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« Brian Hoskins, then and now | Main | EU backs down on fracking »
Sunday
Dec222013

The professionals

The Telegraph has a good story this morning, looking at some of the protestors who have been arrested as part of the protests against fracking in Salford. They are very much in the professional protestor mould rather than concerned locals.

The Telegraph can reveal that the leading campaigners against “fracking” in the North West have no connection to the area.

An investigation has found that many of the group’s members are in fact veteran protesters who live hundreds of miles away, with one previously involved in demonstrations as far afield as Turkey and Gaza in support of Palestinian rights.

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Reader Comments (34)

Protesting seems to have become the new trainspotting, but with a couple of differences. One is that there is a more even balance between the sexes. The other is that trainspotters have a perfectly harmless hobby and they actually do some good in raising awareness of an important part of our industrial heritage whereas although the protestors may occasionally adopt a good cause, they get just as much satisfaction, if not more, in causing as much trouble as possible.

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

The powers that be should reintroduce kettling!

I just wonder about these professional protestors backgrounds? Do you think a lot of them will be University educated labour voting scum who have never held a real job outside of government sponsored activist organisations?

Mailman

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Well, it gets them out in the fresh air, as mother would say.

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterivor ward

It is a pity the majority of the MSM turn a blind eye to this aspect of modern environmentalism. If the public was exposed to the truth of the situation the leverage currently enjoyed by the greens would reduce significantly. It is amazing what you can get away with when the majority is kept uninformed.

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Query ?

"Activists blocked the entrance to the shale gas test drilling site with a 56ft wind turbine blade"

How does that happen ?

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

The Telegraph also reveals the European Union funding £90m green lobbying con.

The European Union is paying green campaign groups millions of pounds effectively to lobby itself.

Activists are being given the grants from a European Commission environmental fund, which enables a network of green groups to influence and promote EU policy.

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

OT:
In context, there's an extraordinary piece in the Xmas Private Eye. "Old Sparky" tears into the Government for not addressing the impending "lights going out" crisis (and Labour for scaring off possible investors with their proposed cap on fuel bills) .

Sparky bemoans the closure of power stations without sufficient replacements, or even starting building them. He/she even bemoans the lack of nuclear and the governments mishandling of EDF. Sparky also describes gas-fired power plants as the "only type which can be built to order for keeping the lights on reliably" in the shortish term.

Sparky even criticises the government for there being no shale gas wells completed! This after the Eye's fortnightly stream of hate for all things fracking ever since it became an issue in the UK. Some issues have contained multiple Cuadrilla-bashing articles

Given that editor Ian Hislop gets his energy twaddle from a mind (sic) meld with Monbiot it's not surprising that Old Sparky doesn't highlight an obsession with windmills, solar and assorted green crap as a major reason for the crisis but it's difficult not to draw that conclusion for anyone with the slightest interest - not least because Sparky glaringly doesn't list anything green as contributing to a solution.

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Phillip Bratby
Boston Tea Party 2
Throw some of the protesters into the Manchester Ship Canal and go round chanting "No protest funding without representation". It would fit in with The Bishop's original purpose for the blog and his Bill Of Rights which does appear to be on this version of the blog, referenced here though

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Well, it gets them out in the fresh air, as mother would say.
In Greater Manchester?

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Financed by Lush Cosmetics .

So can we get to see Lush published accounts and find out how much they are paying these anarchists

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Scaremongering brought to you by Lush Cosmetics;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYniYtJEeeI

Tamsin Omond, head of global campaigns at Lush Cosmetics, comments on the campaign:“When we inform our customers that fracking and unconventional gas extraction is coming to the UK and Ireland they freak out. The idea that politicians are risking our water supply and our air quality so that energy companies can drill deep beneath our land goes against all common sense. This campaign will educate tens of thousands of people about the threat of fracking to their communities. With the success of community-led activism in France, Bulgaria, Australia, the United States and all around the world, I have no doubt that we will keep the frackers from our land.”

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I posted this on a thread before, but Greenpeace came round me house once trying to get me to contribute money to a fund to lobby the EU not to let Volkswagen get its "way" with carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently Volkswagen were opposed to having stringent limits on emissions.

They were two very nice girls, a bit devoted to the cause. They lost me when they said that Volkswagen produced "dirty polluting engines".

I wonder how much of that fund would be redirected into protesting like this? And would anyone who contributed to the fund believing that yes we should limit emissions feel about the possibility that it actually was used against fracking?

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterMicky H Corbett

The use Restraining orders against Football Hooligans

So why not use Asbos against know agitators.

They're going there with the intention to commit Violence and a Breach of the Peace.

Dec 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I trust the DWP are making sure that we aren't paying them Jobseekers Allowance; they plainly aren't available for, or seeking, work.

Dec 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I think the answer is to close down all prospecting for hydrocarbons in the UK from Dec 20 to around Jan 14.
That just about covers the Christmas Vacation.
Repeat for most of April.
In between get as many sites operating as possible. Confuse the idiots.

PS I think Tamsin Omond has misunderstood. I think the problem is that in the context of

When we inform our customers that fracking and unconventional gas extraction is coming to the UK and Ireland they freak out.
her customers misheard the word 'fracking'. In which case I'm not surprised the poor wee souls freaked out.

Dec 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

That is Tamsin Omond (Lush) and total activist then?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamsin_Omond

Dec 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Professionals, BH??

That implies they work at it for a living.

I prefer "Vagabonds"

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

"So can we get to see Lush published accounts and find out how much they are paying these anarchists"

Around £20,000 for Balcombe;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10219701/High-Street-store-Lush-is-main-financial-backer-of-Frack-Off.html

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

artwest:

I quoted that Private Eye column in full at 5:01 PM on Friday. Here it is again:

With mid-winter upon us and the nights growing colder, the increasingly alarming pronouncements about the difficulty of keeping the lights on prompt Old Sparky to review progress in 2013 towards securing the nation’s electricity supply.

• Capacity of power stations closed: 6 gigawatts (about 9 percent of total capacity)
• Newly completed replacement capacity: less than 4GW
• Safety margin of supply over peak demand: 6 percent and falling (20 percent is generally regarded as comfortable)
• Number of shale gas wells completed: nil
• Number of new gas, coal or oil-fired power stations starting construction: nil
• Number of new nuclear power stations starting construction: nil

Yes, for the sixth consecutive year since French firm EDF came to the UK promising to build four new nukes here, it has failed to make an unconditional commitment to build any, despite the government’s ever more frantic efforts to throw money at the firm.

Full-scale gas-fired power plants – the only type that can be built to order for keeping the lights on reliably – take around three years to build, so the coalition’s excuses for this situation will run out next year. Ed Miliband’s “energy price freeze” has had the predicted effect of scaring off investors: the National Grid has announced a reduction in the amount of new grid connections being sought by would-be new power plant developers.

A dismal year: and since we know what new power stations will be completed before the next election (i.e. not enough), we can say with a high degree of certainty that the safety margin will get even worse. It will fall below 5 percent next year and below 4% in 2015.

Politicians of all parties are pretending this can be fixed without energy prices going through the roof. It would be a comforting thought at Christmas – if only it were true.

‘Old Sparky’

It's not the first time that Old Sparky has taken this line - although this is probably his strongest so far. It's at least encouraging that Ian Hislop allows it.

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

The anti-frackers claim the use of 'chemicals' in fracking fluid could contaminate ground-water. Lush list their use in cosmetics as 'ingredients'. Alphabetically from their website;

"Acrylates
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane
Calcium Sodium Borosilicate
Dicalcium Phosphate
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
Fresh Sea Water (contains sodium, combined as the chloride, calcium, magnesium and potassium; oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are dissolved gases.)
Glycol Cetearate
Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde
Isoeugenol
....."

Dec 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

I expect it will be Baroness Omond soon.

Dec 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

ssat
You have to remember that these ingredients are being sold in products made by an ethical company whose main concern is the safety of its customers and has no interest in profits. Therefore nothing they use could possibly be detrimental to their customers health well-being and safety.</sarc>

Dec 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Lush, of course, are the ones who bankrolled Plane Stupid and paid the legal fees of activists who disrupted the travel plans of ordinary folks flying out of Stansted in 2008, but have a large store bang in the middle of Orlando Airport ("Nothing makes travel easier than a visit to Lush before you fly!"), and this year, apparently, took their managers on a short-haul flight to Amsterdam for the annual Xmas do (I wonder whether the Head of Global Campaigns attended).

Dec 22, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Further to my last comment, the blog I linked to has some other rather interesting posts related to Lush Cosmetics, the latest being this one, which is about a Lush customer (one of how many?) who signed up to receive emails from Lush retail but also found she had, without her knowledge, signed up to Viv Westwood's "Climate Revolution".

Dec 22, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Anyone planning onshore drilling in the UK now will be factoring roadblocks by "protestors" into the equation.

Not just in terms of the costs of delays, but in having Plans A. B & C for alternative activities that can be carried out if access to the rig is blocked.

It will almost certainly be the case that equipment will be brought into the rig sooner and in greater bulk than normally in order to have stuff onsite so that work can carry on even when the road has been blocked.

There's only so much you can do, and it will be expensive for rental equipment in particular, and just plain inefficient for everything else.

But the point is that operators will adapt faster and more efficiently than those trying stop them, and they will have the law, and increasingly, the communities, on their side. Drillers who have worked in say, Nigeria and Bangladesh, where strikes and roadblocks are common, will not be fazed by a few confused crusties in Lancashire.

Dec 22, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Ex Expat Colin
That's went through my mind as well.
Which wind turbine company kindly donated a turbine blade to these protestors, or did they just "borrow" it?? Who paid for the equipment to transport it? If they are arrested as I trust they will be, who pays for getting it back to where it belongs- the taxpayer?

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Messenger,

Weren't they making the point that wind turbine blades are useful for *something* after all?

Dec 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

To Mike Jackson (Dec 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM)
Are you suggesting that the air in Greater Manchester is not all that pure? At one time the air in the Barton Moss area may have carried certain aromas. An aerial view of Barton Moss shows that it is on the North bank of the Manchester Ship Canal and a few hundred metres west of the M60. On the South Bank is the Davyhulme sewage works, one of the largest in Europe. Within a few hundred metres there are two Golf Courses and some houses, so the current aroma cannot be that strong.

There is another aspect of the protests that is of interest. On 16th December BBC Manchester reported that

Anti-fracking protesters have blockaded a shale gas test drilling site with a 17m (56 ft) wind turbine blade.

I am sure that the locals would like to know that the protestors are not only trying to prevent the creation of local jobs. They also prefer a technology that will generate electricity at up to four times the cost of gas.

Dec 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I note from the Telegraph article that, of the five people arrested recently for obstructing the highway, ONE was from the area (well - sort of)...

Dec 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Messenger said:

Which wind turbine company kindly donated a turbine blade to these protestors, or did they just "borrow" it?? Who paid for the equipment to transport it? If they are arrested as I trust they will be, who pays for getting it back to where it belongs- the taxpayer?

The turbine blade woz a fake! The BBC article Kevin Marshall links to says "The blade was used in a demo last year in the Tate Modern Gallery Turbine Hall in London."

You can see it being deployed at the gallery apparently without permission here.

Dec 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

"They are very much in the professional protestor mould rather than concerned locals."

The converse is also true: near where I live, various parties want to erect dozens of useless windmills in the usual way.

Turns out all the people who will benefit are London bankers and foreign corporations - apart from a few farmers who have £££ in their eyes and are imagining retirement in the Bahamas.

Dec 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

ha ha, looking up the "Liberate Tate" site, they say:

Through your relationship with sponsor BP, Tate is forcing climate-conscious gallery goers into an uncomfortable position of complicity with the oil company, one of the most environment-destroying corporations on the planet

How did they think the fake blade got made and transported?

What powered the buses, trains, taxis, cars, lights, web servers etc used to facilitate this protest?
Presumably that's a more comfortable position of complicity.

The only thing "climate conscious" about gallery-goers is that it's a lot warmer for them inside the gallery in winter than outside, and cooler in summer.

Dec 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

I feel I must apologize, I bought some lush products as a xmas gift for my aunt, totally ignorant of their objections to fracking.I didn't hang around in the store couldn't stand the flaming stench of the products nor the complete lack of interest of their oh so right on staff, now I know never again.Once again apologies.

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermarcmarc

I feel I must apologize, I bought some lush products as a xmas gift for my aunt, totally ignorant of their objections to fracking.I didn't hang around in the store couldn't stand the flaming stench of the products nor the complete lack of interest of their oh so right on staff, now I know never again.Once again apologies.

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermarcmarc

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