David Cameron has made it no secret that he is heavily supportive of shale gas extraction as a future industry in the UK. He claims that it is vital to create jobs, boost the economy, bring down energy prices and stabilise supplies of gas and oil. All of these things may or may not be true but surely the real question is what the cost is and does this cost outweigh the short to medium term benefits? Further it looks increasingly like political suicide for the Tories. Greenpeace research suggests that 24 of 31 constituencies represented by Cabinet members are affected by the new licence areas, as are 31 of 40 Tory target seats. Surely this is then political madness for the Tories. Indeed, fracking will be far more of an issue in the next election than I think politicians are aware. Like HS2 for those along the proposed route, shale gas extraction will change people’s lives and communities, forever. These are things that people think about in elections: things that really affect their lives. The fact that the government thinks it can pay people off with a ‘compensation’ fee tax break to be poured into local communities is ludicrous. Officially, the Lib Dems are supportive but this could be a real chance for them to mark their point of difference from the Tories at the next election. It may even save their bacon. I for one would probably consider voting for them. England’s green and pleasant land is increasingly an illusion that the Westminster government wants to continue to sell to the Londoners whilst the rest of the country suffers the reality of their policies.