they're like buses, never one for ages than you get loads together.
Cameron bribes the councils and ups the stakes.
Monday saw a significant move to force fracking on the country against its will. The 1% of fracking revenue wasn't enough, it seems, for local government. Now the government is throwing caution to the wind.
Cameron knows the government is losing the propaganda war on fracking. He is now attempting to deflect criticism of his government and turn the battle into one between the community and local authorities. This is a scandalous attack on democracy and the impartiality of the planning system.
The announcement is accompanied by more deception from Cameron and Fallon about jobs and prices. They know, and we know, even the government's own reports don't support their statements. Despicable. This is a pathetic measure designed also to deflect anti-government criticism and make the battle between us and our local governments.
The Mail even says individuals near fracking sites will get direct payments!
Community against council, neighbour against neighbour. Is this the social outlook from fracking? Is this the future we want for our country?
If the local councils realise there is no guarantee to say that if they take fracking money the government will keep their central funding grants at original levels they might realise this could be a total con.
The Green Party's Natalie Bennett claimed that 200,000 jobs would be created and fuel poverty reduced by measures such as effective insulation, rather than Fracking.
The bribery story continued throughout the week. Cameron went on record as saying he was now in favour of direct payments going to individual householders affected by fracking. Which prompts the question - if fracking is so safe what's the problem?
Cameron also blasted anti-fracking campaigners for being "irrational". Better irrational than blindly pursuing the pot of gold aat the end of the fracking rainbow, I would have thought.
More significantly, perhaps, Cameron let slip a significant reduction in the estimate of how much gas can be extracted from the UK's rocks. Previously the government has always used the industry's claim that 10% of gas in place could be extracted. Now Cameron reduces this to an "industry average" of 7%.
When he gets down to 3% maybe he is being realistic. Add to that the idea that no way can the UK be fracked under its metropolitan centres, and you will see that figure far reduced in practice.
What Cameron has (irrationally) failed to realise is that the reduction of reserves from 10% to 7% of gas in place also reduces any claimed economic benefit. Yet he is still claiming 74,000 jobs created and 30 years of supply.
At the same time as supporters claim we have the best regulation in the world, the Guardian published prrof that Cameron's government has battled to stop European fracking regulation which would apply to the UK in its tracks.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said the right thing about community bribes but clearly hasn't got a clue about how his boss Cameron view regulation. Let's be clear on this. Regulation means different things to different people. It can mean red tape preventing industry from profiteering. Or it can mean (as we believe it should) safeguarding the community and the environment. Cameron believes in the former usage. He disrards the latter. In either case he is hell bent on none of this interferes with his madcap plans to frack the country against the community will if necessary. If Mark Menzies can not see this he is blind.
Any opinions here not quotes from the
week's news reports are my own.
News As It Came In
links to original stories
Green party: Better insulation the answer, not fracking
Fracking incentives will give councils 'contradictory roles'
LGA responds to Government fracking announcement
Government's fracking concession to councils splits opinion
Fracking shares jump as hopes of co-investment deals progress
Scotland will miss out on fracking payouts
Cameron announces fracking cash incentive on Lincolnshire visit
Bribery row as councils are offered windfalls for allowing fracking
Anti-fracking protesters arrested after climbing lorries delivering to potential drilling site
Cameron backs payouts for fracking-hit homes
SW MP backs fracking
UK defeats European fracking regulations
Lord Bath denies fracking under homes
Fracking opponents irrational, says Cameron
BP says Europe should stay cool over shale gas fracking
Nearly half of public 'oppose fracking within 10 miles of their home'
Waltham Forest Council rejects fracking offer
Campaigners anger over Cameron's carrot
Anti-fracking groups in Salford protest
Council fracking bribe
Two arrested for "death threats"
Mirror maps out the 60% of the country for fracking
Fracking fluids to blame for rail car explosions?
Italian company set to quit Poland
Mirror exposes new Cameron aide fraciking link scandal
Mark Menzies hides his head in the ground and thinks Cameron will make us safe