The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Witches' Brew

The greenest government ever has reaffirmed its commitment to localism by allowing the fracking company Cuadrilla to drill at Balcombe in Sussex, despite the objections of residents. Cuadrilla claim that the drilling will be purely exploratory and that no actual fracking will take place; it is true that their last venture of note involved outstaying their planning permission and a degree of concern for the environment worthy of BP or Shell, but that was in Lancashire and the locals were only northerners. In this case, Cuadrilla have promised to discuss their plans with residents and allow visitors onto the site, much as their chums in the Government will sometimes promise a "consultation" to while away the time between making a policy decision and ramming it down the public's throat. Cuadrilla are even "working on a scheme for community benefits" beside which, presumably, the occasional earthquake or bath-time methane geyser will pale into insignificance. So far, nevertheless, the noises from Balcombe residents have not been positive: "This is how they burn witches I guess," blubbered one non-governmental PR spokesbeing after a fractious encounter last year. "I can think of dozens of oil companies who wouldn't put themselves through this in a million years and maybe they have it right." It is certainly disgraceful that innocent oil companies should have to suffer the sort of lynch-mob treatment which enlightened democracies generally reserve for immigrants, the unemployed and other offenders.


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