Lord Browne has so many job roles it’s a wonder he has time to sleep. An informant of the Informant has brought to our attention another of John Browne’s roles, and one that to many will confirm his position as one of the world’s leading environmental hazards.
He is now a director of Cuadrilla, the shale gas ‘fracking’ company that possibly caused earthquakes near Blackpool but that still plans to frack onwards across large areas of the UK, and according to that Independent article Lord Browne thinks it will lead to a real jobs bonanza.
There seem to be two sides to the fracking argument: those who think it poses a high risk of polluting both air and water supplies in very significant ways, and, er, fossil fuel companies and their PR men. This link describes the environmental concerns in brief. A comment at the bottom casts doubt on the idea of fracking creating local jobs around the sites. Here we see how far the frackers are willing to go to protect themselves.
But an interesting question to ask is why the Independent felt it newsworthy that a PR man for the fracking industry – someone who earns money from it, probably has personal money invested in it, and through Riverstone (see previous update) is probably investing his friends’ money in it too – why they would feel it newsworthy that such a man is making a positive claim about the industry.
Talking of the noble trade of journalism, holding the powerful to account as ever, the article goes on to comment that Cuadrilla is waiting on government permission to go ahead with fracking without thinking it worthwhile to comment on the thousand and one links John Browne has with the machinery of government. In fact, one local group in a community next in line to get fracked has pointed out that their own MP, who visited them to talk about fracking in the area, gave Browne his Cabinet Office job.
Some might think Browne’s friends in government will have a bearing on whether Cuadrilla gets the go-ahead – but not these journalists it seems. Perhaps they don’t know how well-connected Browne is, or perhaps it just all seems perfectly normal to them that powerful people have powerful friends who help them get the ‘right’ decisions in government that help them all get more money and power. Perhaps they just put together a collection of copy-and-paste paragraphs to a silly deadline.
Ah journalists, the ever-watchful guardians of democracy…