Letters - March 5, 2019

A car transporter at the Honda plant in Swindon, which the company is planning to close with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.A car transporter at the Honda plant in Swindon, which the company is planning to close with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.
A car transporter at the Honda plant in Swindon, which the company is planning to close with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.
We’ve been failed by our Government

The utterly predictable closing of the Honda factory in Swindon has been greeted with apparent surprise by those who claim to lead us, presumably they will greet the closure of the Toyota and Nissan factories in the same way.

It is the consequence of an EU/Japanese trade deal that was first proposed long before the Brexit referendum - a trade deal that greatly benefits French and German car makers and that allows, through the abolition of tariffs, Japanese car makers to close their EU factories and return production and jobs to their own country.

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The huge loser was always going to be the UK, regardless of whether we voted to be in or out of the EU.

Those Japanese factories are, or were, all here!

This begs several questions: where were our civil servants during those lengthy trade deal negotiations?

What did they have to say, if anything, about this disastrous (for us) deal?

Are they the same people that are currently negotiating Brexit?

I think I know the answer to that.

What a complete and embarrassing shambles.

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The British people have been grotesquely failed by those who purport to govern us.

Ross Taggart

Address supplied


Difficult renting with animals

I always thought the country was a place of animal lovers, but not when it comes to renting a flat or house.

We have tried all estate agents with no joy, I have a Westie cross who is 13 years old and is no bother. She just enjoys short walks and a small garden to roam around. We have been here 12 years but the owners have now put it up for sale.

Not all animals are trouble, so please owners think again.

S Scowcroft

St Annes


Give red light

to any change

As a resident in the Fylde I have been told by the fracking industry that the Traffic Light System (TLS) introduced following the ‘Blackpool earthquakes’ in 2011 would safeguard communities. Cuadrilla repeatedly used a diagram and explained the benefits in the publications with which we have been showered. At the two public inquiries I attended the TLS was paraded as part of the raft of ‘gold standard’ measures which would make fracking acceptable. Their other proposals regarding safe transit of equipment, hazardous waste fluid, building materials and personnel were condemned (this is completely accurate) in reports from the Planning Inspectorate in 2016 and 2018 and resulted in refusal to Frack at Roseacre Wood.

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Why then is this complete reversal of their own propaganda (ie. the demand to change the TLS and have an upper limit of 2ML or even 4ML), treated with anything other than suspicion?

Cuadrilla assured me that: “This process of opening up fractures creates or induces small vibrations or ‘microseismicity’. These seismic events typically do not exceed magnitude 0ML and very rarely exceed 0.5ML.”

The whole country now knows that in practise for only a matter of weeks, this was not true. Levels were routinely above 0ML and fracking was halted because of tremors above 0.5ML and more than double that.

The present cry of “unworkable and unreasonable” is both recent and self serving. Scientists writing in support of the change acknowledge their links and/or sponsorship by the industry. The emphasis on what can be felt above ground ignores the potential damage under ground and to the well itself.

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Naturally occurring seismicity is no guide to repeated and prolonged induced seismicity especially given the nature of the geology in this country, to say nothing of the proximity of homes, roads and communities.

Watering down the Traffic Light System as it stands would be a dereliction of duty.

James Sylvester



Tech giants are killing journalism

The tech giants are destroying journalism at a local and national journalism, in particular independent news outlets that look further into global issues than mainsteam outlets will dare. Facebook, google, YouTube have the power to decide what is an allowable line of inquiry and what isn’t. Silicon Valley now holds the power of global information and the vice of censorship will be closing tighter and tighter over the coming years.

Julie jones

North Shore