Not only is fracking objectionable – so are those who do it (via Beastrabban\’s Weblog)

It seems 92 per cent of correspondents with North Yorkshire Council were opposed to fracking, but many objections were dismissed because they were "form letters" [Image: John Giles/PA Wire].

It seems 92 per cent of correspondents with North Yorkshire Council were opposed to fracking, but many objections were dismissed because they were “form letters” [Image: John Giles/PA Wire].

Congratulations to the executive from fracking company Third Energy who opened his mouth and proved he was arrogant and unpleasant when he could have kept quiet and let us merely assume it.

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.

Source: The Sneering Attitude of the Yorkshire Frackers | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


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8 thoughts on “Not only is fracking objectionable – so are those who do it (via Beastrabban\’s Weblog)

  1. Dez

    I guess with this corrupt Government giving them the nod ‘n wink they can act with arrogance. What is not acceptable is the locally elected councillors agreeing with this decision despite such obvious anti-fracking feelings. Councillors are supposed to represent their constituents feelings not bend over backwards to accommodate commercial interests – that is what this Government does and why local decisions were given to the local areas. Frackers obviously done some good lobbying behind the scenes that brain washed the majority of the Councillors such they forgot their purpose in life. Hopefully the electorate will have long enough memories to flush them all back where they belong.

  2. hayfords

    There may be thousands against fracking and some protestors opposed to it but there are also thousands in favour. The council has heard the protests and decided to go ahead. It is democracy. You have the right to be heard but that doesn’t guarantee that you will get what you want.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Is it? Is it democracy? 92 per cent of those expressing an opinion were opposed. Only eight per cent were in favour. That’s nothing like the kind of balance needed to justify what you’re claiming.
      The council heard the protests and decided to go ahead because it is a Conservative-run council, following a Conservative policy dictated by party leaders in Westminster. Local democracy had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision.
      You are correct that people have the right to be heard by their elected representatives, but there is no guarantee they’ll get what they want. That is particularly true in situations where their elected representatives are determined to ignore overwhelming opposition to fracking and go ahead with it anyway, in spite of all the evidence against it.
      Who will suffer as a result, I wonder.

    2. wildswimmerpete

      So 92% against isn’t democracy. But of course your Tory government has a mandate to govern from just 24% of the electorate? What are you smoking? Can I have some?

  3. Phil Lee

    I don’t think the guilty councillors will find it as easy to dismiss the votes cast against them at the next local government election, because the ballot paper was “only a form letter”.
    Still, I bet they have their future positions nicely settled by the business they represented, once the people they refused to represent (despite being elected to do so) exercise their choice and kick them out.
    If the democratic process doesn’t work (as it clearly didn’t here) the only alternative is the business process – make it so expensive to attempt to actually use the permission they have gained that they give up, or go bust trying.
    We know who the company is, so ruin them.

  4. David

    It seems, according to letters in today’s Guardian, that the council’s decision to allow fracking was carelessly taken by councillors who took little interest in the issue. I think there’s a chance that their decision will be overturned. Depends on who has the most expensive lawyer, I suppose.

Comments are closed.