The PM’s offer of cash for fracking is a master-stroke of divide and conquer straight from the pro-fracking lobbyists. The payments (see this Guardian report) link cash hand-outs to those living next door to fracking sites to the drilling’s commercial success.
This might seem like a people’s capitalism similar to Thatcher’s council house sell off. But it’s real success will be in undermining community cohesion in protesting against fracking sites. It’s political genius and once again shows Prime Minister May to be an accomplished and formidable operator.
One senses the deathly hand of the lobbyists and spin-doctors in this policy’s formation (see this Spin Watch report). But how to prove it? FOI requests may work, but will more than likely fall on stony ground…
Suffice it to say that the involved PR groups have recognised that astro-turfing is not working and that local people are ready to stand up to them.
Two things to note; there are no similar payments for those neighbouring windfarms, and there is no mention at all of our obligations to reduce carbon emissions.