Anti-fracking groups have the same aims
J Standing should be congratulated for recognising in his letter (Your Say, Gazette, October 24) that the recent gathering and march at Preston New Road near Blackpool, in protest at the overturning of the local government decision to refuse shale gas drilling (fracking), was attended by people from outside the area as well as many local residents.
This clearly demonstrated the fact that fracking is not just an issue that will affect local communities (our own back yard), but one that will also affect the whole county of Lancashire and the large swathes of England which have already been allocated as potential sites for the process.
Frack Free Lancashire is just one of hundreds of groups that are interactive across the country, all united and working together in raising awareness of a process that is at odds with agreed international climate change targets and a threat to our living environment.
Fracking is a process that is being pushed through at all costs, in spite of the views of the residents of the country and the democratic decisions made by local government, so thank you again Mr Standing for highlighting the fact that we are all working together to protect our rather small back yard – England’s green and pleasant land!
We should listen to more credible voices
It’s great to see that John Standing has now moved on from complaining (Your Say, Gazette, April 9) about the Gazette having allowed local people a voice on the issue of fracking to complaining (Your Say, October 24) that the protests against fracking are largely made up of non-local people. Presumably he didn’t bother to attend the recent protest at Preston New Road or he would know how silly that last claim actually is.
However, his letter is just a series of quotes from arch climate change denier Matt Ridley, who famously led Northern Rock to disaster that we all had to bail out. I honestly don’t think we need to take lessons on democratic involvement from somebody (Viscount Ridley) who claimed that government is “the problem not the solution” before running to that same government when the bank he ran failed and needed a bail out.
Neither am I convinced that Viscount Ridley’s support for fracking is purely academic, as he has personal interests in Weir Group, which has been described as,“the world’s largest provider of special equipment used in the process of fracking”.
If he’s trying to make a case, Mr Standing needs to find a more credible witness I’m afraid. In fact he would surely do better to quote from his own work. His own Open University MSc thesis recognised that “earthquakes related to hydraulic fracturing at the Preese Hall well ... did deform the well bore” and “well bore failure provides the most likely cause of groundwater contamination”, so perhaps he really does know something about what concerns local people and get so many of us out protesting after all?
A lesson children should not learn
I would like to congratulate Michelle Smith for teaching her five children valuable life lessons (Gazette, October 20):
1. Do what you want;
2. Take no notice of rules;
3. Do not respect authority;
4. Teach your own children to grow up with the selfish and uncaring values;
5. Live life on your own terms.
When my children were in school we had a little shop. When you are self-employed no-one looks out for you or helps you. No sick pay if you are ill, no money coming in. When, at last, we could afford to go on holiday we would not dream of taking our kids out of school. School is more important than anything else.
Never mind all the excuses – school is school – holiday time is what it says.
How can schools fight the losing battle of trying to instill decent behaviour patterns in their pupils? Why is the world today full of people who want to buck authority, selfishly getting their own way.
I know who should have got the fine – and a large one too.
You are not a child Michelle – grow up and stop fighting the system. Be a shining example to your kids.
Name and address supplied
Essential viewing for job centre staff
In another great column, Barry Freeman urges everyone to see I Daniel Blake, directed by Ken Loach (Gazette, October 24).
Few directors can create work whose subject and emotional impact fills you with a burning anger, making you forget you’re watching a film. Over the past few years here in Blackpool, Blackpool Against The Cuts has heard many of the stories the film is based on. Many people applying for social benefits because they are unfit for work meet bureaucratic,by-the-book job centre staff led by callous health care professionals refuse state aid and are forced to look for work, even when doctors have said they were unfit for work.
Blake’s poignant statement, “You’re done for when your self-respect is lost”, says it all.
As Loach said, a movie isn’t a political movement, a party or an article, it adds its voice to public outrage.
Anyone with a conscience, especially job centre jobsworths, has to see Loach’s masterwork.