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SpinWatch

SpinWatch - 2017-11-03 - Original post - cached version

Last week we reported that the fracking firm Cuadrilla had breached its environmental permits at its Preston New Road (PNR) shale gas exploration site three times already this year.

Another inspection report has since been published by the Environmental Agency (EA). Issued on 6 October...

SpinWatch - 2017-11-01 - Original post - cached version

It was one of the biggest and best-known British PR agencies around. So when Bell Pottinger came crashing down earlier this year, you could be forgiven for wondering why it hadn’t prepared a better crisis strategy to deal with the fall-out writes Will Dinan.

You could also be forgiven...

SpinWatch - 2017-10-21 - Original post - cached version

New documents released by the Environmental Agency reveal that fracking firm Cuadrilla breached environmental controls at its Lancashire shale gas exploration site in August.

It is the third time since Cuadrilla began work in January that the regulator has censured the energy firm for...

SpinWatch - 2017-10-17 - Original post - cached version

A former PM’s political aide and special adviser to UK business and energy secretary Greg Clark is now a director at fracking and chemical giant INEOS’s lobbying firm. Yet under the broken system regulating the revolving door between big business and politics, the public often has no automatic...

SpinWatch - 2017-10-05 - Original post - cached version

Two of the fracking industry’s biggest cheerleaders in Westminster have ceased operating, the latest published list of all-parliamentary groups (APPGs) reveals.

 

The news will be welcomed by many campaigners who have long argued these groups were a conduit for fracking interests...

SpinWatch - 2017-10-05 - Original post - cached version

Two of the fracking industry’s biggest cheerleaders in Westminster have ceased operating, the latest published list of all-parliamentary groups (APPGs) reveals.

 

The news will be welcomed by campaigners who have long argued these groups were a conduit for fracking interests to...

SpinWatch - 2017-08-18 - Original post - cached version

Nearly a decade ago, the then-chief lobbyist at Bell Pottinger was asked by MPs for an example of a public relations campaign having a ‘malign’ effect on society.

Bell Pottinger’s Peter Bingle replied: 'We had a call from Zimbabwe asking us to advise Zimbabwe. We said, "Thank you very...

SpinWatch - 2017-08-09 - Original post - cached version

The DUP-Conservative alliance that emerged from the 2017 election might seem like a natural one given the long history of the 'Orange card' as a Tory expedient at Westminster. 

There is however an equally long record of conflict between the British establishment and the the particular...

SpinWatch - 2017-08-07 - Original post - cached version

The UK shale industry is in deep trouble, even before a well is drilled. According to the latest Government survey, public support for fracking has reached a record low. Only 16 per cent of the population now support fracking. 

Cuadrilla, the company trying to frack in Lancashire, has...

SpinWatch - 2017-07-26 - Original post - cached version

History is repeating itself. Just as some of the pioneers of the current environmental movement in the UK, who cut their teeth in the 1990s fighting the Tories’ road building programme were demonised and attacked, so are today’s anti-fracking activists.

Some of the similarities are...

SpinWatch - 2017-07-18 - Original post - cached version
The revolving door connecting politicians with lobbyists clearly helps them, but does it benefit us? Anna Minton and Tamasin Cave delve deep into a concerning culture of cronyism. 

The community of North Kensington is demanding that the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire be widened...

SpinWatch - 2017-07-12 - Original post - cached version

Soon British consumers will be cooking and heating their homes with American fracked gas for the first time. 

But there is growing evidence that fracked US gas – and the infrastructure being built to supply it – has a huge ecological, social and personal impact back in the US, which...

SpinWatch - 2017-06-12 - Original post - cached version

After a humiliating General Election result, the British Conservative party are today trying to secure a working relationship with the small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in order to secure a Parliamentary majority and form a working Government.

The election result is seen as a...

SpinWatch - 2017-06-07 - Original post - cached version

New documents reveal that Angus Energy continues to potentially mislead its investors after informing them in May that it has all the necessary planning permissions to drill a controversial side-track well at its Brockham oil site in Surrey.

The documents, obtained via freedom of...

SpinWatch - 2017-05-31 - Original post - cached version

As many people expected, the election campaign has brought rigorous scrutiny of Jeremy Corbyn's past statements on Ireland, as well as those of his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. Both are London MPs with close links to the Irish community in the city, particularly significant in Corbyn's...

SpinWatch - 2017-04-27 - Original post - cached version

Burka ban discussions on breakfast TV. Escalating verbal abuse and physical attacks on our streets. Media headlines pointing the finger at Islam in our schools. Intellectuals and politicians arguing over a clash of cultures and the ‘enemy within’.

No doubt about it. Islamophobia has...

SpinWatch - 2017-04-18 - Original post - cached version

The New York Times and other major media have ruled out any further scepticism toward the US government’s claim that Syrian President Assad dropped a sarin bomb on a town in Idlib province, reports Robert Parry.

In the old days of journalism, we were taught that there were almost...

SpinWatch - 2017-04-18 - Original post - cached version

Despite its suggestive rhetoric and its appeals to the lower classes, the party's disguise as a champion of 'the people' is a sham, and must be uncovered argues Tommaso Segantini.

Marine Le Pen's Front National (FN) is leading in the polls of the upcoming French presidential elections...

SpinWatch - 2017-04-04 - Original post - cached version

A wave of direct action across the UK aims to end extreme energy extraction.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is an extreme form of dirty energy extraction in a world dominated by dirty energy extraction. The earth’s resources are rare and fracking represents a final attempt to draw...

SpinWatch - 2017-03-29 - Original post - cached version

Today, the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing confirmed that former Special Branch commander Roger Pearce had been a spycop. This was something that the Undercover Research Group had first publicly identified in October 2016, having stitched together material from various sources....

SpinWatch - 2017-02-16 - Original post - cached version

An investigation by Spinwatch has found that the petrochemical giant Ineos has approached at least six East Midlands local councils to allow it to search for shale gas under council play parks, allotments, football pitches, and even a council war memorial. 

Almost all the parish...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-21 - Original post - cached version

Threats to journalism and journalistic autonomy come in many forms. At the most extreme, journalists are directly threatened, intimidated and, all too frequently, harmed by political actors seeking to influence the ‘information environment’.

As a form of coercion, aimed at controlling...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-19 - Original post - cached version

The Hart Inquiry today published its long awaited report into institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland. One of the most controversial cases examined in the report is that of the Kincora Boys Home, where William McGrath of the loyalist ginger group Tara, abused boys during the 1970s. There...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-15 - Original post - cached version

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When Theresa May took over as prime minister in July 2016 she vowed her government would represent the concerns of ordinary people over big vested interests. Yet, within three months, her communities secretary, Sajid Javid, used powers created...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-12 - Original post - cached version

The dispute between senior fracking academics at the University of Glasgow has intensified after Professor David Smythe accused former colleagues of ‘research misconduct’ and ‘plagiarism’.

Last year, Spinwatch revealed that the university had abruptly terminated Smythe’s online access...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-10 - Original post - cached version

The ‘fake news’ hysteria has become the cover for the US government and mainstream media to crack down on fact-based journalism that challenges Official Washington’s ‘group thinks,’ writes Robert Parry.

A key reason why American foreign debacles have been particularly destructive...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-09 - Original post - cached version

Letter published in the Financial Times in January 2017 from Prof Andrew Patterson and others, Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, University of Stirling, Scotland

Sir, As public health researchers we noted your report ‘Friends of the Earth forced to withdraw anti-...

SpinWatch - 2017-01-04 - Original post - cached version

Consultants who advise the European Commission (EC) on its security policies have also been working for companies that win related research projects, funded by the European Union, raising concerns about conflict of interest. By Crina Boros at Investigate Europe.

A faceless building at...

SpinWatch - 2016-12-23 - Original post - cached version

Daniel McCarthy and Matthew Fluck on why fetishising information doesn't equal better politics.

Leaks and exposés are central to our political lives. From leaks during the climax of the US election to revelations about Theresa May’s views on Brexit, their steady drip is aimed at...

SpinWatch - 2016-12-09 - Original post - cached version

To penetrate the walls of official secrecy, civil society needs to get better at publicly demanding accountability argues Professor Vian Bakir.  She proposes a benchmark of demands for a more robust public discourse.

Governments across liberal democracies maintain that their...

SpinWatch - 2016-12-02 - Original post - cached version

NHS and social care watchdog the CQC appears to be ignoring or even suppressing information from whistleblowers - and failing to protect staff who speak out.

In February 2015 Jeremy Hunt promised ‘sweeping reforms to end NHS cover up culture’. A ‘Freedom to Speak Up Review’ had...

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