No maracas against frackers for wannabe MP Bez

Published on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 12:18
Written by Vicki Mitchem

A debate on fracking was missing a particularly vocal delegate this week. Happy Mondays maracas player Bez didn't turn up, leaving the anti-fracking representatives to fight for themselves.

Bez has announced he will run as an Independent MP for Salford and Eccles in 2015, the seat previously held by Hazel Blears. He said, "I am standing as an MP to draw attention to the debate because I believe fracking is unsafe technology and the damage it could do to the environment is irreversible."

But despite his strong views he didn't go to the six hour event, after being given a free ticket, which discussed the issue of hydraulic fracturing for gas and the problems that come with it. Information that may well have added to his campaign and helped him gain supporters in Salford and nationally, as a credible MP.

Bez, (real name Mark Berry) sees himself as an environmental campaigner whose other policies include taking beehives, organic vegetables and juice into schools. He has been a prominent figure at the fracking protest at Barton Moss, Salford

The event had representatives from both sides of the debate including CEO of shale gas explorer IGas and Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth. The day was organised by Govtoday who specialise in environmental events and debates.

Event organiser Tony Farrar said "I was looking forward to meeting Bez and having a discussion about his policies. I'm sure he would have had something to say, especially to the speakers who support fracking. It's a shame he found something better to do than engage with the people who matter in this debate".

A small group of anti-shale protesters gathered outside the venue in central London but caused little disruption.

Bez might have missed the event because he was struggling to use Ebay's complicated upload system. A pair of maracas painted by Bez is being sold on the auction website with the top bid currently at £710. Bez says the money will be spent on bee hives for schools. The auction started on the morning of the event and closes next week.

Other anti-shale protestors were invited to the event and contributed meaningfully to the debate.

Frances Leader who has been protesting with Bez at Barton Moss enjoyed the day saying, "I feel heartened that the debate is reaching into 'secretive corners' of the oil and gas industry"

Edit: Bez told us an anti-fracking concert he was organising was cancelled on the day of the event which prevented him from attending. He said of Fleetwood Council who cancelled the concert, "Just goes to show how they will do anything to stop the public getting to know the truth about the dangers of fracking."

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