That Lancashire Fracking Victory..oh yes it was


This vague contextualiser hasn’t reported back from the glorious anti fracking victory at Preston as I’ve been parading through the streets of Lancashire on horse back spreading the glad tidings. I’ve considered the possibility of going door to door and collecting £10 in tribute from folk for stopping fracking whilst they were on their arse watching “Corrie” but I’d either get punched in the face or they’d most likely not have the first clue what fracking was.

Fact of the matter is though that 3 weeks ago I was a scaremongering tree hugging agent of Vladimir Putin looking to freeze Grannys to death. Today I stand on the summit of Mount Vindication planting the flag of told you so.

Some folk are bleating on about how “it won’t stop ‘em” and “they’ll appeal it, we haven’t won”.

Get stuffed. We smashed ‘em!!!

We somehow managed to persuade a load of Councilors under the most unbelievable pressure to vote to shitcan fracking when the easiest thing in the World for them to do would have been to let it sail through. The pressure that those Councillors were under is difficult to imagine, something akin to the Dentist scene in Marathon Man meets Alexis Tsipras stuck in a lift with Christine Lagarde.

They’ve been building entire fracking colleges and laying serious amounts of infrastructure. Dave and his fossil fuel deranged government are all out for shale. That Preston decision was like someone rocking up on the starting grid of the British Grand Prix in front of all the dignitaries and saying that the race was being canceled for safety reasons.

The decision to halt fracking in Lancashire was beyond enormous.

The other massive victory was a victory of people power.

How many times did we hear, “oh you won’t change owt..the government will do what the government will do”..the usual response from folk so beaten down that the status quo seems like an insurmountable wall that can never be overcome. The reality of the situation is that the phenomenal decision at Preston was brought about by a tiny percentage of the populace who would be directly affected by fracking.

A small committed group of highly motivated individuals took on and beat the multi billion dollar oil & gas industry and whipped them on a shoe string budget. When the main stream media attempted to smear anti fracking campaigners as being in the pay of Moscow the general cry went up..if only and where’s our rubles?!?

Future social historians will pour over how such an improbable victory could have possibly been pulled off but I can save them the bother. We won because right was so obviously and firmly on our side and the horrific results of not winning were unthinkable. As was proven, we really didn’t need the whole County to be mobilised against fracking but the frackers must surely be factoring in what they would be facing if they really start to stir folk up or what would have happened if we hadn’t had their nonsense stopped.

Subsequently, and to prove us completely right the Netherlands has now banned fracking for being highly dodgy and the even dodgier Defra have finally released that report that somebody with raging OCD and a black marker pen got hold off and went all 1950’s East Berlin on. It turns out that fracking is a bag of shyte and will crush your property value if situated near you. A figure of a 7% drop was randomly tossed out there for any idiot who truly believes that “must have a frackpad at the bottom of the drive” is a feature of anyones family home purchasing criteria. I’d strongly recommend biting the hand off anyone that’ll discount your property by under 25% for it now being in a radon soaked lorry filled toxic industrial zone.

So, will Cuadrilla just pack up and go away? (*Written prior to news of the appeal) You’ve got to think of these frackers as the modern day equivalent of the Luftwaffe. They won’t just go away. They’ll regroup and try and pick on an easier prey. The media campaign has already begun about how the good folk of North Yorkshire welcome fracking and thats no doubt where they will next try and tear communities apart.

There remains the possibility that the filthy frackers will have Westminster bypass the Lancashire decision* but that would raise the fracking issue to a whole new level and we would be in completely uncharted waters. International human rights lawyers are now investigating the mass human rights abuses that go hand in hand with fracking and the appalling lack of democracy surrounding the imposition of such a dodgy industry are there for all to see. Sure, they can appeal the Lancashire decision but exactly what kind of look is that?

In the meantime the frackers have taken a fearsome blow in Lancashire, a place that they entered being confident in gaining their “social license” and now stand on the precipice of being driven out of the County Palatine and possibly out of business completely.


Pope confirms fracking is the devils work and that it’s facilitators are evil


Who knew?

Whilst it’s suddenly become “the glorious 12th” when it comes to shooting the messenger you’ve got to take your hat off to Pope Francis. I don’t care that its kinda in the same ball park as Sepp Blatter telling you how to run your local FA, Frankie has so far played a solid innings and he nails it, the further mining of fossil fuels is morally repugnant, eco system trashing and must end now unless we’re hell bent on subjecting countless more people to turmoil and death.

It’s a moral paradigm shifter.

The game is up for the fossil fuel freaks, they can carry on doing what they’re doing but they’ve had whatever thread bare moral rug they had pulled out from under them. The Pope in his encyclical has clearly painted the battle lines between “inspiring Earth protectors” and mindless Planet plunderers so folk now have to decide which camp they’re in, this is why he aimed his canonical canon at the whole World’s populace rather than just his flock.

So that’s both the moral and the fiscal argument against fracking won then. You have to be economically and markets illiterate to invest in the fossil fuel bubble when even Mark Carney of the Bank of England is screaming out that 80% of known fossil fuel reserves have to stay in the ground to avoid climate meltdown. You’d have to show a whole new level of steaming ignorance to back massively expensive energy extraction methods that will take years to implement just when the cost of producing cheap and unlimited renewable energy is coming crashing down and getting ever more efficient and widespread with every passing day.

These fossil fuel flunkys are like shore wandering Neanderthals risking life and limb collecting shellfish on wave battered rocks when all they have to do is wait a while for the inevitable tide to go out.

Talking of species that no longer walk this land Lancashire County Council meet next week to decide whether the sea level areas of the County Palatine should dig up more fossil fuels to contribute to climate meltdown and inexorably rising sea levels.

You really can’t make this shit up. It’s the nearest that you’ll ever get to a Lemming town hall meeting.

Here’s something else that you can’t make up. Officials at the Council have already concluded that having fracking rigs all over the joint won’t have a detrimental effect on tourism to the area. This is most likely because they’ve discovered that families include on their tick list of holiday “must haves”..must have sweeping views of the HGV filled toxic emission belching frackfields or..must have ram jammed traffic jams that include radio active water pissing tankers. There’d be every likelihood that social services would get involved if you started camping with your kids in an industrial estate but officials at Lancashire County Council have conculded that in one of the most competitive tourist markets on the Planet, having a routinely banned and globally controversial process sited on the Fylde won’t adversely affect tourism.

Preston where the Council is seated can be looney tunes though and next week it won’t be just a place that you go through to get somewhere nice (East Lancs author 🙂 )…the World and his Wife would appear to be descending upon the historic City, there’s even a rumour sweeping the hills of the red rose County that the Pope’s going to put in an appearance….

***possible sighting of Pope***

….told you it was looney tunes.

With the collapse of the ecological, fiscal and moral arguments for fracking and it having been generally demonstrated to be really rather shyte and eminently ban worthy we find out next week whether the system is that morally and democratically bankrupt that approval for the abhorrent activity of extreme mining in our communities sails through anyway.

Regardless, Pope Frankie thinks that we’re inspirational and gets the “rich road” that we’ve travelled and that’s really bloody nice of the lad 🙂

See you at Preston Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th

“Ohhhh Francis of Assisi,
He is the fookin Pope,
He is an Argentinian,
He fills us all with hope,
He loves renewables,
Thinks fossil fuels are lame,
And when we stop the frackers,
We’ll sing this song again!!!”

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring

#DontFrackLancs #WeAreAllLancashire #FrackStopsHere

The fracking Elephant in the #GE2015 room will crush your property value


It’s FINALLY been figured out that folk don’t really fancy living with a frackpad cranking away at the bottom of their garden 24/7. It’s basic common sense that property prices in frackfields will collapse with balancing price increases on the safe periphery of said frackfields, even more so in the compact housing market of the UK where an equally desirable million pound property can be found just 30 miles away from a place where a poor besieged vendor is having to declare that the frackers have just rocked up. The vendor will also have to explain to his prospective purchaser that due to the passing of the Infrastructure Bill in January an Englishman’s home is no longer his castle. The government now has a legal right to frack right under your property, dispose of what it wants into the workings under your property, with you having no legal recourse to object whatsoever. Who in their right mind would take a life shaping million pound punt on something like that?

FINALLY the nations Estate Agents are figuring this out. The prestigious and well read Mortgage Finance Gazette has just headlined that “Fracking Will Hit House Values” having FINALLY surveyed Estate Agents in the frackfields…some property marketers state house value crashes of up to 70% and they hardly even touched upon the blighted people who will simply NOT be able to sell their property until the frackers go in 15/20 years and that’s IF the place isn’t a toxic wasteland with an enormous clean up bill dumped on the locals.

The market never lies.

If given a choice of a million pound dream home in the idyllic Lancastrian countryside are you going to live in North West Lancashire in the fresh air stream of the Cumbrian mountains or 25 miles South in the Fylde that’s littered with a fouling toxic industry that’s banned for being highly hazardous to human health in multiple legislatures, that will fill the quiet country lanes with chemical dripping HGV’s, cause seismic events, poison groundwater and generally not look very nice. Put it really simply, would you move your Children and family into a house built in an industrial estate?

How those like Dave, so all out for shale or like Ed, thinking that the poisonous nonsense can be regulated didn’t see the inevitable affects on house prices is astonishing especially in a land so rampantly obsessed with location location location but then again, we know that they did know don’t we.

Rewind to the laughably redacted DEFRA report into the impacts of fracking in the UK…

…the parts that they redacted like a kid let loose with a can of Coke and a black crayon were later said to have been CENSORED so as not to instantly shut down all further “debate” regarding fracking in the UK (not that there was any debate). What would provoke such a car crash response to the further debate and promotion of fracking to the average Englishman? A legally enforceable collapse in property value with no recourse whatsoever would do that so it was probably best not to stress the poor little loves about it.

If you still feel that you’re not having the wool pulled over your eyes consider just two things.

Mortgage Finance Gazette… “The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to auction off licence blocks to fracking firms over an area covering more than half of Britain just after the general election”…these PEDL license blocks were due to be auctioned before the election but were put back much to the laughter of the anti fracking community. One has to assume that the round was put back so as not to alarm the natives, which leads to point two.

Regardless of your opinion on whether fracking should proceed or not there can’t be any doubt that the process is highly contentious. Full scale fracking will also be nation changing for huge swathes of our land mass and perhaps most pertinently, fracking will have major consequences upon millions of English families in huge scale property value fluctuations and life changing sales disruptions. Yet fracking has barely featured in the general election #GE2015 discourse. A policy that may affect a percentage of child benefit is endlessly chewed over by the parties and main stream media whilst a policy that could wipe countless thousands if not millions from people’s property values barely gets a mention.

The reason that fracking just isn’t being talked about on a national basis by the Lib/Lab/Con UKIP establishment parties is because the process has been so thoroughly discredited on so many different levels that they know that they can’t defend the indefensible or sell a bag o shyte. You can tell just as much by what these people will talk about as by what they steer well clear of like a public space or a leader debate and they’re not talking about fracking because they know that only 19% of DEFRA poll respondents would even consider living next to a frackpad and that was before this confirmation that fracking will hammer your house value. They will definitely not want to talk about that and the proof of that pudding now has an election build up of fracking silence to clearly demonstrate it.

There’s still time to make these people accountable for their gross and intolerable decisions or at least be forced to discuss their justification for entering millions of English folk into some sickening form of post code frackfield lottery. The good people of Scotland showed us that with social media power and a awful lot of grassroots organisation, that a people can get an issue such as Trident onto the election agenda whereas it probably wouldn’t have even featured.

We’ve got just a handful of days to ask #WhereTheFrack because you can guarantee one thing. After the election every single fracking party will claim that they now have a mandate from the British people to frack and it’ll be time for you to go eyes down and look in for the great UK PEDL bingo lottery.

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring

MancunianSpring recommends a vote for any anti austerity/anti fracking party such as the Green Party, SNP, Plaid, Northern Party, Yorkshire First, North East Party, TUSC, Left Unity, Reality Party and all anti fracking Independents

🙂 Peace

“Massive fracking contamination” at Barton Moss CENSORED


When news of a court reported case of massive fracking contamination in a major English city doesn’t make the light of day in the national media you know that you’re being sold a donkey by a pack of demented donkey peddlers.

There are many other things that you will also know because of this insidious cover up. You will know that you’ve been lied to about “gold standard regulations” and that fracking is such a dangerous process that no amount of regulations will ever insure its safety. With that you will also know that the very last pillar of government nonsense has crumbled adding to the rubble of the other shattered lies about fracking such as cheap gas, reduced CO2 emissions and gazillions of jobs.

The anatomy of state media silence is particularly interesting as it is often more important to note what they don’t report on rather than what they do. The fracking site in Salford is the first in Greater Manchester and one of the first in Britain. With fracking being so patently controversial in the UK the frackers will have known that the “whole world” will have been watching them. This will have been the fracking company operating at its very best!?!

With 60% of England due to be fracked the last thing that the BBC will want to be telling the nation is that, not only is fracking highly dangerous, it’s carried out by incompetents and it’ll be contaminating a field near you soon.

Whilst this degree of state censorship and media corruption will be new to many folk, it most certainly isn’t to anybody involved with the bitter and gruelling fight against fracking in Salford as these foul people now have history.

The odious BBC smears against the mass community resistance to fracking at Barton Moss began with the mind boggling claim that a bunch of peace loving Hippies attempted to down a Police helicopter?!? an accusation for which no shred of evidence was ever produced.

Further smears continued to be pumped out throughout the Winter of 2013/14 with more scurrilous and dangerous claims that Protectors were “intimidating the locals” and “antagonising the Police” ….


….and just to complete the circle of smear, reporting on trumped up assault charges only for them to be inevitably thrown out of court, often with Judges quite astonishingly laughing at the Police evidence.

This was by no means a single pronged smear campaign as it was also complimented by the regional BBC studio routinely peddling lies about fracking or giving studio time to a procession of stooge Professors soft soaping the process with outlandish statements attempting to downplay the industrialisation of our countryside?!


Whilst we have linked above to a sorry tale of state nonsense the realities at Barton Moss were heartbreakingly bleak.

The shocking levels of unreported brutality unleashed upon peaceful protectors by Greater Manchester Police left countless witnesses so disturbed that many still report post traumatic shock effects to this day. Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils wrote to the GMP Police and Crime Commissioner complaining of the “brutal..and..horrendous” policing on the Moss with Solicitor Simon Pook being so appalled at the levels of Police violence and wrongful arrests that he even reported the atrocities he’d witnessed to the United Nations!?!

It wasn’t until iGas had packed up and left Salford that the true enormity of the “Gold Command” organisation that went into the smears and brutality was revealed. The Salford Star uncovered that there had been high level collusion between GMP, iGas, Peel Holdings and Salford City Council in the brutalisation of Salfordians.


That’s a quick potted history and one worth repeating because although its a roller coaster tale of one of the biggest, most glorious battles in British social history, involving a worst Winter on record, a community coming together in the face of Police brutality, mass false arrests and human rights violations…you most likely won’t even know that it happened due to BBC censorship by regionalisation.

This is, once again, exactly what they’ll be trying to achieve regarding the censorship of the site contamination because the problem with telling lies is that once you start you become locked into an infinite loop no matter how dangerous the situation becomes.

The surreal nature of this nefarious state of affairs was reflected in the Twitter exchange below. A BBC employee chose to completely ignore the contamination aspect of a tweet with an obfuscating reference to continuing the coverage of the trial upon its resumption in June only to turn flippant when pulled up about it…
…therefore completely side stepping any reference whatsoever to the BBC’s lack of coverage of the contamination. That’s the bizarre end product of being unable to speak honestly and freely on a certain subject but there are more sinister repercussions from a policy of censorship.

The site of the “dangerously high levels of toxic contamination” is just 75 metres from a family farmhouse, 250 metres from a Young Offenders Institute and is routinely passed by Moss families on a daily basis.

With this in mind the most disturbing revelation from the recent court case was the fact that although evidence of contamination had been discovered “IGAS AND PEEL HOLDINGS HAD SO FAR REFUSED ACCESS” to the site?!?

This “close your eyes and hope it goes away” business methodology is being applied by the same Peel Holdings who have just announced that they are to open an entire oil & gas division and conduct fracking across the North West.

If you live in the 60% of the UK that’s subject to a PEDL and your confidence in the fracking industry was already non existent perhaps now is the time to shift your mindset from skeptical to petrified.

Author: Aphra Behn

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring

**Update…as this is a rolling story updates will be added below




Vanda suffered more than most from the brutality on Barton Moss. She’s due up in court this coming Monday morning in Manchester for “assaulting a police officer” you tube for more videos..decide for yourself….

For Vanda xoxo

**Update..Vanda changed her plea to not guilty in order to challenge the foulness of the whole situation

**Update…after a week the story makes an obscure eco blog DeSmog Blog

**Update…following in the irony of shutting down a story of national importance just when Manchester is in the process of a revolution in indy media the magnificent Salford Star are hammering the corrupt fracking industry for the cesspit that it is!!

Fantastic news..they’re going to frack us?!

Within the space of a week people in the North West have found out that they’re going to be saddled with a Mayor that they voted against and that they now face the possibility that somebody could pitch up with a fracking rig at the bottom of their garden, frack under their house without so much as a “by your leave” and turn their otherwise idyllic neighbourhood into a toxic fume belching lorry filled industrial zone. You could say that’s not a brilliant week for North West democracy but when you also consider how routinely banned fracking is around the World due to its dangers to human health perhaps you have to get past questions of democratic process and ask the question..are our elected leaders really trying to harm us?!?

The scientific approach to assessing the safety of fracking is obvious and we’ve just had a perfect example of that with New York. Over a two year period you order your State Department of Health to conduct the most extensive investigation into fracking ever conducted. You find out the obvious that the practice is highly harmful to human health and you ban the dodgy nonsense. Then there’s the pragmatic Celtic approach taken by EVERY NATION SURROUNDING US where sensible pragmatic Celts have decided to progress no further with the abhorrent fracking process until, like the Jimmy Saville of the fossil fuel industry, all of its dirty little secrets come out in the veritable tsunami of peer reviewed bad news that will soon be gushing out of the States like a blown well head.

Competence is not something that we expect from our politicians. Hypocrisy, expenses fiddling and endless pointless wars yes but not competence. If they were in anyway competent they’d have had Lancashire fracked in the mid noughties and they’d be bowling around in Stetsons by now and we would never have had the “canary in the mine” that the poor suffering fracked communities of America have been..sometimes, like the botched Syria war vote, you have to be thankful that our politicians are so pants.

Incompetence we can deal with but this is a whole new level. A level where the precautionary principle is not only being ignored, its driven out to somewhere dark and shot in the head.

Its not even as if its just a matter of the likely outcomes of suddenly moving families into industrial parks…the future harm is obvious but its in the “log book” of the fracking industry that the horrors lay. Would there ever be even the most remote possibility of an American automobile manufacturing company selling cars into the UK market if those cars had any hint of a problem that could in anyway be detrimental to the health of their owners let alone banned in certain States? Yet our politicians will happily place fracking rigs next to our schools when the original pink slip owners of the industry in Denton Texas fought tooth and nail to have it banished from their community and anywhere near their loved ones.

Of course all of this is absolutely splendid news. There’s never been a better example of how thoroughly broken our “democracy” is than distant and corrupt Westminster elites railroading through legislation to enforce a highly dangerous process that only a tiny percentage of the British people would countenance and many throughout these isles are battling to have banned. Short of the Germans wanting to march Panzer armies down Whitehall you’d be hard pressed to come up with a bigger example of a recent entity attempting to harm the British people and land so if this doesn’t drive us all right down enough is enough boulevard you have to wonder what will.

Somewhat fortunately and just in the nick of time we’re saved..and by the break up of the United Kingdom no less.

Many English folk will be surprised by this conclusion but as a Scottish friend said, “you English don’t seem to be getting the hint that the relationship is over..what are you doing still lurking about in the front yard and following us down the shops?” We also concluded that it would be morally repugnant to force a few million neighbours to continue a relationship that they considered as utterly broken with the various parties poles apart on so many issues. The Scots don’t want endless wars, an ever creeping police state, fracking and nuclear bombs parked just outside of their cities and sooner or later the Scots are taking the high road, even if its just on the basis of demographics and rapidly dying older Unionists. The Scottish referendum vote shouldn’t be viewed as a simple “NO” but rather a not yet.

You don’t have to take my word for it just have to look around you and take special note of those most threatened by the break up of the Union..the political “elites”. And you don’t have to be a political Bergerac to have picked up on the controlled demolition of the Union that the establishment is trying to pull off..devo manc being the prime example. The political elites know full well that UK wide devolution is an unstoppable snowball rolled down a mountain by our Scottish brothers and sisters and the only thing that they can do is to try and cobble together an establishment life raft post haste, hence the steamrolling through of a Mayor for Greater Manchester and not allowing a vote on the matter even though we’ll have polling booths coming out of our ears in 3 months?!?

So here’s the cure to all poisons. A people led devolution. Quite clearly devolution is on the table and its up to us to say that we’re not that impressed with having something that we already voted against imposed upon us and demand a peoples constitutional assembly where we as a people thrash out exactly how we wish to run our democracy for the 21st century. In all likelihood this is soon going to have to happen on a national level anyway but with devo manc on the table folk in the North West have a chance to shape the debate, indeed we have an obligation to do so as the Mayor imposition is being tested in Greater Manchester with a view to it being rolled out nationally. This is where the true “revolution” is. In a people led devolution there’ll be a reboot of our failed political system, social justice, resistance to neo liberal pillage and control over our regions energy and resources policy which will mean…NO FRACKING

Author: Smokin’ Joe Brotherton

Follow on Twitter @MancunianSpring