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Barton Moss: All Sides Have Their Say

The Anti-Frackers, Chief Constable and Police Commissioner on the strange case of the costs, the coppers and 'the protectors'

Published on February 10th.


Barton Moss: All Sides Have Their Say
 

WE have now both sides represented in the policing row over Barton Moss and the anti-fracking process.

A report of say police misconduct from one of their number may within the group gather momentum and start to accrue significance it doesn't warrant. We've all seen this happen among like-minded people.

Below are quotes from Chief Constable Peter Fahy and Frances Leader of the Balcombe and Beyond protesters - or the rather sinister 'protectors' as they self-describe. By the way 'Balcombe' refers to the location of the first anti-fracking protest in the South. 

After both these statements there's a comment from the Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd.

From a general citizen's point of view it's a difficult one this. 

The problem is the whole issue turns into a 'he said-she said' argument.

The police, unlike the protesters, are hedged in with statutory regulation. There are official channels through which complaints can be made and through which the police should be called to account if they overstep the mark. They have a duty to report and act on 'facts' rather than take a prejudiced view. 

Unfortunately there have been recent occasions - including last week's 'plebgate' convictions - when this has not happened. And investigations into police conduct can, like all justice, be slow, too slow.

But at least the police are bounded by their contracts and duties, the protesters are unencumbered by these.

They have a 'cause' as the words of Frances Leader make clear. To further that cause they would, it would be logical to assume, interpret situations in their favour.

A report of say police misconduct from one of their number may within the group gather momentum and start to accrue significance it doesn't warrant. We've all seen this happen among like-minded people. When that happens, unlike the police, there is no impartial inspectorate to judge the claim. 

It's a shame this has become a 'he said-she said' police v protesters row. It would be better for us all to contemplate the essence of the subject. Should we push ahead with fracking or not? 

Anyway here are the statements...

Chief Constable Peter Fahy

Peter FahyPeter FahyThe cost of this operation is met from our normal budget and means that officers on duty at this protest are not patrolling their beats or carrying out operations to investigate crime. We have to be there to ensure the protest is peaceful and to balance the rights of the protestors and those wanting to carry out drilling on the site which are both lawful activities. The police are stuck in the middle. 

For all the hundreds of hours of policing we have received only 21 complaints, five of which are from the same person. We take this seriously and will investigate any complaints thoroughly. 

We appreciate the strength of feeling of the protestors and that drilling for gas is a matter of national debate. We deal with many protests in Greater Manchester and always try to negotiate an understanding which facilitates protest which is a basic human right. On the other hand we are disappointed that some at the site constantly try and provoke officers and are personally insulting to them. We will continue to expect the highest standards of restraint and patience from our officers but also ask the public to appreciate the difficult position they have been put in." 

The costs to date are £660,000. 

Frances Leader, Balcombe and Beyond Anti-Fracking Group, Treasurer & Fund-raiser, Protectors Travelling Fund

Barton Moss ProtestersBarton Moss ProtestersThank you for inviting me to comment on this press release from the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police. We, the Protectors, did not invite Igas or any other Oil or Gas Corporation to drill holes all over Great Britain in their greedy and relentless dash for cash. Neither did we invite, nor need any facilitation of our protest from Greater Manchester Police. 

The massive over-policing of our efforts to protect Barton Moss from this invasion may well be very expensive but we, the Protectors, require no supervision. We are peaceful, intelligent and respectful people who have tried all avenues of reasonable objection against an industry that did not fully consult the community, nor sought any social licence, before commencing to inflict its dubious activities upon the good people of Greater Manchester. 

It is testament to our patience and restraint that there have been so few complaints received by GMP so far, but we would point out that we have submitted far more than the 21 they have accepted.

We feel strongly that 21 complaints by members of the public is actually far too many being raised against a team of individuals who, supposedly, are sworn to protect people and fight crime. 

We refute, absolutely, the assertion made by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police that we have, in any way, insulted or provoked his officers, quite the reverse is closer to the truth.

We have been provoked daily with pushing, kicking, treading on feet, false accusations regarding flares and drunkenness and there has been point blank refusal on the part of his officers to investigate flagrant infractions of the law by Igas staff and delivery lorry drivers.

Recently, an Igas minibus full of workers deliberately drove at several Protectors, colliding with two individuals. These events were reported to the Police immediately but were completely ignored. The driver was permitted to drive away. 

The wanton destruction of several trees in Barton Moss Road, ordered, sanctioned and supervised by the GMP was particularly distressing to our Protectors, who regard all life as sacred. This work was deliberately undertaken at dawn with chainsaws, to disturb and intimidate those sleeping in tents in the immediate vicinity. 

We have also falsely been accused of harbouring aggressive individuals in our midst and deliberately intimidating neighbours, causing them alarm and distress. These accusations are also completely unfounded. 

Considering all of the above, I feel our Protectors have behaved with astonishing dignity and restraint. I am very proud to declare that they have consistently held the higher moral ground.

Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd 

Tony LloydTony LloydThere have been a number of incidents referred to the GMP’s professional standards department, where serious allegations have been made about police conduct at Barton Moss. 



There is legitimate public concern over this operation and it is right and proper that allegations of police misconduct are investigated fully and thoroughly. 

I have – publicly and privately – called on the Chief Constable to provide assurances that the operation at Barton Moss is proportionate. It is a complex situation where police have to balance the legitimate rights of people to lawfully protest with the rights of those who live and work in the local area. 

Given there are active investigations into the conduct of police, it is difficult for me to say more at this stage, but I expect the outcomes to be made public and if misconduct has occurred, appropriate action to be taken.”

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114 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DavidFebruary 7th.

Football clubs have to pay towards the cost of policing and its about time demonstrators had to as well.If they want to hold disruptive protests let them be billed for the cost of maintaining order and of course if the police break the law let them sue them.But the citizens of Greater Manchester should not be the ones paying for either of them.Lets face these green organisations are hardly poor if they want to engage in these tactics they should be willing to pay,or are they just interested in free publicity .

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Swinton SueFebruary 9th.

Absolutely, we're increasingly seeing sports and community events being held to ransom by police and local authorities charging for the services that the community already paid their taxes to fund, why on earth wasn't IGas's licence given with a condition that THEY should pay for policing, whatever your own views, it's clear from what's happened elsewhere in the world and the UK that residents aren't about to let the ground under their homes be exploited without a fuss, this is a well known fundamental of this industry. Surely those aiming to turn a profit should cover these costs?

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

agreed IGAS shoul be paying for the policing as the organisers of the cause of the issues. The protestoirs are using their human right to protest against a highly destructive process being without their consent, against their will, using taxpayers money including pensions funds invested by manchester council.

AnonymousFebruary 10th.

Football clubs are only obliged to pay for policing inside their grounds not outside in public areas.

Hero
JeffFebruary 7th.

I think you'll find the protestors do pay, via taxation

2 Responses: Reply To This...
JonathanFebruary 7th.

Pah! You think so do you? I certainly don't have the time to spend my days glueing myself to the floor......I'd have no job!

Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

actually I do think so , I know several nurses and some teachers for a start attend Barton Moss regularly.

AnonymousFebruary 7th.

I don't mind people protesting but anyone stopping others going about their lawful business should be arrested and removed from the scene - or perhaps held in cages onsite so they can shout and wave their banners without being able to disrupt others.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

I don't mind people running a business, but when they do so despite the negative effects it has on the area I draw the line.

Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 8th.

These protestors are well meaning, but misguided individuals from out of town. Anti fracking, anti-nuclear anti everything. Windfarms even have objectors for aesthetic reasons and there is opposition to damning tidal estuaries because of damage to wildlife habitats. Fact is..We need affordable energy. There is no perfect solution. I think these protestors that are obstructing should be prosecuted and hit with massive fines to offset the cost of policing and act as a deterrent to protesting in a disorderly and unlawful manner. They are, of course entitled to exercise their right to protest, but not in such a way it is so costly to hard working taxpayers.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

Funny I live in Manchester and I oppose barton moss fracking, their mates at cuadrilla already dumped radioactive wastewater in our shipping canals, so I think my actions are justified.

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

frack-off.org.uk/…/… that would be this lot to start with, I can provide more if you find about 50 independent studies from the US to be insufficient evidence of the problematic nature of the proposed high volume hydraulic fracturing.

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

all protest at barton mposs has been legal, and filmed independently to verifuy this. The actions of the police however are under independent complaints comission investigation as they have been nothing short of criminal. Wrongful arrests, intimidation of legal observers, many cxases of brutality. GMP in this case are nothing short of corporatre police with a bias. Theyt beat a man senseless for reporting a dodgy number plate, the only time the police never showed up the protestors did everything by the book even escorting the vehicles themselves.

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

Radioactive waste in shipping canals, Pretty sure *that* may be a legal minefield, if you can't back that up.

Aura HazelFebruary 11th.

I don't need to they ADMITTED it, cuadrilla did it just before the laws changed to prevent the disposal of NORMS in such a manner.

newbelaFebruary 9th.

We don't just need affordable energy Geoffrey. We need energy that doesn't trash our country. There's just way too much evidence of damage from Fracking, even if the powerful gas companies do their best to suppress this knowledge. Not in my backyard, or anyone's backyard I say.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

What evidence? I'm interested.

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

frack-off.org.uk/…/… this lot for a start, I can find many more studies with similiar findings, but I think about 50 independent reports compilerd on this page are a sufficient start.

Jenny CollinsFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey is this you: www.meetup.com/…/… There is a wealth of evidence to any aspect you want to argue regarding fracking (including peer reviewed papers) but as the independent government employed bodies state 'none of which is conclusive' As such we should keep an open mind to potential long term ecological and epidemiological problems (as there have frequently been with other so called safe energy solutions)

Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

Yes. That is me. Well done Sherlock. :-) I'm pleased that it has been brought to the attention of people that I am from a scientific background and am therefore less likely to believe the hysterical nonsense whipped up by the press and media. I only joined the "Skeptics society " a couple of weeks ago. I've not been myself yet. The next meeting is: Thursday, February 13, 2014 7:00 PM TV21 10 Thomas Street Manchester Hope you can come. Save me a lot of typing. we might have to agree to disagree, but that's fine. Have a couple of beers and all is good. Take care. Geoffrey.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

Geofferey you joined a group of fossil fuel industry funded people who scream that an issue does not exist despite massive overwhelming opinion and evidence to the contrary. If millions of engineers told me a bridge could collapse at any moment it would be foolish of me to trust the 2 saying it was safe who were paid by the firm that built it badly. Just because the people causing the mess shout "we don't believe it" does not mean that they're being truthful or correct. I'll stick with the majority from intelligent scientists thank you very much.

AnonymousFebruary 9th.

The protestors should pay for asserting their democratic right to oppose something that threatens to poison our water? Have you heard yourselves?! The ONLY people who should be paying for the policing is iGas as it is their interests, not the people's, whom the police are upholding. I applaud the protestors who have a great deal of support locally. The fracking industry has caused total devastation in the states and the risks here are much greater as we are an over-populated island. There are enough reserves in the Irish Sea not to have to build this toxic industry on two-thirds of the country's doorsteps, whilst the politicians wake up and put the infra-structure in place for clean energy - you don't get much more affordable than sunlight. Why do you think these corporate shills masquerading as politicians don't want it?

Colin GongFebruary 9th.

RedundantBikes52

Livid MancFebruary 9th.

I want to know why it is acceptable to conduct a fracking operation next door to a children's home, not just any children's home either, but Barton Moss, a secure boys home that contains the UKs most vulnerable children. Why is nobody debating that?Is it because they are the most vulnerable that nobody, not even the people who are against fracking are talking about it? The UK, the councils, the company IGas. All of us. No one is above criticism though and the campaigners and the police need to recognize this issue is not about them. I am bored of images of campaigners and the police getting up in each other's grills. The only people that benefit from this abusive relationship is the company Igas who must be chuffed to mint balls that the whole issue has been sidetracked into an epic battle about the right to protest and whose paying for it. The real issue is that we as a society are allowing a company to frack next door to a children's home, not a young offenders institute not a unit but a place where the most vulnerable looked after children are being looked after and we are risking the long term health of these lads through poisoning the land and the water. We need to be Idle No More and stand up for these young people. How did this ever get planning permission?

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

There is no risk to anyone's health! You are mentioning "vulnerable children" because it is an emotive issue and intended to make people come to emotional conclusions, but with no rational, factual basis. Just as with the similar anti-nuclear, grungy, face- painted, work-shy unwashed, idealistic but with no handle on reality predecessors. Being "anti-fracking" is simply the latest fashion. Just as was anti-nuclear in the past. It's easy to object, but what is the alternative? Any better ideas? If not; then contact your utility company tomorrow and get them to disconnect your supply! You won't do this, of course because you live in fairyland and expect to consume lots without realising that energy production always has an environmental cost.

Darius AFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey Warner, Either you are ridiculously ill informed, or your on the payroll for igas? I assume the later looking at your posts. pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/…/…

AnonymousFebruary 10th.

I dont know much about barton moss boys home but I think its a fair guess that they have mains water and are not bringing the stuff up from a well in the back yard.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

Anon in the US tap water was commonly contaminated, all it takes is a microfracture in the pipeline.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

besides there have also been cases in the US of surface water contamination, in one state it effectively killed the river.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

DEMOCRACIES do not allow a government to attempt to outlaw freedom of speach the anti social behavior crime and policing bill attempts to do that, democracies do not attack their sick and disabled with testing systems that have been banned in most places , this government do, democracies only allow voted in governments, first past the post with no mandate is not voted in it's winning by backroomn deals. Democraqcies do not change the rules to make a failing government impossible to vote out nor do they attempt to sabotage the voting system to retain power . bDemocracies operate on the principle everybody has a voice, this lot ignore the MP'S voices removing the right to object via the system, while at the same time criminalising legal protest. Greater Manchester Police are acting on the behalf of the council who invested the pension funds in the drilling project, their defense is biased by profit not the welfare of citizens, last I checked most of those actions were considered grounds for lawful rebellion even as far back as the magna carta.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

WE DIDN'T VOTE THEM IN TO START WITH, FIRST PAST THE POST GOVERNING WITHOUT A MANDATE IS NOT RIGHT.

Darius AFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey Warner, Either you are ridiculously ill informed, or your on the payroll for igas? I assume the later looking at your posts. pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/…/…

AnonymousFebruary 9th.

Yet another thinly veiled attempt to draw sympathy away from the protectors. The police presence at Barton moss has been entirely un-proportional, at times more than 10 officers for each protector. There has been no aggression or violence unless instigated by the police and this has been shown many times. On the day that the police 'didnt turn up' the protest was conducted peacefully and lawfully, demonstrating that there is no real need for the police presence at all, especially not the need for the numbers that are normally used. I am amazed to see such blatant disregard and waste of public finances in an obvious attempt to sway public sympathies, but I cannot say that it comes as a surprise. It is becoming more and more obvious that the police are acting almost entirely as a security company for private corporation. Frequently and consistently ignoring offences committed by iGas employees while fabricating offences against the protectors. Articles such as the one above and the previous press release from the GMP, based as they are on hearsay, distortions and fabrications, are aimed at swaying public opinion and are attempts to persuade the public to accept the huge tax bill that will be coming, even though it is one that, in light of the circumstances, should be paid by iGas. This is an underhand way to raise funding in a climate of cut backs. The police are acting politically and in best interest of a private company and this is against the very core principles that they agree to when becoming officers of the law.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

If you want your concerns to be taken seriously, then post under your real name. Can't be doing with "keyboard warriors".

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

you want real nams ok, start by looking up how many politiciansd who pushed for this operation profit from it. That's right ALL OF EM. Osbourne, cameron, they're all selling out our nation to line their own pockets.

Darius AFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey Warner, Either you are ridiculously ill informed, or your on the payroll for igas? I assume the later looking at your posts. pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/…/…

AnonymousFebruary 9th.

I have witnessed the police overlooking hit and run offences on protectors and then arresting them for reporting it. I will NEVER trust the police again after witnessing their appalling contempt for the law. They are a disgrace. Corrupt to the core.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

Ditto... If you want your concerns to be taken seriously, then post under your real name. Can't be doing with "keyboard warriors".

Aura HazelFebruary 9th.

I've seen a person who was perfectly legally allowed on camp grabbed by police and dragged into the road in breach of his bail and then arrested for breaching it. I've seen people falsely accused of drink driving for filming on site WHILE THEY WERE ON FOOT HAVING CONSUMED NOTHING STRONGER THAN TEA. I've seen a pensioner with a disability shoved into a ditrch damaging his knee badly enough tohospitalise him. Manchester police are simply acting as hired goons to protect council money dodgily invested in the site from our pension funds.

AnonymousFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey Warner you are the one acting like a keyboard warrior mate... js. And fyi, it is sometimes not possible to log into this page to use a 'real name' especially when using mobile devices, however, there is no certainty that Geoffrey Warner is your 'real name' and any views added here may be replied to as in regular sensible debate, which is something you clearly do not wish to partake in. You are acting quite foolishly and coming across as an objectionable fool.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Darius AFebruary 9th.

Well said anon! :-)

Livid MancFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey I mention vulnerable children because they are vulnerable children. Fact. This is not emotive language it stating the obvious to everyone campaigners included Also please point me towards the evidence that there is no risk to our health. I don't have have ant facts about health on my side just common sense that if you frack and extract in the water table where you are not supposed to be fracking about that there must be leakage into that water table. If this was happening next door to where your children go to school Geofrey then I guarantee you would be up in arms. You see me I grew up in care so I know what it means to be voiceless and the young people are the only ones who have no choice but to live with is this. And by that I don't mean the protest or the police I mean a gas company and their toxic waste And about my very hard earned council tax, why don't the councils of Manchester invest money into coming up with non toxic solutions to energy?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

Livid I'm inclined to agree that this is an unacceptable site and the fracking should never have been alowed to take place where it has. We're already fighting on as many fronts as we can but now they're even bringing CEASIUM-137 onto site for use things are only gonna get worse.

AnonymousFebruary 13th.

HOW are they going to get worse?

Aura HazelFebruary 16th.

Let's see, enforced by police brutality:check, covered up by wrongful arrests:check , utilising radioactive products:check Under investigation for over 6 counts of human rights violations:check. Approved by stealth without proper public consultation:check, you know from here I'm not quite sure how much more messed up it can get without a rig explosion , which by the way are common in the US.

SuzFebruary 9th.

You can't drink water that's been fracked. Anyone supporting fracking is either making money at the expense of other human beings (sociopath) or is an idiot. Which are you? Reread the first line of this post and decide..are you for or against human's surviving on this planet.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 10th.

Based on come of the comment on this thread, I'm against.

Emily DeanFebruary 9th.

Does the guy calling himself Geoffrey Warner know about the bottled water which had to be flown in to residents in and around Balcombe because of the methane poisoning. In either case, the local water was poisoned, too toxic to use and the ludicrously named 'Courtesy Water' was provided for the resident's survival. How long does the human body survive without water, hmmm is it three days? How long can a reasonable human being without fossil fuels? With a bit of forward planning I estimate our technology could do much better than that.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 9th.

I am not " calling myself " Geoffrey Warner. That is my my name... " Methane poisoning" Ha ha. how silly. Best not fart under the duvet eh? might damage oneself's health.

Livid MancFebruary 9th.

Emily this makes it worse, will the young lads in the children's home receive courtesy water? surely all of this is a breach of their human rights, are they to be fed poisoned water?

Livid MancFebruary 9th.

Geoffrey have you considered a career in comedy? I understand that this will probably be your only source of entertainment , however, this is real issue, children in care have their futures at stake because we have allowed our city fathers to get away with agreeing to fracking next door to a children's home.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/…/3816740… study of carcinogenic effects of methane in water supplies on mice, study found several types of tumor and liver problems from consumption. You are not a biologist I suggest very strongly that this issue needs proper research before you scoff, both methane and ethene are common contaminants near drilling wells as a lot of evidence from the US already shows. www.jstor.org/…/3430375… another similiar study with better controls. www.desmogblog.com/…/pavillion-wyoming-water-contamination-case-questions-continue-swirl-about-oil-and-gas-industry-s-role… info from wyoming . “Outside of the extreme cases of explosion, flammability, and asphyxiation, methane is not typically viewed as a health hazard…,” the scientists wrote in a paper published by the Center on Global Change at Duke University in 2011. “Nonetheless, we found essentially no peer-reviewed research on its health effects at lower concentrations in water or air.” As a result, if people are exposed to methane that migrates from a gas well into their drinking water, regulators generally have no power to take action, in contrast to what they could do if the gas well exposed residents to low levels of benzene, a carcinogen, or other toxic chemicals. The methane levels would have to become high enough to pose an explosion risk for regulators to step in. “Based on public concerns about the consequences of methane in drinking water, and the lack of peer-reviewed research on its health effects, we recommend that an independent medical review be initiated to evaluate the health effects of methane in drinking water and households,” wrote the Duke team headed by Robert Jackson, who holds the Nicholas Chair in Global Environmental Change at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

SLAMDUNKFebruary 9th.

Has anybody asked the Chief Constable of Manchester why he finds it necessary to post so many of his police force at Barton Moss site? Has nobody told him that most weekdays there is a small number of dedicated protectors, peacefully making a stand for the huge (and growing) number of people who WOULD LIKE to be there to protest, but can't get for any number of reasons? And why, a couple of Sundays back, when the protectors held a Solidarity Sunday which was attended by a few hundred people, there were no police to be seen - even when traffic was slightly delayed by numbers crossing the road or handing out leaflets to passing motorists? Most of which, by the way, were supporting the protest! This proves to me that the police have no interest whatsoever in protecting the neighbourhood, but a very decided interest in promoting the aims of iGas.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

Has anybody asked him why he is defending the right of heavy motorised vehicles to utilise a public footpath for the moving of frack water, the barton moss road is legally a footpath not a road and as such all the arrests on claims of obstruction of the highway are very legally questionable.

Geoffrey WarnerFebruary 10th.

That is not what the Chief Constable is saying. Judging some of the comments directed at it is easy to judge who is telling the truth. www.gmp.police.uk/…/6662DEE03DF784C680257C78003CF8A6… We live in a democracy. You have the opportunity to vote the government out of office if you don't like what they are doing. People like these protestors tend to be anti-establishment and anti-police. I bet you wouldn't like to be without them eh? I believe Sir Peter Fahy is a man of integrity. I certainly would believe him before any of them. All this dodgy science leaves me slightly bemused. You can find evidence that anything from white bread to tampons causes cancer if you look hard enough. Wish I had time to dissect and discredit your arguments. Unfortunately, I have a job.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

Geoferey the greater manchester police force are currently under investigation for bias, intimidation, and political policing by the complaints comission. I wouldn't treust his word as far as I could spit after a week of living on cream crackers and dry toast in the sahara.

Aura HazelFebruary 10th.

as for your comments sir I fail to see how the fact I'm unable to work while on the waiting list for major surgery has any bearing on the fact I have provided information while you have emitted hot air about the facts you seem unable to provide , may be something to do with how difficult it is to find studies without the bindustries grubby little fingerprints all over it. Usually funded with their money too. I do my best to only post studies the industry did not fund as we all know funding makes evidence that may be convincing otherwise somehow seem inconclusive. At least according to the scientist trying to retain said funding.

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

If your too ill to work how are you able to go to barton moss to witness so much of whats happening there?

Aura HazelFebruary 11th.

wow, such a precious lil luddite, haqlf the world is witnessing GMPs actions nowadays, see there's this wonderful thing called live footage, anybody with an internet connection and 2 eyes can witness exactly what is going on, and share it so they can't just remove the evidence. You really are a little behind on technology aren't you? As for why I'm not in work if you know anybody who would hire an Autistic adult with faceblindness a tendency to have fits and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I'd be happy to hand them my CV Oh do you think they'd mind my absence for 3 months while I recover from major surgery? . In the meantime I'll take the ATOS persons word for it that I'm unfit for work and instead devote my energy volunteering as a suicide prevention specialist online (they don't really pay in this line of work). As for greater manchester police being people of character, www.express.co.uk/…/Shame-of-the-4-000-bent-coppers-as-police-crime-soars… I'm sure pirates and bandits have character too. I'll choose to believe the evidence of my eyes thank you very much. Oh for the record every action at barton moss is live streamed direct for the protection of the activists .

Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

GMP were today photographed removing a public footpath sign from the barton moss road, last I heard removing evidence from the scene of a crime and perverting the course of justice were both illegal. The courts have ruled Barton Moss road is indeed a public footpath making arrests for obstruction of the highway illegal, the use of heavy vehicles down it legally questionable, and police violence so far seen highly dodgy. Removing the evidence by getting rid of the sign won't change that, however it is a crime to remove said signpost to begin with.

AnonymousFebruary 12th.

A footpath IS a highway. naturenet.net/…/rowdefinitions.html… en.wikipedia.org/…/Highway… Good idea to make sure you know the law before you start telling coppers how to do their job!

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

Anon are you being deliberately arguementative or do you genuinely not know the differences between a pedestrian highway, like a pavement, and a vehicular highway, as in a road. Here's a hint, try driving on the pavement then asserting you have right of way over pedestrians and see how quickly you get arrested.

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

last I heard Vehicles did not have right of way over pedestrians on footpaths unless they were emergency services. Trucks of ceasium to barton moss are not a vital community service last I checked.

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

today at barton moss , police broke a womanjs arm and dragged her down the road then left her in agony for an hour refusing the ambulance access claiming it was not an emergency. Theyt arrested 6 people on charges of aggravated tresspass WHILE THEY WERE ON A PUBLIC FOOTPATH. Police corruption at barton moss is completeloy obscene and obvious at this point.

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

bambuser.com/…/4362303… footage they left her like that for over an hour refusing to let people assist her.

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

they also refused to let the paramedic through or provide covering from the cold to an injured casualty in shock.

SLAMDUNKFebruary 10th.

People do keep trotting out that line 'we live in a democracy'. This may once have been a democratic country, but it's now been taken over by corporate interests, like the rest of the world, and as for 'voting the government out of office', this is laughable. Maybe it might once have been possible - just after the last world war we briefly had that power - but every attempt since then to change the voting system so that anyone other than the two main parties have a fart in a hurricane's chance of getting in government, has been defeated by vested interests. You are deluded if you think that anything other than direct action works these days!

Livid MancFebruary 11th.

I find it interesting that Geoffrey for all his sceptical bad self is the only one that has addressed my concern for the children in the children's home, why aren't the campaigners highlighting this to the public that fracking is being allowed next door to children's home?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 11th.

Because I find that if you do that they decide you're just screaming "won't someone please think of the children." Reality is that the location is grim as hell and it should never have been allowed but a lot of money exchanged hands. As a result we are doing everything we can just to show the world exactly what these people are doing.

Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

Today GMP escorted onto site at barton moss a supply of CEASIUM-137. Now I'd be scared for those kids that crap spreads like butter

GimboidFebruary 12th.

That's an astounding thing to assert. Proof please, Aura.

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

You want proof follow the money yourself, find out where manchester councils invested their pension funds. Here's a hin they poured em into a ruddy hole in the ground then fracked it up

Charlie ButterworthFebruary 11th.

Livid Manc there's no point pro-fracking supporters speaking out on these matters because of the ill-formed opinions usually controlled by one slice of fiery tap imagery from one documentary of fanatics who can't see the wood for the trees. Fracking could be a safe source of energy for Britain that gives us energy security and cheaper bills. Let's explore it shall we?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

Charlie Butterworth you'll find I've been limited in my mobility for awhile as a result for 5 months I've researched this topic from all angles, looked at leaked industry documents, scientific journals thoroughly peer reviewed of course. Industry projections and real returns from the US . The current proposals and schemes, advantages and disadvantages. The result I still think it's a bloody stupid idea for a tiny island with a rabbit warren of old mines and caves sub surface. The fact a rig EXPLODED just the other day in wyoming kinda reinforces that. The sheer amount of US wells abandoned uncapped due to driller bankruptcy is not reassuring either.

Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

www.commondreams.org/…/11-8… another one. Remind me again why this is such a good idea?

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

And it is interesting to see that some ill-informed people are suggesting that all scientists are against, carefully selecting one-sided academic articles that support their argument and ignoring all else. As an environmental scientist, I am open to the idea of an integrated energy policy drawing energy from renewables and from resources such as shale gas in our own country. I believe that we should investigate ourselves whether fracking is a bad thing rather than reliance on anecdotal evidence from overseas. For one thing, we have much different geology to the states. I vehemently dislike the tactics employed by the environmental protesters. This needs reasoned debate and all viewpoints have some validity, but the anti-frack lobby refuses to engage and tends to shout everybody else down

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 12th.

All sane scientists are against pumping a soluble substance like Ceasium-137 into the ground, yet today we got photographs of it being shipped onto the site.

DavidFebruary 12th.

If scientists don't support your view of the dangers of fracking it seems you question their sanity.How very intolerant you are of scientific debate.

GimboidFebruary 12th.

And if you have that photographic proof you will naturally post links to it...?

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

www.salfordstar.com/article.asp… as you wish , or you could bother to read the papers yourself.

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

David actually the reason I added the qualifier sane is because I consider the use of ceasium in a NUKE FREE ZONE like manchester area to be a pretty stupid idea , not to mention illegal.

GimboidFebruary 13th.

Nothing on that article indicates that the substance is going to be pumped into the ground, as you say.

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

ok then what do you suppose they're gonna do with i6? use it as a night light, maybe redecorate the rig with it? Because that rig has no other use at all for a water soluble radioactive substance.

Chas AmblerFebruary 11th.

If, as the CC claims, police are taken away from other duties, from whence the costs?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 16th.

As far as I'm concerned as with everybody at barton moss , you're welcome to the corrupt violnt woman beating thugs. We don't want them and they're doing no good anyway. Too busy covering up their own crimes band Igases via brutality wrongful arrest and intimidation. Over 100 Barton Moss arrests were found unlawful all at the same time by the courts last week.

SLAMDUNKFebruary 11th.

Do not make the mistake of assuming protesters are ill-informed. They do their research, and believe me, the more research into fracking you do, the more doubts you will have about its suitability in a small country like ours. There have been enough 'trials' in other parts of the world for it to be blindingly obvious that it's a dangerous road to start on. Not only that, it will NOT solve our energy problems, nor will it reduce bills. As to the 'c' word - climate change - well, that's the elephant in the room isn't it - but just imagine a few drills in a flooded area and the toxic chemicals swilling around with the sewage and overflowing drains, and what that will leave behind when the floods have gone? Safety regulations cannot be relied upon in this country, because Cameron made a point of lobbying the EU to withdraw their plan to impose regulations on energy companies wishing to drill. He got his way, and there are no regulations. He's a very dangerous man, interested only in making money for himself and his friends. They all have vested interests in these energy companies, that's why they are so desperate to get it started here. A government who is truly interested in a well-organised, sustainable energy policy would be putting money in research to improve greener energy production, and making our houses independent of the national grid. But that wouldn't make THEM money, would it?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidFebruary 11th.

You consider that you are well informed but you are only interested in scientific studies that support your view.You are extremely intolerant of anyone such as Geofrey who disagrees with your point of view.This is the same sort of intolerance you get from extreme right Fascist organisations.You want to tell people what to think. You accuse Cameron of being motivated by profit for his business friends,well it seems to me you are just the same,you are cynically using Barton Moss to further your own political agenda.Once that has finished you will find another issue to advance your political agenda.If you really care about environmental crimes go and demonstrate in China,where the air quality really is killing thousands in all the major cities.

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

And what about your political agenda David?

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

Come on David, time for you to come clean, who are you in the pay of? Conservative Party worker? Peel Holdings PR officer? Your contributions to this site suggest one or the other.

Aura HazelFebruary 11th.

David actually I've read studies from both sides and even the industry admit prevention of contamination may be an impossibility even with best practices. I choose to research thoroughly from all angles and have found the evidence favouring it to be lacking. I also read studies of the yield curve and depletion rate of wells which strongly suggest that the short term gains are not worth it. The evidence of firms across the USA declaring bankruptcy and leaving the cleanup to local authorities to be quite disturbing. Gagging orders are not encouraging things to see either.

AnonymousFebruary 11th.

One day, you'll be able to have a discussion about the merits or lack of them around fracking without people screaming it's the end of the world if we do/don't Frack

Charlie ButterworthFebruary 11th.

Oh my God for once on this rant stream I'm finding myself supporting David whose lunatic rants I normally run screaming from. BUT I feel that fracking is probably as crazy as the idea of mining and maybe the exploitation of raw materials that fed and led to the Industrial Revolution that thus led to people questioning their lowly status and giving them through economic growth the strength to find a voice. And thus gave them the freedom to protest. So in the end as far as humanity is concerned the mining and the exploitation of natural resources made us better. So I feel, gut-feel, that the anti-frackers are Luddites who would complain about fracking even if it were shown to spread wealth and give huge energy security to the country. So fuck 'em.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Aura HazelFebruary 11th.

Charlie then I suggest you go away and really do your homework, If you think gas will remain in the local market you're as naive as the person who believes the guy will pull out. In the US the majority of the gas is getting exported out and is having little to no effect on price as a result. Do you seriously think this government will stop a french company shipping out the gas onto the international market? That is so precious.

Peter BrockwellFebruary 13th.

Aura, whilst i by no means have read all the available information regarding the pros and cons of fracking, i feel i must politely disagree with your assertion that the 'fracking miracle' has had no effect on the price of natural gas in the domestic US market. Thats simply untrue. the advent of onshore US fracking has reduced US natural gas imports by over 50%, and has led to prices being held stable at worst, and falling slightly (by 5-10% depending on whether one is an industrial/commercial user or for domestic use) at best over the last 3-4 years, with that trend looking to continue. So, inflation of about 10% in real terms over 4 years in the US, and a reduction in price of up to 10% equals a net save in the region of 20% for a natural gas product. Personally, thats a saving that many of us in the squeezed UK would welcome. Of course this is without all of the more nebulous benefits that come from not relying on foreign nations for one's energy security - i personally would like to see UK energy production held less to the whim of some Russian or middle eastern politican, but appreciate we have unique requirements and an energy mix, achieved through broad consensus seems to be the best way of achieving this. Honestly, i have no axe to grind, im not a shill for 'big oil' or bullingdon club type toffs, just a private individual who would like to see informed debate coming from all sides on this issue. The one thing i think i can be categoric about is that whatever happens, the UK will need more energy, not less, over the coming years. Putting extra layers of clothing on, turning down that thermostat, these are all part of the answer but to think we as a nation can make do with less, just doesnt make sense to me

Aura HazelFebruary 13th.

Peter you really are naive, british gas are reporting an 11 PERCENT RISE IN PROFITS THIS YEAR. The price increase uin the UK has nothing to do with supply price which has rarely risen for several years and plenty to do with the majority UK provider running a monopoly .

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

Anon CEASIUM is NOT a bit of mud.

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

Anon CEASIUM IS NOT JUST A BIT OF MUD.

AnonymousFebruary 15th.

The US is a self contained market for gas whereas Europe will not. The benefits of fracking will therefore accrue mainly to large corporates, the City of London and HM Treasury whilst the disbenefits mainly felt by the local communities. The government would be better advised supporting genuinely sustainable, cleaner renewable energy sources.

AnonymousFebruary 13th.

Sorry to repeat myself on similar threads, but the protesting types who are anti-everything are possibly old enough to have supported the miners in the 1980s when the (Tory) government of the time wanted to close down some 150-year-old coal mines which were uneconomical and unsafe. In 100 years time we will wonder how the miners ever went a mile underground in dirty dangerous conditions (just like we wonder who sent Victorian kids up chimneys/ into mills) and left a legacy of massive holes in the ground under the North of England. One more hole in Salford is not going to make any difference. Contaminating underground water with a bit of mud is meaningless. Our water is piped from Wales / the Lake District / Pennine moors. Children's homes or anything else nearby will not be affected in the slightest by fracking, anymore than they were affected by being in St Helens / Salford / any other coalmining area. Until we have hydrogen cars and reliable renewables (and it will happen eventually) we will have to tap the available resources, and give working-class lads from Salford a job in the 21st century equivalent of coalmining, driving a truck for Cuadrilla/ iGas. The leftie contrarians think you can make an omelette without breaking an egg, while they ponce off the state in non-jobs and public-sector jollies, complaining about a wage freeze. By the way, a wind turbine caught fire in the winds yesterday.... just saying, you know.....

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Henry VFebruary 13th.

Could not have said it better

Simon TurnerFebruary 15th.

Better than apologising for repeating yourself is surely not to repeat yourself i the first place, especially if your post is going to moan on about people who tried to defend their pits and communities from ideoligically-driven pit closures and then descend into ill-informed stereotyping about "anti-everything" lefties who "ponce off the state in non-jobs and public-sector jollies, complaining about a wage freeze." Next time, just don't bother posting.

Aura HazelFebruary 15th.

you call ceasium 137 mud? because I sure as hell don't

not aura hazelFebruary 15th.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 15th.

About the limit of the argument of the "protectors" (they are protestors!) They accuse supporters of fracking of being ignorant, whilst doing the childish, fingers in ears LA LA LA. There will never be a sensible debate whilst both sides are so entrenched. I do believe the climate is changing, I do believe humans are responsible, but I don't believe that we can reverse the effects, it's too late.

Aura HazelFebruary 16th.

nice attempted ad hominem there, I've provided date, you've contributed hot air and ignored the fact GMP are now under investigation via the EHCR for several major violations. Brutality and intimidation bfor a start. You really should think before you support something. Also look up the patents on PERF guns for fracking at high volume sometime. Specifically the haliburton one which according to the schematics uses Depleted Uranium in perforations.

AnonymousFebruary 15th.

Has anybody investigated the effects of covering large areas of land with these new solar farms? The land below the panels will no longer benefit from solar heating. What does this do for the micro organisms in the soil? What effects do they have on the heat retention within the soil layer. The ground acts as a massive storage heater, warming up through the summer, cooling down in the winter. What happens if we interfere with this natural effect? As for wind farms, do the vortexes produced from the spinning blades alter local wind patterns? The idea that renewables do not have a consequence is surely not possible. Every action has a reaction.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 15th.

Oh come on. Land no longer benefits from solar heating underneath any man made structure on the planet, of which there are rather a lot. Ditto local wind patterns. No-one objects to building a housing estate because the wind might have to pick a different path through it.

Aura HazelFebruary 16th.

You sound like that nut from the USA who claimed wind was a finite resource because the turbines might slow down the wind, disturbing bit is that dude was a state energy minister. Do the world a favour and educate yourself.

AnonymousFebruary 16th.

Once again a protester calls someone "a nut" for having the temerity to ask a question. Just shows that BOTH sides intransigence will never allow any meaningful dialogue. Protesters name calling and the big business bullying.

AnonymousFebruary 16th.

Aura, I never stated that I thought the wind was finite. Just pondered a question and wondered if any studies have been made to refute anyone posing this question. By the way, I don't need educating thank you, to favour the world or anything else for that matter. I have a PhD and have done enough study to last me a lifetime. But don't let that stop you from insulting me, calling me a nut, without the slightest idea of my background.

AnonymousFebruary 16th.

I'm guessing it's not a PhD in a science subject...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 16th.

Chemistry, why?

Simon TurnerFebruary 16th.

One or two ranters complaining about the protestors, calling them leftie this that and the others. How about a look at this, in the Daily Mail, hardly the leftie bible! www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Stunning-photos-impact-fracking-small-rural-Pennsylvania-communities.html…

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