So who exactly is Backing Fracking – unmasking the astro-turfers redux

It is hard to know how to react to the industry front group astroturfers, Backing Fracking, sometimes.

As we have seen previously the group’s claims to represent ordinary members of the community rather than business interests are risible to say the least. Previously though the main individual posting seemed to have a logical and literate approach which made their posts at least entertaining and worthy of some sort of response.

Latterly however they have taken to blocking those who disagree with their opinions on their various social media platforms and accounts and whoever set the account up seems to have lost interest sufficiently to have handed over the password to our old friends, the fracktastic tag team – Ken Wilkinson in Bristol and the Rev. Michael Roberts in Garstang (at least in his earthly incarnation).

How do we know? Well as far as Mad Rev is concerned we can see that, apart from the multiple tropes like his insistence on using the infantile word “porkies” when he accuses people of lying (perhaps he thinks it will protect him from defamation claims?), his vanity got the better of him on more than one occasion.

He gave us a big clue in November when he  posted:

Note the dismissive reference to “green Christians”

He subsequently posted as “Backing Fracking” referring to his own blog in which he “peddles God” and smears academics yet again, but this time writing of it as “my” blog

So it is beyond any doubt that the Reverend Roberts is posting using the BackingFracking account here. This behaviour could almost be described as “narcissistic” couldn’t it?

Ah you think “narcissistic” is a little strong? Are you sure? 🙂

What of his chum Ken Wilkinson? Well here we have Ken apparently replying to a post he himself made as BackingFracking and being admonished, presumably this time by the risible Reverend, for not having added something to the post he made as BackingFracking an hour previously.

This technique of posting using one account and then replying using another seems to be a common one if you follow the page. Presumably it is a desperate attempt to “demonstrate” that people read the output and that there are more than two contributors. Interestingly the other main commenter is a certain “Jim Georges” – a dud Facebook profile with no friends or history, used by somebody who also comments on Social Media as Hballpeen, Hballpeenyahoo, Bard Welsh and Brad Welsh. You could create a whole army of these sock puppets if you were a PR company with a large budget and an obliging client with deep pockets couldn’t you?

Anyway – we can now see that Madrev and Ken are behind BackingFracking, although how they find the time  in between trying to destroy people’s careers , zealously guarding a pro-fracking viewpoint on a vanity wikipedia page and posting on the only other two pro-fracking Facebook Groups that exist (the fast diminishing Blackpool Fracking for a Better Future and Friends of Ryedale Gas) is something of a mystery.

In any case it seems that in the face of massive social media opposition, the industry have given up as far as using Facebook to try to win a social licence is concerned. They have banned anyone who was prepared to interact with them, and giving the car keys to this comedy duo seems to be just their way of not having to admit defeat in public.

Quite embarrassing really – especially for somebody who tries to claim on the  Wikepedia talk page to the article he appears to think he owns that “I do not intentionally ‘promote’ the industry”.

Now I think that’s what his pal Mad Rev would call a “porky”, don’t you?


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