Only The Ghosts Still Linger…


With the EU referendum in Britain now less than a month away, one of the strongest arguments of the “Out” campaign is the ‘loss of sovereignty’ resulting from the U.K. being a part of Europe. Given the decision taken by the North Yorkshire County Council yesterday, this argument is laughable.

Sparrow Chat has long espoused the view that the U.K. is now little more than a satellite of the United States (Obama’s exertions to keep the U.K. in the E.U. served no other purpose than to provide the U.S. with a leverage in Europe, via Britain) and the democratic process is being similarly, systematically, eroded in the United Kingdom as in the nation with which it claims its “special relationship”.

Fracking was suspended in the U.K. in 2011 following minor earthquakes, but in April 2012 the U.K. government gave local authorities the option to allow drilling in their area. Until this week, none has given permission, due to huge public reaction against the process.

Yesterday, North Yorkshire County Council decided to ignore the demands of its voters, and agreed, by a 7-4 majority, to allow fracking to commence in the area.

Planners had recommended the Kirby Misperton plan was approved, but acknowledged the majority of representations received in consultation were objections.
Vicky Perkin, a council planning officer, told the committee that of 4,420 individual representations, just 36 were in support of the application.
But her report also said it should be noted there was a “national policy support for the development of a shale gas industry in this country and this is an important material consideration”.[1]

Despite objections to the fracking running at 122-1, North Yorkshire County Council still decided to override the democratic process and grant permission for the company, Third Energy, to proceed with fracking in the area.

What is ‘Third Energy’?

Tracing the money back isn’t difficult. Third Energy (originally Viking Oil) was bought out by Barclays Natural Resources Investments in 2010. BNRI is a private equity arm (read ‘hedge fund’) of Barclays Bank, which in turn is the operating arm of Barclays plc, the 25th largest company in the world.

In 2015, Barclays, along with Citigroup, JPMorgan and RBS, were between them fined $6 billion for manipulating the price of US dollars and euros. The company is hand-in-glove with the U.K. and U.S. governments and operates a ‘revolving door’ principle by which lucrative employment is offered government ministers and high officials from both nations while temporarily ‘out of office’.


Thomas David Guy Arculus, an independent non-executive Director from 1997 to 2006, was a member of the UK Government’s Better Regulation Task Force within the Cabinet Office from 2002 to 2005.

Sir Richard Broadbent, the former Chairman of HM Customs & Excise, has been a Senior Independent Director at Barclays plc since 2003. He is Chairman of transport services company Arriva PLC.

Mark Clarke, currently Director-General of Finance at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, worked at Barclays from 2000 to 2003.

Sarah Cox of the Cabinet Office’s Business Support Group worked at Barclays plc from 2001 to 2004.

James Duddridge, Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East since 2005 worked at Barclays Bank 1993–2002.

U.K. Life Peer Robert Fellowes, Lord Fellowes of Shotesham, was Chairman of Barclays Private Bank from 2000 until December 2009.

U.K. Life Peer Digby Jones, Lord Jones of Birmingham, who was Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment from 2007 to 2008, was a Senior Advisor to Barclays Capital from 2006 to 2007.

Sir Andrew Likierman, an independent non-executive Director since September 2004, was a Non-executive Director of the Bank of England and was Chief Accountancy Advisor at HM Treasury from 1993 to 2003.

Francis Maude, Conservative MP for Horsham, is a member of Barclays Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee.

Jami Miscik, who became Global Head of Sovereign Risk at Barclays Capital after it bought Lehman Brothers, was Deputy Director of Intelligence at the CIA from 2002 to 2005.

Sir Anthony Reeve, Ambassador to South Africa 1991-96, was Director Barclays Private Bank Ltd, 1997–2001.

Barclays Bank plc employee Howard Spiers was seconded to the Department for Trade and Industry from 1998 to 2001 as an export promoter.

Robert K. Steel, a Non Executive Director of Barclays Bank plc from 2005 to 2006, was Under Secretary, Domestic Finance, U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2006 to 2008.

Sir David Wright, a former British diplomat and Group Chief Executive at British Trade International, became Vice-Chairman of Barclays Capital in 2003. (For references see Wikipedia – ‘Barclays’)

It’s easy to construe from this that North Yorkshire County Council were merely spearheading a much larger and more powerful group composed of a huge, multi-national, private company in league with the British and United States governments. One can only theorize just exactly what the elected members of the North Yorkshire County Council received in return for playing Judas to the constituents they’re supposed to represent in North Yorkshire, but it surely has to be substantial.

Democracy and sovereignty are long dead. What we are living with today are merely the ghosts of both.

[1] “Landmark North Yorkshire fracking operation approved” BBC, May 24th 2016