‘Daft’ minister Gavin Williamson has got his priorities wrong
Only a Tory government as serially inept as this one would appoint a defence minister as daft as Gavin Williamson.
His shaky grasp of global realities was best illustrated by his response to a question concerning the potential fall out from Britain’s expulsion of Russian diplomats following the Skripal affair.
His masterly summation of the issues was encapsulated by his statement that Russia should go away, and shut up.
As more and more war veterans, many meeting here in town, have less and less for post traumatic stress disorder, the generals want more tanks, the admirals more ships and air marshals more planes.
Veterans are a charity basket case.
Williamson’s staggering hypocrisy can be seen in his favouring military intervention for those regimes that flout international law.
As he speaks, the Royal Air Force train Saudi pilots that bomb civilian targets in Yemen with British-made weapons.
Is it now time to focus instead on investment in renewable energy and green technologies to combat climate change, which is the number one threat to our security and that of the world.
Do not relax ‘traffic light’ regulations
When the Government granted permission for Cuadrilla to frack at Preston New Road, residents were promised ‘gold standard regulation’ would guarantee our safety and mitigate our concerns.
Part of these regulations was the Traffic Light System designed to halt the fracking process should a seismic event over 0.5ml occur.
In 2011 Cuadrilla induced two large quakes and numerous smaller events at another site. As a way of persuading government that fracking could be done safely, the traffic light system was designed by the fracking industry, alongside the regulators.
It was heralded as a clear and definitive standard and Cuadrilla were confident that they could operate within the agreed limits.
However since they began fracking in October 2018, their operations have caused 57 quakes or tremors. The most powerful was felt by residents nearby, despite Cuadrilla’s claims to the contrary. Semantic argument about what constitutes a quake or a tremor, or whether it can be felt at the surface or not is of no comfort. The deeply faulted geology of the Fylde is being placed under man-made stress.
Cuadrilla have now confirmed what the community have long suspected, that they have been unable to operate at full pressure and have been unable to fully frack one well. Even operating cautiously, they have still triggered 57 seismic events.
Residents are left wondering what could occur should they be given permission to operate up to a higher threshold.
Government has repeatedly said they do not plan to relax the regulations. I hope they listen to residents and stand firm on this matter.
Our lives, homes and environment should not be put at risk. We were promised gold standard regulations.
Rosecacre refusal will be overturned
If I were a betting man I would double a gamble on the refusal of permission for Cuadrilla to frack Roseacre to be called in and overturned plus the traffic light system of seismic activity monitoring to be adjusted upwards by quite a large amount.
This is because the Conservative Party and its funders only look at money, not humanity nor the environment, when making decisions of this kind. Personally I believe that the 50 plus earthquakes that swarmed across the Fylde following low pressure fracking were exactly what Cuadrilla expected, so now the political shenanigans can begin.
Only a change of Government and/or a substantial earthquake will stop the Fylde being turned into the largest onshore gasfield in Europe.
By the way, anybody know how much unburnt gaseous by-product was cold vented into the atmosphere around the Fylde last autumn, nobody seems to want to discuss this?
Peter K. Roberts.
Councillor ‘likes setting up barriers’
I feel sorry for shopkeepers in Bispham, who come under Blackpool’s Labour council.
Fred Jackson, highways boss, is at it again. He thrives on setting up barriers blocking off roads and digging holes so drivers cannot access their shops.
Mr A Gibson