Socialist Worker

Tories push for fracking where there isn’t enough gas

Issue No. 2405

The government chose election day to propose new rules regarding rights to access land in a bid to speed up the introduction of fracking.

The consultation comes as a new report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) estimates there are 4.4 billion barrels of oil in shale rocks in southern England.

The Weald Basin covers areas including Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent. 

However Professor of Unconventional Petroleum Andrew Aplin from Durham University said, “A careful look at the data in the report suggests that much of the oil in the shales is tightly bound to the rock and therefore difficult or impossible to produce.

“If there is any potentially producible oil in the shales, there are two further problems.

“Much of the shale sequence in the Weald is clay-rich, which US experience suggests is difficult to fracture effectively.

“Also, the chemistry of the oil in much of the area is likely to be quite heavy and thus will not flow easily. 

“In contrast, the shale oil which is being currently produced from areas such as the Eagle Ford in the USA is much lighter and thus flows more easily.

“Since neither the rock nor the oil is of optimal quality in the Weald, we might estimate that 1 percent of the Weald oil resource might be recoverable.

“This would equate to 0.05 billion barrels, which is about two months’ UK consumption.”


Due to the delays to universal credit, a government watchdog has assessed it as “reset”—meaning it is considered a brand new scheme. This is despite the £8.8 million already spent on 

consultants alone for the scheme between 2011 and 2013. The Major Projects Authority used the assessment for the first time for Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship pilot. 


The by-election in Newark caused by friend of the spooks  and lobby lunches Patrick Mercer looms .

Every Tory MP  has been told to visit the constituency three times before election day. 

That’s over 900 visits. Have the people of Newark not suffered enough.


A royal room with a view you paid for

After a nine-month multi-million pound refurb, Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new home on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, is ready for occupancy.

The ten-bedroom Georgian mansion boasts an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court.

The wood store has been converted into a nanny flat, and the drive re-routed with trees, railings and fencing for security.

They won’t have to live there all the time, of course. Their main residence is a 20-room apartment in Kensington Palace. 

They’ll also stay at Windsor, Balmoral and sundry other royal pads. Beats paying the bedroom tax.


Can’t get enough of Prince George? Then buy him. Dolls made to look like scrounger junior  are going on eBay for £1,650 (pictured). 

They come complete with a “King in Training” clothes set.


Blooming bankers  in Chelsea show

It has taken six years since we gave them £46 billion but RBS is coming up roses.

The bank last week hosted a private party at an English rose garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

 RBS wasn’t the only bank conducting its business in a more fragrant setting. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a former sponsor of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, opened the champagne against a backdrop of massed lilies. 

Goldman Sachs held court amid a tangle of ornamental cabbage.  JP Morgan Cazenove’s clients admired a blend of “early and late-flowering peonies”.

Oil giant BP, meanwhile, set out its party stall by a herbaceous plant named “Risky Business”.

The plant thrives “best where it’s shady” apparently.


Is Campbell sexing up Egypt’s army?

Former Labour Party spin doctor Alastair Campbell has been to Egypt for talks with “officials and politicians”.

Campbell was forced to quit as spin doctor in 2003 after the Iraq war “dodgy dossier” scandal.

He has now been advising Egypt’s ruler, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Campbell said, “I was in Egypt a few weeks ago to discuss, with officials and politicians, perceptions in the international media about Egypt.”

Campbell, along with Tony Blair, advised the government of Kazakhstan.


Faulty Firm

British Gas

  • British Gas paid bonuses for inflating business customers’ bills
  • Churches and charities were targeted because they had fewer resources to shop around
  • One salesman said, “If the customer is a charity, or someone who doesn’t speak English, they are so easy to mislead, it’s gold dust to us.”

Pupils to strike before the teachers 

School students in south east London are preparing to strike against plans to turn their school into an academy.

The students at Crown Woods College in Eltham say academy status would give them a worse education.

Twelve year old Georgina Abbott told a local newspaper, “There would be a lack of high teaching standards. 

“It’s been proved other academies have gone down in Ofsted results.”

Georgina said around 50 students would take part in the strike and gather at the school gates on Tuesday of next week.


The Things They Say...

‘Disappointed with the result but the party remains resolute and this was expected at this point in the electoral cycle’

Lib Dem briefing document on what to say if the election went badly

‘Calling for a leadership election is just about the silliest idea I’ve heard I think in my political career. It’s just not serious politics’

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on Sunday

‘A genuine desire to do what’s best for the party and are very sincere about the things they put forward and I respect them’

Paddy Ashdown on Monday—on those calling for a contest

‘There is a kind of peasants’ revolt going on’

London Tory mayor Boris Johnson explains why people aren’t voting Tory

 


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 27 May 2014, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2405
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