Letters - July 29, 2019

Why the UK has assumed responsibility and the cost of the seized oil tanker, asks one reader.
Why the UK has assumed responsibility and the cost of the seized oil tanker, asks one reader.
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Is oil tanker really responsibility of UK?

On reading the news concerning the recent seizure of the oil tanker Stena Impero by Iran, it is puzzling to understand why the UK has assumed responsibility and the cost, along with the considerable risks to our military, in securing its release, when considering the following facts that were disclosed about this incident.

It was reported that the vessel, although British registered, is actually owned by Sweden and that none of the multi-national crew are British nationals.

Also the cargo, ie the oil, which the ship was on its way to collect, was possibly purchased by several foreign countries whose names interestingly were not stated or perhaps were not known or could not be disclosed.

Surely therefore the collective responsibility/costs for ensuring the protection of this vessel, and of now securing its release, lies with Sweden, the governments of each of the foreign crew members, and the countries who purchased the oil, not the UK?

This incident raises an important question as to what are the economic benefits to the UK in registering ships as British when they are owned by foreign countries?

Michael Gleeson

Address supplied


Predictions for Johnson regime

Planned or not, the parliamentary recess will aid Boris Johnson with his Brexit and domestic programme, announced on his first day of taking office.

This allows 10 weeks without daily parliamentary scrutiny. He can then go through the motions of EU negotiations, their inevitable failure, then blamed on Europe, proceeding with his primary aim, a no-deal exit.

The belief then will be that all sections of society will just want an end to this three-year fiasco. Running the clock down until the end of October, Article 50 will ensure our departure will pass by default. Until leaving is finalised, no MPs will vote for another General Election, required under the five-year rule. With all attention on Brexit, his non-costed domestic policies, which fail to materialise, can be blamed on the opposition.

As newly formed Brexit Parties depart, hopefully Tory voters will return, giving Boris the opportunity for a snap election. The usual continuous demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn, ably assisted by the media, may well deliver him electoral success, free to follow extreme right wing policies, reflective of his current Cabinet.

Denis Lee



Top tips to prevent fatbergs

A national campaign has launched to help save marine life from plastic pollution and prevent fatbergs from destroying the sewer network.

Unblocktober, led by Lanes Group plc, the UK’s largest privately owned drainage contractor, challenges the public to make small changes to their kitchen and bathroom habits for the month of October in order to protect the environment.

In just under a month, closed pre-registration has already seen over 1,000 people sign up to take part.

Participants will commit to putting none of the following down their sinks or loos:

. Cooking oil

. Margarine, butter, lard

. Cooking sauces

. Food - even crumbs

. Wet wipes, tampons, applicators and wrappers, sanitary/menstrual pads and towels

. Nappies, condoms, cotton buds and contact lenses

. Bandages and plasters, razor blades and dental floss

When fats, oils and grease (FOG) are poured down the drain, they collect in the sewers and begin to harden into big congealed masses - commonly known as ‘fatbergs’ - that cause serious blockages.

Such blockages often lead to flooding, pollution and, potentially, public health problems when foul water ends up on streets and in homes.

The problem is further compounded when items that contain plastic and other non-biodegradable materials are flushed down toilets. This causes fatbergs to grow even bigger, and also leads to plastic pollution in our rivers, seas, oceans and watercourses.

Unblocktober is the awareness month that the environment needs right now.

By taking part and changing their habits slightly for a month, the British public can help solve two problems: the millions of tonnes of plastic being dumped into watercourses and the environmental and structural damage caused by sewer blockages.

If we can join together this October, the improvements to the health of the environment we live in will be huge.

And this will be even more effective if we can continue these habits beyond October.

Participants can sign up and find more information at unblocktober.org

Michelle Ringland

Lanes Group