Socialist Worker

Fracking giant Ineos gets protest injunction

Issue No. 2565

Protesting against fracking

Protesting against fracking


The courts handed a big present to Ineos, the largest shale gas exploration company in Britain, on Monday.

The High Court granted the giant firm an interim injunction against potential anti-fracking protesters.

It covers eight named locations.

They included two proposed shale gas sites in Derbyshire and Rotherham, as well as company offices and property belonging to site landowners.

It also applies more widely than injunctions sought by previous oil and gas companies. It covers routes to the proposed exploration sites and to activities undertaken by Ineos employees and members of its supply chain.

This includes any depot, equipment, people and operations.

It even outlaws actions such as slow-walking.

Ineos Shale also recently threatened the National Trust with legal action over access to land in Nottinghamshire.

The company wants to carry out seismic testing there and said, “The National Trust is taking an overtly political position.”

As the injunction was granted, direct action protests continued at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool.

The coordinator, Reclaim the Power, said there had been disruptive action every working day in July.

More than 70 people have been arrested.


How the Mitie has fallen

An investigation into the auditing of outsourcing giant Mitie’s accounts has shone a little light on the murky world it inhabits.

Mitie has milked millions from public authority contracts to run services, from immigration detention centres to cleaning, security and healthcare.

The bosses’ Financial Times newspaper reports how Mitie admitted it had been “over-aggressive” in its accounting.

Mitie is believed to have recorded profits on long-term contracts too early for them to be true.

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) watchdog’s investigation focuses more on how Mitie’s accounting practices were audited by top management consultancy Deloitte than on Mitie’s own accounting.

Astonishingly, the FRC found “deficiencies” in one third of the accounts it scrutinised across the six largest audit firms in Britain.

Competition for public services contracts is intense, as outsourcing firms outbid each other to squeeze as much profit as they can.

Workers face the brunt of this with attacks on their conditions while services deteriorate for their users.

Profit should have no place in our public services.


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