One thing we have learnt this week is that protest in the UK is not dead merely sleeping. The UK has a long history of protest. From CND, nuclear power, new age travellers, raves, the poll tax, nuclear missiles, anti-roads, 3rd runway etc. the list goes on. You could say that there are always a small group of people who want to protest about something. And you would be right, although that does not mean they are wrong to protest. Perhaps because the recession things have been quieter recently, however in the last week or so we have seen major protests in leafy Surrey against fracking at Balcombe.
Looking at the Frack off (UK) website other groups in areas threatened all over the UK are organising fast. Some against Fracking others against mine gas. Its become obvious to some politicians that they have a fight on their hands. Lord Howell suggested fracking should be confined to the North-East of England presumably since he thinks its some post industrial wasteland where his party gets no votes (unlike Surrey).
Its been pretty obvious to most of us that this isn’t going to work out the way the government wants. The UK is not the US. The crown owns the land underneath us so we have less financial incentive than in the US. Parts of SE England are water stressed (Fracking needs lots). As we have seen most of the areas where fracking is proposed are beautiful (including NE England where we are going on a short break later this year) and the locals don’t like it. In the meanwhile new gas powered stations will be built but with no shale gas to run them we will have import gas from abroad at increasing expense.