We read today in that most respectable of journals (!) The Times (London Times that is) that..........
"Protestors against fracking risk worsening the plight of the 5 million households struggling to pay energy bills, Britain's fuel advisor ( Tzar?! ) has warned. Ministers have a 'duty' to promote the extraction of shale gas because of the potential it has to drive down the cost of energy, according to the Chair of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group ( we kid you not ). Derek Lickorish (!) says that 'the voice of the fuel poor has been lost in the current frenzy at Balcombe, Sussex where the energy Company Cudarilla has been targeted by anti-fracking protestors".
The Times then chooses to publish the article beneath a carefully chosen image of hippy/traveller type protestors that the UK public have come to know and love. Well done The Times - let's perpetuate the myth that the only people who have the courage to protest are those with dreadlocks and rings through their noses.
Here is the lead to the article: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article3848589.ece
SEVERAL THINGS occur to us Mr Lickorish.
1. Since when did this government care one fig about the 'energy poor'?
2. For how long might fuel prices be 'driven down' ( love it!) if the best estimates of the realisable, proportion of the massive reserves ( industry estimates that is ) run to months only?
3. Is this promise of fuel price reduction as valid as the one made when UK utilities were first privatised?
4. Cuadrilla have not been 'targeted', it is they who have targeted communities and they and their pals in government who are in a frenzy about the likely 'take'.
5. Ministers have a 'duty' to promote the extraction of shale gas. NO they do not Mr Licorish, they have a duty to invest heavily in renewable sources and not extract/promote yet another fossil fuel - for profit. Come to that, they have a 'duty' to drive down the obscene profits and subsidies awarded to perhaps the most polluting industry on the face of the planet.
6. Perhaps The Times has a 'duty' to illustrate such a biased piece of lobbying propoganda with an image depicting a proper mix of protestors. The protest 'mix' includes all ages and political leanings and properly so - this matter affects us all.
Well done The Times. Mr Murdoch will be proud of you ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times ).