Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Rathlin's Propaganda: Read between the lines

Rathlin's propaganda machine has delivered 45,000 leaflets to local residents.  Here's a response to the latest (lack of) information from their PR.

Dear Simon, all very clever but still no explanation of why Rathlin applied to the Environment Agency to carry out hydraulic fracking.

No explanation of why they are drilling into Bowland Shale when it is public knowledge that this is a "tight" formation from which gas can only be released by fracking. At least the other oil companies are honest about this.

No reference to the 50 year option to set up oil and/or gas production at West Newton and Crawberry Hill, the latter on top of the second most important chalk aquifer in the country.

No reference to the numerous breaches of the planning permissions.

No reference to the serious impact on local wildlife.

No reference to spillages at both sites compromising the integrity of pea crops harvested by Birdseye, and in the case of West Newton draining into a SSSI and then on to the Hull River.

No reference to the breaches of Health and Safety legislation which meant that on the first day of operations at Crawberry Hill a person exercising their European Human Right to peaceful protest was knocked down by a tractor and had to have hospital treatment.

No reference to Operation Trojan/Trogan/Trogen (pity the highly paid police can't spell) which involves the police, Rathlin and East Riding Council in a Memorandum of Understanding, a deliberate, secret, strategy to undermine the right of residents to protest against the evidence-based concerns about the impact of exploratory drilling, let alone full scale production, on the health and welfare of all East Riding residents, with the first signs of impact on property values at West Newton.

No reference to the impact of oil and gas development on global warming which creates extremely high risk in a county with the fastest eroding coastline in Europe, recent experience of major flooding and monthly experience of severe weather conditions leading to damage to property.

No explanation of the incompetence of Rathlin's project management which has led them to run out of time at Crawberry Hill. They knew at the start  they only had two years to complete their drilling at Crawberry Hill but they had three years at West Newton. So what did they do? They put all their drilling equipment into West Newton first leaving them insufficient time to meet the 5th November 2014 deadline for Crawberry Hill rather than the obvious logic of working the other way round. If this is typical of their management incompetence then heaven help us if they get the chance to operate here for the next 50 years.

No explanation of why there was no office facility, no security fencing, no security staff employed at Crawberry on a site which was described in the High Court as being at high risk if there was any tampering with the well head - a deliberately irresponsible approach.

No explanation of why Humberside police have colluded with Rathlin in ignoring the traffic management plan for both sites.

No explanation of why the so-called community liaison meetings are held in strict secrecy to avoid the community voicing their concerns.

In other words another example of your well deserved reputation for mastery of the dark arts of spin and deception.

I trust you still sleep well despite your active role in defending the planned ruin of the East Riding. I expect the fee you earn helps but that will be little comfort for the 8000 reported to work in the local tourism industry or the similar number of residents who work in agriculture.

Finally, an apology. Thanks for the offer but no, I do not want to meet you for a cup of coffee and a chat; perhaps we might if you are able to answer truthfully to the points made above.

Regards, Jon Mager

"The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." Joseph Goebbels 1941

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