Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« A new look at the carbon dioxide budget | Main | Le whirling dervish »

Cuadrilla's PR fail

As expected, the greens are trying to use physical coercion to prevent Cuadrilla going ahead with their test drilling at Balcombe. Over the weekend Sussex police reported that a number of people had been charged arrested, most of them subsequently charged with one offence or another.

Ezra Lynch, 31, a circus employee; Samantha Duncan, 29, of Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton, and Marcin Swiercz, 35, a handyman from London, have been charged They will appear before Crawley Magistrates on 14 August along with Mark Mansbridge, 51, a voluntary charity worker, of Paddock Road, Lewes; Nancy Walker, 25, of Over Street, Brighton; Richard Millar, 29, of Upper Gloucester Road, Brighton; Frances Crack, 31, a teacher, of Taffs Well, Cardiff, and Justin Preece, of Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan.

Although this is not the full list, it is representative: none of those charged appears to have been from Balcombe itself. In fact the Sun reports the chairman of the parish council as saying that he didn't recognise many local people among the protestors at all.

It's fair to say then that the attempts to use physical force are the work of "usual suspects" - not that that evidence of the kind I have just outlined will weigh on people like Louise Gray of the Telegraph, who tweets that "You can't put a good middle class protest down".

As Nick Grealy is at pains to point out, Cuadrilla are aiming to extract oil rather than gas from the site, so the protests are a bit cockeyed. But there is little doubt that the greens see Balcombe as absolutely pivotal and their media campaign, aided by their integrity-challenged supporters in the MSM, is gearing up.

Meanwhile, Cuadrilla's Twitter feed has been silent since the protests began. You can't help feeling that the company is simply not geared up for this kind of a fight.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (100)

I'm afraid that Cuadrilla must get their act together ASAP. The tree huggers will be out in force where ever the company tries to work. Furthermore, government needs to better educate the people on this matter.

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

"You can't help feeling that the company is simply not geared up for this kind of a fight."

Possibly they have not been paying their subs to the well-funded well-organised sceptic opposition.

Seriously though, they are going to need to get into the game and expose the astroturf nature of the opposition.

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

...a number of people had been charged, most of them subsequently charged with one offence or another....

..should probably read:

"...a number of people had been arrested, most of them subsequently charged with one offence or another.
[Thanks, corrected 3.15pm. BH]

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

"A circus employee"

A non governmental circus employee, one presumes.

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

It looks like it is very easy to mobilise the useful idiots, and the dumbed-down education system has produced plenty of them.

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Didn't they recently hire a specialist PR guy?

Jul 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

Green party leader Natalie Bennet tweeted this morning she's on her way to Balcombe. She has an ill informed emotive and inflmmatory post up on Huffpo

I filmed her making a fool of herself on energy policy at a protest in London earlier this year, if you want a 2 minute laugh

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

Sky News were running commentary from the site all day Saturday. It was apparent then that the 80-90% support of the local community quoted by various people for the demonstration was not visible. Sky probably thought that it would be a big environmental story, egged on by Greenpeace no doubt, but with Cuadrilla not responding the emphasis turned to excessive police presence and government steam rolling of locals concerns. Typical anti-establishment protest by the normal crowd that will be long forgotten by the end of the week.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Although it's not directly linked to this story I had occasion to interview candidates for a job position last week. The initial selection of interview candidates was done by an agency. One of the candidates had actually described her occupation as an "activist". At first, I thought it must have been a case of unfortunate terminology in the description of her previous position over the previous three years.

Unfortunately not. Her 'occupation' had actually consisted of largely moving from one protest site to the next, interspersed with voluntary work for Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Needless to say another candidate was more qualified and was offered the position, but later that day I sacked the agency who conducted the initial selection. It was clear from my brief conversation with their representative that she saw nothing untoward with activism appearing on an application form as a job description. Out of curiosity I asked what field her own qualifications were gained in. Environmental studies.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

It has always been easy to mobilise the useful idiots. Remember who coined the phrase!
There should be no surprise about this at all.
Geoffrey Lean was reporting on protests at Balcombe a month ago.
(Note the photograph — placards courtesy of the same designer/printer that does Socialist Worker stuff and why are they wearing gas masks?)
FoE spokesman (I can't find the quote unfortunately) has already said they will use whatever legal means necessary to stop fracking — delay, appeals, judicial review — and there is no doubt in anyone's mind that they will be quite happy at least to see illegal methods used if it helps.
It is up to the government to take what action is necessary, draconian if need be, to ensure that UK energy supplies are protected and developed. If this requires legislation to limit the rights of protest by making it illegal actively to interfere with lawful activity associated with an essential national service (or some such phraseology) then so be it.
No, I don't like the idea, but it is virtually impossible to win an argument with environmentalists (especially the hard-left ones) because they start with a totally different set of assumptions from the rest of us.
The UK is sitting on potentially several hundred years of cheap energy. It would be insane not to develop it, or at least discover if it can be profitably exploited.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

soap dodgers.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

Matt Lambert

Director of Government and Public Affairs

Matt has some 25 years’ experience in public affairs and government relations working for or advising major companies on their corporate affairs programmes. Matt spent 12 years at Microsoft in several roles including Director of Corporate Affairs, Microsoft UK and Director of Government Affairs for Microsoft, Europe Middle East and Africa. Matt is a former global Director of Public Affairs at Betfair plc, and has also been Managing Director of two of the leading government affairs consultancies in Brussels, European Public Policy Advisers and Grayling European Strategy where he advised companies like BT and Mars.

He began his career as a research assistant in the House of Commons and was educated at the University of Essex where he studied Government.

Matt was voted ‘In House Professional of the Year’ by readers of Public Affairs News in 2005. Matt served for over ten years on the UK Government’s advisory boards on child internet safety and has also advised the government on ICT policy. He has led a number of ground-breaking corporate social responsibility projects including Microsoft’s ‘Britain Works’ programme which helped hundreds of thousands of people improve their job prospects through IT skills training. Matt is a former Trustee of the charity AbilityNet and a Fellow of the RSA.

Wakey wakey, Matt

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page


but aren't you an anti-wind farm protestor?

How do the 97% (confirmed by intense research) who pay no interest to the energy debate, differentiate your protest from the fracking protest? Particularly given the disproportionate and biased coverage by the MSM.

I doubt it will be the science or economics that convince people, it will be the PR and pictures of taps with flames coming out of them, no matter how many times that is shown to be hyped.

In the good old days we used to point and laugh at Swampy and his ilk. Now they seem to have put on suits and are deciding policy.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Registered CommenterSimonW

Re: Lord Beaverbrook

Sky News were running commentary from the site all day Saturday.

Sky and WWF have a partnership that runs until 2015. I don't know how much Sky gets out of it, but WWF spends about £15 million per year on generating funds. Nearly all of that (£13M) is on generating membership and donations from individuals - something which they advertise heavily on Sky.

You can decide for yourself if Sky's dealing with WWF influences its news output.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Perhaps Cuadrilla should offer free coach trips for any Balcombe resident (who wish to) to Dorset to see the practically invisible oil wells in and around Poole Harbour, none of which have any impact on residents or visitors or landscape or the air itself (or any impacts are vanishingly small). However, by all accounts, few Balcombe residents are bothered by the small local drilling intended, so maybe there wouldn't be many takers.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartinW

Unrelated I know but on Saturday I was dragged by the missus to a friends house warming. Said friend has taken a new charity management job up in MK. Met a nice chap who was introduced as being a politcal junkie etc. Treading carefully I talked world politics with him and despite him being more socialist than me he was fairly measured and reasonable. Then he announced that he "lies awake at night worrying about climate change". So rather than upset the wife by being "mean" to the nice chap I prodded about his knowledge. It amounted to nothing. He hadn't heard of climate sensitivity. He hadn't heard of base load. He hadn't heard of STOR. He had no idea that you couldn't have 100% renewables without backup. He had no idea that you could increase food production by a third by removing biofuels. Just nothing there but a fear he obviously wanted to cling onto. His best shot was to ask me if it wouldnt be a wonderful thing if I could have a banner that hung outside my house that generated all the electricity I needed from the sun?

He left - visibly upset. I was told off by the wife for being nasty to the nice man. All very strange.

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterduncan

Mike Jackson on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM
"If this requires legislation to limit the rights of protest by making it illegal actively to interfere with lawful activity associated with an essential national service (or some such phraseology) then so be it."

Why does it have to associated with an essential national service?

Just make it illegal to interfere with lawful activity, where interfere means meddling, intervening or hampering.

This shouldn't stop protest.

It should just stop the interference, if Cameron doesn't change the meaning of yet another word!

Jul 29, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

"Circus worker" and "handyman" look very like jobs that have no official existence on paper and may be false. The others named are a fakecharity employee and a state employee, ie government funded. As you say no locals.

It strikes me that the Riot Act makes the police responsible for costs incurred due to their failure to keep order. For Caudrilla to sue them would doubtless raise hackles but there is a time for enforcement of the law however politically uncomfortable.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

How did all those activists make their way to the protest site? I do hope no fossil fuels were involved.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Balcombe didn't seem a very sensible choice for this trial. The people who live there are - if I may generalise - decent, civic minded souls, with pride in their community, who could be understandably more upset than most by the sort of scaremongering that greens go in for.

I am intrigued by which way the Daily Mail is going to jump on this issue. It seems to me that they are hedging their bets at the moment. Of course, a responsible paper would look at the evidence and expert opinion, but the DM is likely to follow whoever gains the most publicity. See for instance their campaign against GM foods. I saw the other day they referred to the Gaslands film without pointing out that it was a disgraceful fraud. That is not encouraging.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Not a surprise that many protesters come from that hotbed of socialist greenery, Brighton.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Robert Christopher
Probably I'm too much of a libertarian (or student of human nature) to worry about minor breaches of the law that have only marginal effect on the rest of the population.
I find something distasteful in the ability of eco-protestors to distort the facts or even tell outright lies and use this abuse of the truth to justify illegal actions against activities which are not simply legal but impinge directly on the possible well-being of the entire population.
I see a difference in that one of government's primary functions is the protection of its people and since in a modern society affordable energy is an essential this sort of illegal activity strikes directly at that function.
It might be a slightly arcane argument but that's how I feel about it!

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Cuadrilla may have made a mistake in choosing a site within cycling distance of Brighton and its exceptional reserves of underemployed environmental "activists".

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

This is straightforward drilling for oil without fracking.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commentersam

Brits should run ads using corpses of frozen women, children and babies along with the message of "Your Green future. Nutters all. And for what? A political agenda and money for their cronies". You get the drift.

It's just politics of emotion. Quit arguing facts.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Mike Jackson at Jul 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

It is up to the government to take what action is necessary, draconian if need be, to ensure that UK energy supplies are protected and developed. If this requires legislation to limit the rights of protest by making it illegal actively to interfere with lawful activity associated with an essential national service (or some such phraseology) then so be it.

Steady on, now.
I’m all for fracking. Getting gas out of my local Cotswolds would be far preferable to having them littered with giant windmills.
But I won’t go this far.

Cheap gas (or in this case oil) is not cheap if it costs us our liberties. We have the right to move people off public highways. Those rights have just been exercised. Why start making more restrictions to rights to assemble, protest and free speech?

Let’s not start making particular laws for particular causes to stop particular people.
We all know that we will be a special cause one day.

Jul 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

"Ezra Lynch, 31, a circus employee"

Could that be the John le Carre, Circus?

Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

I passed through Balcombe village on the day of the protest having been diverted by a "Road Closed" sign put up by the police. When I stopped in the village to ask why the road was closed a local resident said " Oh there are a few people protesting" in a rather dismissive tone.

Jul 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

'"Ezra Lynch, 31, a circus employee"

Could that be the John le Carre, Circus?'

Lamplighter or scalphunter?

Jul 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Does no-one else disagree with our host's take on Cuadrilla's silence? Emitting nothing seemed to me exactly the right reaction. I do not assume thoughtlessness on their part.

Jul 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

"It's just politics of emotion. Quit arguing facts.

Jul 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM cedarhill"

Exactly, I wonder why there is only the two of us that understands this?

Jul 29, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

What a depressing list of no-hopers. One can only hope that the "teacher" is not actually employed-
like the rest of the "Government Artists"* present at this protest.

*Drawing the Dole.

Jul 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller


Desperate pleas for people to turn up.

Sunday 80 people turning out
About 30 people stayed at the camp overnight
Total 200 were on the demo then went home

Social media supporters failed to turn up.

Frack Off followers on twitter 4,693
Frack Off (UK) on facebook 4,632
No Dash for Gas followers on twitter 2,909
No Dash for Gas on facebook 4,770

A selection of activist emails - see desperate pleas for people to turn up.

From: The Great Gas Gala!
Date: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 9:23 PM
Subject: Call Out: Community Fracking Blockade Keeping Up Pressure In Balcombe

“Coming from Brighton? Jump on the FREE Frack Off bus at 9am tomorrow (Sun)morning at Old Steine bus stop (near RBS).”

“People are encouraged to come down whenever they can, to support the residents of Balcombe, and fight to keep fracking out of Sussex.”

From: The Great Gas Gala!
Date: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Subject: Urgent Callout For Tomorrow: Help Stop Fracking In Sussex!

Event: The Great Gas Gala! - Day 5
Location: Lower Stumble, Balcombe, West Sussex
Date: Mon 28th
Time: As early as you can make it

“...Tomorrow is Day 5 of the community blockade and Cuadrilla will be attempting to bring more drilling equipment into the site. Large numbers of people are essential to prevent them from doing so.”

“Please come down and support the people of Balcombe, either tonight and stay over, or tomorrow morning as early as you can...”

“People are needed both tonight and first thing tomorrow. If you haven’t
made it down, now is your chance! ... Day 4 of the Great Gas Gala was a super-chilled Sunday with more than 80 people turning out for delicious food and sunshine.”

This looks like Green activism fatigue has set in. Green is dead.

Jul 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

Fay - Indeed.

especially as its the Summer Holidays and all those students are available...

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

When this story first broke on Friday I sent the following to the Daily Mail.

Introduce something that will benefit the country at large and someone will rail against it. So it is with the Eco-warriors who are causing trouble in Balcombe, West Sussex in their opposition to fracking for shale gas.

In time-honoured fashion they make wild predictions about the multitude of perceived dangers using fatuous nonsense to make their case. Take, for instance, the earth tremors in Lancashire co-incidental to the exploratory drilling by Cuadrilla. Note my use of the word ‘co-incidental’ since there is absolutely no empirical evidence that the drilling was in any way responsible for the tremors! In any event those were no more intensive tremors than have been occurring due to coal mining operations over hundreds of years and no-one seems alarmed by them.

Next, contamination of the water table. Drilling of the well is the only time at which the water table may be disturbed and, at this stage no toxic chemicals are used. Once the drill has passed steel casings are inserted to a depth of 1,000 to 3,000 feet, and the space between the casing and the drilled hole is filled with concrete to stabilize the well and prevent any leakage. This process is repeated until the reservoir is reached, usually a distance of 6,000 to 10,000 feet. Thus the borehole is completely isolated from the water table. Typical hydraulic fracturing mixture is 95 percent water, 4.5 percent sand and 0.5 percent chemical additives.

Then the fear about pollution from the flare stack burning-off unwanted gases. The process of combustion of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide and water vapour – nothing more, nothing less! Despite its bad press at the hands of the Eco-warriors carbon dioxide is absolutely essential to life on this planet.

Up to 90% of shale gas is methane, which we have known as Natural Gas for 50 years since it was first discovered beneath the North Sea. The rest, which is burned-off at the flare stack, comprises other fossil gases such as propane, ethane and butane plus traces of naturally-occurring atmospheric trace gases such as helium and argon. On the basis of this evidence it is a complete mystery where Professor Lawrence Dunne sourced the evidence to support his assertion of a ‘… poisonous flare that will emit toxic fumes …’ yet another example of the scare tactics much used by the Eco warriors.

I am old enough to remember the Natural gas Revolution of the 1960’s since I was working for the Gas Board (as they were known then) and I recall the hype and hysteria by the equivalent of the Greens. They were confidently predicting that the North Sea would be drained when the sea bed collapsed! They were treated as naïve troublemakers then and their modern counterparts should be regarded in the same way and their wacky pronouncements ignored.
Hoping it will be published.

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

M Courtney
Let's think about this.

Cheap gas (or in this case oil) is not cheap if it costs us our liberties.
Whose liberties?
One way or another the people of Britain have chosen how they wish to live their lives. Perhaps not directly but by their behaviour, beliefs and decisions over time they have chosen to be a broadly libertarian, democratic, civilised, industrialised, urbanised society.
You can nitpick a little round the edges if you wish but I would claim that is a not unfair summation.
Certain things follow.
Freedom of association, freedom of expression, general tolerance of differing views ... add your own to the list.
But underpinning all this are the essentials of a modern civilised society: quality of life which requires affordable food, energy, and health care, clean water and efficient sewage disposal, good transport links, and a range of other equally important (depending on who you are) facilities such as sports, arts, cinema, and so on.
Key to all these is affordable, reliable energy supplies and Britain is sitting on what is probably (per capita) the biggest reserves of energy in the world. I include the coal reserves in that, by the way.
So where do the rights and liberties lie?
With those who want an omelette and know that some breaking of eggs is necessary?
With those who want an omelette but only as long as somebody else's eggs get broken?
With those who don't want us to have the omelette?
Remember that the first group encompasses the overwhelming majority; the second group are open to persuasion and may well be entitled to a reasonable recompense for the damage to their eggs.
The third group were well described by Pointman in this posting especially when he said:
There’s a line of dialogue in the original Terminator movie, where Kyle Reese is trying to get Sarah Connor to get her head right about what she’s up against. It’s very appropriate when dealing with a dedicated climate activist.
“Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”
That’s all you need to know about them, and after that, the only thing remaining is to figure out is how to beat them.

I will care about their "liberties" when they start to care about anyone else's. Which will not be anytime soon.

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Cuadrilla’s forthcoming activity at Balcombe is for exploratory drilling only, and will not include hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracing.’"

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet


Does no-one else disagree with our host's take on Cuadrilla's silence? Emitting nothing seemed to me exactly the right reaction. I do not assume thoughtlessness on their part.


Yes. Why should they go to a lot of effort on this when the antis are being shown up as rentamob protestors, the usual suspects, not from the area and not people the population in general have a lot of sympathy for?

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

This is aimed at students but it fits the eco-warriors!

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRC Saumarez

Mike Jackson at Jul 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM
We aren’t as far apart you may think.
Cheap energy is the basis of our modern civilisation.
The externalities from burning fossil fuels have undoubtedly been net positive since the Industrial Revolution.
I also include our coal reserves as an exploitable asset too.

But I think we will have to agree to disagree on this:

I will care about their "liberties" when they start to care about anyone else's. Which will not be anytime soon.

We can’t pick whether someone else is worthy of having rights. Rights are like freedom of speech – only a freedom if defended when you don’t like it.

And these people are not inhuman killing machines. They are just wrong. Even people we don’t like have these rights. There is no need to demonise them.
Mock them, sure, but don’t claim they are inhuman.

If they break the law (blocking roads) then they can be arrested. And look, they were arrested.

But changing laws to catch them out is no way to run a democracy

Jul 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Rent-a-mob, the flotsam and jetsam of the 'alternative lifestyle' some no doubt funded on the sly by FoE or one of the others, who are in turn funded by the taxpayer in myriad and arcane methods - usually tax breaks for 'charitable' status and via our money recycled thru' the EU.

It's a farce.

It's a merry-go-round charade, a bit similar to the Parliamentary CCC complaining to the energy companies about rising consumer bills, while another arm of HMG orders the energy companies to increase consumer charges to pay for; the carbon floor price,the EU's emissions trading system, the renewals obligation, feed in tariffs and the rest.


Meanwhile, the world isn't ending due to mankind's CO2 input and indeed - the world has stopped naturally warming......................................... and wholesale gas prices are not rising - despite what the liars in the DECC will tell you.

Balcombe hates green fascists and HMG hates you all and plays us all like the captive serfs that we are.

LibLabCon, is our problem.

Jul 29, 2013 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

""I recall the hype and hysteria by the equivalent of the Greens. They were confidently predicting that the North Sea would be drained when the sea bed collapsed!"

Do you have any links for that? Be very interested to read more.

Jul 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I blame the Guardian for the emotion driven environmentalism. Most of all I blame that nasty little yob, George Monbiot with his inflammatory 'denier' and 'astroturfer' insults.

Is Monbiot an eco fascist as Delingpole says ? Yes he is .

Jul 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoratio Himmler

I told you so.

This is not the US.

Even a small protest has considerable political impact.

How about gathering your troops for a counter demonstration in support of Cuadrilla?

Jul 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

M Courtney
Sorry, but changing laws to catch them out is precisely the way to run a democracy. If the people don't like your new laws they will soon tell you at the ballot box.
When a small, vocal, politically motivated minority sets out to threaten the well-being of the people then it is the function of government to prevent that happening. If that minority is not susceptible to reason then other means need to be found to deal with the situation.
It's not a question of defending freedoms only when you don't disagree with them. I will defend freedom of speech but not the freedom to preach sedition. I will defend freedom of assembly but not once it reaches a point where people are prevented from going about their lawful business.
The activists' philosophy is essentially "the end justifies the means" and action based on that pernicious argument I am never going to defend. It is a major step on the road to the destruction of civilised society.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

What did you tell us?

> How about gathering your troops for a counter demonstration in support of Cuadrilla?

First of all I don't consider myself to be anybodies "troops".

Secondly, I have a living to make and people I need to take care of. This precludes me being able to take a near 500 mile round trip to make a counter protest.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

I'm with jferguson on Cuadrilla saying nothing and with M Courtney on our legislators adding nothing. And I think Fay Tuncay is close to the mark here:

This looks like Green activism fatigue has set in. Green is dead.

The Daily Mail is likely to be more troublesome then the disappointing Balcombe rentamob, as the DM caters for the special interests and fears of its reader base in search of yet more eyeballs and advertising revenue (and it seems to be streets ahead of other existing newspaper brands on both sides of the Atlantic online, which is far more important for its future than dead tree versions). Mike Fowle is right to warn about that. But nobody can say they haven't given David Rose and James Delingpole a good crack at the op-ed and special report level. And the Sun has been providing welcome competition on this of late.

I'd like there to be more than Cuadrilla pushing forward with UK exploitation of shale and no doubt George Osborne feels the same way. But to get to that stage can we overcome our irrational fears as a nation? That isn't so easy to answer, either though economics or history. Bigger even than the scary men with red noses and big shoes, within DECC and without. (Thanks Andy Scrase for that image.) Though the insiders and their cosy deals with energy companies, soon to be with competition-destroying contracts for difference, may indeed be closer to Smiley's Circus for all I know.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"I told you so."

Jul 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man
If you knew in advance that a crime or arrestable offence was going to be committed then perhaps you had an obligation to inform the police.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

200 demonstrators. Yawn.
Wouldn't if be funny if it turned out that half of them were undercover police.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Entropic Man,

Even a small protest has considerable political impact.

How about gathering your troops for a counter demonstration in support of Cuadrilla?


But not the impact they imagine it has.

Of course not, for all sorts of reasons, but in particular, never interrupt the enemy when he's making a mistake.

Jul 29, 2013 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>