I’ve had quite a media-ish week, mostly, but not entirely, arising from Theresa May’s bright idea that George Osborne’s ‘shale wealth fund‘ might act as more of an incentive if it were paid to individual householders instead of to local councils. Obviously, the existence of the proposed fund at all is far from certain, depending as it does on fracking making a profit in the UK, those profits actually being taxed, and there being enough tax revenue thereby for ten per cent of it to mean something. 10% of zero is, of course, zero. But public support for fracking continues to plummet, and the dangling possibility of a few quid (especially if the equally affected neighbours down the road won’t get it) seems to be what Ms May thinks One Nationhood is all about.
And of course it gave an opportunity to DUP MP (and former NI Environment Minister) Sammy Wilson to wheel out his well-worn anti-Green artillery. It’s been a couple of weeks since he was last in the headlines, accusing women MPs of ‘voyeurism’ for seeking to breastfeed their babies while at work in the Commons chamber. That didn’t end too well, with even his party distancing itself, so he was probably relieved to return to the old Green-baiting. There’s something comforting about a long-established hobby.
Anyway, I was given the job of responding to him, in the original Belfast Telegraph article (see link above), on the Green Party website and on Radio Ulster’s Talkback (begins 45mins in) and Q Radio. There was also an article about the whole business in today’s Fermanagh Herald (more headline idiosyncrasies – I assume the inverted commas were supposed to be around both the first words, otherwise it appears that Tom and I are definitely warriors but dubiously eco) …
… and one about the success of the library campaign, too.