Southport Conservative councillor, Sir Ron Watson, has been named in the Liverpool media as the ONLY Sefton councillor who thinks that fracking is a good idea.
There have recently been over 30 seismic events, subsequent to the latest controversial Cuadrilla shale gas operations in Blackpool, which brought wide-scale public condemnation with political calls for fracking to cease.
Tory MP for Southport, Damien Moore, has not defined his full position on fracking, but told Parliament that concern was being raised by "very ordinary general people". This somewhat abstract and limited stance has suggested to the public that a measure of political fence-sitting may be an issue for this MP.
Sir Ron’s unpopular pro-fracking stance also appears to place him at odds, once again, with Sefton’s elusive Tory leader, Cllr Terry Jones, who is allegedly not in favour of fracking.
This is not the first time that councillors Jones and Watson have had divisive views.
Several years ago a dossier, obtained by the Liverpool media, showed how Sir Ron and Cllr Les Byrom sent dozens of letters to leading political figures on each other’s behalf, pursuing a peerage for Sir Ron and a CBE for Cllr Byrom. It was reported in the press that the file also included communication between the pair discussing the best way to secure the honours.
It was alleged that both Sir Ron and Cllr Byrom, who already had an MBE, wanted greater political honours: Les Byrom sought a knighthood while Sir Ron was said to be seeking a place in the House of Lords. Emails leaked out indicated that the pair were involved in lobbying for each other.
Sir Ron went on to apologise and resign from the local party for his so-called, “error of judgement”.
At the time Cllr Terry Jones said: “I feel that I have no choice but to seek immediate expulsion of Cllr Ron Watson as I believe his actions look bad on our association.” Cllr Jones also advised the media that his party had sent letters to the Southport Hospital trust, where Sir Ron was the chairman, and to the Solicitors Regulation Authority board, on which he sat, calling for his expulsion from both bodies.
The CARES hospital campaign group also stated at that time:
“Sir Ron’s selfish actions have no place in a modern NHS Trust and do no favours to our town’s residents. CARES propose a vote of ‘No confidence’ in this man as NHS Chairman. He should now do the most honourable thing and resign from this trusted position as Chairman forthwith. “
Influential politicians of all parties are now opposing fracking.
The Liberal Democrats previously launched its manifesto with a commitment to:
“Oppose fracking because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently stated: "A Labour government will ban fracking immediately."
As for the Tories; recent developments appear to indicate that this party is ripping itself apart over the fracking debacle, with little or no logical communication between activists and government.
The public is supposed to simply trust the so-called experts, who indicate that they know what is going on under the earth. This is, of course, sheer nonsense. The vast geological stratum of the earth has taken billions of years to settle into the fragile balance it is in today. Man now comes along and blasts ancient rocks apart in a matter of days, which means the fragile equilibrium is now destroyed. Mother Nature can only warn us – but fools frequently fail to listen to, or see her signs.