It’s great to have some light relief

Sometimes keeping up with the fracking debate can be dry and tedious. At other times though we are treated to entertainment which makes it all worth while.

Today at Blackpool Football Club the bitterness which seem to surround the place whilst the Oyston sagas rumble on gave way to pantomime as the self styled  silent majority showed itself to be an extremely vocal minority.

A group which set up a few months ago and now boasts a whole 163 Facebook followers held a demo outside BFC where the planning inspector for the Cuadrilla appeals was holding a meeting. Realising that putting the inspector’s back up by demonstrating whilst she was explaining how the appeals would be organised might not be the best way of impressing her, those opposing fracking stayed away. The pro-fracking group had no such qualms and duly announced a rally to take place at 9:45 am

At quarter to ten the only evidence of a rally was three very tense looking people shouting down their mobile phones and looking worried, but eventually a gaggle of pro fracking supporters straggled along for a photo opportunity and the chance to shout slogans and annoy the inspector.

The page admin for the group was so excited that she completely lost the ability to count and claimed that 50-60 fracking supporters had turned out.

Now we are quite used to them hiding away so I suppose it’s just possible that most of them were behind the lorry all the time, but if not then the figure of sixty looks about as accurate as the NWETF’s estimates of supporters for their letter to LCC.

Knowing the problems they have with arithmetic we’ve made the counting easy for them by doing arrow in fives so they can count using their fingers and thumbs. We make it four hands or twenty as we grown ups would say.

We enjoyed it so much that we watched this fiasco on every news bulletin on which it was shown. You can catch it here about 9 minutes and 10 seconds in.

It’s priceless. Especially the bit where James Mansell of Clear Solutions International Ltd  in Wem, Shropshire, 100 miles away from Blackpool, described himself to Judy Hobson as a “local business”.

[PS it has been pointed out to us that in an earlier bulletin than the one we saw Mr Mansell admitted that he was from Wem and in reponse to Judy Hobson’s introduction:

Yes there was a demonstration outside, a Pro-Fracking demonstration, it was a group called ‘Backing Fracking’, there were about 40 here today . They were made up mainly of local businessmen, but some had also come from further afield, including James Mansell, whose company is based in Shropshire and he supplies fracking fluid to various companies….


“We thought we should come along here and support local residents really….This is a local resident event. Local residents want to get jobs and better security for themselves and their families out of this industry as it develops. ”

before he then went on to claim

“It seemed right that as local businesses and companies we should come and support that”

So perhaps that last statement was just a slip of the tongue which was presented out of context by the BBC in the follow up bulletins.

We still think it’s hilarious that he described it as a “local resident event” after Judy had nailed it by pointing out “They were made up mainly of local businessmen” though :-)]

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