Talk show has had a negative impact
I witnessed a cringeworthy conversation last week when I overheard two women, approximately 60-odd years of age, talking loudly in a cafe and repeatedly swearing, using the strongest expletives.
I immediately thought of The Jeremy Kyle Show.
If you had the misfortune of your 17-year-old grandson running up a £1,700 cocaine debt over the past few months, would you really want the whole cafe to know about this information?
Unfortunately, TV shows, such as Jeremy Kyle, have offered a platform to magnify this kind of embarrassing attention.
Many of these characters, I think, have a warped sense of ‘hunger for fame’.
They have no real sense of shame in public.
This confrontational TV show is filmed in Manchester and shows a high proportion of people from living around the North West.
The Jeremy Kyle Show broadcasts are not doing the North West region any favours at all.
It could be argued by the producers that the show is supportive and educating society.
In my view, it is doing the complete opposite.
It’s an embarrassing circus, baiting disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
Over the past 14 years, its end result has encouraged cringeworthy behaviour to become a loud form of normality.
What if there were hundreds of wells?
With reference to the letters on fracking (The Gazette, February 9).
The limit of 0.5 was not ‘imposed’ upon Cuadrilla, the oil and gas industry were involved in setting it.
Either they naively believed then that it was sufficient or they deliberately agreed to the limit with the intention of getting it raised by demonstrating it to be too low to allow sustainable production.
The frequency as well as the intensity of the tremors is important. Cuadrilla caused 57 in just a few weeks. Imagine the effect of the hundreds of wells proposed over this region, each causing a similar amount of seismic activity. If you shake a friable material, e.g. shale, gently for long enough something will give and with the numerous geological faults present in this area that could have very serious consequences including much bigger earthquakes and the migration of highly contaminated fluid into drinking water acquifers.
There is also a question of damage to the well shaft, as shut down operations in 2011 at Preese Hall. The Environment Agency is not responsible for checking the shaft for damage after a tremor of 0.5 or more, the operator (Cuadrilla) must appoint their own inspector and are not required to tell the EA who it is. We must take on trust their assertions that the shaft has not been damaged, allowing toxic material to escape into the surrounding strata.
We have a plentiful, secure supply of energy of our own - sun, wind, water - which will make fossil fuels redundant before fracking can get going. The sooner time and money is concentrated on advancing this technology the sooner that will be.
It is imperative we leave customs union
On the January 17, 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May gave her now famous Lancaster House speech which made it clear that Britain would be leaving the European Union’s Single Market and the Customs Union.
The reality, two years on, is somewhat different: the Brexit negotiations have resembled a ‘dog’s breakfast’ and as a result there is a possibility that we will remain in some form of customs union with the EU.
Staying in the Customs Union would be a disaster for this country.
It does not facilitate free trade; indeed, it acts a barrier to free trade. It is protectionist and sets external tariffs, which forces up the price of goods and food in member states.
The idea being bandied about by Remainers that leaving the EU and the Customs Union will force up the cost of living is clap-trap of the highest order – and they know it. If we strike out globally and leave the Customs Union cheaper goods can enter our marketplace, meaning a reduction in the cost of living.
The United States, Japan, Australia and many more have indicated that they want free trade deals with us after Brexit, but this can all be thrown in the bin if we stay in the Customs Union, as the EU will sign trade deals on our behalf.
That is not independence and certainly not what we thought we voted for on June 23, 2016.
That is why it is imperative we leave the EU Customs Union.
North West Independent MEP