I've no idea whether Dan Cruikshank is one of the dozens of the self-important with superinjunctions in place, but we have an acquaintance in common and as a result I rarely watch his programmes. I did catch briefly a few minutes of Cruikshank on Wentworth Woodhouse, though, best known to me not for its marble floors but as an example of the spite of Socialism. The Fitzwilliams of Wentworth Woodhouse were enlightened mine-owners, deeply concerned with the welfare of their employees and their families in an old-fashioned paternalistic manner, active investors in the community, local leaders, and rooted amongst the people of the area. In short, they were everything that Statist socialists loathed. Manny Shinwell, lauded as a saint by the left, was actually a bitter, bigoted and thoroughly nasty little shit shot-through with all the cruelties of communism. As coal minister in an act of class-war spite he ordered the opening of a new open-cast coal mine to destroy the Fitzwilliams' estate, to mine 'right up to their back door'. In vain did the local miners and the Yorkshire NUM protest to Clement Atlee that the Fitzwilliams were OK, and rather popular actually. In vain did the NCB tell Shinwell that the coal was of poor quality and not worth mining. The excavators and wagons moved in and destroyed the estate. If I ever come across Shinwell's grave I'll happily piss on his bones.
And so to Blackpool. 'Fracking' for shale gas near Blackpool has been suspended as scientists suspect that the process has caused two minor earthquakes in the town. Shinwell of course would have shrugged and been happy to bury Blackpool and its residents under six feet of rubble in the cause of 'socialist progress' but he and his kind are no longer in power. Whatever your views of the value of Blackpool, this is good news for our respect for private property. It has rightly usually been a difficult, prolonged and expensive process in the UK to over-ride individual property rights to build a new rail line, motorway or airport, but to see the benefits of such obstacles you only have to look at North Korea, East Germany, Cuba or Russia to see how ephemeral and valueless are the results of the vindictive destruction of property for the sake of demonstrating the State's ownership of everything.