The headline “New York warning over Lancashire County Council fracking vote” appeared on the BBC news website this weekend, above a report about how “850 legislators” from New York City had sent a letter to Lancashire County Council, urging them to ditch plans to allow fracking to occur in the northern English county.
“Wow!” one might think, “Lawmakers from the Big Apple paying attention to a comparatively small British county… this must REALLY mean that fracking is bad!”
Well, that’s what the BBC wanted you to think anyway. But a quick look into the letter that has come from the “non-partisan” group calling itself “Elected Officials to Protect New York” reveals that once again, the BBC has either been duped, or has wilfully misrepresented the letter. The truth is, it has just 10 signatories. They’re all left-wing Democrats. And they’re all basically the equivalent of British, parish councillors – representing no more than about 75,000 people between them, across little villages and counties in the outskirts of New York State. Oh and one of them is a “former council member”.
This is a long way away from Lancashire County Council, which has about 1.5 million residents under it. Suddenly this doesn’t seem like a major “warning” from big bad New York to teensy-weensy Lancashire anymore.
The BBC report also claims that “The letter, signed by 850 elected officials in New York State, comes days before the council decides whether to approve test drilling at two locations.” But it doesn’t reveal that the letter is only signed by 10 people, on behalf of a presumed, unnamed, 850 others who either weren’t bothered enough, or don’t exist enough, to sign the letter themselves. Indeed the ‘Elected Officials to Protect New York’ website only lists 104 people, and nine of them are “former legislators”.
Out of the 10 who have signed, 10 of them are Democrats. Not just ordinary Democrats either. But that real, far-Left fringe of Democrats. For instance, you’ve got Martha Robertson, listed as ‘Legislator, Tompkins County’, which is the equivalent of a ‘Town Councillor’ in Britain. Robertson stood for the U.S. Congress in the 23rd District of New York State. In 2010, Democrat Bill Owens beat his Republican challenger to establish a majority of a slim 2,000. In 2012, Republican Tom Reed established a 10,000 majority. And in 2014, against Ms. Robertson, he quadruplde his majority to a whopping 42,888.
How bad, or nutty, a candidate do you have to be have your incumbent opponent quadruple their lead against you?
But anyway, back to the point. Some how, from a letter signed by a group of hard-left, Democrat common councilmen, town councillors, and one mayor (of a town of 30,000) people, the BBC has gleaned a “New York warning”.
The letter contains the line, “We believe these conclusions apply just as much to Lancashire as to New York.” They’ve neglected the fact that no one cares what they think. Or shouldn’t. And at least wouldn’t were it not for our dear, publicly-funded BBC.
In fact, I’ll put £50 on the claim that none of them have ever even been to Lancashire, or could point to it on a map, or could even pronounce it.