Yesterday, I said there would be no Nov. 27 blog because I would be in Fredericton for the protest against shale gas. And I was. But something interesting happened there. I think I know why it happened. And, knowing that, I am going to make a prediction. I am-writing this at suppertime on Nov. 27, well before publication time for the Moncton Times and Trivial. But I'm pretty sure of how the Irvng papers will cover the story of the Nov. 27 demonstration at the legislature in Fredericton.
We parked our cars at the cold and bleak Old Burial Grounds of Fredericton. It was a big crowd, especially given the cold, the fact that we have a long walk to the legislature, almost an hour in the cold there, and then back to the cars. I couldn't get a count and, in any case,people kept joining as we marched. There were at least several hundred metres of us. (I was never able to see are far back as the end of the group.)
I noticed that most (almost all) of the men were of retirement age and more. Of course. This was a working day. Most younger men couldn't possibly take a day off to march in a demonstration. So the men were mostly older. That's important to the prediction.
As we arrived at the legislature, I was surprised to a another demonstration group already there. It was a much smaller one than ours, probably not more than fifty - maybe not as many as that. But it looked well-organized with many of them wearing identical white shirts that looked new, and all with professionally made signs. They were there to defend fracking - (although they preferred the term "natural gas". It sounds nicer, and even healthy.)
But what really struck me was the men in that group. In marked contrast to us, the majority of the men looked younger, perhaps 30s and 40s. Gee. How could so many men in that age group get the day off from work?
Then I remembered Dr. Cleary's talk on the dangers of shale gas in Moncton. I remembered the lineup of questioners at the end, many of whom didn't ask questions but were there to delivered speeches of their own, prepared speeches, attacking Dr. Cleary and advocating :"natural gas". With a long experience of being involved in such meetings, I recognize planted stooges when I see them. But why were they there?
I found out why next day when I read the Moncton Times and Tacky. The news story, before even summarizing Dr. Cleary's talk (in fact, the story never did summarize the talk), reported the criticisms aimed at her by the planted stooges. They were used as means for the Irving press to bury what Dr. Cleary had to say - while at the same time pimping for the shale gas industry.
So when I saw that small group of demonstrators in favour of shale gas, noted the signs of professional organization, and then noticed that the men seemed young........
Well, I thought, somebody is taking the anti-shale gas movement seriously, so seriously he or she is willing to sink some money in fighting it - and it's a somebody that the Irving papers want to please. Presumably, that same somebody hired the professional propagandist who, I think, wrote at least two editorials for the Times and Troubled.
So, where did those relatively young men at at the pro-shale gas (sorry, pro "natural gas") - demo come from? And how did they get the day off from work?
Well, they looked like office workers. And I would guess they were selected from the offices of companies connected with people who want to see shale gas in New Brunswick. So what was the presence really all about?
This is a repeat of the game played with Dr. Cleary. The Irving press will play down the anti-shale gas demonstration by playing up to pro "natural gas" one.
The shale gas companies are pulling out all the stops to spread lies and disinformation. The Irving press has obviously bought into it. (well, it's been told to get into it.) And these are the people who are asking us to trust them in deciding our futures and our children's futures.
I would almost predict we will again see an editorial in the Nov. 28 Times and Tainted that was not written by one of its editorialists, but by a professional propagandist (oops, communication advisor).
Read all about it in tomorrow's (Nov. 28) Moncton Times and Trite.