Economic impact, Jobs

“Dear Aunty, is there anything wrong with business advocacy groups like the North West Energy Task Force?”

No, dears. In fact, they’re not uncommon and are really just another demonstration of our democratic traditions.

According to their website at http://www.nwenergy.org.uk the new Task Force appears to be seeking to take control of the economic conversation around shale gas, poppets, and I imagine that’s an attempt to ensure that Lancashire and the wider north west region obtain maximum benefit from a developing shale gas sector.

And why shouldn’t they, sweeties?

Is forming alliances with like-minded groups and individuals the sole right of those opposed to shale gas? Of course not, my loves.

It strikes me that all of the people that are actively engaged in this debate are engaged for what they believe to be the right reasons, pumpkins.

I’m sure that’s true of the people on this new Task Force – business leaders who are quite rightly saying that, if shale gas extraction goes ahead, and provided it does so safely and responsibly, then Lancashire and it’s people and businesses should be ready to take advantage.

I’m just as certain, dears, that if further local exploration work proves in any way problematic or harmful, these same business leaders will no doubt adapt their position and withdraw their support before it can scale up, as would any sensible business person presented with a change in the facts.

Now, before you get excited about the fact that they have openly admitted to having sought funding from Cuadrilla and Centrica, let me remind you that the group calling itself Frack Off – and with whom most of the local opposition groups are somehow affiliated – has received funding from two large corporates: the Cooperative Group and Lush Cosmetics. If it’s quite alright for them to obtain financial support in this way, then I should say it’s quite alright for the new Task Force to do the same.

What is fascinating and noteworthy is the reaction of groups in Lancashire such as Residents Against Fylde Fracking, Defend Lytham, and the individuals involved such as Tina Rothery. Not only have they felt moved to write to a local newspaper to articulate how unhappy they are at the formation of the Task Force, but I see Tina has started to troll many of the Task Force members on Twitter, from what I can see attempting to smear them – I doubt you’ll see the Task Force members sink to these despicable levels.

Sure signs though, dears, that they are worried about the prominent nature of the Task Force and how it is probably now going to seize the agenda on fracking in Lancashire.

Until next time xxx

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