Sergeant Macca’s anti-fracking band: the conga line of luvvies and Lefties from Michael Mansfield to Vivienne Westwood who oppose fracking – but don’t have to worry about paying the bills
By RICHARD LITTLEJOHN
PUBLISHED: 3 June 2014
What unites Paul McCartney and the former Liverpool footballer Dietmar Hamann, Michael Mansfield QC and the TV presenter Mariella Frostrup, and actress Helena Bonham Carter and the repulsive Russell Brand?
They are among 150 people who have signed a letter to The Times calling for a total ban on fracking in Britain.
Some of them are better known than others, but they are united in their smug sense of self-importance.
Unfunny Trot ‘comedian’ Jeremy Hardy and Left-wing film-maker Ken Loach make common cause with frock designer Vivienne Westwood and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.
There isn’t room for them all on the newspaper’s letters page but a helpful link directs readers to the full list on The Times website.
It’s the funniest thing since the roll-call on the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s hilarious musical spoof, The Intro And The Outro.
‘Big hello to big John Wayne, xylophone. And Robert Morley, guitar. Billy Butlin, spoons. And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes. Nice!
‘Princess Anne on sousaphone. Mmmm. Lord Snooty and his pals, tap-dancing, in the groove with Harold Wilson, violin.
‘Over there, Eric Clapton, ukulele. Hi Eric! On my left Sir Kenneth Clark, bass sax. A great honour, sir.
‘Digging General de Gaulle on accordion. Really wild, General! Thank you, sir. Roy Rogers on Trigger . . .’
As well as Paul McCartney on bass, the anti-fracking ensemble also features Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on piano and Yoko Ono on triangle.
What, you might ask, has any of this got to do with Yoko Ono? She lives in Manhattan.
Another rock star’s ex-wife, Bianca Jagger, is in on the act, too.
Presumably, they couldn’t contact Priscilla Presley in time.
There does seem to be a staggering lack of self-awareness among celebrity campaigners.
Many of those protesting at the damage fracking allegedly causes to the environment are no strangers to the world of gas-guzzling limousines and private jets.
Others seem to have been made up. Who, for instance, is Dr Noki Platon? Google has no record of anyone answering to that name.
UKIP’S success is to be celebrated in a new clothing range. Suzi Warren, of the website Twisted Twee, is launching Nigel Farage underpants.
How about a Borat-style Ukip mankini? You can bet Nige won¿t be shy about modelling them, maybe during the Newark by-election on Thursday
She said: ‘I think the time has come for Farage underwear. His appeal is universal.’ Presumably they will come in purple and yellow with a pound sign logo.
The question remains: briefs, boxers or Y-fronts? Let’s hope Suzi isn’t too adventurous. The thought of Farage in a posing pouch or, heaven forfend, a thong is too horrible to contemplate.
How about a Borat-style Ukip mankini?
You can bet Nige won’t be shy about modelling them, maybe during the Newark by-election on Thursday.
Perhaps he could take his cue from the old joke about John Major and wear his pants outside his trousers.
As for Dana Nuccitelli, turns out he’s a Guardian blogger from Sacramento, California. Of course he is.
What always amuses me is who draws up the list of signatories for these stunts. And how they decide who should be on it.
‘Right, we need a Beatle and a couple of actors, a smattering of comedians, a handful of pop stars, and who’s that artist who came up with the unmade bed? Tracey something, give her a bell.’
Which is presumably how you get Sir Antony Gormley, of Angel of the North fame, lining up alongside Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and celebrity chef Mark Hix.
I’m surprised the admirable Matt Lucas can’t see the funny side of this procession of pomposity, a conga line of luvvies, Lefties and Live Aid left-overs.
One thing they all seem to have in common is that none of them have to worry about how they are going to pay their next electricity bill.
The most surprising name on the list is that of something called Fuel Poverty Action. The single most effective way of tackling fuel poverty would be to begin full-scale fracking immediately.
In America, shale gas obtained by fracking has slashed fuel bills, created over two million new jobs and is estimated to have made the average family $1,200 (£720 approx) a year better off.
According to the most recent estimates, Britain is sitting on 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. If just 10 per cent of that could be extracted, it would be enough to meet all domestic demand for gas for the next 50 years.
Natural gas is cleaner than other conventional fuels and much less harmful to the environment than useless, bird-shredding wind turbines.
It would also free us from the tyranny of having to depend on Putin’s Russia and the Middle East oil sheiks for our energy needs.
Despite the alarmist claims of water supplies and the soil becoming polluted and flames shooting out of taps and shower-heads, there is no serious scientific evidence that fracking is harmful to anyone.
Yet the signatories of the Times letter continue to trot out the discredited scare stories about fracking being a threat to ‘human, wildlife, bird, fish and livestock health’.
They include a number of trade union leaders, even though their own lower-paid members have most to gain from a shale gas boom.
Their ranks also harbour flat-earth freaks, such as Farms Not Factories, and the usual tree-hugging maniacs in End Ecocide in Europe, who would reduce Britain to a peasant economy, given half a chance.
Signing letters in support of fashionable causes is a cost-free way for celebs to demonstrate to the rest of us how much they care, without the need to do anything which might have a material impact on their own cosseted existence.
It’s gesture politics, pure and simple, like that conceited Twitter campaign to free the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls by posting a selfie online. Fat lot of good that’s done.
Look at me, aren’t I compassionate? And look at all my important celebrity friends.
There’s Sir Paul McCartney on the banjo. Hi, Paul! Jude Law on spoons. Awesome! Matt Lucas on the didgeridoo. Yeah, I know! On saucepans, it’s chef Fergus Henderson. Mmmm, tasty.
On glockenspiel, please welcome the former manager of Stockport County, Didi Hamann. Over here, son, on me ’ead!
And specially flown in from Bel Air, looking very pleased with himself, it’s Russell Brand on drugs!
McCartney calls for halt to fracking | The Times