Political opinion: Seeing Red with Cllr Karen Constantine -Fracking and a failing economy.

Cllr Karen Constantine

Forget fracking… it’s a deliberate smoke screen. A red herring. A diversion. The science is definitive, the UK is not suitable for fracking. Not to mention the fact that most communities will simply not want it.

So, in reality fracking is off the agenda. Exactly as it was before the Tories broke their manifesto pledge after spending weeks – wasting precious time – electing a new leader. Remember Liz Truss was elected by just 0.02% of the UK population. No wonder so many people of all political stripes feel disgruntled.

There’s no doubt that we have a number of crises to handle in the UK. The pound has plummeted to a new historic low against the dollar and is extremely low against the euro, worth just €1.08 today… and falling. We are now the lowest growth nation in the G7.

The Conservatives are a disaster for ordinary working people.

We also have an energy crisis (there is a plethora of crisis matters at the moment – thanks to 12 years of Tory misrule.) A housing crisis, a low wage economy meaning waves of industrial unrest looming, and a crisis in the NHS and social care. You name it, the Conservatives have failed us and failed to deliver a reasonable stand of living.

The Tories have now lost control of the UK’s finances. They have also lost their moral compass. Consider the latest fiscal event – (mini budget surely?) From the Financial Times, to Tory grandee and ex Conservative Chancellor, Lord Ken Clarke, this current low tax strategy is nothing more than a casino style gamble. The conservatives have bet the house.

But not only that, it’s Robin Hood in reverse. The richest 5% of our country will be a whopping £8,560 better off! In contrast, the poorest households will be an average £230 better off next year. Yes, that’s right, just £230, and ‘if’ interest rates have to go up, how much of that ‘gain’ will be lost meeting those higher living costs? The Bank of England has said it will not hesitate to raise interest rates to control inflation.

In particular I wonder how Thanet householders are going to meet these soaring costs? Even those in secure and well-paid work are telling me that they are struggling. The Government’s latest help to businesses, whilst welcome, has come too late for some and doesn’t give real assurance to plan for the long term.

Of course, Thanet has revoltingly high child poverty rates, 39% in some wards and growing unchecked. Our local MP seems utterly unconcerned about this and that is frankly unforgivable. Maybe somebody should tell him about a recent report by headteachers that details children who are so hungry that they are eating rubbers or hiding in the playground because they can’t afford lunch. Thanet’s food banks are stretched to breaking point.


You may think a ‘fiscal event’ costing us billions, might focus on this – but no. Instead we’re being asked to go along with the greatest political scam I’ve ever seen. (Disclaimer I was born in ’62 so I’ve seen a fair bit). Taking from the poorest to give to the richest. It’s blatant.

But something else has happened recently.

Everyone is talking about the cost of living crisis and the energy crisis. Many seem angry about not only what’s happening, but why it’s happening. After 12 years the Tories have not only lost touch with ‘ordinary’ people, but they’ve lost our trust. I think that feeling has now becoming widespread.

Labour have launched the Green prosperity plan, which will double the amount of onshore wind, triple solar energy production, and more than quadruple offshore wind power, “re-industrialising” the country to create a zero carbon, self-sufficient electricity system, by the end of this decade. And create jobs and become an energy exporter.

We propose to spend £30B on planned investment, to support up to 400,000 jobs in manufacturing and low-carbon industries, combined with a national procurement plan which will ensure every pound given out in procurement is guided by the national interest to create local jobs, skills and regeneration. Not to line the pockets of shareholders, and Tory party donors, but to support floundering local economies like ours.

We plan to end casino economics. The Tory approach is reckless and is an immense risk to family finances. Instead, we’ll boost growth in a green and sustainable way by tackling three crises jointly – the climate, the cost of living and the wider economy, while putting people at the heart of a green economic revolution.

My hope that Labour will win the next election has now turned into a belief that we will.


  1. You maybe right labour will win the next election but not with the current Leader because I won’t be voting for him,maybe if you were the leader of the Labour Party l would consider it.

    • Unbelievable!
      The UK is, arguably, facing an existential threat, and all you can bang on about is an archaic anachronism.

    • Peter – what did you expect – I’ve carefully read what she has written and quite astounded at some of her conclusions which were not costed. Usual tripe and I despair if this is best Labour Party can put forward locally

    • Maybe like many of us she is a Republican, who finds the whole of the last several weeks rather nauseating & a sign like Diana 25 years ago of total media & public mass hysteria-celebrating somebody who stole from the poor to fund her extravagant & ludicrous lifestyle for 70 years, like those before did & after her will.

      For somebody who was allegedly there to serve us, she showed zero interest in the cost of living crisis & was happy to let many pensioners starve & freeze to death this winter & many still will with the weak intervention from Truss.

      Rather bizarre that so many-including the elderly lined up for between 13-25 hours to nod at her casket for 3 seconds & worship this pampered billionaire who had everything done for her, while them, their mothers, nan etc freeze to death. The NHS cancelled peoples operations many had been waiting years for & cancer treatments last Monday & then many of their staff paraded in front of her hearse-disgusting & shows where priorities in this country lie-with the filthy rich & the corrupt.

  2. A person on £20k pays £2,856, a person on £200k pays £85,178 tax, 30x more but is only 10 x more income. On £1m tax is £435,000 that’s 152 x more on 20 x more income. Labour don’t explain it like that

  3. Karen , could you set out the maths and statistics for your claim that 5% of the population are £8560 better off ? As i’m a bit perplexed as to where you get this figure.

    It seems that you’ve confused those worth a million with those that earn a million a year, i very much doubt that 1 in 20 people earn that much. Google suggests that 19,000 people in the UK earn over a million a year which represents about 1 in 3700 ofmthe UK population or about. 0.0027 percent. A bit of a difference i’m sure you’d agree. (I. Stand to be corrected if i’ve got it wrong).

    By all means rail against the tories , but at least be a tiny bit honest and less misleading otherwise you are no better than those you berate.

    • I think we should shout loud and clear from the roof tops what we think of this appalling government.
      Whether Karen’s sums are correct or not is of little consequence.
      What is a fact is that the Chancellor and the PM are in charge of a government that is effectively asset stripping this country. The huge tax breaks given to the wealthy and the big corporations has to be paid for: and it will be paid for by generations to come, over scores of years. Vast amounts of public money will have been moved off shore. Public services will collapse (they already are)
      Karen’s sums might be wrong. But the Chancellor’s are way off the beam.

      • “Whether Karen’s sums are correct or not is of little consequence”

        Translation: “I don’t care if Labour make up lies to discredit the Tories”

        As well as a complete lack of respect, you have zero morals.

      • By all means rubbish the tories plans , but at least do so with a modicum of fact and honesty otherwise it just reinforces the view that no politician can be trusted.

        As for Labours pie in the sky green energy revolution, how on earth are they going to achieve their shopping list in 6 years (assuming they win in 2024) , the cost of doing things at breakneck speed is wasteful in the extreme. Putting right decades of ill judged energy policy by all parties is going to take decades if we’re to do it properly.

        If labour want peoples votes would it not be better to actually come out with something halfway believable or is councillor constantine wanting to be Diane Abbotts successor in the numerically challenged department.
        As for tax breaks for the rich , look up the distribution curve of who pays how much tax, chuck in the savings the state makes from those who have private healthcare and education and perhaps encouraging them to strive and create is a better way of moving forward than giving the endemically workshy more to do nothing.

        Fortunately for politicians too many of the electorate are too thick, self centred, politically blinkered ( or a mix there of) to actually question what is thrown at them , as a result they deserve what they get.

        • Maybe the facts/figures are wrong so what if a bit or a lot out.
          I see myself and others who are no better off than we were a few Months ago.
          Who knows what crap other parties will do until they have a chance.
          I cannot see we can be worse off.

          • A couple of months go you were looking at huge increases in energy costs, after the announcement of the bailout you can look forward to much lower billsmthan they wouldmhave been from next week. Whilst you don’t have extra money in your pocket, you are still much better off than you would have been.

    • Well maybe if Lizzy and Kwasi had been honest (haha)and called it a budget rather than a ‘fiscal event’ then the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) would have been obliged to publish figure on the likely effects. As such, the Tories made sure that couldn’t happen

  4. The Tories have never been in touch with the working people-at least not in my lifetime. Thatcher certainly never was-it was all about the city & deregulation & selling off public assets to the highest private bidders & look how that turned out for us.

    Cameron certainly wasn’t in touch either-despite his pathetic attempts to convince us he was with his all in it together nonsense, while doing his dodgy deals & becoming ever richer & his short lived Big Society community shop photo ops project.

    This lot have been a total joke-the most fined address in the UK, for the rules they wrote & then broke over & over & lying about doing so over & over. Wasting billions on useless PPE because they gave their useless rich friends the contracts to make it. Even giving a ferry service to a company with no experience at running ferries, who didn’t have any ferries & stole their website T&C from a takeaway business.

    On the way out Boris said if you see something that hasn’t been privatised then do so & Liz Truss promised she would be more of the same & a vote for her was a vote for more Boris-they never learn.

    Already it seems Tory MP’s are sending in letters of no confidence in her after her disastrous budget announcement-again reward the 5% super rich with 60 odd grand each, while real term cuts for the poorest, going against all the expert advice & effectively putting the entire lot on a roulette wheel.

    Rather than put levies on the energy companies/freeze the bosses bonuses etc, she has instead decided the public will still pay them their obscene price rises while making record profits, just over a long period, as the price freeze is just a loan. Whether you like Labour or Starmer, unless you are a millionaire, then at this point voting Tory at the next election is insanity.

    • “The Tories have never been in touch with working people….”😂😂😂
      Do you remember Harry Enfield’s character “Loadsamoney”? Where did that come from? Those who worked in the building trade – ever worked as a builder’s labourer. Proper hard physical work! – loved Thatcher and what she did for them. Hardworking farmers vote Tory too. That’s a 24/7/365 job of physical work. Many of them made a packet by working hard.
      Unlike those “workers” in the Public Sector with their 37 hour week and gilt-edged pensions. Who have strong unions, whinge a lot and disrupt people’s life ves with strikes.

        • No surprise there-it is London, which is all she was interested in. No use if you lived in Thanet, Bradford, Sheffield & she was destroying your industries/sending them overseas & putting you out of work.

          • I moved and worked in Thanet/Herne Bay from 1985, and can assure you that many working class here also loved Thatcher (London alone can’t elect a PM – if they could, we’d have Corbyn in charge!).

          • I am sure-personalities & carefully stage managed appearances engage a lot of people. There are still people who are entranced with & defend Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite etc & there are people who still love Enoch Powell, Thatcher, Blair, Cameron, Boris, Corbyn, Berlusconi, Putin etc. Just look at Trump & the cult worship of him.

            Of course many people will also like/support something if it benefits them personally, even if the most of the rest of the country is in dire straits & seeing all their industries being decimated, rights taken away etc.

          • Make of trump as you will, but the USA is self sufficient in energy and has the ability to be so in food, he called out europe on their reliance on russian gas . A dishonest narcissist without doubt but that didn’t make his jusgement in many things wrong.

          • Hardly LC-the US still imports 43% of its Oil & Petroleum & is of course the worlds biggest polluter, due to its corruption & greed over producing green energy sources.

        • Thanks Peter.
          Next time you go to Covent Garden, check out the brickwork. I mixed a fair bit of the mortar it’s pointed with!

          • I tended to work more in the east and south-east of London. I’ll never forget how much we laughed when we put scaffolding around and old warehouse in the Wapping area and were told they were going to become luxury flats!

      • Funny. I seem to remember high levels of unemployment, trades going overseas & plants being closed down, riots with pit closures & certainly my father who worked hard physical labour had barely enough to scrape by for us the entirety of the decade, apparently if he had switched to roofing or a brickie he would have been well rewarded-even if the pay wasn’t good he could have just nicked the lead off of roofs.

        Everything was thrown at the city slickers & along with Reagan she took away regulation-fast forward 20 odd years & those greedy vermin bought the world economies to their knees & the selling off of public assets under her & Major led us to the mess with public transport, energy companies, water companies we are all still paying for 30 plus years later, both financially & ecologically-unless you enjoy sewage being dumped in the sea.

        • Even building workers often went overseas (‘Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’ was highly realistic), but I guess that is always the case. Way back in 1970, my father spent a couple of months as a scaffolding superviser working in South Africa to earn a decent wage.

          • No surprise, as a young lad seeing German & Dutch channels in the late 1980’s & first half of the 1990’s it was wall to wall boobs, bush & bum & they are clearly a randy bunch. Not that I was complaining mind you.

        • All of which Blair & Brown had 18 years to reverse. Didn’t they? Starmer’s going to be different? Take a look at the very good Al Jazeera documentary!🙄
          As to fracking. The only areas which might reasonably be explored/exploited are where the geology also produces coal. If there wasn’t a coal mine there in the past, it’s unlikely anyone will explore there. If they do, it will only where the EROEI figure is significantly higher than 1. Which in most cases it won’t be. It won’t affect Thanet at all. As others have said, “…red herring..”.

          • Speaking of red herrings the Browm / Blair administration was 13 years not 18 as you suggest (mind you, the previous Tory administration was indeed 18 years).

  5. She’s right that fracking is inappropriate, toxic and ineffective, and causes destruction to the land, water table, inhabitants and animals in those areas. Locals of all ages and political parties protested to ban it in their areas due to their own research on the dangers. However, sadly all main political parties follow the same line as can be seen in the lockstep approach to the disastrous lockdown and medical interventions the last few years. No thought for the people they are supposed to serve. Starmer (a Sir no less from his DPS days) and his membership of the Trilateral Commission illustrate some of his allegiances. False illusion of choice between the Tories and Labour – it’s an old game – with trust in them all decreasing by the minute from those who think critically.

  6. Fracking : on the Isle of Thanet we have no shale – its chalk all down to bedrock – so no gas and no fracking. Thats not he case for the area of the old coal mines between us and Dover. But anyway, as Cllr. Constantine says, the geological opinion is that in anywhere in UK that is on shale, there is not much gas in the shale, and its unprofitable – which would be the killer argument


  8. I have no faith in any national poltician successive governments have always let the people down. They neither represent or stand up for them. The only time you see them is at election times when they need your vote. Having always voted Labour I will not be doing so this time if its a choice as to who I believe is lying to me the least then I will pass. I see no difference between Labour and the Tories, Labour are now run by the North London set and the leader is a millionaire so what has he in common with ordinary people? At least with the Tories you know what to expect sleaze and more sleaze.But Labour at the monment offer very little if anything at all!

  9. The problem with the Labour party is ,the can say what they like,at the moment ,they have no costed programme,how are going to pay for everything,just money coming off the magic tree, they change direction every other week ,to look good,and Kier starmer has no leadership skills,look at his record before he became leader poor,I have voted Labour all my life ,but not with Foot,Corbyn leading the party,Andy Burnham would get my vote at the moment

    • And the Tories who have gone against every piece of expert economic advice, despite being told it is suicide & are just going to borrow & print money-mostly to give to their rich friends, with no idea how it is going to be paid back is preferable?

      Truss has no leadership skills, neither did Boris-other than blame everybody else when it goes tits up. Starmer is not my cup of tea, I would rather have Lisa Nandy in charge-but it really is like anybody but Trump so you get useless, woke, geriatric Biden anybody but the Tories at this point.

  10. Bong! too late Checksfield. The Tory party were warned and went on regardless.This will not go away.Even if Mr Kwarteng can stabilise the pound even temporarily,Trussonomics has failed at the first post.
    Trickle down has never worked,no matter how many times its tried.Apart from being morally dubious, it cannot succeed.If it had we would pay the very rich to be very rich, so that they might donate a tiny morsel of the national economic cake to the rest of us. It’s not as if we have many Carnegies among the very rich.All they seem to do is hoard wealth and buy outlandish houses and yachts.This is ok for the building supply and yacht chandlery sectors, but no way to run an economy.
    As for Harry Webb and Peter Checksfield excusing this bizarre and yes,unchristian, behaviour,by acting like morality versions of climate change deniers,it is laughable, if it were not so sad.
    Peter C likes to proclaim his love of monarchs, and yes, the monarchy pays little tax and lives in luxury, but at least it does try to give something back, and does sympathize with the poorest in society.
    I think we should be saying to the very rich, that they can still have a lovely life and help those who are not as fortunate, by paying a little more tax.This also applies to those receiving large inheritances, or own second/third/many homes, and AirBnB operators.
    We are still a very rich country.Poverty need not exist.It really won’t hurt that much to pay a little more tax.I know I have.
    I think Karen’s statistics need a little explanation, it appears that she is taking about a mean figure for those above £150k per annum.

    • Yes they do Mr Checksfield,but two wrongs do not make a right, especially when this online paper receives so many unpleasant comments about immigrants, or migrants.
      There is no point having a diverse cabinet, if they are all hard faced men(or Women) who have done well out of the financial world, and are pitiless to the poor.
      Rupa Huq has allowed her own prejudices get the better of her.
      Where I disagree with Mr Kwarteng is not his drive to the top, nor his background and ethnicity, but his lack of understanding of the struggles of the ordinary joe and josephine in the street.
      Poor people are more adept as domestic chancellors of the exchequer,than Mr Kwarteng, because they have so little to work with.
      The better off, still, after over a century of evidence to the contrary blame the poor for being poor, rather looking at the reasons for poverty.
      Mr Kwarteng believes in scourging the poor to make them better consumers, but with the very rich he rewards them, even though their record on financial acumen, and honesty, is constantly in question. Afterall it was not the poor who brought down the banking system in 2007/8.

  11. i think peter should go on this is your life – he must be 200 years old what with all that he has done, he is quite the boy

  12. Do not believe Peters age, I checked this out.
    He was born in 1823 and passed in 1893. This was the his first life, he got chucked out up there for moaning plus he wanted out as still had things to say and do , he wanted to try this pushbike thing as never had one, some land had been turned into walking spaces , wow he says to god , I wanna try this stuff out, God said go on son but behave and get my questions right when you return, last time I told you come 4th you blew that , came 5th so yeah I chucked your beer money away.
    He returned sometime in 1901 , changed his photo in 2010.
    No more info showing to date so its anyones guess to his age.

  13. Appalled that Karen has not mentioned the news that RSP has submitted a rescue bid for Doncaster airport – what on earth are they thinking about??!!!!

  14. And still the masochistic working and lower middle class will vote Tory.

    Death Wish and I’m alright Jack politics.

    The almost psychological need to advance even one rung up the social ladder makes for suicide voting.

    As we become more like a dictatorship perhaps we should all be compelled to wear the colours of the party we support and vote for.

    Might lead to civil war on the streets but at least it would take the mind off the horror show that is the UK.

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