I’m told this gentleman passed certain outrageous comments on the BBC’s Breakfast News today (May 24) – but let’s hand over to Beastrabban, who has the details:
What I found has infuriated a lot of people is the dismissive attitude of the fracking company towards their opponents. I know people, who were deeply offended by the sneering, dismissive attitude of one of the company execs or local councillors, who appeared on the news to defend the decision. When asked about the number of letters written opposing the plan, he waived the question aside with the statement that ‘they were all form letters’, or something similar.
He felt the objections of the thousands of people, who wrote into complain, could be dismissed because of the way they wrote to voice their opposition. Those I spoke to about it felt that this particular character was sneering at his opponents, because many of them were not as articulate or as well-educated as he thought he was.
It’s a nasty, arrogant attitude, which is, in itself, profoundly ignorant. Certainly, many people will have used the form letters, because they may not have, or may feel that they do not have, the ability to put into suitable words their opposition to fracking. That doesn’t mean that they are wrong, or that they don’t have genuine objections and compelling reasons for their opposition to the process. And it ill behoves a person in authority to sneer at those, who haven’t had the same educational advantages or aren’t as intelligent as they believe they are. Whatever a person’s intellectual or educational attainments, they should be treated with the same courtesy as everyone else. This might seem self-evident, but apparently it’s beyond the meagre intelligences of those raised in the Yuppie culture of the 1980s, and the smug, self-satisfied milieu of the rich and middle class.
Also, using a form letter does not mean automatically mean that someone’s stupid. Quite often the people who provide the form letters on the internet petitioning sites and so on are able to put the issue in precisely the right terms, which it’s difficult to improve on. I’ve used some of the form letters, because of this. They can be particularly useful if you’re tired and pressed for time, such as when you’re looking at your email at the end of a long day. Some internet petitions come almost at the last moment, when the government has suddenly moved a controversial or unpopular decision forwards and there is only a few days for the public to voice its opposition or desires. In these situations, I’ve used the form letter because I’ve considered that I really don’t have the time to waste trying to think of my own way of putting things, and just wanted to add my voice to others as quickly as possible so that there are enough people on the petition to make a difference.
The personally sneering attitude of the frackers shows that not only is the process objectionable, so are they. It also shows the absolute contempt they have for ordinary people. They think they’re better than everyone else, and so have a right to sweep them aside in the name of corporate profit. They need to be stopped, and taught some of the manners and proper respect for people that their expensive educations haven’t given them.
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