Letters - April 2, 2019

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Keeping our lights on must be MPs’ priority

I was astounded to learn recently that more than half the gas we use is now imported at great cost, including, increasingly, in ships from Russia.

I think it is about time we had an honest discussion about where our energy comes from and how we can utilise sources we have in the UK.

Nuclear and North Sea gas will be virtually non-existent in the next decade and, while renewables are growing, they will not fill the gap and we are still to overcome their intermittent nature.

We risk being held to ransom by the likes of Russia for our energy.

The debate about our energy sources needs to include shale gas. We need to understand the science, environmental, social and economic impact of shale gas when compared with other energy sources.

Is it really sensible to rely on foreign gas when there’s an abundance under our feet?

This is the type of question we need to be asking.

The politicians have been distracted by Brexit for three years now and yet we face a race against time to secure a reliable energy source to power the UK.

I, for one, believe keeping the lights on and our central heating boilers working must be their priority.

Stewart Pimbley

via email

TRIBUTE

I played Scott’s music for mum

Scott Walker had everything going for him in the 1960s.

He had good looks and a great voice, the fans adored him, he led the Walker Brothers to the top of the charts with songs such as Make It Easy on Yourself and The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.

My favourite song of theirs, as was my late mother’s, was My Ship is Coming In.

I remember watching the song being performed on Top of the Pops with my mother.

She said: “One of these days our ship will come in”.

It never did, but I gave the record a spin on Mother’s Day in her memory and remember just how good Scott Walker was.

John Appleyard

Address supplied

TV LICENCE

EastEnders set cost totally unjustified

How can the BBC justify spending £87m, including a £27m overcharge, on a new set for Eastenders, at the same time considering ending free TV licences for over 75s in 2020?

Mrs B White

Address supplied

BREXIT

MPs are there for the general good

The reasons for the current problems over Brexit are many and varied. They include : a referendum on a very complex subject that was impossible to answer with a simple Yes/No. What was needed was a multiple option question plus a transferable vote, a method used by the Swiss and Canadians.

A second reason was trying to negotiate with a stubborn EU that was never going to make life easy for our Prime Minister for fear of encouraging other members to leave. No PM could have got a better deal. A change of government will be no more successful than the present one. Indeed, given its leadership will be even less successful.

Thirdly, a mixed bag of MPs have been unable to decide what their true function is. Far too many are by profession accountants, lawyers and public relations people with little or no knowledge of economics or history.

If they had studied history the words of Edmund Burke, a brilliant political philosopher, politician and statesman, would have reminded them of their responsibilities.

On 3 November, 1774 Burke gave a speech to the Electors of Bristol. It is rightly regarded as one of the most famous and important political speeches of modern times.

Burke said: “Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests. It is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole ; where not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good. You choose a member but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, he is a member of Parliament.”

It is a great pity that many MPs and their constituents have failed to heed these wise words. It is a classic statement of the relationship between MPs and their constituents. An MP is not simply a delegate of his or her electorate. The national interest is an inseparable part of representative government.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys