You could almost feel sorry for them

not backing frackingToday whoever runs the industry mouthpiece at BackingFracking, became overwrought – maybe he had been watching the webcast of the closing submissions by PNR and FoE which comprehensively demolished Cuadrilla’s grounds for appeal, or maybe he’s listened to Babs Murphy and her unconvincing submissions for too long – I know we did.

They posted a plangent complaint on their Facebook page about being misunderstood – it was very touching!

The constant efforts to smear and discredit @BackingFracking, its members and supporters, is really quite gratifying…it shows how worried ‪#‎fracking‬ opponents are.

Unproven allegations that Backing Fracking is an industry astroturfing group, constant efforts to identify, “out” and then undermine the credibility of supporters – and now an outright lie that we offered cash to people in return for attending a demo – all show that there is nothing that anti-frackers won’t do in order to try and control the media perception of fracking.

It also highlights their growing desperation and concern about the emergence of a series of residents groups all supporting shale gas extraction.

You can keep on trying to defame us, you can keep trying to shut us up, and you can keep trying to intimidate us, but listen up folks: it won’t work, and only makes us stronger and more determined to carry on our campaigning.

Now, it’s quite funny to read these shills complaining that they are being discredited and smeared when that is all they have done to others on their Facebook Page and Twitter accounts for the last 3 months. They have hardly attempted to put forward a positive argument in favour of fracking since Christmas, even trying to distance themselves from their poster boy Stephen Tindale’s claims that fracking might be a bridge fuel in recent days.

But let’s analyse what they said a little shall we?

The allegations that Backing Fracking is an astroturfing group are “unproven” but they are not described as “untrue“, which is quite revealing. 🙂

They apparently feel hard done by because people make efforts to identify their supporters and their interests, but fail to see the obvious point that real grassroots supporters are open about who they are. It doesn’t need an effort to work out who I am – you just have to ask if it’s not obvious. Anti-frackers on the Fylde don’t hide behind anonymity or get upset when people find out what WE do for jobs. It seems that they are complaining that by identifying the vested interests of those who speak for their group we are undermining them? But that can surely only be the case if the vested interests described put those people in a negative light can’t it?

I don’t know the truth regarding allegations that people were offered cash to attend a demo, but I do know that the attendance at their events is embarrassingly low, so if they were offering cash it clearly wasn’t enough.

And then we have the accusation that anti-frackers are trying to control the media perception of fracking. Now that coming from an organisation with such strong links to the North West Energy Task Force is pretty hilarious isn’t it. Yes , that the “Task force” that is run by PR company Westbourne Communications. We may not have their budgets but it would appear from the outraged squeals here that we are succeeding in out-gunning them in every way.

I’m not sure where they get the mistaken idea that we are in the slightest bit concerned about “the emergence of a series of residents groups all supporting shale gas extraction” because we are only aware of 3 – Backing Fracking, FORGE and Blackpool Fracking for a Better Future. They have all been around for an age and  same half dozen people post on all three.

Backing Fracking has only 255 Facebook likes, 181 Twitter followers, a mailing list of about 130 and refuses to admit how few people have signed their pro-fracking petition.

FORGE has 285 Facebook likes – we imagine most are the same people who have like Backing Fracking, but we can’t tell because they routinely block anyone who comments disagreeing with fracking.

Blackpool Fracking For a Better Future had over 650 Facebook “members” within a week of starting up but has now declined to 591, presumably as people who were signed up by the organisers got tired of the same old drivel from the same old people – amusingly, the only two people to have started discussions on there since early January are our old friends Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson, who coincidentally are just about the only people apart from the anonymous “Backing Fracking” and his pal Lorraine to post on the other two groups. Groups that grow organically (like grass roots supporters tend to) don’t suddenly acquire 650 members and then decline in numbers over the course of a year.

So where are these new groups Backing Fracking speaks of emerging, and where are the emerging from?

The truth is that there is no grassroots support for fracking as has been made very evident by the marked absence of local residents without interests in the industry speaking at the public sessions of the inquiry.

We’re very sure though that Backing Fracking will carry on campaigning though – after all they raised £1,100 in donations back in October for a web site some flyers and expenses, and we’ve never seen a flyer, they don’t have a website and they claim they don’t bribe people to attend demos – they’ll have to spend it on something won’t they? 🙂

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