Red faces – not reds under the bed
One of the fracking PR machine’s oddest themes is that anyone who opposes fracking must be being paid by Vladimir Putin. Although this is pretty childish it is nevertheless a double pronged attack – firstly it suggests that the army of fracking protesters, who spend vast amounts of our own time researching fracking and communicating about it, are really only in it for the money, but it also suggests that we are somehow unpatriotic and are betraying our countries. It is, in fact, a nasty little theme which is a long way from the truth for everyone I know personally who is involved in this struggle. [Note: I am not saying that Putin wouldn’t like to see shale gas fail in US and UK – Russia clearly has a commercial interest in that happening. It’s just that I have never come across a jot of evidence that anyone I know has ever received any inducements from any foreign power whatsoever]
The idea seems to have started with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Danish prime minister and Nato Secretary General, who went off on a bit of a rant two years ago being quoted in the FT as saying that:
“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,”
Unfortunately Mr Rasmussen wasn’t able to substantiate his suggestions with any evidence.
We also learned recently that Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails included this:
“We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media. We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort, ‘Oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you,’ and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia,”
but of course “The Clinton campaign has refused to comment on the leaked documents while declining to dispute their authenticity“, or to put it another way, there seems to be no substantiating evidence for this claim either.
But what about nearer home? Mr Putin gets a warmer reception over here doesn’t he? After all our monarch apparently has difficulty telling Mr Putin apart from Andrew Marr!
Our own fledgling fracking industry wouldn’t stoop to such depths though would they?
Well, just this week the ludicrous Backing Fracking published a post on Facebook in which they copied the balance sheet from the company accounts of the business I run. Their financial acumen is so lacking that they drew a very peculiar inference from it. They seemed not to understand that a balance sheet is a snapshot and that a difference between end of year accounts receivables and an increase in cash held at a certain point really doesn’t tell you anything – Least of all that it shows that I am “being paid to behave as a social media troll” as they bizarrely claimed. In fact the inference that my accountants, Moore and Smalley, had allowed me to finalise accounts, without noticing a large influx in cash (“BackingFracking”suggested it was tens of thousands of pounds) from an unusual source unrelated to my business, is presumably defamatory to my professional advisers.
To be honest we thought this was mildly amusing and just added a new story to the spoof www.backingfracking.com site
… but then our old friend Ken Wilkinson joined in with an even more defamatory comment.
This comment actually defames me, my fellow director and my accountants. And I have to say I love the way in which he blithely libels us all whilst admitting that he doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. It’s really too funny for words. Those of us who know him will realise that this is how he operates all the time – pontificating from a position of ignorance and arrogance really is his speciality.
Actually he has a bit of form here – he had to grovel to Mike Hill after accusing him of not being a member of the IET (that was before he tried to ruin Mike’s career, by complaining to that body)
You will of course notice that the error was not Ken’s fault – nothing ever is it seems!
Facebook do hate to be reminded of the Defamation Act 2013, so they removed the whole thread from BackingFracking’s Facebook page within two hours, but I was still able to give Ken a bad day.
He hates to apologise for anything but he did have to respond to my email thus:
We do love a good grovel from Ken, so we informed him that “unwise” really wasn’t quite good enough, and that unless he wanted a solicitors letter to arrive at his home in Bristol [address removed as Ken clearly doesn’t like the taste of his own medicine], then he’d better apologise properly, making particular reference to the fact that he acknowledges that his allegations about payments from Russia, “suspicious” accounting irregularities, and payments being processed by my company without appropriate invoicing cannot in any way be substantiated by him and will not be repeated.
By this time though Ken felt he was on strong enough ground to push back a little and responded
He’ll just have to wait and see what I decide to do next won’t he – unlike Ken and his pro-fracking friends, for some of us it’s not all about money, and it certainly isn’t about Roubles 🙂
I can think of a few people who might take some pleasure in seeing this troublesome old man hoist with his own petard though, so I will wait and see what my solicitor suggests next week.
Until next time!
Well, he never did deign to apologise properly, but we clearly upset Ken by referring to his address above, as next time his pal at Backing Fracking (Michael Roberts) published a picture of an anti-fracker’s house on their fatuous Facebook page (they do this quite a lot to intimidate people) I got a special mention:
It’s always good to see how much attention they pay to this site, but how funny to talk about sinking to my level! I can only assume that Ken must have been a bit coy about admitting to Michael the levels he has sunk to previously when he published this :
He clearly found that very amusing indeed. The page he linked to is his very own website as can be seen from the page footer (I’ve obscured the phone and email details below as I’d truly hate to upset him again!)
Ken’s site carried not just the addresses of several people he wanted his friends to harass but their telephone numbers and email addresses. You can find it here.
Ken justifies sinking to this level by pointing out that
After all that’s publicly available information from the man himself! Ah! That’s the power of the interweb eh!