Leeds North West Constituency

Last week George Osborne’s climate-change sceptic father-in-law, the Tory Peer Lord Howell, gave us a typically measured Tory statement on shale gas. It was OK to extract it, provided it was not done in ‘sensitive’ Sussex, but in the ‘desolate’ North East. Amid the resulting outcry, he tried to rescue himself – at least from his geographical mistake. He claimed what he had really meant were the ‘desolate’ ‘unloved’ areas of the North West – though we should note there ARE plans for shale gas extraction in the North East. As someone remarked on Twitter – in a hole, he kept digging – and he would soon be deep enough to extract shale gas himself. Howell gave us a new hashtag on Twitter – for the non-Twitterati among you, a hashtag draws tweets on a theme together. #FracktheNorth looks set for a long life!

Insensitivity – yes. Lack of sympathy…

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