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The Druid Way

Corruption at the highest levels of UK Government?

November 13th, 2014

Fracking has been vigorously promoted in Westminster by those with financial interests in the industry, such as Baron Browne of Madingley, chairman of Cuadrilla and senior government advisor. No surprise then, when we read today:

From the BBC today:

Ministers have “completely oversold” the potential of shale gas, energy experts say.

Researchers from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) told the BBC promises of lower prices and greater energy security from UK shale gas were “hype” and “lacking in evidence”.

UKERC, an academic consortium covering 30 institutions, has produced a report on the future of gas in the UK.

The Treasury said the potential of shale gas was “too big to ignore”.

The report authors said shale gas – a natural gas that can be drawn from rock through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – was so early in its infancy it was impossible to know how much could be extracted and at what cost.
‘Extraordinary’

But they said it was most unlikely to make a substantial difference to prices or to the security of energy supplies in the UK.

Supporters say the fracking of shale gas could significantly contribute to the UK’s future energy needs, but critics say the process could lead to environmental problems.

“It is very frustrating to keep hearing that shale gas is going to solve our energy problems – there’s no evidence for that whatsoever… it’s hype”, Prof Jim Watson, UKERC research director, told BBC News.

“It’s extraordinary that ministers keep making these statements. They clearly want to create a narrative. But we are researchers – we deal in facts, not narratives. And at the moment there is no evidence on how shale gas will develop in the UK.

“Shale gas has been completely oversold. Where ministers got this rhetoric from I have absolutely no idea. [Baron Browne? Ed] It’s very misleading for the public.”

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5 Responses to “Corruption at the highest levels of UK Government?”

    • Glad someone else has noticed this too.

      The proposals for fracking in Scotland are not just ecologically damaging, they are also politically and psychologically damaging too.

      The same can be said of the other proposed fracking sites in the UK, just have a look at where they are http://frack-off.org.uk/locations
      Now, compare that with the voting map of the 2010 elections http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/2432632/UK-General-Election-2010-political-map.html
      It makes for interesting reading.

      However, back to Scotland and fracking.

      The best way to keep Scotland from leaving the UK is to ruin the land and water and keep the population turning on each other rather than standing up to the politicians.
      If this sounds far fetched, then consider the following information:

      70% of Scotland’s population live in the Central Belt i.e. the flattish stretch of land between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Also, almost half of Scottish farming is carried out in the west of the central belt, which is the area nearest Glasgow.
      Glasgow, incidentally, had the highest number of ‘Yes’ votes in the referendum.
      However, fracking would also affect the areas in and around Edinburgh and Fife where the highest house and land prices are, and also where a great deal of Scotland’s wealth is located. Fracking is known to cause earthquakes and destabilise the integrity of the land above it.
      It also pollutes the water table and in turn, affects the ecology and life dependant on that water.

      So. If Westminster and those who finance it get their way, fracking would effectively make a significant part of Scotland a polluted, unhealthy and economically depressed place to live. In effect, it would ‘hobble’ any notions of self governance and keep Scotland dependent on the union.
      However, it also wouldn’t immediately affect the areas of Scotland where two main exports are produced. Whisky production, which is primarily located in the Highlands and Islands is worth £4.3 billion per annum and the oil industry which is located in the North East, Orkney and Shetland is worth £12 billion per annum.

      It also means that Westminster keeps the means of profiting from Scotland whilst keeping the population under control and it also means that it still has a place to keep nuclear weapons, away from them.
      Incidentally, if there was to be a major nuclear incident, the central belt and the west coast in particular, would cease to exist.

      Now, consider where the other proposed fracking sites are in the UK and a similar logic can be applied there too.

      There is also something else to consider: Scotland, the North of England, South Wales, Sussex and Kent are all places of incredible natural beauty. And you have to ask yourself, why do they want to destroy this?

      I have my own thoughts on this, however I wonder what everyone else’s take is on this.

      As an aside, there’s a bit about the referendum that wasn’t widely reported or even understood by the mainstream media in the UK.

      The media didn’t seem to understand: people in Scotland are absolutely passionate about their home and the 85% turn out at the polls reflects this. However, the result did not reflect why people voted the way they voted.
      Not all No voters are unionists and not all Yes voters are for independence. Not all Scots voted Yes, and not all Yes voters were Scottish.

      The political landscape is also different: the MSPs at Holyrood are elected by Proportional Representation, so the composition of the parliament directly reflects how the electorate voted. This means that politicians are accountable for their actions. If they make a promise and don’t keep it, then next election, they are out.
      This is why the SNP has been so successful, they made their promises and kept them.
      If there were the same checks and balances within Westminster,imagine how different the political landscape in the UK would look. And think on whether Westminster would have been able to so easily put through the proposals for fracking.

  1. Fracking is (temporary) BIG BUCKS for a few powerful and greedy folk– the petrochemical energy industry, and through graft, also for a few similarly greed-driven politicians who have been bought. It is clearly destructive of the greater good and longterm health of all on our planet, yet such corruption seems to be everywhere. Certainly it is also in the USA where I live. There are many examples of it contaminating ground water, causing earthquakes, and ruining the homes, land, and lives of many living in it’s vicinity, yet it continues despite vigorous protests and much evidence. Sad.

  2. A similar and troubling scenario being played out in many parts of the U.S., especially in my home state of Colorado. Now, with recent focus on the spate of earthquakes happening with greater frequency in Kansas and Oklahoma, where fracking goes on aggressively, I wonder what we as a civilization, are truly doing to our earth. I feel for the next generation.

  3. I read an article on George Osborne in the Times supplement, wondering if there was any redeeming feature to this chief proponent of fracking but all I learnt was that he ‘hates the countryside’. Say no more.

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