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From: The Socialist issue 1007, 29 August 2018: NHS: Mass fightback is needed

Search site for keywords: Fracking - Government - Protest - Planning - Nottinghamshire - Environment - Energy - Derbyshire

Fracking companies backed by government and courts

Fracking is dangerous and polluting, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)

Fracking is dangerous and polluting, photo Casey Hugelfink (Creatvie Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

A lot has happened on the fracking front in recent months. Notably, fracking companies Cuadrilla and Ineos have been awarded High Court injunctions which, in effect, restrict many forms of legitimate protest.

Any protest which slows down operations at fracking sites or at sites belonging to contractors will be considered in contempt of court, and any protester involved could face a prison sentence or have their assets seized. There has been a number of appeals against these injunctions but all cases have failed.

Ineos is also in the process of taking the National Trust to court because they are refusing Ineos access to their land at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire to carry out seismic testing.

Ineos has also recently won an appeal against Derbyshire County Council's refusal to allow them permission to drill in the village of March Lane.

Government-appointed planning inspector Elizabeth Hill said: "I have found that there would be slight harm in terms of the living conditions of neighboring occupiers in terms of nighttime noise, to which I give limited weight. However, this would not outweigh the benefits of the exploration in terms of its potential to improve resources for energy supplies to which I give substantial weight. In any event, the minor harm in this case is outweighed by other material considerations." The profits of Ineos maybe?

The Tory government now plans to allow fracking companies to bypass local planning laws. In future, fracking applications would be decided by central government.

The Socialist Party fights against fracking and for proper democratic control by working class people of land and resources in order to protect the environment.

Jon Sibbald, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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