His pitch, on behalf of Banks Mining, a firm close to climate change denier supreme Matt Ridley, was duly made. Very few people were interested. But Banks Mining were not downhearted: they can now count on someone with a much larger megaphone to put their case, as today’s Daily Mail has shown. Their latest supporter is Dominic Lawson.
And he shows how to shill for coal properly, following the headline “What has 'builder' Boris got against the miners of Northumberland?” with “the Prime Minister declared his commitment to end unwarranted delays in the decision-making process, so as to make sure the planning system delivers the infrastructure and employment we all want … Yet the Conservative Government has been deliberately obstructing a project that would safeguard hundreds of jobs in one of the most depressed areas of the North of England”.
The scheme was “put before Northumberland County Council in 2015 and approved by both Conservative and Labour elected officials”. So what’s stopping it, Dom? “The reason behind the Government’s obstruction and ill-will is that it likes to portray itself as the ‘world leader’ in the ‘battle against climate change’: and coal, of all forms of mass energy production, produces the greatest amount of CO2 emissions”. Boo Greenies!
Then comes the blatant propagandising. “Last week, a national opinion poll by Kantar (commissioned by Banks Mining) showed that no fewer than 87 per cent of Britons believed we should still produce steel, cement and bricks in the UK (all of which require coal in their manufacture) … And asked what they thought should be the Government’s ‘highest priority’, only 6 per cent ticked the box which said ‘reducing CO2 emissions’”.
Finally there is a message for Lawson’s fellow Dom: “I am sure the PM’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, understands this very well. He is a Durham man - and Banks Mining is headquartered in County Durham”. The article should have been marked Advertorial.
If at first you don’t succeed, get a real propagandist. I’ll just leave that one there.