No stone is left unturned by the climate change denial lobby in its continuing efforts to attack anyone and everyone seeking to highlight the effects of warming on the environment, and for some out there, no stone is left un-fracked. So it was that the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog saw the opportunity to put the boot in on Extinction Rebellion. Again.
The Great Guido has brought forth a post titled “Fracking XR”, where readers not already asleep are told “A reader writes from Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens … ‘I live overlooking the XR camp. They are using Calor gas and ironically our block is so energy efficient we never have the heating on but it is powered by renewables. I am spitting feathers with rage but police actually admitted they don’t know what’s going on’”.
“We never have the heating on BUT it is powered by renewables?” Cobbled together with no reference to grammatical accuracy, much? But the Fawkes folks cannot resist the temptation to leave it there. Instead, there has to be the oh-so-clever payoff line, which, as so often, isn’t. As the headline suggests, “That wouldn’t be fracked gas being used to warm up their lentil soup … would it?” Laugh” I thought I’d never start.
Not only is this cringingly unfunny, it also displays the usual woeful Fawkes ignorance of the world outside their comfortably-remunerated bubble. As the BBC has reported, “Fracking equipment is to be moved off a site in Lancashire where operations have been suspended due to earthquakes, an energy firm has confirmed. The process … was suspended at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site after a 2.9-magnitude tremor in August”.
There is more. “Cuadrilla said no fracking would take place before its permission to do so ends on 30 November … Anti-fracking campaigners Friends of the Earth welcomed the announcement … ‘With no more fracking taking place before planning permission expires, and Cuadrilla yet to apply for an extension, work at this site could soon be at an end’”.
The Observer has done a feature on the “Nanas”, the female protesters at Preston New Road: “Two weeks ago, just a couple of days before the Nanas celebrated 1,000 days of activism at Preston New Road, Cuadrilla announced that it would engage in no further fracking activity on the site before its licence expires at the end of November. The Nanas are now free to enjoy a frack-free Christmas, though they remain on site to make sure”.
Heck, the Murdoch Sunday Times, which one might expect the Fawkes massive to at least notice, has told its readers “Cuadrilla packs up in Preston, and UK fracking bites the dust”. The article goes on to conclude “There are no plans to continue at the Lancashire site, and an imminent energy white paper from the government is set to prioritise renewable energy over fracking”. Yet there is The Great Guido taking about fracked gas.
There is nothing being powered by the UK’s fracked gas right now - because there is no UK fracked gas to power anything. This would stop any responsible journalist trying to connect fracking to Calor Gas, and therefore to XR. But we’re not taking responsible.
And we’re not talking journalism either. Another fine mess, once again.
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