An irate farmer sprayed raw sewage at Oscar winning star Emma Thompson and her sister Sophie after they flouted a court injunction protecting a fracking site.The stars were filming a Great British Bake Off parody for Greenpeace when the owner of the field they trespassed on drove his muck spreader in circles around the demonstrators. A group of protesters were hit by the manure but the actresses remained dry in their tent, complete with Bake Off-inspired bunting.
Police were also called and also spoke to the actresses, who climbed over a gate and set up camp on land earmarked for gas exploration in Fylde, Lancashire.Emma and Sophie, who won Celebrity Masterchef, filmed a pastiche episode of the Great British Bake Off called Frack Free Bake Off to voice their opposition to the fracking plans.
The incident reportedly occurred in the English borough of Lancashire this Wednesday, when Thompson and her sister, 2014 “Celebrity Masterchef” winner Sophie, tried to film some silly “Frack Off Bake Off” parody video on the farmer’s property.
But this afternoon the landowner, who leases the contested patch of land to fracking company Cuadrilla, drove his muck spreader in circles around the demonstrating group.
After a couple of circles around the group, who were shouting for him to stop it, the farmer drove off. Protesters are banned from the site, near Preston, after company Cuadrilla applied for an injunction in 2014. It is not clear if the fracking company will now take civil action – but it appears unlikely.
The sisters, who are also Greenpeace supporters, baked a wind turbine cake and a solar lemon cake in a white marquee complete with vintage utensils and bunting.Soon afterwards at least five police officers arrived – Lancashire Police said they were there for safety reasons and made no arrests.
Explaining the stunt Emma Thompson said: ‘My sister has won Celebrity Masterchef and is viciously competitive. She might have planned to do away with me while we are doing this.’I have a feeling she’s been up all night practising and I haven’t been because I’m lazy.’
She added she doesn’t fancy her chances in the competition, saying: ‘I’m not a good baker, I don’t have a great deal of skill so I’m fairly sure it won’t go in my favour but we are all winning because we are protesting these fracking plans.’
Local authorities soon showed up, but certainly not to arrest the farmer. Instead they asked Thompson to explain why she had violated the law by showing up on the farmer’s land.
“I’ve been aware of this issue for a while with my work with Greenpeace and it came to a head for me when David Cameron went to the Paris Climate Conference and signed on to the protocol and then on the sly at Christmas, when nobody was looking, gave the nod to 200 fracking sites in Britain,” she said.
I suppose she therefore felt entitled to just waltz on the farmer’s property and interfere with his business. By the same token, the farmer felt fully justified dousing her in some disgusting manure so odorous that it might take a couple loads of laundry for her to remove it from her clothes. She’s lucky she was trespassing in Britain. Had she done so in the U.S., she might have faced a property owner defending his rights with something a little more dangerous than manure.
It’s funny though how liberals invariably take the wrong side of every issue, be it illegal immigration, radical Islamic terrorism or fracking, which according to the Brookings Institute offers an abundance of economic benefits. Whereas trespassing on someone’s property and filming a dumb video offers no benefits, unless of course you enjoy the smell of manure.
Sophie Thompson said: ‘There’s nothing like food to bring people together, and nothing like fracking to pull them apart For’For years, to oppose fracking, this community has played by the rules of our democracy.
‘Yet the Government has rigged the competition undemocratically to favour the fracking industry. ‘If our Government energy policy were a cake, it would probably be a crossover between a crumble and an Eton mess.’
The government backs fracking and developing shale oil and gas in the UK, claiming it has the potential to: ‘provide the UK with greater energy security, growth and jobs.’
In 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron described fracking – short for hydraulic fracturing’ – as ‘good for our country’. In January, a leaked Governmental 10-page plan set out a timeline for the expansion of the shale gas industry in Britain. It could see wells classified as ‘nationally significant infrastructures’ – meaning drilling permission is taken away from councils.
Friends of the Earth, which obtained the leaked letter, branded the proposed changes ‘an attack on democracy’. Greenpeace’s Hannah Martin said: ‘We don’t need fracked gas to keep Britain baking. ‘We need renewable energy, like wind and solar. We are fighting for this land to remain frack free.’
A police spokesman added: ‘We were this morning made aware of a protest on land at Plumpton Hall Farm at Little Plumpton. ‘A local neighbourhood patrol attended and spoke to a representative of the protestors to establish their intentions. ‘It was not felt necessary or proportionate to maintain a police presence at the site but resources are available to attend again if necessary.’
But Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said it was ‘ironic that Sophie Thompson, who uses gas stoves in videos to promote her own cook books, and her sister, who described Britain as “a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island”, should want to attempt to hijack the UK’s love of baking for an ill-conceived publicity stunt’.